Sword of the Lord of Podol Spytka from Melshtyn (? - 1399) from the collection «The Feldman Family Museum»

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Evgen Eidel


Introdution. In the spring of 2016 in Sumy region during the agricultural works in which it was founded a medieval iron sword, which perfectly preserved (Fig. 1; Fig. 2). Given the scientific importance and uniqueness of the artifact, it seems appropriate to familiarize them with the scientific community.

Methods of researching. The main methods of research are descriptive, typological and comparative.

Results. Total length of the sword is 92 cm, weight - 1 kg 685 g Blade

sword rhombic in cross-section, which is shaped like an elongated triangle with edges that uniformly taper to a sharp and lasting four edge face clearly that the sword was intended to blow barbed, able to penetrate the hauberk or lamellar armor. Blade length was 73 sm, its width in a crosspiece was 7 sm. At the base of the blade it has a massive thickening of the ribs and the thickness at the base was 1.4 sm. Ephesus of the sword is cross-piece, shaft and discoid apple. It should be noted that after initial flushing of the sword it was found on the shank hot glue shaped as a bell depicting the heraldic lilies and sketch bird on it.

On the one hand round silver gilt with heraldic shield is inserted into the apple. The surface of the shield is divided into four parts, which are decorated with tracery of horizontal hatching. On the other hand an apple decorated with round silver inset with a yellow (gold) star with six parts is over the of yellow (gold) crescent with horns that are turned up on heraldic shield.

Due to the fact that the sword was found outside the archaeological context, its attribution and dating is possible after typological analysis and comparison with well-known similar in shape and type swords, with well-known attribution and dating. For typological analysis, in our view, the most appropriate is to use a universal typology of Ewart Oakeshott and Marian Hloshek. According to Hloshek’s typology the presented type of the sword is XV and dates widely XIV - XV century. According to Ewart Oakeshott typology presented sword also applies to the type XV and is dating by the middle of XIV - beginning of XV.

In the geographic ranges the sword is by 1399 there was a tremendous battle on the river. Vorskla, in which were killed a significant number of noble Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and German knights, among them - Duke Podolsky Spytko from Melsztyn.

Originality. It should be noted that until today it is remained a small number of such swords with heraldic panels. According to the information that we have none of museum collections in Ukraine up to this point have medieval sword with heraldic shields in the apple. Moreover, we can say that the sword is represented by a single unique copy for the whole of Eastern Europe. Data obtained in the analysis of the artifact, published for the first time.

Conclusion. The presented sword that we commonly dated by the end of XIV - first half of XV century and the apple has a silver gilding inserts, one of which is defined by us as the Polish emblem of Leliv (Leliwa). This heraldic shield in the apple sword, historical and geographical context of this became the basis to determine the most posiable its owner Duke Podolsky Spytko Melshtynskoho, who died in the event which took place in the district. Vorskla 1399 Today the sword is one of the exhibits «The Feldman family museum «.

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