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Old 26th October 2019, 10:25 PM   #1
JanskyS
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Default Variations of famous Viking-era swordsmiths' names

We likely all know that the most famous makers of Viking-era (and post) were the "Ulfberht" and "Ingelrii" workshops. I have read interesting articles about swords that have alternate spellings of Ulfberht and the theories are that contemporary swordsmiths (most likely illiterate) tried to enhance the value of their blades by unintentionally misspelling the fake "maker's mark" on their blades.

There are relatively many "Ulfberht" swords, but supposedly only @20 "Ingelerii" swords. Literature usually leaves out the second "i" at the end. My question is: does anyone know of genuine swords with a variation of Ingelrii? My research in what the word could mean has led me to many interesting ends: In Latin, Ingeri is the present passive infinitive of ingero, i.e. "to be carried". In Finnish, Inkeri means a region around the southern shores of Gulf of Finland that in Viking times was controlled by the Swedes.

So, is the second most famous Viking sword "brand" not a maker's name but a status symbol or location...or are any variations fakes?
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Old 27th October 2019, 04:49 PM   #2
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I'm bringing this to the European side for more responses. And welcome to our little forum.
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Old 27th October 2019, 07:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanskyS
We likely all know that the most famous makers of Viking-era (and post) were the "Ulfberht" and "Ingelrii" workshops. I have read interesting articles about swords that have alternate spellings of Ulfberht and the theories are that contemporary swordsmiths (most likely illiterate) tried to enhance the value of their blades by unintentionally misspelling the fake "maker's mark" on their blades.

There are relatively many "Ulfberht" swords, but supposedly only @20 "Ingelerii" swords. Literature usually leaves out the second "i" at the end. My question is: does anyone know of genuine swords with a variation of Ingelrii? My research in what the word could mean has led me to many interesting ends: In Latin, Ingeri is the present passive infinitive of ingero, i.e. "to be carried". In Finnish, Inkeri means a region around the southern shores of Gulf of Finland that in Viking times was controlled by the Swedes.

So, is the second most famous Viking sword "brand" not a maker's name but a status symbol or location...or are any variations fakes?



Fascinating and excellent topic!! and welcome to our forum!
I am sure you have "Swords of the Viking Age" by Pierce, Oakeshott and Lee Jones. Naturally you are in the right place to discuss this (it is Viking Sword after all
Thank you for sharing the interesting perspectives you have discovered on the names, and looking forward to more from other members, especially Lee Jones, who pretty much has this field covered.
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Old 28th October 2019, 12:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanskyS
There are relatively many "Ulfberht" swords, but supposedly only @20 "Ingelerii" swords. Literature usually leaves out the second "i" at the end. My question is: does anyone know of genuine swords with a variation of Ingelrii?

So, is the second most famous Viking sword "brand" not a maker's name but a status symbol or location...or are any variations fakes?
There are a good many more "Ingelrii" swords out there in museum collections. The exact number will depend on how much leeway you allow for variations! At least 35+ that I think no one would disagree they are deserving of the name. Some of these show that "Ingelrii" is indeed the maker's name as the inscription continues with ...me fecit: ie. "Ingelrii made me." This kind of inscription can be found on many medieval artifacts and architecture.

One example that is generally considered a "real fake" (ie. a medieval imitation of the original brand) was found in the River Nene, and is inscribed with something like INGEFLRII on one side, and an equally mangled Ulfberht signature on the other.
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Old 28th October 2019, 04:23 PM   #5
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In "The Vlfberht sword blade reevaluated," from 2008, noted sword scholar Anne Stalsberg says that the high count on documented Ingelrii's is 37 by Geibig. Of those 37, she accepts 32.

For reference, Stalsberg examined 166 Ulfberht's in her study. But she says that there is really no good way to estimate how many there are for a couple of reasons. First, there are a lot in private hands. Second, given the way inlays can deteriorate or be obscured over time, determining which swords are Ulfberhts through close analysis, delicate cleaning, and CT scan is a monumental task because of the volume of swords. There are over 2,500 swords in Norway alone that still have to be examined.

There are a lot of nice sword finds in Finland, and there is some evidence that Finnish smiths had advanced techniques that weren't practiced in western Scandinavia. But the weight of the scholarship at this time is that Ingelrii is linguistically Frankish, and most likely the name of a person because of the finds of inlays with "me fecit" (made me) following "Ingelrii."
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Old 30th October 2019, 06:57 PM   #6
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Vilhelmsson, this is a fascinating topic which has intrigued and obsessed me through most of the many years I have studied arms. Makers marks and blade inscriptions have been a field which has really needed far more investigation in the broader scope of arms, however the Ulfberht and Ingelrii inscribed blades have been one of the exceptions.

Some years ago as I was researching the 'Passau wolf' mark, I began to wonder if perhaps this was a kind of pictographic representation which would recall the 'berserks' of Scandinavian and of course Viking fame. I thought that with little literacy, that such a device representing 'feared warriors' would have a place on the blades of swords in Passau, a sort of center for mercenary soldiers. In the well known convention of quality or 'trademark' type symbolism this would recall the also well heralded exploits of these much earlier warriors.

It was the that I began thinking of the very swords the Vikings used, the 'Ulfberht' bladed swords, and that perhaps the word itself meant something akin to 'wolf man'. With this possibly the word was used as a kind of metaphor in a religious sense to protect the warrior in battle and imbue him via the sword, the power he needed to prevail.

In the past couple of days, trying to research more so I could better reply here, I found the article "Ulfberht Blades: New Answers to Old Questions" in 'History of Antique Arms: researches 2016'...by Anne Feuerbach and Thomas Henley.
In these, that very idea was posed in a compelling study which reflects the remarkable research which Ms. Feuerbach has always presented in her well known work on the metallurgy of sword blades, well supported by her co author Mr. Henley.

