Sword Peace Bands

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Completion Rating
This article's completion rating is 1 out of 5. Article planned for future work. No real progress to date.
Completion Rating
This article's completion rating is 1 out of 5. Article planned for future work. No real progress to date.
Viking Age Compendium articles on Swords:
VA Sword Bands.jpg
Sword Peace Bands
Viking Age Compendium articles on Swords:
VA Sword Bands.jpg
Sword Peace Bands

Also known as peace ties or peace string.

Art
None so far although there are a few Carolingian images that probably show a sword belt but might instead be a peace band. But probably not.

Literature

  • Gisla Saga (xxviii), “The boy took the sword and turned slightly and unfastened the peace-bands (friđbond) and drew the sword”. [DAVIDSON 1962]:p.185
  • Sturlunga Saga, “Groa seized the sword Brynjubitr and unfastened the peace-bands and gave it to Gizur.” [DAVIDSON 1962]:p.185

Ellis Davidson discusses that this peace-bands may have been also have been worn over the wrist to help hold the sword such as is described in Egill Saga, “… when he saw where Berg-Onund was, he drew his sword ; and there was a cord (honk) on the hilt, and he slipped it on to his arm and let it hang there.” [DAVIDSON 1962]:p.184

Archaeology

  • Cumwhitton Grave 5. A pair of small strap ends which may have been from the ends of a piece tie. [PATERSON 2014]:p.108, p.136

Earlier examples of fittings that were probably attached to peace bands can be found in the Staffordshire hoard. These sword pyramids are hollow inside with an attachment bar running across to which a strap was attached. [LEAHY 2009]:p.34 Oakshott talks about previous historians suggesting that peace strings were possibly attached to the ‘ring’ which was part of the pommel on early Anglo-Saxon swords. This he disputes with a firm ‘No’ and although he seems to agree that peace strings existed he goes on to declare that ‘no trace of them has so far been identified anywhere’. [OAKESHOTT 1960]:p.115

Discussion


See Also

Swords
Sword Scabbards
Sword Scabbard Chapes

References

Davidson, Hilda, Ellis (1962) The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England. [DAVIDSON 1962] ^ 1 2 3 *
Leahy, Kevin and Bland, Roger (2013) The Staffordshire Hoard. [LEAHY 2009] ^ *
Oakeshott, Ewart (1960) The Archaeology of Weapons. Lutterworth Press. 1960. [OAKESHOTT 1960] ^ *
Paterson, Caroline; Parsons, Adam J.; Newman, Rachel M.; Johnson, Nick and Howard Davis, Christine (2014) Shadows in the Sand. Excavation of a Viking-Age Cemetery at Cumwhitton, Cumbria. [PATERSON 2014] ^ *