The broadsword, a classic weapon of the medieval era, stands as a testament to the ingenuity and artistry of ancient blacksmiths and warriors. This iconic sword, known for its wide blade and versatile use in combat, played a pivotal role in numerous battles across Europe during medieval times.

What is a Broadsword?

The term “broadsword” typically refers to a variety of European swords that were popular from the early Middle Ages into the Renaissance. These swords featured a wide, double-edged blade and were designed for slashing and cutting, as well as thrusting. The broadsword is often associated with knights and warriors of high status, symbolizing both martial prowess and nobility.

Design and Deimensions of a Broadsword

The medieval broadsword was a piece of functional art. Its wide blade, usually about 2 to 3 inches across at the base, was designed for delivering powerful blows. The blade length varied but generally ranged from 30 to 45 inches. The hilt was designed for a one-handed grip, with a cross-shaped guard and a rounded or wheel-shaped pommel at the end. This design allowed for both agility and force in battle.

How Long is a Broadsword?

A common question about the broadsword concerns its size. The typical broadsword varied in length, but most were between 30 and 45 inches long, with the blade accounting for the majority of this length. The size of the broadsword made it a versatile weapon, suitable for both mounted and foot combat. It was long enough to engage opponents at a reasonable distance but not so long as to be unwieldy in close combat.

Usage in Combat

The broadsword was a favored weapon among medieval knights and soldiers. Its design allowed for a combination of cutting and thrusting techniques. The wide blade was effective for slashing attacks, while the pointed tip could be used for piercing armor. Knights trained extensively with the broadsword, mastering a variety of techniques to maximize its effectiveness in battle.

The Broadsword in Tournaments and Culture

Beyond the battlefield, the broadsword had a significant place in medieval tournaments and culture. Knights would showcase their skills in duels and mock battles, using broadswords to demonstrate their martial abilities. The broadsword was also a symbol of a knight’s status and honor. It was often richly decorated, with intricate designs on the hilt and sometimes inscriptions on the blade.

Historical Evolution

Over the centuries, the design of the broadsword evolved. In the late medieval period and into the Renaissance, the broadsword’s design began to change, with the introduction of more specialized types of swords like the longsword and rapier. However, the broadsword’s influence remained, as it laid the groundwork for the development of these later swords.

Broadsword in Legends and Modern Times

The broadsword has a legendary status in history and literature. It features prominently in tales of chivalry and heroism, such as the Arthurian legends. In modern times, the broadsword continues to captivate people’s imagination, often appearing in movies, video games, and books. Its imposing appearance and historical significance make it a popular item for collectors and enthusiasts of medieval weaponry.


The medieval broadsword, with its distinctive wide blade and rich history, is a symbol of the medieval era’s warfare and chivalry. It represents the skill and bravery of the knights who wielded it and stands as a reminder of a bygone era of combat and honor. The broadsword’s legacy continues to be celebrated in contemporary culture, preserving its place as one of the most renowned swords in history.