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Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper and a small percentage of tin. Often other miscellaneous metals like zinc, aluminummanganese, or nickel are also added to it. It has been used by humans in the construction of weapons, tools, coins, and engineering components for millennia and was especially prominent in antiquity prior to its widespread replacement by iron.


Ancient Greece

During the 5th century BCE in Greece, bronze was a material used in weapons and armor, rendering the formerly used obsidian glass largely obsolete.[1] The city of Chalkis on the island of Euboea was especially renowned for its metalwork with bronze.[2]

The Argive sculptor Polykleitos preferred to work with bronze, and became famous for his art.[3] The Athenian sculptor Phidias also used bronze, most notably in his 10 meter Statue of Athena in the Akropolis Sanctuary of Athens.[4]

Perhaps the most notable building in the ancient Greece in regards to bronze was the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos in the polis of Sparta, Lakonia. The interior of the temple was covered with bronze sheets, and thus it was called Chalkioikos (Bronze House).[5] Another building named after the metal was the Chalkotheke in the Akropolis Sanctuary of Athens.[6]

During the Peloponnesian War, the Spartan misthios Kassandra acquired bronze in varying amounts over the course of her travels.[7]


By the 1st century BCE, the use of bronze had declined in Egypt but was still used in the forging of some weapons. The Medjay Bayek of Siwa collected bronze throughout his travels to upgrade his gear.[8]


The Knights Templar minted currency using various metals, including bronze, for their own use during the Crusades. Later, these coins were obtained by the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad from Templar guards, pirate, and duelists in Cyprus and Acre's harbor.[9]

Early modern era

Bronze was widely used as a material of statues, including the equestrian statue of Henry IV of France. Cast in Florence and shipped to Paris in 1614, the statue was erected at Pont Neuf in 1618. Another bronze statue, this time of Louis XIII was erected in Place des Vosges in 1639.[10]

Over the course of his career, the French pirate Alonzo Batilla acquired and used multiple bronze implements.[11]


In ancient Greek, bronze featured in both in the everyday life, as well as in myths. In the latter, the most notable instances are the jar on Naxos Island wherein the story claimed the Greek god of war Ares was imprisoned,[12] and the club wielded by the bandit Periphetes.[13]

According to the legend, the Argive king Akrisios locked his daughter Danae within a chamber of bronze in an attempt to prevent a prophecy. Despite his attempt, the god Zeus infiltrated the chamber and impregnated Danae, leading to the birth of Perseus and the fulfillment of Akrisios' prophecy. In the same legend, Perseus was also given a mirror-bright bronze shield by the goddess Athena.[14]




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