The History of Weaponry and Warfare – part 1

In this episode we cover the history of weaponry and warfare from the stone age to the dawn of the age of gunpowder via the sausage. We discuss the little recognised role of leopards as throwing weapons, Snakes on a Ship, the prequel to Snakes on a Plane and how early chariots were probably drawn by donkeys.

I forgot to add links the various places you can pick up the show if you prefer to listen on a devicey thing!



and now Acast

Some of the pictures below were taken when we went on a family visit to the Milton Keynes History Festival, which was excellent, if hot!


Arrow heads

This collection of arrow heads includes hunting arrows, armour-piercing bodkins, a fire arrow, an arrow to cut through a ship’s rigging and even one designed to chip away at masonry. Can you work out which one’s which?

The Agincourt bodkins

By the time of Agincourt, arrow technology was very advanced. These arrows have very strong shafts and reinforced heads.


Otto and a viking
Otto with a viking sword and shield

The viking is showing how you could use a long spear to go over a shield war. The battleaxe Otto has was also handy against a shield wall as you could hook it over a shield and pull back.

Some Angles – the one with the beard was very obtuse!!



Otto with a mace

Maces were used by Bishops who were allowed to fight in medieval wars but were not allowed to draw blood.


Books we read:

A History of Warfare by John Keegan

War, What is it Good for?: The Role of Conflict in Civilisation, from Primates to Robots by Ian Morris

Warlords: Ancient – Celtic – Medieval by Tim Newark

Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

Find out more by visiting these websites:

Edward I Trebuchet, more info:

Eumenes and the Battle of Magnesia



Sumerian War Chariot: By Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Composite Bow: By Gao Xiang [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Catapult: By Rade Nagraisalović (a.k.a. Тonka) (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Ballista: By Ron L. Toms ( [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Other images by Luke Baxter with kind permission of the people in the photos.



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