Questions about Hellenistic Greek Thureophoros impression; in need of some advice. - Printable Version

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Questions about Hellenistic Greek Thureophoros impression; in need of some advice. - JanasAurora - 03-20-2017

Hello all!   I've been long considering, among the handful of impressions I would like to successfully deliver, one of them would be a hellenistic thureophoros.  A soldier, be it the lighter, flexible Thureophoroi or the heavy, often mailed or cuirassed, Thorakitai.  As is what seems to be the defining factor of many Greek named soldier types, the shield I think would be the defining factor of the thureophoros/thorakitai, just as elsewhere the peltastai, argyraspidai, hypaspistai, etc.

So, regarding this shield.. it seems, from all I've seen, roughly identical to many designs utilized by Celts, Thrakians and Dacians, and even Iberians before Greeks. Though it seems it might have been brought to Greek by Celtic invasion in the 270's, or introduced with Pyrrhus' incasion of Italy in 280, appearing in the successor armies later on, with Seleucids using them by the 220's, Achaeans, Anatolians, Boeotians, with a deposit being found at Corinth dating to 250 BC.

I have yet to get my hands on a proper book regarding these troop types, but I've read these sites as basic resources: , .  It seems as though the thureos itself could be on the larger side, on the smaller side, of moderate size..  may have been dished?  Had different metal boss types or perhaps only the wooden spine, and may have varied a bit in shape, (I should think rectangular, and ovoid types).  One thing I'm curious about, and this is just a brainstorm based on a modern image of it, but that's whether or not such a shield, perhaps a particularly heavier variant, (say in use by thorakitai or line hoplites post-reform), would have potentially had a widened inner wooden rim, much in the same way the Greek aspis had, though perhaps not as wide.

I got the idea from this particular piece of art. A pity I don't know the artist, but it depicts ptolemaic thureophoroi I believe. The man on the left's shield appears to have a thickened, white inner rim, which while as far as I know is very unusual to thureoi-type shields, I can only imagine would be as strongly beneficial to the structure of such a shield as it would the aspis. The aspis having such a substantially re-inforced inner rim, which would probably reduce the chance of it being split down in two from hacking strikes. I imagine this would offer a heavier thureos much greater protection from being split, moreso than a thin bronze or iron band around the rim would, I imagine.

Would it be wise to suggest such a build in a modern re-creation?    Moreover, while I think it is understood that such shields were made of vertical planks bent and glued together, would it even be feasible to create such a widened, flattened inner rim system for a thureos? (Such as this, if you'll forgive me hasty post-it note drawing! - ) Perhaps the rim would have to be made separately, as it is in some methods in creating the aspis?

A separate question I have, if I haven't already talked anyone's ears off, would be what kind of helmets a thureophoroi/thorakitai of the Greek mainland would use.. I see them very frequently depicted with this style of helmet, (the name of which actually eludes me), but I am uncertain whether this was more popular in the East, as these images appear to be of soldiers under ptolemaic rule, with the intention of the impression being Greek, I'm not sure if it'd be appropriate. -

Thank you very much in advance, for your time and consideration.

RE: Questions about Hellenistic Greek Thureophoros impression; in need of some advice. - JanasAurora - 03-21-2017

Oh, allow me to correct that doodle of mine, it's technically incorrect. It should still look like this from the side and top view.

(This is the attached file - )  I am thinking of shooting for something of that size, which would cover me roughly from chin to just an inch or two below the knee when gripped about exactly at waist height.  I do intend for it to be a slightly more substantial variant than is typically seen, either for a relatively up-armored thureophoroi, or for a thorakitai impression.

RE: Questions about Hellenistic Greek Thureophoros impression; in need of some advice. - Combatrobert - 09-07-2017

Hello, After reading this post i couldn't help but ask if this project became a reality. I had always assumed that the Celtic version was larger than the Greek version (an assumption based on artwork/scale), and the shield being dished is a question of of ease of production. Flat shields being less demanding to produce, and dished being mostly an exception.(If you can make it in a dished manner.. why not?) of coarse this is all again.. my assumption after thumbing around a little bit in my free time. I've constructed a Celtic "flat" style shield myself, and when it was all said and done it was one of my quickest/ cheapest projects i've ever attempted. (no curving, sanding, or fitting needed.) the most labor intensive part was the spine/boss. I'm in the middle of working on a samnite style shield, and i'm starting to come back to the flat/dished/curved question because of the plethora of art work and the lack of physical evidence. I would love to see someone take on the dished approach. ill include some shots of my first attempt at this shield (I know acrylics are a no no but we all have to start somewhere!) the shield weighs around 8 pounds.. heavier than i would have liked it to be.. but it was my first crack at it.