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What the hell *is* a Morning Star?

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I've never been quite sure what the hell a morning star is. My father used to describe it as a sort of small flail with two heads. I've seen it drawn as a miniature flail with a single head. I've seen it shown as a mace with a circular spiked head, and also as a mace with a cylindrical spiked head.

 

Which is all very confusing. Anyone know what they actually are?


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I've always been confused by this too.


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In Swedish pseudo medieval RPG settings, a morningstar is the same as a mace: a shaft with a spherical lump of metal in one end, usually with spikes or dents on it.

 

The morning star was a medieval weapon resembling a mace, but with a large spike on the end and smaller spikes around the circumference. It was also known as the goedendag (from the Dutch word for "good day") and the holy water sprinkler (from its resemblance to the aspergillum sometimes used in the Catholic Mass).

 

It was used by both cavalry and infantry; the horseman's weapon typically had a shorter haft than the footman's, which might be up to six feet long. It came into use in the beginning of the 14th century.

 

The name "morning star" is often erroneously applied to the military flail (also known as the therscol), a similar weapon, but with the head attached by a short chain.

 

But id say its just another name for flail or mace in general.


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I think it's the spikes that makes a morning star what it is.. since they resemble a small sun/star ..


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I think it's the spikes that makes a morning star what it is.. since they resemble a small sun/star ..

 

Yeah, Probably something like that.

 

Flails and such have chains, as opposed to morning stars and maces which is just metal on a pole is what I've always believed.

These days I'm leaning towards it all being names for similar things used in different countries. I think that the morningstar is a certain german mace, for example. (morgenstern). Another theory (which probably is more correct) is that the morning star is any mace OR flail that has a ball with spikes on it.

So a mace is a pole with some metal on the end, like a ball or "blades" such as the Flanged Mace, while a flail is anything that has a pole, a chain and a piece of metal or similar on the end.

 

Thus, a mace with a spiked ball on it makes it a morning star mace, and a flail with the same spiked ball makes a morning star mace.

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It's the spiked ball that gets most people. The morningstar, from the best sources I can find is simply a variety of mace that happens to have a ball shaped head with spikes on it.

 

A weapon with one or more smooth or spiked balls at the end of a chain connected to a haft is a ball-and-chain (some very imaginative naming going on there ;) ), sometimes called a flail or war flail (though I believe that flails have a rod-shaped head at the end of a chain).

 

However, I've seen the term "morningstar" used to describe ball-and-chain weapons in some sources, even sources that I would have thought would know better.

 

It's entirely possible the vagueness began years ago or even in ages when those weapons were still being used. After all, this excessively technical taxionomy of weapons happened after the fact - there were no non-partisan (or non-ranseur for that matter :) ) medieval commisions devoted to enforcing weights, lengths, and names of these weapons.

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morning star? :thumbsup: There just simple melee weapons. It's simply a wooden shaft with a spiked ball head. Simple as that, people get confused with maces, maces are virtually the same thing, but with about 8 fluked metal flanges that surround the top part of the shaft. Flails are different, they have a wooden shaft with a large chain attached to it and attached to that, a heavy iron ball with or without spikes.

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However, I've seen the term "morningstar" used to describe ball-and-chain weapons in some sources, even sources that I would have thought would know better.

The problem is that even historical sources use the term "morningstar" to describe fixed-head and ball-and-chain weapons. I actually try to avoid using the term at all because it just confuses people.

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However, I've seen the term "morningstar" used to describe ball-and-chain weapons in some sources, even sources that I would have thought would know better.

The problem is that even historical sources use the term "morningstar" to describe fixed-head and ball-and-chain weapons. I actually try to avoid using the term at all because it just confuses people.

... exept where it is intentional to confuse them. :p


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