Strange Weapons of the Middle Ages, Worldwide

This blog cannot be complete without at least one post detailing a list of strange weapons many people never knew were used in earlier times.

The first I will discuss is the Urumi.

Urumi

urumi

     Take a long look at this whip. Does something look rather odd about it? How about the handle that looks like a sword hilt? That’s because this whip, the urumi, is actually a sword!  This sword originates from India. The urumi could have one or multiple band blades attached to the hilt of the sword. Each blade would have been forged into very thin bands with very little blade width so the blades could be wrapped into a tight coil and used as a whip. These blades were sharp enough to slice! If you think this blade looks dangerous, you’d be right! This blade posed serious danger to both enemy and wielder. Often times, the wielder had to always keep the urumi blades swinging in circular motions in order to avoid cutting himself.

urumi-battle

 

     The next weapon in the spotlight is the Roman Scissor.

Scissor

Casreports-weirdweapons-15

     It seems as though the gladiatorial scissor is a weapon surrounded by speculation. Either way, the speculations seem to say that the scissor consisted of a hardened steel tube which covered the entire forearm, allowing the wearer to block and parry attacks with the forearm. The scissor then ended in the blade seen in the picture which is said to have been sharp enough to inflict serious woulds by just the slightest scathing blows.

200px-Scissor_01

 

Next up on my list is the Chinese Zhua!

Zhua

Zhua

     I could find no photos of any reproductions of this odd weapon. It is known as the Zhua, or literally, “The Claw.” It was a rod that ended with a metal hand which bore sharpened claws. Imagine that tearing in!

 

     Last but not least is the Hungarian Shield!

Hungarian Shield

659px-Jagiellonian_Ms_Germ_Quart_16_(Gladiatoria)_55r_-_Messer_and_Hungarian_shield

     According to this image from a German fencing manuscript known as the “Gladiatoria Fechtbuch,” the Hungarian shield was a small shield which attached to the forearm, protecting it from saber cuts, but it also had a slim steel point also used for offense. I have actually really considered making one of these and I still may!

hungarian shield

 

     Well folks, that’s it for today! I hope you all enjoyed! There will be another installment of strange weapons on another, later date! Until next time!

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2 thoughts on “Strange Weapons of the Middle Ages, Worldwide

    • My understanding is it is always dangerous to both sides, but the user must keep the urumi blades moving in broad, sweeping circles which never come close to the user in order to keep safe. I assume that one could gradually slow it down until it comes to a stop. I read somewhere that modern remakes are made using bandsaw blades. You could probably do that to make a single bladed one but keep it blunt and without a point. I’m sure it would still really hurt to hit yourself with it though.

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