If I were to say the name Homer most people would conjure an image of a man bumping his head and saying, "doh!" but the Homer I'm talking about lived 3-4 thousand years ago and wrote a couple of the most well known books in history. The two stories in particular, the Iliad and the Odyssey are set in the same time period as the people of Mycenae and are thought to be written about them. A lot of what we know about the armor of Mycenae is taken from those two epic poems.
The Myceaneans had a couple notable additions to the history of armor. A leather helmet made of 30-40 alternating boar tusks was discovered in a Mycenae tomb. This kind of helmet is described in Homer's Iliad as being given to Odysseus. Along with the helmet a complete suit of bronze plate armor was discovered. This armor of Mycenae is the earliest known bronze cuirass, body armor, in the world. The armor is thought to have been worn by someone who rode in a chariot and wasn't able to use a shield.
The soldiers of Mycenae are known to have used two different types of shields. They used a rectangular shield made of seven layers of leather, wood, and bronze. The other type of shield was shaped like a figure eight, and had several layers of hide stretched over a wicker frame.
These kinds of shields and armor are probably what the soldiers carried into the Trojan war. The city of Troy was originally thought to be a literary creation of Homer, but thanks to its recent discovery we can take more of Homer's epics as possible historic truth. Obviously I wouldn't worry about a cyclops lobbing boulders at you as you take a cruise in the Mediterranean but some of his armor descriptions have since been proven accurate.
Although often mentioned in the Iliad, the armor of Achilles is most likely a myth. After being dishonored by Agamemnon Achilles goes into his tent and won't fight. His friend Patroclus dons Achilles's armor and fights the Trojans in his stead. He is eventually killed by the Trojan hero, Hector, and Hector takes Achilles's armor believing he had killed him. Achilles's mother has Hephaestus, the god of the forge, make Achilles some new divine armor. Homer goes into detail how the shield was folded 5 times and had images of heaven, earth, hell and others on it. The armor was apparently magnificent and after Achilles was killed, it caused a rift between Odysseus and Ajax who both wanted to claim it.
Dinner for Two
Illustrated by Cyrus "killacaravagio" Hunter