bunn (bunn) wrote,

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Swords & Knives (also: spies and jam)

1) People in Britain didn't usually get buried with their stuff in the fourth century, so we don't know how common it was to carry a knife
2) But we think possibly there might be more knives found in comparison to other tools in Britain in the C4th.
3) There are very few swords, but that's OK because iron things don't survive well in Britain
4) Anyway, swords were dead high status things and almost nobody had one.
5) therefore everyone was re-arming like mad, only with knives because swords were so hard to make.

Is it me, or does that not entirely make sense?  If iron things don't survive well, how come there are all these knives (if there are loads of knives, which seems unclear).   And if swords don't survive well, how do we know almost nobody had one? And how big does a knife have to be before you can call it a sword anyway?  OK, big souper dooper pattern welded watchercullums are probably hard to make, but at what point during the process of taking some iron and giving it a pointy end does it become 'a sword'...? 

While I'm at it, why do people assume that making horseshoes, by comparison to swords, would be dead easy?  I would have thought making shoes for animals that all have different feet and gaits and are liable to get expensively and dangerously injured if you get it wrong would actually be quite hard.  And I speak as one who tried to make her greyhound wear rubber boots, with a striking lack of success. :-D

Skipping back a couple of centuries, I am intrigued by Hadrian's Frumentarii secret service, but wish to put a cherry on the top.  Would it be ridiculous to invent a Senatorial secret service working in parallel and sometimes at cross purposes with the Imperial one? 

In other news, I am unconvinced by rhubarb jam. It doesn't seem to be very... jammy. It is more like a pie filling in a pot.
Tags: archaeology, eagle, flighty & scattered, history, jelly, romans

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