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date: 26 November 2022

arms and armour, Greeklocked

arms and armour, Greeklocked

  • Herbert William Parke
  •  and Michael Vickers

Extract

Most Homeric references to arms and armour are best interpreted in connection with Minoan and Mycenaean armaments, known from such representations as those on the shaft-grave daggers (see mycenae). The characteristic armour here is a figure-of-eight-shaped shield made from a single ox-hide and swung from the neck by a strap. The only other protection was a helmet. The chief weapon was a long rapier-like sword. Towards the end of the bronze age this style was displaced by the use of a much smaller round shield carried on the arm; a change which involved the addition of a breastplate and greaves, while the sword became shorter and was used for cut as well as thrust. In the Homeric poems the champions begin by throwing spears at each other, and when these are gone they proceed to close combat with swords.The standing type of the Archaic and Classical soldier was the *hoplite, ultimately derived from the soldier of the transition to the iron age.

Subjects

  • Greek Material Culture: Bronze Age
  • Greek Material Culture

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