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The short sword or Xiphos is a short, double-edged sword of Ancient Greece. It was the Close-Range weapon of the Spartan.


The Xiphos had a double-edged blade that rarely measures longer than 20 inches, though the Spartans supposedly started using blades as short as 12 inches (30 cm) around the time of the Greco-Persian War. The blade widened near the tip and had close to a leaf shape.

Spartans bragged that their Xiphos sword was relatively shorter than other Greek swords, because the shortness meant that Spartans were willing to fight closer.


The shape of the Xiphos allowed it to be used both for slashing and thrusting. While the Kopis was favored by calvery, the infintry in greece favored the Xiphos because it was shorter and more martially versatile. It was the secondary weapon for the hoplite, used when the Dory spear was lost or broken. The Xiphos was also widely used by Alexander the Great's infintryman during his many wars.