Originally posted on July 11th, 2012 by Medieval Collectibles
Posted in Swords |
Dating from the 15th or 16th century, the Bastard sword derives its name from the French épée bâtarde or the Engilsh bastard roughly meaning “irregular” or “of uncertain origin.” The Bastard sword escaped traditional classification by having a blade length similar to a single-handed sword (and was often used that way), but an extra half hand on the grip for additional power during a cut. The additional grip length quantified the weapon as a “hand and a half” sword. Bastard swords have long, flat double-edged blades with a tapered tip, plain cross guards, and a rounded pommel.
The term “longsword” is ambiguous when referring to a Bastard sword, and fits only when the context is late Medieval or Renaissance. Alas, it seems the name Bastard is quite appropriate given the varying ideas and conjecture of blade length, weight, grip length, and use. Regardless, the Bastard sword can be a devastating weapon due to its versatility and design.