Wikipedia describes its use as follows: "The Xiphos was normally utilized exclusively after the spear was relinquished for close battle." Possibly. This is the greatest image I could find of Achilles holding a sword, and it is a replica of a xiphos-type sword (though obviously not bronze). The photo is from 1872 and the replica is held by the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
In other words, we don't know what type of sword he used in battle, only that they were usually used after spears were thrown. Some swords were designed to be used with one hand while holding a shield with the other, but probably not this one since it's too small to provide much protection. There are also short swords that were designed to be used by both hands simultaneously, but they would have been unusable by anyone except a master due to their limited range of motion.
Here is a picture of a modern replica of a xiphos-type sword being used by a trained fighter in the Philippines:
The xiphos was the ancient Greeks' double-edged, one-handed, straight, and relatively short sword. It is made of bronze and subsequently iron, and it is similar to "classical" leaf-shaped bronze swords or early Celtic ("Hallstatt") swords. The term "bronze sword" comes from the Greek word bronzes, which means "bronze."
Bronze was originally an alloy of copper with zinc or tin. But over time, it became synonymous with that metal alone. In fact, the word "bronze" does not appear in the Bible, but instead refers to gold or silver. Bronze weapons were commonly used by people in Asia and Europe around 3000 B.C., but they weren't invented until about 1000 B.C. The Ancient Egyptians are known for their work in metalworking; many statues found in their tombs show men with bronze arms. The Greeks and Romans also used bronze weapons extensively.
Brontes swords were the most common type of sword in Greece and Rome. They ranged in size from about 30 inches (76 cm) to more than 50 inches (127 cm). A small number of extremely rare examples have been found with bronze hilts weighing as much as 15 pounds (7 kg).
These swords were designed for combat and not decoration. They had sharp edges and were usually double-bladed.
Kopis: Some Spartans chose the kopis as their backup weapon instead of the xiphos. The kopis, as opposed to the xiphos, was a hacking weapon in the shape of a thick, curved iron blade. It had a narrow waist and a wide neck with a hole for an archer's bowstring. The hilt was made of wood with the addition of brass plates on which were engraved images of warriors fighting with swords.
Xiphos: The xiphos was a sword used by Spartan men. It had a straight, double-edged blade about 1 m (3 ft) long attached to a wooden handle with a hook design at the end. The xiphos was probably the most common Spartan sword during the classical period but it is also possible that some Spartan soldiers used the kopis instead.
Spartan women didn't use any form of martial weapon. Instead, they trained with a hoplitai shield and spear.
The image above shows a painting from around 450 BC depicting a Spartan soldier wearing a phalangite helmet and carrying a xiphos sword. The man on the right also has a dagger sheathed at his side. The spartan army consisted mainly of infantrymen who fought in close formation using the sarissa.
If there was a Trojan War, The Iliad cites swords, spears, and chariots. According to legend, Paris used a bow to murder Achilles by shooting him in the heel with a poisoned arrow, however that myth goes back a thousand years after the Trojan War. For more modern interpretations, see the articles on swordplay and archery.
During the Renaissance, people began to write about other wars that they had not lived through. One such war is the "Trojan War" which occurred in Greece around 1184 B.C. During this war, the hero Achilles murdered King Priam of Troy with an arrow to the heel. However, archaeologists have recently found evidence that shows that Paris actually killed Achilles with a spear shot to the chest. This proof comes from an ancient Greek burial site where one body was identified as that of Achilles.
People often ask me if Jesus was really born in December. The answer is yes, he was born during the winter months. In fact, since it was before noon when He was born, he probably came out into the world wearing only a linen cloth as clothing. Luke 2:7 says, "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger."
The Bible does not tell us how many children Jesus had, but it does say that He loved them all.