posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 02:22 PM
Fascinating stuff, I wish I had watched the show
But I feel asleep on the couch while it was on.
I believe these swords represent a distinctive school of smithing, one learned via swede trading with the Arabs and through them the Indians.
It was probably a very closely guarded technique and it did show shortly after the Swedes started trading with the Arabs.
The most common method was mentioned, pattern welding, where in the case on the " vikings", raw iron was pounded into wires. Some of the raw iron
was made into steel and pounded into wires. These wires were then twisted into braids of wires and beaten into a small rod the these rods were twisted
into a braid and beaten into the final product.
When I was 14 I tried to make a sword in this fashion, I learned it from a book published in the 1880's in Britain.
The book was the culmination of 30+ years of research by a British professor of military history.
It detailed traditional techniques for the making of arms and armor from Europe Arab world, the author spent time in damascus with a swordsmith with
photos and everything.
In the section on the norse there was an old norse myth about a legendary smith whose swords were so good that they could be put in a stream with the
edge up stream and a piece of lambs wool would be cut cleanly as it floated down the stream, I bet this tale represents an exageration of the ulfberht
As awsome of a book it was it had one drawback, it was intended as a scholarly reference, so most of its content was taken from period sources in the
original languages, it was mostly in Latin, Old English , Classic French, a little Italian and some transcripts of Arabic sources.
My father worked at the local Cal state so I took to the language dept and had some of the stuff translated.
It also detailed the origins of the two of the modern sporting swords, the eppee and the foil.
The blade pattern of the eppee is from the 14th century at the height of chainmail use. It's stiff triangular cross sectioned blade would punch right
and split links in mail like they weren't even there.
The super flexible and flat blade of foil comes from the 15th cent. during the pinnacle of plate armor use.
The flexible blade could find its way into gaps in the armor. Both of these were Italian developments, perfected through the incessant fighting they
did amongst themselves.