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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject: Spartan Sword...         Reply with quote

I am relatively new to collecting, and have a very limited knowledge. I have found this site to be extremely helpful, but I couldn't find the exact answer I was looking for. I tried other sources too, but I am probably using the wrong keywords or looking in the wrong places. I am curious about the swords featured in the movie 300. I understand that the Spartans primarily used spears, and used the sword as a secondary weapon for close combat. Again, I could be mistaken. Most of the historical swords used a very different shape then those found in 300. Is there any historical accuracy to the shape of this sword whatsoever? The sword I am speaking of is pictured below. Any help would be appreciated.

-Jon



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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's complete fantasy.

Like almost all fantasy weapons, there are bits and pieces that draw inspiration from all kinds of sourses, but the final product is not based on a historical example.

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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's kind of like a badly designed, surreal version of a kopis. http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ight=kopis

I don't think the Spartans used that sword. Instead they typically used a very short leaf-bladed xiphos.
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Philip Montgomery




Location: Houston
Joined: 29 May 2008
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Spartan Sword...         Reply with quote

Jon K. wrote:
I am relatively new to collecting, and have a very limited knowledge. I have found this site to be extremely helpful, but I couldn't find the exact answer I was looking for. I tried other sources too, but I am probably using the wrong keywords or looking in the wrong places. I am curious about the swords featured in the movie 300. I understand that the Spartans primarily used spears, and used the sword as a secondary weapon for close combat. Again, I could be mistaken. Most of the historical swords used a very different shape then those found in 300. Is there any historical accuracy to the shape of this sword whatsoever? The sword I am speaking of is pictured below. Any help would be appreciated.

-Jon


Hey Jon, welcome to the site. I am sure that there are experts on this site who can tell you about weapons used by Spartans during the period you are talking about. I don't have a clue really, but erhaps the sword type is a xiphos or a Kopis/Falcata. If you search the forums for hoplite or the sword forms listed you might get some information that will be helpful. Good luck on your search.

Philip Montgomery
~-----~
"A broken sword blade fwipping through the air like a scythe through rye does demand attention."
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 769

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Right, there are two main types of sword used in Greece during this time, the Xiphos and the Kopis. The xiphos was a double-edged, leaf-shaped sword with a blade of upward of 24 inches, while the Kopis was a forward-curved saber of about the same length. It is known that the Spartans adopted a much shorter version of the xiphos, certainly by the time of the Peloponnesian Wars, which had a blade about 14 inches long -- this is known primarily from artistic representations and literature, as no actual examples of this sword are known to exist.

The "300" sword seems to be a mutated kopis-like thing, much cruder and less elegant than an actual kopis would have been. Oh, and the Spartans would have actually worn armor to battle, too.

Here are some neat websites:
http://www.larp.com/hoplite/
http://www.4hoplites.com/
Here's an accurate reproduction of a xiphos, with pics of some originals:
http://www.ironagearmoury.com/xiphos.html

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Likes: 13 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greek is one of my main periods (and I write books about it.)

Nothing in 300 is remotely right, so the sword shouldn't worry anyone... Happy

Greeks may or may not have had a dedicated sword art--much argument there--but they did have a very modern and very efficient unarmed combat system called Pankration, at which Spartans excelled (but not to a great enough degree to dominate it). Every youth of the hoplite class in every Poleis in Greece including Ionian Greece (now Turkey) were all trained in Pankration. Greek swords tended to be weapons that would "extend the fist" as some moderns say--weapons that simply aided the effects of Pankration.

The Spartan sword was apparently (according to Pausanias, as I remember, and I'll look it up later) a xiphos in shape but much shorter--13-16 inches long, really a dagger. I've used one, and it is a complete weapons system for the phalanx fighter--you wear it way up under the arm pit as the Spartan's did, and when your spear breaks, your right hand can find it with perfect surety and no mistake, even while somebody is pounding away at the front of your aspis (your shield). Also of importance, the short length makes it perfect for really close fighting--over or under your aspis.

The Spartan sword was called the "Lacedaemonian." But that's just a fancy way of saying "The Spartan."

I have one I made myself, if you want a picture.

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian,
I'd like to see a pic of it. Can you post it?

inkothemgard!
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 9:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a thread from a while back which was discussing just this topic. Cheers!

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...rtan+sword

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Jon K.




Location: US
Joined: 12 Feb 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2011 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your help everyone. Sometimes you want the Tooth Fairy to exist. I really like the design of some the 300 style khopis. Unfortunately, I could not find any research to find their existance in that form. There are similar, more historical accurate designs of the real khopis, but they are a little out of my budget. Also I think my image of what I wanted is clouded by what I thought a Spartan sword is "supposed" to look like. What I think I was really looking for by posting this threat was for somebody who knew their stuff to "tell me it ain't so"- that these "300 hybrid swords did indeed exist.

I started collecting weapons from different periods based on functionality, beauty/fantastic qualities, and historical accuracy. It didn't have to be to the most exacting minute specifications...but frankly this didn't come close. Damn, and it was priced right too. LOL

Once again, thanks for your help.


-Jon
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