When you think of medieval times (and I”m not talking about the dinner show), you probably think of plagues, famine, battles and general smelliness. (You wouldn”t be wrong.) Technically, the Middle Ages is another name for the Medieval period, which lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began when the Western Roman Empire collapsed and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery.
There were a lot of scary, brutal things happening back then. You don”t need to search back through history books or Wikipedia to figure that out. All you need to do is look at the brutal weapons people used to use back then:
1. Triple Daggers: Not only did these daggers have three blades, but they were also spring-loaded so they could burst out at a crucial moment during a fight.
2. Trebuchets: Both trebuchets and catapults were used during siege warfare. These weapons were able to launch destructive ammo (rocks, explosives, dead bodies, whatever) at enemies by using counter weights.
3. Sword Breakers: The little “teeth” built into this kind of sword were used by skilled fighters. They would catch their opponents” blades in these slots and hopefully break them by twisting their own sword.
4. Scythe Chariots: Soldiers riding in these chariots would attempt to cut down their foes (literally) by riding past them. The blades attached to the wheels would do more than enough fatal damage.
5. Pikes: Soldiers armed with pikes may look silly, but imagine being skewered upon these sharp lances from 10″ away, unable to attack your foes.
6. Boiling Oil: Throwing boiling oil over battlements or into the fray was a common practice. There isn”t a man alive who isn”t susceptible to boiling hot oil.
7. Morning Stars: These were a kind of mace that featured a ball with razor sharp spikes jutting out of it. It could be attacked to the end of a baton or with a chain.
8. Mancatchers: These were used to literally rip men who were riding horseback. This would not only level the playing field, but it would also most likely very severely injure the rider.
9. Lantern Shields: These shields served multiple purposes. Not only could they block attacks, but they were equipped with blades, spears and serrations. If anyone got close to a soldier with this shield, they were in for a bad time.
10. Hunga Mungas: They may sound silly, but these curved blades with multiple points were not to be trifled with. Blocking an attack would be unpredictable. This kind of blade would even be thrown at the enemy.
11. Gun Shields: These round shields were made so that a gun or similar weapon could be poked through and used during combat.
12. Dead Bodies: During a siege, the invading army could use dead bodies to poison a town”s water supply. This would smoke the people out of the city, encouraging them to fight.
13. Culverin: These were medieval guns, used while on horseback. They were a precursor to the modern cannon and could be used in “ride by” shootings.
14. Caltrops: These spikes could be made from bent nails or other metals. They would be used to slow down the advance of horses, camels, elephants or human troops.
15. Arbalest: These were the ancestor to the modern crossbow. They were much larger and a skilled arbalestier could shoot two bolts per minute. Some believed these weapons to be unfair, since they could strike down a knight or soldier who had a lifetime of training.
No warfare is ever pleasant, but I”m glad you can easily avoid getting boiling hot oil being thrown on you nowadays. That doesn”t seem to be pleasant in any way, shape or form.
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