), was a type of Germanic
. It seems to have been used primarily as a tool
but may also have been a weapon
in extreme situations, they occur in a size range from 7.5cm to 75cm. The larger ones (langseax
) were probably weapons
, the smaller ones (hadseax
, intermediate sized ones serving a dual purpose. Quite a lot is known about Germanic military war gear from the ritual sacrifice
of war booty in Danish bogs. Wearing a seax
may have been indicative of freemanship, much like the possession of a spear since only free men had the right to bear arms; the seax
was worn in a horizontal sheath at the front of the belt. Scram
is a word for food in some English dialects and seax
to a blade (so a possible translation is "food knife"). However, as the word 'scramseax' is only used once in early medieval literature (In Gregory of Tours' 'History of the Franks'; the general use of the term when referring to all short knives of this type is erroneous).
The Saxons may have derived their name from seax (the implement for which they were known) in much the same way that the Franks were named for their francisca; the seax has a lasting symbolic impact in the English counties of Middlesex and Essex, which both feature three seaxes in their ceremonial emblem.