Medieval Knives Design and History – Patrick Luo Final Project Blog 4

Knives (or daggers) played a huge role during the medieval era since it is the last resort weapon for every knight and warrior (Dandridge 145). The first knife was created during the prehistoric era and has constantly evolved since then. The first metal knife was made during the Bronze Age (3000 BC – 1200 BC) in present-day Norway (Dandridge 148). Knives were also assumed to be used to cut off fingers, ears, heads, or toes of tough opponents to keep as spoils of wars or turn in bounties. The knives were made with stronger hilts compared to other swords and a secure pommel (Dandridge 148). The daggers were also strong enough to stab through chainmail (Medieval).

AWSS35953_35953_31694265.jpg

Queste del Saint Graal  (Post-Vulgate cycle), Mort Artu , fol.28v .. ca. 1380-1400.. Artstor, library.artstor.org/asset/AWSS35953_35953_31694265

In the picture, King Arthur’s Round Knight Perceval is shown sleeping on the shoulder of a lion. It shows his knife on his side on the bottom right corner. This painting was created during the late 14th century and symbolizes after a grueling battle, you can always rely on your knife. In the painting, there is a second panel where it shows his dream of him combating a dragon rider and a lion rider with his dagger. This shows that noble knights are willing to fight to the end even if their blades and shields are destroyed. With a knife, it can be used to win the hardest battles and collect spoils of wars.

Knives can also be seen as a dangerous weapon if you have it as a hand. During an excavation of 1985, there was a corpse of a man who had a missing hand but a dagger in its place (Frost). It was suspected that a knight lost his hand during battle through an amputation and used a dagger as a prosthetic hand. It was also suspected he lost his hand through capital punishment (Frost). However, it is known to be an intimidating weapon when you get into bar-fights or small-town skirmishes (Frost).

Knives come in varying sizes and shapes. They could either be double-edged or single-edged, curved or straight, short or long, and more (Dandridge 148). But it can be assumed that most daggers used for battle can be about the size of your forearm (Medieval).

Works Cited

Primary Source:

Dandridge, Pete, and Mark T. Wypyski. “Sword and Dagger Pommels Associated with the Crusades, Part II: A Technical Study.” Metropolitan Museum Journal, vol. 46, no. 1, 2011, pp. 145–152. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668456.

Secondary Source:

Frost, Natasha. “This Medieval Skeleton Has a Knife for a Hand.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 17 Apr. 2018, www.history.com/news/knife-hand-skeleton-prosthetic-discovery-italy.

Queste del Saint Graal  (Post-Vulgate cycle), Mort Artu , fol.28v .. ca. 1380-1400.. Artstor, library.artstor.org/asset/AWSS35953_35953_31694265

“Medieval Poniard and Dagger.” All-Gauge Model Railroading Page, Milihistriot Quarterly, http://www.thortrains.com/getright/drillmedagger1.htm

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