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Hoplite Warrior, Dodona

Hoplite Warrior, Dodona


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Hoe antieke Sparta se harde militêre stelsel seuns opgelei het in vurige krygers

Gedeeltelik te danke aan die slag by Thermopylae in 480 v.C., waarin 'n klein aantal Spartaanse soldate agtergebly het om teen die dood te veg teen 'n baie groter Persiese leër, was die krygers van Sparta al lank bekend om hul militêre vaardigheid en volharding. Selfs vandag nog roep die woord “Spartan ” 'n beeld op van 'n buitengewoon geskikte, bekwame vegter, onverskillig vir pyn en vrees.

Ander#Griekse stadstate het goeie leërs gehad, en#x201D verduidelik Kimberly D. Reiter, 'n medeprofessor in antieke en middeleeuse geskiedenis aan die Stetson Universiteit. “Sparta is deur die meeste as die beste erken. ”

Hoe het die Spartane so ontsagwekkend geword? Een faktor was die agoge, die onderwys- en opleidingstelsel van die Griekse stadstaat, wat harde, ekstreme en soms wrede metodes gebruik het om seuns voor te berei om Spartaanse burgers en soldate te wees.

Die agoge was daarop gemik om militêre deugde in te boesem: sterkte, uithouvermoë, solidariteit, en#x201D, soos die ontslape Kanadese historikus Mark Golden geskryf het. Maar dit het alles te veel bereik, deur die Spartaanse seuns se kinderjare te verander in wat vandag as 'n traumatiese ervaring beskou sou word.


Herstel van die Hopliet: stryd teen wapens, wapens en falanks in die argaïese en klassieke Griekeland. Historia. Einzelschriften 207

Schwartz poog om op 'n nuwe manier die aard en funksie van hopliet falanks vegters te verduidelik. Die boek het 'n aantal interessante bladsye, maar die skrywer fokus so eng op sy visie op sy onderwerp dat sommige lesers meer frustrasie as verligting sal vind.

Die volume val in drie dele. Eerstens ondersoek Schwartz die militêre toerusting van hopliet noukeurig. Tweedens gee hy 'n diachroniese verslag van hopliete in die Griekse geskiedenis. Uiteindelik bied hy 'n geselekteerde lys van aangetekende gevegte aan waarin hopliete 'n rol gespeel het.

Schwartz neem die Argos -panopia van die 8ste eeu v.C. as die begin van sy studie en die slag van Chaeronea in 338 as sy einde. Hy sê, sal hy fokus op die 'praktiese' kant van 'n hopliet. Die lesers van Schwartz duik dan na hierdie paar voorlopiges in 'n gedetailleerde hoofstuk (123 voetnote) oor die hoplietskild, begin met 'materiaal en metings'. Die hoplietskild ( hoplon) kom eerste duidelik omdat dit die vegter definieer, aangesien hy feitlik elke ander element in sy panopie kon weggooi en steeds 'n hopliet kon wees. Die skild, kan ons byvoeg, dien as 'n verdedigende en aanvallende wapen en bepaal ook die eenvoudige taktiek van die falanks.

In die volgende hoofstuk gaan Schwartz oor na die wapenrusting, begin met die Argos -panopie self. Vir hierdie brons wat oorleef het, het ons toevallig die presiese gewig van die klokkie, 3.360 kilo, soos gemeet deur die Franse graafmachines. Hierdie presiese inligting is kosbaar, aangesien min of geen ander gewig geweeg is nie. Maar die vraag bly en lyk onbeantwoord: is 3.360 kilo onmoontlik swaar of onverwags lig? 1

Na skilde kry ons helms. Schwartz maak selfs sy eie replika van 'n Korintiese helm (materiaal nie gespesifiseer nie), met behulp van die afmetings wat deur die Olympia -museum verskaf word. Hy vind ook 'n eksperimentele onderwerp om die voorwerp te dra, vermoedelik 'n onderwerp met 'n klein kop. Schwartz bereken en rapporteer die beperkte perifere visie in metriese terme en kom tot die gevolgtrekking: "Dit is moeilik om volledige akkuraatheid te bereik, maar dit is beslis veilig om te sê dat 'n helm van Korintiese tipe visie beperk" (p. 61). Schwartz kan gelukgewens word met die onttrekking van inligting van die berugte onbehulpsame amptenare by Olympia.

Van beskermende uitrustings kom ons by die hoofstukke oor aanvallende wapens, spiese en swaarde. By hierdie afdeling is 'n aparte kort hoofstuk oor fisiese beperkings wat deur hopliet -toerusting opgelê word, veral die gewig van die wapenrusting. Hier kan die leser 'n gedetailleerde verwysing verwag na die militêre historikus John Keegan, wat die hel van oorlog beklemtoon, met die klem op die fisiese ongemak van soldate (byvoorbeeld die behoefte om te urineer terwyl hy 'n swaar metaalwapen in die warm son dra).

Schwartz hou geen rekening met die genoegsame bewyse dat hoplietgevegte gewoonlik nie gretig en afskuwelik was nie, soos 'n Keegan -benadering sou suggereer. Baie van ons eertydse ou getuienis oor hoplietgevegte, byvoorbeeld, Tyrtaeus, is nie dat dit 'n nare saak was nie, maar dat dit 'n heerlike saak was. Die vele antieke vaasskilderye van krygers wat vir die geveg bewapen, wys hoe hulle soos 'n partytjie voorgehou het en nie grimmig voorberei op die dood of misvorming nie. Aandag aan die hare voor die geveg was beroemd noodsaaklik, veral die Hierdie is, 'n styl aan die voorkant afgewerk en gekrul en toegelaat om lank te vloei.

