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Thread: Shields - pelte vs thureos

  1. #1

    Default Shields - pelte vs thureos

    I was wondering if there's a list of shields used in EB.
    Understanding how the shields look like helps me know the units a little better, cause many units are named after the shields the units bear. A list that describe the shields based on how they're shaped, built (material), and the factions and units that use them would be informative.

    I know a lot of this information is on the info page for the unit, but having a list makes it a little easier to compare side by side what are the differences. It also helps compare the equipment of troops across different factions.

    For example, the pelte used by the peltastai looks kind of similar to the thureos, but I can't fully tell what the difference is.

    Some shields I see again and again in my Romani campaign:

    scutum - carried by Roman legionnaires, Lusotannan scutarii
    pelte -
    thureos - carried by legacy Greek thereophoroi

    spides (in general) - seem to be carried by Makedonian units
    chalkispides
    argyraspides

  2. #2
    iudex thervingiorum Member athanaric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    "-spides" comes from "Aspis" AFAIK, which is a fairly large round shield. Units with Aspis shields are for example:

    Hetairoi Aspidophoroi
    Baktrion Agema
    etc.


    AFAIK the Peltastai in EB carry "Thureos" shields. You can see the Pelte (or similar forms) on units like:

    Anatolikoi Phyletai
    Gund-i-Palta
    etc.

    The Caetra also seems to be a fairly widespread design.

    Most "barbarian" troops use variants of the Thureos.




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  3. #3

    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    "-spides" comes from "Aspis" AFAIK, which is a fairly large round shield. Units with Aspis shields are for example:

    Hetairoi Aspidophoroi
    Baktrion Agema
    etc.


    AFAIK the Peltastai in EB carry "Thureos" shields. You can see the Pelte (or similar forms) on units like:

    Anatolikoi Phyletai
    Gund-i-Palta
    etc.

    The Caetra also seems to be a fairly widespread design.

    Most "barbarian" troops use variants of the Thureos.

    I appreciate your reply.
    It's very informative and a great start for me.
    Almost forgot about the caetra. I haven't clashed with the Lusotannan yet in my new 1.2 campaign.

  4. #4
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Aspis generally indicates the hoplite shield (sometimes also called hoplon, but this is probably an error). IIRC the pelte is not used in game, although an eastern skirmisher bears something similar. It is a small, crescent shield that was once used by Greek skirmishers. The term peltast still refers to this usage, even though peltasts now bear smaller versions of the thureos.

    Scutum and thureos are essentially the same shield.

    Also keep in mind that designations were not that precise. Sometimes pelte, aspis and scutum could indicated shields in general rather than a specific type.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Is there a special name for the smaller Phalangite shields?
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  6. #6

    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    "-spides" comes from "Aspis" AFAIK, which is a fairly large round shield. Units with Aspis shields are for example:

    Hetairoi Aspidophoroi
    Baktrion Agema
    etc.
    "Aspis" (plural "aspides") doesn't necessarily refer to any one type of shield; it is merely the generic word for shield in Greek which was sometimes used to refer specifically to the hoplite's shield.

    IIRC the pelte is not used in game, although an eastern skirmisher bears something similar. It is a small, crescent shield that was once used by Greek skirmishers. The term peltast still refers to this usage, even though peltasts now bear smaller versions of the thureos.
    Is there a special name for the smaller Phalangite shields?
    "Pelte" is a word that changed in meaning from the Classical to the Hellenistic period. In the Hellenistic period, "pelte" came to refer to the small, usually metal-faced shield used by phalangites and peltasts, so that we have a few inscriptions from the Hellenistic period referring to, for instance, "peltas epichalkous makedonikas," or bronze-faced Macedonian peltai. The pelte by the third century BC was the small type of the Macedonian shield.

    Peltasts did not bear thureoi, and I don't know where that came from or why EB features peltasts carrying thureoi. I presume it has something to do with the interpretation of Diodorus' reference to the "peltas summetrous" of Iphikrates' reforms, and how that term is sometimes interpreted as referring to thureoi or another kind of oval shield.

    Also keep in mind that designations were not that precise. Sometimes pelte, aspis and scutum could indicated shields in general rather than a specific type.
    Aspis definitely could be general; pelte originally referred to specifically the crescent shaped shield introduced by the Thracians, and later came to refer to something else, and so in that way it is imprecise; scutum, however, was precise, and, as far as I know, always seems to have referred to the same thing.

  7. #7
    amrtaka Member machinor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Quote Originally Posted by MeinPanzer View Post
    Aspis definitely could be general; pelte originally referred to specifically the crescent shaped shield introduced by the Thracians, and later came to refer to something else, and so in that way it is imprecise; scutum, however, was precise, and, as far as I know, always seems to have referred to the same thing.
    Are you sure about that last bit? It always seemed to me that "scutum" (apart from specifically meaning the shield of the Roman soldiers) was the generic Latin term for "shield". Very much like "aspis" in Greek. Thus the Iberian "Scutarii" got their name although not carrying the Roman scutum; they do look similar but then again so do scutum and thureos.
    Quote Originally Posted by NickTheGreek View Post
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    I was under that impression too. It is latin for "shield." Whether that comes from it actually being the original latin for all sorts of shield or Roman ethnocentrism over time.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Quote Originally Posted by machinor View Post
    Are you sure about that last bit? It always seemed to me that "scutum" (apart from specifically meaning the shield of the Roman soldiers) was the generic Latin term for "shield". Very much like "aspis" in Greek. Thus the Iberian "Scutarii" got their name although not carrying the Roman scutum; they do look similar but then again so do scutum and thureos.
    You have to understand that "scutum" and "thureos" are terms describing a variety of shields that are loosely tied together by various characteristics. It's all a spectrum, so that there is in reality no such thing as an Iberian scutum or a Roman scutum. In the same way that Livy described both the small round shields of the Spanish tribes and the small round shields of the Macedonians as caetrae, the same oval shields with vertical spindle bosses and spines were called by Livy a scutum and by Polybius a thureos. To Polybius, the shields of the Iberians, Romans, Galatians, and Greeks alike were thureoi. Later on the term "scutum" came to have a generalized meaning, but in the Republican period it has a very specific meaning, which is cognate to thureos.

