8th century bc phoenician... Khopesh do you suppose?


QUESTION: My novel is set in 8th century BC Malta. The phoenicians have trade colonies, there is piracy about and the greeks are beginning to settle in the western Mediterranean.

I am a girl, don't know much about weapons, but I want some historical accuracy.

Greeks probably already have iron swords. Phoenicians known for bronze may still use bronze swords. Would love to give them Khopesh to wield.

Wondering your idea or a good reference.
Thanks for your great website.


ANSWER:Hi Coral,

Your novel sounds very interesting! I must admit my own area of 'expertise' if you could call it that (as of course, by the nature of my site, I am a jack of a all trades, and master of none) tends to focus more on medieval and Japanese swords. However, it does sound like you are in the right direction.

I'm a little hazy on the exact time frame, but from memory the transition period for the Greeks from Bronze to Iron begins around 900BC. So in 800BC there would certainly have been quite a few iron 'Xiphos' (their short, leaf bladed stabbing swords) available to members of the Phalanx. Though remember, the sword was only a back up weapon - in battle they used shield and spear formations to great effect.

As to the Phonecians, a Khopesh Caananite Sword would have indeed been very common (it had been around in one form or another by this point for around 2000 years!) and would work well.

To be able to do further research, there is no one definitive website that I would recommend but rather piecemealing it together would be the best way.

Anyway, I hope this helps a bit. If anyone else sees this and wishes to add more info or correct me (as I mentioned, this is NOT my strongest area of sword knowledge) feel free to do so.

Good luck with the book! :-)

Kind Regards,

- Paul

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