Morning stars

The term, morning star, is used to describe medieval club-like weapons which included one or more spikes. Each used, to varying degrees, a combination of blunt-force and puncture attack to kill or wound the enemy.


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Morning star weapon

The morning star is a medieval weapon consisting of a spiked club resembling a mace, usually with a long spike extending straight from the top and many smaller spikes around the particle of the head. The spikes distinguish it from a mace, which can have, at most, flanges or small knobs. It was used by both infantry and cavalry; the horseman's weapon had a shorter shaft. The mace, a traditional knightly weapon, developed somewhat independently, became all-metal with heads of various forms, while the morning star retained its characteristic spikes, with a usually wooden shaft, often found in longer two-handed forms measuring up to six feet or more, was popular among troops. The morning star first came into widespread use around the beginning of the fourteenth century, particularly in Germany where it was known as Morgenstern. The term is often conflated with the military flail which consists of a wooden shaft joined by a length of chain to one or more iron balls or an iron shod wooden bar, in either case with or without spikes. However, there are few depictions of such a ball-and-chain flail from the period, so the weapon of this type appears to have been uncommon.

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