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Sunday 4 December 2016

British Library calls for public help in deciphering message on 13th century sword

Cormac Fitzgerald

Published 10/08/2015 | 18:28

The sword was discovered in Lincolnshire in 1825, and hasn't been deciphered since.
Photo: Trustees of the British Museum
The sword was discovered in Lincolnshire in 1825, and hasn't been deciphered since. Photo: Trustees of the British Museum
The inscription is thought to be in some form of Latin Photo: Trustees of the British Museum

The British Library has reached out for help from the public in deciphering a message inscribed on a centuries old sword.

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The sword was discovered in Lincolnshire, England, in 1825, and is believed to be of German origin and from the 13th century.

It is on temporary display in the British Library in London.

There is an inscription on the the sword that so far scholars and experts have been unable to decipher.

The inscription is thought to be in some form of Latin
Photo: Trustees of the British Museum
The inscription is thought to be in some form of Latin Photo: Trustees of the British Museum

The inscription appears to read: +NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+

The Library has called for budding historians to comment on their website with potential solutions to the problem:

"It has been speculated that this is a religious invocation, since the language is unknown," they said.

Further information on their website says that it is believed that the inscription is in some form of Latin.

Other swords have been found with similar inscriptions all over Europe, with historians saying that the swords could have been inscribed by the same hand.

Comments have been very forthcoming on the website, with some people saying the inscription is religious in nature and others saying it belonged to St George:

"This was clearly St George's sword: Now, Dagger: O ClasH With DRaGon's HeaD! O Reap VIctory!", said user Brendan O.

The sword is on display at the British Library exhibition, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, until the September 1.

So, think you can solve the mystery? 

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