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Old 9th January 2023, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default Kopis/Κοπίς & Makhaira/Μάχαιρα (Greek & Etruscan)

For about a year, I have been interested in the Greek kopis and similar forward curved sword from the Etruscans (I include these Etruscan swords in this thread because of limited number of specimens found). Of course, the falcata is also similar, but I believe it warrants a standalone thread, even though I am among those people that it evolved from the kopis, and not that it is a paralel development).

I invite anyone to post pictures and information (or just express opinions) about these swords. My one request is that we keep it strictly to historical pieces/period depictions. No reproductions please.
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Old 9th January 2023, 12:35 PM   #2
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1 - “Barbarian Cleavers or Greek Swords? Portrayals and Perceptions of Curved Swords in Ancient Greece” - Catherine Parnell, B.A., M.A. (Ph.D. candidate, School of Archaeology, University College Dublin) March 2012

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This lecture is concerned with ancient Greek curved blades commonly known as ‘kopis’ or ‘machaira’. It presents the results of surveys of the iconographic and literary evidence, and examines the portrayal of the various types of curved blades, as well as the differing perceptions of this morphological shape
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aItn...MFQzIGvpUF9WBs

Here is her Ph.D. https://www.jstor.org/stable/48601881
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Old 9th January 2023, 12:55 PM   #3
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2 - The Ancient Greek Kopis and Machaira - Catherine Sara Parnell (Trowel Volume XII 2010, pages 120-129)

https://trowelucd.files.wordpress.co...trowel-xii.pdf
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Last edited by Teisani; 9th January 2023 at 01:03 PM. Reason: I am stupid
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Old 9th January 2023, 01:31 PM   #4
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3 - Ancient Greek tomb with sword and spearhead found on the Croatian island of Hvar

https://archaeonewsnet.com/2022/01/a...sword-and.html
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Old 9th January 2023, 02:49 PM   #5
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4 - Bosporan kopis from Kerch, Crimea.

https://hekitateru.livejournal.com/3827322.html
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Old 9th January 2023, 03:26 PM   #6
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5 - Prodromi kopis - found in Prodromi, Epirus Region of Greece, now residing at the Igoumenitsa Archeological Museum
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Old 9th January 2023, 03:44 PM   #7
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6 - Dodona Kopis at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens

https://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/am...ia_1_9.html#_8
https://www.flickr.com/photos/101561...n/photostream/
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Last edited by Teisani; 9th January 2023 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 9th January 2023, 04:45 PM   #8
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7 - North Macedonian kopis - Republic of North Macedonia
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Old 9th January 2023, 04:50 PM   #9
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8 - Unknown kopis - no further info
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Old 9th January 2023, 05:51 PM   #10
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9 - Depictions of kopis swords
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Old 9th January 2023, 06:12 PM   #11
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10 - More depictions of kopis swords
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Old 2nd March 2023, 07:36 PM   #12
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Bes and Beset. Late Period of ancient Egypt, 664 BC – 332 BC, Louvre. Note: Looks more like a falcata.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...9-gradient.jpg
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Old 2nd March 2023, 07:49 PM   #13
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More Bes. Terracotta statue of the god Bes, god of joy, and later became god of war. Greco-Roman Museum, Alexandria, Egypt.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...pt-14A-039.jpg
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Old 2nd March 2023, 07:59 PM   #14
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Even more Bes. Bes, Egypt, Ptolemaic or Roman periods, terracotta. Martin von Wagner Museum - Würzburg, Germany. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...-_DSC05407.jpg
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Old 2nd March 2023, 08:21 PM   #15
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How is that snake holding on to that kopis? Answer me ancient Egyptians!
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Old 2nd March 2023, 08:53 PM   #17
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More kopis
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Old 2nd March 2023, 09:01 PM   #18
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Sword of king Seuthes III of Odrysia, a part of Thrace (today Bulgaria), between 324 and 312 BC.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seuthes_III
https://www.facebook.com/BulgariaThr...529364/?type=3
https://zh-cn.facebook.com/Archaeolo...58949051/?_rdr
https://www.facebook.com/Archaeology...5849988949018/
https://www.ploshtadslaveikov.com/tr...nite-shlemove/
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Old 3rd March 2023, 09:37 AM   #19
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Now for some Italic peninsula Kopis/Machaira:

