Xiphos of The Spartans: Double-Edged Ancient Greek Sword

2 minute read

The Spartans have one of the fiercest reputations in warrior history.  The Xiphos sword was one of their premier weapons - in this article, we explore its background, features and uses.

Xiphos Sizing And Features

Spartans tended to use a shorter version of the Xiphos at around 12 inches (30 centimetres), while the Xiphos 'classic' was longer, around 14-24 inches (45-60 centimetres).

Battle Tactics & Status Symbol: Spartan Dagger

The blade was double-edged, making it useful for slashing, and also featured a very long, sharp point, perfect for cutting in a close-range fight.Xipho

In addition to use in battle, Xiphos swords also appear to have been a status symbol, as they are regularly found near important burial sites, along with other weapons.

Decorations And Materials

Similar to a knife, Xiphos swords were generally made from two pieces - sometimes from wood, or animal bone. These two materials were then fused to the tang of the sword and an oval grip applied.

Some are reinforced along the handle for extra strength. Many have been found with gold decorations, but it's largely thought that these were ceremonial, as they were always found close to sites where prominent figures had been buried.

Popular Culture: Forged in Fire

The Xiphos Sword has also been featured in more recent times, such as the TV Show "Forged In Fire" on the History Channel:

Images: One, Two