In this article (2017) it is revealed that most of the Ulfbert blades of the 10th century, many of which were found in English regions, were likely commissioned by Haakon the Good, the Norse ruler who was situated in England in those times. What is unique on these early examples is that the blades were forged using crucible steel from Central Asia traded with Scandinavia, and this trade is well supported in the material. The other apparently later examples of Europe were of high quality smelted steel.
It would seem that perhaps the early examples (of Haakon? 10th c.) of crucible steel ingots may have been the initiation of the Ulfberht 'hallmark' which was carried forth in the Frankish production. Naturally where these were produced is still inconclusive, but possibly this was the case.


It is noted that in these times literacy was virtually non existent, and paganism and the use of runes were of course common. While Christianity was becoming well spread, it was a transitional period with regard to language and the methods of conveying it. The use of alphabetic characters was not notable until the 11th century.

Here it is suggested that Haakon the Good, who is believed to have commissioned these early Ulfberht blades may well have used the 'word' (in Carolingian letters and with the Cross Potent or Greek cross) to appease both the Pagan and Christian elements of his forces. The 'wolf' metaphor was of course recognizable to both (cited, "Wulf min wulf: An Eclectic Analysis of the Wolf Man" by S. Danielli, ' Neophilogus, 91, (3), 505-24, 2007).

The Greek crosses would have had a certain 'runic' appeal as well as the Christian symbolism , and the 'word' would be seen as a recognizable one which could be read by the literate in its metaphoric sense.
What puzzles me (as a non linguist) is that the 'T' is separated by a cross rather than being included in the word. Is this some sort of diacritic (?) or superscript type of abbreviation?

With the Ingelrii, as has been pointed out, this does appear to be a shop or maker name (Me Fecit noted). The Ulberht however, does seem to be a metaphorically used religious imbuement and talisman.
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Old 30th October 2019, 10:24 PM   #7
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Jim, it’s interesting to note that even today in Sweden you find people whose first names are Ulf and Bert, which have Germanic origins and mean wolf and noble/shining respectively. So Ulfberht could then be translated as noble/shining wolf. I think the vikings were Germanic tribes which settled in the North, and were stubbornly reluctant to be converted to Christianity with lapses in between. The Franks and other Germanic tribes further South were much earlier in adopting Christianity. If the blade was decorated with crosses then presumably it would more likely have been produced by a Christian smith perhaps in Frankish lands. It’s a mindboggling thought that the Ulfberht (noble/shining wolf) brand could be the predecessor of the latten running wolf mark of Passau? Surely it must be a coincidence, and the Passau wolf mark appeared centuries later I understand.
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Old 31st October 2019, 12:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Jim, it’s interesting to note that even today in Sweden you find people whose first names are Ulf and Bert, which have Germanic origins and mean wolf and noble/shining respectively. So Ulfberht could then be translated as noble/shining wolf. I think the vikings were Germanic tribes which settled in the North, and were stubbornly reluctant to be converted to Christianity with lapses in between. The Franks and other Germanic tribes further South were much earlier in adopting Christianity. If the blade was decorated with crosses then presumably it would more likely have been produced by a Christian smith perhaps in Frankish lands. It’s a mindboggling thought that the Ulfberht (noble/shining wolf) brand could be the predecessor of the latten running wolf mark of Passau? Surely it must be a coincidence, and the Passau wolf mark appeared centuries later I understand.


Victrix, thank you so much for answering!! Interesting note on the Ulf and Bert names still used there. My suggestion of a possible link from Ulfbert to Passau Wolf is admittedly tenuous, but I thought an intriguing possibility. When the 'wolf' came into use in Passau by knife makers long before its recognized use on sword blades, it seemed a most interesting choice for a symbolic device. It was of course so highly stylized it was in cases almost unrecognizable, still it carried an almost temporal significance in a talismanic sense, along with what became known in that capacity as 'Passau art'.

The point was that in this same convention, the Ulfberth name seems very likely to have been the same kind of imbuement. The connection between it and the Passau wolf is of course most probably a coincidence, but in my view a most interesting one.

To carry similar theme, the Passau wolf (actually used in Solingen in continuation of the symbolism/quality connotations) was later transmitted into the Caucasus with trade blades, likely late 18th c. It continued use representing quality (presumably) but again the wolf symbolism carried forward. The universality of the wolf warrior connotation is unclear in connections, but the similarities are compelling.

To the original query, the somewhat contemporary name 'Ingelrii' (to Ulfberht) does seem a maker (or shop) name which probably may have been used spuriously in the same manner which prevailed in sword blade making industry in continued instances over time.

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Old 31st October 2019, 04:28 AM   #9
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Jim,

Fascinating analysis!

I just read through the Feuerbach article, and I have some concerns with it. But I am also intrigued by it. We can do no more than speculate about many of the details of this time period, and Feuerbach’s speculation is a fun one!

For the concerns:

First, most of her articles are about crucible and Damascus steel from central Asia. So she might be biased towards seeing central Asian steel? She strongly cites A. Williams for finding that all of his Group A designated Ulfberhts were made of crucible steel. However, Williams research found that 9 of the 14 swords in Group A had at least some high carbon hypereutectoid steel and therefore are likely crucible steel, and the remaining 5 could be crucible steel, though of lower carbon content. A sample size of 14 may also not be statistically relevant for extrapolating to the chemistry of the steel for all Ulfberhts of a certain period. Williams also notes in “Crucible Steel in Medieval Swords,” that other researchers suspect that lumps of high carbon steel from Viking Age steelmaking sites found far west of Central Asia were the result of decarburizing cast iron, though he believes they are the result of smiths not properly handling crucible steel. It seems that there is a lot of research left to do! Maybe it was crucible steel? Or some of it was? And where were those swords forged?

Second, Harald Fairhair is semi-mythical. There is also no contemporary evidence of the existence of a Norwegian king named Haakon the Good though there is contemporary evidence of his brother. It seems that the English chroniclers would have been eager to record that Aethelstan had fostered a Norwegian king? I’m not sure it’s responsible to conclude as strongly as the article does that Haakon the Good commissioned the early Ulfberhts, and that “+Ulfberh+t” is a hybrid pagan-Christian symbol born of a king whose Catholicism may have been an invention of much later chroniclers. There is also not good evidence that berserkers fought naked, and I’m not sure that identification of your own side in battle would be a strong factor. Though a prominent Ulfberht inlay could be a powerful symbol of the wielder’s prestige and their sword’s quality. And we think that Viking Age Scandinavians believed that the written word, when executed properly, possessed and conferred magical qualities.

There is also the chronological problem of the earliest Ulfberht’s with Mannheim hilts dating from the mid-8th to mid-9th century, and Haakon the Good, if he existed, was born circa 920 AD.

In summary of my concerns: she is less cautious about her conclusions than the evidence suggests she should be. Anne Stalsberg’s article on Ulfberhts, by contrast, is a more academic exercise in asking the questions we don’t know while only answering what we do and can know.

Where I am intrigued (mostly where Feuerbach and Stalsberg overlap):

Stalsberg writes that Ulfberht, and, especially, the consistency of the spelling of the Ulfberht swords she examined over the mid-8th through late-11th century is linguistically Scandinavian. Scandinavians had dropped the ‘W’ around 800, to when the Ulfberhts are first dated. Whereas, variations on Ulfberht were more common in the Frankish realms until the end of the 11th century, including Wolfbert, Wolfbertus, Uolfberht, Uolfbernt, Uolfbernus, etc. So maybe the word on the blades, as argued by Feuerbach, had a Scandinavian source rather than a Frankish source.

However, Stalsberg also writes that the inlay is written in Latin/Carolingian characters which suggests that it was a Frank who was inlaying, or directing the inlaying of, the blades.

Stalsberg does not look at the Greek cross as a symbol of Christianity. She also seems to take it for granted that Ulfberht is someone’s name, which could be a mistake. Instead, she asks who was literate and signed their name preceded by a cross? Abbots and bishops. And these bishops and abbots employed a lot of slaves who would be doing the actual smithing. She also suspects that the second cross may indicate a second person, likely the overseer or “swordmaster,” who either had the same name as Ulfberht, or was just represented by the second cross (E.g., Ulfberht & Ulfberht, or Ulfberht & Son(s)). She is careful to write that she can’t conclude that it is the signature of an abbot or bishop because no contemporary abbots or bishops with that name have yet been found.

Ulfberhts are traditionally (What can I say? I’m an American; 100 years makes something “traditional”) believed to have come from the Lower Rhine due to the finding of the name Wulfberti in the bequest of a villa to the abbey St. Gallen in 802 AD. But Stalsberg writes that there is a need for an academic analysis of the Confraternity books of the abbeys of the Lower Rhine to find out whether there were abbots or bishops or other people named Ulfberht associated with abbeys to draw a more conclusive connection between the Ulfberht blades and abbeys of the Lower Rhine.

Stalsberg’s maps show that most of the early and mid-Viking Age Ulfberhts have been found in Norway and not in the Frankish realms. Ulfberhts from the late Viking Age are more evenly found across Northern Europe. It is unlikely that a Frankish smith could be commissioned to make the blades for Haakon or that they could have been traded for, as analyzed by both Stalsberg and Feuerbach. Frankish sword blades were not for traders; they were to be paid as tax to the king/emperor or to be used to arm the Bishops’s levies in service of the king/emperor. Feuerbach and Williams write that they could have been forged by Baltic smiths at the terminus of the central Asian trade, which was certainly robust as that time. Stalsberg suggests that they likely arrived as either loot or as a ransom payment for bishops and abbots, but that we just don’t know yet.

If Haakon indeed existed, then he had a long reign for a Norwegian king! This supports the idea that he could have been alive long enough for the mass production of a blade with a specific signature. But, again, Ulfberhts pre-date Haakon.

Preserved Viking Age Scandinavian art is mostly in the form of metal work which is not delicate enough to reveal blade decorations. European Viking Age art is not really interested in swords. Anglo-Saxons weren’t very interested in portraying swords in art until the later Viking Age, and there are very few, if any, other than the following, examples portraying blade decorations. However, there is one piece of Anglo-Saxon art in a miscellaneous manuscript that could be an Ulfberht sword, and I attached a photo here.

This appearance in a manuscript suggests that there could have been general knowledge about what a fine inlay like this meant in regards to the quality of both the sword and the man who wielded it. But it is also, again, a limited sample size. I wanted to write that it meant we could draw the conclusion that the Ulfberht symbol was at least widely regarded amongst the warrior and authority classes as a symbol of quality and prestige, but I think we can only draw the conclusion that maybe it was regarded as such.

Some Speculation Incorporating Feuerbach
I wonder if there was an early abbot named Ulfberht? Haakon, or someone similar, owned a sword, maybe a valued ancestral sword that was one of these Ulfberhts. His Ulfberht fascinated him because of its beautiful iron inlay, powerful magic from the runes and its history of having been wielded by powerful ancestors, and Ulfberht, as read to him by one his Frankish slaves, was a homonym with beasts important to Norse paganism, plus it had a cross, a powerful symbol of the southerners’ god who sacrificed himself to himself, similar to Odin.

