Medieval Monday: Halberd

If you’re new to these here parts, every Monday I like to do what I call Medieval Monday. I highlight a specific term from the medieval ages, and expand on the definition of that term and describe its appearance. If there is something you would like to see featured in a Medieval Monday, hop into the comments and say so.

The reach of a spear, but the devastation of an axe. Yowza.

The halberd is what we’ll be taking a closer look at this week.

Ever seen guards standing around in a high fantasy movie holding those long poles with an axe-head? Yeah, that’s a halberd. The halberd is a pole weapon and is meant to be wielded two-handed. At the top is affixed the axe blade, as well as a spike. From the back of the axe-head juts out either a hook or another spike, and, you guessed it, was also meant to be used in combat. Halberds come in all different shapes as far as the style of the axe, so go forth and google up more information!

 

Edit: Here’s a tidbit of extra information from Keri Peardon:

Actually, the name of a pole weapon (also known as a “poll weapon”) comes not from the pole that it sits atop, but the fact that it’s meant to be used on the poll–the medieval word for the head.

It has the same origin as the term “poll tax,” which is also known as a “head tax,” because it taxes each individual. You also see it still in use when we talk about “going to the polls” to vote or “polling the voters”. That too comes from the idea of counting individuals. One head, one tax/vote.

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3 Comments

  1. Actually, the name of a pole weapon (also known as a “poll weapon”) comes not from the pole that it sits atop, but the fact that it’s meant to be used on the poll–the medieval word for the head.

    It has the same origin as the term “poll tax,” which is also known as a “head tax,” because it taxes each individual. You also see it still in use when we talk about “going to the polls” to vote or “polling the voters”. That too comes from the idea of counting individuals. One head, one tax/vote.

  2. Yaaaaay! Good to see this back in action. I have a potential suggestion… I remember reading somewhere about sophisticated arrows that were developed to hold small reservoirs of oil or gunpowder. So basically, exploding arrows. You think that could work for a post?

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