The Medieval Arming Sword was considered the most popular secondary sword in the 15th century due to being lighter, shorter, but still deadly (Willis). With the increasing popularity of longswords and greatswords in the late 14th century to early 15th century, most knights wielded two blades (a longsword or greatsword paired with a Medieval Arming Sword) (Medieval Swords). The reason why it is called the Medieval Arming Sword is that once you lose your larger sword or if you end up in a situation where you can’t freely swing your longsword or greatsword, you would arm your secondary sword (in this case, it would be the Medieval Arming Sword) (Willis). It was believed the first locations these Medieval Arming Swords originated from was modern-day Belgium (Willis).
The length of the sword was typically 30-35 inches (where 4-5 inches is the hilt size and the rest being the blade size) (Willis). The Medieval Arming Sword weighed between 2-4 pounds and the width of the sword was 2-2.5 inches (Willis). With the style of this blade, it allowed for easier, swifter, and more accurate blows. This also allowed users to dodge and evade blows from enemies wielding large, double-handed weapons (Medieval Arming Sword). In the picture, it shows how smaller it is compared to the previous Crusader Sword in the past blog post.
With the smaller length of the blade and how it was lighter than regular broadswords, women favored the Medieval Arming Sword (Stock 56). Most of these swords were hidden in a women’s leg armament strap so they could assassinate or kick people out from bars and taverns (Stock 57). With the hilt being a perfect size (sample hilt in the picture) and weight to move around in, it made women effective warriors back in the 15th century. It was reported that some women were trained to use swords and weapons during the 12th century (Stock 56). With the rise of women during these centuries, some even armed themselves in armor and became knights while hiding their identity has a woman (Stock 61). The Medieval Arming Sword in the picture is also a common sword found in Amazon warrior depictions and art (Stock 63).
Willis, Wil. “Medieval Arming Sword.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 20 July 2015, www.history.com/shows/forged-in-fire/season-1/episode-5.
Stock, Lorraine Kochanske. “’Arms and the (Wo)Man’ in Medieval Romance: The Gendered Arming of Female Warriors in the ‘Roman D’Eneas’ and Heldris’s ‘Roman De Silence.’” Arthuriana, vol. 5, no. 4, 1995, pp. 56–83. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27869148.
“Medieval Swords.” Life in the Middle Ages, Lords and Ladies, www.lordsandladies.org/medieval-swords.htm.
“Medieval Arming Sword and Falchion.” All-Gauge Model Railroading Page, Milihistriot Quarterly, http://www.thortrains.com/getright/drillmedarmsword1.html.