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This new work fills a gap in the literature in English on the swords made and used in northern Europe during the Viking age, between the mid eighth and the mid eleventh centuries. Ewart Oakeshott outlines the significance and diversity of these ancient heirlooms; co-author Ian Peirce, who handled hundreds of swords in his research for this book in museums across northern Europe, selects and describes sixty of the finest representative weapons. Where possible, full-length photographs are included, in addition to illustrations of detail; an illustrated overview of blade types and construction, pattern-welding, inscription and handle forms and their classification prefaces the catalogue of examples which is the principal part of this work. Ian Peirce is lecturer and museum consultant specialising in early swords; Ewart Oakeshott was renowned for his pioneer studies on a wide range of medieval swords.
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