A popular group of weapons during the ancient and Medieval periods were the
polearms. Their length was a distinct advantage and, for the peasant, they were
a relatively easy weapon to make. Thus, there came to be an abundance of
polearms of different sizes and shapes. Polearms consist of various weapon
blades and heads mounted on long poles. Polearms are two-handed weapons and a
shield cannot be used with them.
Note: I am lazy. I do not want to make individual pages for each
and every tiny variation. Therefore, when there are two very
similar weapons that are just slight variations on each other, I list the less
well-known variant under "Other Names."
- Ahlspiess - two-handed fighting spear with a
long, square-sectioned spike fitted onto a wooden handle
- Arbir - a bladed staff; pointed wooden staff
to which a wide, curved blade is attached
- Awl Pike - polearm with a long
square-sectioned spike on the end
- Beaked Axe - polearm with a beak mounted
opposite the blade
- Bill - A polearm with a wide cutting blade,
with or without spikes and hooks in various locations, derived from the common
agricultural tool. The billhook became the mainstay of English infantry forces
during the High Middle Ages, and remained such for centuries. This fearsome
weapon was capable of killing both armoured opponents and horses, an important
factor when facing cavalry forces. Billhooks came in a large variety of shapes
- Bo - The collective name for all types of Japanese
staffs; a staff usually between 6 and 8 Shaku in length
- two-handed polearm with a long, double-edged blade concealed in the handle
- Catch Pole - forked polearm
- Chacing Staff - A 12-foot long iron-shod
- Couteau de Breche
- Falcastra - consists of a straight,
single-edged blade with a hook or point opposite the edge
- Feather Staff - 36 in. walking stick with
three 16 in. concealed blades which could be brought into action by a downward
jerk of the weapon; usually two-handed weapon
- Feruzue - staff consisting of a hollow wooden
tube, inside which is hidden a chain attached to an iron ball
- Garami - Japanese spiked polearm. "Garami" means "to entangle" or
- Hippe - 14th century European halberd with a short, wide point.
- Jedburg Axe - Scottish
polearm with a hook opposite the blade
- Kongo-zue - wooden staff with iron rings at
the end; used with both hands
- Lajatang - The Lajatang is an unusual polearm, made of two iron cresent
blades on either end of a bamboo or other staff, some 2 meters long. Designed
for attacking multiple opponents, use of the Lajatang incorporates great speed
and reaction time. It is often a favorite of masters of Kung Fu.
- Langue de Boeuf
- Lochaber Axe
- Lucerne Hammer
- Magari Yari
- Military Fork
- Moon - polearm consisting of a
crescent-shaped blade mounted so that its tips are facing the butt of the
- Naboot - two-handed polearm weapon
- Nakamaki - Naginata with blades similar to katana which were mounted on
short poles (circa 3-4 feet) are termed nagamaki-naoshi. Nagamaki were used
primarily during the Kamakura and early Muromachi eras in Japan.
- Romphaea -
curved, double-edged blade mounted on a
- Sarissa - a polearm weapon measuring about 6 meters in
length with a spear attached at the end; used for jabbing or throwing.
- Scythe -
European polearm made by mounting an
agricultural tool in line with a wooden shaft. See: glaive.
- Thrusting Spear
- Spontoon - Polearm, fitted with a large spear-head blade, Europe,
developed mid 16th century from the partisan.
- Tetsubo - A tetsubo is a simple crowbar or iron-shod staff made completely
out of iron.
- Toyak - bladed staff, used for slashing. Much like a glaive, except
with a straight blade.
- Voulge - European polearm with a
broad axe blade topped with a spike. Much like a halberd.
- Yoribo -
wooden japanese staff used with both