General Muttering – Not even close to Fanasty, but it’s Mediveal Swords and thats so Fantasy!

Anyone else seen this recently from the The British Library, Help Us Decipher This Inscription?

Here’s what the inscription seems to read:


I know as much as the next person about Medieval History (just enough to answer a Trivial Pursuit question at a push) but I like puzzles, especially those I have no chance of finishing.  The randomness of the attempt, puts a smile on my face, stretches the little grey cells and after reading Fantasy for many years I do have a love for Swords.

So, I am reading through the comments (which are not closed) and all I read is people trying to presuppose a religious context into the inscription, sure given the time period it’s a high probably, but it’s just as likely to be a shopping list. Maybe someone didn’t have a handy inkwell to write on that back of their hand and the Sword was the best solution.

Some general googling later (hardly academic I know) and I have my own thoughts (pointless, but amusing all the same).  Maybe it’s not religious, but maybe a simple advertising piece (Gold wouldn’t be used on a practical weapon in my opinion) by a Sword-maker/seller, they have to be advertised somehow.  Don’t get me wrong I have by no means “deciphered” anything, but just having a little fun. These are my thoughts:

X a separator

ND refers to a 13th century coin denomination

ORVI was a Papal State around he 13-15th Century

O & CHWDRCHD could be a numbering system

In Medieval/Middle Age Latin

0 = 11

C = 100

H = 200

W = ?

D = ?

R = 80

C = 100

H = 200

D = ?

So the Sword could be a display weapon by a Sword-maker/seller who lived around a Italy. On it was the quantity and quality of different Swords he could offer.

Have a go, for no other reason than it’s fun and it’s a Medieval Sword.


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