Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


The sword was the weapon of the knight’s choice – some preferred the one-handed sword and a shield, while others used the larger two-handed sword.

During the period of AD 400 to AD 550, known as the Migration Period in Europe – also known as the Barbarian Invasions – various types of swords were used by different cultures and tribes. This era was characterized by significant movement and displacement of peoples, resulting in a diverse range of weaponry. Swords from this era are commonly known as Migration Period swords, Frankish sword, or Germanic sword. This type of sword was widely used by Germanic tribes. It featured a straight, double-edged blade, a simple crossguard, and a hilt that could vary in length.

The spatha was a long, straight sword that originated from the Roman Empire but continued to be used during this period. It had a blade length of about 30 to 40 inches (75 to 100 cm) and was often used by Roman auxiliaries and later adopted by the Germanic tribes.

Hiberno-Saxon sword is a type of sword which emerged during the Early Medieval period in the British Isles. It had a distinctive design with a broad, leaf-shaped blade, usually pattern-welded for strength and flexibility. The hilt featured a prominent pommel and often intricate decorative elements.

The Merovingian sword was characterized by a distinctive hilt design. The blade was straight and double-edged, while the hilt featured a lobed pommel and a guard with semi-circular extensions.

Originating from Scandinavia, the Vendel sword was a type of single-edged sword commonly used by the Germanic peoples. It had a long, slightly curved blade with a single cutting edge and a fuller (a groove in the blade to reduce weight). The hilt often featured a lobed pommel and a guard with symmetrical lobes or terminals.

Migration Period spatha was a type of sword prevalent during the Migration Period and was similar to the earlier Roman spatha. It had a longer blade than the earlier Roman versions, and was often used by mounted warriors.

Regional Variations
Different regions and cultures had their own distinct sword designs during this period. For example, the Germanic tribes, such as the Goths and Vandals, favored long, slashing swords. The Anglo-Saxons in Britain, on the other hand, had swords known as “spathas” that featured pattern-welded blades with intricate designs.

There may have been further variations and specific sword types used during this time period.