Renaissance Weaponry Part 1
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Part 1

The Renaissance, from the French Renaissance, means "rebirth." It was a much romanticized cultural movement that spread across all of Europe. It began in the 14th century and continued on through the 17th century.

The Renaissance, although seeing revolutions in many intellectual areas, besides and political changes, is nevertheless best known for its artistic developments. This era in history spawned such geniuses as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. In fact, it was Michelangelo who inspired the term "Renaissance Man."

The weaponry of the Renaissance was used not only in battle, but in hunting, tournaments and parade costume, as well.


Weapons and armour had to be practical, and afford the maximum protection and functionality when used in warfare. The armour, for instance, needed to protect without hampering body movement due to weight or design. However, even this practical and utilitarian equipment was commonly decorated quite beautifully.

Many types of weapons were used in hunting: bows, crossbows, and firearms, plus specialized swords and spears. Armour was sometimes worn for hunting large, particularly dangerous game; such as bear or wild boar.

The symbolic value of arms and armor was shown in their use as display objects in tournaments, parades, and triumphal entries, and as funeral accolades. In fact, some of the most elaborate swords, maces, firearms, shields, and armor were made for ceremonial purposes only. These were designed to bestow upon the wearer all the glory and achievements of the historical military leaders the Renaissance princes and commanders strove to emulate.

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