), a small shield.
Iphicrates, observing that the ancient CLIPEUS
was cumbrous and inconvenient, introduced
among the Greeks a much smaller and lighter shield, from which those who
bore it took the name of peltastae
Vol. I. p. 776]. It
consisted principally of a frame of wood or wickerwork (Xen. Anab. 2.1
, § 6), covered with
skin or leather, without the metallic rim. [ANTYX
]. (Timaeus, Lex. Plat.
Light and small shields of a great variety of shapes were used by numerous
nations before the adoption of them by the Greeks. The round target or
was a species of the pelta, and was
used especially by the people of Spain and Mauretania. [CETRA
] The pelta is also said to
have been quadrangular (Schol. in
). A light shield of similar
construction was part of the national armour of Thrace (Thuc. 2.29
; Eurip. Aloes.
410; Max. Tyr. Diss.
19.1, 23.2) and
of various parts of Asia, and was on this account attributed to the Amazons,
in whose hands it appears on the works of ancient art sometimes elliptic, as
in the bronzes of Siris (woodcut, p. 79), and at other times variously
sinuated on the margin, but most commonly [p. 2.364]
semicircular indentation on one side ( “lunatis peltis,”
Verg. A. 1.490
). Varro, L. L.
7.43, compares this to the
] A vase fragment in the
Peltae, from a vase in the British Museum.
British Museum (No. E 793) shows clearly the form and construction of the
two Persians exhibit the two
sides of the shield.