Steel bastard sword
Description and uses
The term "bastard" is used to indicate that a thing doesn't fit within any of the normal categories used for classification. In this case it indicates that the sword is neither a single-handed sword such as the gladius, spatha and short sword, nor is it a true two-handed sword such as the long-sword. The grip is longer than is necessary for one hand but is not really long enough for a full two-handed grip. For this reason the bastard sword is sometimes called the "hand-and-a-half" sword.
While it is not a great deal longer than the traditional single-handed swords, the extra leverage of a second hand-grip, and the additional power from the strength of a second arm, make it a very powerful weapon. The improved control of the two-hand grip also provides greater accuracy.
The bastard sword is better than the single-handed edged weapons while only weighing a few more grams. It is very much lighter than the two-handed weapons but causes very nearly as much damage.
The bastard sword first appeared late in the 14th Century and continued to be popular throughout the 15th Century. It fell into disfavour as the prominence of swordplay reduced in the face of increasingly powerful ranged weapons such as the crossbow, artillery and firearms.