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Building a boat-hull Boeotian
It may well be as you say, Matt. On the other hand, my shield (3 days dry, now) seems ot be "deforming" to look more and more like the shields in 6th c vase art. As an example, the whole shield is actually moving the ends "up" just as you see in most 6th c. vase illustrations of a Boeotian sideways on....

Matt, you do this way more than I, but I wouldn't use glue on wet rawhide. The glue dries at unstable speeds and the rawhide tightens at unstable speeds, and the combination is uncontrollable. Or so says my dad.... he build musical instruments, and he told me NOT to put a glue layer under the hide. So I didn't.
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
If it stays under six kilos I will more strongly belive it was a jevelinmans shield.
Welldone Cristian!

P.S. See my PM?
Quote:Matt, you do this way more than I, but I wouldn't use glue on wet rawhide. The glue dries at unstable speeds and the rawhide tightens at unstable speeds, and the combination is uncontrollable. Or so says my dad.... he build musical instruments, and he told me NOT to put a glue layer under the hide. So I didn't.

Actually, the total number of shields I have faced with rawhide is now TWO! On potato chip and one scutum that just might work. So not all that much experience! But what you say about the glue makes a lot of sense. It's probably not even a good idea to form the wet rawhide to the shield, let it dry, remove it and glue it back on, since moisture in the glue will get into the rawhide and keep causing trouble. That could be why I've got a potato chip! Live and learn. (Of course, if your shield fails in battle you may not do the "live" part, so...)


Matthew Amt (Quintus)
Legio XX, USA
<a class="postlink" href="">
Stephanos--got it and agree--I'll reply the same way. Matt, I agree with you,too--the next one will have the hide shrunk with nails through the laciing holes, and then I'll pull the nails and affix it, dry.

My next try will be a boat-hull aspis (round) and then I'll write a paper.

I'll post pictures when the inside is done.
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Round? Yes! Why not?
Probably Phokians and Locrians who most of them fought in open order might have had it.
The thought of "mounted hoplites" also carrying it is intriguing.

The only ojection will be the usual "there is no evidence or literary metion". Bah!!!

Kind regards
Stephanos--no literary mention?

I believe that this is how all aspides were made before 450 BC, my friend. They were all made with strips of wood laid side by side, probably over a central "rib" (I call it a keel) that held the porpax, set into a rim of oak or ash, covered in rawhide. Such a shield meets all the evidence. A rich man might have had a bronze face, but over the same wood core made of strips of willow, according to scholarship*.

I suspect 90% of aspides were faced in rawhide. And Stephanos, shields weren't heavy. They were light. 8 kilos is too heavy. I fight with these all the time--look at how men use them in the art--they use them aggressively. This is not a Roman scutum, and all the evidence tends towards the assumption that they were lighter and that a spear could pierce one!

[Image: 4056066995_de71494900_o.jpg]

Modern repros are all too heavy. We all use plywood instead of willow and 24 gauge bronze where we ought to use 30 gauge bronze. My Boeotian, with porpax and antelabe on, is about 9 pounds, and is still heavier than it needs to be--but nice to fight with. And it could stop any spear thrust--I'd like to see someone penetrate it, actually--I suspect 3mm of hide may be better than bronze, in the short run!

* Seiterle 1982, Cahn 1989, Blyth 1982. Arstophanes (fr. 65) and Euripides (Cyclops 7, Heraklidai 376, Suppliants 695, Trojan Women 1193) all mention willow as the wood shields are made from. Both the Basel shield and the Vatican shield are apparently made from strips of willow, the Vatican strips were 2 cm wide, or almost exactly the width of the strips I used on this shield. The Bassel strips are even narrower--about .14 meters.

So--there's my evidence. Show me your evidence for the "heavy" aspis....
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Actually I made a back joke about the "no literrary evidence" trying to make fun of "the no evidence crowd".
In fact I agree with you mostly, espacially for the Beotian! From bronze age to 670 B.C. shields were light.
And Chigi vase will support your point on round shields.

