The dagger was a medieval weapon that was usually reserved as a last resort weapon in very close combat situations. The medieval dagger was used as a stabbing weapon and usually had sharp edges and a sharp point at the end, however, the medieval dagger could also be a single-edged weapon.


Medieval daggers were useful for piercing gaps in Medieval armor and also in grappling situations where the fight had gone to the ground.

A common term used for the medieval dagger in medieval times was “misericorde” this term probably came from the fact that the dagger was used on people that were commonly begging for mercy.

“The Latin name for the dagger was cultellum qui dicitur – dagger”

Early Medieval Daggers

The early Medieval daggers were much longer than the ones used in later medieval times, sometimes they were described as long knives and they descended from the daggers that we used by the Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Vikings, and Visigoths.

Anglo Saxon Warfare

The Anglo Saxons used a shield formation as a tactic on the battlefield

Later Medieval Dagger Types

There were many different designs of Medieval daggers and from around the 14th century, the kidney dagger which was also known as the ballock dagger was introduced.


Ballock Dagger

The Baselard Dagger also appeared on the scene around this time, this medieval dagger had a broad blade at the hilt and was commonly used by the medieval military in Italy.


The ox-tongue dagger or cinquedea was a much thicker dagger than earlier medieval daggers and was broader at the hilt around 4 to 5 fingers wide.


Rondel Dagger *Late Medieval Period

The rondel dagger was another dagger that was introduced towards the end of the medieval period around the 15th century, this was a much thinner dagger with a needle-like blade and discs at either side of the hilt that was fashionable at the time.


Medieval Rondel Dagger from 15th Century

Medieval Dagger Facts

      • Daggers were usually a backup weapon in close combat situations
      • Medieval daggers are often carried inside the belt area
      • Most Medieval daggers had two sharp edges but some had only one sharp edge
      • Medieval daggers were more popular in the later medieval periods


    • Medieval daggers descended from the earlier seax weapon
    • Medieval daggers were used by the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings
    • Medieval daggers were used by the Franks and Visigoths
    • The Byzantines used medieval daggers for assassination
    • Daggers were much longer in earlier medieval times


    • Early Medieval daggers were also known as Long knives
    • Medieval daggers were useful for piercing gaps in Medieval armor
    • A Medieval term for the dagger was misericorde
    • In the 14th century, the kidney dagger was introduced
    • The basilard dagger had a broad blade at the hilt


    • A popular 15th-century dagger was the rondel
    • The rondel dagger was a very thin dagger with a disc at the hilt
    • Medieval daggers were used in very close combat fighting
    • In the later renaissance period, it was quite common to fight with a sword and dagger together