Ewart Oakeshott (1916 – 2002) is widely regarded as the preeminent scholar of the Medieval sword. His contribution to our understanding of the different types and their time-periods was groundbreaking.

Picking up where Jan Petersen’s typology of the Viking Sword left off, Oakeshott classified the Medieval sword into “types” which shared the same basic blade profile and other characteristics related to its function. Coupled with his classification of hilt components, it is possible to approximate the time period of a particular sword.

http://www.albion-swords.com/articles/oakeshott-typology.htm

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