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Arming Sword (also known as a Longsword or War Sword)
Time Period: 9th-13th century
Location: Europe
Common Construction: Iron or Steel

Arming sword is a general term for a type of longsword used at the end of the Dark Ages and into the early medieval period. Towards the end of the 8th century, Frankish sword construction changed from a blade of consistent width ending abruptly at a point to a sword in which the entire length of the blade tapers to a point. This shifted the center of balance of the sword towards the hand, allowing more control than previously capable.

At the time, Frankish cavalry were instructed to own two swords; a spatha and a langseax, each with their own distinct strengths. However, the introduction of the arming sword made the need to own two weapons obsolete, as it had the cutting power of the spatha and the speed and agility of the langseax. Frankish swords were traded to all northern European cultures (sometimes illegally) as far as Russia, and became the iconic weapon of the period.

CE 09th Century, CE 10th Century, CE 11th Century, CE 12th Century, CE 13th Century, England, France, Germany, History, Medieval Europe, Russia, Sword, Weapon


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