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William P




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2016 11:39 pm    Post subject: difference between a kopis and falcata (design wise)         Reply with quote

question i'm asking is exactly what it says on the tin i suppose,

i know theres a decent bit of variation within both types, and some overlap but generally what features characterise a kopis to distinguish it with a falcata GENERALLY so that while looking online for one that i know im buying/ making something thats more a kopis than a falcata
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jul, 2016 1:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's a lot more variation among kopises (kopides?), so you can find a kopis that can't be a falcata. But the typical Macedonian kopis is pretty much the same as an Iberian falcata. Except that falcata might more commonly be double-edged on the point-side of the bend in the blade. Whether or not kopis blades are the same is hard to tell, given the condition of many. Some look like they might be double-edged. Some kopis blades are double-edged all the way, but this is unusual.

AFAIK, the only other real difference you'll find between the look-a-like kopis and falcata is that the falcata might have non-Greek decoration on the hilt.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jul, 2016 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I've seen, the kopis tends to be straighter or slightly curved along the back edge, whereas the falcata always has that distinct angle (like a kukri). Kopis blades may have a rib or ridge near the back edge, but falcatas are more likely to have a series of fullers. There can be differences in the hilts, too.

Scabbards are even more distinct. The kopis has a scabbard much like the xiphos, with a throat that matches the width of the guard and often has the U-shaped lug or tab on top, which aligns with a matching notch in the guard. The chape will also follow xiphos fashions (which are varied!). But the falctata scabbard typically has a metal frame, with side gutters, cross-bands, and suspension rings. And there may be a small "by-knife" with its own sheath built into the sword scabbard--I don't think those ever show up on Greek swords.

The Macedonian kopides that I've seen (the Latsis Foundation ebooks are good sources) are pretty much the same as the ones from Greece proper, from what I can tell. I haven't seen any that could be a falcata. Mind you, there may certainly be examples in museums that are mislabeled! I've seen that happen. Without a reliable find-spot, I'd be careful about claiming it's one thing when it looks like the other.

Matthew
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jul, 2016 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is this one:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/257576
then mis-identified as Greek?

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jul, 2016 7:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Is this one:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/257576
then mis-identified as Greek?


*I* would say so. The blade and hilt both look very Spanish to me.

One thing to consider is the number of finds. I strongly suspect that falcatas are found much more often simply because warrior burials with weapons were common in Spain for a couple centuries after Greece had gone to cremation. The best examples of kopides (and xiphoi, for that matter) are from Thrace and Macedonia, which kept burying weapons with their warriors, as well. Down in Greece proper most of the finds are from temples, though there was apparently a nasty habit of breaking the hilts off of swords left in temples, so the finds are not in good shape. And the Greeks changed their habits of leaving offerings in temples right around 500 BC, it seems, which is just before we start seeing more kopides in artwork.

Bottom line, it's a lot easier to find surviving falcatas in museums or other collections. And if the provenance hasn't been tracked properly, it might get called Greek when it isn't.

Matthew
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Joe A




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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jul, 2016 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: difference between a kopis and falcata (design wise)         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
question i'm asking is exactly what it says on the tin i suppose,

i know theres a decent bit of variation within both types, and some overlap but generally what features characterise a kopis to distinguish it with a falcata GENERALLY so that while looking online for one that i know im buying/ making something thats more a kopis than a falcata


Have you spoken to Mark Morrow yet? Here is his "Kopis" and I think it's pretty accurate.

http://www.khgraphicsolutions.com/swordsmith-...opis-2.jpg
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