Wat die estetika van antieke wapenrusting betref, noem Schwartz 'n staaltjie oor en blykbaar verkeerd verstaan ​​(p. 75) oor Sokrates se onderhoud met 'n wapenrusting, Pistias, soos berig in Xenophon se Memorabilia (3.10.9). Pistias spog met die kwaliteit van sy kersies omdat dit so nou by die liggaam pas en omdat dit so mooi is. Sokrates vra hoe Pistias 'n kliënt met 'n lelike liggaam kan dien. Pistias is verward, maar sien geen probleem nie. Xenophon self, nie die skerpste mes in die laai nie, kry miskien ook nie die grap nie, maar die beduidende onderliggende aanname is dat Pistias se kliënte wil hê dat hy hulle mooier moet laat lyk. Hierdie doelwit kom tot stand in die oorlewende brons cirasses, beide die bell cuirass, wat die middellyf van die draer kleiner laat lyk en die bors groter lyk en die spier cuirass, wat die bors- en maagspier oordryf. Schwartz ignoreer hierdie onderliggende aanname, met die veronderstelling dat Pistias 'saamgestelde linne' kuiers maak, aangesien 'n kleremaker 'n pasgemaakte pak kan pas.

In die volgende afdeling bespreek Schwartz die omstrede vraag oor die ontwikkeling van die falanks en of Homer ooit hoplietgevegte of die spook daarvan uitbeeld. Oor die algemeen lyk hy oortuig deur die argumente van Latacz en ander (maar nie almal nie) dat die Ilias stel inderdaad hoplietgeveg voor en toon aan dat hierdie vegstyl in die 8ste eeu begin het.

Die fokus van die boek verskuif nou van die besonderhede van hopliet -toerusting na hoe dit in historiese gevegte funksioneer. In hierdie tweede hoofgedeelte van die boek oefen Schwartz kortliks, soos baie al gedoen het, die getuienis van die argaïese tydperk oor hoplietgevegte. Daarna gaan hy oor na die Persiese oorloë (wat die indeks blykbaar verwar het met die Peloponnesiese oorlog), hoewel tegniese oorloë met Perse, waarby verskillende nie-hopliete Persiese vegters betrokke is, nie kwalifiseer vir behandeling in 'n boek oor falanksgevegte nie . Met die oorgang na die Peloponnesiese oorlog kan lesers teleurgesteld wees oor die skraal behandeling en slegs enkele verwysings na Thucydides.

'N Lang gedeelte oor implementering bied tegniese inligting oor die rangskikking van die falanks, meestal uit laat, nie-militêre bronne.

Die laaste lang gedeelte van hierdie deel van die boek dek die duur van hoplite -gevegte, alhoewel hierdie onderwerp nie netjies in die diachroniese skema van Schwartz pas nie. Die onderwerp is reeds gedeeltelik behandel, maar dit is belangrik en moet verder ondersoek word. Ongelukkig pas Schwartz nie die vlak van kritiese studie toe wat die onderwerp vereis nie. Die oorgrote meerderheid van ons ou bronne, waar hulle die lengte aanraak, merk op dat gevegte lank is, maar beide oorwinnaars en oorwonne het alle rede om die duur van die geveg te oordryf. Die antieke Hellenes het in elk geval geen horlosies of 'n duidelike idee gehad van hoe 15 minute van 45 verskil nie.

Moderne vergelykings fassineer Schwartz duidelik, 'n fassinasie wat sommige lesers kan deel. In die geval van die hoplon hy roep die Deense polisie in, wat groot skilde gebruik vir skarebeheer. Interessant, maar dit is moeilik om te sien wat die Deense statistieke bydra tot ons kennis van hopliete. Hier en elders sou Schwartz se vergelykings met moderne toerusting meer gewig en afmetings gee as hy byvoorbeeld die lengte en gewig van die gemiddelde Deense polisieman met betrekking tot die Griekse soldate in ag neem.

Aan die einde bied die boek in sy laaste hoofafdeling 'n bylaag Slaginventaris van 41 uitgesoekte gevegte in alfabetiese volgorde. Vir elke geveg gee Schwartz kort aantekeninge, in 29 kategorieë, wat wissel van naam en datum tot bibliografie. 'N Aantal waarnemings kan gemaak word uit die lees van hierdie lys, hoewel Schwartz dit nie maak nie. Wat opval, is die algemeen onoortuigende antieke getal vegters en slagoffers. Marathon val op met sy 192 Atheense ongevalle, 'n oortuigende getal omdat die Atheners dit duidelik vreeslik groot gedink het en dit onthou het - in 'n tyd toe die slagtings van moderne oorlog en selfs bloedige ou konflikte soos Cannae nog sou kom. 'N Mens sou ook meer kategorieë notas verwag het, soos: Waaroor het hierdie geveg gegaan? en waarom hierdie gevegte en nie ander nie? In 'n poging om sy onderwerp tot 'n blote lys getalle te beperk, demonstreer Schwartz die dwaling om 'n wiskundige gemiddelde van spekulatiewe getalle te aanvaar as iets meer as verdere spekulasie.

Schwartz se boek bevat 19 klein, maar duidelike swart en wit illustrasies. Slegs een van hulle beeld 'n werklike oorlewende koeras, die Argos -panopie, voor. Daar is egter 5 lyntekeninge van helms, maar al die ander illustrasies is foto's van vase met tonele wat wapens of wapens toon. Vyf van hierdie laaste is bekende uitbeeldings van hopliet -falanksgevegte. Op hierdie vase moet die kunstenaars worstel met onmoontlik komplekse perspektiewe op geboë oppervlaktes, maar die feit dat hulle sukkel, blyk die belangrikheid van hierdie soort stryd vir die kunstenaars se hedendaagse gehoor te toon.

