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A sword is a bladed weapon (edged weapon) used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration.
In the most narrow sense, a sword consists of a straight blade with two edges and a hilt. However, in some cases the term may also refer to weapons with a single edge (backsword).
The word sword comes from the Old English sweord, cognate to Old High German swert, Old Norse sverð, from a Proto-Indo-European root *swer- "to wound, to cut". Non-European weapons called "sword" include single-edged weapons such as the Middle Eastern saif, the Chinese dao and the related Japanese katana. The Chinese jian is an example of a non-European double-edged sword, like the European models derived from the double-edged Iron Age sword.
Historically, the sword developed in the Bronze Age, evolving from the dagger; the earliest specimens date to ca. 1600 BC. The Iron Age sword remained fairly short and without a crossguard. The spatha as it developed in the Late Roman army became the predecessor of the European sword of the Middle Ages, at first adopted as the Migration period sword, and only in the High Middle Ages developed into the classical arming sword with crossguard.
The use of a sword is known as swordsmanship or (in an early modern or modern context) as fencing. In the Early Modern period, the sword developed into the rapier and eventually the smallsword, surviving into the 18th century only in the role of dueling weapon. By the 19th century, swords were reduced to the status of either ceremonial weapon or sport equipment in modern fencing.
The sword is said to be the emblem of military honor and should incite the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue. It is symbolic of liberty and strength. In the Middle Ages, the sword was often used as a symbol of the word of God. The names given to many swords in mythology, literature, and history reflect the high prestige of the weapon and the wealth of the owner.
Source and more information en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword
A halberd (also called halbard, halbert or Swiss voulge) is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries. Possibly the word halberd comes from the German words Halm (staff), and Barte (axe) - in modern-day German, the weapon is called Hellebarde. The halberd consists of an axe blade topped with a spike mounted on a long shaft. It always has a hook or thorn on the back side of the axe blade for grappling mounted combatants. It is very similar to certain forms of the voulge in design and usage. The halberd was 1.5 to 1.8 metres (5 to 6 feet) long.
The halberd was cheap to produce and very versatile in battle. As the halberd was eventually refined, its point was more fully developed to allow it to better deal with spears and pikes (also able to push back approaching horsemen), as was the hook opposite the axe head, which could be used to pull horsemen to the ground.
Additionally, halberds were reinforced with metal rims over the shaft, thus making effective weapons for blocking other weapons like swords. This capability increased its effectiveness in battle, and expert halberdiers were as deadly as any other weapon masters. A halberd in the hands of a Swiss peasant was the weapon which killed the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, decisively ending the Burgundian Wars, literally in a single stroke.
The halberd was the primary weapon of the early Swiss armies in the 14th and early 15th centuries. Later on, the Swiss added the pike to better repel knightly attacks and roll over enemy infantry formations, with the halberd, hand-and-a-half sword, or the dagger known as the Schweizerdolch being used for closer combat. The German Landsknechte, who imitated Swiss warfare methods, also used the pike, supplemented by the halberd, but their side arm of choice was the short sword known as the Katzbalger.
As long as pikemen fought other pikemen, the halberd remained a useful supplemental weapon for "push of pike", but when their position became more defensive, to protect the slow-loading arquebusiers and matchlock musketeers from sudden attacks by cavalry, the percentage of halberdiers in the pike units steadily decreased, until the halberd all but disappeared from these formations as a rank-and-file weapon by the middle of the sixteenth century.
The halberd has been used as a court bodyguard weapon for centuries, and is still the ceremonial weapon of the Swiss Guard in the Vatican. The halberd was one of the polearms sometimes carried by lower-ranking officers in European infantry units in the 16th through 18th centuries.
Source and more information en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halberd
A dagger is a fighting knife with a sharp point designed or capable of being used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon. The design dates to human prehistory, and daggers have been used throughout human experience to the modern day in close combat confrontations. Many ancient cultures used adorned daggers in ritual and ceremonial purposes, a trend which continues to the present time in the form of art knives. The distinctive shape and historic usage of the dagger have made it iconic and symbolic.
