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Tomas Mihalyi




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon 03 May, 2010 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well im no expert in medieval weaponry but this khopesh of yours looks more like a Turkish Yatagan to me....

I suppose the ancient egyptian khopesh looks more like this: http://www.heru-ur.org/mesenroom/warfare/khopesh3.jpg
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Tue 04 May, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris R. wrote:
Khopesh you say?
i've got your khopesh right here (look at this marvelous piece of Belarus extravaganza)

http://www.kxo.ru/en/e-store/weapon/index.php...NT_ID=2403


Yeah, that's not an ancient khopesh at all. That's a Medieval or even later Middle Eastern weapon - probably a yataghan, though such distinctions aren' my cup of tea and there are several types of Middle Eastern blades from the later centuries of the second millennium...

-Gregory

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Kurt Scholz





Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 390

PostPosted: Tue 20 Mar, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Kirk , I've never seen drawings of the cross-sectional properties of the Falcata. Do you happen, by chance, to have any information on the metalurgy or material usage for these weapons? Many of those blade properties are super complex, and I'm starting to become very interested in the constructional aspects related to the making of this sword: both in terms of tooling and methodology.


Hi Nathan...

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond... I have been at my grandmothers for Thanksgiving and she does not have a computer, much less the internet.

Most all of the illustrations were taken from “El Armamento Iberico” by Fernando Quesada Sanz. It was written in Spanish... and with the tiny amount of Spanish that I know, I did not see any discussion of metallurgy. That would be a very interesting study however, especially considering the Celtic influence and the experimentation going on with the Celtic bladesmiths. When I saw all the different varieties of cross sections and how they change from sword to sword and moving down the blade in the same sword, I could not help but think that these Celto-Iberians may be using the complex sets of chiseled fullers to try and achieve more flexibility in the spine of the blade... Or it could just be decoration I guess Big Grin

There is one diagram that seems to suggest that the Iberian Falcata was not a modification of an imported Greek Kopis, but rather a progressive enlarging of the curved Celtic knives into a sword sized weapon. (sort of like the later Seax becoming the Langseax). Here is the diagram...

ks

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/files/drfalcatacollectionall.jpg

I'm still working on a thesis on the South European short swords of the Hallstatt to La Tène period. These are in the center of the diagram with the angled grip and short angled blade that continues either triangular, curved or straight. All in my opinion share the characteristic of being good stabbing weapons and not so good choppers. The depicted falcata by contrast sacrifices balance for stabbing in order to improve the cutting and requires shortened length to be handled in skillful moves. The Greek swords called kopis or machaira (modern definition what is what) clearly diverge from the Balkan weapons by their weight and cutting emphasis while not being angled like a falcata (another modern name). You can be certain that men trained with weapons from the Iberian Peninsula had contact with men trained with Greek weapons, so we can not rule out a direct contact effect upon each other because a body of water was less of a distance than a piece of land. The La Tène (Celtic????) curved knife is always a knife and is has to my knowledge never been enlarged to sword size and it has a very clear connection with eating meat (including the afterlife). So I would go with the falcata being an expression of the cutter swords circulating in the Mediterranean and I would not postulate a single source nor region. At least I agree with the diagradiagram far that the Balkan stabbers had little in common with the cutters, but i would also say that these stabbers have but a faint connection to the curved knives.
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Fernando Q.





Joined: 01 Jan 2007

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu 22 Mar, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Kurt,

I'd suggest that you check carefully what I said on the origins of the falcata in the original source where all these ills. are taken from and hopelessly mixec, and check the original text, tables, maps and drawings there.

Details on the book in question and an AJA review here:
http://uam.academia.edu/FernandoQuesadaSanz/Books

(much more there on short Iron Age Swords in the Iberian Peninsula)

a summary here:
http://uam.academia.edu/FernandoQuesadaSanz/P...a_iberica_

could also be useful

http://uam.academia.edu/FernandoQuesadaSanz/P...n_Spanish_

cheers
Fernando
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Rafael O Ozambela




Location: United States
Joined: 16 Oct 2013

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 16 Oct, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject: Falcata Americana         Reply with quote

Hello,

The lines of the falcata are beautiful to me. My ancestry is Cuban and the ancestors of those cubans are Asturian and Basque, so northern Spanish. My father regaled me with the ability of my great grand father with a machete against sugar cane and Spanish mausers. My father always said the family heritage had seen the falcata as the ancestor of their machetes. Living in the U.S. I have had such romantic dreams of the falcata and it's beauty that eventually I got motivated.

I acquired a bar of stainless steel from a scrap shop down the street from me, the proprietor informed me that it was from the blade edge of a snow plow and very hard steel. SO I turned a plow blade in to a sword, literally. He gave me a bar roughly 3.5' long by 3.5" wide and at least a half inch deep. This is what it looks like so far, I'm still working on it...

The hole in the blade and the grip are bolt holes where the steel was bolted to the truck shovel. My intention is to fill the hole in the blade with a bronze bolt that I finish off with an engraving of Lauburu a symbol on each side. The notch in the hilt will be filled with a brass ring and a wood grip.



