Norman Medieval Sword
1000-1300 AD. Type Xa.
The transition from the Germanic to the swords of the medieval period took shape between the 10th and 11th centuries. While the blade geometry remained relatively constant, the main changes were a gradual transition towards a crucifix guard and wheel pommel. The geometry of the swords found from the 12th century clearly defined the classical examples of the Norman swords and image of the “chivalric knight”.
This transition, did not reflect a new artistic flavour, but rather came from the shift from pagan to Christian society. The Normans were the descendants of the Scandinavian Norsemen who raided the European coastal settlements at the outset of the 8th century. Despite the Norman’s conversion to Christianity and their adoption of Frankish customs, the Normans retained many of the traits of their Germanic ancestors and way of life.
The Norman sword, sometimes referred to as the crusader sword, typically a type Xa or type XI, had slightly evolved from a type X. Having a narrower fuller and slightly sender blade, the medieval sword of the 11th Century was still largely a slashing weapon, as its’ earlier counterpart. It was not until the end of the 12th century that we see a more defined tip, transforming the medieval sword into a thrusting weapon.
While the blade transitioned into a slightly more tapered and pointed tipped weapon, the cross guard and pommel were the main transitional changes. While the accentuated tip came from years of first hand combat experience, necessitating a more functional tip for thrusting, the guard emerged as a change in religious beliefs. The amalgamation of both transitions resulted in a lighter, more versatile weapon that allowed both slashing and thrusting during close quarter combat. The transitional crucifix guard was used as a defensive advantage over the Norman sword’s predecessor, the Spatha. Not only did the longer quillons of the sword provided better blocking capabilities, it also provided the fighter a blunt stabbing weapon in the trenches of close quarter combat. The Norman sword’s longer guard therefore proved more effective for both defensive and offensive function.
With its iconic crucifix guard, the Norman sword is arguably the most recognisable sword in human history. Not only has it been exhibited in various Hollywood blockbuster films but scholars have long studied the Norman or Crusader sword depicted in the Bayeux tapestry: an historically rich and important embroidery that depicts the Norman Conquest.
While the crusader sword (Type Xa) has a relatively conservative geometry, it nevertheless introduced a better balance and was more graceful in form. While generally the same proportions as their earlier counterpart, the swords of the 11th c had more tapered narrowing blades making them easier to wield.
This transition was not only due to the changing fighting techniques, from slashing to thrusting, but also due to the advent of heavier armour and cavalry.
The Norman battle ready Sword, classified as type Xa by Oakeshott’s typology, is classically styled with the traditional wheel pommel and guard.
The Norman Sword is finely engineered for the most discriminating collector. Designed for actual medieval combat, our staff conceived the Norman sword with a responsive, well balanced and resilient core. The hand-crafted blade, wheel pommel and guard have been designed from originals, conserving the authenticity and “feel” of the originals. The Norman sword is not a reproduction. It is a recreation of one of the most important swords of human history.
Customer feedback about the Norman battle ready Sword:
“Dear Eyal, Just want to thank you for the sword and dagger. Package arrived yesterday and the sword far exceeded my expectations – it is perfect and the scabbard and belt are also very nice and well done. Thanks again and let me wish you good luck in your work and many satisfied customers (and I am definitely one of them!)”
~ Martin Bohaty, Czech Republic
“I received my sword yesterday and I had to tell you how impressed I am !! It is everything I could hope for and more. Thanks for providing such a magnificent piece at an affordable price”.
– Scott M. Florence Colorado.
Hi, just wanted to let you know that I just picked up my Norman sword today and just finished unpacking it and all I can say is, I`m impressed…beautiful sword, what a nice piece!!! Thanks a lot.”
– Ben, USA
Blade: 5160 High Carbon Steel.
Dual Tempered HRc 60 48-50 at the core
Fittings: Mild Steel
Total length: 35″
Blade length: 28″
Blade width at base: 2″
Weight: 2lbs. 6 oz.