Medieval Knight weapons
The Weapons of the Medieval Knight
Over the centuries the weapons that Medieval Knights wielded changed dramatically. These changes were mostly due to improvements in the technologies of blacksmithing and metalworking.
The Primary weapon of the Knight throughout the centuries of knighthood was without a doubt the sword. There were many weapons at the disposal of the knight but the sword was the weapon that held the most prestige and honor to wield and master. Ansd the sword, like the other weapons changed dramatically over the centuries as technology changed.
The History of the Sword
The first swords were made of bronze over two thousand years ago. They were rather short and predominantly used as stabbing weapons. Around the 13th century the Iron Age began and swordmaking changed. Now swords could be made stronger and longer. They became slicing and stabbing weapons and they could be made at a reasonable cost so armies could be equipped with basic weapons.
The Late Middle Ages
After the 13th centuryAs Armor made advances in its abililty to protect so the sword also made advances in its ability to thwart the defenses. Some of the advances during this time are the longer handle which allowed for two handed use and a variety of specialized swords that could cut and thrust; seeking out weaknesses in armor.
The Modern Era
One of the biggest advances in the modern era was the development of the basket that protected the hand. This first appeared in Rapiers. Advances in metal working created swords that were lighter and quicker yet stronger. As weapons technology advanced the sword made the transition into a gentlemanly accoutrement used only for personal defense and then finally as sidearms became more available the sword fell from common use.
Other Weapons of the Knight
This weapons was a natural extension of the blacksmith hammer. It had a hammer on one end which could deliver a shocking blow and on the other end it often had a pick like point that could be used to penetrate the armor of an opponent. Product Page at Amazon)
This was the basic weapon of a knight and it was very popular in the early middle ages because it was easy to build, often it was made of wood with no metal or with spikes sticking out of the head. It was used to deliver massive blows to the enemy. The one shown here is called a flanged mace and it had small flanged that came to a point that could pierce armor. When a mace had a ball on the end of it and long spikes like nails it was called a morning star mace. Learn more about this mace reproduction at Amazon Medieval Flange Mace
The flail was a very effective weapon but it was not very popular among knights. The effectiveness of the flail was that it could be swung and the chain and ball could wrap itself up and around an opponents shield to find its target. Swinging a flail could generate a tremendous force, much more than that of a mace. The flail shown here is a morning star flail because of the morning stars at the end of the chain.
Jousting and Mounted Weapons
One of the most important sets of weapons that a knight used were the polearm weapons that were wielded while on horseback. These weapons were longer than the normal weapon and usually anywhere from six to twelve feet in length. You are probably familiar with the Lance. It was used to dismount other knights from their horses and the jousting version was hollow and blunted so as not to seriously injure the opponent. Other polearm weapons that a knight used were the Poleaxe, the Spear, and the Halberd.
More knight weapons
Some Other Weapons of the Medieval Knight
- The Dagger, although this was not a popular weapon because it was considered to be sneaky and for assassins. In later centuries the dagger regained some of its esteem as a ceremonial and dress weapon for show and display
- Axe - This was an effective weapon in that it had a blade on one side and a hammer or pick on the other for a variety of striking options. It also often had a piercing point at the bottom of the handle for close in fighting. .
- Halberd - This was a polearm weapon that was often six feet long or more. It was an effective weapon in that it often had a slicing blade like an axe, a pointed end for stabbing and a hook for pulling at the opponent.
- Poleaxe - Very much like the regular axe but mounted on a long pole.
A Medieval Knight had many weapons to choose from and to master and this mastery of weapons was the most important training that a knight undertook. It was something that he worked on for his entire life. And although the sword was his primary weapon he was almost always proficient at many of the other weapons too.
More about the Knight's Polearm Weapons
The Polearm is a very long weapon that could range anywhere from 6 to 16 feet in length. There were many polearm weapons designed over the centuries of the knight and they were very important in combat both for knights to wield and for foes to wield against knights. They had particular use when men on the ground fought against horse mounted knights. I have a whole section of polearm weapons with drawings to show you the remarkable variety that they took: Polearm Weapons
Want to see an armory full of the knights weapons? Check out the Medieval Armory - It has lots of knight's weapons including pictures and explanations, maces,shields, armor, halberds, swords, daggers, polearms, crossbows and many more. The Medieval Armory at All Things Medieval
Maybe you can't buy a Knights weapon but I do have some projects for you to make one.
Ever Wanted to Actually forge a sword for real? I have done it and I created a series of youtube videos showing you exactly how to do it from start to finish, raw piece of steel to polished sword. The first video is right here: How to Forge a Sword
Make a Medieval Flail This is a complete project on how to make a medieval flail that is fun, looks good and is safe. It is for costume or ornamental use only. I have the complete tutorial on my Storm The Castle main website right here: Make a Medieval Flail
Four Cardboard Swords
Wnat to make a safe cardboard sword or scythe for Halloween? I have a tutorial that shows you how. I make the Buster Cloud sword, a reaper scythe, a pirate cutlass and a traditional knight't sword. Easy to make and look great. Make a cardboard Sword