He commissioned many Ulfberhts after he got rid of his brother. Some of the swords he gave to his sword host were made from crucible steel in the Baltics, some were partially made from crucible steel, some were made from bloomery steel, and some were older swords. The Ulfberht sword then proliferated across northern Europe in the late 10th and early 11th century as Scandinavians saw greater use as mercenaries and particularly with Cnut’s considerable empire.
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Old 31st October 2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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THIS THREAD HAS TO RUN LIKE MAD!!

Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulfberht_swords where a good grounding appears on INGELRI weapons>

https://www.bing.com/images/search?...&vt=0&eim=1,2,6 is an INGELRI weapon

BONHAMS HAD ONE WHICH THEY SOLD...SEE https://www2.bonhams.com/auctions/21639/lot/218/

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Old 31st October 2019, 09:46 PM   #11
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In Wikipedia on Passau history I found this: ” During the second half of the 5th century, St. Severinus established a monastery here. The site was subject to repeated raids by the Alemanni. In 739, an English monk called Boniface founded the diocese of Passau, which for many years was the largest diocese of the German Kingdom/Holy Roman Empire, covering territory in southern Bavaria and most of what is now Upper and Lower Austria. From the 10th century the bishops of Passau also exercised secular authority as Prince-Bishops in the immediate area around Passau (see Prince-Bishopric of Passau [de]). I have read that swords with blade inscriptions starting and ending with crosses are believed to have been used in ecclesiastical territories which seems to fit Passau as bishopric.

The prevalence of Ulfberht sword finds in Northern Europe may be because the swords were used by viking mercenaries serving in Frankish lands and then brought home with them on their return? The swords would be found in excavated condition because of lingering practices amongst pagan vikings of burying the dead with their swords and sacrificing the weapons of defeated enemies in bogs etc. When the vikings became Christian these practices ceased, and archaelogical finds become more rare.
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Old 1st November 2019, 02:09 AM   #12
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This is really a complex topic, and Ibrahiim thank you for these links, which help with perspective greatly. As I have noted, this field of study, particularly the metallurgy, is far outside my pay grade but it is great to get into some research and discussion here.

Vilhemmson, thank you for the kind words and especially for the wonderfully explained response to the Feuerbach article. Your clear knowledge and command of this subject matter reveals, as they say here in Texas "this for sure aint your first rodeo!!!"
Your point on the fact that the author probably may have certain bias toward the use of crucible steel in some of these Ulfberht swords, which she does support by the evidence for considerable trade from Central Asia into Scandinavia.
In going through resources I have here I did find generally that many of the sword finds were perhaps contaminated by minerals in context so accurate analysis may have been compromised somewhat.

Well noted on the case for Haakon the Good, and I had not realized that records on him were somewhat implied in later histories concerning his father etc. With that, the case for this figure 'commissioning' early Ulfberht blades would best not be quite so adamantly cited.

Getting to the point of the OP, on whether INGELRII was a makers name or other,..the question reaches to other 'names' found inlaid in blades in the manner of ULFBRECHT and apparently a number of other names.

It does seem likely that at the early inception of innovative blade forging techniques, there may have been a maker named Ulfberht who inlaid these blades with his name and the crosses.....on the reverse there was a lattice work with three vertical lines inlaid as well. The purpose or meaning there is unclear.

Other makers of course tried to capitalize on the name and markings in degree, probably accounting for variation in the letterings, and likely the metallurgy of the blades in finds. It seems that about mid 10th c. the advent of INGELRII began, and it would seem this may have been a maker as well, but actually capitalizing on the Ulfberht 'style' as these blades had similar geometric patterns on blade obverse.
The INGELRII blades continued into the 11th c. apparently, and again obviously the use of these names were attempts to signal quality. With these blades there were variations in the same manner as Ulfberht, and as noted ME FECIT and variants of that.

With these names having etymological break down, such as Ulf Berht =wolf man, another name which occurred in this 'name' style (but in guards) was HILTIPRECHT, in these time periods. In "Hiltipreht: Name or Invocation" (Oakeshott & Peirce, Park Lane Arms Fair, 1995) it notes that Ellis-Davidson (1958) suggested this was not a name, however later examination found that it was probably a name after all. She had based her original idea on the 'word' in Old Norse , Hilt= battle, Preht= ready in a kind of 'magic context'.

It would seem these presumptions of the words in these inscriptions being used in such metaphoric sense might be incorrect, and that these were names which had become collectively used as connoting quality.

Victrix, excellent entry concerning the Passau element of these blade symbolisms, and well placed observations on the situations with the ecclestiastic symbolism with crosses, which indeed find use in wide range of inscriptions on blades being produced under auspices of Church Bishops.

Returning to the Ulfberht 'name', the use of crosses etc. It would seem that the letters of a name/word augmented by the powerful symbol of the cross would signal quality and imbuement to even illiterate persons. The alphabetic characters may have been seen as potent symbols in the same manner as the crosses, runes etc.

It would seem possible that the use of these names and symbols were very much the ANDREA FERARA and Toledo smiths names and marks on the day and in that tradition of blade imbuement.
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Old 1st November 2019, 12:46 PM   #13
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Thanks Jim.. Here is another perspective on the subject from the forge Please See https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...wrc&FORM=VDRVRV
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Old 1st November 2019, 06:00 PM   #14
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While we have been focused on the ULFBERHT blade phenomenon, which appears of course to be the predecessor of the INGELRII blades, which is the subject of the original query here, this perspective has been indeed key to the answer.
Ibrahiim, thank you for that link which indeed adds to that perspective,

To continue on INGELRII, I found the following article in the spring 2005 Park Lane Arms Fair journal,
"INGELRII: A Continuing Tradition in Early Medieval Swordsmithing"
by Michael R. Gorman
On p.30, it notes;
"..with the advent of the Ulfberht blades, we perceive a moment of technological innovation in sword smithing , which the original smith(we presume his name was Ulfberht) chose to proclaim by an additionally novel way of inscribing his mark/tradename. It seems that this tradition continues with the rise of the INGEL group of inlays, which are morphologically very similar to the ULFBERHT inlays, and carry forward without perceptible interruption into the mid 11th c.".

