Region: Germany (Passau) Artifact Type: Two-handed sword Date: probably about 1300 Materials: Steel and iron; brass inlay Weight: 3 lb. 14 oz. Length: O.L. 50 1/2"; blade L. 40 1/4"; grip: 7 5/8"
Improving steel technology in the 1200s allowed swords to be made even longer than before. The inlaid brass "Running Wolf" on this sword is a very early example of the most famous maker's mark in the history of blademaking. Originally used by the swordmakers of Passau, it came to be seen as a mark of quality steel. Other swordmakers from across Europe put it on their own blades, and it was even imitated by craftsmen from Africa and the Middle East.
This superb example was recovered from the Danube River at Regensburg in southeastern Germany. It is one of the longest examples of a type that began to appear in the late 1200s, not long before the development of plate armor.