Medieval Swords

Medieval swords were weapons used during the Middle Ages. They were revered during this era as symbols of honor, integrity, strength and tradition. Knights were commissioned to protect the Christian religion at the Ceremony of Knighthood. Only those who were Knights or from higher classes were allowed to own and use swords, and Knights were trained for most of their lifetime in how to use them in battle. Beginning in childhood, around seven years of age, a Page learned the basics of using a sword through age 14 when he became a Squire until he was 21 years old. It was the duty of the Knight to follow the Code of Chivalry.

Most knights used a double edged slashing sword early in the Middle Ages from around the 11th to 13th centuries. These swords had a handle, cross-guard, and blade. The length of swords varied from just under two feet to six feet. These swords were later replaced by diamond-shaped ones that could fit more easily through chains. The decoration of medieval swords had great symbolic importance. A special sword was presented to the Knight at his formal ceremony of Knighthood. Swords for Knights heading to fight in the crusades typically had a Christian cross on the handle. Swords also often had other engravings, such as the Knight’s name and words from a prayer. Some swords were decorated with jewels and engravings, and were just for decorative purposes.

Medieval SwordsThe different types of medieval swords were given various names, such as the Broadsword, Greatsword, or Bastardsword. Others were the Falchion, the Cutting sword, and the Baton. Each of these were unique and were used a bit differently. The Broadsword was a very early sword from around the 6th Century. It was fairly light in weight, at around three to five pounds. This sword was double-edged with a blade that was around two to three inches at the base, and the end was tapered to a point. The Greatsword was very large and heavy, weighing from six to ten pounds. This two-handed sword was 68 to 93 inches in length and was used in Scotland. The Bastardsword was also referred to as a Longsword or a Hand and Half sword. The unique feature of this sword was that it had a longer, extended handle that enabled the blade to be used in two hands. Medieval Knights who fought in Crusades often used a Falchion sword that had a single-edged, short, heavy blade. Although Cutting swords were first used by Medieval Knights, they were later used by the Vikings. As heavier body armor was developed, this sword was not effective, however. Finally, a Baton sword was used made of whalebone and was used in Tournaments. Medieval swords were not as heavy as many people believe that they were, with the heaviest weighing around 10 pounds.

Today, it is possible to buy antique medieval swords or replicas of them. One of these that can be bought online is an English Broadsword from around 1640. It is one of thousands of swords that were produced around this time due to civil unrest and Civil Wars in England. This sword sells for around $5,000. Replicas of medieval swords can be found at numerous websites who specialize in these. Most have dull edges for safety, but the swords are usually authentic replicas of medieval swords. A 15th Century Longsword or a Crusader sword can be purchased for around $100. A Knight’s sword with a decorative cross that is a lot like the original swords from the Middle Ages can easily be found as well. These swords are honored today as powerful symbols, just as they were many years ago.