This short Xiphos is fitted with a sharpened blade of high carbon steel; the grip of polished bone is pinned to the thick blade tang to create the grip. The pommel is likewise of bone and is finished with a pommel disc cap of steel. The sword is accompanied with a scabbard of leather.
This replica of the short-bladed Xiphos has a robust blade paired with strong construction; it is ideal for the cutting enthusiast who wishes to experience the time-tested ability of the ancient leaf-blade design for themselves. Such swords had a long history of use; their swollen leaf tips bring enhanced cutting and hacking ability; the wide tip causes even shallow thrusts to quickly widen into long, gaping entry wounds.
It is also well-suited for the reenactor or collector who desires a blade that is not cumbersome to wield and one that is no mere display item or costume adornment. Like the originals this sword is nimble in the hand and quick on the strike.
The Spartans were known to favor the use of a short-sword version of the Xiphos; though lesser in length than Xiphoi favored by other Greeks, the Spartans may have found the shorter blade more useful in very tight phalanx formations. In martial affairs the Spartans were ever-practical and it would be unwise to assume that their preferences were based upon anything less than battle-experience and the usefulness of such a weapon within the Spartan sphere of War.
The Spartans, like most Greeks used the Dory spear as their primary weapon for their hoplites within phalanxes. When dueling phalanxes become close and entangled the front rows of Spartans likely found it advantageous to temporarily discard their spears and to draw the short-bladed Xiphos. With so many men pressed closely together there was little room to maneuver in a pressed phalanx; perhaps an advantage went to the skilled man with a nimble, shorter sword that could easily navigate the scrum of shield and spear pole unentangled to find its mark within the foe. With a large, round shield to cover him, the Spartan warrior could fend off his opponents until the opportunity presented itself to press forward and strike.
In the later history of the Greeks it is noted that Phalangites of the Macedonian Phalanx would often carry a short-bladed Xiphos or a curved Kopis as a sidearm.
Fantastic balance and cutting ability. Only reason for a 4 star review are minor inconsistencies in the grind and the fact that the handle is so smooth out of the box that it’s hard to grip.
We tested ours on a 2″ green fir bough and it cut cleanly without any rolling or chipping. For a practical grade cutter or disaster bag tool, this is a great addition.
Jake A (verified owner) –
More of a 4.5. For the money I have almost no complaints. The weight, the sharpness, and the balance are great and almost exactly as advertised. Mine has minor imperfections on the crossguard which can probably be hammered away but I think that’s just mine. The only real complaint is that the dye on the scabbard will rub off onto your hands if you put pressure on it and the sword can be difficult to pull out, but you’re really paying for the sword over the scabbard. I’m sure that can be fixed by dabbing it with a cloth but I’ve been having too much fun with the sword itself. It’s the first sword I’ve ever bought and I’m not disappointed at all especially considering the price. The video is very informative.
One minor note that the pictures don’t show is that the butt of the sword is teardrop-shaped. Holding the sword with the point facing you is better for slashing and with the tip facing away from you is better for thrusting.