Xiphos (Greek Sword)Xiphos - The ancient world was so violent, that weapon development tended to advance more quickly than non-warfare technology. And the Greeks, who were constantly at war with each other, were as good at making weapons as anyone. A fully equipped Greek soldier was a formidable fighting force indeed; and when grouped in ranks, formed a phalanx, a nearly impenetrable war machine that was almost impossible to stop (as the mighty Persian army would find out). The standard Greek soldier was called a "hoplite", named for his shield, called a hoplon. He was protected from head to toe in armor, and his primary weapon was a spear or javelin. His secondary weapon, used quite frequently in hand to hand combat, was a sword (if secondary, why am I focusing on it? Answer: simple...I like swords). The greatest warrior state in Greece was Sparta. A Spartan's secondary sword was usually the Xiphos, a one-handed double-edged sword shaped like a leaf. The blade was 20-24 inches (50-60cm) in length, although by the Persian Wars, many Spartans wielded shorter ones. The design goes back to the Bronze Age, but by the Classical Period, the standard Xiphos was iron. It's also unclear whether or not the Xiphos was first designed in Greece because it bears a striking resemblance to the Celtic La Téne short sword. So was it created in Greece and borrowed by the Celts or vice-versa? The Athenians, who were fair warriors in their own right, generally wielded the Kopis as their secondary weapon. Another one-handed sword, but single-edged.  It tended to be a little longer than the Xiphos, about 26 inches (65cm). The sword and the name are modified versions of the previously seen Egyptian Khopesh.