Panoply  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
  1. A splendid display of something.
    • 1961, J. A. Philip, "Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, vol. 92, p. 459,
      Even though we cannot affirm that the products of mimesis are invested in the panoply of existence.
  2. Ceremonial garments, complete with all accessories.
  3. A complete set of armour.
  4. Something that covers and protects.


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.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Panoply" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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