Panoply

Panoply

[pan-uh-plee]
A panoply is a complete suit of armour. The word represents the ancient Greek πανοπλια. The word παν means "all", and όπλον, "arms". Thus "panoply" refers to the full armour of a hoplite or heavy-armed soldier, i.e. the shield, breastplate, helmet and greaves, together with the sword and lance.

As applied to armour of a later date, panoply did not come into use till the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, and was then used of the complete suits of plate-armour covering the whole body.

Because a panoply is a complete set of diverse components, the word panoply has come to refer to any complete or impressive collection. As heavy armour is rarely worn in the present age, this latter meaning is the more common in modern usage.

In culture

Panoply is the organization tasked with maintenance and polling core-related policy enforcement in the Glitter Band, featured in Alastair Reynolds' The Prefect.

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