Medieval & Renaissance Other Weapons Terminology
Angon - It was an
Anglo Saxon throwing spear of the dark ages. It had a long slender iron neck
and a barbed head. It was similar to Roman Pilum.
Arbalest - It was the 14th century term for the crossbow.
It was slower than a long bow. It was
Axe - It was one of the first toolsdeveloped by the
humans. It was a blade attached at one end of the pole. It could be single
or double headed and one or two handed.
Bec de Corbin - It is a type of pole hammer of 15th
century. (See Poleaxe)
Bec de Faucon - It was a pole arm with a hammerhead and a
spike. The pole could be 5'to 7' long. (See hache or polaxe)
Bill - It is a pole arm with a wide cutting blade that
may be with or without spikes and hooks. It was probably a common
agricultural tool modified for wars. Bill hook was used by the English
infantry. They could kill an armored soldier or even the horse.
Catapult - Similar to common catapults, they were
designed to throw spears and heavy bolts.
Coronel/Cronel - They were the crown-shaped lance head
used for peace or tournament encounters.
Flail - It is a pole arm that has a spiked or knobbed
steel ball or a bludgeon joined to a haft with a chain. It could be one
handed or two handed. At times there were two balls attached to the same
haft with two chains.
Francisca - It was a light throwing axe used by the
Franks along with the angon.
Gisarme - It can be called a massive spear of 15th
Glaive - It was a broad blade single edged pole arm
mounted on a 7' pole. The shape of the blade was similar to a butcher knife.
Godendag - They were the broad-bladed halberds used by
Hache - though the term is generally used for Bec de
Faucon or poleaxe, it was not an axe. There appear to be two types of axe.
One had an axe blade on the front with a hannerhead or a spike on the other
side. The other was a hammerhead with a spike instead of an axe.
Haft - It was the wooden pole of a pole arm on which the
blade or hammer etc. were attached.
Halberd - It was a broad but short axe blade on a 5' to
6' long pole. It was generally combimed with a back-spike or spear. It could
combat heavy armor.
Hammer - Despite being called hammer, it appeared more
like a pick. It was effective against the plate armor and used in 15th
Lance - A lance originated as a long spear and gradually
gained length and become one of the favored weapon.
Langet - The were the metal strips attached to the shaft
of the pole arm to protect the weak joint between the haft and the blade.
Longbow - It was the archers weapon developed in Europe.
It was one of the favorites of the English during and after 14th century. It
was used in combination with dismounted cavalry and infantry. Its range
could be as much as 300 yards. It was ineffective only against a plate
Mace - One of the oldest weapons that evolved from the
stone topped club. The medieval mace had a metal ball atop the haft that
could be spiked. It could counter any armor with the heavy blows. It always
was a symbol of power and rulership.
Partisan - another guisarme-type of polearm, this variant
had a broad, sword-like blade ranging from 2 - 2 1/2 feet in length. This
blade was double-edged and had lugs of various designs at the bottom.
Pike - It was a long infantry spear used in formation. It
could be 18' to 23' long.
Pilum - It was a leaf bladed Roman throwing spear,
attached to the wooden shaft. The Franks and Saxons adopted it at the angon.
Quarterstaff - It was a long stout pole for self defense.
Its length was customized to the user and was from toe to the up stretched
finger of the up stretched hand. Ot was named so because the staff was held
at the quarter length by the first hand an middle by the second.
Spear - It is a long shafted pointer weapon that evolved
at the same time as the club perhaps. It is used for thrusting and slashing.
with the club, perhaps the first human tool designed specifically as a
weapon, the spear is simply a long-shafted weapon designed principally for
thrusting, although many spears were also capable of slashing blows.
Volgue - It is an archaic term for a spear, which
probably came to be synonymous with a glaive.