Talk:Migration Period spear

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I need help in translating the German wikipedia article. My German is not so good so I'll be glad if someone else will translate it instead. Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 13:32, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure the article should be at this position. "Ger" is an antiquated Modern German word for "javelin", granted, straight from Old High German gêr, but I am not sure the weapon would be called ger in English literature. The German article treats

  1. the etymology of the term (would belong on wiktionary)
  2. the framea of Tacitus (maybe discuss at framea?)
  3. the (discredited) hypothesis that "German" is cognate to the term (discuss here)

the German article should in any case be cleaned up before trying a translation that takes it at face value. I suggest that whatever material we have dealing with the actual weapon (ger or framea) should go to javelin. If the "Germanic" section there should grow too long, do a Germanic javelin or something. The runic inscriptino deserves discussion, but it should be noted that the "ger" bit is pure conjecture. dab (𒁳) 13:48, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


Before being too dismissive, this topic is covered in great depth in Tineke Looijenga's Runes Around the North Sea and on the Continent AD 150-700 starting on p.191-192 with a rather strong source list discussing the issue. Along with the sources she provides, there is easily enough material there to flesh out the entry. I can add the material if no one has access to the book. - WeniWidiWiki 18:01, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

well, alright, I am not saying there is no topic here, I am questioning the article title. Why OHG? Why not Old English gâr, Old Norse geirr or Proto-Germanic *gaizas. The most intuitive would really be to begin this as a section of javelin and see where it is going. dab (𒁳) 22:19, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the term is actually OS :-D The problem with porting it to javelin is that there is actually quite a bit of linguistic conflict on whether it denotes a javelin or a short sword. I just realized I have this book in PDF if anyone wants me to email it to them. - WeniWidiWiki 22:26, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi Dab and WeniWidiWiki (cool nickname). Dab you're the man! Now I comprehend why I didn't understand the German article and I also liked the Kragehul I article (but didn't understand if it was a lance, a spear or a javelin). Do you know about any other Germanic weapons that deserve an article? WeniWidiWiki, can you solve the conflict you've raised? Was the Ger a javelin or a short sword. I know the Teutons used it as a javelin but I don't remember where I read it and how to get more info about it. Do anyone of you know about the Ger design, origin and usage? I would also like to get the PDF. Thanks WeniWidiWiki. Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 04:49, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
you can download Looijenga's dissertation here. It obviously focuses on the inscriptions, not the weapons themselves. dab (𒁳) 11:22, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks again. Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 14:27, 6 February 2007 (UTC)


Hi Dab. Nice touch with the migration title. Do you know the main usage of this weapon, i.e. hurling or thrusting? (You too WiniWediWiki) Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 01:29, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

both. Tacitus explicitly notes that the framea was used for both hurling and in close combat. The ger was most certainly for throwing, as its very etymology suggests, but of course also for thrusting in close combat. Unless you have really long pikes clearly unusable for throwing, the distinction of two types of weapons is futile. It is in the nature of the spear that it can be used in both fashions, and so it was up to and including the Viking age spear. dab (𒁳) 14:38, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking of merging this with Migration Period sword, along the lines of Viking Age arms and armour, but maybe both articles will evolve enough to stand on their own. dab (𒁳) 14:59, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Migration Era arms and armor would probably work, don't you think? - WeniWidiWiki 17:09, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


The article would benefit from illustrations. I looked on commons. The best I came up with was Image:Punta de lanza íbera (M.A.N.) 01.jpg. That was Spain, and BC, so not really appropriate. But certainly editors of this article must have images on their bookshelves. /Pieter Kuiper 08:53, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. --dashiellx (talk) 18:07, 20 May 2008 (UTC)