Sue's favourite Anglo-Saxon sword I Curator's Corner season 4 episode 4

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Charles Lambert : How many people do you have to end rightly to wear down a pommel that much?

Exile 1 : Sue is a very good presenter.

leftyfourguns : No wonder it's her favorite. It's as close to time travel as we can get. This warrior wrote us a message 1500 years ago and upon reading it in the proper context we get to relive his life in our imagination. This is the kind of stuff that makes history real and reminds us that these ancient people were just us in a different time

Damien : Wow this is easily my favorite Curator's Corner by far, I loved the passion you can tell she has for these things and the history the swords themselves exude.

Robert Pettigrew : I loved this video, I must admit I thought they buried them with "fancy" goods but it is interesting that these weapons where not treasures but personal and important to the warrior.

karL ish : more visits to Sue's corner please! Anglo saxon history is my favourite :D.

krassos : She's a historian with a favorite sword... is she seeing anyone?

Mike Miller : Anglo Saxon and Danish lords are often described as "ring givers". I had always thought this meant they gave expensive finger rings as rewards and bribes. The information about the rings on the swords would indicate a ring giver was someone who inspired loyalty bound by oaths, which seems much more heroic than someone just doling out trinkets as gifts.

funnytortoise : "The ash is extremely tall, prescious to mankind, strong on its base. It holds its ground as it should, although many men attack it."

SmevMev : That connection with the rune poem at the end is a great detail; one of the most interesting Curator's Corners yet

Chuck Iringtwice : I like the way she cuts through to to the heart of the topic!

Awkward History : When will Sue be reviewing the buster sword?

Pete Hall : I agree about the pommel wear - it is a comfortable place to rest the hand and gives one a manly posture - one doesn't mess around with a bloke who has his hand on his sword. I have to say that my instant reaction when seeing the ring on the pommel was that this was for a wrist loop. As you say, there are a number of explanations for these rings appearing on pommels of this period, but I am reminded of Egil's Saga (chapter 60 in the 1893 translation into English by W. C. Green, from the original Icelandic 'Egils saga Skallagrímssonar'), which mentions that Egil wound the cord attached to the hilt of his sword around his arm and let the sword hang, so that he could handle his 'halberd' ('kesja' - a spear, or similar?) easily, while keeping the sword readily available. Lodging the pole weapon in Bergonund's ('Berg-Önundur's') shield, he was quickly able to retrieve his sword and despatch his opponent before the latter could draw his. A lanyard is jolly useful in preventing loss of a weapon during combat, e.g. modern military pistols are generally fitted with a lanyard ring. Well, it's just a theory and then there's another point - why didn't all swords of this period have rings fitted? Also, there's the use of friðbönd (peace straps) to fix the sword in the scabbard so that it could not be drawn where this was forbidden... could these be attached to the rings? I am, I admit, making reference to Viking period Sagas (Egil was a Norwegian) not Anglo-Saxon practices, but since both enjoyed beating each other up on a fairly regular basis, it's at least a possibility! Anyway, thank you so much, Sue, for a really fascinating video!

Nai Xo : Swords are always poetic. Wonderful and informative video.

Marshall Roe : This past summer I had the unbelievable pleasure and privilege of being part of a group that Dr. Brunning guided through the BM's Sutton Hoo collection as well as sharing her passion for swords and their importance in Anglo-Saxon society.

Dan Marsh : One of the lines in the Havamal, an old Norse poem (not the same culture, but certainly related,) is "mæki, er reyndr er," "praise no weapon until tried."

HerrGesetz : Best curators corner so far. Also such a beautiful lady!

Bryan Kelly : Yes , more of this please ..

Enzo Ma : Such interesting stories you can derive from the litlte details of the swords!

Ryan N : What I like about this channel is I would have never thought before that Anglo-Saxon sword hilts were a particularly interesting subject.

babysealsareyummy : She pretty.

matty Taylor : Hi sue brunning your my very favorite.

Trouts Bane : I'll take Sue's S-Words for $2000, Alex.

Richard N : Is it too odd to propose in youtube comments?

