Talk:Seax

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Etymology[edit]

is this related to Swedish "Sax" (scissors)?--92.81.95.105 (talk) 19:52, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Apparently so; see the "period of use?" section below. SoccerMan2009 (talk) 19:29, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Removed misleading information[edit]

I removed "(Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Frankish)" behind Germanic. Neither do those people cover all Germanic peoples nor where they the only Germanic peoples using seaxes.




This entry just is, wordlessly self-embodying, like Archibald MacLeish's ideal poem:

"A poem should not mean
But be." —Ars Poetica (1926).


I added some material from a site I found by googling both seax and weapon. The word may also have a meaning in pagan (or neo-pagan) religion, but that would conflict with the weapon-stub tag that the originator added. RJFJR 01:51, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

I seem to have inadvertently created scramseax having only ever heard the weapon refered to as a scram or a scramseax in the past. I think there's more info in my stub though. I've put the info from my stub here. I think that the article should be called Scramseax and a search for seax redirected there, but that might just be my bias towards scramseax as it was the term I was more familiar with. Anyway it's a dual purpose implement and so surely the stub should not be a weapons stub. I put mine as an archaeological stub.Alun 17:10, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Scramseax/seax controversy[edit]

There seem to be some sites which exclusively use the word scramseax and others which prefer seax. I'm not au fait with any argument/disagreement/controversy about which is the historically correct term. Regia Anglorum [1] who try to be as accurate as possible use the word scramseax, though one site I visited claimed that it is an innacurate word and another that there is only one reference to a scramseax in the historical record. I am puzzled by this as the word has three or four different spellings, and presumably the different spellings come from different sources. As the word seax seems less controversial I have redirected my scramseax page to here and included links to several pages about scramseax/seax. As usual I have referenced my sources.Alun 10:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

There is more than one reference to the word in the historical record. See La:Scramsaxus#Loci for examples. --Iustinus 00:04, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Scramasax article[edit]

I have just discovered the article above, linked from Saxon. It contained no additional information and so I have redirected it here. I think I have tracked down all articles relating to seax, though with the multiplicity of spellings there may still be another lurking somewhere!!!!Alun 06:02, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Archaeology-stub[edit]

I wish people would not keep changing this to a weapons stub template. The seax was possibly more important as a tool than as a weapon. Given that it certainly was not exclusively a weapon (like a sword or a mace) it seems incorrect to give it weapon stub status. A tool stub would be most accurate, but I don't think one exists. Alun 18:25, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Inasmuch as people keep changing it back and forth, perhaps it would be worth it to put it in both categories. If not, then I would recommend putting a note such as "<!--Please see Talk:Seax#Archaeology-stub before changing-->" --Iustinus
That's a good idea, I hadn't thought of having both stub categories. Alun 09:44, 3 December 2005 (UTC)


I believe that there have been some double-edged seaxes found. I will try to find the source, but we might want to change the wording of the article if this is true. Jmclark56 (talk) 00:25, 21 December 2007 (UTC) jmclark56

Ok, I found it, there is a double-edged seax in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is of Frankish design and dated to the mid 6th century. Jmclark56 (talk) 00:36, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Hi 80.229.140.1, I have removed your edits describing the seax as a single-edged, broken-backed knife and worn edge upwards so as not to leave it resting. These statements need to be referenced, for example the seax shown in the picture does not seem to be broken backed and the OED defines a seax as a A knife; a short sword or dagger. Some seax do seem to be broken backed, but I do not know if one has to be broken backed by definition. The statement about being worn edge upwards makes sense but also requires a reference. Thanks, Alun 06:39, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

I think the etymological explanation given on this page is wrong. "Scrama" is related to New High German "Schramme" meaning "scratch", "wound". As for the "correct" name: Seax (in any of its spellings) is the general name. A scramasax (again, spelling doesn't matter) is a specific combat variant (among others like longseaxes), which I think was used by the Franks.

It would be nice if someone found sources for that and changed the article. Thanks, Detain.84.171.101.171 12:09, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

According to my copy of Osprey Warrior Series 3 Viking Hersir 793-1066AD "An important local variant of the longsword was the three-foot, single-edged version sometimes called the long-sax. This type is generally Norwegian in origin and has a single edge like the true sax commonly associated with the Saxons." If someone wants to put this stuff in without violating the copyright stuff (see the discussion in Osprey Publishing) that would be nice Highlandlord 21:29, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I think you will find that the article has sources for the current explanation. Why are you disputing the authenticity of the sources? And why are you assuming that an unverified post on a talk page is accurate, but a verified edit in the article is not? The correct procedure would be to include your alternative meaning as well as keeping the current one. I refer you to the neutral point of view policy. You also need to provide references for your alternative meaning, if you cannot then it should not be included. It is also very important to remember that the criterion for inclusion in wikipedia is verifiability not truth,(see WP:V) even if the current explanation is wrong, it doesn't matter as it's verified, the fact that it is a well known explanation and published by reliable sources is enough. Please remember to maintain neutrality and to verify edits. Alun 06:53, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

period of use?[edit]

What was the time period during which seaxes were widely used? Marksman45 07:45, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

They are still used: put two together and you get a pair of scissors. In fact, 'sax' still means scissors in modern Swedish.
Yeah, same in Norwegian (spelling: "saks"). Maybe it should be in the article? 193.215.199.34 (talk) 18:49, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Image[edit]

Should this be deleted?

