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Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Genius Box Learning Toys for Children: World Wonders Activity Kit. Funskool Stack a Ring. There are some real sharks and liars out there, especially if you buy swords online from eBay or questionable sword selling sites - overcharging, selling seconds as firsts, lying about the steels and materials used or promising the world and delivering crud is sadly very common.
But when you buy swords online from an established brand with a reputation to uphold and from a well known and respected sword seller you can be sure you will get what you pay for..
How much would a medieval sword cost in terms of other items available during the period? : history
Click here to check out the official SBG Sword Manufactures Dossier page where we list the top 20 sword making companies, provide their contact details, examine their main product lines, document how they are made, look at common issues with each brand and list their reviews all in a concise and easy to understand way. It really does pay to do a little shopping around before you buy swords online. It never ceases to amaze me how the exact same sword can be sold at one website for a price sometimes fifty or a hundred dollars more than at another.
In a perfect world, it would be easy to buy swords online. You just select the sword you want, pay with your credit card, and a few days later you get that much anticipated long rectangular parcel to your door. Sometimes, part or all of your order simply isn't in stock and you've got to wait - sometimes weeks, and sometimes months, for it to come in - and once they've got your credit card details, they won't let you change or cancel your order. Occasionally, you might even place an order with a start up company that offers swords at a great price, but goes out of business before you get your order taking your money with it.
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And then - there are the sharks, fraudsters and con-men who never actually intended to ever deliver your sword in the first place The easiest way to avoid these kinds of problems when you buy swords online is to select a sword merchant with a proven track record that has been in business for at least a few years, is dedicated to customer service and competitive pricing.
To help you find the very best, established and recommended sword sellers I've put together a comprehensive:. This directory is based on my own personal experiences plus a lot of research and feedback from the Sword Buying Community in general. So check it out - it can save you a whole lot of time, money and heartache If you're not just looking for a decorative sword to hang on the wall, all of this info might at first seem a bit overwhelming But really, I could distill everything presented here into one sentence - when you buy swords online for the first time narrow down your choice to one that has been made by a reliable company, and get it from a reliable, established dealer.
Don't take the plunge! Because trust me, once you buy swords online for the first time, it can get downright addictive! So where to from here? It is not a bad idea to spend some time checking out some information about the different sword steels used to make swords, and how swords are made - these two articles alone will help you spot a fake listing and help you make the best buying decision. Otherwise, now might be a good time to start looking at the overviews for the sword type that you like the most right now and start reading some reviews.
The reviews are all designed with beginners in mind, and each one you read will increase your knowledge of swords generally at the same time. To get started, have a look at what is there in the navigation menu. And if you are feeling social, for discussions and information on real swords, check out the SBG Sword Forum. If you want more info about the different types of 'carbon steel' used, tempering methods and tang variations, I've laid it all out in an easy to follow article 'What to Look for in a REAL Battle Ready Sword' But that is just the beginning..
I hope this information on how to buy swords online has been helpful. Add to it that a sword can be passed down more easily than a modern weapon could be. A weapon like a sword, with some basic maintenance, could be used on successive campaigns, or even by successive generations if the family wasnt prestigious enough or wealthy enough to afford a new weapon every time.
The same goes for modern weapons. There are hundred year old Mosins that are still very serviceable, and the only reason people aren't carrying side-arms into war across generations is because regulations forbid it. On the other side of things a sword could easily snap or bend during sustained fighting. A sword lasting for generations is as much a factor of luck and how much actual combat it sees as it is quality of manufacture. There is a big technological gap between the m 16 and the mosin nagant though.
The side arms point is valid as many have remained virtually unchanged and in production since before the first world War. Don't quote me, but I believe there are a lot of regulations on what gear you're allowed to carry. And most soldiers and marines and whatnot are prohibited from carrying personal weapons in combat. No pistols or sidearms unless you're issued one. And I think it's mostly officers and NCOs that are issued sidearms. I could be wrong, but I thought bringing personal weapons was common. Or maybe that's just accessorizing their weapons.
Sorry, late to the game, Marine here. I would love to trade my M9 in for my Glock 19, but that isn't going to happen. Axes, long knives, and especially spears would have been much more common than swords. Only with metallurgical technology improvements and the expansion of European mining reducing the cost of iron and of creating wrought iron or steel therefrom did swords become much more common from the renaissance onwards.
For an interesting primary source on the last part check out "De Re Metallica" Of things metal , a book about mining from Well medieval armies weren't large compared to ancient armies and the people in the nice gear barons, earls. For the common soldiery, they wouldn't have expensive armour cloth or leather and be equipped with cheap pole arms or spears.
