Rondel Dagger

Code:  EU10

A rondel (or roundel) was a type of stiff-bladed dagger in Europe in the late Middle Ages (from the 14th century onwards), used by a variety of people from merchants to knights. It was worn at the waist and might be used as a utility tool, or worn into battle or a jousting tournament as a side-arm. The blade was typically long and slim, measuring 12 inches (30 cm) or more; the whole dagger might be as long as 20 inches (50 cm). Rondel means round or circular; the dagger gets its name from its round (or similarly shaped, e.g. octagonal) hand guard and round or spherical pommel.

Merchants and tradesmen are wearing rondels at their waists (see bottom left) in this scene from a miniature by Girat de Roussillon (circa 1448).  Before the 1400s, daggers were considered a peasant’s weapon. 

However, by the 15th century a dagger became a side-arm for knights.  Rather than used for parrying, the rondel was a backup weapon for hand-to-hand fighting.  A downed knight was vulnerable to the rondel’s sharp point at the joints of his armor and through the visor. A knight would be killed not from a sword blow to the armor, but a skillful dagger attack once unmounted. 

            Duel (video)

This replica rondel is based on the type that was carried by the knights who fought the battles of Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt.  The ornate carved grip and hexagonal guard and pommel are typical of this type.  The blade is 11 3/4 inches, of carbon steel, with a hardwood carved grip and total length about 16 3/4 inches.

Armored longsword combatants wearing roundel daggers as backup weapons (plate 214, Codex Wallerstein, 15th Century)


Rondel Dagger (Wikipedia)