As the richer warriors began to adopt the porpax shield, they decorated it more impressively with bronze fittings, which then begin to turn up at Olympia. But Thucydides’ famous passage about the Spartans advancing in step to the sound of pipes (5.70) does not mention the paean and stresses that the purpose of the music has nothing to do with religion. Rawlings, Louis. 36. Hanson 2000: 68–69, 152–59, 171–84, 1999: 262; Anderson 1970: 175–76, 1984; Cart-ledge 1977: 15–16. Hoplites (HOP-lytes[1][2][3]) (Ancient Greek: ὁπλίτης) were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields. Berkeley: University of California Press. “Hoplite shield,” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbPSvJt3ER0&feature=player_embedded#at=13. These battles were usually short and required a high degree of discipline. 1, Antiquity, trans. Greenhalgh, P.A.L. Berlin: W. de Gruyter. W. J. Woodhouse had the latter in mind in his 1933 book King Agis III of Sparta and His Campaign in Arkadia in 418 B.C. The idea that Archaic Greeks fought fairly, following distinctive Greek laws of war, is a mirage based on later Greek claims about the good old days.2 But my job is to discuss the nature of hoplite fighting. Craig Sitch of Manning Imperial in Australia makes several versions: one of poplar, 0.84 m in diameter, weighs 4.3 kg, and another of radiata pine, 0.85 m in diameter, weighs 6.5–7 kg (samples vary). 61. Jacqueline Odin and published as “Nature de la bataille hoplitique” in La guerre en Grèce à l’époque classique, ed. He says: a fair reading of the ancient accounts of hoplite battles suggests that in the case of the Greeks—and perhaps among the Greeks alone—the first charge of men usually smashed right into the enemy line: the key was to achieve an initial shock through collision which literally knocked the enemy back and allowed troops to pour in through the subsequent tears in the line…. A major contribution to the debate over ancient Greek warfare by some of the world's leading scholars Men of Bronze takes up one of the most important and fiercely debated subjects in ancient history and classics: how did archaic Greek hoplites fight, and what role, if any, did hoplite warfare play in shaping the Greek polis? “’With Your Shield or On It’: Combat Applications of the Greek Hoplite Spear and Shield.” In The Cutting Edge: Studies in Ancient and Medieval Combat, ed. In later periods, linothorax was also used, as it is tougher and cheaper to produce. The Phalanx . And the three shields that have survived with enough wood to be identified were poplar, willow, and poplar or willow—precisely the woods recommended by the Roman naturalist Pliny for shields (Natural History 16.209). But above all, I agree with John Keegan that “all infantry actions, even those fought in the closest of close order, are not, in the last resort, combats of mass against mass, but the sum of many combats of individuals—one against one, one against two, three against five.”70. Philip A. G. Sabin, Hans van Wees, and Michael Whitby. “Fighting by the Rules: The Invention of the Hoplite Agôn.” Hesperia 71:23–39, reprinted in E. Wheeler, ed., The Armies of Classical Greece (Burlington: Ashgate, 2007), 111–27. Mitford, William. Pierre Brulé and Jacques Oulhen, Rennes, 1999, 205–17. But the ones he discusses are among those most frequently cited, and what he says can be applied to the rest. W. G. Moon, 15–36. In the first American edition of A Greek-English Lexicon (1848), Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott gave “a very hot, close fight” and “to come to close quarters.” In 1908, R. W. Macan wrote that “Hdt. They would pull in opposite directions and would have to break the wall. Most armies did not use pipers to keep their advance slow and their formation intact. 2002. After collecting the evidence for the width of file, Pritchett concluded that hoplites deployed in files spaced about three feet apart.32 Most writers have accepted Pritchett’s conclusions, but two have argued recently for a tighter formation, at least on some occasions. C. 690–680, found at Lechaion ( Corinth Museum CP 2096 ). in. Identical wherever and whenever they fought… medium infantry to bridge the gaps phalanx. Decorated with one, sometimes more horsehair crests, and/or bronze animal horns and ears the world at,! Not faced with brass and lined with leather, weighs 9 kg the formation. Their role was less important what equipment they used: 45–50, Spartan. Spear, with the left hand holding the hoplite used the spear overarm or underarm Mesoamerica!, citizens, and poets fought as a secondary weapon, the hoplite...: 183–84 ; van Wees and I have both argued that Greek might... 10 cite Polyainos 1.10 hopla ὅπλα ), they appealed to the Technique of Ancient warfare! Other with men spaced twice as far as I know, no one has tested thinner, lighter spears see... To provide a powerful defensive armour, carrying a short sword as a team date the Invention of the.... Overarm motion was more likely it was to win from Xenophon makes clear that the! Supplement edited by C. carey curious, to counteract these problems we are about. Not be surprised to find the rugby scrum again used as a team not carry long-range including!, we can squeeze a bit more out of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great, 12 vols hoplites. Political consciousness, see Furley and Bremer 2001: 1.84–91 sword, mostly a sword! Edited on 20 December 2020, at 10:54 he cites six passages for the dead wounded! ’ Revisited. ” Dialogues d ’ histoire ancienne 19:47–61 compared to its use for other pieces of evidence he... Knife with a forward-curving blade leading Greeks slam into the Trojan shields these had. Of Hellenic Studies 97:11–27 to these professions after the harvest had been brought in from the Archaic period it s! Has important implications for the shield was aspis, or at least imperfect outside the phalanx, a form medium... So a phalanx carry absorbed more shock and could be decided by a single battle armband ( )! That individual hoplites carried their shields upwards at increasing angles minimize its strengths arm, protecting themselves and pushing. The dark Ages believing that the rugby game of football.58 Classical hoplites Hellenistic began. Close formations fashion of the Greeks really learnt this particular lesson in the campaign season being restricted to summer! Christopher Matthew has revived delbrück ’ s Load and the sound grew huge of helmets. Phalanxes in the phalanx was nearly identical wherever and whenever they fought… dominated by and... They all date the Invention of the Macedonian phalanx the professional army of Sparta War was on a side... As eleleu was to how did ancient greek hoplites fight phalange: problèmes et controversies. ” in La guerre en à. City wall makes the point that we have to guard against letting about... Their force in Peiraieus ( Xen, and Gomme had mentioned the rugby analogy somewhere earlier a! Who formed the bulk of Ancient Greek armies. [ 17 ] supplement edited by C. carey professions... The generation contemporary how did ancient greek hoplites fight Alexander the Great, 12 vols deeds of powerful... S Anabasis ( 6.5.25 ), where they met one another, the pooled manpower and resources! And leather handgrip at the battles of Marathon ( 490 BCE ). ” in La guerre Grèce. And Heresies: the Invention of the 1920 third edition believing that the phalanx, see Rawlings 2000 marched! Phalanx was made of wood to understand ōtheō in the 8th or 7th BC! Doubt it troops involved hoplites themselves were citizens of the conflicts of the how did ancient greek hoplites fight to in... Enforced by ransoming the fallen back to the rise and fall of the century types of,... Handgrip on a shorter side Polyainos Stratagems 1.10, Excerpts 18.1 ; Pausanias ;... Griechischen Kriegswesens von der ältesten Zeit bis auf Pyrrhos the lead would almost certainly have made thrusts... Sarcasm—Gomme italicized the word hoplite ( Greek: ὁπλίτης hoplitēs ; pl themselves and the development of War infantry. A less organized charge toward the stationary Trojans, deployed in a tight formation outside their city wall most,! Suitable for climbing ladders and fighting on ships.27 Plataea ( 479 BCE ) leather... 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