Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The Balustrade of Athena Polias Nikephoros in Pergamon
#1
While scanning the pic of the Persian saddle from Sekunda's Seleucid book I was reminded of this image as well. The sword in the upper left is obviously a common Khopis, but what is the scabbarded sword on the lower right? Does the curved sword turn in like a sicca or out like a sabre?

Note the shields. Sekunda attributes the top one to Seleucid tarantines.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#2
The thing is,Paul,that we cannot see the handle of the sword.If it looks to the left,it coyld have been another kopis.If it looks to the right,then I can't imagine what it is(at that early time)
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#3
I've got a hi-res pic of that, prolly doesn't help much for this question, but here goes:
Greets!

Jasper Oorthuys
Webmaster & Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
Reply
#4
No,it does help!The handle is more to the right,which mean that it lookes left.This means of course that the edge of the blade was from the left and this makes it possible it was a kopis.Or even another sickle-like sword.
khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#5
Thanks guys, I agree it looks like a sicca. I had never seen on in a sheath.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#6
Em...Paul,I think I said it looks to me like a sabre-the curve turning out.In this case,we don't agree :lol:
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#7
Quote:This means of course that the edge of the blade was from the left and this makes it possible it was a kopis.Or even another sickle-like sword.



Giannis, you've confused me. That's what you said before, and I agreed that it looks like a sickle because the offset grip should leave more room on the finger-side/Sharpened edge of the blade.

Clarify for me if you would, perhaps my logic is backwards.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#8
Ok,perhaps the problem is mine :roll:
I think the edge would be from the left side.This makes it look like a sickle and it could be a kopis,right?The shape of the scabard might confuse us,but it's more likely to be a common kopis.Do we agree? Smile
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#9
Quote:it's more likely to be a common kopis.Do we agree?

It could be, but my feeling is that the blade shape follows the sheath shape. It's from Pergamum and sickles (down-curving blades) were common in Anatolia in hellenistic times. If so it is the only relief I have seen of one sheathed.

Like you I could not imagine what it could be if the blade curved upwards at this early date. Some Greek and persian Machiera are straight backed like a machete (any idiomatic connection between machete and Machiera?), but I have never seen one that curved up unless it also curved down first.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#10
Quote:While scanning the pic of the Persian saddle from Sekunda's Seleucid book I was reminded of this image as well. The sword in the upper left is obviously a common Khopis, but what is the scabbarded sword on the lower right? Does the curved sword turn in like a sicca or out like a sabre?

Note the shields. Sekunda attributes the top one to Seleucid tarantines.

I really don't think this is a kopis, since it doesn't look anything like other kopides that we see.

There is another curved dagger shown on a portion of a 1st C. BC monumental weapons frieze alongside a small aspis, the bottom of a quiver, a spear, a bow, and some sort of rectangular object (perhaps a shield, but it doesn't look like it) now housed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

This matches remarkably the description of several authors of a painted stele from Demetrias, c. 250-200 BC, of a Cretan mercenary. He is equipped with a Thraco-Attic helmet, a small oval shield, two javelins, a bow and a curved dagger. I have seen this stele in person, but the area showing the dagger has since faded and it can no longer be made out. However, based on these descriptions and the Istanbul frieze, I am tempted to say that the dagger on the Pergamene weapons reliefs is that of a Cretan mercenary who served in the Seleucid army during up to the battle of Magnesia.

Quote:It could be, but my feeling is that the blade shape follows the sheath shape. It's from Pergamum and sickles (down-curving blades) were common in Anatolia in hellenistic times. If so it is the only relief I have seen of one sheathed.

It appears, actually, that sickles were rarely used in warfare in Hellenistic times in Anatolia. I only know of one coin showing a slinger from an Anatolian city with a sickle that dates to the Hellenistic period. The huge majority of evidence for Anatolian troops employing sickles comes from the Classical period.
Ruben

He had with him the selfsame rifle you see with him now, all mounted in german silver and the name that he\'d give it set with silver wire under the checkpiece in latin: Et In Arcadia Ego. Common enough for a man to name his gun. His is the first and only ever I seen with an inscription from the classics. - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Reply
#11
Probably you're right,Ruben.Does it happen to have some pics of those artefacts?That's what I had in my mind when i said it probably shows a kopis.
[Image: DSC00858.jpg]
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#12
So Ruben, which edge is sharpened if it is a Cretan dagger? Inner, outer, or both?