Ongelukkig stel die boek in sy geheel teleur. Van die drie afdelings is die enigste oorspronklike deel die aanvanklike samestelling van besonderhede oor toerusting. Maar hierdie samestelling is oorspronklik slegs omdat niemand ooit gedink het dat hierdie besonderhede interessant of oortuigend waar was nie. Die aantal voetnote is indrukwekkend, maar uit baie min kan ons spesifiek sê hoekom dit daar is. Die bibliografie bevat baie items wat nie in die voetnote is nie of ten minste moeilik is om te vind. 2 Ten slotte is daar 'n paar verrassende weglatings. Waar is die helm van Miltiades of die Spartaanse skilde van Pylos? Van skilde gepraat, wat van skildversierings, veral dié van Alcibiades? En het 'n enkele rit om die Peloponnesos hom nie eers laat opmerk oor die ongeskiktheid van die land om te veg nie?

'N Mens mis die waarneming en verbeelding van 'n geleerde soos Victor Hanson, bewonderenswaardig, selfs as ons hom verkeerd dink.

1. Die vraag oor die gewig van cuirass is meestal onbetwisbaar, aangesien ons nie weet hoeveel cirasses metaal was nie en hoeveel "saamgestel" was, gemaak van stof wat baie ligter (en vermoedelik goedkoper en gemakliker) as brons was. Ons weet nie eers of alle hopliete altyd die cuirass in die geveg gedra het nie. 'N Soortgelyke komplikasie is die moontlike bestaan ​​van beide' parade' -pantsers en meer praktiese gevegsrustings.

2. 'n Goeie voorbeeld is die bekende artikel van N. Whateley, "Oor die moontlikheid om marathon en ander ou gevegte te herbou", JHS 84 (1964), 119-39. Schwartz bevat Whateley in 'n lys bronne vir Marathon, maar bespreek nie Whateley se kritiek op baie aannames oor antieke gevegte nie.


Griekeland in die vyfde eeu – 'n Atheense perspektief

Phalanx, die reghoekige vorming van swaar gewapende hopliete wat in 'n geveg van agt man gerangskik is. (Beeld: Olga Kuevda/Shutterstock)

Dit lyk asof die meeste gemeenskappe in Griekeland deur die loop van die jaar besig was met voortdurende konflikte. As gevolg hiervan is Griekeland in die vyfde eeu gekenmerk deur die Persiese en Peloponnesiese oorloë, wat groot gevolge vir Griekeland gehad het. Wat Athene betref, was daar dikwels verskeie oorlogsteaters, waaraan die Atheners met entoesiasme en krag deelgeneem het.

Die Atheense lewenswyse

Geskiedkundiges beskou die meeste Grieke as ryk of arm. Daar word van mans van welgestelde gesinne verwag om hulself toe te rus met 'n hopliet-pantser. Maar daar is toenemende bewyse dat daar 'n aansienlike bevolking van die middelklas in Griekeland was, wat die hopliete verskaf het of vrywillig geroei het om die Atheense oorlogskip, trireme, te roei.

'N Ou Griekse trireme -boot. Die trireme was 'n ou boot wat deur die Feniciërs en die Grieke gebruik is. Dit kry sy naam aan die drie rye roeispane wat hy gehad het. (Beeld: Elenarts/Shutterstock)

Die Atheense weermag was 'n kollektiewe en burgerlike verantwoordelikheid. Aangesien die krygers by hul familielede en bure gedien het, was die verantwoordelikheid om oorlog toe te gaan op die individu en die res van die burgerlike liggaam. Elke manlike burger in Athene moes in die weermag dien, en hulle was almal deel van die burgermilisie vanaf die ouderdom van 18 jaar. Hierdie burgers was boere, handelaars en heren van vrye tyd.

Die mans van die gemeenskap aanvaar die feit dat hulle gereeld op die spel was terwyl hulle ander lewens probeer red. Nodeloos om te sê dat die verlof deur die krygers baie aangrypend was, aangesien die gesinne maande en in sommige gevalle, selfs jare lank, nie van hul geliefdes sou hoor nie

Om weg te bly van die oorlog was nie eens 'n opsie in die Atheense lewenswyse nie. Dit sal interessant wees om daarop te let dat alle intellektuele in die vyfde eeu 'n integrale deel van hierdie gevegte was. Sokrates, die grootste van die filosowe, moes in drie gevegte veg, terwyl die tragiese digter Aeschylus spog met die dood van die Perse by Marathon in die grafskrif wat hy vir homself geskryf het.

Verpligte Militêre Diens

Militêre diens vir mans was verpligtend in Athene op die ouderdom van 18. Dit het twee jaar opleiding as 'n ephebe of 'n kadet ingesluit. Ephêbos beteken letterlik 'gereed op die oomblik van jeug'. Die eerste jaar van opleiding het geleer oor die gebruik van swaard en spies, sowel as boog en katapult. Dit het beteken dat die ephebe opgelei is as 'n hopliet en 'n liggewapende kryger. Die tweede jaar behels die diens as 'n patrollier by forte langs die grense van Attica.

Na die twee jaar opleiding sou die Griekse mans onvermydelik aanspreeklik wees vir militêre diens. Die hele burgerliggaam was verdeel in 10 stamme, met een held vir elke stam. Die gelyknamige helde was die beskermhere van die 10 Atheense stamme en die kennisgewing of oproep om hierdie manne om by die weermag aan te sluit, sou aan die monumentbasis van hierdie gelyknamige helde in die Atheense agora geheg word. Die hoeveelheid kos wat gebring moet word, sal ook in die kennisgewing vermeld word, wat die burgers 'n idee gee van hoe lank die veldtog sal duur.

