Although a variety of designs fall under the heading of 'arming sword', they are most commonly recognised as single-handed double-edged swords that were designed more for cutting than thrusting.
Most 12th-14th century blades seem to vary between 30 and 32 inch blades.
This blade style may have been influenced by the Turko-Mongol sabres that had reached the borders of Europe by the thirteenth century. Century It sometimes presumed that these swords had a lower-than-average quality and status than the longer, more expensive swords.
It is also possible that some falchions were used as tools between wars and fights, since they were very practical pieces of equipment.
Unlike the bow or spear, the sword is a purely military weapon, and this has made it symbolic of warfare or naked state power in many cultures. The arming sword (also sometimes called a knight's or knightly sword) is the single handed cruciform sword of the High Middle Ages, in common use between ca. Arming swords are generally considered to be descendant from the swords of the migration period and Vikings Typically used with a shield or buckler, the arming sword was the standard military sword of the knight (merely called a "war sword", an ambiguous title given to many types of swords carried for battle) until technological changes led to the rise of the longsword in the late 13th century.
The names given to many swords in mythology, literature, and history reflect the high prestige of the weapon. There are many texts and pictures depicting effective arming sword combat without the benefit of a shield.
In particular, there is a very elaborately engraved and gold plated falchion from the 1560s in the Wallace Collection.
This would seem to reflect two separate methods of adapting the arming sword to combat increasingly tough armour; either to make the blade sufficiently heavy-duty to inflict blunt trauma through the armour, or narrow-pointed enough to pierce it with a thrust.
Arguably these two forms of blade evolve into the longsword, and the cinquedea.
It is a common weapon in period artwork, and there are many surviving examples in museums.
Broadswords were favoured in the Elizabethan period of England.
In modern times, the term can also be used to refer to arming sword, the single-handed cruciform sword of the High Middle Ages.