Talk:Mace (bludgeon)

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Maces, flails and morning stars[edit]

I hope this is the correct spot to add this: The article states, "The maces of foot soldiers were usually quite short (two or three feet, or sixty to ninety centimetres). The maces of cavalrymen were longer and thus better suited for blows delivered from horseback. Two-handed maces could be even larger." However, the article for flails says, "There are two broad types of flail: a long, two-handed infantry weapon with a cylindrical head, and a shorter weapon with a round metal striking head." This seems contradictory. I suspect that the reality is a mix, but are there any sources that clarify this? So far, I have not been able to find any. - Mith Mithalwulf (talk) 14:23, 7 March 2021 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mithalwulf (talkcontribs) 14:19, 7 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article says "A variety of mace called the morning star had its spiked metal ball suspended from a chain attached to the handle, rather than being directly mounted." But the morning star article says this is incorrect and such a weapon is really a flail. I have no idea which, if either, is right - can someone who knows please make this consistent, or at least weaken the wording if there's no general consensus about naming? -- S

The "morning_star_(weapon)" page says that the one with a chain is a flail.

The morningstar part refers to the spiked head. A mace is a shaft with a metal ball on the end, a flail is a shaft with a chain and a ball on the end of the chain. If spikes are given to the ball then the weapons would be called Morningstar Mace and Morningstar Flail respectively. If you want to be pedantic about it then technically only a Morgenstern should be called a Mornignstar but as far as common usage is concerned the above description is correct. -Daniel

Daniel nailed it. Mace, Flail, Morningstar Mace, and Morningstar Flail are the four official terms. As for Morgenstern, nobody really thinks a spiked club was first invented by the Europeans, and it's just as likely the term was simply a folk term they translated. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 07:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maces and Shedding Blood[edit]

What exactly is the evidence for the Mace being employed by the Clergy to avoid shedding blood? As far as I know this is entirely derived / inferred from the depiction of Odo in the Bayeux Tapestry and the Roman de Rou, niether of which makes this assertion. Also, as far as I know, Arch Bishop Turpin uses a sword called Almace, not an actual Mace, as well as a lance. If this is a myth, as I suspect it is, it might be worth not only removing the claim, but indicating why (i.e 'contrary to popular belief...'). If, however, there is evidence to support this claim I will be interested to hear it.--M.J.Stanham 14:32, 25 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have to agree. I have long thought that this was yet another myth started by AD&D, for the simple reasons that there are plenty of counter-examples, and also a blow from a mace is quite likely to draw blood. I have corrected the claim about Bishop Turpin (every source I can find agrees that he had a sword, and some even describe its sharpness in detail e.g. [1]), and added a "dubious" tag to the relevant line.-- Securiger 00:34, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Priests were technically forbidden to bear arms of any kind, but in practice they often did, Crusades not withstanding. There was no special provision forbidding Priests from using edged or pointed weapons with regard to the Crusade experience, to the best of my knowledge. The Military Orders, who could be described as militarised monks, certainly had no such strictures preventing them from functioning as Knights.--M.J.Stanham 22:17, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 1911 Brittanica seems to have believed it -- see for instance the article on Archbishop Absalon of Denmark. --Chronodm 15:24, 18 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 1978 book "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century" also repeats this notion of clerics using maces. It seems unlikely that the author got it from D&D. (talk) 08:11, 17 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it was around about that time that this idea was being propagated; no doubt the article is referring to Odo of Bayeux. Of course, if there were some other evidence to support this idea, I would be really interested to hear it. It all just collapses back to the same source at the moment, which says nothing of the kind, so far as I know. --M.J.Stanham 21:48, 18 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although I'm no expert, I agree about the supposed limitation to blunt weapons. I don't think priests often ran around on the battlefield to begin with, even if they did levy troops from the lands they owned. If someone can find an edict or other document describing rules for members of the clergy who wish to go to war, that would satisfy the requirement. Unless such a document can be found, this doesn't really belong in the article. I'm going to remove it for now. --GenkiNeko 17:21, 15 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A bit late, but I've tried to draw some conclusions the sources I've read in my amateur research about this subject here: Lay (talk) 14:37, 9 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Maybe this page and other medevil weaponry needs a template?:
That probably wouldn't be a bad idea, though strict categorization of weaponry could lead to huge arguments (i.e. setting a single term closed definition for weapons without an accepted typology - maces, shields, rapiers, etc.) I think that there would definitely be some support for a good flexible template from the various weapon-related task forces and groups around.
Also, please sign your comments (use the tilde [~] key 4 times in a row to do so). This way, we know who is speaking (or writing, as the case may be) and can more clearly address and understand conversations. -- Xiliquiern 04:18, 5 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is their any sourcing for two handed maces being called mauls? A maul is a tool for splitting wood, like a sledgehammer with an axe-head. Theblindsage 02:00, 21 February 2007 (UTC) After looking it up, the idea that a maul is a 2 handed mace seems to have come from Diablo II, and spread from there. The idea is false. A maul is a type of hammer. Theblindsage 02:00, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A maul is specifically a mallet used (or, at any rate, formerly used) by stonemasons. Its purpose, so far as I can discern, was not to strike the stone with a view to splitting it or dislodging chunks therefrom, but to apply weight topically to finished stones put in place but which are not sitting exactly as they ought. Hence, "a heavy setting maul", such as that supposed to have been used as a murder weapon in the slaying of Hiram Abiff.
Nuttyskin (talk) 11:17, 24 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Perhaps some kind of redirect for the mace chemical spray at the top? Theblindsage (talk) 08:46, 26 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ceremonial Maces[edit]