The "scramsax" image I uploaded to commons has been nominated for deletion, on the basis, as I understand it, that the weapons depected therein are not actually scramsaxes, by the modern definition. I admit that my knowlede is a bit shaky here, but they seem OK to me. Can someone more versed in the subject please comment? --Iustinus 02:40, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Saxons and the Seax[edit]

"The Saxons may have derived their name from seax (the implement for which they were known) in much the same way that the Franks were named for their francisca.[4] This claim is largely supported by the appearance of scramaseaxes in early Saxon heraldry."

Actually, this claim is made by Lazamon in his Middle English Brut, composed at around the end of the twelfth century. By that time, however, 'Seax' appears to be interchangable with 'Cnif', though in conjunction with a large number of adjectives, such as 'lang' and 'hond'. This is much better evidence for any connection between Seax and Saxon being etymologically connected, but it's still not much to go on, as Lazamon is writing long after 'Saxon' and 'Seax' were first conied, nor does he provide any evidence for his assertion.--M.J.Stanham 14:49, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

The reference to heraldry isn't cited, and it's good to remove unverified edits, I added the citation needed tag in April of this year, plenty of time for user 70.17.30.214 [2] to provide a cite. But it seems they have only ever made two edits. [3] The edit about Saxons/seax is a POV and is referenced, it would be nice to include any alternative POVs if they exist. It would be good for someone to expand this article, I don't have any knowledge in this area, and the article is much as it was when I added and cited most of the info there a year or so ago [4], I just found a few pages on the internet and added what I thought were interesting snipets of information, the article was just a single sentence prior to that, I also redirected some other articles about seax that had different spellings/names. If you have some knowledge of this maybe you might like to improve the article? Alun 17:25, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't have much time on my hands to help expand this article at the moment. However, it seems to me that the links to "Regia Anglorum" and "My Armoury" pretty much provide all that it is necessary to include in this article. It's probably worth adding this link as well, though there is little specific information on the Seax compared to its other entries: *Viking Age Arms and Armor (hurstwic.org). Otherwise, I can only advise hunting down some more academic references, which I will do myself, if I can spare some time. The "Re-enactment events Seax page" and "Milites deBec Equipment" links seem quite unreliable to me. I would be inclined to remove them from this page, but I would be interested in counter opinions.--M.J.Stanham 22:10, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

While we're at it, isn't it still inconclusive whether the Franks were named for the francisca or for something else? Feo takahari 22:34, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't know. The Francisca article makes this claim, but it is not cited in that article. Let's see if we can get a cite. We can always revise the wording with a cite to something like "Franks are believed to have been named after the Francisca". I'll look for some citable info. Alun 06:10, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I thought it was clear that the "francisca" was named after the Franks, not the other way around. Isidore of Seville was the first person known to have mentioned the word "francisca". Other Spanish historians who followed Isidore may have used it (I'm unaware of these sources, if there any who use the term), but they would probably have just copied it from his text. The Franks themselves never used the word AFAIK, so I think it unlikely that they would have been named after it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaronob (talkcontribs) 18:15, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Is that supposed to be Geoffrey of Tours, or Gregory of Tours?[edit]

Not to be pedantic or anything, but I'm not familiar with Geoffrey of Tours. The only person I know of and whose work I've read (Historiae Francorum) is Gregory. I appreciate and support pieces on historical weapons (being a member of MyArmoury and an avid reader of much related to the Late Classical/Dark Age/Medieval periods ) and am happy to see this on Wikipedia, but it doesn't lend a lot of authenticity when the primary source listed is misnamed :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaronob (talkcontribs) 17:51, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Scrimshaw?[edit]

I wonder if the etymology of the word Scrimshaw have been tied to the variants we have known of Sax? Nagelfar (talk) 12:39, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation?[edit]

Could someone please provide the correct pronunciation of "seax" and "scramsax"? --Dwane E Anderson (talk) 19:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Both are pronounced more or less how they're spelled. The "ea" dipthong in Old English is pronounced almost like "e'ah" but one syllable. 68.1.172.2 (talk) 16:00, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Women's use of the seax[edit]

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that both men and women wore seaxes (at least in some cultures), since the seax was a sign that you were a free man or woman. 68.1.172.2 (talk) 16:06, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I am pretty sure either you are mistaken, or whoever it was who wrote the thing you have read was. --dab (𒁳) 13:27, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Actually I think he's right. They had to chop the vegetables with something after all. "Seax The borderline between a large domestic knife and a weapon with a single-edged blade which can be called a seax is not particularly easy to define...." [5] and "It was worn in the belt, and carried often by women as well as by men. The Anglo-Saxon name for it was seax (the archaeologists call it scramaseax)...." [6] But the term covers a range of knives classified by various schemes, no doubt only some of which were considered suitable for women. Johnbod (talk) 13:45, 3 April 2012 (UTC)