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Medieval Chivalry and Weapons. Section 3. Warriors on Horseback. Knights on horseback became more and more important in Medieval warfare. New technology helped warriors during battle: Leather saddle made it easier for the warrior to remain firmly seated during battle.

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Medieval Chivalry and Weapons

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warriors on horseback
Warriors on Horseback
  • Knights on horseback became more and more important in Medieval warfare.
  • New technology helped warriors during battle:
    • Leather saddle made it easier for the warrior to remain firmly seated during battle.
    • Stirrups allowed the rider to stand while riding and use heavier weapons.
    • Stirrups also allowed knights to charge at each other without being hit off.
warrior s role in feudal society
Warrior’s role in Feudal Society
  • Feudal lords raised private armies.
    • Rewarded knights for their service with fiefs.
    • In exchange the lord demanded 40 days of mounted combat.
  • By the 1100’s the code of chivalry developed.
  • It demanded that a knight fight for 3 masters:
    • Earthly feudal lord
    • Heavenly Lord
    • His chosen lady.
  • They treated the lower classes brutally.
  • Cowardly knight that refused to follow the code was publically shamed.
war games
War Games
  • Sons of nobles who wanted to become knights began training at a young age.
    • They gained experience by fighting in local wars.
    • Others participated in mock battles called tournaments.
  • Medieval warfare was brutal:
    • Castle defenders poured boiling water over castle walls.
    • Archers were stationed on the roof firing shots that could pierce armor.
  • Troubadours were poet musicians that lived at the castles and courts of Europe.
    • They sang songs and wrote poems about the code of chivalry that knights should follow.
      • Usually talking about a knights love of his lady.
  • Worked like a giant slingshot
  • Propelled objects up to a distance of 980 feet
battering ram
Battering Ram
  • Made with heavy timber with a sharp metal tip.
  • Swung like a pendulum to crack castle walls or to knock down a drawbridge.
siege tower
Siege tower
  • Had a platform on top that lowered like a drawbridge.
  • Could support weapons and soldiers.
battle ax
Battle Ax
  • The Medieval Axe was a fearsome weapon
  • The Medieval axe often had a pick like weapon opposite the blade as in this example.
  • Sometimes it had a second blade or even a hammer. It was a feared close combat weapon.
  • Many of them also had some kind of tool at the bottom of the handle. This could be used to pierce and puncture. The one shown here has a metal spike.
  • A mace is very similar to a warhammer in that it was used to deliver massive blunt trauma to armor. Early maces were simply balls of metal on the end of the handle. These evolved into spiked maces also called morning stars, and flanged maces which could deliver trauma and also penetrate armor. The mace shown here is a flanged mace used for penetrating armor.
  • Swords are the most useful of all the weapons from the Medieval Period and they are also the weapon that has developed and evolved the most.
  • The earliest swords were derived from the dagger. These early swords were predominantly stabbing weapons.
long bow
Long Bow
  • In the hands of skilled archers, hundreds of thousands of arrows could rain down on an opposing force with severe consequences.
  • In many battles, archer armies that were outnumbered by as much as 8 to 1 accomplished kill ratios of 1000's to 1.
  • An arrow fired from it could penetrate 4 inches of seasoned oak.
  • A flail is a close combat weapon with a handle and a striking ball at the end of a chain.
  • The swinging motion was a good means of protection for the wielder and it derived tremendous force. It would also easily reach up, over and around armor and shields.