The section on 'Paramilitary Maces' includes too much specific detail on the mace of the Scottish parliament. Unless there is more general information for other Westminster-styled parliamentary maces it should be removed and placed in another article; either dedicated to itself or included with the article on the Scottish parliament.--Black Orpheus 17:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Although I can source no textual backup at the moment, I remember having read that the actual intended purpose of a mace in academic processions was for its bearer (the bedellus or beadle) to propel dogs out of the way by smacking them on the head with the weighted end.
Nuttyskin (talk) 11:21, 24 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

misspelled word[edit]

In the second paragraph of the overview, centimeters is misspelled. It is spelled "centimetres", which is incorrect. The correct way is "centimeters". i thought i would just point this out.

    2605:6000:1025:39:2D88:1C28:1F92:EAA6 (talk) 23:02, 18 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, it isn't incorrect. Please see WP:ENGVAR as to why we aren't going to change it. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:51, 18 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mace as exercise equipment[edit]

There are no swords, including two handed, in 7 to 10 kg range. Anything heavier than about 4 kg is not real weapon but decoration or ceremonial purposes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 26 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I really think this section needs to be changed. There are no references for this section. The wording is kind of off. It certainly has the fact about the weight of swords totally wrong. (talk) 15:17, 8 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there any particular reason that this article is redirected from Mace (weapon)?[edit]

It seems a bit more natural and more likely that people will understand [[Mace (weapon)]] to be about this article than [[Mace (club)]] which makes the article seem to be about a Social club rather than a weapon. I am going to be a bit bold and move the article since this doesn't seem contentious, but feel free to revert if you oppose but let me know why on the talk page please, not in an edit summary. Dr Crazy 102 (talk) 12:32, 13 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does the opening sentence in the European Middle Ages section really need a citation?[edit]

It says mail armor was very effective against edged weapons. It is hyper-linked to the mail wiki entry, where, under the effectiveness section, it is stated that:

Mail armour provided an effective defence against slashing blows by edged weapons and penetration by thrusting and piercing weapons; in fact, a study conducted at the Royal Armouries at Leeds concluded that "it is almost impossible to penetrate using any conventional medieval weapon."[39][40]

This is a pretty well established fact, and someone calling for a citation when they were too lazy to click a provided link and read a little bit seems petty. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:558:6040:3A:6D82:F605:2D9D:3BDB (talk) 03:50, 29 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Undiscussed rename[edit]

"Bludgeon" is a poor choice of rename, as it implies that maces were blunt. Their main function was to be a pointed, armour-piercing weapon against plate armour - hence the typical "radiating plates" design.

Also, don't we discuss renames before acting on them? Andy Dingley (talk) 09:51, 11 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Armor penetration of flanged maces[edit]

Medieval archaeologist and historical european martial art teacher Matt Easton argues that flanged maces are in almost all circumstances comparatively blunt and not capable of nor designed for penetrating medieval plate armor. Instead they are designed to create traction and avoid glancing blows thereby transferring more energy into the target. He likens it to molar teeth or studs on a football boot. [1]

While still a weapon designed to fight against persons in armor, I would suggest that the current wording in the article is misleading readers on the design and function of the mace and the flanged mace in particular. Martcx (talk) 21:31, 3 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was about to post the same thing. This is nonsense and needs to be removed. FilthiestOfPeasant (talk) 21:31, 4 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]



Removed section on swinging weapon being incompatible with disciplined, tight ranks: this was unsourced and POV. It was also untrue: a cursory study on the use of halberds by the Swiss, or axes and swords by pretty much any other fighting force would show that it's perfectly possible to use swinging weapons in close combat. (talk) 22:00, 26 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For clarity, this is about this edit.
I'm okay with removing the statement as it is unsourced, but AFAIK it is actually true. The statement was not about general close combat, but specifically about tight formations -- shoulder to shoulder several ranks deep, with 1 square meter or less per soldier. Legionaries were trained to fight only with the point of their sword (gladius), as swinging for any effect took upper-body motion, which would affect the steadiness of the soldier's shield position, reducing the effectiveness for the shield-wall protection of adjacent legionaries, defeating their primary heavy infantry tactics. Also, halberds were not swung, but used to slice or catch on a vertical plane, avoiding any notable horizontal motion that would more likely affect fellows instead of foes. In short, there was a wide variety of specialized organized melee tactics with arms to match, not just brawls.
Oh, and do not throw around "POV" so casually in Wikipedia. It implies acting in bad faith to promote personal biases; there's no evidence of that here. --A D Monroe III(talk) 22:53, 26 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]