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SILVER SHIELDS, BEARERS OF 100.00%

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A corps of guards in the army of Alexander the Great. (See ARGYRASPIDES.)
 
SHIELD 100.00%
The most important weapon of defence among the peoples of antiquity. The Greeks had two principal forms of shield in use, with broad flat rims, and the curved surface of the shield rising above them: (1) the long shield of oval shape that covered the wearer from mouth to ankles, suspended by a belt passing [round the neck and] the left shoulder, with a handle for the left hand. A variation of this form is the Boeotian shield (figs. 3, 4), the two sides of which have in the middle a semicircular or oval indentation. (2) The round shield, covering the wearer from the chin to the knee, also called the Doric shield; this had one loop, through which the left arm was inserted, and one which was held by the left hand (figs. 5 and 6). The shield of the Macedonian phalanx was round, but small enough to be easily handled, and with only one loop for the arm. Both forms were in use from ancient times; at a later date the Argolic shield seems to have predominated, though the long shield that was planted on the ground in a pitched battle remained a peculiarity of Spartan warfare until the 3rd century B.C, In Homer [Il. vii 245, xviii 481, xx 274-281] shields are made of skins placed one over another, with one plate of metal above; in later times the material appears to have been generally bronze, but also wood, leather, and wickerwork. The pelta is of Thracian origin; it was the defensive weapon of the light-armed peltasts, made of leather without a rim, and with a level surface, of small size and weight, and of various forms (square, round, and crescent-shaped, as in fig. 8). Shields sometimes bore devices in painting or metal-work (figs. 1,2); besides those chosen by the fancy of the individual, devices indicating different nations came into general use after the Persian War. Many Grecian races, e.g. the Lacedemonians, displayed the first letters of their name. The Athenian token was an owl, the Theban a club or a sphinx. The shields most in use among the Romans were (1) the large oblong scutum, bent in the form of a segment of a cylinder, covering the whole of the wearer; this was constructed of boards, covered with leather, and bound at the top and bottom with iron; it was always carried by the legionaries. (2) The circular leathern parma, carried by the light infantry. (3) The cetra, borrowed from the Spaniards; it resembled the parma, and was carried by the light auxilliary cohorts. The different divisions of the force were distinquished by devices painted on their shields.
 
ASPIS 100.00%

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The Greek name for a long shield (For further information, see SHIELD.)
 
SCUTUM 91.54%

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The large wooden shield of the Roman legionaries. (See SHIELD.)
 
PARMA 80.45%

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The circular leathern shield of the Roman light infantry. (See SHIELD.)
 
PILUM 31.16%
The javelin of the Roman legionaries (about six feet long), which was hurled at the enemy's ranks at the beginning of the engagement, before proceeding to the use of the sword. It consisted of a wooden shaft three feet long, easily grasped in the hand, and an iron head of the same length, culminating in a barbed point, and provided with a socket to which the shaft was attached by iron rivets. Marius had the heads constructed of soft weak iron, the point only being steeled. In this way, if the point stuck in the shield of an enemy, the iron was bent by the weight of the shaft, rendering the weapon useless and difficult to draw out, while it made the shield unmanageable so long as it remained in it [Plutarch, Marius, 25]. When well thrown, the pilum would penetrate both shield and armour. (See cut.)
 
HERAEA 30.32%
A festival held at Argos every five years in honour of Hera, the goddess of the country. The priestess of Hera drove, in a car drawn by white oxen, to the Heraeum, or temple of the goddess, situated between Argos and Mycenae. Meantime the people marched out in procession, the fighting men in their arms. There was a great sacrifice of oxen (hekatombe), followed by a general sacrificial banquet and games of all sorts. A special feature of these was a contest in throwing the javelin, while running at full speed, at a shield set up at the end of the course. The victor received a crown and a shield, which he carried in the final procession.
 
