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Mycenaean two-sword fighting
Topic Started: Sep 27 2009, 11:13 PM (689 Views)
Dan Howard
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Just read through Barry Molloy's The Cutting Edge. One of the articles speculates that the Dendra Panoply was worn by Mycenaean warriors who fought each other with one sword in each hand! p144-152

He bases the idea on the Koukounara Gouvalari seal where two swords are wielded by a war diety and the existence of more than one sword in some Mycenaean graves.
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Brock H
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N. K. Sandars in her 1960s articles in American Journal of Archaeology speculates that since Type Ci (long) and Type Di (shorter) swords are often found together in a single grave that the Ci was used for individual combat by champions dueling before the watching armies while the Di was used during the close press of combat when the two armies clashed where a shorter sword would be handier.

I find her theory more convincing. After all, dieties are capable of feats (in this case fighting with a sword in each hand) that mortals can rarely if ever successfully imitate. Now, if there was artwork showing undoubted mortals fighting with a sword in each hand, I'd consider that a much better argument for the theory of Dendra equipped warriors fighting so.
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Dan Howard
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I don't subscribe to Mycenaean two-sword fighting. In the same book, Barry's analysis of extant sword damage helps to disprove the theory. The vast majority of edge damage is consistent with shield contact, not contact with other blades. In addition, I can't think of any illustrations of a Myenaean being depicted with with two swords. Most warriors carry a single sword in a scabbard up high near the armpit and that is it.
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Sean Manning
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I was kind of skeptical of that article too. There are a few other reasons that Mycenaeans might have been buried with two swords, and a seal image of a god isn't the most reliable evidence. This theory by Sandars sounds more likely.
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