Analysing the Relationship between the Crescent Shaped Shield and the Amazons

Erol A. F.

Journal of Indo-European Studies, vol.36, no.3-4, pp.411-427, 2008 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 3-4
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Journal Name: Journal of Indo-European Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.411-427
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: No


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 associate them with the Amazons. The fact that the earliest known example of this material 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.