The Use of Medieval Weaponry

The Use of Medieval Weaponry is a book about history, and specifically the history of weapons, but it is likely to be different from other books on the subject. This is a book about how medieval weapons were used, taking the perspective not of the craftsman, nor of the general, but of the person actually holding the sword.

The Use of Medieval Weaponry discusses the use of eight weapons or weapon combinations from the Late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, selected with an eye toward their iconic status in popular culture. Namely the use of the longsword; the sword and buckler; the sword and shield; the sword and cloak, dagger, or second sword; knives and daggers; greatswords; spears and other thrusting polearms; and poleaxes, halberds, and other cutting polearms. This book also specifically covers the use of these weapons in and against armour and in war.

If you have ever wondered what your favourite movie sword fight ought to have looked like, if you have ever read the placard next to a sword in a museum and wanted to understand the object behind the glass more deeply – then The Use of Medieval Weaponry is the ideal book.


“A great bird's-eye view of trends in how people fought in the Medieval and early Modern periods...If you're looking for an introduction to the subject of Medieval martial arts, Eric Lowe has you covered.”

Michael Chidester, Wiktenauer Director 

“A whirlwind tour of several centuries of martial arts, supplemented with some very entertaining thoughts and speculations on how these weapons would fare when pitted against each other.”

Christian Henry Tobler, author of Fighting with the German Longsword

“A wonderful introduction to some of the most popular European weapons of the Medieval and Renaissance periods.”

Keith Cotter-Reilly, Head Instructor, Atlanta Historical Fencing Academy

“[Lowe] successfully juggles the real-world fighting guidance of over a dozen historical masters with the kind of joy that all modern swordspeople experience.”

Jake Norwood, founding member of the HEMA Alliance

“A perfect read for those new to our peculiar hobby or anyone seeking to conjure up the dusty battlefields and bloody streets of yore.”

Stephen Fratus, author of With Malice & Cunning: Anonymous 16th Century Manuscript on Bolognese Swordsmanship

“Eric brings his joy and love of the Art to the page.”

Jessica Finley, author of Medieval Wrestling: Modern Practice of a Fifteenth Century Art

Awards & Accolades