Dit is 'n transkripsie uit die video -reeks Die ander kant van die geskiedenis: die daaglikse lewe in die antieke wêreld. Kyk nou, Wondrium.

Uitstekende Hoplite -toerusting

Een van die redes vir die Atheense oorwinning oor die Perse by Marathon was die uitstekende hopliet -toerusting. 'N Hopliet beteken letterlik 'n' soldaat gewapen met 'n hoplon '. Die hopliet -toerusting het 'n sirkelvormige skild van ongeveer drie voet in deursnee, wat van hout of verstyfde leer was, gedra. Dit het 'n bronsbedekking en is gehou om ongeveer die helfte van die soldaat se liggaam en die helfte van die liggaam van die man aan sy linkerkant te beskerm. Die primêre wapens van 'n hopliet -vegter het 'n spies van ongeveer 8 meter lank en 'n kort swaard ingesluit. 'N Brons korset of borsplaat, 'n paar grype en 'n brons helm is ook gedra ter beskerming.

The Phalanx Battle – The Hoplite Experience

Hoplite -gevegte het begin sodra die siener bevestig het dat tekens gunstig was. Dit sou die generaal daartoe lei om bevele te gee en die soldaat sou dan vorentoe marsjeer met gesange wat God Apollo toespreek.

Die reghoekige vorming van swaar gewapende hopliete wat in 'n geveg van agt man gerangskik was, staan ​​bekend as falanks. Die hopliete moes versigtig wees om die formasie te behou terwyl hulle aan die geveg deelneem. Die sterkte van die Griekse falanks lê in die spanwerk van die soldate, aangesien hulle hul stand moes hou sonder om hul vorming te verbreek. As hulle nie die formasie kon handhaaf nie, sou hulle die lewens van hul medesoldate in gevaar stel. Dit was omdat die skild die man aan die linkerkant beskerm het. Daar was dus geen plek vir individuele heldedade in die falanks nie. Die eenvoudige doel was om heeltemal by die vyandelike lyn in te breek, wat beteken dat die formasie styf gehou moet word terwyl die ander kant inbreek.

As die teenstanders Grieke was, sou hulle ook in 'n falanksformasie staan ​​en sou die twee strydende groepe direk teenoor mekaar staan. Die hopliet -soldaat sou hard druk met sy skild en baie steek op die onbeskermde dele van die vyand se liggaam. Hulle sou na mekaar toe hardloop en die impak sou wees soos die botsing van twee tenks. Dit was egter slegs die voorste linie van die falanks wat 'n idee sou kry van die prestasie van hul span.

Die duur van die geveg was minder as 'n uur waartydens die hopliete erg ontwater en uitgeput was. En op 'n stadium sou een van die falanks begin opgee. Dit is egter die moeite werd om te noem dat die meeste gevegte takties gewen is. Die triomfant het egter nie die moeite gedoen om hul vyand te agtervolg nie en was tevrede met die oprig van 'n trofee op die slagveld.

Begrafnis vir Soldiers of War – The Athenian Way

'N Panhelleniese wet of 'n al-Griekse wet geld toe die Atheners teen hul Griekse eweknieë veg. Selfs die verslane kon teruggaan na die slagveld en die dooies herstel. Maar die toneel was heeltemal anders tydens die stryd teen die Perse.

Begrafnisrede deur die Atheense staatsman Pericles aan die einde van die eerste jaar van die Peloponnesiese oorlog. (Beeld: vkilikov/Shutterstock)

Die Atheners het oor die algemeen hul dooies op die slagveld veras en hul as na Athene teruggebring. Aan die einde van die veldtog is die as van al die oorlogsdoods begrawe in aparte sipreshoutkiste vir elke stam. 'N Man met 'n hoë kaliber en reputasie is deur die demos (Atheense Vergadering) gekies om die begrafnisrede te lewer. Die Atheense staatsman Pericles, wat gekies is om die toespraak namens die dooies te hou, het dit as 'n geleentheid gebruik om Atheense waardes te vier. Maar ook die Atheners het uitsondering geneem, soos die begrawe van die 196 soldate wat by Marathon op die slagveld self gesterf het, as 'n teken van respek vir hul heldhaftige optrede.

Algemene vrae oor Griekeland in die vyfde eeu en 'n Atheense perspektief

Atheners het hulself toegewy aan atletiekwedstryde en jaarlikse opofferings om hul gedagtes te verfris terwyl die Spartane voortdurend militêre opleiding ontvang het. In die woorde van die Atheense historikus, Thucydides, het Athene, anders as die Spartane, geweet hoe om terug te skop.

Die ontplooiing by die weermag in die Atheense samelewing was op 'n streeks- en stambasis. Daar sou gepaste kennisgewings aan die ouderdomsgroep wees wat in die stam sou dien. Nodeloos om te sê, jonger mans is meer gereeld om diens geroep as die ouer manne.

Die feit dat die helm in die hopliet -toerusting nie piercings vir die ore gehad het nie, het die rol van generaals verswak sodra die geveg begin het. Dit is omdat die soldate geen bevele kon hoor toe hulle in die geveg betrokke was nie.

'Trireme' is afgelei van trierês, wat 'drie-pas' beteken, wat verwys na die drie walle of rye vlakke. Dit was 'n antieke liggewig Atheense oorlogskip wat deur 200 mense aangedryf is. Dit het 170 roeiers, 10 hopliete, 4 boogskutters en 16 bemanningslede ingesluit. Die trireme is beskryf as die windhond van die see, aangesien dit ontwerp is om maksimum spoed en wendbaarheid te bereik. Dit is ook met 'n bronsram vasgemaak om vyandelike skepe te laat sink.


