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The shield was the most important piece of equipment for a Spartan warrior (or any Greek Hoplite, for that matter). It acted as a wall of defense, a symbol of unity, a gurney for fallen soldiers, and a really, really big plate. (Okay, so it was never used as a big plate. But if the Spartans had ever utilized elephants like the Persians, they would have been all set in the animals' cookware department).
This is a fairly historically accurate reproduction of a spartan shield (Spartans actually used wood shields with brass plating, but those don't last as long, so we figured we'd make it all steel and brass). That Lambda on the front of the shield is in the standard style (it represents a mountain. More specifically, a mountain of bodies that Spartans pile up after every victory and ... Okay my boss actually told me to stop making stuff up or he would pile my body on the unemployment line. Okay, then, the Lambda actually represents the region of Greece that was Sparta and had nothing to do with mountains or bodies. Are you happy, boss? What a grouch.)
The shield is made entirely from steel, with a strong coating of brass and a proprietary weathering technique that is as much art as manufacturing. Each shield is individually weathered and detailed to give it that fierce, battle-worn look. There's a richness of color and finish on this shield that you won't find anywhere else. Most brass shields are yellowy and shiny (like my drunk uncle's eyes, oddly) and have no real depth to them. This shield screams of bronze and war and grit and Sparta.
The shield, which weighs about 15 pounds, is surprisingly easy to carry. Two padded metal handles and an adjustable leather belt with buckle ensure a snug, comfortable fit. The weathering on the shield is masterfuly, with bronze-like pitting and swirls of battle-wear and grime.
If you were to find yourself facing an angry army of Persians today, you should probably call the U.S. Marines. But if they for some reason decided to come at you with spears and swords, then this shield would certainly be the first piece of equipment you would want. And if the Persians never come, this shield is still one of the most beautiful pieces of military artwork we have ever made.