Medieval Weapons

In medieval period knights were considered as the protector of the country. So castles were built to strengthen their power. But there was the need for variety of weapons. Weapons played a vital role in medieval era.

Types of weapon

Projectile weapons

Crossbow

Longbow

Archer

Hand weapons 1

Mace

Lance

Halberd

Hand weapons 2

Dagger

Sword

Siege weapons

Catapult

Trebuchet

War hammer

Ballista

Crossbow

The date of the crossbow goes back to 600BC in China. In Europe medieval crossbow was reintroduced by William the Conqueror and the Normans in 1066AD.

Crossbow had a wooden stick made from yew ash, hazel or elm and coated with glue or varnish. The bow was made of wood, iron or steel. To, fire a vertical rod is thrust up through a hole in the bottom of a notch, forcing the string out. This nod is attached perpendicular to a trigger or tickle.

It was used by a solider to kill a knight in plate armour. The most powerful crossbows could penetrate armour and kill at 200 yards.  The larger crossbows were used to destroy fortification.

Crossbow was associated with sports. It was used for target shooting and hunting.

medieval-crossbow

Longbow

The longbow dominated medieval warfare. It is believed that it come from Wales. Longbow was about six feet long and made from yew tree. The arrow for this weapon were three feet long, arrows were made out of ash, oak or birch. It took extreme effort using the long bow that knights arms and shoulder muscles became exhausted and their fingers became strains.

medieval-longbow-with -arrows

Archery

Archery was mainly either weapons of war or sport. But most probably it was weapon of war. A trained archer could take down a horse and killed several soldiers with arrows. The archer was highly prized fighter. An archer was very vulnerable on the battlefield.

medieval-archer-figure

Mace

Mace is very similar to a war hammer. Head of the mace is made of steel, iron and bronze. It was used to deliver massive blunt trauma to armour.

medieval-weapon-mace

Lance

Lance is a light throwing spear. This weapon became dominant in European cavalry tactic in the eleventh century. It was used by a knight mounted on horseback allowing him to defend himself in battle from a distance.

medieval-knight-with-lance

Halberd

The term halberd came from the German. Word “Halm” means stuff and Barte means axe. It was made by an ax blade with one spike at the top supported by a long shaft.

medieval-halberd

Dagger

Dagger was used to stab rather than cut. It was mostly used by the knights on a horse as a backup weapon if they lost their sword in the battlefield.

medieval-dagger

Sword

It was the most used weapon in Middle Ages. The sword kept changing as time went on. First the swords blade was rectangle, and then it changed into a diamond shape. It is a bladed weapon used by knights. Swords were in different types in medieval era. Such as broadsword, falchion sword, long sword, scimitar and great sword.

medieval-sword

Catapult

It was a siege engine. It was a one-armed stone thrower. The word catapult derived from Greek words “kata” means downward and “pultos” means small circular shield which was carried in battle. They were eight feet tall. It could be used to destroy structures behind castles walls.

medieval-catapult

Trebuchet

Medieval trebuchets were popular from around the 12th century in castle siege warfare. Both Christian and Muslim armies used trebuchets in castle siege warfare. Trebuchet had a unique type arm that could be forced back to create extreme tension. Trebuchets were massive siege weapons. The sling action of the trebuchet created enormous force and could hurt large objects. Trebuchets could throw large objects such as rocks that weighed up to 350 pounds.

medieval-trebuchet

Ballista

Ballista was similar to a crossbow, it works by using tension. Ropes are attached to each wood arm and ropes were the spring of the ballista. The ropes that used were made out of twisted strands of human hair or animal sinew. This was much easier to carry around and could be managed by less people. The con about the ballista was that it was made for throwing arrow type missiles and did not throw things as far.

medieval-ballista