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Lance

From Academic Kids

This article is about the weapon. For military formation, see lance (formation).

The term lance has become a catchall for a variety of different pole weapons based on the spear. While most could still be classified as spears, lances tend to be larger; usually both longer and heavier lances did not have spear tips that broke off and were adapted for mounted combat. The lance is perhaps most known as one of the foremost weapons used by European knights, but the use of lances were spread throughout the old world wherever mounts were available. Generally a spear which is not thrown is called a lance.

Because of the extreme stopping power of a lance it quickly became a popular weapon of footmen in the footman's lance. These eventually lead to the rise of some of the longest types of spears ever, the pike and awl pike. During the 15th through 17th centuries, these weapons of war were so effective that lancers and pikemen not only became a staple of every army, they also became highly sought after mercenaries.

In Europe, a jousting lance was a variation of the knights lance which was modified from its original war design. In jousting lances, the tips would at times be blunt and the center of the lance could be designed to be hollow, in order for it to break on impact. They were often 4 meters long or more and had special hand guards build into the length of the lance. These are the versions that can most often be seen at medieval reenactment festivals. In war, lances were much more like ordinary spears, long and balanced for one handed use.

A lance is also the name given by some anthropologists to the light flexible spears (technically, darts) thrown by atlatls (specialised spear throwers).

Template:Weapon-stub

List of lances

Spears that are often considered lances include:

For all others please see spear

See also

de:Lanze fr:Lance nl:Lans pl:Kopia (broń) sl:Sulica

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