Geskiedenis van die hopliet falanks

Mans dra hul helms en hul borsharnas vir hul eie behoeftes, maar hulle dra skilde vir die manne van die hele lyn.

-Plutarg, Moralia

Die hopliet falanks was die perfekte manifestasie van die klassieke Griekse samelewing op die slagveld. Die falanks, wat bestaan ​​uit mans uit die middelklas wat dagtaak gehad het, moes 'n oorlog in 'n enkele bloedige stryd beslis.

Toerusting

Die pantser van die hopliet-die panopies-bestaan ​​uit 'n skild, helm, borswapen, vette (bordwapen om die onderbeen gedra), swaard, spies en tuniek en weeg ongeveer sewentig pond. Dit alles op 'n soldaat wat self waarskynlik nie meer as 150 pond geweeg het nie.

Die skild van die hopliet was sy bepalende toerusting, selfs die naam daarvan, hoplon, aan die soldaat self. Dit was 'n groot konkave stuk hout wat op die linker skouer gerus het en tot by die knieë van die soldaat gestrek het. Die skild was groot genoeg om die regterkant van die man aan die linkerkant van elke soldaat te beskerm, en vorm so 'n muur waaragter die hopliet beskerm is.

Die res van die wapenrusting was gemaak van dik bronsplaat en was so swaar dat die soldate hul wapens eers sou aantrek voor die oomblikke voor die aanklag begin het. In die besonder, was die helm (altyd die soldaat se gunsteling stuk toerusting, destyds soos nou) gereeld ver terug op sy kop gekantel toe die soldaat nie in 'n geveg was nie.

Die phalanx word herken aan sy spiese, en die spies was inderdaad die belangrikste aanvallende wapen van die hopliet. Agt meter lank was dit bedek met 'n yster spiespunt aan die een kant, en 'n brons boude aan die ander kant. Daar bestaan ​​twyfel of dit onder die hand gehou is of bo die skouer. Die boude was nuttig as 'n sekondêre wapen om vertrapte vyande te stuur, of as 'n primêre wapen nadat die spies, soos gewoonlik, by die botsing verpletter het. Die kort swaard van die hopliet word tipies beskou as 'n soort laaste wapen.

Elke hopliet was verantwoordelik vir die aankoop en instandhouding van sy eie wapenrusting, en die lidmaatskap van die hopliet -falanks was dus beperk tot diegene wat die koste kon bekostig. Die titel van hopliet was dus 'n klein prestige, en het 'n paar bykomende politieke regte meegebring.

Slag

Hopliete is in die falanks georganiseer as ry op ry mans, tipies ongeveer agt geledere diep, en strek ongeveer 'n kwart myl of meer. Die bevelvoerende generaal-die strategos-het posisie in die voorste posisie ingeneem, heel regs-die mees blootgestelde posisie in die hele leër. Griekse generaals het gewoonlik 'n kort loopbaan gehad.

Voor die geveg het die paen of gevegsgesang gesing is, dan het die falanks op 'n draf op sy vyand gevorder. Die Spartaanse weermag was 'n uitsondering; dit beskou die paen as 'n onnodige bravade en was bekend vir sy stadige, metodiese pas, bepaal deur musikante seuns wat agter die lyn aanstap. Die eerste vier geledere van mans het met spiese gelykgemaak, terwyl die agterste geledere hul spiese meestal vertikaal gehou het, waar hulle 'n effektiewe verdediging teen raketwapens bied. Die groot skilde aan die linkerkant van elke soldaat was 'n aansporing vir almal om teen die man aan sy regterkant te sit. Dit vorm die muur van skilde wat so deurslaggewend was vir die effektiwiteit van die falanks, maar daar was 'n besliste neiging dat elke leër merkbaar na sy regterkant sou dryf.

Toe die lyne mekaar nader, het beide kante in 'n lopie ingebreek. Die uitdaging vir die generaal was om die samehorigheid (en die skildwand) te behou terwyl dit steeds genoeg momentum kry vir die aanvanklike ongeluk. Toe die leërs wel neerstort, tussen die letterlike reën van spiesplintjies terwyl die spiese verpletter, het die geveg 'n skrum geword van elke leër wat deur die ander se lyn probeer druk. Die voorste geledere het gedoen wat hulle kon, terwyl die agterste geledere die vyand vorentoe gedryf het deur hul skilde in die rug van die mans voor hulle te druk. Die druk, die geraas, die verwarring, die lawaai aan die voorkant van die tou was geweldig.

Die idee

Die Griekse falanks was byna onstuitbaar in die beoogde gevegswyse: reguit, reguit, gelyk grond, met voldoende beskerming op die flanke. Hoplietgevegte het gereeld plaasgevind in lang, reguit valleie-so algemeen op die Griekse vasteland-waar die falanks die hele breedte van die vallei kon beset en sodoende sy flanke en sy agterkant kon beskerm. 'N Enkele plek sou gereeld die plek van geveg na stryd deur die eeue wees, en die wenslikheid daarvan as 'n slagveld is onverminderd.

Hoplite -gevegte was gefokus op 'n enkele idee: die stryd moet bloedig, aaklig en beslissend wees. Dit pas by die behoeftes van 'n agrariese samelewing wat sy mense nie vir 'n professionele leër kon spaar nie, maar dit betyds nodig gehad het om te oes. Die gevegte was kort en die slagoffers was verrassend laag (in verhouding tot die vegters) in vergelyking met die moderne geveg. Gedurende die grootste deel van hul geskiedenis wou die antieke Grieke oorloë kort hou-selfs net 'n enkele geveg-sodat mense terugkeer na hul lewens. As hulle gereeld oorlog as noodsaaklik beskou het, was dit steeds net 'n noodsaaklike euwel.

