The weapon of Zeus that can cause darkness, thunder, and lightning. It was made by Hephaestus and decorated with a hundred tassels. Later, it became solely the attribute of Athena. It was believed to be a kind of robe made of goat skin, embroidered with snakes and covered with scales, with in the middle the Gorgon's head. The aegis also functioned as a shield.
The name means "goat skin" and is therefor in later times said to have been the skin of Amalthea, the goat which had suckled Zeus.
In ancient Greek art, the aegis is draped over both shoulders and covers the entire breast, such as on Athena at the western wing of the Aphaea temple at Aegina (early fifth century BCE). In later times, the aegis is depicted as a smaller object, for example on a gem by Aspasius.
- Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.
- Diodorus Siculus, iii, c. 70. Servius on Virgil's Aeneid viii, 435.
- Hillen, Dr. M.Th. (1952). Mythologisch handboekje. Zutphen: n.v. W.J. Thieme & Cie.