> Spears, man, spears. More reach than a sword, which means you can
> gack a swordsman before he gets *you* in range. Spears are
> relatively easy to learn, to. Pitchforks suck. As I understand it,
> grain flails (nunchuks and larger cousins) also require a fair amount
> of training. (Not to mention, the potential to whack yourself in the
> head if you are either unfamiliar with the weapon, or clumsy or
Probably true but then the peasant would have to expend time and effort to make and train (in secret) with the spear. With a pitchfork or grain flail their masters would have to provide them and the peasants are familiar with their use. Just like I would arm smiths with the hammers of their trade - not the best weapons, but their arms know their weight and balance. In otherwise difficult circumstances something familiar would be of great comfort.
If you want to arm them with bladed weapons then I'd suggest sickles and scythes. I guess that a fair number would be handy with sling or thrown rock given that being able to catch a bird / rabbit would be a welcome addition to their daily rations. But maybe that is a skill mainly for the youngsters assigned to looking after the flocks, where being good with a sling can mean less sheep taken by predators.
I guess in the end it all depends on if you see any peasant revolt as the result of years of secret planning or a spontaneous thing. If the former then sure they would be better armed spears and the odd stolen sword, if the latter then they would only have their agricultural implements.
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