Middle Ages WeaponsThe period referred to as the Middle Ages was extremely violent. The quest for wealth and power was driven by the violent culture of the European countries. Castles were built to act as power bases. Lands were subject to invasion. There was the need for a variety of Middles Ages weapons to suit the Knights, foot soldiers and archers of the Era. This was the period of the Norman conquest and the battle of Hastings. The fighting in Europe had a brief respite when the attentions of the Medieval warlords turned their attention to the Holy Land when their Middle Ages weapons were used by the Knights Templar, Teutonic Knights and the Hospitallers to fight in the crusades. Middle Ages Weaponry was vital to the religious knights.
What are the weapons of the Middle Ages?
There were basically two types of armed men during the Medieval era who used different weapons available during the Middle Ages:
- The Knights
- The Foot soldiers, who included the Archers
The Medieval men-at-arms held weapons according to their status and position which was determined by the Feudal system. The weapons, weaponry, armor and horse of the Knight were extremely expensive. Lords were expected to provide soldiers who were trained in a variety of Middle Ages weapons. Knights were supported by their soldiers and the Middle Ages weapons used by the lower classes included
The Knights themselves used different Middle Ages weapons riding on their warhorses - every knight had spent their whole lives gaining expertise in the use of the lance, swords and daggers.
Weapons used in the Middle Ages and the influence of the Feudal System
The increasing number and variety of Middle Ages weapons was partly due to the requirements of the Medieval Feudal System. Life lived under the Medieval Feudal System demanded that everyone owed allegiance to the King and their immediate superior. Everyone was expected to pay for the land by providing the following services:
- Providing trained soldiers to fight for the King
- Providing equipment - clothes and weapons - for the soldiers
Skill in the use of Middle Ages weapons was necessary and a played a vital part in Medieval life. Every man was expected to be able to use a Medieval weapon. When war erupted troops were raised by the Feudal Levy when there was a 'Call to Arms'. Under the Feudal Levy men were required to fight for a limited period of 40 days - under certain circumstances this could be increased to 90 days.
Middle Ages Weapons - Siege Weapons
The style of warfare during the Middle Ages were fought around the power bases - the great castles of the Middle Ages. This Medieval style of warfare required different weapons - the massive and deadly siege weapons of the Middle Ages. Siege weapons were made to order! The most famous Medieval Siege Weapons used during the era included:
- The Ballistas
- The Mangonels
- The Battering rams
- The Trebuchets
Middle Ages Groups of Weapons
The groups of Medieval weapons, or weaponry, used in the Middle Ages therefore fell into three categories:
- Siege Weapons
- The Weapons used by Knights and the Crusaders
- The Weapons used by the foot soldiers
Middle Ages Weapons TrainingTraining in the use of the lance was practised at the Quintain and included tilting and "Running at the Rings". Training in the use of swords and other close combat weapons were practised at the Pell. Knights weapons training even extended into a game - Pell Mell! Facts and information about each of this training are described via the links detailed below:
Middle Ages Weapons
Each section of this Middle Ages website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about these great reminders of bygone times. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of Middle Ages!
Middle Ages Weapons
- Middle Ages era, period, life, age and times
- Medieval Siege weapons - the Mangonel, Battering Ram, Trebuchet and the Ballista
- Middle Ages Weapons used by Knights and the Crusaders - the Knights Templar, Teutonic Knights and Hospitallers
- Knights weapons - the lance, sword and dagger
- Middle Ages Weapons used by the foot soldiers Battle Axes, Maces, Daggers, Billhooks, Caltrops, Flails, Halberds, Longbows, Short Bows, Pikes, Poleaxes, Quarterstaffs, Spears and the Warhammers