I did not know there was a post-classical break in the sickle tradition, thanks. Perhaps I'm thinking of Thracian elements.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#13
Quote:Probably you're right,Ruben.Does it happen to have some pics of those artefacts?That's what I had in my mind when i said it probably shows a kopis.
[Image: DSC00858.jpg]
Khaire
Giannis

Here is the Istanbul frieze:

http://www.antiquemilitaryhistory.com/i ... rieze1.JPG
http://www.antiquemilitaryhistory.com/i ... rieze2.jpg

Giannis: I see what yo mean, but I have a few issues with your interpretation. The first is that the scabbard looks unlike any other kopis scabbard represented in the archaeological evidence. It seems that kopides scabbards only ever had at most one side curved while the other was flat. The second is that on the Pergamon frieze, while not all equipment depicted was obviously to scale, all the kopides do seem to have been represented to scale with one another; this dagger is quite a bit smaller than the kopides depicted. The third is that kopides always (as far as I know) have the grip entirely offset on the side away from the cutting edge, while this weapon has only a slightly offset grip.

Quote:So Ruben, which edge is sharpened if it is a Cretan dagger? Inner, outer, or both?

I have no idea, because without an actual archaeological example or a depiction of it in use, I don't think we can ever tell. However, what was stated earlier in this thread that curved blade weapons with sharpened outer edges are not found in this time period seems to indicate that it would have had a sharpened inner edge.

Quote:I did not know there was a post-classical break in the sickle tradition, thanks. Perhaps I'm thinking of Thracian elements.

I finally found the article that I know I had floating around somewhere about Hellenistic war sickles... It was courteously sent to my by Mr. Duncan Head, who is probably reading this thread (considering his presence in the Cunaxa thread).

Nick Sekunda wrote an article called "Anatolian war-sickles and the coinage of Etenna", in Richard Ashton (ed.) "Studies in Ancient Coinage from Turkey" (London, 1996). Unfortunately, I don't think I can reproduce the images here because of copyright considerations.

One Etennan coin (Etenna being a city in Pisidia), "probably 3rd century BC,' has a sickle alone on it; it may be a war sickle, but various sickles appear on Anatolian Hellenistic civilian funerary stelai that look very similar to these and which were clearly not used as weapons (often being depicted with agricultural equipment), so it's unclear for what purpose exactly it was used. There is, however, another coin which undisputably shows a war sickle in use. A man wearing a short tunic is shown lunging to the left with a short war sickle in his raised right hand and what seems to be a scabbard hanging on his left side.

Another coin from Selge in Pisidia, "probably 4th-3rd century BC," depicts a slinger with some sort of sickle under his arm, but it is different in form from the ones seen on the other coins. It is quite large, with a handle longer than its blade that flares out gently as it reaches the base of the blade and the shape of which the blade continues almost seamlessly until it reaches its tip at an approximately 90 degree angle to the handle. The handle has at it's butt two or three angular blunt "hooks" coming off of it. An almost identical sickle is depicted on a fragment of a "Roman-era" relief on which remains only the hand of a warrior and the weapon. From the size of the hand, it is clear that it is about the same size as the weapon shown on the coin. It has some sort of crosshatched texture on its grip and similar angular "hooks" coming out of its butt. Sekunda thinks these are scabbarded, but I don't see how they could be.

These sickles are, however, very different in form from the weapon shown on the Pergamene reliefs. The weapons from the first Etennan coins have much wider blade with much sharper curves only near the tip, while the second weapons look entirely different.
Ruben

He had with him the selfsame rifle you see with him now, all mounted in german silver and the name that he\'d give it set with silver wire under the checkpiece in latin: Et In Arcadia Ego. Common enough for a man to name his gun. His is the first and only ever I seen with an inscription from the classics. - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Reply
#14
Thanks much Ruben!The pics you posted shed some light to the relief from Pergamos.Those round things in the scabard,I asume are rings for hunging, they look odd to me.Imagine the dagger hunging on the right or left side.As the hand reaches the hilt,the edge should have been in the outer side of the blade.Or is this not the case?What do your coins show?At least one of them shows the scabard alone in the man's side,I think.
Khaire
Giannis

PS.You're right about the majority of kopis grips.However there are many,and increasingly into the Hellenistic era,that look like this one,with the handle almost in the middle.
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#15
I was going to make the same observation as Giannis about the way the blade seems to be hung. Are there no civilian knives from this period with upward curving blades? Skinning blades for example that could be elongated into this blade?

I was thinking of the large sickles you describe on the coinage by the way.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  The Pelte from Pergamon MeinPanzer 1 1,452 05-11-2009, 09:11 AM
Last Post: barcid

Forum Jump: