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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2016 11:09 pm    Post subject: Spear butt question         Reply with quote

When I was studying the bas-de-page miniatures in Bodleian MS.264's Romance of Alexander, I noticed several pages with paired spearmen. They all seem to have two different styles of spear butts, one pointed, and the other forked, with two or three tines. Does anyone have any suggestions why these two styles would be paired? Perhaps it's a storage issue, or to facilitate different grips within a line depending on ranks within the formation?
http://image.ox.ac.uk/images/bodleian/ms.bodl.264/196v.jpg
http://image.ox.ac.uk/images/bodleian/ms.bodl.264/197v.jpg



 Attachment: 81.5 KB
MS Bodl. 264 fo197v-sm.jpg
MS Bodl. 264, fo.197v

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui


Last edited by Mart Shearer on Mon 08 Feb, 2016 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the shape of the butts are more likely attributable to some martial purpose. The three spike butt looks like an early form of partisan. I would suggest that it would be quite potent against an opponent who was unarmoured, and perhaps reasonably effective against mail. The twin tines look as though they could be used as to likewise stab, and possibly as function as a means to bind against other polearms. I'm not sure that the pairings have any significance otherwise.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2016 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both versions could be useful both for attack and for stick the butt into the ground in anticipation of cavalry charge.
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