Archangel Michael’s victory over the Devil, sculpture above the main entrance at St. Michaelis Church, Hamburg.
Note the twisted or otherwise shape of the archangel’s weapon. It’s certainly not made of metal. Please read this article on twisted serpents (of all things) engraved in swords.
The “serpent in the sword” is a topic that comes up in connection with pattern welded swords. In particular Stefan Maeder has devoted many pages of his (German) 330 page opus Steels, Stones and Snakes to the topic.
There are three reasons for this:
- A few old pattern welded swords with a wavy line pattern instead of the far more frequent herringbone or torsion pattern have been found. This wavy line might represent a serpent.
- Swords in old pictorial representations (typically illuminated manuscripts, wood carvings or stained glass windows) are occasionally shown with a wavy line running down the blade.
- In a few old writings references to a “serpent in the blade” can be found.
It is thus possible that the wavy line was not just another way to ornament a blade but that the “serpent” symbolized something or did some “magic” like an amulet or something. The guys with pattern welded swords were not necessarily Christians before 800 AD or so, after all.