How heavy is a medieval mace


This article was published on January 30, 2016 as a Spotlight presented.


The Mace (engl. mace, lat. clava?, macia, ital. mazza ferrata, span. maza herrada) or. Schlegel belongs to the striking weapons and is a further development of the club. It consists of a metal or wooden shaft and a usually symmetrical head made of stone or metal.


The original form of the mace is one of the oldest human weapons, the Club. It is a simple, yet effective weapon, which had already achieved a high reputation in the army of the time of the Great Migration, was wielded especially by distinguished people, and formed the nucleus from which the general staff developed.


Surname Brief description
ClubForerunner of the mace.
BaculusSimplest type of mace, approx. 70-80 cm long; at the front, e.g. roughly carved in the form of an animal.
Buzogány, Puzdikan, PuzilikanHungarian name for a mace (cf. Puzikan, Pusdogan for the Czakan, a battle hammer).
GargazIndian mace with sword hilt, the shape of which resembles the vessel of the Indian “Rajah Kundad” saber.
KerriAfrican name of the mace.
Pumpkin angelMetal mace of the cavalry with striking faces (from 15th century)
Morning starMace with a metal head with spikes attached (from 1280).
Saddle pistonName for rider's flask in Northern Europe (beginning of the 17th century)
Tapuse, TopuzTurkish name of the mace.
TinelFrench term for a 15 foot long mace (12th / 13th century)
Tournament pistonMostly wooden maces (saddle butts), especially for the butt tournament.


The short-traded mace (French. masse d'armes, old French. tinel) was already known to the Greeks (around 300 BC), as was a club weapon with a spiked head, which was shod similar to the medieval morning star. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the strikers were mostly used by the cavalry.

High Middle Ages

11th century

From the 11th century, the Bayeux Tapestry shows Bishop Odo von Bayeux as well as William the Conqueror with one Baculus at the battle of Hastings. Among the fleeing English, however, we see people who wield a kind of mace consisting of a rosette-like head on a handle about 50 cm long, which must be quite heavy because they carry it on their shoulder.

12th Century

The great importance of the mace in the army of the Middle Ages is shown, for example, in the French novel der "Aliscans" (Chanson de geste) from the 12th or 13th century, in which the hero Rainvar himself disdains a sword that is offered to him and with his 15-foot-long mace (tinel) fought the Saracens.

13th Century

In order not only to work through the blow but also to penetrate the fabric of the Haubert, the head of the mace was provided with blunt spines as early as 1280. The mercenary joke called Morgensterne such shapes.

Late Middle Ages

In the late Middle Ages the mace was less of a weapon of the infantry than of the peasants, which is why we find it in all wars of indignation.

14th Century

From the 14th century onwards, it was an extremely common weapon in the cavalry, which appeared to be absolutely indispensable for the rider. A blow with the mace could break the best-armored arm; even the shoulder shields did not protect the enemy rider from this. The metal heads of these maces were of various shapes; the cylindrical heads, which were made at the end of the 14th century, proved their worth. were used almost without exception because their contact area was significantly larger and the head could be more securely connected to the handle by means of iron springs.

In the 14th century, maces were sometimes equipped with so-called 'beaters' that protruded radially from the body (quadrelle); Now this species developed completely in Gothic forms, and the shaft was now also completely made of iron, which gave the weapon a significant weight.

15th century

At the beginning of the 15th century A very unique type of mace develops in the cavalry, which is known under the name "Kürissbengel" or "Faust piston". It became a weapon of the nobles and rulers, among other things because it was very much in keeping with the imperial dignity, the scepter resembled.

The mace was also the favorite weapon of the Hussite army leader Jan Zizka von Trocnov (Johann Ziskas, 1360-1424), which was hung over his grave monument in Czaslau (Čáslav, Czech Republic) after the death of this leader of the Taborites.

The Baculus also occurred among the infantry into the 15th century. Wooden tournament pistons of various shapes were used in piston tournaments in the 15th and 16th centuries. Among the German, French, and English knights, where the saddle hammer is common, the mace seems to have been little used except in butt tournaments.

Renaissance and subsequent periods

16th Century