Viking - Weapons and Warfare

Weapons and Warfare

Our knowledge about arms and armour of the Viking age is based on relatively sparse archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century.

According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons, as well as permitted to carry them all the time. These arms were also indicative of a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking would have a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, chainmail shirt, and sword. A typical bóndi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles, and at sea, but tended to be considered less "honourable" than a hand weapon. Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The Húscarls, the elite guard of King Cnut (and later King Harold II) were armed with two-handed axes which could split shields or metal helmets with ease.

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Weapons And Warfare

Purnell's illustrated encyclopedia of modern Weapons and Warfare is a partwork originating with Purnell in 1967-1969, republished under the Phoebus brand.

Its contributors and editors included Bill Gunston (aviation), Ian V. Hogg (land weapons), John Batchelor (illustrations) and editor Bernard Fitzsimons. The quality of these lead contributors ensured high quality and accuracy in the finished product.

The publication covers the twentieth century to publication, in alphabetical order, in 125 volumes. Levels of detail varied from a short paragraph, to several pages of technical and operational analysis.

In addition to the main content there were a number of John Batchelor posters and other promotional offers.

A 24-volume encyclopedia, "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare", was published in 1977. It was distributed by Columbia House.


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Famous quotes containing the words warfare and/or weapons:

    And God would bid His warfare cease,
    Saying all things were well;
    And softly make a rosy peace,
    A peace of Heaven with Hell.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    When it comes to my own turn to lay my weapons down, I shall do so with thankfulness and fatigue, and whatever be my destiny afterward, I shall be glad to lie down with my fathers in honour. It is human at least, if not divine.
    Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)