Prior to this, the war took place by way of cattle raiding. the Panhellenic sanctuary at Olympia that were cut from sheets of bronze and featuring incised details. If you enjoy what we do, please consider becoming a patron. Shields in ancient Greece were made mostly of wood and leather and were then faced with bronze. More than just a Greek shield, this design was traditionally that of a Spartan shield… It was convex (“hollow”, as the ancient sources would have it), and featured a central arm grap (porpax) through which the left arm was put, while the hand grabbed a handle (antilabe) near the shield’s edge. The basic elements of the ancient Greek Spartan body armor consisted of a shield (hoplon, from which comes the name hoplite for the Greek infantryman), helmet and a cuirass or breastplate.

It’s often referred to as an “Argive” shield. But one thing which can be stated with much certainty is that there was no formal training for side arms like Axe or sword since these were considered to side weapons. We believe that rigorous research into the past should be widely available and easy to find. Be sure to also visit our sister website Bad Ancient. Perhaps the most iconic Greek shield is the lambda shield, which features the Greek letter lambda on its surface. Some modern authors suggest the outside could also be protected by leather (such as ox hide), but there’s no ancient evidence for this.Show For example, Everson 2004, p. 121. Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open. Written by Josho Brouwers on 7 November 2018.

In some cases, the meaning might not be difficult to guess: a lion would symbolize strength and courage, for example, while a snake was a symbol of wisdom and immortality (because snakes sloughed off their skins at regular intervals, the ancient Greeks believed they continuously renewed themselves). One of the most significant inventions of the hoplite was the typical circular shield. The rim was flat and generally reinforced with bronze. There were an increase in the use of light infantry like peltasts (javelin throwers) and archers as well. The shield can be decorated with either an individual or tribal crest. Sometimes the round shields which would be as big as 80 cm or 30 inches in diameter would be cut out into different shapes to make them lighter in weight and yet serve the primary purpose of protection. During the Peloponnesian war, a slight innovation was observed. The Argive shield was round, about a metre or more in diameter. His golden (!) The entire armor with chest piece and helmet and arm and leg guards would sometimes weigh as much as 20 kg.

Alcibiades’ shield emblem was a less-than-subtle reference to his sexual prowess. It would be an impossible task to even think that the hoplites did not undergo any formal training to be a part of the army. There was at least one major variant of this type of shield. One of the most important armors for the warriors of Ancient Greek Shields.

Though it is not a necessity that wars should occur but consider the restless nature of the Greeks, wars were … Nevertheless, not all shields featured blazons: there are plenty of vase-paintings that leave the shield surface blank or painted a single colour. The Hoplites, in its diverse forms, remained in vogue for a period of about 700 years and disappeared only during the reign of Alexander the Great that is during the 4th century BC. The Hoplite Phalanx belonging to the Archaic and Classical periods of Greece was a formation in which the hoplites would line up in ranks in close order.

Van Wees 2004, p. 54 with further references. Another advantage of attacking in such a manner was that it kept the army of soldiers alert during a combat at a particular time rather than to just be limited up to the first few ranks. Other shields featured abstract patterns, such as spirals or a number of flat circles. Ancient Greek Shields: The possibility of organized warfare arose when Greece came out from its period of Dark Ages and entered the ancient period. The hoplon was around a meter in diameter, and weighed around 7.3 kg (16 lbs), making it uncomfortable to hold for long periods. Most likely, every warrior in most city-states simply picked a blazon that he felt best represented him.

Tagged with Archaic, Art, Classical, Greeks, Hoplites, Literature, Spartans, Warfare, Xenophon. Alcibiades 16.1-2). Nation-specific shield blazons don’t appear until quite late. Copyright © 2020 Ancient World Magazine and/or individual contributors. Towards the end of the eighth century BC, the ancient Greeks invented a large, round shield (aspis) that was to dominate Greek warfare from that point onwards down the Hellenistic era. Copyright © 2020 Ancient Greece It is believed that many of these would be mercenary troops which were hired from the regions lying on the outskirts of Greece. However, for other cities, including Athens, we find little evidence for the widespread use of some kind of national symbol on shields. Support us on Patreon for as little as $2 a month. Powered by WordPress and Stargazer. Stay up-to-date with our monthly newsletter. But the Spartans were far from typical: according to Xenophon, they were also noteworthy for having a uniform battle-dress, consisting of a red item of clothing (Xen.