Thyreos

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Fresco of an ancient Macedonian soldier bearing a thyreos shield. Archeological museum in Istanbul Thueros affresco.jpg
Fresco of an ancient Macedonian soldier bearing a thyreos shield. Archeological museum in Istanbul

A thyreos (Ancient Greek : θυρεός) was a large oval shield which was commonly used in Hellenistic armies from the 3rd century BC on. It was adopted from the Galatians probably first by the Illyrians, then by the Thracians before becoming common in Greece. Troops who carried it were known as thyreophoroi. It was made of wood covered with leather and had a spined boss. It was carried using a central handgrip. Some variants of the shield were nearly rectangular. The name thyreos derives from the word thyra (θύρα), "door," reflects its oblong shape. [1]

Shield item of armour carried to intercept attacks or projectiles

A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand or mounted on the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by means of active blocks, as well as to provide passive protection by closing one or more lines of engagement during combat.

Galatia area in the highlands of central Anatolia

Ancient Galatia was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia, roughly corresponding to the provinces of Ankara, Çorum, and Yozgat, in modern Turkey. Galatia was named for the Gauls from Thrace, who settled here and became its ruling caste in the 3rd century BC, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC. It has been called the "Gallia" of the East, Roman writers calling its inhabitants Galli.

Illyrians group of tribes in ancient times

The Illyrians were a group of Indo-European tribes in antiquity, who inhabited part of the western Balkans. The territory the Illyrians inhabited came to be known as Illyria to Greek and Roman authors, who identified a territory that corresponds to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, part of Serbia and most of central and northern Albania, between the Adriatic Sea in the west, the Drava river in the north, the Morava river in the east and the mouth of the Aoos river in the south. The first account of Illyrian peoples comes from the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, an ancient Greek text of the middle of the 4th century BC that describes coastal passages in the Mediterranean.

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The thyreophoroi or thureophoroi was a type of infantry soldier, common in the 3rd to 1st centuries BC, who carried a large oval shield called a Thyreos which had a type of metal strip boss and a central spine. They were armed with a long thrusting spear, javelins and a sword. They also usually wore an iron or bronze Macedonian helmet. The thureos was probably originally an adapted form of a Celtic shield. Thracian and Illyrian infantry probably adopted the shield before the Greeks. However it has been suggested that the thureos was brought to Greece after Pyrrhus of Epirus' campaigns in Italy, as his Oscan allies and Roman enemies used the scutum.

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The Leukaspides, may have made up one of the two probable corps of the Antigonid Macedonian phalanx in the Hellenistic period, with the Chalkaspides forming the other. However, this conclusion is contested, as the Thracians at Pydna also had white shields so the reference may simply refer to these and there may not have been a corps of "white shields" within the phalanx at all. If this theory is correct, then it is likely that the term "bronze shields" applied only to the phalanx part of the Antigonid army. Possible supporting evidence for this claim can be drawn from the fact that the latter term in the 1st century BC Mithridatic army of Pontus is used by Plutarch to define its phalanx component against the other infantry.

The Chalkaspides made up one of the two probable corps of the Antigonid-era Macedonian phalanx in the Hellenistic period, with the Leukaspides forming the other.

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