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Old 7th August 2017, 09:03 AM   #6
Gonzalo G
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nothern Mexico
Posts: 458

Originally Posted by Victrix
It's been suggested that kopis originated with the Etruscans. The kopis may have reached Iberia with Carthage whose troops were equipped with Greek style arms and armour. Carthage also generally used foreign mercenaries and was allied with the Etruscans.

Yes, Peter Connolly in Greece and Rome at War, MacDonald Phoebus, 1981, London, pp. 63-99, mention that this weapon probably originated in Etruria, and was later modified in Spain and Macedon. He also says that examples from Etruria can be dated back to the 7th Century. But he does not gives references (bibliographical, online, whatever), about this findings, nor shows examples. He does not mention, either, that this weapon was carried also by the Aquemenid troops, as mentioned by Xenophon (Cyropaedia), and more specifically by their Central Asian Saka allies, who were mainly archers who used this weapon only in close range combat. At least, since the 6th Century, if not before. Later we can see this point, but an Italic weapon carried by the Carthaginians seems very probably, since the dates, the area where the falcata was devoleped first by the Iberians and the continuos presence of the Carthaginians in the eastern Mediterranen coast of the Peninsula makes it plausible. One of their colonies even became an important city that today has the name of Cartagena ("little Carthago" or "born from Carthago"?), which was called Cartago Nova and Cartago Spartaria by the Romans.

For some strange reason, almost all the non-Spanish or non-Portuguese speaking people has been more interested in the origin of the falcata than in other, more important aspects of this weapon: morphology, mode of fencing, type of army corps that used them, manufacture and metallographical analysis, ritual uses, social context, etc. This was precisely the direction of the earlier studies made on this weapon by non-spanish and non-Protuguese authors, like J. Cartailhac (1886), P. Paris (1904) and H. Sandars (1913), according with Fernando Quesada Sanz, the most important researcher on the falcata to this day, though there are other good authors, like Leandro Miguel Lourenço Saudan Tristão, to whom I was acquainted by Fernando, the moderator of this sub-forum, and who began this thread.

It is impossible to give space to the many aspects involved in the origin, production and uses of the falcata, but we can make an intent to resume the more important, leaving aside the common -and fecuently wrong or imprecise- notions we can find on the web. The first element was already approached here: its origins. It seems that the Victorian education has left its imprint everywhere. In its proclivity for the so-called "classics" (Roman and Greeks), they seem to view the influence of the Greeks or the Romans, or both, everywhere. In this way, Burton stated that the kukuri was probably a some sort of derivation of the machaira, based on the implausible idea that, if Alexander the Great went as far as the Indus river, then probably the kukuri was the result of a Macedon influence...hight in the Himalayas. In the case of the falcata, it is more understandable the idea. But probably its origins are elsewhere...and probably the kopis-machaira even is not originally a Greek weapon. We can discuss this.

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