From knights in shining armor to massive castles, the Middle Ages was a fascinating time.
But between the fantasy of it all, there were many epic, bloody battles that went down in history. But what were the weapons that won so many battles and how were they used?
Keep reading to learn about the best medieval weapons and how you can get them for your own collection.
The sword was one of the most important medieval weapons and a very prestigious one at that. And while it has come to be associated most with knights, any fighter in medieval times could use a sword.
It started as a thicker piece of metal with a more rounded tip, used for slashing and stabbing. But around the 13th century, it became sharper and more narrow, ideal for thrusting. This change occurred because the armor soldiers wore became thicker and harder to slash.
This weapon, unlike some of the others, was more about skill than sheer strength and people spent years learning the art of sword fighting. It was also a special weapon to the people of the Middle Ages, and many cultures viewed it as a symbol of military power.
This is one of the best medieval weapons for collectors because of its small size. But don't underestimate it!
Unlike weapons that delivered blunt force, the dagger was more for murder than incapacitation. Oftentimes, daggers would be used for mercy killings after battle or executions by order of the King.
Daggers didn't require too much skill and would be used to stab opponents when there was an opening in their armor. Or in a pinch, it could be thrown at someone. And while it was used in battle, people would also carry it in daily life, especially because it was easy to hide.
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During the early medieval period, the Vikings wielded "bearded axes," which had a long blade for slicing. Many Vikings could not afford swords, so the ax became the weapon of choice as it was inexpensive. This type of ax was also easy to use and much lighter than a sword, due to a smaller amount of metal.
But while Vikings were well known for their axes, this weapon was also popular among many soldiers. They were commonly known as "battle-axes" and could damage armor to incapacitate an opponent. And if murder was the goal, it could aid other weapons to inflict the most damage.
Early makes of battle-axes had a wooden handle, iron blade, and an edge made out of carbon steel. But once steel became more of an accessible resource, the blade was made entirely out of this metal.
Although it was a simple weapon, the spear was still very popular in medieval times. It was easy to use, cheap to make, and had more range than a sword.
The spear was classified into two categories; throwing and thrusting. Throwing spears, similar to a modern-day javelin, could be hurled at opponents from the ground. And on the other hand, thrusting spears could be used while on horseback to deliver a forceful blow to an opponent.
Throwing spears evolved into pikes and thrusting spears became lances, commonly used in jousting tournaments.
Maces had a ball made from stone, copper, steel, or iron attached to a rod that was a few feet long. This weapon became popular because it was easy to make and could cause some serious damage.
In its early development, it was only used to injure opponents because it did not have the capacity to pierce through armor. Unlike the spear, the mace didn't have much reach, so it functioned best in close combat. So even though it couldn't kill someone, it could certainly break a few bones or crack open a skull.
But as it developed, "flanges" or spikes were added to the round top for denting or penetrating armor. And if maces with flanges are your weapon of choice, you can get one here!
By the medieval era, bows and arrows were nothing new, but they were still an important weapon.
The English used longbows, which were best for long-range threats. And in battles, foot soldiers wielding spears would charge at the opponent first, protecting the archers who shot from behind.
Longbows proved very successful in multiple battles during the Hundred Years' War, notably at the battle of Crécy. English longbowmen successfully attacked the French soldiers and even damaged the French nobility flower (otherwise known as the fleur-de-lis).
However, archers slowly became obsolete with the introduction of guns, which rose to popularity at the end of the medieval time period.
When you think of the Middle Ages, you usually don't think about guns. But they existed!
Guns started gaining support in the 14th and 15th centuries when Chinese gunpowder swept across Europe. Armies loved them because soldiers didn't need very much training to work handguns or cannons, yet they could still cause lots of destruction. And for the first time, fortresses and castles became virtually useless.
Guns also marked a turning point in medieval warfare, as it was the beginning of the end for weapons like swords and maces. And by the 16th century, the countries that had stocked up on guns and cannons became the most successful at warfare.
Go Build Your Collection of Medieval Weapons
These weapons really take you back in time and make you feel as though you are a part of medieval life. Now whether you're a fan of engraved swords, shiny daggers, or spiked maces, go add some weapons to your collection. You'll be sure to look and feel like the most heroic knight on the battlefield!
Click here to shop the best medieval weapons with Swords, Knives & Daggers.