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Falcata Americana

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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,447

PostPosted: Wed 16 Oct, 2013 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Manning imperial made a reproduction of a kopis from korfu, strangest of all is the blade design, manning imperial's repro had the kopis posessing a false edge which seems exceptiionally rare for such a weapon class

http://www.manningimperial.com/catalogue/arms...-kopis/623
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P. Emerson Humphrey




Location: Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Joined: 22 Feb 2009

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2014 3:42 am    Post subject: Dacian picture         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
I also think you may want to consider the dacian falx, thracian rhomphaia as a possible antecedant, or cousin or distant relative of the falcata / kopis family.



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d1/Rhomphaia.jpg
http://toknowasiamknown.files.wordpress.com/2...ncient.jpg

There is a myArmoury thread on the rhomphaia here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5972

EDIT: googling for falces, I found this image, purporting to be of "dacian" weapons, from a Museum in Romania?

Anyone know anything about these weapons or this museum?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Dacian_Weapons.jpg

There also seems to be an interesting curved spearhead and something like a long-sax.


In regards to the Dacian artifacts, firstly I don't know the period, I think the Sickle shaped one is a sica or possibly a falx, but not like a Rhomphaia, because falx had wood handles without metal in the whole handle and the curve of falx varies so much but probably a sica. There are many possible Dacians not knowing the period, possibly Getic-Dacian. I think what appears to be a sax is a broken sword similar to Celtic if 3rd Century BC but believed to be independently designed. Basically a double-edged long-sword. The curved spear tip is new to me but is typical in design for the region since they curved most anything possible. Some other tips could be spears and some for peltasts use like javelins. They sometimes used wide tips in throwing. There are other sub-Dacians as well.
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Joshua Bastian




Location: Manila
Joined: 23 Apr 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 3:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys Joshua here.

I am a great intusiast in the carthaginians and their allys so I asked myself this question: the romans and other sources say that the falcata style blade was very effective against helmets but what were its overall armor piercing abilitys? Was it best used against light infantry or was it designed to crack open armor and if so could it cut throw bronze or mail? Just some thoughts😀

Strike hard, strike fast but only strike when necessary.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 3:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is no sources I know of saying falcata is effective against armour and when I saw a falcata in a museum it definitely didn't look like an anti armour weapon. It's a slasher made for cutting flesh and cloth. All talk about falcata's armour cutting ability come from one source, a mention in ceasar's writings how he met a soldier who had his head wounded through a helmet with a spanish sword. We don't even if know that spanish sword was a falcata. And the man lived so even though he was wounded, his helmet did the job and saved his life.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,353

PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Exactly what Luka said. Ancient swords were never meant to go *through* armor, they were made to go *around* it. So they were light and fast. The kopis was no heavier than any other sword of the same general length.

Hey, I need to post a photo of my own new kopis! I finished it recently, ground down out of a rather crude 3-pound beast (Scorpion Arms, I think?). Finished weight is under 1-1/2 pounds. I was able to pretty much match the shape of a blade from Olympia, and based the bone hilt on one from Aigai in Macedonia.





Enjoy!

Matthew
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Joshua Bastian




Location: Manila
Joined: 23 Apr 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
There is no sources I know of saying falcata is effective against armour and when I saw a falcata in a museum it definitely didn't look like an anti armour weapon. It's a slasher made for cutting flesh and cloth. All talk about falcata's armour cutting ability come from one source, a mention in ceasar's writings how he met a soldier who had his head wounded through a helmet with a spanish sword. We don't even if know that spanish sword was a falcata. And the man lived so even though he was wounded, his helmet did the job and saved his life.


Hi

I read your reply and had some thoughts. Because of its rather heavy nature (yes it weighed a bit more than other swords of the time about as much as a later arming sword.) and its punching way to stab combined with tests that people made on chainmail I think that it could almost surtenly thrust throw mail armor. Its rather heavy cutting part would allow to give a devastating strike to a helmet. And in the case of the roman guy i am sure he was at least disabled for the battle.😀

Strike hard, strike fast but only strike when necessary.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joshua,

Do you have any idea how much energy is necessary to stab through well-wrought mail? What kind of math or experience with original quality armament are you basing your conjecture on (hard to do, considering almost no orignal ancient mail armor even exists). In any case, compared to contemporary straight swords such as the xiphos and gladius, a bit of extra weight in a blade makes very little difference in a stabbing attack. In fact, I would almost certainly prefer to use a straight bladed weapon for almost any form of thrusting compared to one shaped like a kopis/falcata. The weapon's entire form - as well as many surviving Greek pottery depictions of the kopis in use, often in overhand swings - lends credibility to the idea of it being a slashing weapon rather than one for thrusting.

Having seen a couple of surviving Greek kopis blades in Greek museums, I can assure you those weapons were hardly any larger than a xiphos. In fact I've seen several xiphos from Macedonian tombs that were surprisingly large and definitely heftier weapons than either of the kopis blades that I viewed.

I have less to say about the later Spanish falcata, which is apparently a bit of a larger weapon, though its contemporaries the gladius and spatha were also substantially broader/longer than their Greek counterpart in the xiphos. Whether there was any serious difference in the way that a falcata performed due to its weight or the distribution of that weight along the blade is hard to say with any exactness. Its basic functions would have been the same as other mid-length blades, and perhaps even more limited to slashing rather than stabbing, due to the above mentioned restrictions of the blade shape.

-Gregory
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 5:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joshua Bastian wrote:
Luka Borscak wrote:
There is no sources I know of saying falcata is effective against armour and when I saw a falcata in a museum it definitely didn't look like an anti armour weapon. It's a slasher made for cutting flesh and cloth. All talk about falcata's armour cutting ability come from one source, a mention in ceasar's writings how he met a soldier who had his head wounded through a helmet with a spanish sword. We don't even if know that spanish sword was a falcata. And the man lived so even though he was wounded, his helmet did the job and saved his life.


I read your reply and had some thoughts. Because of its rather heavy nature (yes it weighed a bit more than other swords of the time about as much as a later arming sword.)


What weights have you seen for falcatas? All of the weights I've seen (not very many) have been 600-650g.

"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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Joshua Bastian




Location: Manila
Joined: 23 Apr 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 11:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys

Thanks for replying and the weights i have seen were 900-1300 gramms. I have never personally tried stabbing throw mail and I agree that the falcata was mainly a hacking weapon. Yet I have seen many documentarys and tests were a blade apparently thrusts throw mail with ease. You can see it in almost all documentarys about medieval and roman weapons.

Joshua😀😀

Strike hard, strike fast but only strike when necessary.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Almost no one today makes historically accurate mail armour. Even modern riveted mail tends to be substantially flawed for a variety of reasons. The modern documentaries are highly unreliable, because their mail armour is much easier to defeat than mail made to historic standards.

See here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19189
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Apr, 2015 4:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joshua Bastian wrote:
Thanks for replying and the weights i have seen were 900-1300 gramms.


That's very heavy for swords of that size. Considering that falcata blade cross-sections are typically weight-saving, those seem too high.

The falcata weights I've seen are:

Various museums: 600g, 625g (a kopis rather than a falcata), 500g
British Museum: 400g, 635g, 380g, 660g, 510g, 595g

Many of these are missing grip scales. Original weights would have been a little higher in most cases.

"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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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 25 Apr, 2015 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know anything about the kopis/falcata beyond what I have read in this thread. What I am wondering is if there are any Greek kopises (kopi?) made from bronze (i.e. bronze age weapons). From what I have read in this thread so far, my impression is "no".
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 25 Apr, 2015 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig,

As far as I'm aware, the answer to your question regarding the existence of bronze kopises is a resounding "no." However, there were some interesting single-edge bronze weapons used in the LBA throughout Europe, though their form and size is not comparable to the kopis, so there is no reason to suspect any evolution between such weapons and those of the iron age. The earliest evidence we have of the kopis is roughly three hundred years after iron began to dominate the scene of Mediterranean blade technology. Cheers!

-Gregory
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 25 Apr, 2015 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some bronze implements that are single-edged, with long round-section grips that end in a ring or loop. The whole thing is apparently cast in one piece, without anything that looks like a guard. I haven't seen any information on weights or thicknesses for these things, but I suspect they are cleavers meant for sacrificing animals. Ah, found a photo!

In any case, I don't *think* this could be a predecessor for the kopis. BUT there are some iron kopis-like blades that seem to be rather heavier, and have what seem to be thick rod tangs, or a thick square (diagonal) hilt/grip. Again, I'd call these "cleavers" and not swords. Some kind of cleaver, perhaps these exact things, are seen in vase paintings, being used to kill animals, not in combat.

Bottom line, although there might be some relation between the cleaver-tool and the kopis-weapon, it may only be superficial. And only the cleaver has a known Bronze Age ancestor.

Matthew



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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2015 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Exactly what Luka said. Ancient swords were never meant to go *through* armor, they were made to go *around* it. So they were light and fast. The kopis was no heavier than any other sword of the same general length.

Hey, I need to post a photo of my own new kopis! I finished it recently, ground down out of a rather crude 3-pound beast (Scorpion Arms, I think?). Finished weight is under 1-1/2 pounds. I was able to pretty much match the shape of a blade from Olympia, and based the bone hilt on one from Aigai in Macedonia.





Enjoy!

Matthew


that is a really really nice kopis.. im trying to do a similar project to recreate some form of fighting knife from around the byzantine era



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http://www.manningimperial.com/catalogue/arms/greek-and-roman-arms/korfu-kopis/623
and then theres this interesting one from the island of korfu.. and no i dont own it.. but i oh so wish i did...


 Attachment: 56.19 KB
post-23694-128212416169.jpg
this knife looks like an interesting offshoot of the design http://www.fightclub-group.com/store/images/post-23694-128212416169.jpg this though is late roman found in spain. (th

 Attachment: 73.13 KB
633aaa.jpg
http://www.worldmuseumofman.org/display.php?item=633 Type:

Short Sword
Material:

Iron
Period:

Byzantine (Eastern Roman) 6th - 14th Cent. A.D.
Provenance:

Balkan Region
Measurements:

38.5 cm

trying to recreate it eventually by regrinding this beefy

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