Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Swords of the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages or Medieval Period covers quite a large amount of history. Beginning in the 5th century, it spans all the way into the 15th century. Naturally such a long period of time allows for numerous changes in weaponry. While we can't cover all of them in a single sitting, here are some common types of medieval swords.

The Classic Medieval Sword

While the name may not conjure images of greatness, it is apt. When people tend to visualize the most bare bones version of a sword, this is probably what pops into their head. A cruciform sword, this means that the hilt extended from the sides enough to form  a cross or lower case "t" when observed. Double edged and meant for one-handed use.

The War Sword

In the Early Middle Ages this was the "go to" sword. While it's name is somewhat of a catch all title for swords used in war, it was also known as an Arming Sword. This makes it easier to define as a double edged, cruciform sword that was widely used in military combat. Light enough to be used with one hand, this sword made a great pairing with shield or buckler.

The Falchion

Typically single-edged, the Falchion had incredible utilitarian chopping power but was versatile enough for close quarters combat. Few original pieces have survived the years and because of this, placing the sword among classes has been difficult. Useful outside of battle, it seems likely that this sword would be common among the lower classes. But the sword is frequently depicted among archers and mounted knights as well.

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