But that's much later. In the middle ages an army was raised when it was needed and kept together only as long as needed. Typically lords would muster their troops in the late spring after planting, spend the summer murdering people, then release their troops to go harvest their crops in the fall. Winter campaigns were almost unheard of and almost no one had standing, professional troops. Each noble warrior or knight typically had at least a small village that he "owned" and that provided him with the income to purchase his armor, horse, weapons, and so forth, along with maybe a couple of junior knights and some armed peasants as backup.
You might have a few hundred people working to support a single armored warrior. And those knights were worth it, don't get me wrong - One trained, conditioned warrior in plate armor can easily kill twenty untrained, unarmored people without much difficulty. Armored knights were fantastically dangerous and hard to kill in combat disease and infection, however TLDR; Armies were invented later. In the middle ages peasants were hired to fight for a month or two in the summer then released back to their farms.
Troops were only levied when they were actually going to be used and there were no peace-time armies. I dn't know, perhaps that air force pilot over their landing his f16 on that aircraft carrier might have an answer on how expensive armies are. The armies of the day were mostly equipped with spears, which were much cheaper and easier to produce than swords.
The only ones who would carry swords would be knights and their retinue, and IIRC archers would have shortswords whatever they had at hand for close combat. Because laborers worked primarily for sustenance back then, not high heels and handbags. Money was incidental and, for peasants, fairly meaningless. You didn't really buy things, outside of an occasional ale or whore. People grew their own food and acquired goods via trade.
Money was meaningless to kings and their armies anyway. The kings owned the blacksmiths. The blacksmiths got what they got—probably free meals and perhaps board and a few pence—and the king got swords. It's not like today where the government needs to draw up contracts with Lockheed to get jets. It's a Japanese short spear with a curved blade on the top. It'd useful because it gives reach like a spear but is also useful in up close and personal fighting. The armies of Rome were largely built and sustained on it for quite some time.
Post Roman-empire, most "armies" we're laughably small and poorly equipped. That would include blacksmiths.
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Not too much different from the modern middle class, honestly. Don't forget guys that while a laborer is making 2 pence a day he is not earning a middle class wage he is lower class and quite poor. This link reports 1 gallon of beer costs 1d and two chickens cost 1d. Perhaps that that 2d per day wage includes food?
Any way these peasents were quite poor people. I've got a good list of prices for all sorts of things from the middle ages through the enlightenment here:. It says there that a cheap peasan's sword could be as low as 6 pence, which is pretty cheap, almost unbelievably so. So if we equate, say, a software engineer to a stonemason that'd be maybe 8, 10 thousand dollars in modern money.
But back then society was more stratified and there were many fewer people who could afford something like that. A much bigger slice of humanity lived below what we would consider the poverty line. Consider someone living on welfare or working part time in a minimum-wage job: This is true; back then many were subsistence farming or working for their local lord or landowner so had little in the way of money at all.
Actually in regards to the poverty point it really depends which bit of the medieval era you're talking about - in the aftermath of the plague, when there was a lack of labourers compared to the demand so they could insist on better working conditions , income of the working classes relative to the cost of living was the highest of any point in English history until after the industrial revolution. The medieval period is one of such momentous change, it's hard to generalise scoioeconomic situations within it. That said I agree with the actual point of what you're saying, - that a larger slice of the population than today constituted that 'poorest' rung of society, so luxuries like swords would be out of their reach.
I'm not sure anything has changed. A master crafted sword was just as out of reach for a peasant as a private jet is for most regular people. That's not the best analogy since they can still drive that car day-to-day. A sword would only be used in battle which was an infrequent occurrence unless you were a mercenary. It'd be purchasing a sports car that you can only drive a couple days out of a year. If you're wealthy enough, you get ransomed. If not, become very nearer to god was a serious risk.
Medieval Europe's economy was far more feudal than capitalist at least outside of heavily urbanized areas like northern Italy. You wouldn't just go out and look for a deal on a sword or a suit of armor. If you were a lord you would probably have a blacksmith who would make swords and armor for you as your feudal due or if you were a soldier you would likely be sworn to a lord who would supply you with goods from his blacksmith. Scavenging battlefields was another common way of getting military goods.
Also while good steel swords were valuable chain mail was far more so. They also have quite some strict rules which might help keep some funny comments off. A longsword is actually what you probably think of as a bastard sword - a two handed weapon that can be used one handed.
The one handed sword of similar type cruciform crusader era is referred to as an arming sword. It's a very deep rabbit hole. Swords have a very long history and have undergone a tremendous amount of evolution over the millenia. It's important to note that swords weren't the predominant weapon of the medieval era, bills and poleaxes converted from farming equipment were the weapon of choice for the militia men of the period drawn from the lower classes.
Knights and other professional soldiers were drawn from gentry not just on a basis of privilege and feudal responsibility, but also because they could afford the substantial expense of a proper weapon and a suit of armour. Cavalry added a whole new dimension of expenses with the housing and outfitting of a war horse, meaning only the most well off families had the actual means to fight. True, I read a few months ago about the prominent weaponry of the era. Single handed axes were also extremely popular along with battle axes 1h 2h.
