Medieval Lifestyle

Different weapons in the Medieval Times

[1] collage of weapons
  When men watch action movies, they love seeing all of the toys on the screen or the weapons being used. These men only see an object which can be purchased at the nearest store or can be hand made. What they do not always see is where the weapon started or what time period it came out of. There are several weapons originating from Medieval Times that may be well known in part, but the histories of the weapons have been lost to many. Medieval weapons range from the average foot soldier’s weapons to weapons used to take over acastle.

A Knight's Sword

[2] Knight's sword in 15th century
No onecan deny that one of the main weapons used in the Medieval Era was swords. A knight’s sword was made in the old fashioned form up until the end of the twelfth century. These swords were straight, broad from hilt to tip, pointed at the tip and had a double-edged blade (Med. War.).

Crusader Sword

The crusader sword also had a broad, double-edged blade. This weapon was extremely popular during the crusades that swept through Europe. It weighed two pounds and reached a length of thirty-eight inches long. When this blade was used against an enemy soldier with light armor, the enemy would have been killed. The blade was meant to go through the thin armor (Holmes 62).
[3] crusader sword

Italian sword

[4] Italian sword
Another sword with a double-edged blade is the Italian sword. This sword is forty-one inches in length and weighs exactly one pound. The extremely light sword has a wooden grip bounded by a cord, a large pommel wheel at the end of the sword, a curved finger guard, and a ricasso with Arabic inscriptions. A ricasso is an engraved inscription into the metal framing of the sword. With a good gripping of the sword, the soldier could control his weapon fairly well (Holmes 62).

Half-and-a-Half sword

[5] Hand-and-a-Half sword
A Hand-and-A-Half sword also has a ricasso on its blade. Others may know this weapon as the “bastard” sword. It weighs three pounds and is thirty-seven inches long. Some of its features are a long, double-edged blade, an octagonal pommel, and a long tang without a grip. The long tang gave the sword wielder the opportunity to grab his weapon with both hands (Holmes 64).

Ballock Dagger

[6] Ballock dagger
The foot soldiers did notalways get the opportunity to buy or receive a sword, so these mere foot soldiers used different types of daggers. The Ballock dagger, also known as the “kidney dagger,” weighed four-tenths of a pound and reached a length of thirteen inches. This weapon received its name after the shape of its guard. A guard of a sword or dagger is at the end of the blade where the soldier grabs the weapon. The guard protects the soldier’s fingers from being slashed or cut during single combat. These swords were mainly popular in England and were used by all soldiers of all ranks (Holmes 69).

Baselard Dagger

[7] Baselard dagger
The Baselard or basilard dagger weighs one-third of a pound and is only a foot long. The hilt is madeout of bone and shaped like an H, and is combined with the original, broad blade which ends in a point. The blade is heavy and double-edged (Holmes 68). This dagger was popular with the Swiss pikeman. It was also bought secondhand by soldiers. The shape of this dagger is particular to Switzerland and does not seem to be imitated anywhere (Steinmetz).

Rondel Dagger

[8] Rondel dagger
Another dagger that is classified by its guard is the Rondel. The guard of this particular dagger was round and disc-like.It has a lozenge-section blade, or the blade is in the shape of an “L”, weighs half a pound, and is thirteen inches long.This weapon was popular with the wealthy folk during the time period (Holmes 69).


[9] Mace head
Not only did cavalry men have daggers, they also had staff weapons on their persons during a war or battle. One of the most popular staff weapons used by the cavalry men was the maces.A mace is a club-like weapon whose head is usually made of metal. The rest of the weapon is made of wood. These weapons usually got to be three and a quarter inches long (Holmes 73).


[10] Poleax
For this particular weapon there was more than one purpose. The poleax has three different weapons attached to it. At one end there is a spike. The spike is used for stabbing people to death. At that end of the weapon there is also an ax. The ax blade was used to cut open armor and make an easy target to the enemy’s fragile flesh. The other end had a hammer attached to it. The hammer was used for crushing skulls, bones and any other body parts. The head of this weapon is twelve and a half inches long.The only thing that keeps the wielder from getting hurt from an enemy’s weapon is the rondel (Holmes 72). The rondel is a piece of metal that is flattened out and sits on the wooden shaft. Because this piece of metal is not laying flat on the wooden shaft, it gives the wielder a place to put his hands while fighting an enemy soldier. With one's hands under the rondel, the enemy’sweapon cannot hit his hands easily except by coming in from the ground up and at an angle. The rondel also lets the enemy’s weapon slide off easier. It was a popular weapon for foot soldiers battling knights and other enemies on horseback (Steinmets).
This youtube clip is about some of the techniques you can do with a poleaxe. The creator of this clip is MEMAG.

German Crossbow

[11] German Crossbow
The archers did not really use swords and daggers; they used crossbows. The German Crossbow is twenty-eight inches in length and weighs six and a half pounds. These crossbows were made of bone veneerand only a wealthy individual would own it. The people who bought this weapon used it mainly for hunting. What made it extremely useful was the fact that it could be used on horseback (Holmes 80).

English Longbow

[12] English Longbow
The English longbow is a single bow that weighs one and a half pounds and is seventy-eight and a quarter inches long. The bow was cut from a yew tree and the back of the bow is made of sapwood, which bestperforms when it is put under a lot of tension. The round belly of the bow is best under a large amount of compression. One of the arrows shot from this weapon can reach a distance of three-hundred and sixty feet (Holmes 79)! The accuracy of the longbow is deadly accurate. It all depends on if you have a highly trained bowman or barely trained. The highly trained bowman will hit his target 90% of the time. The killing ability "en masse" is one of the main reasons why this weapon was used.
This youtube clip is comparing the English longbow to the crossbow. The creator of this clip is bigbowbrum.


[13] Catapult
During a war between two castles, the enemy had weapons to penetrate the walls of the opposing castle. One of these weapons is known as the catapult. It was built during the Roman Empire and was inherited by the soldiers of the Middle Ages (Malyan 27).   The weapon is mainly made out of wood and can launch rocks over castle walls. The arm of the catapult gets pulled down and tied while the soldiers put a gigantic rock into the depression in the arm. Once the rock is in place, another soldierreleased the rope holding the arm down and watched the rock fly. The arm does not go completely around, but gets stopped by a wooden board that is ninety degrees from the ground (Malyan 27).
This is a clip of a catapult firing toilet paper rolls. The creator of this clip is texastech. This clip shows how a catapult worked.


[14] Trebuchet
Another siege weapon is the trebuchet. Like the catapult, the trebuchet launches rocks at and over castles. The only difference is the trebuchet has a sling on one end that moves a full three-hundred and sixty degrees.The contraption can throw a one-hundred to two-hundred pound rock about nine-hundred and eighty feet (Malyan 26). The soldiers in the medieval period not only shot rocks with the trebuchet, but they also shot dead animal heads. The accuracy of this weapon was uncanny. Once thesoldiers set the weapon at a spot on the castle wall it would hit that same spot all day long or until the rock penetrated the wall.

This youtube clip is of a trebuchet being fired. This clip was created by tmaniac1991.
Even though there were several different weapons used in Medieval Times, these are a few of the main weapons found. Every single weapon has its own significant meaning to the soldier who wields it in battle.The weapon does not have to be extremely large or light to cause another human major damage. It is really the person who wields the weapon that leaves the scar on another person’s body.

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This page was created by Mary Urquhart