  10. #10
    Member Member delablake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Always amazing how much information can be found in the sound EB threads...
    and I would like to say thanks to all who contributed here!
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  11. #11
    Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ Member Fluvius Camillus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    If I remember correct from my RTR days, the spides were the phalanx shields.

    And I also remember (dont know the exact words though):
    Chalka - Bronze
    Argyra - Silver
    Chyra - Gold

    So that means

    Chalkaspides - Bronze shields (Pontos)
    Argyraspides - Silver Shields (Makedonia and AS)
    Chyraspides - Gold Shields (only seen in RTR Seleucids)

    Can someone confirm this?
    Last edited by Fluvius Camillus; 02-19-2009 at 13:25.
    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrius
    Oh my god, i think that is the first time in human history that someone cares to explain an acronym that people expect everybody to know in advance.
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  12. #12
    amrtaka Member machinor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Quote Originally Posted by MeinPanzer View Post
    You have to understand that "scutum" and "thureos" are terms describing a variety of shields that are loosely tied together by various characteristics. It's all a spectrum, so that there is in reality no such thing as an Iberian scutum or a Roman scutum. In the same way that Livy described both the small round shields of the Spanish tribes and the small round shields of the Macedonians as caetrae, the same oval shields with vertical spindle bosses and spines were called by Livy a scutum and by Polybius a thureos. To Polybius, the shields of the Iberians, Romans, Galatians, and Greeks alike were thureoi. Later on the term "scutum" came to have a generalized meaning, but in the Republican period it has a very specific meaning, which is cognate to thureos.
    Ah, I see. Wasn't aware that the generalized meaning developed later on. Thanks for clearing that out.
    Quote Originally Posted by NickTheGreek View Post
    "Dahae always ride single file to hid their numbers, these tracks are side by side. And these arrow wounds, too accurate for Dahae, only Pahlavi Zradha Shivatir are so precise..."
    <-- My "From Basileion to Arche - A Makedonian AAR" Memorial Balloon.

  13. #13
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Quote Originally Posted by MeinPanzer View Post
    Aspis definitely could be general; pelte originally referred to specifically the crescent shaped shield introduced by the Thracians, and later came to refer to something else, and so in that way it is imprecise; scutum, however, was precise, and, as far as I know, always seems to have referred to the same thing.
    Thanks for clarifying. I am pretty certain that scutum, by the middle ages, had come to mean shields in generals. Off course, whether it did in the Classical age is another question

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluvius Camillus View Post
    If I remember correct from my RTR days, the spides were the phalanx shields.

    And I also remember (dont know the exact words though):
    Chalka - Bronze
    Argyra - Silver
    Chyra - Gold

    So that means

    Chalkaspides - Bronze shields (Pontos)
    Argyraspides - Silver Shields (Makedonia and AS)
    Chyraspides - Gold Shields (only seen in RTR Seleucids)

    Can someone confirm this?
    That would not be "spides", but "aspides", or aspis . The Chrysaspides actually didn't exist as a unit: the term appears to be based on an erroneous translation of Polybius. Macedonia also used the designation chalkaspides, under Alexander and Perseus at least. I guess it simply means normal phalangites (the phalangite shield was made of bronze, after all).
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    IIRC the Pontic Chalky-Spiders are pretty much Pez rather than a super elite unit.
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  15. #15
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Quote Originally Posted by antisocialmunky View Post
    IIRC the Pontic Chalky-Spiders are pretty much Pez rather than a super elite unit.
    You are correct: their stats differ only slightly from standard pezhetairoi.
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  16. #16
    Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ Member Fluvius Camillus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Thank you for the clarification, how could I not see aspis

    Also if the Chyras did not exist, RTR is not so realistic then!
    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrius
    Oh my god, i think that is the first time in human history that someone cares to explain an acronym that people expect everybody to know in advance.
    I lived for three years not knowing what AAR is.

    Completed Campaigns: Epeiros (EB1.0), Romani (EB1.1), Baktria (1.2) and Arche Seleukeia
    1x From Olaf the Great for my quote!
    3x1x<-- From Maion Maroneios for succesful campaigns!
    5x2x<-- From Aemilius Paulus for winning a contest!
    1x From Mulceber!

  17. #17
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Scutum is generally translated as Theuros, but it's not that clear. The Latin cognate for Aspis is "Clipius" but it's still not possible to tie either down to a specific type. Generally you might say that the Clipius was round and the Scutum oval.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shields - pelte vs thureos

    Well, RTR have their intepretations, EB has its. As long as it's fun.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 02-20-2009 at 21:15.
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