PASSWORD TO THE SWORD SOLVED
could also be
The difference is the first C is exchanged with the second G
In fact I would say both C and G are disputed letters could be either one
once I started shifting the C around, it fell into one of the placeholders, revealing the following:
ND XOX GHW DRCHD CORVI
ND XOX CHWDRGHD CORVI
X could just be placeholders
Possibly initials of a baron carrying family name and military rank honours etc.
See Beta Corvi (lots of places I never knew existed, if you happen to be an astronomer!)
But, lets stick to geography, Corvi is a place in Italy as in Punta dei Corvi
Find words made from DRCHD
DRCHD could be Welsh or Gaelic
Most likely Dragon Draggard
As in "His mighty axe found the Draggard's chest and tore through the scale armor and sunk deep, bringing down the vile creature but also Roakore."
GHW I would say are the mans initials or rank
Started doing this without reading the British Museum blog:
"Let's compare the River Witham sword to the sword from Alphen: both start with some sort of invocation. On the River Witham sword, it is NDXOX, possibly standing for Nostrum Dominus (our Lord) or Nomine Domini (name of the Lord) followed by XOX. On the sword from Alphen, the starting letters read BENEDOXO. Quite likely, this reads as Benedicat (A blessing), followed by OXO. Perhaps these letter combinations – XOX and OXO – refer to the Holy Trinity"
So initially had arrived at:-
ND as in Notre Dame
ND as in NB, not Note Bene but Note Domino, some such latin
Take heed: "In our opinion parts of the long letter sequences could be solved by means of the traditional Latin abbreviation system based on initials, contractions etc. In this context, the so called nomina sacra are most important because we assume that the inscriptions
might be some kind of invocation or religious motto."
Thus the phrase reads:
Pay Attention, This is the sword of GHW Draggard Corvi
Either way, the man must have been quite important since his sword tells a story. So lets start with a personal mythology. Either he has killed a legendary dragon, thus making him the rightful heir of Corvi, or he is about to kill a dragon, which might entitle him to said property and so on. It is pretty safe to assume, the inscription had another aim altogether, on the part of the manufacturers, it was intended to strike terror into the enemy, and "God forbid" its user was killed in battle and the sword was picked up, it would continue to unleash its spell, hence one might want to give the sword back to its owner's family, after having done battle with it.
So my best guess is this has something to do with an Italian or possibly a Catholic, and the manufacturers guarantee the item good for killing Olde English Dragons.
Another rational view, and just to be on the safe side. Let's look and see who the Draggard of Corvi might have been, since the sword may have been forged with an express purpose, perhaps in a war involving the Draggard of Corvi who might be an historical character, so I will definitely do more research along these lines, after my earlier fanciful meanderings into this tale, which have lead me here:
In Rust we Trust
Dominic Dragonvial Goade Tres Corvi INC.
Is this all just an elaborate plot concerning a persons Eve Online character?
Let's investigate a bit further.
There is an Island of Corvo in the Portugese Azores.
Imago Corvi or Sign of the Crow is the name of a dealer specialising in Celtic Art, could the sword be Celtic, or related to Celts in some way?
Artcyclopedia lists Domenico Corvi [Italian Painter, 1721-1803]
A paper offprint by Handl, The Moralia of 1596, Part 2 Handl: Qui cantum corvi
Qui cantum corvi
More on linguistics of Corvi:
plural of corvo
genitive singular of corvus
nominative plural of corvus
vocative plural of corvus
Macel de' Corvi literally means Raven slaughterhouse; according to a source quoted by Vasi during the siege of Rome laid by the Gauls in 390 BC, thus the crow could also be a raven
Must say, there are some choice quotes on the net involving the word "Draggard" if anything, this deepens the mystery for me:
"Instead he abandoned his sword and jumped high into the air as the blade barely missed him. He backflipped over the impaled Draggard and landed behind it" from Whill of Agora Bundle (Books 1-4): Legends of Agora By Michael James Ploof
Doing a search on NDXOX
brings me to a page on cyphers (easycyphers)
Caesar cipher, is one of the simplest and most widely known encryption techniques.
NDXOX is Amoro in the Affine Cypher
(If you want to pursue this line of inquiry, perhaps there is something more to the whole phrase in terms of advanced cryptography see www.dcode.fr/affine-cipher for a reasonable decryptor, trouble at the outset is finding the exact alphabet and keys to begin with)
How to decrypt Affine cipher
Le decryption needs to know the 2 keys A et B.
