Saturday, April 21, 2007

Classical Spartans!

Artizan designs have announced a new range of Spartans with Corinthian (or possibly Chalcidian-it's hard to tell from these shots whether they leave the ears exposed or not) rather than Pylos Helmets. Most other manufactureres depict Spartans in Pylos helmets so this is a welcome addition.

The whole issue of how to represent a Spartan Army has exercised me since I started this project. The figures I have decided to use are the Foundry ones also by Steve Saleh.

Now there are a number of distinct periods I would want to model and really it is not that easy to overlap the models used.


The Spartans at the time of Thermopylae would have probably worn Corinthian Helmets with front to back crests (maybe even with elevated crests like this example from about the time of Thermopylae). One of the figures in the Artizan picture above (third from the left, top row) is wearing the more open faced Illyrian type helmet, which certainly continued into use in the 4th century

They could also have worn the so-called bell bronze cuirass. The illustrations in Nick Sekunda's Osprey The Spartan Army show the Spartans at Thermopylae wearing bell cuirasses. Actually, Foundry do produce some figures like this but only in their one pose army builder packs See above figure).
However, Peter Connolly in his Greece and Rome at War show Spartan troops at Thermopylae wearing the linen covered cuirass. The Artizan figures seem to be based on this interpretation.
Also, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the Spartans were using the famous Greek lambda symbol on their shields at this time and had individual designs. The earliest mention is from a poet likely to have been writing around 412 BC.

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