A hoplite (from ta hopla meaning tool or equipment) was the most common type of heavily armed foot-soldier in ancient Greece from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE, and most ordinary citizens of Greek city-states with sufficient means were expected to equip and make themselves available for the role when necessary. Athens had a system of compulsory military... [continue reading]
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In the ancient Greek world, warfare was seen as a necessary evil of the human condition. Whether it be small frontier skirmishes between neighbouring city-states, lengthy city-sieges, civil wars, or large-scale battles between multi-alliance blocks on land and sea, the vast rewards of war could outweigh the costs in material and lives. Whilst there... [continue reading]
published on 11 May 2013
A 5th century BCE marble figure of a Spartan hoplite, perhaps of Leonidas in memory of his sacrifice at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE. (Archaeological Museum of Sparta, Greece).
The Battle on the plain of Marathon in September 490 BCE between Greeks and the invading forces of Persian King Darius was a victory which would go down in folklore as the moment the Greek city-states showed the world their courage and excellence and won their liberty. Although in reality the battle only delayed the Persians in their imperialistic ambitions... [continue reading]
A peltast was a type of Greek infantryman who was usually armed with a javelin and who carried a light shield. Originating from Thrace, the peltast was a common sight in Greek warfare during the Classical period and especially following the Peloponnesian War. The name peltast derives from peltē which was the typical crescent-shaped shield this type... [continue reading]
Following the crucial Greek victory at the naval Battle of Salamis in September 480 BCE, Xerxes’ planned invasion of Greece met a serious setback but his massive army was still intact, and if the Greeks were to survive as independent city-states they would have to fight and win on land; the battlefield would be near the small town of Plataea in Boeotia... [continue reading]
Sparta was one of the most important Greek city-states throughout the Archaic and Classical periods and was famous for its military prowess. The professional and well-trained Spartan hoplites with their distinctive red cloaks, long hair, and lambda-emblazoned shields were probably the best and most feared fighters in Greece, fighting with distinction at such... [continue reading]
The Creative Assembly
published on 17 May 2013
This is a 3d representation of how Spartan warriors in action might have looked. Armoured warriors equipped with shield and spear, known as Hoplites, were typical of ancient Greek warfare.
No military commander in history has ever won a battle by himself. To be successful he needs the support of a well-trained army who will follow him regardless of the cost whether it be a stunning victory or hopeless defeat. One need only read of Leonidas as he bravely led his 300 Spartans to inevitable defeat at Thermopylae. History has had its share... [continue reading]
Chaeronea is the site of the famous Battle of Chaeronea (338 BCE) Phillip II of Macedon’s decisive defeat of the Greek city-states. At Chaeronea in Boeotia (north of Corinth) Phillip and his allies from Thessaly, Epirus, Aetolia, Northern Phocis and Locrian defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes. Phillip commanded the right wing while... [continue reading]
One of the most effective and enduring military formations in ancient warfare was that of the Greek Phalanx. The age of the Phalanx may be traced back to Sumeria in the 25th century BCE, through Egypt, and finally appearing in Greek literature through Homer in the 8th century BCE (and, since, has been generally associated with Greek warfare strategy, the... [continue reading]