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The sidesword was a popular and versatile weapon used during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods in Europe, roughly from the 15th to the 17th centuries. It was named for its distinctive characteristic: a straight, single-edged or double-edged blade, often with a sharp point, typically measuring around 75 to 90 centimeters (30 to 35 inches) in length.

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It was popular among civilians, soldiers, and duelists across Europe, used in both military engagements and personal combat, particularly favored by fencers for its agility and adaptability in various fighting styles.

Unlike the longer two-handed swords of the period, such as the longsword or greatsword, the sidesword was designed to be wielded primarily with one hand, sometimes accompanied with other weapons like a dagger, cloak or an other sidesword. In combat, it was versatile, capable of delivering both cutting and thrusting attacks with precision and speed and was effective for both offense and defense, allowing for quick parries and counterattacks.

The hilt typically featured a complex guard designed to protect the hand, with variations including swept or curved guards, knuckle bows, and finger rings. The grip was often wrapped in materials such as leather or wire for improved handling and comfort.

As firearms became more prevalent and warfare evolved, the sidesword gradually fell out of use, replaced by newer weapons and military tactics. However, its legacy endured in the development of modern fencing techniques and martial arts, with many historical treatises and manuals documenting its use still studied by enthusiasts today.

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