Merovingian or Eastern Roman Sword

Merovingian or Eastern Roman Sword

Merovingian or Eastern Roman Sword

88 x 0 cm (34 ⁵/₈ x 0 inches)
Iron with agate inlay and gold leaf
5th -6th century


phone 0032 3 314 90 34 mobile 0032476 963 483.


Private collection UK since the 1970's




An iron two-edged sword with lentoid-section blade, the blade with battle nicks to both cutting edges and traces of scabbard remaining; the lower guard formed from a gilt chip-carved plate, inlaid with garnet cloisonné; gold clad tubular grip with five raised ribs; the pommel with inset rectangular garnets with a central cabochon, agate disc above. 855 grams, 88cm  Fine condition, cleaned and conserved.

The sword belongs to the type III of the Behmer classification of the Germanic swords, the so-called broad-blade group, the second main group of the blades of the Migration period. Weapons of this type have been discovered in the territory of the Franks (Tournai, Flonheim, Louvres, Lavoye), the Alamans (Gültingen) and in the tombs of different Germanic populations of central Europe (Vienne-Leopoldau in Austria, Blučina in Moravia, Bešenov in Slovakia)

See Behmer, E., Das zweischneidige Schwert der germanischen Völkerwanderungszeit, Stockholm, 1939; Périn P. and Kazanski M.,La tombe de Childéric, le Danube et la Méditerranée in Villes et campagnes en Neustrie, (Europe médiévale, 8) Montagnac, 2007, pp. 29-38; Lebedinsky, I., Armes et guerriers barbares au temps des grandes invasions, Paris, 2001.