Friday, December 26, 2014

Word of the Day -- Dane Axe


The Dane Axe is an early type of battle axe, primarily used during the transition between the European Viking Age and early Middle Ages. Other names for the weapon include English Long Axe, Danish Axe, and Hafted Axe.


In the course of the 10th-11th centuries, the Dane axe gained popularity in areas outside Scandinavia where Viking influence was strong, such as England, Ireland and Normandy. Historical accounts depict the Dane axe as the weapon of the warrior elite in this period, such as the Huscarls of Anglo-Saxon England. In the Bayeux tapestry, a visual record of the ascent of William the Conqueror to the throne of England, the axe is almost exclusively wielded by well armoured huscarls. These huscarls formed the core bodyguard of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. The Bayeux Tapestry also depicts a huscarl cleaving a Norman knight's horse's head with one blow. The Dane axe is also known to have been used by the Varangian Guard, the "axe-bearing guard". One surviving ivory plaque from the 10th century Constantinople depicts a Varangian holding an axe that is at least as tall as its wielder.

1 comment:

Timothy said...

I carried a Tomahawk in Iraq :)