Category: Term of the day
The xiphos is a double-edged, single-hand sword used by the ancient Greeks.
It was a secondary battlefield weapon for the Greek armies after the spear or javelin. The classic blade was generally about 50–60 cm long, although the Spartans supposedly started to use blades as short as 30 cm around the era of the Greco-Persian Wars. The xiphos sometimes has a midrib, or is diamond or lenticular in cross-section. It was generally hung from a baldric under the left arm.
The xiphos was generally used only when the spear was discarded for close combat.
The xiphos' leaf shaped design lent itself to both cutting and thrusting. The design has most likely been in existence since the appearance of the first swords.