As part of an exhibition in the UK called Byzantium 330 – 1453 at the Royal Academy of Arts - Main Galleries between 25 October 2008 – 22 March 2009 a Byzantine sword blade was put on display. Dated to the fourteenth or first half of the fifteenth centuries it was described as Steel, forged, engraved; gold, casting; inlaying (damascening)- L 1110 mm. It was on loan from the Museum of Belgrade and has an interesting tang. I was unable to find out anymore at the time.
The inscription is in Greek and there is a nice inlay of the Virgin. Does anyone have any more details?
Given its length I suppose it qualifies as a shortish longsword and may be of interest to our mutual friend George Georgas and his work in the HELLENIC ACADEMY OF HISTORICAL EUROPEAN MARTIAL ARTS. (http://medievalswordmanship.wordpress.com/). Given his expertise it would be nice to see him handle a live or dummy model and offer some insites.
It shows how Romans designed tangs - in a very similar way from Antiquity until the late Middle Ages. The blade form is unusual, I don't know of a direct European counterpart. It appears here exactly as it does in Byzantine Art.
As an update this sword was explained to me as being immediately post-Byzantine, Serbian from memory. I'll have to dig around the site because I believe I posted elsewhere about it. It is an incredibly beautiful sword. Also it is worth me saying, that even if it isn't technically Byzantine, it might have been made in Constantinople immediately before 1453 and have surfaced in Serbia - or if it is completely Serbian it is so alike the contemporary Byzantine Swords it is Byzantine in all respects except on a technicality.
A little Indian brave who before he was ten/played war games inthe woods with his Indian friends/& he built a dream that when he grew up/he would be a Fierce Warrior Indian Chief
Many moons passed & for the boy the dream grew strong until tomorrow he would sing his first war song/& fight his first battle/but something went wrong
Suprise attack killed him in his sleep that night
And so castles made of sand/melt into the sea/eventually