How to Make Ancient Greek Weapons


In combat, ancient Greek soldiers primarily used a long stabbing spear as their offensive weapon. Soldiers formed a phalanx, lining up in ranks with the front soldiers interlocking their shields to create a large wall. The spear was laid over the top of the shields to attack the enemy as the phalanx advanced. For close quarter combat, Greeks used the short sword. Replicas of these weapons can be created for use as toys or for fancy dress parties.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • String
  • Paint
  • Foil
  • Broomstick
  • Glue

The Spear

  • Find a staff to use as the main body of the spear. A broomstick or other dowel should be suitable for the part.

  • Create the head of the spear by cutting it out of firm cardboard. Wrap it in foil or paint it silver to give it a metallic look. See the References section for the correct shape to use.

  • Attach the spear head to the staff using glue or scotch tape.

The Shield

  • Get a large piece of cardboard from which to cut the shield. Clear a space to work on it.

  • Determine the size of the shield. Greek shields were fairly large, protecting the bearer from neck to thigh.

  • Cut a circle in your desired size. To create a perfect circle, tie one end of a piece of string to a pencil. Hold the string in the center of the cardboard as you rotate the pencil around it, with the string at its full length.

  • Paint the design onto the shield. Black, gold/yellow and red were common colors. Use free online images to copy or create your own.

  • Create the handles for the shield. Two strips of cloth, cardboard or leather can be glued to the inside of the shield, leaving enough room to insert the forearm through one handle and grasp the other.

The Short Sword

  • Find images online or use the References to get an idea of the designs for Greek short swords. Because Greek soldiers usually fought from behind a phalanx, the swords tended to be heavier towards the tip than most swords, to make them more effective in hacking attacks from behind the shield.

  • Draw on the cardboard the sword design you have chosen, then cut it out carefully.

  • Paint the sword silver or wrap the blade end with foil to give it a metallic look. Paint the handle black or wrap it in black string to give the appearance of a grip.

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