Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: The Knife Lore of the Anglo-Saxons

  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Thursday, December 10th, 2009 @ 07:34 AM
    Age
    46
    Posts
    596
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    18
    Thanked in
    17 Posts

    The Knife Lore of the Anglo-Saxons

    By Edward Konig
    Source

    The Anglo-Saxons, better known as the English, were originally named after the knives they carried. These were the "Saxe", which incidentally still means "knife" in modern North German dialect, North Germany being where the ancestors of the English came from. So, the "Saxons" translates into modern English as the "knife-men"

    The Saxe was about 16" overall, with an 12-13" blade, which ended in what we would now call a "gut hook". Except that it was highly sharpened, and was in fact a "ripping-hook". The obvious purpose was to rip open their opponents in combat.

    Their proverbial ancestor was named "Saxe-noth", which means "knife-daring". Presumably this was the nickname of one of their real ancestors, renowned for his exploits with this kind of knife.

    The "Saxe" was the Saxons' "trademark", and, indeed, part of their pagan religion.

    Every, and I do mean every, Saxon man, woman or child was buried with a knife. Even small children were buried with knives that they wouldn't have been able to use for another 4-5 years had they lived. The Saxons saw to it that their dead would not be defenseless in the next world, as the English (their descendents) saying goes: "you never know"...

    The Saxons converted to Christianity from their pagan religion soon after they came to England, and by 700 or 800 AD, they were sending missionaries to convert their cousins back in Germany. As Christians, they no longer followed the old customs mentioned above quite as much.

    Scientists believe that the Celts had their origin in a valley on the southwestern slopes of the Alps, near the southeast border of France. From there they spread out to many parts of Europe and the Near East, and in modern times, to the rest of the world.

    The modern branches are, starting from the South, the Britons of Northeastern France in Brittany, the Cornish in the southwest corner of England, the Welsh in Wales (Western England), the Irish (no longer British, but see below), and the Scots (whose ancestors mostly came from Northern Ireland). In the Near East, the Galatians mentioned in the Bible, to whom St. Paul wrote that "whatever a man soweth, that shall he reap", were Celts who had immigrated there. A local king induced 20,000 of them to settle there as soldiers in his army and traders back in 200 BC with grants of land and money.

    Celt means something like "free warrior". Celts were known in ancient times for their cleverness and bravery.

    Celts attacked and looted Rome in early days when it was just another small Italian city, before it became the center of the Roman Empire. They extracted a very high price in gold as well. The Romans got the gold back with interest a few hundred years later, when Julius Caesar conquered the Celts, and extracted their large supplies of gold from them through the tribute and taxes he and his successors made them pay.

    The Celts were also the "Metal Masters" of the Ancient World. Metalworking was their specialty, and all who could afford it bought their blades from them. This included the Roman Army, whose swords were made by a branch of the Celts in Spain at that time, and imported by the Romans.

    Germans were then far behind in all of this, and could manage to make a spear point or knife if it wasn't too big, but swords were rare among them and very highly prized. These were made by the Celts as one of their specialties. The sword was usually leaf-shaped, and examples can be seen in reproductions offered on the web, like the "Sting" sword of The Lord of the Rings.

    The fight between Germans and Celts began with the Saxon migration to England from 500 AD to 650 AD. They were joined by their neighbors the Angles and the Jutes (from Jutland, now in Denmark), and were known in general as Anglo Saxons, as they are today. They pushed the Celts out of Eastern and Southern England, so that they remained on the Western and Northern borders: Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, where they mostly are today.

    On the other hand, the German and Celtic nobility considered themselves equal, and developed family ties over the centuries.

    Later, about 500 years ago, many Celts migrated to England to share in the prosperity that would later lead to the British Empire.

    So both at the noble level as well as the common level, especially in the larger towns and cities, the English are partly German and partly Celtic. After Ireland became independent, and so were no longer British, the Celtic population of England still remained there, while the Irish and most of the other Celts, over the centuries, had adopted English customs, standards, and language, and so became almost exactly like the English.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Kith of woden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Last Online
    Monday, February 23rd, 2009 @ 11:06 PM
    Subrace
    Don't know
    Country
    England England
    Location
    cheshire
    Gender
    Family
    Single, looking
    Posts
    241
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts
    A great post mate, and a good History lesson. Waes Hael from An Anglo-saxon

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Last Online
    Sunday, July 29th, 2012 @ 01:42 AM
    Ethnicity
    Scottish
    Ancestry
    Isle of Skye
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    Gender
    Age
    33
    Family
    Single adult
    Religion
    Heathen
    Posts
    32
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    this is a great post but it doesn't go very in-depth into the title.

