Greek Hoplon


1 in stock

Description of the Product

A hoplite was a citizen-soldier of the heavy infantry of ancient Greek city-states. The exact time when hoplitic warfare was developed is uncertain, but according to the prevalent theory it was established sometime during the 8th or 7th century BCE. At first most of the hoplites were poor farmers, who weren´t much of a use to the city-state army because they had to stay home most of the year farming. However, the father of Alexander the Great, Philip II of Macedon solved the problem by establishing the first hired-army ever. Many famous personalities, philosophers, artists and poets, fought as hoplites.

Each hoplite provided his own equipment and the most distinctive armour of a hoplite was the shield. It was circular article called hoplon (often also called aspis) made of wood, measuring roughly one meter in diameter. This large shield protected the carrier effectively against the opponent´s arrows, spears and swords, although it was very heavy to carry: it weighed up to 8 kg (18 lbs). The shields were often decorated with symbols such as those of the city-states or luck. For example the Spartans painted the letter lambda on their shields during the Peloponnesian War. This shield we sell is the exact copy of this Spartan shield. It is made of bent plywood that is covered with canvas and painted by hand. On the rear side there is a leather handle and a rope attached to the bracket.

The diameter of the shield is approximately 97 cm (38”) and the vault approx. 11 cm (4.3”). The thickness is about 11 mm (0.43”) and it weighs approx. 6 kg (13.2 lbs).

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