One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small light shield, as used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
- ‘One idea I've been kicking around for a shield is a Greek pelta.’
- ‘In general the name simply seems to have become for describing a largish oval shield; sometimes meaning a heavy shield, at other times being used to describe what was really an oval-shaped pelta.’
- ‘Their arms were the bow, spear, and axe, a crescent-shaped shield, called pelta, and (in early art) a helmet - the original model in the Greek mind apparently being the goddess Athena.’
- 1.1 An ornamental motif resembling a shield.
From Latin, from Greek peltē.
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