Officers:Seaxes & Viking War Knives

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Seaxes & Viking War Knives

Authenticity

Seax Dimensions

New Ruling from 1st Jan 2016

  • For events after 900AD blunt combat hadseax (Scramasax) blade lengths must now be between 18cm and 25cm (7-10”). This replaces the original ruling as stated in the Master-at-Arms Regulations version 3.0 (2005) stating 7-14”.
  • The evidence from Regia’s core period is that sharp blade lengths vary from between 7-11”. Blunting the point for combat reduces the length by 1”.
  • Longer blades of up to 14” (sharp) or 13” (blunt) of the appropriate blade form are allowed for events before 900AD.


Notes

  1. Seaxs from the Viking Age never have metal fittings unlike those from the earlier pagan Anglo-Saxon period.
  2. Seax handles must not be riveted on.




AO Special Mention
Viking war knives are classed as Restricted for Vikings only.
They are a rare item (1 in 1,000 weapons) in Viking burials and proper “Real Vikings” would have carried an axe instead or a war knife. In general terms, English carry a seax and Vikings carry an axe for the same purpose.

Military Training

  1. Training Stamps - All new members are classed as trainees and must use shield and a two-handed spear and use a hadseax separately.
  2. Using in 'Armoured Man Melees' - Hadseaxs can only be used as a last resort/finishing off weapon.

Master at Arms

7.1.a Seaxes and Double Edged Fighting Knives

Weapon Blade Length Maximum weight
Hadseax 650 - 899 AD 18 - 33cm (7" - 13") 1.36Kg (3lb)
Hadseax 900 - 1079 AD 18 - 25cm (7" - 10") 1.36Kg (3lb)

View Kit Guide

KEY POINTS:

  • No Hadseax blades over 10” after 900AD - THIS RULING COMES INTO PLACE 1/1/2017
For events after 900AD blunt combat hadseax (Scramasax) blade lengths must now be between 7-10” (18-25cm). The evidence from Regia’s core period is that sharp blade lengths vary from between 7-11”. Blunting the point for combat reduces the length by 1”. Longer blades of up to 14” (35.5cm) (sharp) or 13” (33cm) (blunt) of the appropriate blade form are allowed for events before 900AD.
  • Blades may have a narrow fuller in one or both sides.
  • Seaxes may have small ferrules on the hand-grip but must not have a properly developed cross guard or a pommel.
  • Seaxes must not have unworked antler handles or wood with bark still on.
  • All seaxes taken onto the battlefield must be scabbarded.
  • Hadseaxes (850 - 1079AD) should not be parallel-edged (back edge to cutting edge).
  • Double-edged fighting knives (daggers, stilletoes, basilards etc.) Although double edged fighting knives were known throughout Eastern Europe, they were very rare in Northern Europe throughout Regia Anglorum’s stated period of interest until the Very Late (1080 - 1179AD) and Angevin (1180 - 1215AD) periods.
  • Until this document is updated to contain specific information on double edged fighting knives please contact the MaA and AO if you wish to use one and they will be able to guide you on the correct styles to choose.


6. Mandatory Rulings for All Weapons

1. All weapon blades, tangs and sockets must be made from steel, iron or in the case of some maces, bronze. They must be rust and burr free and must be of good overall construction and condition.
2. All weapons edges must be no less than 2mm (1/16”) and no more than 5mm (1/5”) in thickness. In cross section, the edge may be rounded or round shouldered but must not be square edged (fig. 1). The edges of a weapon must include its cutting surface and any back edges also. This rule also applies to quillions, guards and pommels.
Fig.1 Blade Profiles
3. All spearheads must end in a 10mm (7/16”) diameter rounded swelling. This may be forged into the blade or welded to the point. Other methods of termination may be considered and will be judged on an individual basis. NOTE : “Spoon-ended” spears must not be used.
4. Any weapon with a bladed part exceeding 200mm (8”) in length must be made entirely of spring steel. (See Appendix: Notes on Spring Steel.) NOTE : The bladed part of a spear does not include the socket as the bladed part of a sword does not include the tang.
5. Any angle made by the edges of a bladed weapon that is 90° or less should be rounded to no less than an 18mm (11/16”) diameter. (i.e. the diameter of a 1999 5 pence piece). Any angle made by the edges of a bladed weapon that is greater than 90° must be rounded over (see fig. 2). This applies to all bladed weapons including spears and flanged maces.
6. Any protruding part of a weapon not covered under part 3) or 5) above must terminate in a rounded end of no less than 10mm for reenactment use.
Fig.2 Accute and Obtuse angles
7. All spear shafts, axe and mace hafts etc. must be made from a white hardwood, preferably ash. Spear shafts, axe and mace hafts must be in a good overall condition and free from splinters and cracks. NOTE : Ramin is an acceptable alternative to ash but oak must be avoided as it is heavy and shatters easily.
8. All spearheads must be securely attached to their shafts.
9. All hafted weapons (axes, maces) must be securely fixed to their hafts.
10. All swords and fighting knives must be carried in a scabbard.
11. All battle standards intended to remain on the field for the duration of the display must fulfil all of the requirements laid down for other weapons.