I'm aware that to own these items one would have had to be very well off. I'm curious to compare the price of items owned by the gentry to the massive poverty population of the time: With all the talk of how expensive a quality sword was, what would have been the "poor-man's" counter to the sword? Spears, other polearms, anything that hurts when you get hit by it. Pitchforks as well, yes, or clubs that could be reinforced with nails etc.
Quarterstaff is also quite probable. This site also states two different prices for swords - one from Britain and one from western Europe. The British one is about 3x more expensive, don't know how that came to be however. Probably just different quality. There's a link in other comments about the price of a cheap sword. And I presume farming equipment would have been used if the need to fight arose.
I also read in previous comments that if you earn a certain amount per year you were required to have a chain mail, helmet and weapon. It was written in Fechtbooks that a determined farmer with a shovel will defeat any swordsman of moderate skill. Shovels at the time were thick, heavy wooden things with an sharpened iron shoe.
They would have longer reach than a sword, they may hit harder -and the people who used them were very familiar with them. So the logic is that if you give a determined man an improvised weapon he is accustomed to using, he will defeat any man who is less familiar with his own weapon. So, a poor man's weapon would depend on his trade. Spears and bows for woodsman. Axes for woodworkers and forresters. Hammers for smiths; splitting cleavers for butchers; flails, billhooks, pitchforks and mauls for farmers.
They are literally the best historical source for medieval combat technique. Your comparison is incredibly bad.
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The poor man's counter to a sword was to be butchered along with ten of your buddies. There was no poor man's counter to an armored, mounted knight with a sword. Without armor, lots of training and conditioning, and good weapons there is very little a person could do to stop a knight from killing them.
That said, when peasants went to war they carried knives, clubs, axes, and hatchets as side arms. Their primary weapons were usually spears or pole-arms made from modified farming equipment - A scythe or pruning fork or something, sharpened up and set on a longer than usual pole with the pointy end facing straight out.
I can't believe a knight's armor was THAT effective--considering getting a few whacks upside your helmet with a shovel or even heavy wooden club would ring your bell no matter how thick the armor. A helmet will turn a killing head hit into a stunning hit. That might make a knight vulnerable to follow ups, but its still a lot better than being dead. And good body armor will turn killing or disabling body hits into annoyances.
A knight could still be mobbed pretty easily by a crowd of peasants who would then stab him in the armpits or vision slit, but not if he's on horseback. A mounted knight can bull through a crowd of footmen and chop at them as they try and pull him from the saddle.
Value of swords
This makes must footmen scatter instead of trying to fight a mounted knight. Compared to not wearing the garbage can? With armor, it's like getting hit with a baseball bat. Without armor, it's death. Not a garbage can.
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Plate armor was generally fitted extremely precisely-the point was to have a sort of exoskeleton, not just slabs of metal on you. Medieval is a pretty broad period, but if we narrow it down to Viking Age Scandinavia, a single sword is said to have had the same value as an entire farm, with livestock. Keep in mind that the price and quality of swords varied a lot. It is like asking how much a car costs. Looking out the window, the owner's car probably costs half a million dollars while mine is worth a week's salary. I can't give you a textual citation for that particular quote.
It' s something Viking Enactors people who research the subject and craft reproductions of Viking Age finds using the tools and techniques of the period have told me. I'm inclined to believe them as they take the whole subject and their craft very seriously. I was able to find this however, which is quite informative. It claims a single sword as being worth 16 dairy cows. A dairy cow being the most expensive livestock, and 16 being considerably more cows than a small farm would have. But, as for the figure sounding high, to put it into perspective, the farms in this part of Europe, during that time period, were not especially large.
On top of that, accessible local iron wasn't very abundant. We also know that the typical viking probably didn't use a sword - burial mounds containing fallen warriors usually have far fewer swords than bodies. This suggests that they were expensive. It does imply expense, but it could also just mean that they were passed down generation to generation. I had considered that too, but if you look at Viking culture, they were not miserly when it came to their ceremonial burials. Men have been buried with entire ships, and if someone died in battle, they were buried with their weapons.
It was believed that they would need them in Ragnarok. Swords were definitely passed down from generation to generation, due to their expense, but as far as I understand, they only passed down in such a way if no one died while wielding it.
That's not to say no one ever stole a sword from the war dead, but doing so would've violated religious and cultural beliefs. Yeah the reason Vikings were known for using axes was because swords were expensive, and everyone has an axe lying around. Until later on when they developed specialized battle axes, most of the axes they used for chopping up people were intended for chopping up wood. I remember reading somewhere that Vikings scorned using bows in battle because they felt they were dishonorable.