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Machaira was a rare mythic sword used in the Basileus cult. Basileus cult is the cult of the king, because in ancient Rome the word basileus was translated as "king". To get a Basileus title a person should kill a lion with a special weapon. So this weapon was called - Machaira.
Machaira had a very curved blade, which reminded a sickle. The shape of a machaira is often compared to a lion claw. The cutting edge was on the inside part of the blade. The legends say that it has a length from about 19.70 to 23.62 inches (50.0 to 60.0 cm). The blade was secured in a wooden cage (sheath). This sword was kept by ancient priests called sacerdotes. They used to decorate the sheath with golden ornaments. The sword was kept in special places and used in important rituals.
The meaning of machaira sword was ideological. A king who was at the same time a sacerdotus and owned a machaira, made rituals before the battle. Its power showed to the army the right path and saved from enemies' traps. It was supposed that the sword kept the troubles away. It was very important that the machaira to be used only by a sacerdotus, otherwise it was only a beautiful but powerless weapon.
The well known king Macedonian Alexander Hephaistion was a sacerdotus. He belonged to the lion cult and used machaira for rituals. Later in 324 B.C. happened the official burial of the machaira sword and Alexander the Great left his sacerdotal powers. The cult of machaira sword and the cult of Basileus were restarted in 301 B.C.