Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > What is your definition of a medieval arming sword? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Sam Arwas




Location: Australia
Joined: 02 Dec 2015

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: What is your definition of a medieval arming sword?         Reply with quote

There doesn't seem to be a general consensus on what an arming sword is on these forums (or anywhere else for that matter). Some people will call any kind of medieval one handed sword an arming sword while others have there own varying criteria .

I personally see this term as refering to one-handed lenticular section swords from the High Middle Ages, Group One in Oakeshott's classification system (types x to xiv) with the possible exclusion of parent type x, type xiia and type xiiia.

I would find it helpful to get a sense of what other people consider the term to mean to reduce somewhat of the confusion when discussing these types of sword because they are the ones I am most interested in and will spend the most time discussing.
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Honestly I don't think there can ever be anything like solid definitions for these terms. Most often the OG's seem to have referred to their weapon as "sword" in their native language regardless of its specific configuration and if it was something exotic chances are they called it "sword" in a foreign language. When occasionally there is a more precise term than "sword" chances are it has multiple meanings depending on era and context. Consider the word "longsword" for instance. A subset of modern enthusiasts are pushing to try and make "longsword" mean a sword that can be used in two hands but is on the smaller end of that spectrum whereas the only actual historical definition for that term that I can find comes from Andre Paurnfeyndt and makes it clear that *any* sword in two hands is a longsword, from the reitschwert up to the schlachtschwert. Coincidentally "reitschwert" meanings "riding sword" which is often used nowadays to refer to single handed sword with a short blade, never a 4 foot long XVIIIb as a 15th/16th century German swordsman would have understood it. Even then I understand that the word "longsword" was first applied to long single-handed swords before extended grips were a thing and probably has something to do with the old Roman system with the spatha(and its derivatives) being the long sword and the gladius(and its derivatives) being the short sword. By the 15th century "short sword" comes to mean wielding your sword with one hand on the grip and the other on the blade. That's how it goes.

Sooo... the best I would try to do with "arming sword," which is a term I do use for convenience, is "a full sized(greater than 30" blade) single-handed, double-edged sword of a type used during the 11th through 15th centuries."
View user's profile Send private message
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,136

PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think that names such as "arming sword" are particularly useful. I would just call it a sword, and if further classification is required, just use Oakeshott's typology.
Éirinn go Brách
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alan E




Location: UK
Joined: 21 Jan 2016

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Arming sword" = the sword I habitually put on when I arm up.

"Long sword" = the longest sword I have.

"Short sword" = the shortest sword I have.

That's about the sum of the way the words seem to have been used AFAICT.

Member of Exiles Medieval Martial Arts.
Currently teaching Fiore's art in Ceredigion
View user's profile Send private message
Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 600

PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second Alan's comment.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,216

PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a reenactor, I call my 2 reenactment swords longsword and single handed sword (Single handed is one word in Croatian so it's easier to use. Happy ) only when there is a chance someone will not know which sword of the two I'm talking about. For example if I tell my squire to bring me my sword, if I want specifically longsword or single handed one, I will tell him so. If it's not really important which sword I'm talking about, I just call them "sword". I suppose that was the way back then too. Big Grin
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > What is your definition of a medieval arming sword?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum