Analysing the Relationship between the Crescent Shaped Shield and the Amazons

Erol A. F.

JOURNAL OF INDO-EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol.36, pp.411-427, 2008 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Page Numbers: pp.411-427


Among the weapon-illustrated reliefs widely spread throughout the triple-gated city of Pisidian Antioch, an eagle-headed crescent-shaped shield is remarkable. Classical sources refer to the crescent-shaped shields as pelta and also associated them with the Amazons. The fact, that the earliest known example of this materials is depicted with the Amazons on black-figured vase illustrations has directed us to conclude that the origin of the shield must be associated with the Amazons. The shield having a crescent shape, the Amazons' close relationship with the Mother Goddess and crescent symbols being a part of these goddesses' iconography, all seem to reinforce such a proposition. Accordingly, the Amazons, their related goddesses and the crescent form itself are the subject of inquiry for this article.