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Rapier

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Rapier

RapierA rapier is a relatively slender, sharply pointed sword, used mainly for thrusting attacks, mainly in use in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Rapier generally refers to a relatively long-bladed sword characterized by a complex hilt which is constructed to provide protection for the hand wielding it. While the blade might be broad enough to cut to some degree (but nowhere near that of the wider, slightly heavier swords in use around the Middle Ages), the strength of the rapier is its ability as a thrusting weapon. Rapiers often had complex, sweeping hilts designed to protect the hand wielding the sword. Rings extended forward from the crosspiece. Later these rings were covered with metal plates, eventually evolving into the cup hilts of many later rapiers. Many hilts included a knuckle bow extending down from the crosspiece protecting the hilt, which was usually wood wrapped with cord, leather or wire. A fat pommel (often decorated) secured the hilt to the weapon and provided a balance to the long blade.

History of Arms and Armor | Arms and Armor Glossary

 

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