HOPLITES 27.51%

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The heavily armed foot-soldiers of the Greeks, who fought in serried masses (see PHALANX). Their weapons consisted of an oval shield suspended from the shoulder-belt, and wielded by means of a handle, a coat of mail (see THORAX), a helmet and greaves of bronze, and sometimes a lance about six feet long, and a short sword. The Spartans, who fought with shields large enough to cover the whole man, appear to have worn neither cuirass nor greaves. The whole equipment, weighing close on 77 lbs., was worn only in battle; on the march the greater part of it was carried by a slave. An idea of the equipment of an Athenian hoplite [about 500 B.C.] may be derived from the accompanying illustration of the monument to the Athenian Aristion (found near Marathon, but probably of earlier date than 490). The weapons of the Macedonian hoplites, or phalangitoe, were a circular shield with a bronze plate, about two feet in diameter, and about twelve pounds in weight, a leather jerkin with brass mountings and ornaments, light greaves, a round felt hat (see CAUSIA), a short sword, and the Macedonian sarissa (q.v.).
 
SALII 26.54%
 
AEGIS 19.48%
The storm-cloud and thunder-cloud of Zeus, imagined in Homer as a shield forged by Hephaestus, blazing brightly and fringed with tassels of gold, in its centre the awe-inspiring Gorgon's head. When Zeus shakes the aegis, it thunders and lightens, and horror and perdition fall upon those against whom it is lifted. It is borne not only by Zeus "the Aegis-bearer," but by his daughter Athena, and occasionally by Apollo. As the same word means a goatskin, it was explained in later times as the skin of the goat which had suckled Zeus in his infancy. At the bidding of the oracle, he drew it over his thunder-shield in the contest with the Giants, and fastened on it the Gorgon's head. When the aegis became a standing attribute of Athena, it was represented as a skin either shaggy or scaly, with a fringe of snakes and the Gorgon's head in the middle, and either serving the goddess as a breastplate, or hanging behind to screen the back and shoulders, or fastened like a shield on the left arm.
 
HESIOD 17.92%
The earliest epic poet of Greece (next to Homer), whose writings have actually come down to us. Even the ancients themselves had no clear views of his date, some making him the contemporary of Homer and others even still older. He certainly lived after Homer, probably about the beginning of the Olympiads in 776 B.C. His poems contain incidentally a few allusions to the circumstances of his life. According to them he was born at Ascra in Boeotia, near He1icon, where his father Dius had settled as an emigrant from the Aeolic Cyme (Kume) in Asia. At his father's death he was involved in a dispute with his younger brother Perses about his patrimony. This was decided against him by the verdict of the judges, who had been bribed by the younger brother. Disgust at the injustice he had suffered, and a renewal of the dispute with his brother, appear to have determined him to forsake his native land and to settle at Naupactus. According to a tradition he was murdered at the Locrian town of (Eneon by the sons of his host, on a false suspicion; but, by command of the Delphic oracle, his bones were brought to Orchomenus, where a monument, with an inscription, was erected to him in the market-place. In ancient times a series of epic poems bore his name, and were attributed to him as the representative of the Boeotian and Locrian school of poetry, in contrast to the Ionian and Homeric school. Three poems of his have been preserved: (1) The Works and Days, which consists of myths, fables, and proverbs, interwoven with exhortations to his brother, who, having lost by extravagance his share of the patrimony, was now threatening him with a new law-suit, The poet here recommends him to abstain from his unrighteous proceedings, and by honourable toil to gain fresh wealth for himself. He therefore lays down for his guidance all manner of precepts, on agriculture, domestic economy, navigation, etc., and specifies the days appropriate for every undertaking. Although this poem is deficient in true artistic finish, it was highly valued by the ancients on account of its moral teaching. (2) The Theogony. An account of the origin of the world and of the birth of the gods, which, in its present shape, is composed of different recensions, together with many later additions. Next to the Homeric poems, it is the most important source of our knowledge of the views of the Greeks of the earliest times as to the world and the gods. (3) The Shield of Heracles. A description of the shield of Heracles, wrought by Hephaestus, to arm the hero in his conflict with Cycnus (q.v.), son of Ares. It is a weak imitation of the Homeric account of the shield of Achilles, and is certainly not the work of Hesiod. As an introduction, a number of verses are borrowed from a lost poem by Hesiod, of genealogical import,--a list of the women whom the gods had made the mothers of the heroic families of Greece. The poetry of Hesiod, although composed in the same form as that of Homer, never approaches it in grace and beauty. On the contrary, it is wanting in artistic form and finish, and rarely affords any real enjoyment. Nevertheless it betokens an important advance in the development of the Greek intellect, from the naive simplicity of its attitude in Homeric times, to the speculative observation of the world and of human life. It contains the germs of lyric, as also of elegiac, iambic, and aphoristic poetry.
 
