Mediaeval Swords in Southeastern Europe: Introduction to the monograph
Aleksić, Marko. Mediaeval swords from Southeastern Europe. Material from 12th to 15th Century, Belgrade 2007.
While the Frankish spathe, i.e. Viking swords were forged in the North and in Western Europe in the early middle ages, sword production in the Southern Europe, from the Byzantium on the east, via Balkans, southern Italy, trough Spain on the west, was stand on the different, Mediterranean traditions.
From the epoch of the Crusades, at the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th century, West European knights were met with different military tactics and weapons and they adopted some of those traditions. Because of its importance as well as of mobility of armies that were use them, weapons were always easily pass over boundaries and distant areas.
Thus the Frankish spathe, the single handed, two edged and for its time long sword, as a weapon of the Vikings and Slavs mercenaries in Byzantium and Normans in the South Italy was already well known weapon in this territories. But only from the epoch of the large two handed knightly sword, which reach it final form in West Europe during the first decades of the 13th century, this become the dominant type of weapon in the south of the continent as well.
However, swords from 12th to 15th century discovered in Southeastern Europe, beside those generally European properties, have also some characteristics which are distinctiveness of this territory where the influences from the East and West were interlace for the centuries.
The final challenge of the heavy armored warriors armed with long knightly swords was in front of the Otomans conquests at the end of the 14th and during the 15th century when their units were campaign in Christian’s armies as well as vassals in the Turkish armies long ago after falls of their own states.
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