Weapons in 1302

The next pages show a few typical weapons for the time frame around the Battle of Courtrai. It is not my intention to give a complete oversight of all possible used weapons. I merely will show some specific examples, typical for the period and therefore interesting enough to have a closer look on them.

Sources

Museums and private collections have very little weapons dating before 1350. Just a few swords, helmets and spearheads are left to us in their original condition. The most important sources of information are accounts of weapon deliveries from that time, descriptions of battles and voyages, miniatures, sculptures and other works of art. Also archaeological excavations sometimes prove to be a useful source to reconstruct a specific weapon.

Reconstructions

Our hobby makes us to reconstruct as authentically as possible things from the year 1302. This means that we try to use original materials and techniques when reconstructing weapons. Materials as wood, wrought iron, horn and flax rope are irreplaceable and luckily not too hard to find. Plastics and other artificial substances are out of the question of course.

Techniques are a bit more of a problem. Making your own sword as a smith is not everybody's cup of tea, but luckily there are still a few modern armourers who can offer solutions. Most other crafts are at least tried out by ourselves. Making a goedendag for instance just asks the work of a smith for the pin. We can finish all the rest of the weapon. And that was one of the reasons why the weapon was so successful: very simple and very cheap to manufacture. A weapon doesn't have to be expensive and far sought to be effective.

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Copyright on text, images and photos by Joris de Sutter, unless noted otherwise.
This information is provided by De Liebaart and was last updated on March 30th 2001.