14 April 2014
The Spartan Attire
Being one of the most feared military forces, the Spartans definitely left their mark in history. In an article on Wikipedia it is said that Lycurgus, legendary lawgiver of Sparta, said that the Spartans were needed like a “wall of men, instead of bricks.” This quote shows how the Spartans must have been a fierce, strong army. Their strength may have come from the fact that they were put into army involvement at a young age. When the Spartans men were in infancy, he was inspected by the Gerousia, a Spartan council of Elders. It was harsh because if the baby was found to be weak, he was left to die and if the baby was deemed strong, than he was put into the agoge by the age of seven. At the agoge, from Wikipedia’s explanation it sounds like what would be today as a military camp, the children would then learn the rigorous education and training regimen specified for all male Spartan citizens. The training was quite intense, but it was something the Spartans had to put up with, which in the end benefited them when they became fierce fighters. Almost sounds like the movie 300.
As being fierce fighters the Spartans also wore some armor as well. The Spartans had similar hoplite equipment like their other Greek neighbors that they used, but what made them a little bit different were their red cloaks, cuirass, and long hair. In the Archaic period it is said that the Spartan men typically had a bronze, muscled breastplate, a helmet with cheek plates, as well as greaves, and vambraces.
For my final project I constructed some medieval Spartan Armor out of paper mache. I made a Spartan helmet, greaves, and vambraces. Many may question, what part of the body did these cover or protect? First of all, the greaves, or leg guards as we would call them today, were a vital piece of the Spartans armor. The greaves were needed because the shields only covered down to about the thighs. The greaves would protect the shin, knees, and ankles and were almost molded to fit the exact shape of the legs.
Also the Spartans had vambraces, which were like armguards. The vambraces covered the forearms. These were needed to protect the soldier’s arm for when he reached out to thrust at an enemy, his arms would be protected.
Lastly is the Spartan helmet which was also made of bronze. The helmets followed the Corinthian helmet style. The Spartan helmet provided protection for pretty much the entire face and head. As people take a look at the type of helmets that the Spartans wore, they can tell that these helmets would also restrict their sight and hearing due to the fact that the helmet covered so much. The helmet was long across the sides to help protect the cheeks and also had a long piece down the center to protect the nose. Some of the helmets would have long, red horse hairs called plumes, which were used for intimidation and to make the Spartans appear taller and fiercer. I constructed my helmet of a more basic Corinthian style helmet that would have also been used during that time as well.
Ancient Sparta. (2011, April 13). Retrieved from Trivia: http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Spartan-Armament-271128.html
Kalif, W. (2014, April 14). Spartan Vambraces: Armor . Retrieved from Storm the Castle: http://www.stormthecastle.com/
notes: also more pictures of paper mache hear as well.
Miller, F. (2007). 300. Retrieved from Hollywood vs. History : http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/300spartans.php
Sparta: Greatest Military Power of Greece. (2014, April 14). Retrieved from Dress-Spartan Army: http://www.sparta.net/listingview.php?listingID=28
Swords and Weapons of Honor. Retrieved from https://www.strongblade.com/prod/sbh-spartancrested_hist.html
The Spartan Military . (2012, December 14). Retrieved from Ancient Military: http://www.ancientmilitary.com/spartan-military.htm
Wikipedia . (2014, April 10). Retrieved from Spartan Army : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartan_army
Wikipedia. (2014, April 14). Retrieved from Lycurgus of Sparta: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycurgus_of_Sparta