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Sunday, December 30th, 2007 @ 09:32 PM
    Age
    37
    Posts
    181
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Excellent post.
    I think I have read somewhere that the word Celt originates from an ancient Gaulish word Keltoi which meant "Hidden People" or something like that... although I have also heard that it originates from an ancient Gaulish word that means Kinfolk or Tribe , similar to Tuatha ... I have no idea. It would be interesting to find out.

    I studied Anglo-Saxon Heathenry for a while and I have to say that although I am primarily of Irish, French, and Scottish descent it still does interest me very much.

    No mention of the Danelaw , though? I am surprised.
    Or did I miss that part?

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Sunday, December 30th, 2007 @ 09:32 PM
    Age
    37
    Posts
    181
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Oh I understand now, the focus was the
    Saxon knife tradition not particularly the history of the people of England which is why there was no mention of the Danelaw.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    enslaved1896's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Last Online
    Thursday, May 10th, 2012 @ 07:52 AM
    Ethnicity
    Celto-Germanic
    Ancestry
    UK/Continent
    Country
    United States United States
    Gender
    Posts
    126
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    The Anglo-Saxon people were beautiful and unique in their own rights as our own.

    AS heathenry fascinates me to no end, but I am afraid most of my English blood is of Norman origin...

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Last Online
    Friday, August 1st, 2008 @ 02:11 AM
    Posts
    149
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Anglo-Saxon broken back scramaseax, blade1084, gripp cocobolo, fittings copper and damascus
    blade 15" gripp 5"

    http://www.powning.com/jake/commish/dirks.shtml

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Thursday, December 10th, 2009 @ 07:34 AM
    Age
    46
    Posts
    596
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    18
    Thanked in
    17 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by klokkwerx

    Anglo-Saxon broken back scramaseax, blade1084, gripp cocobolo, fittings copper and damascus
    blade 15" gripp 5"

    http://www.powning.com/jake/commish/dirks.shtml
    :eek That's gorgeous! *drools*

    I like the intricate carved handle designs on that site.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Galloglaich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Sunday, May 31st, 2009 @ 02:44 PM
    Ethnicity
    Scottish/Norwegian-German
    Subrace
    KN + Bruenn
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    State
    Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
    Gender
    Politics
    Libertarian/An-Cap
    Religion
    Anthroposophical Asatru
    Posts
    328
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Torquil
    By Edward Konig
    Source

    ...The Saxe was about 16" overall, with an 12-13" blade, which ended in what we would now call a "gut hook". Except that it was highly sharpened, and was in fact a "ripping-hook". The obvious purpose was to rip open their opponents in combat...
    I've seen many saxes and very few had anything approximating a modern gut hook. This intrigues me. Could you please expand a bit on that?

    The saxe pictured is indeed a beautiful modern specimen, but is more typical of the Scandinavian type. Archaeological evidence suggests that examples of "English" manufacture were relatively broad in the blade (possibly giving rise to the inspiration behind the modern Bowie). This isn't to suggest that all types of saxes weren't common in England (especially owing to the Danelaw period etc.), but rather that the Anglo-Saxons had a predilection for a particular type when smithing their own.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Fafner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Last Online
    Monday, December 7th, 2009 @ 03:16 AM
    Ethnicity
    Lombardic
    Gender
    Age
    32
    Posts
    299
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts
    Really interesting article.

    The attached image shows a timeline in swords developement from the 500-1500 A.D. It also shows the family of Saxons and Germanic swords and their combination with Celts and Roman ones until Renaissance broadswords.
    (I took it from the book Medieval Swordmanship by John Clements)

    I also recomend you a site dedicated to Renaissance martial arts:
    http://www.thearma.org/

    @ Ambiorix: According to what I know, the word Keltoi was a denomination from Greeks to those barbarian tribes, specially the Celts

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Anglo-Saxons Most Individualistic
    By VikingManx in forum Psychology, Behavior, & Neuroscience
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2 Days Ago, 03:49 PM
  2. The Anglo Vice: Why Male Homosexuality is so Prevalent Among Anglo-Saxons
    By Roderic in forum Psychology, Behavior, & Neuroscience
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 2 Weeks Ago, 04:45 AM
  3. H. L. Mencken on Anglo-Saxons
    By friedrich braun in forum Germanic Europe & Outlying Islands
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 2 Weeks Ago, 07:52 AM
  4. What is the Subrace of most Anglo-Saxons?
    By Klegutati in forum Nordid
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Friday, February 10th, 2017, 03:00 PM
  5. Liberty and the Anglo-Saxons
    By FadeTheButcher in forum Cultural & Linguistic Anthropology
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006, 11:05 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •