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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: a question about hoplite daggers         Reply with quote

while we have plenty of examples of mycenean daggers, i cant help but notice that noone out of all the books ive ever read, including matthew amts site, and tobias capwells book on daggers, ever mentions what kkind of daggers the classical and archaic hoplites used..

im well aware they had short swords which were short and thrusty, so might have meant they wouldnt NEED a dagger, but still.

what DID the daggers of the hoplite era look like, do we have any idea at all?
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Sep, 2012 2:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The closest thing you are likely to find are some of the daggers used in contemporary Italy. Check out Peter Connolly's book "Greece and Rome at war" for some examples. Interestingly, the Italian hoplites tended to wear more complete armor than was typical in Greece, perhaps explaining their use of daggers.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Sep, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've never seen any good evidence that Greek hoplites carried daggers, though I suppose a scouring of the literature may turn up an exception or two. As Scott said, you're more likely to find daggers in Italy, though I'm not sure I'd agree that Italians wore more armor in general. I would say that they might show a wider range of armor types, but a lot of that gets started back in the Late Bronze/Early Iron Age, when Greek armor may have seen more variety, too. Italians did cling to their pectorals, for instance.

Matthew
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2012 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many encyclopaedia articles from the 20th century mention the Greek hoplites carrying a dagger shaped nearly like an isosceles triangle. No idea where they got that from, though--and no evidence to support it as far as I can see. Perhaps a conflation with a distorted view of the Roman pugio?

That being said, Lacedaemonian (Spartan) swords were said to be quite short, and would probably qualify as long daggers.
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Christian G. Cameron




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Sep, 2012 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm with Matt.

If you look at the dig evidence--from Sardis and from Crete and from Athens--you see little bronze eating knives (self hilted and pretty crude) and little iron knives. I don't think I've seen a single 'dagger.'

The new weapons coming out of Vergina are all shapes and sizes, but I think the shortest one I've seen would still be a sword.

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
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Roderick Stacey




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Sep, 2012 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian G. Cameron wrote:
I'm with Matt.

If you look at the dig evidence--from Sardis and from Crete and from Athens--you see little bronze eating knives (self hilted and pretty crude) and little iron knives. I don't think I've seen a single 'dagger.'

The new weapons coming out of Vergina are all shapes and sizes, but I think the shortest one I've seen would still be a sword.


Would you have any information on these new weapons or any sites to look at, that you could share?
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Sep, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not all that new, perhaps.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=25639&view=next
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the British Museum there is a Greek dagger on display. i suspect the hilt of ivory is fused to the mouth piece of the scabbard, making the guard look out of proportion to the small size of the weapon. It is in form a miniature version of the Xiphos, the double edged sword of the Hoplite. The complete blade does not survive and I do not know if the location of the ivory scabbard chape was recorded in relationship to the hilt.


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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Huh, that looks familiar! Must have seen the photo before somewhere, don't really recall. It looks to me like a broken-off sword, though of course it's hard to tell without seeing it up close. Some of the blades from Olympia are really narrow. And I think you're right about the guard being fused with the scabbard mouth.

It's also interesting that the hilt construction is much different from the "sandwich" method we learned from Connolly--it's simpler! Gosh, borders on logical, which makes me wonder if it's really Greek at all....

Thanks for the photo!

Matthew
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is certainly too small to be a sword. Not even a spartan sword. There is something dainty about it that makes it essentially different from a sword, even if these can be pretty small as well.

As this obviously comes from a private collection, I am not sure how much we can know about its origin. It says it is Greek and perhaps from Marathon. I guess we could with believing that is at least a strong possibility.
Therefore a Greek dagger of the classic period!
-Nice, eh?
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2012 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

nice to know it exists actually, so yes, thank you.

actually i have a picture from one of the doring kindersley books on the greeks that has what looks like a dagger, its a line illustration but the book says its from a painted vase

the 'caption' for it is 'a painted vase shows two Greek combatants separated by a herald one of the combatants has a weapon that looks too short to be a sword.

ill scan and upload it when i get a chance, maybe you guys have seen it before however, its not listed in the picture credits section of the book.
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