Medieval Devastators Essay, Research Paper
The period of 1000 years in Europe between the 5th and 15th centuries was the time known as the Medieval Ages. During this time, most of Europe was under the control despotic feudal overlords, and the land was infested with pestilence and war. Living under the threat of invasions from foreigners, the people of Europe developed a different kind of weaponry. These weapons were found very useful to the Europeans, and devastated their enemies. This paper will examine three weapons designed in the Medieval Ages: the dagger, the rapier, and the morning star.
Appearing in the early 6th century, the dagger became a worldwide weapon. Ranging in sizes from 13 to 17 inches, the dagger was an arm auxiliary to the sword. Being the sword’s accompaniment, the dagger would parry the attacks by the enemy’s sword. In combat, the dagger’s use was not only to parry but also to attack. The dagger’s design of a sharp and lethal tip made it an essential weapon for stabbing rather than the sword’s common use of slicing an d cutting. Also because of the dagger’s thin but sturdy blade, it was a perfect weapon for piercing through the joints of armor. Another use of the dagger was to break the blade of the opposing sword by crossing the dagger blade with the sword blade, and then quickly pulling the dagger handle up. Having so much pressure applied to the blade of the sword, the sword blade would simply snap in two. The use of the dagger with the traditional sword enhanced hand-to-hand combat for Medieval Europeans.
Through its long history, the rapier was a weapon of choice for gentlemen rather than soldiers. Originating in the 14th century in France, it became a popular weapon used not only in France, but in Germany, Italy, and Spain. The word “rapier” comes from the Spanish term, espada ropera, meaning “sword of the robes” which symbolized its use with civilians rather than armored soldiers. Its unusual design marked its popularity and prosperity throughout the Medieval times and even in the present. Its stout hilt and elongated blade made the rapier an excellent offensive and defensive weapon. Its wide blade, usually 1 ? to 2 inches wide, made the rapier virtually unsnappable. When dueling or fighting with the rapier, fencing styles were used. But unlike a foil sword, with just a sharp tip, and not an actual blade, the rapier “mutated” the original fencing style. When the rapier was in use, certain alterations in attacking were applied because of the rapier’s sharp sided blade. By the late 16th century, the rapier’s popularity had spread, and rapiers were used throughout Europe.
Designed in the rugged foothills of Italy by gypsy peasants in the 13th century, the morning star was a weapon unlike any other weapon anyone had ever seen before. Unlike common weapons, its makeup did not consist of a blade, but of a spiked iron ball, a 1 ? to 2 foot wooden or iron rod, and a chain ? the size of the size of the rod. One end of the chain was welded to the rod, and the other end was welded to the spiked ball. It weighed about ten pounds and was a hard weapon to control. Thought of by lords and nobles as a crude weapon, they underestimated its power. Thought of by most Europeans as only a scarring weapon and not a killing weapon, the gypsies who designed it knew of its deadly attributes. Unlike weapons that sliced and killed because of loss of blood, the morning star caused massive internal injuries and internal bleeding. When used, the morning star would be twirled like a lasso, and the ball would swing in a revolution. When the swiftly moving spiked ball would come in contact with a human body, it would crush and bruise the organ underneath the where the spiked ball struck, causing the organ to bleed. By the 14th century, the morning star’s power was understood, and it became a popular weapon of mercenaries. Although the morning star was never used on a wide scale in armies and by soldiers, it proved itself to be a devastating weapon in the Medieval Ages.
This paper examined three popular weapons used in Medieval Europe. Hand crafted and constructed by the people of Europe, the dagger, rapier, and morning star proved to be essential weaponry designed and calibrated to kill. Without the presence of these weapons, the revolutions by the people of Europe against their overlords might not have succeeded, and resulted in the loss of freedom and the gain of oppression for the Europeans.