KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 1  1858  page 47
These webpages are designed to be viewed with the screen resolution set at 800 x 600 and text size at normal. HOW TO

from comparison to see that they are derived from a Roman origin or influence. When filled, the more globular ones could only be securely held in the hollow of the hand, as we see them depicted in festive scenes in Saxon illuminations; and to these could most appropriately be applied the term tumbler, for they required to be emptied before they could be replaced upon the table, an alternative prescribed by those habits of the Teutonic nations which have been so fatally transmitted to our own times; an inherent blemish which has ever sullied the national character. Other vessels of domestic use are frequently met with in the Saxon graves, particularly a kind of ornamented situla or bucket, and bronze basins, used probably for meats and drinks when placed upon the table: of the latter of these there is a perfect example in Mr. Gibbs's collection, and the fragments of a larger one among the remains obtained by Mr. Thurston, from Westwell.
   In the large broadsword may be recognized the spatha in common use by many of the Roman auxiliaries, and by the Romans themselves in later times. From their weight and length they could only be wielded by horsemen. Shorter swords or dirks are occasionally found, generally of a knife-shape; and knives of all sizes, which, from their universal occurrence in the graves, no Saxon —man, woman, or child—seems to have been unprovided with. To these was applied the general term seax from the largest land with which the she-fiend was armed in her contest with Beowulf,1 down to the diminutive nail-seax of the lady's toilette. But the spear may be called the national weapon. Of this the graves furnish numerous varieties. Some of them, such as the remarkable specimen from the grave at the foot of Wyehill, the
   1 "She beset then the hall-stranger,
        and drew her seax, 
        broad, and brown-edged."—Beowulf, 1. 3089.

Previous Page       Back to Page listings       Next page      

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back the Contents page   Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line  Back to Research Page  Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 23rd September 2010

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too