The proverbial hardness of Noric steel is expressed by Ovid: "...durior [...] ferro quod noricus excoquit ignis..." which roughly translates to "...harder than iron tempered by Noric fire [was Anaxarete towards the advances of Iphis]..." and it was widely used for the weapons of the Roman military after Noricum joined the empire in 16 BC.
Buchwald identifies a sword of ca. 300 BC found in Krenovica, Moravia as an early example of Noric steel due to a chemical composition consistent with Erzberg ore. A more recent sword, dating to ca. 100 BC, found in Zemplin, eastern Slovakia, is of extraordinary length for the period (95 cm) and carries a stamped Latin inscription (?V?TILICI?O), identified as a "fine sword of Noric steel" by Buchwald. A center of manufacture was at Magdalensberg.
- Vagn Fabritius Buchwald, Iron and steel in ancient times, ch. 5: "Celtic Europe and Noric Steel" (2005), ISBN 87-7304-308-7.