The shields were taller than the soldiers and curved at the top so that they caught arrows falling onto the heads of the soldiers. The shields were made of wooden frame, often in conjunction with leather or rawhide, held by a handle or a leather strip fastened to the center of the frame. £3.85 ANK28 Kushite Egyptian: Assorted spearmen/javelinmen. They were used to protect soldiers from arrows and spears. The transition to the meaning "shield" or "goatskin" may have come by folk etymology among a people familiar with draping an animal skin over the left arm as a shield. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by means of active blocks, as well as to provide passive protection by closing one or more lines of engagement during combat. Shield with backing and hand-grip of wicker, with leather outer covering. (In skilled hands a sling is a very accurate and effective weapon). In part, the bow’s enduring popularity was due to the absence of protective body armour worn by Egypt’s opponents and the searing, humid climate where their forces were employed. (90cm) in diameter; but their body was covered by helmet, breastplate and leg greaves, and they fought in close formation. The word aegis is identified with protection by a strong force with its roots in Greek mythology and adopted by the Romans; there are parallels in Norse mythology and in Egyptian mythology as well,[citation needed] where the Greek word aegis is applied by extension. Home Biblical Archaeology - Significant Discoveries from Ancient Empires. Ancient designers were as concerned with the choice of material as they were with shape in the search for the ideal shield. We know that many primitive tribes used pieces of bark prized off the sides of trees – anything that made a barrier between the body of a fighter and the weapon of his enemy. 13), Zeus is said to have used the skin of a pet goat owned by his nurse Amalthea (aigis "goat-skin") which suckled him in Crete, as a shield when he went forth to do battle against the Titans.[4]. The metal shield broke and the bronze shield split in half. When the Olympian shakes the aegis, Mount Ida is wrapped in clouds, the thunder rolls and men are struck down with fear. Dozens of Ancient Egypt FREE Printables for your Homeschool. And of course people were quick to see the advantage of having a shield that was stronger than their bare arm. In a similar interpretation, Aex, a daughter of Helios, represented as a great fire-breathing chthonic serpent similar to the Chimera, was slain and flayed by Athena, who afterwards wore its skin, the aegis, as a cuirass (Diodorus Siculus iii. The Uraeus was usually worn by pharaohs as a headdress, either on their foreheads or on top of their heads as part of their crowns. 13). The latest form of the language, Coptic, remains in ecclesiastical use among Christians in Egypt. Assyrian shield bearers protect heavy-armed archers firing at the walls of a besieged city. Classical Greece interpreted the Homeric aegis usually as a cover of some kind borne by Athena. Ancient armorers sought a way to solve this problem, experimenting with different shapes, or different materials, or both. "to quickly move, to shoot, dart, to put in motion": Learn how and when to remove this template message, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aegis&oldid=1002198506, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2016, Articles needing additional references from June 2018, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. According to Edith Hamilton's Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes,[5] the Aegis is the breastplate of Zeus, and was "awful to behold". Unfortunately, there was never an ideal shield, at least in ancient times. It was usually either one to one and a half meters high and tapered towards the top to … Armed with a wooden shield (ikem) in their left hand and a bronze-tipped spear (dja) in their right, the Egyptian spearmen would advance on the enemy in tightly packed formations. Ancient Jerusalem - Interactive Study of Jerusalem with Map. Walking sticks - Ancient Egyptian pharaohs often used tall staffs to show authority and to help them walk. The aegis appears in works of art sometimes as an animal's skin thrown over Athena's shoulders and arms, occasionally with a border of snakes, usually also bearing the Gorgon head, the gorgoneion. The characteristics of individual gods could be hard to pin down. Assyrian, about 700-692 BC, from Nineveh, South-West Palace. The size and shape of shields varied, according to need. 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