31 thoughts on “Anglo-Saxon seax compared to 19th century Bowie knife

  1. Mike Taylor says:

    the bowie was used quite often for slashing that is why most bowie handles taper to the front the pommel was thicker so you didnt loose it while slashing the one use for the seax was used under the shield wall where a full length sword was unwieldy. the bowie was a duel use knife.

  2. PalleRasmussen says:

    Good old Binsey. His order book is always full up for whatever reason 😉 Probably because his stuff is damn fine.

    There is actually a guy in Denmark, who is at least his equal, probably better- best smith I ever saw in any case; Eyvin.

  3. wolschou says:

    So if i i understand you correctly, if you were to add some kind of guard to the hilt you are going to put on your seax, and maybe put a bevel on the back, it could indeed be usefully employed as a Bowie?

  4. Fredrick Rourk says:

    Years ago some friends and I did a competition to see which knife design was best all around.
    Dadley Knife vs Kephart vs Nessmuck, vs Bowie, vs Roach Knife vs English Trade Knife, and vs French Trade. The Dadley Design was picked the winner. Kephart was 2nd.

  5. Jón Gestur Björgvinsson says:

    g'day Matt. Watched a ton of your videos so I've come to know your opinion on reenactment weapons. I was however still wondering if you have a different opnion or variant of your feneral opinion on Binns reenactment weapons? A question close to heart because I am a reenactor with a longseax (single"edged" "viking" sword) made by Paul Binns.

  6. Robert R says:

    I don't like the term "Dark Ages" because people seem to conflate it with the Middle Ages as a whole. I prefer "Early Middle Ages" because, even if people don't know about the period, it's clear that that's not the case.

  7. Joe Cheavens says:

    More on point with regards to your analysis – I suppose that if you have read Bernard Cornwell's "Saxon Stories" that you might feel almost as annoyed by the portrayal of the use of the Seax in the shield wall as a Saxon Gladius as you might be the depiction of the round shield as being a strapped shield or Cornwell's depiction of leather armor as the default armor for those who can't afford maille.

  8. Joe Cheavens says:

    Great video, as usual. Just a couple of thoughts on the term "Dark Ages" – I suspect that much of the opposition to the continued use of the term stems from the context of its original intent when adopted by Renaissance historians, which was to denote a period of savagery devoid of the light of culture in comparison the Renaissance historians perception of their period being the rebirth of civilization. I feel that the term Dark Ages to reflect a period in which historians have very little solid documentary evidence is a more contemporary reinterpretation of the term that is, as you stated, an accurate description of the period in question.

  9. Rockfield Langley says:

    I've recently found your channel, and I have enjoyed learning from your great videos. My understanding is that the very earliest bowies did not have hand guards, but that large hand guards were quickly added after it's adoption. The guards grew smaller (like on your example) over the year's as it the weapon transitioned to a more camp knife role. I grew up in the ArkLaTex area and had the privilege of seeing early examples as a kid. What's interesting is just how similar to the SEAX some of the early Bowies looked!

  10. Sam Farnsworth says:

    Thanks for this. Have you seen a Canadian blade? Canadian Knife maker Russell/Grohmann make a perfect example: the jump knife. It was made for the Canadian Airborne troops in 1962. The Jump knife is more practical because it is smaller. But as far as a knife that is closer to the seax, Bark River Knives in Michigan, USA makes a line of Canadian style knives, the Camp knife being the largest. In case you don't know, the camp knife is close to the size of the seax and was carried by woodsmen in the past—it's chief function was an all purpose knife for camp chores from cutting kindling to preparing food. Anyhow, a Canadian blade has distinct features which are directly related to its function. One, it has an elliptical shape. This allows the user to hold the blade by the spine and use it as a hide-scraper. Two, it has a trailing edge that makes the tip slightly higher than the grip, which helps in skinning and de-boning animals. Bark River's Canadian Camp knife has a spine that is 1/4 of an inch thick. It is a very robust knife. And like the seax, the top bolster doesn't have a guard on it since it is primarily a cutting knife used for peaceful purposes. Thanks and Cheers!

  11. Whosoever says:

    The seax is very handy in the scrum of the shield wall most especially when it starts to break down and the spear can be an encumbrance to be frank.

  12. Benjamin Boyle says:

    I'm pretty sure that the broke back seax with the more rounded look to them are the original style. This is because if you take a bar of metal and just beat a bevel on to it that's the shape you get. A seax is essentially the absolute most utilitarian of blades, because its the simplest shape to make. The sharper clip of the broke back seax in this video is just the original shape with a little bit or art thrown in to make it prettier.

  13. M.D. Boncher says:

    You, Lindybeige, Hurstwic, ThegnThrand, Marobud and all the other medieval archeology/weapons channels are such a great credit to archeology. You've made my writing research so much more efficient. Thanks for all you do.

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