A knight used a lance for riding into battle. This
extremely long and heavy wooden spear, tipped with steel, could strike
at a distance, knocking his opponent off his horse.
The Ax, Mace, and War Hammer
Dominating strikes could be done with an ax, mace, or
war hammer, [a mace is a weapon that usually had a rugged metal head.]
The flail is a very dangerous weapon that has an iron
sphere usually having spikes attached to a chain.
Caltrops were iron spikes thrown to the ground in front
of lame horses and men.
Bows and Arrows
The longbow was easy to use, but you would need great
strength to pull back the string. The longbow could be shot up to
six times a minute. The shaft plus the metal tip is more than thirty inches
Powerful crossbows could shoot about six hundred yards
with their bolts, or quarrels, which were short-vaned iron-tipped arrows
or darts. Increasingly, a special tool was used to help wind back
the gut bowstring.
The sword, a symbol of knighthood, was cared for and kept
close at hand in its scabbard, even during peacetime. King Arthur's
legendary sword was named, Excaliber, many other knights named their swords
also. A typical European sword of the 1100's had a extensive, flat,
two-egded slashing blade, with a groove down the center. By the 1300's,
the increasing use of plate armor meant that a knight now had to force
the blade through chings and gaps. Swords of this time were made
for stabbing and thrusting. The blades became more slender, and no
longer flat. There was a variety of types to suit the conditions:
a baselard, [also known as a dagger or short sword] was used for stabbing
at close quarters; a great sword which measures up to four feet long, the
great sword was so heavy that it had to be swung with both hands on the
handle; and a broad-bladed, single-edged slashing sword called the falchion.