It is suggested that the extended chronological range of these swords, surpassing the life span of one person, likely may have been a family firm or closely linked shops in a group.

Further, the much improved quality of these blades was superior to the older PATTERN WELDED blades, thus ULFBERHT became synonymous with high quality. Naturally copying of the inlaid inscriptions was inevitable.

At the end of the 'ULFBERHT' period (950AD +) emerged another group of morphologically inlaid blade inscriptions in form of the name Ingel, (usually INGELRII) but there appears to have been an overlap in transition. While the Ulfberht ceased, the INGELRII group carried into c. 1050AD.

One sword found in a river bed (River Nene, Ravens Willow, Cambridgeshire) actually had ULBERHT on one side and INGELRII on the other!!!

There seem to be variations in the INGEL group, such as INERIIGEMITT; INEERIIRIETI; INCELRII and others. With the original INGELRII, the grouping seems sometimes separate suggesting RII is a suffix, recalling the often separate 'T' in Ulfberht perhaps being of similar intent.

Whatever the case, these two 'names' became synonymous with quality for the apparently dramatic improvement in smithing techniques and production. The copying and spurious reproduction of the inlays of these groups of swords of course suggest that they are more a quality imbuement than makers name proper, and the origin of these names remain unclear.

With regard to the metallurgy of these early medieval blades, it is noted (p.35) that an INGELRII sword (presumed by the author to be last quarter 10th to early 11th c) when cleaned revealed the appearance of Damascus steel.
While this article predates the other works we have discussed, it is noted that the 'jury was still out' as far as whether authentically crucible steel or simply a makers effort to duplicate it. The author notes that Alan Williams was among those investigating this sword along with Peter Finer; the late Ian Peirce; the late Claude Blair and other notable figures.
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Old 2nd November 2019, 11:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
One sword found in a river bed (River Nene, Ravens Willow, Cambridgeshire) actually had ULBERHT on one side and INGELRII on the other!!!
I mentioned this up-thread...

vilhelmsson has eloquently (and gently) pointed out the weaknesses in that particular paper by Feuerbach; similar issues were previously raised here: https://myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=325878

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
https://www.bing.com/images/search?...&vt=0&eim=1,2,6 is an INGELRI weapon

BONHAMS HAD ONE WHICH THEY SOLD...SEE https://www2.bonhams.com/auctions/21639/lot/218/[/url]
This second example is I think very likely a fraud (Peter Johnsson has previously opined publicly on it as well.) The first is more interesting, its script is extremely similar to others that are inscribed INGERIHFECIT. I would be curious if anyone knows more about it; I gather it is/was on loan from a private collection.

Here is a somewhat dubious lead that perhaps someone else can follow further than I can at the moment. In a French article I found the conjecture that the Ingelrii workshop may have been located in Cologne, on the basis of a stained glass window claimed to show the name INGELRII on a sword-blade. With a little imagination, I can possibly see the letters RI in the image below, but it could just as well be the texture of the glass... I have not been able to find a high-resolution image to confirm one way or the other.

The window is of St. Cecilia, in St. Cunibert's basilica, in Cologne.
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Old 2nd November 2019, 03:59 PM   #16
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I searched the word Ingelrii. The Annals of the Coinage of Britain and its Dependencies by Rogers Ruding mentions an Ingelri in a list of moneyers to Aethelred, Rex Anglorum.

In ancient Norse, Ing is the name of a god presumed to be fertility god Frey (gender neutral). Names were combined with Ing to place the child under the protection of that god, e.g. Ingrid, Ingvar. Ingela is a Germanic name.

Ingel is the word for angel in Old Frisian and Estonian (from German Engel).

The Angles (Old English: Aengle, Latin: Anglii, German: Angeln) were a Germanic people who settled in Britain in the post-Roman period. They originated from the Schleswig-Holstein area. This is the origin of the word England.

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Old 2nd November 2019, 05:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
I searched the word Ingelrii. The Annals of the Coinage of Britain and its Dependencies by Rogers Ruding mentions an Ingelri in a list of moneyers to Aethelred, Rex Anglorum.
Well done! Such a close match with the swords' name is new to me. Following up on this leads to an article on the topic of the many continental moneyers at work in England during the 10th century. INGELRI and other variants are attributed to one or more moneyers named Ingelric:

Quote:
Ingelric
ENGELRI [Edw I HT1], INGERI [Æthst HCT1]
INGELRIES genitive [Edg HR1]
Oxford INGELRI [Æthst CC]
Probably two different moneyers here, as the earlier moneyer is linked to Oxford by a mint-signature; probably the Edward moneyer is the same man, as he strikes late in the reign. He uses Winchester derived dies, which would be normal for Ox-ford. The Edgar moneyer on the other hand uses a Rosette die with M in the field,which indicates Derby die-cutting, and there is no evidence for such dies reaching Oxford. There are no examples for the intervening period.
This is apparently based on coins different than any known by Ruding as Athelred is not mentioned.

http://www.snsbi.org.uk/Nomina_arti...na_32_Smart.pdf
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Old 2nd November 2019, 05:49 PM   #18
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Yes here is the link to Ruding’s book: https://books.google.se/books?id=p1...coinage&f=false. Looks like an interesting article!

Also in my previous post I mentioned Anglii to show the Latin version of this word. So Ingelrii presumably is the Latin version of Ingelri (a name with Germanic/Frisian origins) and maybe meaning by/of/belonging to, Ingelri or some similar.

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Old 3rd November 2019, 01:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vilhelmsson
Jim,

Fascinating analysis!

I just read through the Feuerbach article, and I have some concerns with it. But I am also intrigued by it. We can do no more than speculate about many of the details of this time period, and Feuerbach’s speculation is a fun one!

For the concerns:

First, most of her articles are about crucible and Damascus steel from central Asia. So she might be biased towards seeing central Asian steel? She strongly cites A. Williams for finding that all of his Group A designated Ulfberhts were made of crucible steel. However, Williams research found that 9 of the 14 swords in Group A had at least some high carbon hypereutectoid steel and therefore are likely crucible steel, and the remaining 5 could be crucible steel, though of lower carbon content. A sample size of 14 may also not be statistically relevant for extrapolating to the chemistry of the steel for all Ulfberhts of a certain period. Williams also notes in “Crucible Steel in Medieval Swords,” that other researchers suspect that lumps of high carbon steel from Viking Age steelmaking sites found far west of Central Asia were the result of decarburizing cast iron, though he believes they are the result of smiths not properly handling crucible steel. It seems that there is a lot of research left to do! Maybe it was crucible steel? Or some of it was? And where were those swords forged?

Second, Harald Fairhair is semi-mythical. There is also no contemporary evidence of the existence of a Norwegian king named Haakon the Good though there is contemporary evidence of his brother. It seems that the English chroniclers would have been eager to record that Aethelstan had fostered a Norwegian king? I’m not sure it’s responsible to conclude as strongly as the article does that Haakon the Good commissioned the early Ulfberhts, and that “+Ulfberh+t” is a hybrid pagan-Christian symbol born of a king whose Catholicism may have been an invention of much later chroniclers. There is also not good evidence that berserkers fought naked, and I’m not sure that identification of your own side in battle would be a strong factor. Though a prominent Ulfberht inlay could be a powerful symbol of the wielder’s prestige and their sword’s quality. And we think that Viking Age Scandinavians believed that the written word, when executed properly, possessed and conferred magical qualities.

There is also the chronological problem of the earliest Ulfberht’s with Mannheim hilts dating from the mid-8th to mid-9th century, and Haakon the Good, if he existed, was born circa 920 AD.

In summary of my concerns: she is less cautious about her conclusions than the evidence suggests she should be. Anne Stalsberg’s article on Ulfberhts, by contrast, is a more academic exercise in asking the questions we don’t know while only answering what we do and can know.

Where I am intrigued (mostly where Feuerbach and Stalsberg overlap):

Stalsberg writes that Ulfberht, and, especially, the consistency of the spelling of the Ulfberht swords she examined over the mid-8th through late-11th century is linguistically Scandinavian. Scandinavians had dropped the ‘W’ around 800, to when the Ulfberhts are first dated. Whereas, variations on Ulfberht were more common in the Frankish realms until the end of the 11th century, including Wolfbert, Wolfbertus, Uolfberht, Uolfbernt, Uolfbernus, etc. So maybe the word on the blades, as argued by Feuerbach, had a Scandinavian source rather than a Frankish source.

However, Stalsberg also writes that the inlay is written in Latin/Carolingian characters which suggests that it was a Frank who was inlaying, or directing the inlaying of, the blades.

Stalsberg does not look at the Greek cross as a symbol of Christianity. She also seems to take it for granted that Ulfberht is someone’s name, which could be a mistake. Instead, she asks who was literate and signed their name preceded by a cross? Abbots and bishops. And these bishops and abbots employed a lot of slaves who would be doing the actual smithing. She also suspects that the second cross may indicate a second person, likely the overseer or “swordmaster,” who either had the same name as Ulfberht, or was just represented by the second cross (E.g., Ulfberht & Ulfberht, or Ulfberht & Son(s)). She is careful to write that she can’t conclude that it is the signature of an abbot or bishop because no contemporary abbots or bishops with that name have yet been found.

Ulfberhts are traditionally (What can I say? I’m an American; 100 years makes something “traditional”) believed to have come from the Lower Rhine due to the finding of the name Wulfberti in the bequest of a villa to the abbey St. Gallen in 802 AD. But Stalsberg writes that there is a need for an academic analysis of the Confraternity books of the abbeys of the Lower Rhine to find out whether there were abbots or bishops or other people named Ulfberht associated with abbeys to draw a more conclusive connection between the Ulfberht blades and abbeys of the Lower Rhine.

Stalsberg’s maps show that most of the early and mid-Viking Age Ulfberhts have been found in Norway and not in the Frankish realms. Ulfberhts from the late Viking Age are more evenly found across Northern Europe. It is unlikely that a Frankish smith could be commissioned to make the blades for Haakon or that they could have been traded for, as analyzed by both Stalsberg and Feuerbach. Frankish sword blades were not for traders; they were to be paid as tax to the king/emperor or to be used to arm the Bishops’s levies in service of the king/emperor. Feuerbach and Williams write that they could have been forged by Baltic smiths at the terminus of the central Asian trade, which was certainly robust as that time. Stalsberg suggests that they likely arrived as either loot or as a ransom payment for bishops and abbots, but that we just don’t know yet.

If Haakon indeed existed, then he had a long reign for a Norwegian king! This supports the idea that he could have been alive long enough for the mass production of a blade with a specific signature. But, again, Ulfberhts pre-date Haakon.

Preserved Viking Age Scandinavian art is mostly in the form of metal work which is not delicate enough to reveal blade decorations. European Viking Age art is not really interested in swords. Anglo-Saxons weren’t very interested in portraying swords in art until the later Viking Age, and there are very few, if any, other than the following, examples portraying blade decorations. However, there is one piece of Anglo-Saxon art in a miscellaneous manuscript that could be an Ulfberht sword, and I attached a photo here.

This appearance in a manuscript suggests that there could have been general knowledge about what a fine inlay like this meant in regards to the quality of both the sword and the man who wielded it. But it is also, again, a limited sample size. I wanted to write that it meant we could draw the conclusion that the Ulfberht symbol was at least widely regarded amongst the warrior and authority classes as a symbol of quality and prestige, but I think we can only draw the conclusion that maybe it was regarded as such.

Some Speculation Incorporating Feuerbach
I wonder if there was an early abbot named Ulfberht? Haakon, or someone similar, owned a sword, maybe a valued ancestral sword that was one of these Ulfberhts. His Ulfberht fascinated him because of its beautiful iron inlay, powerful magic from the runes and its history of having been wielded by powerful ancestors, and Ulfberht, as read to him by one his Frankish slaves, was a homonym with beasts important to Norse paganism, plus it had a cross, a powerful symbol of the southerners’ god who sacrificed himself to himself, similar to Odin.

He commissioned many Ulfberhts after he got rid of his brother. Some of the swords he gave to his sword host were made from crucible steel in the Baltics, some were partially made from crucible steel, some were made from bloomery steel, and some were older swords. The Ulfberht sword then proliferated across northern Europe in the late 10th and early 11th century as Scandinavians saw greater use as mercenaries and particularly with Cnut’s considerable empire.


Reference;
A. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haakon_the_Good

SALAAMS VILHELMSON, I have just completed reading the work you mention by Dr Anne Fuerbach and although you note certain faults (in your estimate) there is no way members can view your criticism since no reference is given to the work in your post.

It exists at https://www.academia.edu/34909016/U...LD_QUEST_1_.pdf

And I have to say it is very compelling indeed and rather than being off the mark firmly covers a very highly possible well researched construct. Moreover I am not usually confronted on these pages by such a put down of another specialists observations in such a way. The paper is an excellent dissertation on this important subject and the author is a highly respected researcher so much so that I wondered if you had made an error or had lost something in your translation?

Regards,
IBRAHIIM AL BALOOSHI.

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Old 3rd November 2019, 09:58 PM   #20
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Hello Ibrahiim,

I stand by my analysis. All experts have bias. And I tried to be gentle in my analysis.

A semi-mythical 10th century Norwegian king, central to the contrived Norwegian conversion narrative of the sagas, did not control Baltic, or Volga, trade far outside of his zone of power, and commission Ulfberht blades that existed one hundred years before he was born. And that's still a nice way of saying it.

The dominant theory is still probably the most likely because there is no good evidence to suggest otherwise: Ulfberht was the name of an abbot, yet to be discovered, who ran a good forge on the Lower Rhine.

It doesn't look like the Bonham's Ingelrii sold, even though it has some unique features.

Reventlov, do you happen to have the title of the French article (I'm not good at searching for sources in other languages unless they're in a bibliography or footnote)? Ingelrii's workshop being in Cologne, on the Lower Rhine, would draw a nice connection to the theorized location of the Ulfberht workshop.

One comparison between Ulfberhts and Ingelriis is that all Ingelriis follow a similar inlay pattern on the blade face opposite the Ingelrii inlay whereas Ulfberhts are more arbitrary. An interesting study into the connection between Ulfberhts and Ingelriis could be to trace the estimated evolution of opposite side inlay on Ulfberhts to see if it evolves into the pattern observed on Ingelriis.

If there is a connection between Ulfberhts and the Passau Wolf, it could be linked to the Fossa Carolina, which may have linked the Rhine and Danube river basins. But the wolf is a common martial motif.
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Old 4th November 2019, 02:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vilhelmsson
Reventlov, do you happen to have the title of the French article (I'm not good at searching for sources in other languages unless they're in a bibliography or footnote)? Ingelrii's workshop being in Cologne, on the Lower Rhine, would draw a nice connection to the theorized location of the Ulfberht workshop.
Yes, it's titled "L’armement occidental pendant la première croisade", by Olivier Bouzy, and is available online... The theory is mentioned in passing in a footnote, there is not much more than what I already repeated. I suspect this is just more wishful thinking, a word/name on the sword would be unusual enough to deserve comment from art historians even if unfamiliar with actual inlaid weaponry. Bouzy makes a (poor, in my opinion) argument for dating the window earlier than is accepted, and makes other errors: Hilda Ellis Davidson (author of The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England) is cited as "David Illis" for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vilhelmsson
One comparison between Ulfberhts and Ingelriis is that all Ingelriis follow a similar inlay pattern on the blade face opposite the Ingelrii inlay whereas Ulfberhts are more arbitrary. An interesting study into the connection between Ulfberhts and Ingelriis could be to trace the estimated evolution of opposite side inlay on Ulfberhts to see if it evolves into the pattern observed on Ingelriis.
Actually I disagree with this... Among the relatively small number of Ingelriis there is still notable variation (among examples that I have notes on). Some have interlaces between vertical bars, similar to Ulfberhts, but just as many have the interlace replaced with different styles of crosses, or more or fewer bars, or the whole is replaced with a text inscription.
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Old 5th November 2019, 04:08 AM   #22
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Reventlov, Fair enough. It's unclear from my source whether it's all Ingelrii's found in one geographic location that all have the same composition on the opposite face or if it's all Ingelrii's with inlay on the opposite face, though the description you offer does not differ from the source's description.
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Old 7th November 2019, 12:45 PM   #23
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I am quite fascinated in the study of this important weapons history which takes a bit of understanding since there are some strange languages involved such as OLD ENGLISH, WEST SAXON, NORTHUMBRIAN, (which I can understand quite well) OLD NORWEGIAN AND FRANKISH to name but few> I blame history teaching in the curriculum for this mess since I cannot recall a single fact from the Frankish period or the other language areas mentioned !! It wasn't taught.

