Medieval Weapon History – An Evolution in Killing

Medieval weapon history is truly an evolution of what had come before, with skilled weapons makers ever perfecting their craft. Ever since prehistoric man started using tools to make work easier, man has known the importance of weapons to help with a kill.


Medieval weapon history involves the improvement of many weapons that were used before, especially in the arena of metallics where steel and new crafting techniques led to the creation of more pliable, durable and deadly blades.

Medieval Weapon history begins with simple weapons of war: the pike, lance, sword and catapults. In the case of the personal weapons, history shows them evolving during this period. Metal tips for the pike and lance and even spears, arrows and axes that were once made of iron became made of refined iron – steel.

Medieval weapon history is moved along by the perfection of steel. Lighter, more flexible and infinitely more deadly as a result, high quality steel gave older weapons a new face.

The sword itself saw many advancements in medieval weapon history. With stronger building materials, the common blade became more reliable, less subject to breaking and more flexible for the kill. The shapes of the blades changed as a result with such introductions as the bastard and broadsword. Weapon history includes the creation of the broadsword and other models and the introduction of hand guards and more.

As swords became more flexible, less subject to breaking, the double edge was accompanied by a sharp point as thrusting was now an option thanks to advancements in medieval weapon history. The bastard sword came on the scene about the 14th century. This mighty weapon was useable with one hand or two and had narrow, tapered point, just right for thrusting.

As with swords, medieval weapon history shows an evolution in bows and catapults as well. As time advanced, weapon makers became more adept, ever improving on old designs to make killing more swift.

In the case of bows, history saw the advancement of crossbows and their eventual replacement by longbows. As better materials and construction methods became known, the weapons evolved with speed, accuracy and distance being the keys to success.

It was during medieval weapon history that catapults made their most deadly advancement. While ballistas and mangonels were still in use, the trebuchet made its debut. This awesome weapon of siege truly has a place in medieval weapon history and beyond. Unlike catapults before it, the trebuchet was built to handle massive projectiles. Some models could even hurl objects of 300 pounds or more. Considering the need to crush during sieges, the trebuchet changed the face of castle battles, earning its place medieval history.

While medieval weapon history is a story of advancements, those advances came to weapons already in existence for the most part. The period was one of refining, the quest to make weapons faster, stronger and more deadly.