Bronze is a metal alloy of Copper and (usually) Tin, although other alloy type exists, Copper and Tin is generally accepted as the most common. It saw wide spread use in military application during the Bronze Age, but generally fell into artistic uses after the advent of better Iron working techniques.
It is believe Bronze was discovered by accident, as Copper was at the time the hardest metal at the time pieces would accidentally be mixed with other metals such as arsenic, which lead to bronze, and later tin provided an all around superior type of Bronze. Bronze was used for armor and weapons, but eventually iron started to replace the blade portions of weapons such as swords and spears but Bronze remained prominent in body armor for some time, until metal working techniques improves enough to make iron pieces big enough for body armor, although Iron helmets came about do to there smaller size. Bronze is actually superior to early iron in many application, although when forging techniques improved and iron started to be qualified as steel did iron started to over take bronze as the chief military metal. By the time of first Punic War Bronze had almost been completely over taken by Iron and Steel in the Mediterranean.
Bronze vs BrassEdit
Like Iron and Steel, Bronze is often confused with a closely related metal, in this case Brass. Brass and Bronze are both copper alloys, but Bronze is used making Tin and Brass chiefly uses Zinc in it's production. Aside from composition there are several difference between bronze and brass. Bronze is generally considered superior to Brass in virtually every application, being significantly harder and stronger, and in terms of military application Brass has never been used beyond aesthetic decoration for officers and is far to soft to be use as either a weapon or armor. Brass and Bronze also look different, Brass is far more yellowish where as Bronze is darker in color