Is this shield authentic?

I tried doing a search but my search query provides way too many threads and not enough specialization. Is the shield used by Eric Bana (Hector) in Troy an authentic shield and if so what time period would it of been used in? It really is my favourite type of shield.

I know it's probably been discussed before but I'm sick and tired of theorizing about it and wanted to get it from the horses mouth.

Barrett Hiebert[/url]
Shape-wise, both shields are reasonably correct for the period. BUT..not material wise. A bronze these purport to be, wouldn't block any weapons of the day without being slashed/pierced through by those weapons. It's true..there *are* a few bronze shields that have been recovered..but they were probably made purely as temple offerings.
There's still debate on just *how* the battle shields of the day were made..probably wicker, with rawhide covering..and *maybe* a very thin, decorative bronze sheathing over that for the highest ranking warriors. But not straight out bronze shields. To have any protective ability..a pure bronze shield would be too thick, and heavy, to use.
Depends on what you mean by "authentic". Those actual shields were movie props and probably made from latex. The shape is pretty good. Every shield described by Homer is circular but Hektor's is specifically mentioned as being larger than the one wielded in the movie. They even have a central hand grip like the ones in the Iliad. They forgot to put a boss on the shield and all of Homer's shields were made of multiple layers of hide and faced in bronze. There is no mention of wicker shields anywhere in the Iliad. The "ceremonial" argument is also bollocks. There have been plenty of bronze shields found with battle damage. One millimeter or even a little less of bronze is plenty capable of stopping most weapons and thinner bronze shields were likely just facings for leather or wooden ones. Osgood's book is good for the pictures but ignore the text. I have a detailed analysis of the shields used in the Iliad in my upcoming book.

Thanks for your reply. I have read of such an opinion in a myriad of posts on the forum here and the bronze age forum and I understand it conflicts with what Dan says. In my experience I tend to bow down to Dan's knowledge since I know from being around that he is quite an informed person on bronze age arms and armour. But I thank you for your opinion and will keep it ostensibly in mind.


Thanks for piping in. I know this question has been probably asked before to death but I just love the convex shape (shallow bowl) and dishing of such a shield without a boss and central grip.

You are right though; I have to define more what 'authentic' is for myself. I know the shield was a movie prop and most likely latex so...

I will re-define my query!

What I'm really wondering about is then:

Would the convex, dish shape of the shield presented without a boss and central grip be used in any other time other then the time period presented by the Illiad and if so what time period? Basically the same question but just in overall shape, and not necessarily worried about the particular construction of said 'most likely latest shield' as used in the movie. Just wanting to know if all the main points listed above were present historically in any shield. Also the shield to me looks roughly 20-25 inches across, 30 inches max. Would this be a good estimation?

I have been out of the game for quite some time now but have read of many such shaped shallow bowl, convex, dished shields with no boss such as the persian siphar or hoplite aspis/hoplon so I'm totally not in the knowing.

Thank you for your time.

Barrett Hiebert
I can't answer that question except in the context of Mycenaean Greece. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of shields were fashioned so that they are thinner near the rim and thicker in the middle. A metal shield that is only 0.3mm at the rim could be over 1mm thick near the centre.
my understanding is that they really didn't swing them around like that because as shields go they are heavy, and also, half the time Achilles is just uncovering his body (I really didn't like that movie).

Last edited by Ryan S. on Fri 25 May, 2012 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

Alright thank you for your reply. I look forward to your book. :)

Ryan S.

Thanks for your opinion. I shall keep it in mind while I learn sword and shield.

Barrett Hiebert
i dunno about mycenean greece but chinese rattan shields were mostly what you described, aka convex, round and using a strap grip of sorts though maybe not as big, i also have no idea how long those shield types were used.

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