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Nathan M Wuorio




Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Measurements of Greek Shields?         Reply with quote

I am very interested in making a replica of a greek shield, which I believe is called an "aspis" (correct me if I am wrong), and I need to know the measurements. I have seen several reproductions on the market, all with varying measurements. I am specifically wanting to know the height, width, how deep the dish was (if they had one), the material of construction, and weight. Any pictures of replicas or originals would help for visual aid. If there is a booklet or some form of building instruction, that would also help greatly. Thanks!
Nathan.
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Nathan M Wuorio




Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have seen a construction method using rings of varying sizes, gluing them together, then sanding it down until the face is completely smooth. And I noticed that almost all shields had a bowl, Does anyone know how large each of these rings are? Precise measurements would be appreciated.
Nathan.
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Matthew D G




Location: Oklahoma, USA
Joined: 08 Sep 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I've read "aspis" is a generic term for greek shields so that may not turn up any info. You may be thinking of the "Hoplon" which is where the word Hoplite comes from. Hoplite is just a more technical name for a spartan. Anyway...

The hoplon was 3 ft is diameter and could weigh as much as 10 pounds or more. As for construction, it was wood covered with a sheet of bronze (I have no clue where to get bronze these days or even if you want to spend that much money Big Grin ).

But if your thinking of the Trojan shields I have no clue about them.... Laughing Out Loud

Thats what I know, hope it helps (If i'm wrong please correct me. I would hate to be talking out of my butt)

"I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend to be one of those deaf-mutes."
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Aspis" is the correct term. "Hoplon" is a misnomer. The latter term is the Greek word for "tool". In this case, the tools of war - i.e. the entire panoply, not the shield. An earlier Greek term for shield is "sakos". Some refer to the classical hoplite shield as an "Argive shield" to distinguish it from earlier and later Greek shields that were also called "aspis". The best book on the subject is Connolly's Greece and Rome at War. FWIW, the term "hoplite" does not come from the word "hoplon" though the root is the same.

RAT is probably the best source for making Greek replicas. Here are the latest threads on Greek shields
http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=24450
http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=22725

If you are interested in Homeric shields (also called "aspis") then they are completely different, being made of multiple layers of rawhide, not wood.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,394

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Khaire!

My own humble Hoplite site shows how I made mine,

http://www.larp.com/hoplite/hoplon.html

But since then we have found out that the wood is supposed to be thickest in the middle and much thinner at the edges, like most other shields of ancient times. Mine's too heavy!

The Roman Army Talk board is the best place for current information, including these threads:

http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=15526

http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=22725

http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=24450

Even better, making an aspis the correct way:

http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=22607

You won't find a historically correct tin bronze in sheet form large enough to cover the face, unfortunately. Most likely you'll have to use silicon bronze or "commercial bronze", neither of which have any tin (just silicon or zinc), or just regular brass (which I think looks a little too yellowish). It has to be THIN.

"Hoplite" basically means "armed man", by the way. They were typical of most any Archaic and Classical Greek city-state, not just Sparta.

That get you started? Good luck!

Matthew
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Matthew D G




Location: Oklahoma, USA
Joined: 08 Sep 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow...guess I was way off (curse you History channel and Wikipedia!!!!) thanks for the correction

Was that layered method of construction always used or where there other ways of making an Aspis?

Would this style of construction be as strong or stronger than their Europe counter parts? These shields look like they could take a lot more beating then what was used in England or some other country years is the future. (sorry if i'm getting off topic. This discussion has sparked quit an interest in me)

"I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend to be one of those deaf-mutes."
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Nathan M Wuorio




Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, I was thinking about using a linen covering for my shield, would this be accurate? Matthew, your site and the Roman Army Talk site with Chris both look to be the best ones to go from. Each have pictures and measurements for shields, and work well together. Thanks for the info! Any other links would be great, as I am one of those people who worries that I'm going to screw up. Big Grin
Nathan.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,394

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jan, 2009 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan M Wuorio wrote:
Thanks for the info, I was thinking about using a linen covering for my shield, would this be accurate? Matthew, your site and the Roman Army Talk site with Chris both look to be the best ones to go from. Each have pictures and measurements for shields, and work well together. Thanks for the info! Any other links would be great, as I am one of those people who worries that I'm going to screw up. Big Grin


You're very welcome! One of those threads details how to do a linen covering, complete with YouTube videos. I was amazed, I had no idea that was even possible! The guy is really good, but he makes it look so simple. As to whether any shields were faced with linen in ancient times, I honestly don't know. There might simply be too little evidence to say. There are definitely some thin bronze rims that survive, so clearly the bowl was faced with something organic, though my guess would be thin leather or, better yet, rawhide. It *might* have been just painted wood, even. Some much later Roman shields definitely had linen facings (Dura Europas), so it's conceivable.

Matthew D G wrote:
Was that layered method of construction always used or where there other ways of making an Aspis?

Would this style of construction be as strong or stronger than their Europe counter parts? These shields look like they could take a lot more beating then what was used in England or some other country years is the future. (sorry if i'm getting off topic. This discussion has sparked quit an interest in me)


If you mean the layered ring method that I and other reenactors use, I don't think that is historical at all. When I did that we weren't even sure how the originals were done, and the ring method fit my limited resources (pile of scrounged plywood pieces!). The evidence that we now have supports the method of gluing parallel slabs together and turning the piece on a lathe, though it's possible that other methods were used as well. The finished shield should indeed be pretty tough, but there are accounts of battlefields littered with crushed or broken shields, so they're not indestructible.

Khairete,

Matthew
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Nathan M Wuorio




Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jan, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks again! I am planning to use your site and the Roman Army Talk one with the great pictures and Youtube videos. I will make two, one for practice and one for my equipment, though I plan to use both. I want to paint my shields dark blue with a green trident on them, for Poseidon, as he happens to be my favorite god. I think I will use linen, as it seems to be more hassle free, and possibly less expensive. I am now planning on going to New York city to see buildings with Greek influence, such as the Stock Market, or other business buildings around there. It's amazing to see how almost every major european city has buildings like Greek buildings.
Nathan.
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