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An aspis (pronounced /’æsp?s/, Ancient Greek: ?sp??) is the generic term for the word shield. The aspis, which is carried by Greek infantry (hoplites) of various periods, is often referred to as a hoplon (Ancient Greek: ?p???).
According to Diodorus Siculus:
A hoplon shield was a deeply-dished shield made of wood. Often, particularly later on, it was covered in a thin layer of bronze. In some periods, the convention was to decorate the aspis; in others, it was usually left plain. Probably the most famous aspis decoration is that of the Spartans: a red capital lambda (?) – at least, from the late 5th century BC. Athenian hoplites commonly used the Little Owl, while the shields of Theban hoplites were sometimes decorated with a sphinx, or the club of Herakles.