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Langseax
Time Period: 4th-9th century
Used by Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Vikings
Common Construction: Bone or Wood Grip, Iron Blade

The langseax is the "long" version of the seax or sax, used by many cultures in northern Europe including the Franks, Lombards, and Saxons. This sword was typically more agile than the spathas of the period, and Frankish cavalry were instructed to own both a spatha and a seax, each with its own distinct strengths.

Towards the end of the 8th century, Frankish sword construction changed from a blade of consistent width ending abruptly at a point to a sword in which the entire length of the blade tapers to a point. This shifted the center of balance of the sword towards the hand, allowing more control than previously capable with the spatha.

The introduction of this new Frankish sword made the need to own two swords obsolete, as the one sword had the cutting power of the spatha and the speed and agility of the langseax. Frankish swords were traded to all northern European cultures (sometimes illegally) as far as Russia, and this directly contributed to the decline of the langseax in the 9th century.

CE 04th Century, CE 05th Century, CE 06th Century, CE 07th Century, CE 08th Century, CE 09th Century, England, France, History, Medieval Europe, Sword, Weapon


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