Therefore, these Partesans were made bigg and of great paize, and of perfect good steele, to the end they might breake the maile and deuyde the Iron.
Giacomo di Grassi
The Partizan was the ‘cutting spear’ of the Renaissance battlefield. The Italian master Giacomo di Grassi (in the 1594 English translation of his work) called it the most “excellent and commodious” of all staff weapons, used in battle to “enter among the Pikes, and cut them a sunder, and other weapons also partlie for that cause, and partlie to skirmish single, one to one.”
“The partizan … seems to have developed during the fifteenth century from the winged spear. It had a very long, two-edged blade, often some twenty-eight inches (70 cm) in length, broad at the base, from which sprang two upturned lugs. Very effective as a fighting weapon, it soon became the most popular form of ceremonial or parade staff-weapon, remaining in widespread use for this purpose until the nineteenth century, and is still retained by the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London, the Yeoman of the Guard, and the Papal Guard in the Vatican. In later examples the lugs, originally used for parrying, were cut into complex shapes.”
European Weapons and Armour, Ewart Oakeshott