Paul Glynn : Loved this video and impressed with your knowledge of swords. Just wanted to mention one type of pommel and ask a related question. The Scythians and Sarmatians usually, or frequently used a sword with a ring as part of the pommel. These are found across Asia and eastern Europe, going back at least three millennia. Are you familiar with these? My interest is that there was a related tribe, that I understand never left the Altai that was known as master metalsmiths. They had made swords of superior. manufacture and metallurgy, and I was surprised to see a couple of mentions of one found somewhere in northern Britain in recent years in a burial that was remarkably intact. The report mentioned that it was probably made by the tribe known as Kalibers, or Calibars, or similar. Are you familiar with this find, these swords, or this tribe? Extremely little on the net about this, but it is where I saw reference to the burial.

Eric da' MAJ : That's pretty awesome. I think the bit at 7:00 explains why these swords were so positioned in grave burials. Plus, living in a time of constant war, good weapons become much akin to teddy bears. They proved comforting even when the warriors are well aware how out of proportion to them threats often were.   I wasn't aware of the ring accessory on such swords. The explanation seems plausible. Rings and oaths _were_ connected in everything from marriage to investing a Bishop. But it still seems odd, fiddly thing. It's just one more clattering thing have to quiet if you're sneaking up on someone or lose in a battle or vigorous running or riding. Maybe the sword was a "loaner" to a new warrior and signified as such without a ring on it. If he ran off with it other Anglo-Saxons would know he stole it. When he proved his mettle and loyalty the lord gave him a ring with similar decorations to hang on it proving it his forever. Speculation, speculation, speculation.

Devolutheist : I think nobody is going to be upset about having more of Sue Brunning's corner here.

Dublinerscraic : Top tier content!

Nick Widener : Great video! I'm a big fan of this lady.

Christopher Bernier : What a beautiful and educational video! There is always so much that swords have to teach us

msjoanofthearc : Thank you for a very informative presentation.

Jeff Richards : Now I’m super curious - what sort of symbol would a curator of Anglo Saxon artifacts, one who is familiar with runes and other ancient symbols, choose to have tattooed on her inner forearm?

Simon bar Sinister : At least, she is wearing gloves.

crowjr2 : Excellent content, and great presenter. More of her and Anglo Saxon artifacts please!

SleepingGiant77 : 'Dead person' ...dead *man*. The word is man.

Priestofbabylon : More Sue, please!

RabidMortal1 : The pommel wear explanation implies there was a correct "front" and "back" to a sword, but these swords were generally symmetrical weren't they? Why would the wearer have constantly sheathed the sword in the same orientation?

Rhythmicons : She is awesome.

Mr Shambleface : In 1,500 years some archaeologist is going to dig up that foam sword and make a Youtube video about it, mark my words.

Robert Schlesinger : Very good video. Interesting that the swords were gilt iron, rather than bronze or decorated or gilt bronze. The Anglo-Saxon use of a Runic letter insciption is also interesting. One might normally expect Runic inscriptions from Scandinavia (Nordic Runes) or parts of present Germany (Germanic Runes).

Issara Booncharoen : Umm, I'm sure I'm seeing things, but does anyone see a small T shape to the immediate right of the branches of the ash tree rune? It seems more visible to me than the ash tree symbol itself. Some cursory googling suggest this might be the glory rune which makes sense in context I think? But it's flipped compared to ash tree and the lines are thicker with it being smaller so was it someone else's addition?

Juan Pablo Torres Cazarez : Marvelous! We want more!

praevius : Great micro lecture. On to BBC Four, Sue!

Miquel Vico : I don't know it it is de shear charm, or the passionate and knowledgeable sword talk, but she is rely doing it for me.

GabdeVue : Loved so much about this video. So engaging, filled with knowledge, hands on history, presented with so much passion but respectful. This was so well cut and shot - the facts were interesting, the presenter so likable. I could listen do this for a lot longer. What a great format, thank you, British Museum!

Vaylon Kenadell : An excellent video. Thank you for that bit of history! That being said, age does not always confer wisdom or authority; sometimes all it brings is dotage.

Somerled : Truly a lost art. A sword handed down from one generation to the next would have the essence of memory within it. Some of my favorite tools were hand made by my great grandfather, who was a blacksmith.

Lincoln Noronha : awesome. i agree wholeheartedly

dvn : more of sue

Julian Coulden : Wonderful!