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  • Medieval Weapon – The flail

    Posted on June 10th, 2009 admin No comments

    The term "flail" is derived from the Latin word "flagellum" but its meaning translates as a whip or scourge as from the Vulgate. Flail in German is "flegel", Dutch it is "vlegel," and in French it is "fleu"–all terms refer to a hand used tool meant to thresh corn. The most common use of the term flail, however, is in reference to a battle weapon. The most common use of the term flail, however, is in reference to a battle weapon. The weapon originated from an early fighting technique that used a club. In Northern Europe, a flail was a threshing tool that was in widespread use and remained the primary way to thresh grain until 1860. In Japan, the tool had been around since antiquity and was most likely used along with a stripper–a large comb-like instrument with upright hard wood teeth. Once straw had been harvested, it was combed through starting at the bottom of the stalks so the tops were removed, the tops would later be threshed by a flail on the threshing floor. Read the rest of this entry »

  • The Medieval Mace

    Posted on June 9th, 2009 admin 2 comments

    The mace was one of the most damaging medieval weapons. It could slam through body armor without much effort.  Made of steel, iron or latten, the mace was tough to match in strength and destruction.  Phillip II of France had his bodyguards, the sergeants-at-arms, use them for his protection.

    Around the beginning of the 14th century the mace began having more intricate traits.  Since it was used as a protection weapon to the king, the mace was often adorned in precious metals and sometimes gems.  Maces made of silver also became common towards the end of the 14th Century.

    Maces in the 15th century began to change design slightly.  The head (destructive part) of the mace was attached to a metal or wood shaft, which varied in length depending upon what type of soldier the mace was used for. This shaft often had the royal family crest embellished on it to easily identify for whom a soldier was fighting.  The head had small buttons, or flanges attached to it to cause more harm and damage to enemies.  These destructive buttons were eventually replaced with ornaments or jewels more for show than use in battle.

    The mace’s shaft held a practical use as a scroll bracket in the 17th century.  The weapon became smaller and more intricate around this time.  Scroll brackets were placed on either end of the shaft and the head became smaller.  Maces are still used today in ceremonial ways rather than in battle.

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