The Sword

18 Sep

While strolling through the National Museum of Ireland, there was this one object that caught my attention. This one majestic sword displayed in the “Viking Ireland” section of the museum. It was around a meter long and most likely made from brass. There were many other weapons displayed in the exhibition. For instance, axes, spearheads, arrowheads, and clubs were presented. They all were crucial to the Viking life because they did a lot of pillaging, which meant lots of battling. The description the sword was given said that “the hilt of the sword is decorated with an elaborate pattern in silver and brass an there are traces of a maker’s inscription on the bade.” Judging from the description it was given, the sword meant a ton to the viking that held it.

IMG_0920The primary weapon for the vikings was the sword. They took pride for the blade they held – it was most likely the most expensive item a viking owned. According to Hurstwic.org, it was said a sword could be worth a half mark of gold – that represented the value of sixteen milk-cows.

A sword might be the best representation of the “Viking Ireland” period of Irish history. Because many people think of Vikings as barbaric, bloodthirsty, marauding people, the sword symbolizes them perfectly. The first recorded Viking raid occurred in 800 AD. They looted and pillaged nearly every town they came across to. At first they attacked villages along the coast and then started to go inland. There were many wars, so the sword had to be sturdy and reliable. If your sword broke in the middle of a battle, you would be a dead person.

-Kevin Chu

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