There were a variety of maces in the Middle Ages. They differed in shape of the head (Studded Mace, Flanged Mace, Indian Shishpar), in metals used (wood, copper, bronze, iron), and in length (cavalry usually had longer maces) all of which would determine the final mace weight.
Most of its weight is concentrated at the end, which made this Medieval Weapon rather unbalanced and hard to master. But it was still popular weapon as it was cheap and easy to produce.
They were mainly used by the cavalry and knights as it was very effective against armored opponents (much more effective than bladed weapons like sword or dagger, as these could not make much harm on the Medieval Armor). A strong blow from a mace could penetrate even thick armor.
Various maces weighted differently, but usually they were around 1kg – 1.5kg. A two-handed sword like longsword could weigh even more than that, so Medieval Mace did not weigh that much when you think about it. During battle, they were used in one hand, but bigger and heavier two-handed maces were also available in the Medieval Times.
During the Medieval Times, paper currency was not yet minted, so all existing money was made of different metals (copper, silver and gold). So basically, all money and currency in the Medieval Ages was different coins.
Coins value depend on what kind of metal it was made of, its size and weight. The most valuable coins were made of gold, more common and not as valuable were silver and the lowest value coins were made of copper.
There were many different coins, each of which had different designs, weights, inscriptions, and the purity of the metals varied greatly also. Every coin had two sides – obverse and reverse. Obverse means the front face of the object and this is the side on with the rulers face or name. Whereas reverse means the back face and was usually marked with the mint signature.
1. Kings face profile or portrait
2. King’s name and title
1. Mint data
2. Kingdom coat of arms
3. King family coat of arms
Photos © coinsfolder.com
Many pagan cultures played a very important role in Christmas celebrations from Medieval Europe until December 25, 2008. Their rituals may have been reworked and glossed to fit our present day interpretation of the holiday, but the fact remains that the Vikings, Romans, Anglo-Saxons and other ancient cultures played a very significant role in the Christian celebration.
The Romans which are so influential in anything of any consequence in the Medieval and post Roman occupation of the European world also put their stamp on the Christian holiday. In Rome pagans celebrated three important Roman festivals, Saturnalia (December 17-23), the Kalends (January 1-5), and Dues Sol Invictus, which we celebrate as the twelve nights of Christmas. This celebration to the sun was December 25. The citizens would light bonfires, decorate buildings with evergreens as encouragement for the sun to return.
If the Vikings had seen pictures of Santa Claus cruising the skies in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, they probably would have assumed he was catching a ride with Thor, the Norse god of thunder. According to Viking traditions, Thor’s personal transport was a flying wagon pulled by a team of horned goats. The ancient Viking god, Odin, also brought gifts to good little Viking boys and girls.
The Roman Church designated December 25 as the date of the birth of Christ in the fourth century. Some early Christians did not celebrate Christmas, because they felt that the celebration had too many pagan practices. In Roman occupied England the Catholic church banned mumming (masquerades) and wassailing (Anglo-Saxon for good health) as pagan practices, but the common people still celebrated with enthusiasm. When the Vikings invaded, they would reinvigorate pagan practices. In the rural areas pagan traditions remained very strong. When the Roman troops were recalled in the fifth century, it was very common that Thor and Christ were worshipped side by side.
A Falchion is a sword of European origin, handled by one hand, whose design is somewhat similar to the Persian Scimitar or the Chinese Dao.
The weapon combined the weight and power of an Axe with the versatility of a simple sword. Falchions are found in different forms throughout the 11th-16th centuries. In some versions the Falchion looks more like the Seax or the Sabre, and in other versions the shape is irregular and looks more like a Machete.
While some suggest that the meeting with the Islamic Shamshir inspired its creation, these “scimitars” of Persia were only developed many years after the Falchion. Falchion almost always had a single edge with a slight curve on the blade towards the point on the end. As the tip of the falchion had more weight near the end, it was more effective in sharp attacks as an Axe or Hatchet, but also made it slower to be wielded as a sword.
Crossbows were already known in ancient China but, apparently, were invented again in Europe around the 5th century BC. They had good range and were more powerful that most of the bows, although it took much longer for them to load. A crossbowman could shoot an average of two arrows per minute.
Crossbow bow is held horizontally and fired by a trigger that released the taut rope. To load it, a soldier would hold the front of the weapon to the ground, holding it with your foot. He then could pull the rope up and back with both hands or with the help of a crank. Crossbows fired bolts or linear arrows, which were much shorter than the typical arrows. The arrows had feathers to provide stability in flight and a sharp metal tip.
The archers used to carry a few large shields to protect themselves while they crouched to reload their weapons. Thus they formed a wall that protected them. When they were shooting, were only visible their crossbows and their heads with helmets. If they had to fight a similar force of long-range archers, usually they were forced to retreat.
The crossbow was a deadly and very popular weapon for the simple reason that almost no training needed to handle it. Soldiers with little experience could learn its management very quickly, and a well-aimed shot could kill a gentleman who had spent entire life training in the arts of war. Crossbows were considered unfair in some circles (in the Knights, mainly) because a little skill required. Richard I of England, Lionheart, was wounded twice by crossbow, the second with fatal consequences. The idea that a man of his greatness was mortally wounded as easily by a common soldier, was unbearable for the nobility. In the 12th century, a Pope tried to prohibit the use of crossbows as inhumane.