Authored By Staff Writer (Updated: 4/8/2013): The Hoplon shield was the principle shield of the Hoplite heavy infantry warrior. The Hoplite was the driving force behind the phalanx formations of Ancient Greece in which rows of Hoplites would form seemingly impenetrable shield walls consisting of shields and spears.
The Hoplon was of a rounded shape fitted to the left arm of the Hoplite. Made of wood with a facing of bronze, the Hoplon was further strengthened by the use of a leather inner lining. The shield was fastened to the left forearm of the Hoplite warrior by a band freeing the left hand to handle the shield grip. In this fashion, the Hoplon could be used for both shielding the wearer from artillery - in the form of arrows or stones - and blows from enemy spear tips and swords.
Hoplites utilized the Hoplon throughout their existence reaching a pinnacle in Alexander the Great's Macedonian Hoplite infantry. These units carried a much smaller version of the original Hoplon, though still rounded in shape, but lighter and much more maneuverable in battle.