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Pilum

The Roman throwing spear, with a small, leaf-shaped head set on a long, thin iron neck riveted to a wooden shaft. The pilum was an anti-shield weapon, meant to stick in enemy shields and weigh them down. The Franks and Saxons adopted it at the angon.

Spear

With the club, perhaps the first human tool designed specifically as a weapon, the spear is simply a long-shafted weapon designed principally for thrusting, although many spears were also capable of slashing blows. As time went on, many various steel spearheads were made.

Glaive

A broad-bladed, single-edged polearm. Essentially an 18” butcher-knife on a 6 - 7’ pole.

Halberd

A weapon that emerged along with the glaive and guisarme, and for the same purpose - to better combat heavy armour. The halberd had a broad, short axe blade on a 5 - 6’ long haft, with a spear point at the top, often a back-spike and occasionally, a butt-spike.

Lance

The quintessential weapon of the man-at-arms. The lance initially began as a long spear (about 9’) but became progressively longer and heavier, it’s late Medieval form being a specialized weapon unsuited to use on foot.

Pike

A long infantry spear used in formation. The pike grew to lengths of 18 feet or more, and really was only affective when used in massed numbers.

Naginata

A Japanese polearm that was taught to the women instead of the sword, although the men also used the weapon. It is very versatile and can be used either on horseback or on foot. A fast and useful weapon with good range and much faster than the European polearms.

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