I spent a few days searching in Beowolf this week as I was sure something would surface>>It didn't. ING means meadow but I think it carries a second meaning as a name perhaps the beginning of a makers name as Ingel points to the place ; ENGLAND. I cannot trace RII or RI... but logically could mean of England OR as suggested somewhere that the names VLFBERHT AND INGELRI may govern the middle range of Viking Swords and the later range> and I offer no idea why both names could appear on the same sword except where they may be overlapping periods .

This is not the name of the swordsmith since swords like this were being made for 300 years.

It is said they were Frankish weapons and spread through war and trade to other places. There is another school of thought which suggests that the Viking raids down the coasts of what is now the UK weren't actually Vikings PER SE... but were factions of breakaway nations from the Holy Roman Empire Warring nations around the Frankish Empire.

I found it interesting that the V at front of VLFBEHRT is its rightful spelling and that U only turned up in the I4thC pointing to counterfeit possibilities.

What is also interesting are the runes>

As well as sword names, and sword oaths, there was also a tradition of Vikings warriors inscribing runes on weapons, particularly swords. In the Icelandic Konungsbók, verse 6 of the Norse poem Sigrdrífumál teaches how to engrave runes on a sword to provide protection:

Heres a famous rune;

Sigrúnar þú skalt kunna,
ef þú vilt sigr hafa,
ok rísta á hialti hiǫrs,
sumar á véttrimum,
sumar á valbǫstum,
ok nefna tysvar Tý

Victory runes you must know
if you will have victory,
and carve them on the sword's hilt,
some on the grasp
and some on the inlay,
and name Tyr twice.

Regards, Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 7th November 2019, 02:29 PM   #24
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PLEASE SEE http://www.hurstwic.org/history/art...iking_sword.htm AS A USEFUL BACKGROUND SITE.
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Old 8th November 2019, 01:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
I searched the word Ingelrii. The Annals of the Coinage of Britain and its Dependencies by Rogers Ruding mentions an Ingelri in a list of moneyers to Aethelred, Rex Anglorum.

In ancient Norse, Ing is the name of a god presumed to be fertility god Frey (gender neutral). Names were combined with Ing to place the child under the protection of that god, e.g. Ingrid, Ingvar. Ingela is a Germanic name.

Ingel is the word for angel in Old Frisian and Estonian (from German Engel).

The Angles (Old English: Aengle, Latin: Anglii, German: Angeln) were a Germanic people who settled in Britain in the post-Roman period. They originated from the Schleswig-Holstein area. This is the origin of the word England.




Salaams Victrix, I regret I missed this post as it points quite firmly at the origin of this peculiar word INGELRII . Nicely placed and very well noted.
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Old 8th November 2019, 02:14 PM   #26
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INGELRII



I LOOKED UP ING.


Please See ~ http://runesecrets.com/rune-meanings/inguz


My understanding of what was clearly a very powerful rune like inscription on Frankish / Viking and related Icelandic and other European linked sword blades is more or less set out in this excellent appraisal of what the word means. It is naturally drenched in Myth and Legend and seems to flow between the tribal moving plates of Viking influence in all its forms seemingly tied to linguistic influence in particular Norse, Old English, West Saxon and Frankish … to name a few.


The paragraph that struck me is from the reference above and set out

Quote''Thus, Inguz contains within its lore the true meaning of sacrifice. Such sacrifice occurs when one form is called upon to die so that a newly evolved form may begin to grow. This is one of the cornerstone concepts in what is known as the ‘male mysteries’. To die for something, such as a cause or an ideal such as freedom, a universal theme in warrior traditions, is thus connected to the energies of Inguz".Unquote

Thus an extremely powerful rune like inscription INGELRII often on one side of the blade balancing VLFBEHRT on the reverse...or a concoction of it\ them.

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Old 10th November 2019, 08:17 AM   #27
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I think the following is well worth taking on board on the details of warfare in Frankish lands ~ Please see https://erenow.net/ww/medieval-warfare-a-history/2.php

PART I PHASES OF MEDIEVAL WARFARE.

PART 2 CAROLINGIAN AND OTTONIAN WARFARE.

Quote"WARFARE was perhaps the most dominant concern of the political elites of the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries. Other medieval social orders have been described as ‘a society organized for war’: Carolingian and Ottonian societies were largely organized by war. The political community, when it came together, was often called ‘the army’ even when it was not functioning as one. And usually it did come together in order to function as one. Massive coercive force was repeatedly deployed against subordinate peoples on the frontiers, with considerable success. It was also deployed, with less consistent success, against invading predators—Northmen (Vikings) along the Atlantic and North Sea coastlines from the early ninth century, Muslims along the Mediterranean coastline from the last years of the eighth century, Magyars from the Danube valley from the last years of the ninth century. And of course it was deployed against rivals within the Frankish world, by both rulers and magnates. Its deployment required substantial investment in organization (taxation and other forms of funding, transport, command structures), physical resources (food, water, equipment), and manpower (conscripted and ‘voluntary’). Increasingly also investment in defensive fortifications was required. Success in warfare brought prestige, authority, and power beyond the immediate results of the campaigning itself; failure similarly risked a crisis in the legitimacy and stability of political authority. "Unquote.
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