Greek Swords: A Telling Tale

When examining Greek swords, it is impossible to do so without learning the basic history of their civilization.  Because every sword emerged for a specific purpose at a specific time, it greatly informs us of the events of the time and their lasting legacy.

Greek Swords:

The first phase of Greek swords was in the 8th century BC during the Archaic Age, in which settlers inhabited Athens, Corinth, and Thebes.  Due to the high volume of people concentrated in these areas, fighting was in full force, as territories had to be defended.  The losers in these conquests were doomed to be slaves on the land.  And of course, during this time, swords were in demand as a choice weapon of defense.  Made of copper and bronze, the common swords were the aor, phasganon, and chalos.  The aor was crafted from bronze and is said to have made an appearance in the Trojan War while the phasganon happened to be the prized two-edged weapon for nobility and soldiers.  The chalos was the only copper sword noted.

Greek Sword from Trojan War:

Greek Sword from Trojan War

Skip ahead now to 500 BC where we find the Classic Age.  At this time, the Persians were being a bit annoying and needed to be dealt with and thus, the Spartans and Athenians joined forces to come against them.  This meant, however, that a draft was in order.  After a year of serving, each fighter was given their very own sword and a shield…not too shabby an earning for a job well done!  The highlighted swords at this point were the polearm, makhiara, and xiphos, with iron being the prime material of construction.  The polearm was basically a spear, the makhiara was a slightly curved single-edged sword, and the xiphos was a straight leaf-edged piece.

Probably the most recognizable period of Greek swords is the Hellenistic Age, characterized by the rule of Alexander the Great.  This leader carried a makhiara and his many men were armed with a xiphos and polearm.  As time progressed, the Greeks evolved into becoming skilled fighters who really knew how to do some real damage with their weapons!

Greek Sword:

Greek Sword

In addition to the swords of the three Greek Ages, there were also swords of mythology that appeared in oral tradition, literature, and were made into physical representation.  To see our collection of Greek swords and other Greek weapons, go to

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