Hoplites carried mostly a short sword called a xiphos, but later also longer and heavier types. The short sword was a secondary weapon, used if or when their spears were broken or lost, or if the spear phalanx broke rank. The xiphos usually had a blade around 60 centimetres (24 in) long; however, those used by the Spartans were often only 30–45 centimetres long. This very short xiphos would be very advantageous in the press that occurred when two lines of hoplites met, capable of being thrust through gaps in the shieldwall into an enemy's unprotected groin or throat, while there was no room to swing a longer sword. Such a small weapon would be particularly useful after many hoplites had started to abandon body armour during the Peloponnesian War.More information
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Product No: 9172