Full metal faced shileds survived but a large numberof the contemporary ones had only metal perimeter and metalic emblem like Acropolis and Olympia museum examples so you might have a very strong point on rawhide - stronger than you think.

I believe that the culprit for making the round shields heavy (like the Vatikan example-somewhere I read oak not willow) was king Pheidon.
The idea is that the "heavier" packed formation will prevail over "lighter" packed formations. And I believe it did

Homer describes shields that he saw in temples but they were probably not used in his time.
Dan Howard wrote a paper on Homeric shileds and he probably is more correct tha any one when he says that the center was reinforced and most penetrations took place at the perimeter.

To summarize I agree with you 100% for the Beotian but not completely on the round shield.

Kind regards
Well, my friend, if we agreed all the time, we'd have nothing to talk about!
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Some semi-final photos--it'll be a month before I add bronze decorations.

[Image: 11862_189233861203_681611203_3823627_5681663_n.jpg]

[Image: 11862_189233886203_681611203_3823628_3940479_n.jpg]

[Image: 11862_189233896203_681611203_3823629_5916569_n.jpg]

Final weight needs to be determined, but I can punch with it aggressively and use it for active defense--maybe 9 pounds.
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Her's John, the guy for whom I built the shield.

[Image: 11862_189236961203_681611203_3823645_3079276_n.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Quote:Final weight needs to be determined, but I can punch with it aggressively and use it for active defense--maybe 9 pounds.

You definitly reinforced my opinion that it was javelineers shield and probably remained popylar with central and northern Greeks for quite longer than in the south.

Kinds regards
Christian,have you ever happened to see this shield?
[Image: HellenicWarMuseum.jpg]
I first thought it was an original bronze boeotian cover,but it happened to be a shield of a statue. Someone from RAT told me,but i know nothong more.
It appears like natural size. And looks stunningly close in shape with this statuette:
[Image: grsold.jpg]
If someone know anything more about that shield please...
In that photo it must have been in an exhibition in Olympia museum(everythinjg else is from Olympia) but i haven't found any other photo of that shield.
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Excellent! But no, I've never seen it, and I'll add that to the mystery "Boeotian bronze shield edge" that people keep telling me was found at Olimpia but isn't illustrated in Kunze....
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
I got to fight from behind the Boeotian today. Totally just spear fencing, so I'll just put in a couple of observations.

1) Totally a practical shield. Very comfortable to use--spins nicely on a parry, and when held in the classic pose (arm slightly out from body and straight, like Giannis's statue above)) the wearer presents virtually NO target to the opponent.

2) Took practice to use well--unlike an aspis. I would, (based on one hour) say that the aspis is "everyman's" shield and the Boeotian takes some management. However, mine--30 x 40 inches--would be easy to use in Phalanx, in about the same space as my 36 inch round aspis.

3) a great hook shield--easily reaches out and hooks the opponents shield. And as my opponent demonstrated, the contrary is ALSO true. Which might explain some of the vase scenes with the two shields "crossed".

4) I could hold it in the traditional "flat to the sky" pose. Could also do it with an aspis (9 pounds and round, of course). As Paul B said in another post--great defense to overhead spear thrust.

5) I have a suspicion (based on one outing) that the Boeotian may have to do with sword work, not spear work. I wonder--could the transition from Homeric heroes to regional militia have been a transition from sword fighters to spear fighters? Just a thought--I can see flaws in the argument myself.

Anyway, these are just impressions. I'll post again when I've done a phalalnx fight.

OH! Someone will ask. At no point in an hour's fighting did anyone get a spear through the cut outs. Interesting1
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Beautiful work and very interesting theories/observations. And my "ring" style aspis is still sitting there 70% done. If only I'd seen this 2 years ago.
Andy Booker

Gaivs Antonivs Satvrninvs

Andronikos of Athens

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