Article ID: CBB001212875

On the Origin of Greek Cavalry Shields in the Hellenistic Period (2009)


Nefedkin, Alexander K. (Author)

Volume: 91, no. 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 356-366

A horseman with a shield has some difficulty riding on horseback, because he must control the horse with his left hand, which holds the reins as well as the shield. If he does not use the reins, he must control the horse with his legs. The nomads, horsemen since childhood, could ride well in this manner, but the Greek riders usually had no such horsemanship skills. In the Hellenistic period the Greek cavalry adopted the shield as a main defensive arm. This was of course followed by a change of tactics; however, this article discusses the sources of the adoption. The latter is an example of the intercultural interactions in the ancient Greek warfare of the Hellenistic era. There are no ancient sources which deal specifically with the origin of the Greek cavalry shield; usually the scholars only state the fact of the adoption of the shield without arguing their points of view.2 The aim of this paper is to analyse the different kinds of cavalry shields used and reconsider the origin of the arms accordingly.

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Authors & Contributors
Cuomo, Serafina
Formisano, Marco
Nefedkin, A. K.
Frolov, Eduard Davidovich
Young, C. K.
Mayor, Adrienne
Technai, An International Journal for Ancient Science and Technology
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Apeiron: Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Journal of Medical Biography
Cambridge University Press
Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie
Overlook Duckworth
Franz Steiner Verlag
Alfred A. Knopf
de Gruyter
Military technology
Technology and war; technology and the military
Science and war; science and the military
Military Art and Science
Roman Empire
Biondo Flavio
Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Time Periods
Early modern
15th century
18th century
Hellenistic world

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