Arming swords

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The arming sword was a versatile and widely used medieval weapon that emerged in Europe during the early Middle Ages, around the 10th century. Also known as a “knightly sword” or simply a “sword,” it was the standard sidearm for knights and men-at-arms throughout much of medieval Europe.

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Characterized by its straight, double-edged blade and a single-handed grip, arming swords typically measured between 75 to 85 centimeters (30 to 33 inches) in length, though variations existed based on regional preferences and historical periods. Usually the hilt featured a simple crossguard to protect the hand and a pommel at the base of the grip, which served to counterbalance the blade and improve handling. Some swords also had decorative elements such as engravings or embellishments on the hilt and blade.

Arming swords were designed for close combat, offering a balance of speed, maneuverability, and cutting power. The blade was capable of delivering both slashing and thrusting attacks, making it effective against armored and unarmored opponents alike. They were used in various contexts, including battles, skirmishes, and personal combat and were symbols of status and knighthood. Often adorned with heraldic symbols or inscriptions to denote the owner’s lineage or allegiance.

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