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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.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.The shape concentrates more weight near the end, thus making it more effective for chopping strikes like an axe or cleaver.The blade designs of falchions varied widely across the continent and through the ages.Falchions are found in different forms from around the 11th century up to and including the sixteenth century.

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This weapon is engraved with the personal coat of arms of Cosimo de' Medici, Duke of Florence.While some propose that encounters with the Islamic shamshir inspired its creation, these "scimitars" of Persia were not developed until long after the falchion.More likely, it was developed from farmer's and butcher's knives of the seax type or in the manner of the larger Messer.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.

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