Bronne

Die meeste van hierdie inligting kom reguit uit

Victor David Hanson, The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece. University of California Press, 1989.


Magte [wysig | wysig bron]

Infanterie [wysig | wysig bron]

Die steunpilaar van die Spartaanse leër, soos feitlik alle Griekse leërs, was die swaar gewapende infanteriesoldaat, die hopliet. Saam met elke hopliet het 'n bediende, 'n ligte gewapende man, óf 'n arm burger wat nie 'n gewone wapenrusting kon bekostig nie (panoplia), of moontlik 'n betroubare slaaf. Hierdie dienaars dra die hopliet se skild (aspis) tot die geveg, en die grootste deel van die bagasie. Hulle was bewapen wit en die belangrikheid van ligte troepe het toegeneem met die bekendstelling van die peltaste: liggies gepantser, indien enigsins, en gewapen met spies en 'n skild pelte. Ώ ] Hulle doeltreffendheid in die geveg, selfs teen die best opgeleide swaar hopliete, is bewys deur die Atheense generaal Iphicrates, wat 'n hele Spartaanse vernietig het mora met sy peltaste. ΐ ]

Kavalerie [wysig | wysig bron]

Die kavaleriekorps bestaan ​​meestal uit die armer slawe wat hul eie oorlogsperd kon grootmaak en toerus. Griekse ruiters het geen saal en geen beugels gehad nie. Ώ ]

Vloot [wysig | wysig bron]

Athene, 'n beskawing wat na die see kyk, het 'n groot aantal oorlogskepe gehad. Die belangrikste vate is trireme genoem. Met hierdie bote het Athene sy hegemonie oor die res van Hellas en die grootste oomblik van die polis. Onder die trireme was Salaminia. Ώ ]


Inhoud

Die verborge orakel

Die pyl word gevind in die Grove of Dodona deur Apollo. Hy haal dit dan uit en verneem van die toespraak daarvan wanneer die Colossus Neronis die kamp aanval. Die pyl leer Apollo weer hoe om 'n pyl te maak, maar die betowering werk te goed en al die kampeerders kry hooikoors.

Die donker profesie

Terwyl hy met Emmie en Josephine op die Waystation praat, stel Calypso voor dat Apollo vir hulle die pyl van Dodona wys, maar hy weier. Hy trek dit uit in West Marylandstraat vir advies oor hoe om Britomartis se Gryphons, Heloise en Abelard te red. Dit raai hulle aan om na die dieretuin van Indianapolis te gaan. Die pyl leer Apollo en Meg McCaffrey later hoe om na die Bluespring -grotte te ry.

Die brandende doolhof

Apollo vra die pyl om hulp wanneer hulle deur Strix aangeval word. Dit sê vir hom om vark binnegoed te gebruik, of abrutus as daar nie vark binnegoed beskikbaar is nie. Terwyl hy teen die vervaagde wese van Helios veg, sê dit vir Apollo dat Piper 'n slagpyl na Medea moet laat skiet.

Terwyl hy teen die wagte van Caligula veg, gebruik Apollo dit om 'n siklop in die oë te skiet, baie erg en afgryslik. Die pyl probeer Apollo keer om homself daarmee te steek, maar dit beweeg uit sy hart as hy homself steek en Apollo red. Apollo roep die pyl om hulp wanneer hy deur die woordraaisels van die orakel gaan.

Die graf van die tiran

As hy op die Sutro -toring is, wens hy Apollo geluk met die feit dat hy self iets uitgevind het, maar hy onthou nie die stille God se naam nie. Hy wys op die naam totdat Apollo Harpocrates raai.

Die toring van Nero

Nadat Apollo en Meg gedebatteer het oor die vraag of hulle hulp van Percy Jackson moet soek of nie, is dit die kant van die dogter van Demeter om hom te soek.

Nadat hy en Luguselwa uit hul sel ontsnap het, haal Apollo die pyltjie en dit lei hom waarheen hy moet gaan.

Tydens die laaste stryd met Python lig die pyl hom in dat iets met hom gebeur, maar niks meer sê nie. Dit moedig Apollo aan om dit op die monster te gebruik. Na baie gekibbel steek Apollo die pyl teësinnig in Python se oog, verblind die monster en gee hom die kans om hom dood te maak. Nadat hy in Python gesteek is, word die pyl, wat ongeskonde bly, stil terwyl die bewussyn daarvan vernietig word. Alhoewel Apollo hoop dat die pyl se gedagtes na sy bos terugkeer, vermoed hy dat dit homself opgeoffer het en vir altyd weg is.


Gedurende die Bronstydperk, omstreeks 1600 v.C., het die ou Grieke in die heldhaftige styl van Homerus geveg. Elke vegter veg vir persoonlike glorie in plaas van in 'n georganiseerde formasie. Gevegte begin gewoonlik met bespotting en spot, gevolg deur tweegevegte tussen kampioene. As geen van die partye sy senuwees verloor nie, sou 'n algemene stryd begin. Antieke Griekse krygers het al omslagtig begin dra, maar effektiewe wapens en slagoffers was gewoonlik lig tydens die geveg. Mans veg hoofsaaklik gewapen met spiese en kort swaarde, en die Griekse krygers het reeds hul tydgenote voorgespring in die gebruik van skilde en wapens. Hulle beskou afstandswapens, soos die boog, as lafhartig en vermy dit. Net soos in latere phalanx -oorlogvoering, het die ware bloedbad begin toe die een kant gerig is. Vlugtende vyande kon nie hul skilde gebruik nie en het uitstekende teikens gemaak. Krygskonings, soos die semi-legendariese Agamemnon, regeer uit massiewe vestings op klipkoppies en val op en voer oorlog vir wins en glorie.

