Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Aspis Construction Method
#31
(07-06-2016, 11:53 PM)Dan Howard Wrote: A good place to start would be the Greek name for shield maker, "torneutoluraspidopêgos". It roughly translates as "one who makes lyres and shields by turning".

I am attending a course on reading Greek and asked the tutor for her view on the word τορνευτολυρασπιδοπηγός. Her response was that the τορνευτολυρα and the ασπιδοπηγός elements should be considered disjunctively as in the Liddell & Scott definition 'lyre-turner and shield-maker', in other words that the shield need not necessarily be made by turning. The possibility remains, of course, but the word τορνευτολυρασπιδοπηγός does not prove it.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
#32
(07-06-2016, 12:31 PM)Dan Howard Wrote: They were turned on a lathe, reinforced across the grain on the front with thin wooden laths, and reinforced on the back with leather.

(07-21-2016, 05:22 PM)Renatus Wrote:
(07-06-2016, 11:53 PM)Dan Howard Wrote: A good place to start would be the Greek name for shield maker, "torneutoluraspidopêgos". It roughly translates as "one who makes lyres and shields by turning".

I am attending a course on reading Greek and asked the tutor for her view on the word τορνευτολυρασπιδοπηγός. Her response was that the τορνευτολυρα and the ασπιδοπηγός elements should be considered disjunctively as in the Liddell & Scott definition 'lyre-turner and shield-maker', in other words that the shield need not necessarily be made by turning. The possibility remains, of course, but the word τορνευτολυρασπιδοπηγός does not prove it.

Precisely! Having spoken with Classics professors specializing in ancient Greek, they say the same thing.
Scott B.
Reply
#33
Hey Scott,

If you are looking into the aspis, you need to read Stamatopoulou's thesis.  I wrote a chapter on the aspis that drew heavily on it.  As for a block of wood that would be lathed, the grain on the Bomarzo aspis seems to show that there was some bending (steam?) of the planks before they were assembled and lathed.  There are circular parallel grooves on some shields that are hard to explain without a lathe.

The best replica I have personally used was made in a different manner, perhaps seen on I think it was the Basel shield, where fragments of laths can survived.  A friend of mine built aspides up from steam-bent laths for an aspis that was not much over 5 kg and strong as hell.  It took over 300 kg on its face at a pint that was a 1x2inch steel block (part of a scale I was using to measure othismos forces for hoplites in file).  They were composite structures, and much of the strength comes not from the core alone, but from the linen (probably twinned) used to cover the face.

So where are you now?
Reply
#34
Indeed there is plenty of evidence of lathe used on shield fragments and also of steam bending, as Paul said.
There is also evidence that at least three different methods were used for core construction, and this is concrete evidence of shield remains, not counting the Chigi vase and other similar depictions, which In fact suggest yet another method.

There is proof of laminated construction like scuta but it is peculiarly now lost. It was a shield from Olynthus which was burnt and the excavator reported that the core was layers of wooden strips. Somehow only the metal parts of that shield now remain in the museum of Thessaloniki, but the wooden parts were not found by Stamatopoulou to be examined.

However the most common construction method was large strips of solid wood glued and some times linked together with metal links and wooden pegs that at some stage they were turned on a lathe.

The strips of wood were not always as long as the diameter of the shield and in that case two or more pieces were linked with tiny wooden pegs.
Some times the boards were linked sideways with double axe shaped links.
Both these wooden links were tiny, few millimeters long, and in some shields they are seemingly lacking completely.

The thickness of all the existing shield fragments seem to confirm a uniform variation of thickness, so the Vatican shield which is the most complete can be used as an example with relative certainty that it is representative.
The Vatican shield is poplar but most examples in Greece are willlow. The shield itself and some times its rim are referred to ancient sources as willow.
The European poplar is also not to be confused with the American poplar, which has completely different properties.

Craig Sitch has created many shields turned from a block of poplar planks and would know a few things about the ancient method of construction. He has also achieved historical thicknesses and weights of around 3 kg for the core.

Mikko Sinkonnen from Finnland has created many laminated shields also with the correct weight and good durability. They also took part in Paul's experiment at Marathon.

One of the many secrets of the shield was its composite construction, which involved layers of pitch, different fabrics, leather, stucco and bronze. The wooden core is only a base for all these materials contributing of course much to its penetration resistance.

Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#35
Thank you for the insight, gentlemen! Much appreciated!
Scott B.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Making an Aspis - Ring Method (Visual Aids) Chris B 118 44,635 10-03-2010, 11:06 PM
Last Post: M. Demetrius
  Hoplon ancient method of construction Idomeneas 41 9,342 03-18-2007, 12:10 PM
Last Post: Peter Raftos

Forum Jump: