Two-Handed Sword

a specialized type of great sword that became popular in the 16th century. The size and weight of the weapon, made it unsuited for close formation fighting, and its use was reserved for banner defense, guarding breeches in siege warfare, and forming skirmish lines. The grip was very long in proportion to the blade, and the overall sword could be 5 1/2’ - 6’ long.
Two-handed Swords are really a classification of sword applied to Renaissance, rather than Medieval, weapons. They are the specialized forms of the later 1500-1600's, known in German as "Dopplehander" ("both-hander") or in English as "slaughterswords" (named after the German "Schlachterschwerter" -- battle swords), or in Italian as "lo spadone". In Germany and England they seem to have enjoyed a vogue for use in single-combat, but their precise military role is still in debate. True two-handed swords have compound-hilts with side-rings and enlarged cross-guards of up to 12 inches. Most have small, pointed lugs or flanges protruding from their blades 4-8 inches below their guard. The lugs provide greater defense, and can allow another blade to be momentarily trapped or bound up. They can also be used to strike with. Although collectors have come to call certain wave or flame-bladed two-handed swords "flamberges", these swords of the early-to-mid 1500's and are more appropriately known as "flammards" or "flambards" (the German" Flammenschwert").
♦ Large, double-edged sword with a long hilt to enable it to be swung with two hands. Popular with the Swiss and Landsknechts.
(Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 251)
Related terms: Hand-and-a-Half Sword

Medieval glossary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • two´-hand´ed|ness — two hand|ed «TOO HAN dihd», adjective. 1. having two hands. 2. using both hands equally well; ambidextrous. 3. Figurative. skillful with the hands; dexterous. 4. involving the use of both hands; requiring both hands to wield or manage: »a two… …   Useful english dictionary

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