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Knight swords

Knight swords

The knight sword is the single handed cruciform sword of the High Middle Ages, in common use between ca. 1000 and 1350, possibly remaining in rare use into the 16th century. Knight swords correspond to Oakeshott types XI, XII and XIII. They are generally considered to be descendant from the swords of the migration period and Vikings, generally referred to as spatha from the Latin. A combination of the Oakeshott and Peterson Typologies shows a chronological progression from the Viking sword to a "transitional sword", type X, which incorporated elements of both Viking and arming swords. This "transitional sword" continued to evolve into to the presently defined arming sword.

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Knight swords

Knight swords

These knight swordsstand in contrast to what Oakeshott calls the 'great swords' in reference to their longer and broader blades, and calls the hand-and-half swords in reference to their longer grip, namely the subtypes XIIa and XIIIa that were in use simultaneously with the arming swords in the latter part of the High Middle Ages, ca. 1250-1350.

Typically used with a shield or buckler, the knight sword was the standard military sword of the knight (merely called a "war sword", an ambiguous title given to many types of swords carried for battle) until technological changes led to the rise of the longsword in the late 13th century. The knight sword was overall a light, versatile weapon capable of both cut and thrust combat; and normally boasts excellent balance. Although a variety of designs fall under the heading of 'knight sword', they are most commonly recognized as single-handed double-edged swords that were designed more for cutting than thrusting.

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