The Ancient World of Battle Maces
JOURNEY INTO THE ANCIENT WORLD OF BATTLE MACES
Find out what made Battle Mace Balls so common in the ancient world. Do not let its stunningly simple looks fool you. Battle maces may comprise of everything that goes against the usual ABCs of weaponry, namely being blunt, heavy and bulky. However, these very reasons are why battles maces are known to be one of the deadliest forms of weaponry ever known to man. In layman’s terms, a battle mace is a type of club with a heavy head on one end made to deliver powerful blows.
Unlike most other weapons that evolved from being everyday tools to battlefield must-haves, the battle mace evolved from the club, which was created specifically to shed blood. Consisting of a heavy wooden or metal shaft, the battle mace has a mounted head usually forged from common metals such as copper, bronze, iron and steel. Heads made of stone were also commonly used, but over time were banished in favor of the hardier metals.
To instill even greater damage to enemies, the battle mace was modified and shaped to include sharp spikes or knobs with the sole purpose of penetrating armor and rendering shields useless. Differing sizes of battle maces were common and varied from those between two to three feet in length to much longer ones suitable for battle on horseback. Although it has been recorded that the Greeks were the first nation to produce top quality battle-ready maces, archeological and historical references to battle maces prove that they were also widely used by the Celts, Northern African tribes as well as the ancient Indians.
It is well known that the battle mace was a favored weapon in medieval times. Most battle maces had a metal chain and metal ball with spikes attached to it. These metal balls are known as mace balls. This ball-on-chain bludgeon is also known as a flail. Popularly used by foot soldiers, there were two types of commonly used flails, known as the one-handed flail and two-handed flail. Both the one-handed and two-handed flails are depicted as a weapon comprising of a handle connected to one or several metal heads by a metal chain. The ‘one’ or ‘two’ handed portion of its name simply refers to whether the user needed one or both hands to use it.
Known as the dorikke in Korea, gada in India and the rentsuru in Japan, these references prove that battle maces were also commonly used in ancient Asia during times of war. Interestingly enough, battle maces were implemented into the training regime of ancient soldiers for the simple reason that it offered them weight and maneuverability training. It was said that if a soldier had the patience and strength to perform well with a heavy battle mace, he would have no problems wielding a sword, which in general are much lighter than battle maces.
With the modern invention of drones, missiles, and nuclear warheads, battle maces are no longer anywhere to be found in times of war. Rather, they adorn the walls of bonafide weapons fans and sit behind bulletproof glass in museums around the world, patiently bidding its time.