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Top 10 Coolest Ancient Warrior Weapons

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher

Modern artillery may pack a bigger punch, but these old school tools are truly something to marvel at. From flaming arrows, to Greek fire, these are some of the most interesting weapons from history. WatchMojo is counting down the coolest weapons used in war.

Special thanks to our users Megalon73, urbanwatch69, Josobr and TomDalyDog for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Coolest%20Ancient%20Warrior%20Weapons

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Script written by Savannah Sher

Top 10 Coolest Ancient Warrior Weapons


Modern artillery may pack a bigger punch, but these old school tools are truly something to marvel at. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Coolest Ancient Warrior Weapons.

For this list, we’re looking the most interesting weapons from history, and avoiding specific ones that were only used by one historical figure.

#10: Flaming Arrows

A weapon doesn’t have to be complicated in order to get the job done. Flaming arrows are one of the earliest recorded uses of incendiary devices, with documented use from as far back as the siege of Lachish in 701 BC. Unlike many of the other weapons on our list, this one kills two birds with one stone by taking out a single enemy while potentially starting a blaze that hopefully spreads. Over the centuries, different populations have made advancements to improve the basic concept of flaming arrows, but the tried and true method can still work destructive wonders!

#9: Atlatl (Spear-Thrower)

The design of this weapon may be simple, but it sure is effective. Atlatl is the Nahuatl (or Aztec) word for what is more commonly known as a spear thrower. Tools such as these have been used for much of human history, with traces of this weapon being found in Europe from the late upper Palaeolithic era. The tool essentially works in the same way as that thing you use to throw balls for your dog to avoid getting slobber on your hands. An atlatl can be thrown at a range of 110 yards from the user’s target, though it is most accurate when used to hit a target within 21 yards or the thrower.

#8: Flail

The flail has several different iterations, but even in its most basic form it is a weapon that you do not want to go up against. The purpose of a weapon with this design (other than looking totally cool) is that with the right technique, you can wrap it around your opponent’s shield, striking them even when a sword couldn’t. The peasant flail, which was used in the Late Middle Ages, was actually an agricultural tool that peasants took to using in combat. Interestingly, due to a lack of physical evidence, it is debated as to whether the spiked flail, which is so commonly seen in pop culture, ever actually existed.

#7: Twin Hooks

This weapon goes by many different names: the hook sword, tiger head hooks, and in simplified Chinese: fu tao. Though its design is reminiscent of a shepherd's crook, this martial arts weapon can do some serious damage. The history behind this tool of war is murky, with some claiming it dates back as far as the Song dynasty of 960–1279, while others attest that there is only evidence of it having been in use since the Qing era of the 17th century. Based on the historical facts, twin hooks were never officially used by the Chinese army, but were rather for civilian use.

#6: Qiang

Quite simply, Qiang is the Chinese word for spear. In ancient China, there were four major weapons used in battle: the staff, the saber, the sword and the spear. The qiang, or spear, earned the name of "The King of Weapons". These spears could range from 9 to 21 feet in length, and were characterized by their blades which were formed in the shape of leaves. Another distinctive feature of the qiang was the red tassel made of horsehair which served to distract the person being attacked and make it more difficult for them to grab the spear before it hit them.

#5: Scissor

Scissors? You’re probably wondering how this humble household item ended up on a list of the coolest weapons in history. However, we’re not talking about scissors, but rather the scissor (singular), a short range weapon used by a type of ancient Roman gladiator who shared the weapon’s name. This weapon is put over the wearer’s forearm, and features a handle inside for optimal precision. The top features a crescent shaped blade which made this a multipurpose tool which could either slash at your opponent, or block their attacks. Sadly, little is known about this unique weapon, but it sure was cool.

#4: Greek Fire

The inventors of old sure had the right idea when they came up with this incendiary weapon. First used around the year 672, the Byzantine empire developed a formula that would create fire that could not be extinguished even when it touched water. This was extremely effective for naval battles and was the cause of a great number of victories for the Romans. The craziest part? Though historians speculate that it was a combination of pine resin, naphtha, quicklime, calcium phosphide, and sulphur, even centuries later, no one knows exactly how Greek fire was made.

#3: Shuriken

The Japanese translation of Shuriken is “hidden hand blade” but we’re guessing you know these handy little weapons by their westernized moniker: ninja stars. While those who have seen a lot of ninja movies may be familiar with the star-shaped version of these tiny terrors, they were in fact made in a variety of different shapes. And in traditional use, their purpose wasn’t necessarily to kill your enemy, but rather to distract them while using a sword to go in for the final blow.

#2: Mace

Sometimes it’s the simplest tools that do the most damage. A mace is a weapon that can be fashioned out of nearly anything, which made it an accessible one for people from various social classes. The handle can be made from sturdy wood or metal; it really just needs a piece on the tip heavy enough to deliver a solid blow. Maces have been around since prehistory, with evidence of them being found from the Upper Paleolithic period. A mace isn’t to be confused with a morningstar however, which is the mace-like weapon that features a spiked ball at its tip.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Mangonel
Halberd
Crossbow

#1: Katana

Despite all of the advances we’ve made in weaponry over the course of history, none of our modern creations can hold a candle to this one in terms of coolness. Swords in general are pretty awesome, but none have quite as much mythos and lore attached to them as katanas do. These ancient Japanese blades are forged with a curved edge, which sets them apart from their Western counterparts. Historians have called katanas some of the “finest cutting weapons” in the global history of weaponry.
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