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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Is "Morningstar" just a name?         Reply with quote

Is there a basic difference between a morningstar and a mace which I can not see, or is it an English name for a mace?
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that a morning star is a mace or club-type weapon with spikes. I think that the mace that Oakeshott classifies as an M3 can be called a morning star, as can others.
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have figured a way to answer my own question. According to wikipedia a morningstar has spikes whereas a mace does not. This makes a mace a much more "handsome" weapon, IMO.
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Jean-Carle Hudon




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject: morning star         Reply with quote

I always thought the morning star was the ball and chain version of the mace. I know morning stars are illegal in Canada, and I don't think that a straightforward mace is what is being considered by the Criminal Code. None of this is gospel, nor Wikipedia for that matter, just my understanding of the term.
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have found a reference at Extremely-sharp.com (para. FLAILS) which states that the Morningstar is the ball with spikes. It may be attached to a handle as a mace, or attached to a chain as a flail.
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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i've always associated a 'morning star' as part of the flail family. actually anything that's attached to a pole arm by chain or rope i consider a type of flail. even nun-chucks Laughing Out Loud

well that was my personal assumption - learn something new everyday.

but you know i've also heard the term 'holy water sprinkler' associated with a morning star (with the ball and chain), does that also classify another weapon or just a generic term for the weapon meant to give it some bravado?
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The reference above stated that there was "miss understanding" about the term morningstar. It might well be one of those stiuations like; a car is an automobile, but so is a Chevy or a hotrod. A number of terms for the same object.
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Marik C.S.




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The term holy-water sprinkler may also refer to a mace not so much to a flail.
The clerical item is called an Aspergillum and looks like this:



And not only is the shape similar to a mace, it is also my understanding that since men of the cloth were not allowed to shed blood - at least as far as I know, though that may be a legend - they tended to use maces and similar devices to crush. Somehow the blood that flows from a cracked skull is different to the blood from a cut body.
Never mind the details, the holy-water sprinkler was called thus as a rather cruel pun.

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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have also heard of a macelet, and the associated drawing showed an iron ball with spikes on a chain with a wooden handle. Seems the above reference would call this a morningstar flail.
At the catholic High School I attended the story was that clerics were not allowed edged weapons soone dreamed up the mace. Might be some fair truth in it if the church actually was responsble for bringing about knighthood and chivelry to bring order to the Dark Ages.

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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Phillip Caron wrote:
I have also heard of a macelet, and the associated drawing showed an iron ball with spikes on a chain with a wooden handle. Seems the above reference would call this a morningstar flail.
At the catholic High School I attended the story was that clerics were not allowed edged weapons soone dreamed up the mace. Might be some fair truth in it if the church actually was responsble for bringing about knighthood and chivelry to bring order to the Dark Ages.


I remember reading about this concept for the first time in jr. high while reading the Dragonlance Chronicles ;-)

Here's what Mr. Oakeshott has to say about it:

Ewart Oakeshott wrote:
There is a persistant legend that in western Europe during the middle ages the mace was a favourite - many would say it was the sole - weapon of fighting churchmen. 'All they' says Holy Writ, 'that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Mat. 26:52) Can we really believe that medieval prelates were so simple-minded (or imagined their contemporaries to be) that they sought to avoid the wrath of God by so childish an evasion? Evidence for this belief is extremely slender: Sir Walter Scott undoubtedly had much to do with it, reinforced perhaps by the figure of Bishop Odo of Beyeux in the Beyeux tapestry who is shown wearing a club - not a mace, a kind of rugged shillelagh. "Hic Odo Eps" runs the stitched caption above his head, so there shall be no mistake. "This is Odo, the Bishop." He wields a mace: ergo, bishops used maces in battle. Why? To avoid the infusion of Christian blood. But there is in this document wielding a club similar to Odo's. If we are to accept Odo's "mace" as evidence for one myth then we must accept that of the second figure as evidence for another myth - that conquerors, or Dukes of Normandy, or monarchs, or commanders-in-chief, always used 'maces' in battle, for the second figure with a mace is Duke William. ... ... ...

There is a far better (and entirely credible) story about worrior-bishops which concerns these two half-brothers. In 1072 William had occassion to take the field against Odo, who had risen in arms against him. In a skirmish he captured Odo, fully-armed, and very properly locked him up. Whereupon the Pope wrote sternly to William, demanding to know by what right he dared imprision a biship, who was to him as a son in Christ. William replied characteristically by sending Odo's mail hauberk to the Pope with a tersereference to the story of Joseph in Genesis: 'Is this not they son's coat?'

Throughout the Middle Ages, bishops were great landowners, rulers of cities, and statesmen, often with very wide princely powers. They were always leading their troops into battle, armed to the teeth like any secular prince, and using whatever knightly weapon suited them best, as the the warriors of the monastic orders who fought with lance and word, axe and mace, or hammer like everyone else. (Until the French Revolution the Bishop of Cahors, for example, had the right to lay his helmet, shield and sword upon the altar when he celebrated the High Mass.) The mace myth, though like so many other romantic medieval nonsenses a gift to the historical novelist, should be regarded with reserve by serious students of arms.


That comes from "European Weapons and Armour," a great book. That and Records are probably the two books that I find myself thumbing through most often.