MYS 17.73%
 
ARGYRASPIDES 17.71%
In the later army of Alexander the Great, the remnant of the Macedonian heavy-armed infantry, who had crossed the Hellespont with the king, were formed into a corps of Guards in the heavy infantry of the line, and named from their shields being over-laid with Indian silver. After Alexander's death the corps was disbanded by Antigonus on account of its overweening pretensions.
 
CURETESS 16.02%
In Cretan mythology the Curetes were demi-gods armed with weapons of brass, to whom the new-born child Zeus was committed by his mother Rhea for protection against the wiles of Cronus. They drowned the cries of the child by striking their spears against their shields. They gave their name to the priests of the Cretan goddess Rhea and of the Idoean Zeus, who performed noisy war-dances at the festivals of those deities.
 
HYPASPISTAE 15.23%

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The shield-bearers in the Greek army, who followed the heavyarmed warriors and carried a portion of their burdensome equipment, principally the shield, the necessary baggage, and the usual provision for three days. Among the, Macedonians the light infantry were so called to distinguish them from the heavy Phalangitae (see HOPLITES), and the archers. They wore a round felt hat (see CAUSIA), a linen jerkin, and had a long dagger and a short hand-pike. They were a standing body of 6,000 men, and in war formed the king's bodyguard. (See AGEMA.)
 
GLADIUS 13.94%
The Roman military sword, which was attacbed to a shoulder-strap round the neck, or to the girdle round the waist. The common soldiers wore it on the right side; the officers, having no shield like the common soldiers, on the left. It was a short, sharp, two-edged weapon, used more for thrusting than cutting. In the republican period it was only worn by magistrates when acting as military officers; but under the Empire it was the emblem of imperial power, and in consequence one of the insignia of the emperor and the commanders nominated by him. After the introduction of the sword instead of the axe in executions, the ius gladii was the term expressing the full criminal jurisdiction confered by the emperor on the provincial governors.
 
