Medieval Swords - What makes a sword medieval?
The term "Medieval Sword" is used quite a bit and it takes a little bit of explaining to understand what is meant because there are two different meanings and these two meanings do overlap a bit.
Meaning One: A medieval sword is a sword that was used during what we consider the medieval period of time or roughly the middle ages.
Meaning Two: A medieval sword is what you think of when you hear the quote "I'm just gonna have to go Medieval on your @$$ !"
Lets Review these two types of swords
The first type of sword or the real kinds of swords that were wielded in life or death combat situations by knights came in many different varieties and they changed dramatically over the centuries as metalworking skills improved.
This is a very simple and straight-forward sword. It is something from the very early middle ages and you can still see that it retains much of the flavor in shape and size of the even earlier swords of the bronze age. There are no frills and this says "I don't have a lot of money but I managed to get a sword that I can use so I will use it for good!" This is a traditional Viking style sword. Function over form is the theme. Viking Sword
This sword shows the advancement in metal working over the centuries. Something like this comes from the middle period of the middle ages. Some things to notice are the much longer crossguard. This was something that came about as metal could be made stronger. The blade on this sword is also much longer and more flexible and lighter. It was a dramatic improvement over the blunter and shorter early swords. " The Sword of Strider
A sword like this would come from the later middle ages. There are several things to note. The sword is much longer, much lighter and much longer. Yet much stronger. this is due to the further improvements in metal working skills. But another thing to note is that it is also more ornate and with some fine craftsmanship and finish. This is because in the later middle ages a sword became more than just a weapon. It was also a statement of chivalry, honor, courage and wealth. Richard The Lion Heart Sword of the Crusades
The Second Type of Sword , which is undoubtedly a lot of fun to look at and to wield in the modern age was actually not something that would have been used in the medieval period. These swords are creations of our romanticized view of the middle ages and have been very much popularized by movies and books. These types of swords, because of their aesthetic beauty or presence have become very popular among collectors. The best way to describe a sword like this is that it evokes a definite Medieval Feeling.
There are two basic types of Medieval Swords in this category :
Unusual Blade Shapes: There is a certain shock factor when wielding a sword that has an unusual, and intimidating shape. Medieval swords with unusual shapes are often the choice of evil creatures in books and movies. Rarely will a good guy wield this type of sword.
Unusual Handle Shapes: Typically when a sword has a very medieval handle it denotes that the wielder is a "Good Guy" but not just any good guy - a good guy with a real "let's get down to business" attitude. This isn't always the case though. Often times a bad guy will wield a medieval sword with an unusual handle as an indicator of his evil intelligence and leadership.
Some Medieval Swords
Unusual Blade Shapes:
There is a certain shock factor when wielding a sword that has an unusual, and intimidating shape. Medieval swords with unusual shapes are often the choice of evil creatures in books and movies.
This is the Uruk-Hai Sword as used in the Lord of the Rings Movie. It is a nasty and truly Medieval Sword. There is a certain scariness to it's simplicity. You can almost imagine it being swung then sticking right into a foe. Then the foe can be pulled closer for that up close and personal battle.
This is truly a Medieval Sword! It has a very unique blade shape. This is called "The Fire Demon Sword" And one can only imagine that the serrations at the base portion of the blade were designed to impale then not be easily removed. Or to cause massive damage when the blade was pulled out.
Unusual Handle Shapes:
Typically when a sword has a very medieval handle it denotes that the weilder is a "Good Guy" but not just any good guy. A good guy that can kick some serious back side. This isn't always the case though. Sometimes this type of sword is wielded by a bad guy that has a lot of intelligence and power.
A Medieval Skull Sword - This sword is a good example of the variation of handle in Medieval Swords. It has a great skull with lightning bolts.
Tribal Manslayer Sword - This sword shows a very unusual handguard configuration. The blade is pretty traditional.
More Sword Resources
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