12th Century Roman Weapons Essay

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Which do you prefer, a short sword or a crossbow? A bag of darts or a set of javelins? These were dominate weapons for armies prior to the invention of gunpowder weapons. Many militaries, like the 5th century Roman empire (which had control of England and much more land) and the 12th century British military (not a fully united kingdom) differed in many ways, but also used many of the same weapons and concepts. The changes in tactics and technology between 5th and 12th century lead to the creation and improvement of many weapons, while many weapons stay in the spotlight.

Roman Weapons Although the roman empire was the most dominant military at the time, there weapons did not show their success. The roman empire were master engineers, inventing/
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The first weapon common soldiers would use was a javelin known as a spiculum. Soldiers would carry 1-3 and use there spiculums as a spear while behind a shield wall, or can be throw them before initiating close hand to hand fighting. This allowed them to reliable take out at least one enemy before getting into arm's reach. There next weapon of choice would be a sword, but there were many different kinds. The 2 most popular of these sword were the spatha and the gladius. The gladius was more popular until the mid 5th century when the switch to the spatha started. The gladius was a short sword, a total length of around 2 feet. Its blade just under 1.5 feet, and weighed a total of roughly 2 pounds. It was a double edged sword with a sharp point, allowing for slashing and stabbing. And it was a short/ light sword giving them the advantage while attacking with a shield. The spatha was much different. It was an arming sword, measuring well over a foot longer than the gladius. Much more common among cavalry, this sword gave the advantage of length. But most had rounded tips, losing the ability to stab. This is largely do to cavalry accidentally stabbing there feet while there swords were sheathed. Swords similar to the spatha were very common starting in the 6th century until the invention of the firearm. These were the uniform weapons of the roman

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