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"Ulfberht" inscription on a 9th-century sword

Ulfberht is a modern transcription of the inscription +VLFBERH+T, which is typically found on Early Middle Ages Germanic swords of the 8th to 11th century.

There are many variations of the inscription, including +VLFBERHT+ or VLFBERH+T.[1] The inscription is believed to be the name of a Frankish person whose name and manufactury became the basis of a trademark of sorts, used by multiple bladesmiths for several centuries.

Most "Ulfberht" swords are of Oakeshott Type X form. They are found across Europe, mostly in the territory of the Ripuarian Franks but also in Scandinavia, attesting to an intensive trade relationship between the Franks and Northern Europe. They are forged from excellent steel with a very low content of sulfur and phosphorus and up to 1.1% carbon.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anne Stalsberg: The Vlfberht sword blades reevaluated
  2. ^ Alfred Pothmann (ed.): Das Zeremonialschwert der Essener Domschatzkammer. Aschendorff, Münster 1995, ISBN 3-402-06243-7
  3. ^ David Edge, Alan Williams: Some early medieval swords in the Wallace Collection and elsewhere, Gladius XXIII, 2003, pp. 191-210

Further reading[edit]

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