Brill’s New Pauly

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(445 words)

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(Αἰγίς; Aigís). In Homer, a common attribute of Zeus, who is regularly described as ‘Aegis-bearer’, and of Athena (Il. 2,446-9; 5,738 ff.; 21,400 f.; Od. 22,279). Its appearance -- a metal shield, a goatskin shield or a cloak -- cannot be clearly determined, because there was no firm tradition. The aegis is said to be ‘completely unkempt’ (Il. 15,309) and to have ‘tassles’ (100 of gold in Il. 2,448); the gods carry it, although Athena throws it around her shoulder, in place of a sh…

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Parker, Robert (Oxford), “Aegis”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 17 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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