Let the ciphered message be SNVSX and A=5, B=3 as keys
For each letter of the alphabet corresponds a value y : its position in >>the alphabet.
Beginning with 0, A = 0, B = 1, Z = 25, but A = 1, ... Z = 26 is fine >>too (depending on the ciphering process).
for each letter (of value y) of the message, corresponds a value x, >>result of the inverse function x = A'(y-B) mod 26 (with 26 is the >>alphabet size)
The value A' is an integer such as AA' = 1 mod 26 (with 26 is the >>alphabet size). To find trouver A', use the bouton 'calculate >>coefficients'.
A coefficient A' for A = 5 with an alphabet size of 26 is 21. Because 5* 21 = 105 = 1 mod 26.
For S (y=18), x = A'(18-B) = 21(18-3) = 315 mod 26 = 3
For each value x, corresponds a letter with the same position in the >>alphabet: the coded letter.
For S (x=3), corresponds the letter D (position 3).
The plain texte is the replacement of all characters with calculated new letters.
NDXO is Amor (Thus two entirely consistent meanings, as a latin abbreviation, Nostrum Dominus (our Lord) or Nomine Domini, and Love of Christ, a Christian concept, brings up issues to do with swordplay, wordplay and weapons)
I found a good introduction to classical cryptography and the Affine Cypher used by Caeser here
Amoro could also be an anagram, a love letter perhaps, or just simply
Nomini Domini Omni Orvi
In the name of the Lord of all the earth
Love Mr Raven Dragon
Thus my initial intuition that this phrase isn't a language as all, but rather a cypher, and a rather clumsy one at that, appears correct, since it readily appears to reveal part of its content. See below - How to recognize an Affine ciphered text?
It is doubtful whether the blacksmith forger of the sword actually sat down and encrypted a message. Rather I believe, having looked at the evidence above, that the manufacturer, rather crudely (some may still perceive it elegantly), inscribed the phrase using a guild code that alludes to the ownership and purpose of the weapon, hardly a distinct language, rather a rough-hewn mercantile secret. Having said this, imagining a world in which the "password" to a particular sword was a closely guarded secret, necessitating a cryptographic industry, makes for a good story, is steampunk about to be replaced by cryptometal?
How to recognize an Affine ciphered text?
The ciphered text has an indice of coincidence similar to the language of the plain text.
Lets do some exercises on the "formula"
Times that each letter appears:
N = 1
D = 3
X = 3
O = 2
C = 1
H = 2
W = 1
R = 2
G = 1
H = 1
V = 1
I = 1
Big question in my mind is do we have a complete alphabet?
Word of caution when dealing with the period. This is not a time of great reading, one may thus over-analyse the phrase expecting to find a third text, avoiding the practical problem, that the phrase for all intents and purposes, merely contains meaning transferred from one realm to another.
Look up the meaning of secret:
Kept hidden from knowledge or view; concealed
Not revealing a secret or not given to revealing secrets:
Something that is kept out of the knowledge or sight of others or is known only to oneself or a few
A method or formula for doing or making something well,
A variable prayer said after the Offertory and before the Preface in the Mass.
The inscription is thus a formula or prayer, known to the few, but certainly no longer a secret.
Thus a good weekend puzzle. As Alfred North Whitehead might also have put it, close enough. I am sure there is a lot more to it, but lets deal with what we have got here first.
Nomine Domini XOX CHW/GHW Draggard Corvi
The exact same combination of letters CHW appear in the footnote to a similar inquiry on a brass strap tag C.H.W. (1834). Ancient Brass Relic. The Dublin Penny Journal. Vol. 3, no.119. Dublin: P.D. Hardy, mere coincidence?
The initial clusters sp-, sr-, sw- became f-, fr-, chw-:
*sɸera became Welsh ffer
*srogna "nostril" became Welsh ffroen, Cornish frig and Breton froen, Irish srón
*swero "toy, game" became Welsh chwarae and Breton c'hoari (but Cornish gwari)see Brittonic languages
Obviously this isn't exactly what we looking for, we need something like this found on timetoast and a way of building a list of historical persons in order to complete a search, some food for thought: a better history search engine is required, one that can search for missing historical persons, presumably, dead.
Here is a link to a good article on livescience.