Deviation Actions

shad-brooks's avatar

Elmslie Typology of single edged medieval swords

By shad-brooks
Presenting the Elmslie typology of single edge medieval swords. My video of the typology can be seen here:…
Image details
Image size
8000x2224px 2.07 MB
© 2016 - 2021 shad-brooks
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In

A someone who's going to try to make one (or more, if it works out!) swords for LARP-ing, thank you for this amazing overview. I must confess, I'm partial to wide, curved, asymmetrical blades myself, more than the cruciform, shining knight-type Arming Swords. I find those shapes, like for example 1a, 3a, 3b, especially beautiful.

I'd like to see examples of negatively curved swords, as they seem quite interesting and I wonder how they compare with normally curved blades

other than that, a 3d-/+ would probably be my favourite

Evodolka's avatar
i'd say my favorites are either
. 1C because it looks so unique
. 4C because i like those types of curved blades and how the tip is taller than the rest of the blade
GuardianofLightWD's avatar
I am writing a story with a character who uses a falchion. The video really helped thanks.
FRM5993's avatar
how does blad length factor into the typology?
Dracoan's avatar
Awesome. Loved your videos on this by the way.
Imperator-Zor's avatar
So we got got Big Knife, Big knife with no pointy bit at the end, big knife with a bit cut out of it, "I Can't Believe its not a Dao", the J Swords, the long bladed kitchen knife and "I Can't Believe it's Not a Katana"
sin-and-love's avatar
Hey man, I just got dome watching your falchion/messer playlist.  Something that really annoyed me was that you gave a clear description of what defines a messer, but you never explained what defines a falchion.  If I have a messer sword, how do I know whether or not it's also a falchion?
Hiemfire's avatar
How the hilt is shaped and constructed. M= Messer, F=Falchion (look at the image above). Messers have knife style hilts while Falchions retain the regular sword style hilts. Aside from that there is really no difference.
sin-and-love's avatar
that doesn't really fit, since a sword can be both a falchion and a messer at the same time.
No it cant? The whole point of the video is that depending on hilt construction it is EITHER a falcior or a messer
GrayWeyd's avatar
F/M3C+ or F/M3C++
DeadKnight1's avatar
SebastiansSire's avatar
Nice! Something I can use when designing characters with swords! This is such an awesome chart! I wanna learn how to use these weapons. :)
vasdrakken's avatar
The point tips have their roots in roman swords. The gladius started out with a flat edge that was sharped across the flat edge and no edge on the sides, much like a chisel. They were hammered flat as bar stock about a quarter inch tip with the end whacked on an angle. It takes six weeks to train a piker, it takes six years to train a swordsman, but the roman legion could train a raw recruit picked up in spring by july or august how to use a pike and gladius to fight with. The pikes sixteen feet long wood with fire harden points, and the gladius an aluminum bronze blade with twisted handle of the the hilt wrapped in leather. The blade about two feet long could be sharped with a rock broken in half and polished to long like gold while when it was driven into the wounds it made left spalling of toxic metal. Pretty sure 1b and 1c are the result of those being refined into a chopping blade. 1a is the basic tip heavy cleaver every chef knows. so likely due to the effectiveness of cooking with a steel 1a, people kept experimenting with the shape and blade. There are few blades left in museums that are 1a with a much tighter curve to the front but still have the re-enforced flat spine.

Then there are all the blades that got got reforged to make fire arms that wiped out most of the effective steel blades so that many of the blades found were blades too warped by combat or bad casting or forging or in broken pieces that got tossed in mass graves that were due up by people fighting off all the roving armies that happened during the dark ages.
Reiam's avatar
Thank you Shad for sharing the typology as a huge picture! I was amazed about it when I first saw it in the solinger catalog.
Your videos at youtube are great also. Thanks for them too.
(Well, I shoud visit Solingen again.....great museum there with fine blades) ;)
Thanks a lot. I think the Falchion/Messer video series is amazing.
Danubium's avatar
Long overdue.

But methinks the 1d should be classified together with the type 2.
I agree. Here's my version…


I might have posted this twice. I think I've fixed it now.
Danubium's avatar
If you change it, it's not the Elmslie typology anymore. Why keep the name?
You're right. I just did some copy/paste on Shad's file. That's something I did for myself, of course, not to suggest Elmslie's Typology actually be changed. I simply posted it here because it seemed related.
DeadKNight, if the blade was made of good steel it would still hold and edge, but sharp edges are always less durable, but to defeat armour just turn it around and use the hammer or beaked side of the poleaxe, thats what it is there for, or stab them with the point on top. remember the blade is for peasants, the hammer is for knight :P
DeadKnight1's avatar
I have a question, if you were to make a poleaxe as sharp as a falchion then would it be enough to cut through gambeson and cause serious damage without severely defeating it's anti-armour abilities?
RyanRyzzo's avatar
Excellent! My favourite sword type(s).
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In