This 13th Century Sword Has An Inscription No One Has Cracked. But Maybe You Can.

Make history.

Calling all code breakers, transcribers, translators and people just generally bored right now: the British Library needs your help. On loan from the British Museum, the library has recently put a double-edged sword from medieval times on public display. The sword was apparently discovered in 1825, measures 38 inches in length and according to a British Library blogpost, "could easily have sliced a man's head in two."

Cool. So the kicker is that aforementioned sword bears an inscription that as of yet hasn't been deciphered, and the Library is asking anyone and everyone if they have an idea of what it could mean.

"It has been speculated that this is a religious invocation, since the language is unknown," says the blog post. "Can you have a go at trying to decipher it for us?"


Here's the sword in full:

And here's a zoomed-in look at the inscription:

It appears to read "+NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+"

If you think you have an idea of what this means, add your thoughts to the comment section of the British Library's blog post. Good luck.

Cover image: Ed Schipul via Flickr


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