Uiteindelik het Griekeland gedurende die 12de eeu v.C., om redes wat nie heeltemal verstaan ​​is nie, 'n donker tydperk van stadige agteruitgang binnegegaan. Geskrewe taal het verlore gegaan en die groot paleise en stede is verwoes of verlaat. 'N Donker tydperk het terselfdertyd oor die grootste deel van die oostelike Middellandse See en die Midde -Ooste gevestig, en daar is baie teorieë waarom. Streekdroogtes, veranderings in oorlogvoering en natuurrampe is almal die skuld. Dit was waarskynlik verskeie samelopende faktore, maar ons weet nie regtig op die oomblik nie.

Omstreeks 800 vC het Griekeland begin herstel. In die volgende 400 jaar het die Grieke demokrasie, teater, poësie en filosofie ontwikkel, sowel as herontdekte geskrewe taal. 'N Ruk voor 650 vC het hulle die falanks ontwikkel, en hul krygers en oorlogvoering self het ook begin verander. Oorlogvoering in Griekeland was nog altyd deur die terrein bepaal, die rowwe grond was nie geskik vir strydwaens nie. In vroeër tye toe hul tydgenote strydwaensoorlog ontwikkel het, het die Griekse krygers hulle op swaar infanterie toegespits. Behalwe Thessalië, het die Grieke ook die ontwikkeling van kavallerie in hul weermag verwaarloos. Hulle konsentrasie op swaar infanterie sou egter vrugte afwerp in die mag van hul hopliet -krygers en falanksvorming.

Antieke Griekse krygers was burgersoldate, behalwe die professionele leër van Sparta, en oorlogvoering het ietwat gestandaardiseer geword sodat soldate-boere hul plase kon versorg. Eers nadat die oes uit die veld ingebring is, het die Grieke die wapen opgeneem. Die verskillende Griekse stadstate sal dan tydens die veldtogseisoen hul talle kwessies besleg. Krygers sou tellings op vooraf geselekteerde slagvelde regmaak, gewoonlik 'n vlakte tussen die twee strydende stadstate. Die krygers sou vorm in die beroemde falanks aan weerskante van die omringde berg.

Griekse Hopliete en Falanks
The Greek warriors were called hoplites, named after their shield, the hoplon. Hoplons were heavy, bronze-covered wooden shields about 3 to 3.5 feet in diameter. It spanned from chin to knee and was very heavy (17- 33 pounds). These shields had a revolutionary design their rounded shape allowed them to be rested on the shoulder for additional support. They also featured a new grip and forearm straps that gave them great amounts of mobility and allowed them to be used offensively to bash opponents. The Greek warriors overlapped their shields, forming a shield wall. The left part of each warrior&rsquos shield protected the right side of the hoplite to his left. A phalanx would consist of rows of spear-armed hoplites, all protecting each other and presenting a wall of shields and spear points towards their enemies. The first two rows of a phalanx were able to stab at opponents with their spears that protruded from between the shields. The first three rows, or ranks, of a phalanx could stab their opponents, while the back ranks would brace the front rows, prevent the front rows from retreating and support the all-important cohesion of the formation. Phalanxes could be 4, 8, 16 or more men deep, up to 50 rows in some extraordinary instances. This made the back rows relatively safe, giving them little reason to flee a battle, while the front rows were pressed between their own forces and an enemy bent on killing them. Yet, to the honor-driven Greek warriors, the front was where they wanted to be! In their martial culture, warriors sought glory in battle, and a general placed his best men in the front ranks.

Greek Warriors Armor
Greek warriors were required to arm and armor themselves. Hoplite armor was extremely expensive and would be passed down through families. The amount of armor a Greek warrior wore varied. Peasant hoplites may have only carried a shield and maybe a helmet or secondary weapon, while battle-hardened Spartan veterans would have been armored from head to toe. The rich upper-class hoplites typically had the &ldquoworks.&rdquo They wore bronze breastplate fashioned in the bell or muscled style, a bronze helmet that protected their face, and greaves for shin protection. The bronze breast plates alone could weigh an astounding 50-60 pounds! A slightly less well-off hoplite may have linothorax armor, made from stitched and laminated linen fabrics that were sometimes reinforced with bronze scales and/or animal skins. Linothorax armor was the most common type, offering decent protection at a moderate price. Helmet designs varied over time and offered varying amounts of protection. Innovations including cheek plates and visors were added for additional protection. Each city state had its one design on the crest of their helmets.

Greek Warriors Weapons
Hoplites were armed with long spears, called doru. Doru were that were around 7 &ndash 9 feet in length, although this varied. Greek warriors carried their spears in their right hands and their shields strapped to their left. Greek warriors probably employed both underhand and overhand grips, depending on the situation and amount of leverage required. Holding the spear underarm may have been optimal for the front line of the phallanxs while Hoplites in the second and third ranks would almost certainly have made overarm thrusts. The rear rows held their spears in an underarm grip, and raising them upwards on an angle to provide an extra defense against incoming missiles. Doru often had curved leaf shaped spearheads and had a spiked point, called a sauroter, at the opposite end. The spear could be spun around if something happened to the spearhead in battle, but it was more commonly used to stand the spear up by planting it into the ground. This practice gave the sauroter its name, sauroter is Greek for &ldquolizard killer&rdquo. It was also used by the back ranks to dispatch fallen enemies as the phalanx advanced over them when they held their spears in the upright position. The sauroter also served as a counter weight, balancing out the spear.

