Antique Weapons

Medieval Times Swords

Medieval Times Swords

Swords have been the most elite weapons in the ages of close combat before the extensive use of guns. They were even used during the World War I by commanding officers who rode horses in the open battlefields for close combat. However, the most effective and variants of swords were used during the dark and medieval ages, during the crusades and other European wars, even in the orient where the Turks and the Mongols ruled.

Types of Medieval Swords

There are a lot of different variants of medieval times swords, depending upon their place of origin, and technique of use. A few swords amongst them have seen more valour than others and will be discussed along.  Here is a look at the various swords.

● Katana swords
The Katana was a sword with a single sharp edge. It was developed in Japan during the 14th century and entrusted to highly skilled warriors called ‘Samurai’. Originally used as a slicing tool, its blunt edge was also used for hurting the enemy to subdue him without killing. It was wielded in two hands and had an intricate design, and a curve that runs from tip to the handle, showing the respect they received from their wielders.

● Rapier Swords
Rapier swords were lightweight, thin, flexible and yet strong. It was a piercing weapon with a big handguard over the handle. It was used in Spain from 15th to 17th century, for swift and skilful attacks to find and penetrate the armour of an enemy. Its variant is a modern-day fencing sports sword.

● Cutlass swords
Cutlass was hugely popular among the sailors and pirates because of its ability to cut through ship ropes easily, hence the name. It was more of an elongated machete than a sword and was strong at cutting through a lot of things.

● Bronze Age swords
The Bronze age swords, ring-swords, were used for a long period of 2000 years. The bronze designs and crude make turned it into a stabbing-only weapon. It was similar to an elongated dagger and shaped in the mould of Roman Centurion swords, efficient for hacking and stabbing at close range.

Long Swords
Crusade Templar Swords and long swords were used by high ranking officers and knights during the crusades and other European wars before the introduction of guns and muskets. It was a show of wealth and power. The sword was developed for long arc swings from the back of a horse. The tip was kept heavy for the rider to be able to use the momentum of the swing to cut through enemies. They were well designed and famously named.

Value of Medieval Swords in the Present

How were the swords made?

Most of the swords in medieval times were made from the steel technology available to them during that time. The iron was melted from rocks and added up with impurities like carbon and sulphur to increase its strength and rust resistance. Every swords making workshop had different types of workers who worked in different parts of the sword making process. The steel was beaten to the shape of the blade by a blade crafter, while the handle was designed by the handle-maker. Customised swords were made for higher classes and novelties. The sword blade and the handle were then joined by the master and a swordsman would test its integrity and strength. The sword would be sold if it passed the tests, else would be sold out to a cheap buyer, like mercenaries or pirates, and then had to be remade over again.

Value of Medieval Swords in the Present

Medieval swords are now possessed by a lot of people for showcasing and as antiques to a family, handed down over the ages. The valuable historic ones are stored and look after at various museums across the world. Historians study them as the part of medieval history and lifestyle. The weapons and tactics have been recorded extensively in the book of ‘Art of War’ by Sun Tzu, a medieval Chinese General.

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