GLADIATORES 13.33%

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The Latin name for the combatants who fought each other for life or death at the public shows. They first appear in Rome in 264 B.C., and only at the celebrations of private funerals, or in games given in memory of a private individual. Entertainments of this kind were often provided for in wills. The custom, like others of the same kind, seems to have come from Etruria, where it was a survival of the human sacrifices formerly usual at funerals. These gladiatorial contests soon became a very favourite form of popular entertainment, and in the last century of the republic were hold to be an excellent means of winning the favour of the populace at elections. Indeed, custom at length imposed an obligation on some magistrates, for instance on the aediles, to give gladiatorial games on their assumption of office; and they would try to outbid each other in the number of contending couples and in general expenditure. From Rome the fashion soon spread into the provinces. Campania was the part of Italy where it most prevailed. It was not, however, till the time of Domitian that quaestors designate were regularly compelled to give the great gladiatorial ex-ibitions, which occupied ten days in the month of December. In the Western Empire they survived at least down to the beginning of the 5th century A.D. They were at first given in the forum, but afterwards generally in the amphitheatres (see AMPHITHEATRE, and in the circus, if the exhibition was to be on a very large scale. The gladiators were sometimes condemned criminals; but it must be remembered that originally Roman citizens could not be sentenced to the arena, and it was not till later times that this punishment was extended to criminals of low condition. Sometimes they were prisoners of war, slaves, or volunteers. Under the Empire it was not so uncommon, even in the upper classes, to volunteer as a gladiator. Sometimes the step was the last refuge of a ruined man; sometimes the emperor would force a man to it. These volunteers were called auctorati (=bound over), to distinguish them from the rest; their pay was termed auctoramentum. Troops of gladiators were sometimes owned by Romans in good society, who often, towards the end of the republican age, employed them in streetfights against their political opponents. Sometimes they were the property of speculators, who often carried on at the same time the disreputable trade of a fencing master (lanista). These men would hire out or sell their gladiators to persons who were giving their shows, or would exhibit them for money to the public on their own account. The gladiators were trained in special schools (ludi). Under the Empire things went so far that the emperors kept schools of their own under the supervision of procuratores of equestrian rank. After Domitian's time there were four of these in Rome. A building for this purpose, large enough for a hundred gladiators, is preserved in Pompeii. To strengthen their muscles they were put on a very nourishing diet. Every style of fighting had its special professor (doctor or mdgister), and the gladiator was usually instructed only in one style. The novice (tiro) began with fence-practice against a wooden stake, at first with light wooden arms, but afterwards with weapons of full weight. If a man were intending to give a show of gladiators (manus gladiatorium) he advertised it by notices (programmata ) put up on the walls of houses, numerous copies of these being at the same time widely distributed. These notices stated the date and occasion of the show, the name of the giver (editor), the number of pairs of gladiators, and the different kinds of combats. The performance began with a gala procession (pompa) of the gladiators to the arena and through it. Then came the testing of the weapons by the editor, who, though he might be a private individual, had the right of wearing the insignia of a magistrate during the show. A preliminary skirmish or prolusio, with wooden swords and darts, next took place, till the trumpets sounded, and the serious fighting began. This took place to the accompaniment of music in a space, measured out by the fencing master. The gladiators sometimes fought, not in pairs, but in troops. The timid were driven on with whips and red-hot irons. If a gladiator was wounded in single combat, he raised his fore-finger to implore the mercy of the people, with whom, after the last years of the republic, the giver of the games usually left the decision. The sign of mercy (missio ) was the waving of handkerchiefs: the clenched fist and downward thumb indicated that the combat was to be fought out till death. Condemned criminals had no chance of mercy. The slain, or nearly slain, were carried on the biers which stood ready for them, to a particular door (porta Libitinensis), into a place where they were, stripped ( spoliarium). There, if they had not actually expired, they were put to death. The victors received palms, with branches adorned with fillets. Under the Empire they sometimes got presents of money a& well. If a gladiator, by repeated proofs of cleverness and bravery, succeeded in gaining the favour of the people, he was, at the public request, presented with a kind of wooden rapier (rudis),[1] as a token that he was now free from all further service. In this case he was called rudiarius. This did not make him an absolutely free man; but if he chose to fight again, he did so as a free man, and could accordingly claim a high remuneration. Gladiators were armed in various styles, as the pairs of combatants were usually armed, not with the same, but with different weapons, The weapons of gladiators, and notably their helmets, were quite different in form from the arms of soldiers (see fig. 1). Gladiators were classed according to their equipment. Thus the retiarius was armed with a net, was bareheaded, and had nothing on but a short tunic and a girdle; his left arm was in a sleeve; his arms were a net (iaculum), a trident (fuscina), and a dagger. The net he tried to throw over his pursuing adversary, and to despatch him with dagger or trident, if successful. The secutor, or pursuer, was so called, because he was generally set to fight with the retiarius, who retired before him (fig. 2). He was as lightly equipped as his adversary, but armed with helmet, sword, and shield. The myrmillo (fig. 3), who was also often matched against the retiarius, was armed in Gallic fashion with helmet, sword and shield, and named after the figure of a fish (mormylos, which adorned his helmet. The Samnis, or Samnite, was so called after his Samnite equipment. This consisted of a large shield (scutum), a sleeve of leather or metal on the right arm, with a shoulder piece (galerus), rising above the shoulder, a girdle, a greave on the left foot, a visored helmet with crest and plume, and a short sword. The Thrax, or Thracian, wore, like his countrymen, a small round shield (parma) and a dagger (sica) curved in the form of a sickle, or bent at right angles. In other respects his equipment was more complete than the Samnite's, for he had greaves on both legs.The hoplomachus, or heavily armed gladiator, wore a breastplate, as well as visored helmet, and greaves. In later times the place of the retiarius was sometimes taken by the laquearius, who wore the same light armour, but carried a short sword and a noose (laqueus), which he threw over his adversary and pulled him to the ground. The dimachaeri, or men who fought with two swords, are also apparently the production of a later time. The essedarii (from essedum, a British war-car with two horses) fought in chariots. The andabatoe (fig. 4) fought on horseback, armed with small round shield and spear (spiculum), and a visored helmet without eyeholes, and charged each other in the dark. There are many representations of gladiatorial combats in works of art, the most comprehensive of which is a large bas-relief in Pompeii. [Overbeck's Pompeii, figs. 106-112; or Schreiber's Bilderatlas , I xxx figs. 2-8.]
 
