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David Wilson




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

Posts: 775

PostPosted: Sat 04 Oct, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Greek Kopis by Robert Moc         Reply with quote

Accurate reconstructions of classical Greek swords are hard to find. Sadly, there is nothing in the "budget" level that comes close to accurately depicting an actual Greek sword. And those that do look to be somewhat accurate are lacking in other areas (i.e. reasonable handling characteristics). This is especially true for the Kopis. Most swords on the mass market called "kopis" actually depict the Iberian Makhaira (or, more popularly, Falcata), and they don't even do that very accurately. Now, I do have a couple of nice falcatas that are pretty darn accurate, but they're Iberian falcatas, not really Greek Kopides (and seriously, who cares? They're close enough, aren't they? Sure, close enough is fine, if you're playing horseshoes and hand grenades. Yes, some of us are more anal about these things).
So, you have to go custom. Which I wasn't prepared to do -- you have to budget in advance, wait a long time, etc. etc. Not to mention the cost. I took the easy route -- I bought a custom sword used. It was originally commissioned by a Greek reenactor in the Czech Republic, from a Czech maker whose name I have seen a time or two on these fora, Robert Moc. I first saw pics of the sword online years before I bought it, and even then I thought it was one of the best reconstructions of a kopis I'd seen. When the opportunity presented itself I jumped at the chance. The price, although certainly not cheap, was more than reasonable for a custom sword by one of the best makers in the world.
This sword is based on an original in the National Museum in Athens, and really captures the essence of what a kopis was, a fairly long, graceful hacking sword. This is the sword Xenophon was talking about when he recommended the kopis for cavalry use. It is incredible to wield; The previous owner said that it positively invited you to swing and cut with it, which it indeed does. I had, sometime in the past, compared the kopis in general to the later yataghan, a comparison for which I received some criticism. This sword would put that criticism to rest.
The hilt is built "sandwich-style". That is, the sword has a full-profile tang, to which wood grips are attached, over which is a thin cover of bronze or brass. This is not at all bulky or uncomfortable, in fact it's one of the best grips I've felt on a sword of similar style.
The sword is made of an unknown carbon steel. I do not know how well it's tempered, but knowing Mr. Moc's reputation I am not too concerned about this. The blade is quite stiff.
Some stats:
Overall Length: 30.25 inches
Blade length: 24.5 inches
PoB/CoG: 5 inches
CoP: 17 inches (approx)
Blade width: 1.5 inches at widest point, near the CoP
Weight: 2.2. lbs

It comes with a very nice scabbard. Accurate? I have no idea, but it seem reasonable to me (Okay, maybe I'm not that anal).
I do actually have a criticism -- the blade is unedged. It was made for a reenactor, so this is to be expected. I am certain that sharpening wouldn't be much or a problem, should I choose to do it at some future point.

Anyway, I am one happy Hellenist. I've made some really nice deals lately on the used sword market, and this is definitely one of them. This sword is everything I've been looking for in a kopis, and now it's mine. Opa!










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David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 727

PostPosted: Sat 04 Oct, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey David, that's a real winner. I want to be a happy Hellenist too. I have wanted a great kopis and a great xiphos for a while and besides the nice ones from Manning, it seems like custom is the only way to go. This looks great and that's a nice review. I'd like to get an id on the other Greek style swords you have here, the manufacturer's if you please.

Congratulations on a great find!
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David Wilson




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

Posts: 775

PostPosted: Sun 05 Oct, 2014 12:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For the xiphoi, the top one is by Iron Age Armoury (Shane Allee, who is a member here), and the bottom one is by Manning Imperial. For the falcatas, the top one is again by Iron Age Armoury, the bottom one by Paul Holwell.
David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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Robert Mc
Industry Professional



Location: Zvolen Slovakia
Joined: 15 Mar 2013

Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sun 05 Oct, 2014 1:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh it was a long time ago...Thank you David for praise of my work.Steel is STN14 260-DIN54SiCr6-spring steel,partially hardened,edge about 50HRC,back about 30HRC.And I and previous owner are from Slovakia,not Czech...
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David Wilson




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

Posts: 775

PostPosted: Sun 05 Oct, 2014 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Mc wrote:
Oh it was a long time ago...Thank you David for praise of my work.Steel is STN14 260-DIN54SiCr6-spring steel,partially hardened,edge about 50HRC,back about 30HRC.And I and previous owner are from Slovakia,not Czech...


Thanks for the clarification, and sorry about the mix up (I was close though...)! That's what happens when you don't check your notes....

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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