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Rondel daggers

Rondel daggers

A rondel daggerwas a type of stiff-bladed dagger in Europe in the late Middle Ages (from the 14th century onwards), used by a variety of people from merchants to knights. It was worn at the waist and might be used as a utility tool, or worn into battle or a jousting tournament as a side-arm.

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Rondel daggers

Rondel dagger

In a scene from a miniature by Girat de Roussillon depicting the construction of twelve churches in France (c. 1448), merchants and tradesmen can be seen wearing rondel daggers at their waists. Before the 15th century, daggers were actually a peasant's weapon. However, in the 15th century they became the standard side-arm for knights, and would have been carried into battles such as the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. They were a knight's backup weapon to be used in hand to hand fighting, and as such one of their last lines of defence. Since they were able to penetrate a suit of armour (at the joints, or through the visor of the helmet), rondel daggers could be used to force an unseated or wounded knight to surrender, for a knight might fetch a good ransom. Daggers may also have been thrown at unseated enemy knights to force them to engage in battle, though a mace was perhaps better suited to this task.

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