The Two Greatest Shields In The Iliad Do Battle

There are many pictorial differences in the classic text, The Iliad, especially between the shields of Achilles and Aeneas. There are two major themes that contrasts the two. Achilles’ shield is about all of nature and balance, while Aeneas’ shield is about the future of Rome, and its apex point in society.

Aeneas Shild

The images on the shield of Aeneas are inscribed in chronological order. We see the history of Rome. Augusts Cesar is at the apex of the civilization leading the war against the Egyptians. This shield is only about Rome and Nationalism. As stated in the text, what the shield is it basically a representation of the future glories of Rome and Rome alone.

On the shield was inscribed the future wars, the mother wolf and the twins who built Rome, Romulus and Remus. Aeneas’ future sons are defending the city of Rome and throw themselves forward onto the enemies spears. In the upper quartile we see the capital where Romulus’ house was newly thatched. They have alpine spears in defense along with ladies riding in cushioned carriages through Rome. In the middle of the shield there is the sea flowed surging, all of gold.

We see Leucata maneuvering ships. We see a high society with a leader and his people standing behind him and they stand together. A war scene between Italy and Egypt is being depicted in the open seas.

All in all, we see all of Aeneas Descendants fighting for what Rome will become.

The Iliad shield of Achilles

Achille’s shield

On the other hand, we have Achilles’ shield; which was constructed by a God to represent all of nature. The scenes on the shield are both complex and divine.

The shield is designed with all the elements, Earth, Sky, Sun, and Moon. There are also two cities with people on them celebrating and fighting at the same time. One city was celebrating and the other city was at war with itself. Two armies are camped out around the city, ready to move in for the kill. The people within the city are ready to defend their beautiful city and are led by Gods Ares and Pallas Athena.

(Does the Book of Job blast us, or the Gods?)

There is also a scene of rich farmlands and a happy king watching his land being farmed. Another scene inscribed on the shield is that of two terrifying lions attacking an ox herd.

The last scene is designed with a dancing ground filled with young adults in the prime of their beauty, dancing and enjoying themselves. The outer most rim of the shield had the great strength of the river ocean.

Such scenes would confirm that this shild is about balance in nature.

If you enjoyed this article analyzing the shields from The Iliad, check out our other literary content at The Ritual Blog and follow us on our platforms below.

Join The Tribe!

Leave a Reply