THUCYDIDES characterizes the prehistoric age of Greece as a time when every man wore iron and went about his day's work in arms, for want of fenced cities and safe roads;1 and the Mycenaean, even behind his Cyclopean walls and on his guarded highways, cannot dispense with weapons. His armory includes (at least) shield and spear, sword, battle- axe, bow and sling.
But, unfortunately for us, his defensive armor was of perishable materials, and so none of it has come down to us. We have to go to the monuments for all our data, and, for the shield at least, these are abundant.
The Mycenaean shield, like the Homeric, must have been chiefly of hide, doubtless over a framework of wood.2 But, in the simplest form, it was probably nothing but an oxhide with the extremities lopped off, so as to leave an oblong figure. This was then (apparently) stretched on a semi-cylindrical last and dried, to secure at once light