Top 5 (Non-Sword) Weapons of the Medieval Era
The Medieval era is well known for its wide and varied sword based weaponry. But there were other weapons, equally impressive and deadly, that were in wide use. For enthusiasts of the period, a full understanding of the weaponry of the time requires a basic understanding of the non-sword weapons that were common.
This is my personal favorite of all weapons, of all time periods. For sheer brutal force, it’s hard to imagine something more intense than the mace. The mace in its basic form is a short rod with a chain attached to the top. The chain has a spiked ball at its end and frequently—as with our models—the bottom end was spiked. When needed, the mace was swung, driving the spiked ball into your enemy with amazing force. We carry a single flail and a double flail version.
Staying in the mace family, the less commonly seen bar mace is exactly as it sounds—a bar of four steel beams counterbalanced to make a crushing weapon. The weight and force of the bar mace was enough to crush lighter bladed weapons and destroy the armor of your enemy.
The halberd is a basic weapon for a foot solider. The halberd is a long staff with a curved blade on the end. In this way it resembles a long handled axe, but it was lighter and easier to carry. There was variation in the head of the halberd from place to place. Ours has a traditional design, with a large blade on one side of the head, a smaller blade on the reverse and a spike at the top, to allow for multiple attack modes.
The battle axe was a heavy weapon, designed for use in battle. These were frequently worn strapped to the back and were used either as the exclusive weapon of the soldier or more commonly, as a secondary weapon in case their sword was damaged or if the fighting became close enough to make sword use awkward.
The archer’s axe is lighter and more delicate than a war axe. It was designed with a blunt end that could be used to hammer stakes for defensive purposes. Although it is called an archer’s axe due to its frequent use among archers, in reality it was commonly used by many kinds of soldiers due to its high number of battlefield uses.
These weapons represent some of the harder edge of medieval warfare. You’re not likely to hear a heroic ballad of a chivalrous knight who used a mace as his primary weapon. They are bold, blunt and brutal, and serve as perfect examples of the harsh time period that created them.