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Ben Clements





Joined: 28 Jan 2011

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: How To Make A Spartan Shield         Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,
I was wondering if anyone knows where i can find specification on how to build a authentic spartan shield. It for a humanities class project that encompasses half of my. I want to build it like the Spartans did and i was wondering if anyone had insight or sugestion on where i am to go to find out how.

Thank you for your time ben clements
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try this link... http://www.larp.com/hoplite/hoplon.html
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N Cioran




Location: Toronto
Joined: 21 Nov 2010

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ben,

If you're looking to actually reproduce a aspis as made by the Greeks, you're travelling into a fairly murky ground. What I can say for certain is that plywood rings are not what the Greeks used (sorry Matt Amt).

If you survey all of the extant shields only 2 provide significant insight into the methods used. Beyond that there is a great deal of speculation as to how they were made and covered.

I have a article covering the Vatican Aspis of Etruscan origin in detail, It represents the most reproducible shield as it is made from baulks of timber. PM me and I'll send it to you.

The Olympia excavations have also revealed a great deal of detail on the hardware in the shields. It helps if you have cash and patience, as the book is expensive and slow to come. It does show a different method; thin lathes. How they are joined into the rim is not clear, but its possible it was a solid wood wheel with the lathes bent in over a form.

Christian Cameron also visits this forum, and has had a hand in the building of a dozen or so aspides up our way, and will likely have much more advice and information. He'll also not beat around the bush when it comes to discussing what are myths related to the aspis.

Enjoy!
Cole
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,278

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

N Cioran wrote:
If you're looking to actually reproduce a aspis as made by the Greeks, you're travelling into a fairly murky ground. What I can say for certain is that plywood rings are not what the Greeks used (sorry Matt Amt).


Oh, I'll be the first to admit it! It was simply the method available to me at the time. (Minimal tools, minimal budget, lots of scrap plywood--aha!) And back then we didn't know as much! Unfortunately, all my links to excellent Roman Army Talk discussions are toast, since RAT just migrated, grrrr.... So at some point I'll have to dig up those threads and fix the links. BUT if you go to RAT and search the Greek Reconstruction section, you should find some excellent information:

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/

If the thin lath method is correct (and it wouldn't surprise me at all), that gives an alternative to glueing timbers together and turning on a lathe like a big bowl. In either case, the wood should be thickest in the center and thinner at the edges, and as thin as possible overall! You REALLY don't want to be lugging an 18-pound shield, trust me...

The only specifically Spartan feature that I know of was that traditionally the porpax or armband was removable, so that the shield could not be stolen and used by slaves. I'm not certain if the exact method of making the thing removable is known, but as I recall the best guess is that each end of the "arch" is half a hinge, mating to the other half which is the vertical band nailed to the inside of the shield. Pull the hinge pins out and the arch pops off. Otherwise, construction would be the same as for any other hoplite, and until the Peloponnesian Wars even the decoration on the face wasn't necessarily distinctive.

It's quite a project! But many have done it before you, so you should be able to get good guidance. And sympathy.

Khaire,

Matthew
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N Cioran




Location: Toronto
Joined: 21 Nov 2010

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All that said, I just reviewed Matt's page, and there is a good idea there with a slight modification... glue up 4x6 or 4x8s and turn them on a lathe. You could also do the shaping of the baulks first and then glue them together.

Again, drop me a line and I'll send you the article.

Thanks
Cole
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Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Likes: 13 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.hoplologia.org/aspis.html

I've built 14 of these so far, as well as one lath construction boat-hull Boeotian. Far from making me an "expert" it has mostly filled me with questions. So many questions I won't bore you with them on this topic.

It all depends on what you want out of your aspis?

If you want a WMA tool, than the article on Matt's site, or the one I just post ed a link for should do the job. Let me note that my way takes me about 18 hours, start to finish, and the first one took forty.

Want to go to Marathon?

Oh, and let me note that I'm not sure, but I lean to the notion that the Spartan aspis was always covered in bronze. The forming of a bronze aspis cover is no easy task and requires some real anticlastic skills. I'm still looking for a smith who'd like to make me a bronze aspis cover in 22 gauge or even thinner so that I can try laying a "boat hull" into it of lath, which is ONE of the possible totally authentic construction methods. I have one in the basement now--same method but on an oak rim with the lath laid into bull's hide, but I'm not altogether pleased by the way the rim works and how much it weighs...

Sigh. Any bronze smiths on the forum? Want to try your hand at a giant shield cover? 36 inch bowl?

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
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Matthew Amt




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

Posts: 1,278

PostPosted: Sat 29 Jan, 2011 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OH MY. Thanks, Christian! Don't know how I've missed that site before, but I'll definitely a link on my own page. Whenever I get around to doing some updates... Great stuff! Thanks for the mention, too!

Yeah, I've had any number of people asking me about a bronze facing over the years. So when you find a way, lemme know!

Khairete,

Matthew
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