Long sword is characterized not so much by a longer blade, but by a longer grip, which indicates a weapon designed for two-handed use. Swords with exceptionally long hilts are found throughout the High Middle Ages. For example, there is a long sword in The Glasgow Art and History Museum, Labelled XIIIa. 5, which scholars have dated back to between 1100 and 1200 due to the hilt style and specific taper, but swords like this remain incredibly rare, and are not representative of an identifiable trend before the late 13th or early 14th century.
The long sword as a late medieval type of sword emerges in the 14th century, as a military steel weapon of the earlier phase of the Hundred Years’ War. It remains identifiable as a type during the period of about 1350 to 1550. It remained in use as a weapon of war intended for wielders wearing full plate armour either on foot or on horseback, throughout the late medieval period. From the late 15th century, however, it is also attested as being worn and used by unarmoured soldiers or mercenaries.