Lanuvium machaira. Warrior tomb of Lanuvium, equipment dated to the first quarter of the (~475) 5th century BC. Elements exhibited in the epigraphic section at the Diocletian Baths Museum, which is part of the National Roman Museum (Rome, Lazio, Italy).
Length = 81.7cm
Width at hilt = 7.5cm
Width at blade = 7cm
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...r_Ve_av_JC.jpg
https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dpd/italica/twlanuvium.html
http://www.osservatoriocollialbani.i...ia-di-lanuvio/
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Old 3rd March 2023, 09:58 AM   #20
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Malpasso machaira - From Malpasso Necropolis, Tomb 12 Gualdo Tadino, Umbria, 400-350 BCE. Villa Giulia Museum in Rome.
Length: over 70cm
http://www.fabrianostorica.it/storia...rrobattuto.htm
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dandiffendale/2183092037
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Old 3rd March 2023, 10:38 AM   #21
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Piceno machaira (tomb IVb) - 520-470BC Ascoli Piceno, Italy.
https://www.storieparallele.it/piceno-iv-b-apogeo/
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Old 3rd March 2023, 10:50 AM   #22
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Piceno machaira V - 470-385BC Ascoli Piceno, Italy. resides at the "Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche" in Ancona.
https://www.storieparallele.it/piceno-v-il-territorio/
https://legvmac.ru/news/vk_18817/
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Old 3rd March 2023, 11:32 AM   #23
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Alalia machairas - Aleria, Corsica, France. One of them is 89cm long. Etruscan, 4th century BC?
https://twitter.com/Hugorodru/status...95747053707265
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Old 3rd March 2023, 11:37 AM   #24
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More Alalia machairas

https://archeologiavocidalpassato.co...lia-di-alalia/
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Old 3rd March 2023, 12:03 PM   #25
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Restoration and reproduction manufacture of one Alalia machaira: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1X2FjrWh-I
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Old 3rd March 2023, 01:49 PM   #26
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Interesting, I did not realize that so many of these had T-section blades.
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Old 3rd March 2023, 03:39 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werecow View Post
Interesting, I did not realize that so many of these had T-section blades.
Most, if not all, Corsican/Italic peninsula machaira have T-spines (or rather pipe-backs). Balkan kopis seem to have mid-ribs, if longer blades. Unclear what cross-section the shorter ones have, my guess, triangular (probably some fullering). Although there are some long-ish kopis (like the Kerch kopis) whoose cross-sections are debatable. The falcata is a different story, it seems use a combination of fullering and spine thickening (almost a T-spine, but less pronounced) more often.

Speaking of blade length, the Dodona is ~71cm, the Prodromi is about ~77cm, the Etruscan ones are in the 70-80cm range (some probably longer, ~85cm). So not really "short swords".

Another aspect is the false-edge on some kopis examples (presence confirmed in Parnell's article) and complete absence on the Etruscan machairas (due to pipe-back). Now, almost all falcatas seem to have false edges. The only falcatas that I know of that don't, are the Almedinilla falcata (upper) and this other one). The Almedinilla even has some sort of T-spine (you can see the thick spine here https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F..._M.A.N._02.jpg). Quite an atypical example. Of course there shoud be others without false-edges that I am not aware of.
One more thing is that some might look like the have false edges, but in reality might be just beveling of the spine without an actual edge.
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Old 3rd March 2023, 04:34 PM   #28
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Size comparissons. I think/hope they're to scale.
Source: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...8&postcount=18
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Old 3rd March 2023, 04:53 PM   #29
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More Picene machaira from the "Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche" in Ancona.
https://legvmac.ru/news/vk_18817/
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Old 3rd March 2023, 06:50 PM   #30
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Thanks, great effort!
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