A rather misleading name for what was essentially a longsword, or more properly, a hand and a half sword. So why exactly was it called a ‘bastard’ sword?

The name originates from the French ‘epee bartarde’, and may have been intended to signify the irregular nature or misleading appearance of the bastard sword. While it might be much the same length as a single-handed sword, the tang was long enough to allow the weapon to be wielded two-handed, which gave it greater versatility.

The bastard sword generally featured a double-edged tapered blade measuring 40-48 inches, and a hilt that allowed for two-handed use, measuring another 10-15 inches. It was favoured for its reach and superior cutting and thrusting, and was predominantly used by medieval knights. Despite its size, it rarely weighed more than 4.5 pounds. 


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May Newsletter if you missed it.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!