How do we talk about non-swords?

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How do we talk about non-swords?

Postby MEversbergII » 07 Jun 2016 14:26

A lot goes into talking about a sword. Typology of blade, cross, pommel. Length. Distal taper. Cross section type. Point of Balance. Center of Percussion. Edge type. Something I'm probably forgetting.

I don't see anything like that with non-sword weapons, though. Maces, war hammers, picks, halberds, spears, bills, etc. They get names, of course - the ones I just used. Sometimes we get real specific and say it's a flanged mace or a winged spear. Never anything more than that.

Is there much out there on metrics for these weapons? How heavy is a "mace" from such a place at such a time? Typology of warhammer heads? How thick is a bill's blade? What's the distal taper on a spear? Does one temper these things?

It makes it hard to judge repros when you don't have anything to work from. We all love swords, but it would be a nice thing to have data to cross compare halberd reproductions and the like. In my opinion, at least.

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Re: How do we talk about non-swords?

Postby UncleDicky » 28 Jul 2016 21:19

hammers and maces have often survived and there are distinct types from different areas and periods.
You could say the same for poleaxes and, to an extent Halberds (if you go by the Poleaxe - a 6' weapon, Halberd 7-8') many examples survive in medieval armoires
Bills/Lochaber Axes etc - survivors are very rare indeed, mostly because, like axes, they could double as agricultural tools. Bill hook - when you've stopped killing people with it - lop off the spike and it's back to being an agricultural billhook. Before the days of mass production (19thC) such items were expensive and had to be hand forged, therefore once their military use had lapsed - either through wear or through becoming obsolete they would be used by a farmer or forester etc. Such items would be locally made by whoever was available, Swords on the other hand are high value items which require considerable skill to make if they are not going to break or bend the first time they are used. Because of this swords survived and we can trace their evolution far better.
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Re: How do we talk about non-swords?

Postby Herbert » 06 Aug 2016 14:18

Well, there is my Book of the Buckler.

Bucklers aren't swords and this is exactly what you are talking about: measurements, typology etc.
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