What is a shield? What are some examples of shields in Greek mythology?

A Shields In Greek Mythology

A shield is a defensive weapon used in warfare, with its main purpose to protect one from physical harm. It is typically a piece of armor held in the hand or strapped to the arm, with a protective plate in the center. Shields have been used since ancient times and were a very important part of the defensive arsenal of many civilizations, including the Greeks. In Greek mythology, many heroes and gods used shields with various designs and functions.

History of Shields

The use of shields dates back to the Bronze Age, with the earliest known examples appearing in the Middle East and Central Europe. The earliest types of shields were made of wood and leather, but soon enough, alternative materials and metals such as bronze and iron were used to create better, stronger shields. These new shields were more advanced, with a curved or round shape, and often had decorations or symbols painted on them.

In Greek mythology, many of the gods and heroes had their own personal shield, sometimes with a special design or magical properties. For example, Zeus carried a shield covered with a hundred golden tassels as a symbol of his power, and Athena had a shield with a Gorgon’s head painted on it. Heracles carried a large, bronze shield that was almost indestructible.

Types of Shields

The most common type of shield used in Greek mythology was the hoplon, which was circular in shape and made of bronze. The hoplon was commonly carried by Greek hoplites, which were heavily-armored infantry soldiers. Other shields used by the Greeks included the tower shields, which were rectangular in shape and used by the hoplites to protect their entire body. The thureos shield was a large, rectangular shield that was often used by the cavalry.

In Greek mythology, gods and heroes sometimes used shields with special properties. The shield of Achilles was made by Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths, and was said to be indestructible. The Aegis was a shield given to Athena by her father, Zeus, and it had the power to protect anyone who held it. The shield of Heracles was made of bronze and had the power to repel arrows and other projectiles.


The shield was an important part of the defensive arsenal of the ancient Greeks, and its importance was reflected in Greek mythology.

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