Post-Roman peace weapons?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  JamesS 4 years ago.

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  • #15983

    Sean Silver
    Participant

    I'm by no means someone focused on military history, but a question I have is in regard to weapons in close quarters during the time of early post-Roman Britain.Jamie discussed that the spears were the most common weapon in Britain after the wane of Roman control (due of course to Roman influence). This would have been effective in long-distance and short range combat (when wielded one-handed with a shield), but what about beyond warfare?In keeping the peace, your usual town or castle guard would probably use the spear, as swords were expensive and time-consuming to craft and likely reserved for the upper echelon. However, in a crowd the spear might be a rather ineffective weapon. Would they have used knives? Research has shown that simple maces have been used since prehistoric times, and even as the technology improved it was still a relatively inexpensive weapon to manufacture. Would that have been an option for your usual castle guard? I haven't found much evidence one way or the other regarding the use of maces.A short sword (as Jamie mentioned last year) might have been an option, but even that I imagine would have used a decent amount of valuable steel.Would anyone have any thoughts or historical evidence they might be able to share?

  • #19406

    JamesS
    Participant

    My thought is: your mace conjecture is spot on. Maces, and to a degree clubs, would have been simple and easy to make/obtain. Especially with the effort that went into making those fantastic, not to be equalled swords, Jamie discussed.However, that's just my thought. I have no evidence and I am currently on pint three at my favorite Indy brewpub.

  • #19407

    Sean Silver
    Participant

    My thought is: your mace conjecture is spot on. Maces, and to a degree clubs, would have been simple and easy to make/obtain. Especially with the effort that went into making those fantastic, not to be equalled swords, Jamie discussed.However, that's just my thought. I have no evidence and I am currently on pint three at my favorite Indy brewpub.

    Cheers, James! Thanks for your sentiments. As I said in my introduction, I'm authoring a fictional book and although it is fiction, I would very much like to be as historically accurate as possible (as much as the story allows).

  • #19408

    JamesS
    Participant

    I appreciate your trying to stay as historically accurate as possible.  One of my oldest friends is a writer and he does the same.  I dabble a bit, and don't stress so much about that kind of thing since I'm only doing it for my own enjoyment; so I find it quite cool when others actually do take the time to do the extra research!

  • #19409

    Sean Silver
    Participant

    Thank you, James! I'm passionate about history, else I wouldn't be here. But I also believe that our modern fantasy literature does a disservice to history. In particular, if a book takes place in a historical setting, then give the reader a more vivid (and accurate) idea of time. I also believe it makes the characters and settings more believable. There's no sense in having a young boy from post-Roman Britain act like a modern youth, else you might as well not even put it in that context.

  • #19410

    anonymous
    Participant

    My first thought gentleman also ran to someone simple and cheap such as a club. They worked for thousands of years and hence why not! Most people would have probably had their own knife that I presume they used for eating as well.

  • #19411

    JamesS
    Participant

    Thank you, James! I'm passionate about history, else I wouldn't be here. But I also believe that our modern fantasy literature does a disservice to history. In particular, if a book takes place in a historical setting, then give the reader a more vivid (and accurate) idea of time. I also believe it makes the characters and settings more believable. There's no sense in having a young boy from post-Roman Britain act like a modern youth, else you might as well not even put it in that context.

    Now that I can get completely behind.  I typically write stories (urban horror) based in the present, so I don't have to stress so much.  All of my fantasy stories aren't really historical so much as they are based in "alternate settings," of which I get many of my ideas from my former time doing table top role playing games.What you're doing would make the story more real for me, as I was reading it.

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