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Archaeology & History

Mystery surrounds cryptic sword inscription

By T.K. Randall
August 8, 2015 · Comment icon 30 comments



The sword is believed to date back to the 13th century. Image Credit: Public Domain
A sword found in Lincolsnhire's River Witham in 1825 bears a peculiar inscription that nobody can read.
The medieval sword, which has been linked to the magna carta, bears a striking resemblance to the weapons depicted in artwork of the French invasion of Normandy in 1203.

Its blade also features a strange inscription that to date nobody has been able to decipher.


The inscription on the blade reads +NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+.
"An intriguing feature of this sword is an as yet indecipherable inscription, found along one of its edges and inlaid in gold wire," wrote British Library curator Julian Harrison.

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

Researchers are now hoping that by releasing the details of the sword's mysterious lettering online someone will be able to come forward and solve this age-old mystery once and for all.

Source: Lincolnshire Echo | Comments (30)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #21 Posted by cerberusxp 7 years ago
Tried Greek-NADA!
Comment icon #22 Posted by Future_Ikann 7 years ago
It clearly reads "Directions: Pointy end goes in enemy"
Comment icon #23 Posted by Zalmoxis 7 years ago
It could be random characters arranged in no intentional order instead of being a dead language.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Chortle 7 years ago
Maybe its the initialls of all the guys he killed with roman numerals of times stabbed. I pitty the guy named "CHWDRGHD" and it looks like "ORVI" got away...;-)
Comment icon #25 Posted by aquatus1 7 years ago
It's pretty obvious. It's just a story. ND XOX CHW DRG HD XO RV I "I was sleeping and dreaming about getting kisses and hugs when Chewie riding a dragon broke my hard drive, so I screamed and went camping by my lonesome."
Comment icon #26 Posted by Lilly 7 years ago
I think you've nailed it aquatus!
Comment icon #27 Posted by Hammerclaw 7 years ago
With that kind of cryptic inion it's probably a funerary sword. ND could stand for nox dormienda and the orvi could be the latin form of the name Orvis.
Comment icon #28 Posted by bill-pxh 7 years ago
NDXO = Name of the master/lord Jesus Christ XC = Christ HWD = who? (Saxon) RGH = DX = master Christ OR = VI = force/strength/power
Comment icon #29 Posted by Gingitsune 7 years ago
Maybe its the initialls of all the guys he killed with roman numerals of times stabbed. I pitty the guy named "CHWDRGHD" and it looks like "ORVI" got away...;-) Don't forget D is the roman numeral for 500. So it would read: CHW stabbed 500 times RGH stabbed 500 times
Comment icon #30 Posted by MeOnlyMe 7 years ago
Generally swords, do not carry engravings, especially lettering. The Knights Templar and those venerable enough for title would duly be anointed by their peers with Swords and Lavish flares of prowess, cloaks and tabards being noteworthy. The knights templar were involved with the Magna Carta very closely; they were also known for having secret language and code that was sworn under god to be kept secret and sacred. But from the looks of things, these "experts" cant translate Latin. “If you work on the theory that the language is Latin then the opening three initials, NDX, could be Noster Domi... [More]


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