One of man's oldest weapons is the sword. The sword consists of the hilt, a blade, a pommel (for balancing the blade), a grip for holding it, and a guard for protecting the hand. The sword blade has either two edges, which is called a double edged sword, or it has a single edge, which is called a single edged sword. Back then the weapons were so heavy that only strong men could use them.
One of the most common swords used by knights was the Scottish claymor. The Scottish claymor was the great double handed broad sword that was used by Scottish highlanders from the 15th to early 17th centuries. The word claymor came from the Gaelic word claidheamohmor which means great sword. Click here to see what Scottish claymor looks like.
Another kind of sword used in Medieval times was the cinquedea. The cinquedea was a type of short thrusting sword. It was popular with wealthy Italians in the 14th century. The name thrusting sword comes from it having a sharp point used for thrusting. The name cinquedea refers to the blade which was five fingers wide at the widest point. Click here to see a thrusting sword.
Swords were not the only weapons used by knights. They also used bows. Most bows consisted of a slightly curved piece of wood. The wood had to be attached to a strong cord so you could pull it back, called the bow string. At both ends of the piece of wood was is curved so they could connect the bowstring ( bows used arrows). Arrows were long pieces of wood with usually a sharp metal tip at the end of it.
One exception to this description is the crossbow. The crossbow not only looked different but it operated differently too. One of the advantages of having a crossbow was having bolts. Bolts were short hard wood objects with a very sharp spike-like metal tip. Another advantage was that bolts flew faster than with other bows and they hit harder. The main disadvantage was that most crossbow could only be loaded cranking the handles to load the crossbow. The user had to crank it in the middle of battle! Crossbows were also hard to pull back. The crossbow was one of the most popular bows at that time. Click here to see a picture of the crossbow.
The other main bow was the long bow. The main advantages were that the user didn't need to load/crank it, they could adjust the firing range with their strength and arrows could curve when they were shot in the air, giving a longer firing range. The main disadvantages were that it used arrows instead of bolts. Bolts were more powerful and faster than arrows. Click here to see what a long bow looks like.
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