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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for posting that Eric. I have long question the take my sources provided in my early studies of history. I have no difficulty is accepting what this document has to say.
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James Head





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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric, thanks for posting that quote from Oakeshott.

Bishop Odo was most likely shown wielding a mace as a symbol of authority, especially since Duke William is holding one as well.

The idea that clergy didn't fight with swords is silly for so many reasons, one of which is that MS I.33 (the oldest surviving manual on European Swordsmanship) depicts a priest as the master sword instructor.

Also, see this big thread from a few years back. Lots of the same stuff being covered, with better info...

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=12645
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James, thank you for bringing that link. Had I known it was there this one would not be here.
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Sander Alsters




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: mace         Reply with quote

On youtube there is also a guy from a tv show, dont know his name, im sorry, that explains the weapons. weapons of the middle ages, or medieval weapons its called. Ow heck, ill try to find a link. Its in this show,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxZ8iFtSvss&am...ata_player

Offcourse its not all acurate but I enjoyd it nontheless!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stone's Glossary (which uses Holy Water Sprinkler and Morningstar as synonyms) defines them this way: "A shafted weapon with an enlarged head of wood or iron studded with spikes. It was a common peasant weapon for several hundred years in Europe. It was also used in the East though never as common there."

Snook's book on halberds and other European polearms states that the morgenstern (german term) and holy water sprinkler were but 2 names given to spiked clubs of varying kinds.

Oakeshott's European Weapons And Armour also makes the Holy-water sprinkler = morgenstern/morning star equation, calling them a "long-hafted spiked club, of varied form." He notes the Henry VIII example.

Waldman's polearm book devotes a whole chapter to "The Morgenstern Group." The first paragraph states:

Quote:
The group is defined as being percussion weapons even though almost all have spikes, which along with a crush injury also cause penetrating wounds.... [snip] The German term Morgenstern (literally "morning star") is most commonly used, German or Swiss synonyms are Sturmkolben and Knüttel. The English sixteenth century name is "holy water sprinkler" but this name is restricted to weapons such as Henry VIII's "walking stick," whose enlarged cylindrical head resembles the ecclesiastic object and the French Goupillon, which is the equivalent of this English name. "Morgenstern" appears to be the term to use, for this weapon is mainly of continental use. [snip]


So morning star = morgenstern = holy water sprinkler. It's a spiked weighted head on a stick, often (not always) with a spike on the top.

A flail may or may not have spikes and is a different animal. The term "morning star flail" seems to be an attempt to subdivide spiked flails from those with flanged parts or simple balls on the end of the chain.

Maces can be flanged, ball-like, or studded. Since the dividing line between studs and spikes is blurry, there can be confusion between maces and morgensterns.

Happy

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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Stone's Glossary (which uses Holy Water Sprinkler and Morningstar as synonyms) defines them this way: "A shafted weapon with an enlarged head of wood or iron studded with spikes."


Hi Chad,
technically you are perfectly right with this definition... And now comes the "but". In germany almost no one uses the term flail (germ. "Flegel") in common language for the spiked ball on a chain. "Morgenstern" is used for both weapons nowadays. I would go as far as to bet, that most people understand "Morgenstern" to be the flail like variant. An online source I've found even states, that the error to confuse those two weapons could have been made as early as the beginning of the 14th century. To be frank, I thought until today, the right name for the flail was Morgenstern and all mace weapons without chains were "Streitkolben". So, well, another thing learned today, but I think i'll call the flail further on a Morgenstern. Happy

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James Head





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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: mace         Reply with quote

Sander Alsters wrote:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxZ8iFtSvss&am...ata_player



NOOOO!!!!!

So.... Bad.....

By the way, we haven't even got into the topic of whether the entire 'ball-n-chain' weapon might have been invented as recently as the 19th century, in which case calling it a Morgenstern in German would still only be a relatively modern invention.
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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi James,

this would be hilarious! Happy Well, Hans Talhoffer (* ca. 1420; † ca. 1490) obviously knew the handy flail with spikes. It's not a ball, but spikey enought for my tastes. Have a look:

Best wishes,
Thomas



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Morgenstern.jpg


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James Head





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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Thomas.

The weapon in the lower right hand corner is most definitely a two handed 'war flail' like what the Hussites and other peasant armies used.

First, and most importantly, none of the objects illustrated on this page of Talhoffer's 'Thott' manuscript are anywhere close to being to scale. You have very large weapons placed next to much smaller hooks and hinges and straps etc...

Taking a closer look at the war flail, you can see a roundel located down by the lower third of the weapon's handle, which is a method of hand protection consistent with other pole weapons of the time. Also, the flail head is the same shape and size as other two handed flails (just look at Paulus Hector Mair and Jakob Sutor). FInally (and this is the best evidence that you are looking at a big weapon) there is only ONE free chain link connecting the head to the staff. This short style of band creates a powerful snapping motion, nothing like the long wavy chains of the single handed version (which I don't think existed at this time anyhow).

P.S. The object on the left hand side is a little more mysterious, but I'm pretty confident it some type of scourge or cat-o-nine tails: leather thongs with nasty thorns woven into the ends.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In German, the spiked ball-and-chain weapon is distinguished from the morgenstern (club) by the addition of "ketten"--i.e., "kettenmorgernstern". So, although it's correct to call both "morgenstern," there's a huge difference in their use so it's helpful to be specific.
-Sean

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