The Greatsword of the medieval period was a gigantic sword with an expansive blade and endowed with two sharp cutting edges. It was was built to cut enemies rather than simply stab them.
It was one of the favourite weapons of the medieval knights. During the Middle Ages, all the weapons, armoury and horses of these knights were very costly. Every knight had superior war weapons and armoury when compared to ordinary soldiers. It was one of the finest weapons used during the Middle Ages by the knights and soldiers.
Some important details and information
- It was a big two-handed sword of medieval times.
- The two-edged piercing blades were two or three inches in width at the base or the end
How long were Greatswords?
It was around 50 to 72 inches in total length. The beautiful handle of the Greatsword was 20 to 21 inches in length.
- The big extended handle helped the knights to hold it in both hands
How big, heavy is a greatsword?
It weighed almost six to ten pounds.
- It was a huge weapon and built to be used as a sword kept in close contact to strike tough blows at the enemies
- It easily sliced through opponent bodies, it was specifically used to cut enemy head or limbs in one clean stroke
- It came under the category of ‘Cutting Weapon’
Greatsword Training Sessions
During the Knights training lessons, the Greatsword was used to practice skills and warfare techniques. Those were turbulent times when there were continuous wars and battles. Therefore, ammunition and weapons played a major role in the medieval life. The training sessions were tedious and time-consuming. In order to become great and skilled swordsmen, proper training was very necessary.
Good agility and handling skills were essential to use such medieval weapons. The knights also had to be strong and muscular to be able to bear the weight of the Great sword with ease. A medieval knight, from the tender age of seven, was trained as a Page until he reached fourteen years of age.
For training with the sword, expansive pockets of lands were assigned to the knights, these places were known as Pell. This special Pell training aided the knights to master all the difficult strokes and vicious moves during the practice.
The Pell training further allowed the soldiers to manoeuvre the Greatsword and do the moves that involved thrusting, slicing and cutting without actually injuring the opponent with whom they practiced.
Different Types of Greatswords
Some of the popular medieval period great swords included the Heartsbane and the Brightroar; these swords were made from Valyrian Steel. Greatsword usually required two powerful hands to wield and spar. It is one of the largest kinds of swords used in the medieval period, very much longer, stronger and heavier than a Longsword or a Bastard Sword.
Most Great Swords were two-handed and a major infantry weapon, very popular during the 15th and the 16th centuries. It was not very heavy if one knew how to handle them in a proper manner. It was unmistakably a lethal weapon when in the hands of expert Knights. The fifteenth century Great Swords had classic features like broad cruciform hilt, side rings (especially on the quillon block).
Historians suggest that during the 16th century, the armies that actually used Greatswords were limited to a few. When in comparison with modern weapons of the sixteenth century such as the Pike or Halberd, it did not play a great role during war times.
And when soldiers and knights found more lightweight and stronger swords, during the second half of the sixteenth century, the two-hander Greatswords altogether disappeared from battle scenes. These heavy ornamental swords were then used as a ceremonial weapon and also presented to men who guarded the castles and fortresses.
Showcased at Museums & Art Galleries
These once-popular and battle ready swords were collected by historians across the world to be studied and showcased in reputed art galleries and museums. Some collectors even produced similar swords like the medieval ones to sell them at good prices.
Greatswords were very much related to Longswords of the medieval period. The perfect Greatsword was made during the period of Renaissance and they were smaller than the earlier outsized version specimens such as the Scottish Claymore, Zweihander, and Kreigmesser, among many others.
Swords in some modern Xbox and other games
In modern times, Elden Ring is an action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. These are some popular ones
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