World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001030291
Reproduction Date:

Title: Bardiche  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of premodern combat weapons, Timeline of Russian innovation, Weapons in Star Trek, List of medieval weapons, Halberd
Collection: Renaissance-Era Pole Weapons
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Two examples of a bardiche

A bardiche or berdiche ("long poleaxe") is a type of pole weapon known in the 16th and 17th centuries in Eastern Europe. Ultimately a descendant of the medieval sparth (Danish axe), the bardiche proper appears after 1500, but there are numerous medieval manuscripts that depict very similar weapons beginning ca. 1250. The bardiche differs from the halberd in having neither a hook at the back nor a spear point at the top.[1]

Use of bardiches started in early 15th century Russia (some sources name the late 14th century), and in Scandinavia in the late 15th century. In the 16th century the bardiche became a weapon associated with streltsy (Russian guardsmen armed with firearms).[2]


  • Description 1
  • Use 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The blade varied greatly in shape, but was most often a long, cleaver type blade. The distinction was in how the blade was attached to the pole. The bardiche blade was attached to the pole either via two sockets (one at the top of the pole and one lower, at the base of the blade) or one socket at the top and one surface mount at the base, effectively mounting the heavy blade to the wooden shaft. This construction is also seen in Scottish polearms, such as the Lochaber axe and Jeddart staff, and bardiches are known to have been imported into Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries[3] Depending on the design of the particular weapons in question, at times a bardiche may greatly resemble a voulge.

While the blade was often very long for an axe (usually exceeding 2 feet (60 cm)) the shaft was one of the shortest of all polearms; rarely did it exceed 5 feet (1.5 m) in length. It relied more on the weight of its heavy blade to do the damage than a swing from a long pole. This makes the bardiche more similar to the Danish axe, in some respects, than to a true polearm.


17th. century Streltsy with musket and bardiche

In Russia and in Poland this weapon was used to rest handguns upon when firing. It was standard equipment for the Streltsy (literally "shooters") corps (foot, mounted and dragoons) and also for the Polish infantry (shorter version invented by King Jan III Sobieski).[4] Another use of the bardiche was for execution.


  1. ^ R. E. Oakeshott, European weapons and armour: From the Renaissance to the industrial revolution (1980), 48–49.
  2. ^ Кирпичников А. Н., «Военное дело на Руси в XIII—XV вв.» Л., 1976 / Kirpichnikov A.N. Warfare in Russia in the 13th-15th centuries. Leningrad, 1976. (Russian)
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

  • The Pitt Rivers Berdiche (catalogue reference 1884.21.53)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.