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ἀσπίς , ίδος: shield.—(1) the larger, oval shield, termed ἀμφιβρότη, ποδηνεκής. It is more than 2 ft. broad, 4 1/2 ft. high, and weighed about 40 lbs. (For Agamemnon's shield, see Il. 11.32-40). The large shield was held over the left shoulder, sustained by the τελαμών and by the πόρπαξ, or ring on the inside.— (2) the smaller, circular shield, πάντοσ᾽ ἐι?ση (see cut), with only two handles, or with one central handle for the arm and several for the hand (see cut No. 12). It was of about half the size and weight of the larger ἀσπίς, cf. the description of Sarpēdon's shield, Il. 12.294 ff. The shield consisted generally of from 4 to 7 layers of ox-hide (ῥι_νοί, Il. 13.804); these were covered by a plate of metal, and the whole was firmly united by rivets, which projected on the outer, convex side. The head of the central rivet, larger than the rest, was the ὀμφαλός or boss, and was usually fashioned into the form of a head. Instead of the plate above mentioned, concentric metal rings (δινωτής, εὔκυκλος) were sometimes substituted. The rim was called ἄντυξ, and the convex surface of the shield bore some device analogous to an heraldic coat of arms, Il. 5.182, Il. 11.36, cf. Il. 5.739. The shield of Achilles (Il. 18.478-608), in describing which the poet naturally did not choose to confine himself to realities, does not correspond exactly to either of the two ἀσπίδες described above.
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