LACONICUM 12.26%
A species of dry sweating-bath, introduced from Greece by the Romans towards the end of the Republic. It was specially used to correct the effects of excessive indulgence at the table, by inducing severe perspiration; at the conclusion of the process it was usual to take either a cold plunge or a shower-bath. The dry sweating-bath was taken in a small, circular room, covered with a cupola, and capable of being raised to a high degree of temperature. Its sole light was admitted through a hole in its vaulted roof. Under this opening there hung on chains a bronze shield (clipeus), by elevating and depressing which it was possible to regulate the temperature.
 
AEGINETAN SCULPTURES 12.21%
The marble pediments of Athena's temple at Aegina, discovered in 1811, restored by Thorwaldsen, and preserved in the Glyptothek at Munich. Their great value consists in the full light they throw on the condition of Greek art, especially of the Aeginetan school, in B.C. 480. (Comp.SCULPTURE.) Both groups present, with lifelike accuracy and in strictly symmetrical distribution, combats of the Greeks before Troy, while Athena in the centre, as protectress of the Greeks, retains the rigid attitude of the ancient religious statues. Of the figures, originally twentytwo in number, ten in the west pediment representing the contest for the body of Patroclus, are complete, while the eleventh is preserved in fragments; of those in the east pediment representing Heracles and Telamon shielding the fallen Oicles from Laomedon, five remain and many fragments.
 
EPHEBI 11.95%
The Athenian name for youths over the age of sixteen. The completion of a boy's sixteenth year was the occasion of a festival, at which the ephebus made a drink offering to Heracles, and entertained his friends with wine. His hair, hitherto worn long, was cut, and the locks dedicated to Apollo. For the two following years the ephebi were mainly employed in gymnastic exercises, and after that time the proper civic ephebia commenced. After an examination intended to test the genuineness of their civic descent and their physical capacity, the ephebi were entered on the list of their tribe, presented to the people assembled in the theatre, armed with spear and shield, and taken to the sanctuary of Agraulos at the foot of the citadel, where they bound themselves by a solemn oath to the service and defence of their country. For the two following years they served as guards on the frontier. After the completion of their twentieth year they were admitted to the meetings of the assembly and employed in foreign service. Their dress was the chlamys and the petasus.
 
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