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Carolingian sword

Sword example - Arms & Armours

Carolingian sword, a.k.a. Viking sword, Northwest Europe, 750-850 A.D.

Swords such as this one are produced throughout the Frankish Empire during the Carolingian period (800 to 1000 A.D.).

It is also called the “Viking sword”, as many of them are found in Scandinavian graves. The Vikings probably came into possession of these swords through trade, plundering or buy-off payments to prevent plundering. 

The Carolingian sword is an evolution of the Merovingian sword, which in turn becomes the “knight’s sword” appearing in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is a very expensive and high-quality item, found all over Europe and even as remotely as the present-day city of Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia). 

The sale of this type of sword became increasingly regulated over time. In the second half of the 9th century, its sale to non-Franks was punishable by death. 

Although less elitist than its predecessor the Merovingian sword, this type of weapon continued to be very expensive and was therefore not widely accessible. The axe and the lance remained the weapons of choice for the majority of warriors during this period. 

Carolingian sword, a.k.a. Viking sword, Northwest Europe, 750-850 A.D., archaeological find in Dendermonde. Inventory number 12420.