As part of a coming of age ceremony, a Norse freeman would receive an armring from his lord, pledging his loyalty and service to that lord. That is, to come to war or raid when that lord called them to. This was a standard practice and a part of Norse culture. Bearing an arm ring was also a status symbol. Some lords would also reward their new subjects awarded arm rings that had sworn oaths to them with weapons. The use of weapons was also apart of life. From an early age, a lad would train in the use of weaponry as a part of everyday life.
So what were these weapons?
There is Skaldic poetry that is specifically dedicated to shields. They are known as the "shield poems." The shield was as much a part of Norse culture as was the ax.
The Viking shield was very different than that of ...
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...he sword under secret conditions.
The word Ufberht actually had two crosses in it, one before the word and one at the ending before the “t.” Whereas it actually spelled “+-U-F-B-E-R-H-+-T.”
Remains of an +Ulfberh+t sword in Denmark.vii
Getting your hands on a real Ulfberht sword was difficult and extremely expensive and there were many counterfeits. Most swords of the time were made from low carbon steel by means of pattern welding. A method where the central section of the blade was made from twisted rods of iron and pounded together forming a strong and pliable core, then a harder (but more brittle) edge was then welded to the core. Example of pattern forged sword.
When the quality and knowledge of iron smelting improved, in addition to purer and more regular sources of iron becoming more readily available, the method of pattern welding was discontinued.
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