13th century fighting equipment

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The fighting equipment of a 13th century warrrior is described by recovered artefacts, manuscript images and contemporary references and depictions in sculpture.



  • spear - sometimes with wings and generally socketed.
  • lance- ash shaft and rarely shorter than 10-12 feet (3 to 3.7m) long. Small, sharply pointed head.
  • axe
  • sword of war - single handed weapon with longer, heavier blades appear as the great helm appeared. The blade is about 40-42 inches (101 to 106cm). They featured wide crossguards that could be tapering and inclined towards the blade or spatulate and straight. The blade still sports a central fuller, the hilt is longer and the pommel takes the form of wheels, balls or trefoils from the middle of the century. Still worn by nobility as a symbol.
  • [thrusting sword]] - diamond sectioned bladed sword designed for thrusting rather than the cut.
  • falchion - favoured by all classes for it's powerful cuts.
  • battle axe - large axe designed for use with two hands with and well liked by high ranking warriors. Large heavy head on a 4 to 5 foot (1.2 to 1.5m) shaft.
  • mace - increasingly popular with the noble classes with bronze or iron flanged or pyramindal projections head on a 3 foot (1.0m) shaft.
  • longbow - of elm and possibly of yew used by the common infantry.
  • arrows socketed heads and self nocks. Needlelike bodkin points and broadheads for hunting were used.
  • crossbow - with a wooden tiller and composite wood, sinew and horn lath covered in leather or parchment. Spanned with a hook attached to the belt as it became increasingly powerful.
  • knife - frequently pattern welded. These develop during the century into the dagger. The term dagger does not appear until the late 12th century, rather the words coustel or cultellus are used. Blades are usually 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm) long and used point down. The quillions of the crossguard typically point down.
  • slings - used by foot soldiers




  • two handed swords - not known
  • double headed axes - not known
  • swords with elaborate basket-style hand guards