Apis Shield

  • Ancient Greece
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Seen in the 5th Century B.C., The Apis Shield was a rounded wooded protective device carried by Greek infantry in battle. They were 3 feet in diameter and weighed around 15 pounds. They featured a thin rim of bronze around the perimeter of the shield. Apis were about 1 to 2 inches thick. The shields innovation was in it's grip. Located at the edge of the device, it was supported by a leather strap (for the forearm). This gave infantry better mobility with regards to handling the Apis in combat. The strap also allowed for ease of carry (by wearing The Apis on the back). Of note, The Apis also served as a personal floatation device (due to it's wooden construction and diameter), when crossing deep rivers (and when jumping from a burning ship in battle!). The Apis was also used as a makeshift battlefield litter when needed. Most of The Apis Shields were painted in bright colors with elaborate designs reflecting one's City State alliance, Religion or related “War Art”. To date, (due to their construction) – only 1 Apis has survived from Antiquity. Many seen in Museums are reproductions based on Period documentation and this surviving model.