Encyclopedia > Bastard-sword

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A bastard sword is a generic name for a large number of straight-bladed European swords used with either one or two hands.

Also known as hand and a half swords, they appeared in virtually all West European countries after 1000 AD and remained in use well into the 1500s.

They featured a long, straight blade (approx. 70-100 centimetres) and a slightly longer than usual hilt (sometimes up to 20-25 cm). They were neither a smaller single-handed sword, nor the massive two-handed type. Rather, they were a "bastard" version of both.

The name "bastard sword" could also refer to any bladed tool sharpened on only one edge (eg. a bastard-saw or bastard-file).

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