Reconquista Weapons List

A wide range of weapons were used by the Christian armies which were involved in the Reconquista effort.

Since the Reconquista was a long struggle which stretched from the 8th century until the 14th century, the weapons used by Christian warriors during this time evolved significantly.

The factors which decisively influenced the evolution of their weapons were their Moorish adversaries and their Western European neighbors who often acted as their allies.

Among the weapons commonly used by the Reconquista warriors were lances, javelins, swords and bows.


Bow and Arrow

The bow and arrow was a rather secondary weapon used by the warriors in Reconquista armies.

The bows were carried by both infantrymen as well as cavalrymen and most Christian monarchs in northern Iberia decreed that any soldier joining their army must bring a bow as part of his arsenal.

Initially, simpler bows were commonly used to shoot bone-tipped arrows.

This changed when crossbows gradually became a part of the battlefield in Western Europe regions such as France.

The crossbow crossed over into Iberia by the late Reconquista period and became a regular weapon of Reconquista armies.


Lances

The Visigoth legacy of the Iberia included the use of spear as a vital weapon on the battlefield.

This evolved into the use of lances by Reconquista armies. Lances were used by the mounted warriors and usually ranged between six and seven feet in length.

Lances were made from wood and tipped with a long iron head. Used together with the stirrup, the cavalrymen were able to mount their lances on a side and charge towards enemy lines with devastating effects for the opponents.

Lances continued to be used in the Reconquista battles long after its use in the rest of Europe had declined.

Javelins

Javelins were smaller spears which were light-weight and utilized as missile weapons at the beginning of a battle.

Javelins were usually carried and used by the infantrymen in Reconquista armies.

Although light-weight, javelins were meant to pierce through enemy armor and shields when thrown from the distance.

However, due to the rapid evolution of defensive armor, the javelin usually wrought little harm on the enemy forces and were meant simply as a preliminary harassing tactic before serious fighting could begin.

The hail of javelins sent towards enemy lines before the cavalry could charge with its lances also had a psychological effect in that it helped demoralize the enemy forces just ahead of the key thrust of the Reconquista army.

Swords

The Sword was one of the most important Reconquista weapons since it was most vital in close combat.

Once the cavalrymen of a Reconquista army had expended their lances, they engaged in hand-to-hand combat using their swords and shields.

The swords used by Reconquista cavalrymen were usually doubled-edged and about three feet long with a hilt which enabled single-handed use.

Knights wielded these sword with one hand, he held up a shield with his other hand to protect him from the opponent’s attacks.

The design of the Reconquista sword was primarily affected by the standard contemporary sword which was being used in European battlefields at the time.


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