Godfred Viking Sword

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Description of the Product

According to an 8th century proverb “If a frank is your friend he’s certainly not your neighbor”. Towards the end of the 8th century the Danes and the Saxons were facing challenges and aggression from the Franks. In 798, the Saxons were defeated by the Frankish Emperor Charlemagne, and by 804 the Frankish army was already at Denmark's southern boundary. Fearing, justifiably, an invasion by the Franks, king Godfred began improving the enormous earthen embankment structure, the Danevirke, which defended his realm, separating Jutland from the Frankish Empire. Denmark's most important town, Hedeby, was expanded when Godfred burnt down the important Frankish trading port of Reric and forced its merchants to resettle there. The income from tolls ensured Hedeby grew as an important tracing center, profiting from the trade on the Baltic Sea, as well as trading with King Alfred’s court in England. The first Scandinavian coinage is from Hedeby from Godfreds reign.

Peace talks between Godfred and Charlemagne were ongoing, but they failed, and in 810 Godfred plundered the Frisian coast. To protect the northern coast of his empire, Charlemagne began paying other Viking chieftains to protect sections of his coast. Before the war could escalate, however, Godfred was killed by one of his huscarls, one of his own sons. Godfreds successor immediately signed a peace treaty with Charlemange, the first of its kind in Scandinavia.

Named for the feared Viking king, this Godfred Viking sword is built around a beautifully patterned pattern welded carbon steel blade. The interwoven leather grip, complemented by a Damascus guard and pommel, is matched by the leather-covered wood scabbard with bronze detailing and integral belt hooks. The blade is superbly balanced, due to its deep fuller and its distally tapered blade profile.

This sword is a fairly late period Viking sword, and can be categorized as a Wheeler type VI/Petersen type L. It is a Danish type Viking sword from c. the 10th C, with a three-lobed pommel and downward curved short hilt. Unlike the earlier migration period swords which had been tip heavy and thus fairly cumbersome to wield, the blades from around the 10th C onwards begun tapering, and came to a fairly sharp point. As the point of balance moved closer to the hilt, the swords became quicker and lighter in the hand.

The Godfred Viking Sword is a true tribute to the skills of legendary Norse smiths; although in a twist of irony for a sword named after someone who fought the franks until his death, a superior blade such as this would most likely have been of Frankish origin, gotten either by trade or by plunder, whichever was most feasible.

Made by Hanwei. Specs may slightly vary from piece to piece.

Overall length: 87.4 cm
Blade length: 72,7 cm
Handle length: 13,2 cm
Weight: 1.0 kg
Point of Balance: 10.5 cm
Width at Guard: 4.7 cm
Width at Tip: 3.1 cm
Thickness at Guard: 5.3 mm
Thickness at Tip: 3.5 mm
Blade material: Damascus high carbon steel
Sharpness: Sharp
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