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Maces

byzantine maces

Maces were an essential cavalry weapon since ancient times, essentially because little technique or precision is required! Ancient terms continued in use, but more typically medieval terms were vardoukion (βαρδούκιον) and matzouka (ματζούκα). The tenth century military manuals say that a heavy cavalryman should go into battle perhaps with a mace in hand, but certainly with two spares in holsters on either side of his saddle pommel. The twelfth-century Arab chronicler al-Tartusi wrote that the shafts of maces used by the Rômaikoi could be covered with leather and painted. Byzantine sources refer also to sideroravdia (σιδεροραβδία), maces made entirely of iron, once again confirmed by al-Tartusi. The heads on these replicas are based upon examples found in the Balkans, although the upper one is designed for re-enactment combat and so its flanges are blunted, while the lower is a more precisely rendered replica. Although it weighs a mere 740 grammes (1lb 10oz) the momentum allowed by its eighty centimetre shaft delivers great force.