Glaive - a weapon of antiquity, unique and dangerous

Ancient historians and art historians are very interested in ancient weapons. One of them is glaive. This weapon is also called glevia. Glaive (glevia) is a type of cold pole- piercing and chopping weapon used by infantrymen in the territory of European countries for close combat. Glaevia, as part of the infantry equipment, was very common and popular.

glaive weapons

Real historical weapon

Glaive is a military weapon that actually exists in history, which became widespread in the East in the 9th-12th centuries. According to assumptions, it appeared either in Japan or in North Korea. Initially, glevia was a weapon used by mercenary warriors for whom the purpose of life was to kill. These were elite fighters who did not have widespread recognition. During the Middle Ages, this tool fell into second place, and then was completely forgotten, as it was difficult to manufacture (by then standards), and it was even more difficult to learn to own it.

glaive weapon photo

origin of name

The name "glaive" (a variety of halberds) comes from the French language. Almost all scientists derive the etymology of this word from the Celtic term cladivos or from the Latin gladius. In translation, both the first and second options mean "sword". But at the same time, English and French references from an earlier period meant by these names "spear". In English, a spear (approximate period of the XIV-XVI century) was meant by glaive.

Since the XV century, the term begins to acquire its modern meaning. At this time, as a whole, swords are poetically called glaive. Today, in this way they use this name in French speech. Beginning in the 1980s, a glare began to denote a weapon that was distinguished by a large number of blades and resembled a Japanese ninja shuriken, but characterized by much larger sizes. Such weapons were credited with the opportunity to return to the warrior who threw it. This property was explained by magical power or the boomerang principle. In cinema and in science fiction, we can find glaive for throwing.

glaive antique weapons

How was glaive used?

Glaive is a weapon that, like any other cold long-tree weapon, has one indisputable advantage: thanks to it, a person has the ability to keep a fencer warrior at a decent distance. A shortened blade or sword is not able to get an infantryman armed with glevia. In a close duel, the main task of a warrior with a glaive was to prevent the enemy from grasping at the pole with his free hand. The secondary task was not to drop the weapon if it was hit with a shield. In such a situation, there was necessarily a rapprochement between the opponents, and the infantryman in whose hands was a glaive was defeated.

If a duel occurred, the infantryman had the opportunity to use not only the blade, but also all the elements of the glaive. Thanks to this, he had an advantage, both in attack and in defense. A warrior with experience in the tactics of a duel with glevia could corner his opponent, knock him off his horse, stun, etc.

glaive combat weapon

How is the weapon arranged?

Glaive - a weapon that consists of a pole reaching one and a half meters, and an elongated tip. As a rule, a tip was made with a length of at least 40 cm, but sometimes it could reach 60 cm. The width of the tip was five to six centimeters. To make a tool is not at all difficult, therefore, it is possible to create it at home.

The shaft was encircled with a metal tape or covered with special metal rivets. Thanks to this manipulation, the wood was protected from cutting in battle. In most cases, the tip is sharpened on one side only. A spike extending from the butt and going to the pole slightly at an angle is a characteristic feature of glevia. If the glaive was operated in order to reflect the blow from above, then such a spike was used to capture the enemy guns. In addition, the spike reinforced the result of stabbing blows on the opponent's armor. In general, the glaive was intended for chopping strikes, and they were applied with a tip.

From below, the shaft of glevia was equipped with another small tip, which was called the inflow, or heel. Unlike the main tip, it was just sharpened, not sharpened. This tip had two purposes: it contributed to the balance of weapons in battle, as it played the role of a counterweight, in addition, it was a tool with which to defeat a defeated warrior.

glaive cold steel

Gun versatility

Glaive - a weapon whose photo can be viewed in our article, was considered a universal weapon of battle. It made it possible to fight effectively in a closed formation, and when the building disintegrated disintegrated.

Under conditions of closed construction, glaive strikes were mainly carried out by stabbing or chopping from top to bottom. When the system collapsed, the warrior had the opportunity to take advantage of a huge arsenal of tricks, which consisted not only of hitting the upper part of the glevia, but also the middle and lower.

Using the middle part, the warrior with that compartment of the pole that was between the hands could inflict blows on the neck or face of the enemy. With the help of the lower part, the warrior tried to knock the opponent down with an additional hook, which often equipped this element of the weapon.

The use of glaive in the past and present

Since the beginning of its dynamic spread in the 14th century, glaive (cold steel) has been a warrior's own weapon. In Burgundy, crossbowmen were actively arming themselves with it. Using glevia, they easily repelled the attacks of mounted warriors. And before the beginning of the XVIII century, guards armed guards at French courts. Today, classic glaive can be seen in the hands of the Swiss guards, who are in the service of the Vatican.

Gun shortage

Glaive - an antique weapon that has a single, but very significant drawback.

It was developed by the ninja gunsmiths and in the original version was the staff with which most of the Japanese peasants used to walk in antiquity. On such a staff, two blades were provided, which, if necessary, unexpectedly advanced. This, most likely, explains the lack of glaive, which consists in the low strength of the weapon - one strong blow to the pole could lead to the fact that in the hands of the warrior remained separate parts of the damaged weapons.

glaive infantry weapons

Various glaive variations

Glaive - a weapon for the infantry, presented in various versions. So, for example, there are modifications with two sharp, long and narrow blades that are located on both sides of the shaft. There were also glevias, on one side of which a wide tip resembling an ax was provided. On the other side of such a weapon was an ordinary spherical counterweight. Two-blade glaive (it had two blades at each end of the shaft) was quite rare.

In total, there are approximately a hundred modifications of glevia. Among them there are also such options that you could not meet often. So, a glare with two blades was a very rare modification. It was made for single soldiers. You can only fight with such glevia by rotating it, but you can’t use it in a crowd in which enemies mingle with friends.

The closest analogues of glaive include halberd, poleax and berdysh. Often, glaive is on the halberd classification list. As "relatives" of this weapon are called owl (pole- arm Slavic weapons) and protazin naginata.

glaive variety of halberds

Glaive in the work of Nick Perumov

Glaive - a weapon that is mentioned in the pentalogy of Perumov "Guardian of swords." It was a favorite weapon for fighting Car Laeda. But scientists cannot attribute this character’s glaive to glevia in the traditional concept of this weapon. There are five reasons for this:

  • Kar’s weapons were double-bladed and had one tip of the chopping type on both sides of the shaft.
  • Pentalog weapons were notable for their short size and light weight. Real glevia was a heavy weapon and was not intended for filigree fencing.
  • Laeda easily used his glaive in basements and caves. And this is not at all characteristic of a long shaft of standard glevia.
  • The warrior was able to repel the arrow, which was fired at point blank range, only by chance.
  • Glevia Cara was presented as a detachable weapon. And this means that it could be divided into two separate elements, which formed a pair of short swords.

As a result of the work of Nick Perumov, people imagine glaive with a double-bladed weapon. But such a variety of glevia practically did not occur in Europe. Similar modifications could be found only in India and the Middle Kingdom.


All Articles