Over the years, the term 'dagger' has been used to describe a wide variety of thrusting knives, including knives that feature only a single cutting edge, such as the European rondel dagger or the Persian pesh-kabz, or, in some instances, no cutting edge at all, such as the stiletto of the Renaissance. However, over the last hundred years or so, authorities have recognized that the dagger, in its contemporary or mature form, has come to incorporate certain definable characteristics, including a short blade with a sharply-tapered point, a central spine or fuller, and (usually) two cutting edges sharpened the full length of the blade, or nearly so. Most daggers also feature a full crossguard to keep the hand from riding forwards onto the sharpened blade edges. Another distinctive feature of the modern dagger is that it is designed to position the blade horizontally when using a conventional palm grip, enabling the user to slash right or left as well as thrust the blade between an opponent's ribs. The twin full-length edges enable the user to make broad slashes (cuts) using either a forehand or backhand arm movement, while the sharp, acutely-pointed tip makes the knife an effective thrusting or stabbing weapon. This versatility distinguishes the modern dagger from more specialized thrusting knives, such as the stiletto.
Source and more information en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagger
The axe, or ax, is an implement that has been used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood; to harvest timber; as a weapon; and as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. The axe has many forms and specialized uses but generally consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve.
The earliest examples of axes have heads of stone with some form of wooden handle attached (hafted) in a method to suit the available materials and use. Axes made of copper, bronze, iron, steel appeared as these technologies developed.
The axe is an example of a simple machine, as it is a type of wedge, or dual inclined plane. This reduces the effort needed by the wood chopper. It splits the wood into two parts by the pressure concentration at the blade. The handle of the axe also acts as a lever allowing the user to increase the force at the cutting edge—not using the full length of the handle is known as choking the axe. For fine chopping using a side axe this sometimes is a positive effect, but for felling with a double bitted axe it reduces efficiency.
Generally, cutting axes have a shallow wedge angle, whereas splitting axes have a deeper angle. Most axes are double bevelled, i.e. symmetrical about the axis of the blade, but some specialist broadaxes have a single bevel blade, and usually an offset handle that allows them to be used for finishing work without putting the user's knuckles at risk of injury. Less common today, they were once an integral part of a joiner and carpenter's tool kit, not just a tool for use in forestry. A tool of similar origin is the billhook. However in France and Holland the billhook often replaced the axe as a joiner's bench tool.
Most modern axes have steel heads and wooden handles, typically hickory in the US and ash in Europe, although plastic or fibreglass handles are also common. Modern axes are specialized by use, size and form. Hafted axes with short handles designed for use with one hand are often called hand axes but the term hand axe refers to axes without handles as well. Hatchets tend to be small hafted axes often with a hammer on the back side ( the poll). As easy to make weapons, axes have frequently been used in combat.
Axes as weapons
Source and more information en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axe
A shield is a type of personal armor, meant to intercept attacks, either by stopping projectiles such as arrows or redirecting a hit from a sword, mace or battle axe to the side of the shield-bearer.
Shields vary greatly in size, ranging from large panels that protect the user's entire body to small models (such as the buckler) that were intended for hand-to-hand-combat use. Shields also vary a great deal in thickness; whereas some shields were made of relatively deep, absorbent, wooden planking to protect soldiers from the impact of spears and crossbow bolts, others were thinner and lighter and designed mainly for deflecting blade strikes.
In prehistory and during the era of the earliest civilizations, shields were made of wood, animal hide, woven reeds or wicker. In classical antiquity, the Migration Period and the Middle Ages, they were normally constructed of poplar, lime or another split-resistant timber—covered in some instances with leather and/or reinforced with a metal boss, rim or banding—and carried by foot soldiers, knights and cavalry.
Shape wise, depending on time and place, shields could be round, oval, square, rectangular, triangular or scalloped. Sometimes they took on the form of kites, flatirons or figures-of-eight, or had rounded tops on a rectangular base with perhaps an eyehole inserted. The shield was held by a central grip or by straps which went over or around the user's arm
Often shields were decorated with a painted pattern or an animal representation and these designs developed into systematized heraldic devices during high-medieval times for purposes of battlefield identification. Even after the introduction of gunpowder and firearms to the battlefield, shields continued to be used by certain groups. In the 18th century, for example, Scottish Highland fighters liked to wield small shields (known as a targe), and as late as the 19th century, some non-industrialized peoples employed them (such as Zulu warriors) when waging war.
In the 20th and 21st century, shields have been used by military and police units that specialize in anti-terrorist actions, hostage rescue, riot control and siege-breaking. The modern term usually refers to a device that is held in the hand or attached to the arm, as opposed to an armored suit or a bullet-proof vest.
Source and more information en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shield