Men, in ancient Greece, were expected to serve the army for at least 18-20 years in almost all city-states. In some Greek city-states like Sparta, it was compulsory for all men to undergo rigorous training and join the army after they turn 20 years old. One of the most important armors for the warriors of Ancient Greek Shields.
Ancient Greek Shields
Shields in ancient Greece were made mostly of wood and leather and were then faced with bronze. The warrior would carry the Greek shield in his left hand with the help of central band and grip via a strap on the shield. Shields would weigh as much as 8 kg sometimes and the fighter would require great strength and skill to use it as a protection. The entire armor with chest piece and helmet and arm and leg guards would sometimes weigh as much as 20 kg.
Ancient Greek Shield Designs
The shields once faced with bronze were painted with different designs of which most widely used were the Lambda i.e. the inverted V-sign and the Gorgon which came from the Greek mythology. It was believed that a person who would see the emblem of Gorgon would turn into stone and hence it was used on the shields to distract the enemies.
Sometimes the round shields which would be as big as 80 cm or 30 inches in diameter would be cut out into different shapes to make them lighter in weight and yet serve the primary purpose of protection.