Jason is a digital artist and also passionate about history, games, sports and travelling.
Being a huge fan of fantasy and RPG games, I've always been fascinated by the weapons the characters wield. So I occasionally search through the internet to look for all sorts of ancient weapons. This is not a list about the "best" or most "effective" weapons. Rather, it is a list of weapons I chanced upon and found the most interesting. So this list is about ancient weapons that I think either look great or have some kind of unique trait. Here they are in no particular order:
Samurais didn't always use katanas. They also used a club like weapon called a Kanabo. Some were small enough to be wielded with one hand and some could be used as a two handed weapon. The larger variants weighed between 10-15 lbs and required a decent amount of strength and skill to be used effectively. Kanabos were strong enough to break steel and were also used to break the legs of enemy horses. They were frequently used to smash enemy plate armor.
The Kris sword originated in South-East Asia and was one of the first bladed weapons to be incorporated into Filipino Martial Arts (a world renowned martial art originating from that area as well). Some Kris swords were even said to have magical abilities. What makes it special is its unique wave shaped blade, which was also laced with poison. It was believed that the shape of the blade made poisoning easier when cutting the enemy.
The Panabas is another weapon originating from the Philippines and is a cross between a sword and and axe. Its blades came in different shapes and sizes. What they all have in common was their blade's beautiful flowing shape (which almost reminds me of the Elven longswords from Lord of the Rings). The Panabas was also used for agriculture, butchery and even executions. It is also arguably one of the most notable swords to originate from the Philippines.
Experts are sometimes not sure how the Goddendag was used. Ancient carvings show soldiers using it with a shield, so its application may have been similar to that of a short spear. Due to the tapering of its shape and weight distribution (most of its weight is concentrated on the top part), I think it may also have been used as some kind of club. The word "Goddendag" also means "Good day" which could imply a downward attack motion (similar to bowing when greeting somebody), but that is also just my personal opinion.
The Renaissance era gave birth to many unique inventions and weapons. That includes the Spetum which looks like a combination of several weapons. Almost half of its length consists of its blade and can be used like a two handed sword or spear. In addition, it has two smaller blades protruding from its side giving it an appearance similar to that of a trident. The trident-like shape also gave the wielder a chance to trap swords. The remarkable thing about the Spetum is its ability to be folded in half (like a folding knife), thus allowing it to be better concealed or transported.
I've heard two versions about the origins of this weapon. Tekkos originated in Okinawa. They either derived from horse shoes being held as a striking weapon, or from some kind of tool for grinding (like a pestle). Like their more famous counter parts, the Nunchacku and Bo, Tekkos were turned into weapons since carrying swords was outlawed at that time. As a weapon they could be used like the modern day brass knuckles. Some Tekkos were even adorned with spikes or metal studs to maximize their damage. Known defensive moves versus knives or swords include hitting the oncoming blade, or even catching it by clasping both hands together using the two grips like a pincer.
I've seen this weapon's design a couple of times already and thought I'd research a little more about it. Little is known about the Ikakalaka sword (also known as a Kondo sword), except that it originated from the Congo area. It's most distinct feature, the tip, is blunt with sharp sides extending out sidewards. This made the Kondo sword more like a hacking weapon, probably used similar to a pick axe.
Side note: Some of you might recognize this weapon from one of the Assassin's Creed games.