A weapon consisting of a broad axe-blade mounted on a long (150-200 cm) shaft. They are carried by bailiffs in courts, by the guards of magistrates with judicial powers, and as insignia by heralds and ambassadors. Ornate ceremonial models are made, especially for high officers, but starkly functional headsman’s axes may be seen in the hands of bailiffs in many courts. Poleaxes are also used a weapons by some makhetes who don’t want to have to hit anyone twice.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.