Sunday, February 17, 2013
Bronze versus Iron
In the ancient world, both iron and bronze were available; however, it was the Assyrians who first developed an ECONOMICALLY feasible method to extract iron ore from earth.
Genesis 4:22 “Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.
The historical transition of armies from iron to bronze weapons was economically driven , not because iron weapons of the day were superior, but far less expensive. It was better to outfit 5 soldiers with iron weapons and armor, then one soldier with bronze or masterwork weapons and armor.
“ quantity has a quality of its own.” Josef Stalin
Bronze weapons and armor are stronger, sharper and do not rust; however, bronze is brittle. Bronze chips it doesn’t bend; therefore, it must be ENTIRELY recast, it cannot be hammered back into its original shape if damaged.
1 Sam 14: A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of BRONZE weighing five thousand shekels (about 121 pounds); on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its IRON point weighed six hundred shekels (about 14.5 lbs).”
Iron is more malleable than bronze. Iron bends or deforms , while bronze SHATTERS or CHIPS, therefore iron is more readily repaired or remolded. Bronze weapons required material components that were geographically isolated (aka the ‘tin isles’)
In the Roman army, an officer had a bronze sword or gladius, while infantry soldiers carried iron blades.
One final distinction, friction on iron can generate a spark, while bronze does not spark.