Vergina Sun Shield
The handmade Vergina Sun shield is considered to be the oldest defensive weapon and derives its name from the Greek word "aspis". Its shape and construction vary, and its material could be wood, iron, leather or brass. The Ancient Greeks decorated them and considered them as samples of honourable distinctions. It was also considered offensive to abandon a shield in the battlefield.Its shape was usually round or oval and slightly curved with a strap on the inside, through which the warrior slipped his left arm. With his left palm he held the shield, with a handle in such a way as to protect his body during the battle. The shield ("aspida") in Greek means "surface extended along the body". It is worth mentioning that the Ancient Greeks called the shield "weapon" and considered it as the symbol of armament, hence the well-known Laconic saying "i tan i epi tas" means "with it, or on it". The interpretation behind this legendary saying, is that either the warrior would return home alive and with his shield, either he would be found dead in the battlefield under his shield. In addition to this, the shield was sent as a votive offering and as a tribute to the gods. It was also considered to be a valuable booty with which Ancient Greeks would set up trophies. It should be noted that after the battle of Granicus, Alexander the Great dedicated all three hundred shields to the Acropolis of Athens as a trophy of his victory. Apart from the Macedonians, the Athenian soldiers brought a sixteen-pointed symbol on their shield (6th century BC), and yet also some Spartan soldiers, brought to their shields the symbol of the "Vergina Sun". This is one of the reasons why the "Vergina Sun" as per armour became the oldest Ancient Greek symbol. In addition to this, it is found that the Ancient Greeks swore upon the shield, such as Romans did with their sword. The shield, in modern times, resembles the protective device held by the defence forces.
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