Ancient Greek warriors also carried short swords, called xiphos, as a secondary weapon. They were used when spears snapped or were lost in combat. They may have also been used when a hoplite needed to discard his spear and shield in order to chase down routing enemies. The xiphos usually has about a 2 foot blade however the Spartans blades were often only 1 &ndash 1.5 feet long. This shorter xiphos would advantageous in the press that occurred in the front row when two phalanxes smashed together. In this crush of men there was no room to use a longer sword, however a short sword could be thrust through gaps in the enemy's shieldwall and into an unprotected groin, armpit or throat. Smaller xiphos would have been particularly useful during the Peloponnesian War (431 BC - 404 BC) when many hoplites began using lighter armor, even abandoning it, in favor of mobility. Alternatively, Greek warriors could carry the curved kopis, a particularly vicious hacking weapon that earned it a reputation as a &ldquobad guys&rdquo weapon in ancient Greece. Spartan hoplites were often depicted using the kopis instead of the xiphos in the art of their arch rivals the Athenians. (See also Spartan Weapons)

Greek Light Infantry & Cavalry
Not every Greek warrior was a hoplite, and though often neglected, Greek armies were usually accompanied by other troop types. Light infantry and cavalry troops were used as skirmishers and to protect the vulnerable flanks of the ponderous phalanxes. Javelin throwers called peltasts would be used as skirmishers, harassing enemy formations and masking troop movements behind them. They were armed with several javelins. Peltast warfare was developed in Thrace while the Greeks were developing an heavy infantry almost exclusively. This led to many of the light infantry being mercenary troops, hired from outlying regions of Greece. For instance, the Agrianes from Thrace were well-renowned peltasts, whilst Crete was famous for its archers and the Beleric Islands and Rhodes were famous for their slingers. During and after the Peloponnesian War use of light infantry became more common. This was dui to the Battle of Lechaeum (391 BC) when an army of Peltasts defeated an army of hoplites for the first time. Astonishingly a force of 600 Spartan hoplites was defeated using hit and run peltast tactics. Of the Greek City states, only Thebes developed their cavalry, a development noted by Phillip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great. Theban cavalry would be the model for the Macedonian Companion cavalry and eventual serve beside them under Alexander.

Hoplite Warfare
From its dawn around 700-650 BC, hoplite and phalanx tactics dominated warfare. Phalanxes triumphed over disorganized enemy hordes and quickly spread through Greece and beyond. The Greeks perfected hoplite tactics though endemic warfare.

Hoplite tactics hit their high water mark when smaller Greek armies defeated two massive Persian invasions (499-448 BC). Hoplite formations decimated the lightly armored Persian infantry in famous battles like Marathon (490 BC) and Thermopylae (480 BC). However, the Greeks never capitalized on their victory over the world&rsquos super power. Having defended Greece from foreign control the Greeks went back to their insistent warfare against each other. They then launched themselves into another series of wars. First the leading Greek cities of Sparta and Athens warred for supremacy in a decade&rsquos long war, dragging most of the other Greek cities into the conflict (Peloponnesian War 431 BC - 404 BC). Only ten years later the Spartan hegemony was challenged in the Corinthian War (395-387 BC). Sensing the Spartan weakness, an alliance of Athens, Thebes, Corinth and Argos, supported by their enemy the Persians, sought to escape from the hegemony, and increase their own power. This was fought to a stalemate, but Thebes then led yet another war against Sparta. At the decisive Battle of Leuctra (371 BC), the Thebans routed the Spartans and their Allies. The battle is famous for the tactical innovations of the Theban general Epaminondas. Defying convention, he strengthened the left flank of the phalanx to an unheard of depth of 50 ranks, at the expense of the centre and the right. The centre and right were staggered backwards from the left flank and away from the enemies. This 'echelon' formation allowed the phalanx to advance obliquely. The Theban left wing was thus able to crush the elite Spartan forces on the allied right, while the Theban centre and left trailed behind and avoided engagement. After the defeat of the elite Spartans and the death of the Spartan king, the rest of the Allied army retreated. This is one of the first known examples of both the tactic of local concentration of force, and the tactic of 'refusing a flank'. The Spartans and their allies were again defeated by the Thracians and Epaminondas in the largest battle ever fought between the Greeks at the battle of Mantinea (362 BC). Spartan hegemony had been broken, but the Thebes had lost many warriors, including their ingenious general, Epaminondas.

Unfortunately for the Greeks the Macedonian King, Phillip, had taken note of the tactics Thebes had used and even improved on them. Philip doubled the length of the spear used by his phalanxes and reduced the shields his warriors used, allowing them to hold their spears with two hands. He also understood that while a phalanx is almost unstoppable from the front they are vulnerable from the flanks and rear. Phillip wisely used combined arms tactics, incorporating cavalry and light infantry to protect his phalanx. His phalanxes would then pin down opponents forces while his mobile forces outflanked them. When Philip attacked Greece (356-338 BC) the divided and exhausted Greeks could not stop him. Phillips son, Alexander the Great, then took the Greeks, their way of warfare and Hellenistic culture on a world tour of conquest. Persian, Egyptian and even Indian armies were defeated but the Greeks had forever lost their position as the world's top warriors. However, with Alexander and his sucessors Greek culture, civilization and ideas were spread across the known world.


Peltasts: The Other Greek Warriors

The prevailing image of ancient Greek warfare typically involves tight formations of helmeted hoplites clashing at close quarters in epic battles against opposing armies. But that image depicts just one variation on the Greek way of war. In reality, Greek military practices underwent significant changes during the archaic and classical periods, as military leaders developed tactics to fight upon a battlefield that itself was changing. Among their most important innovations was the development and increased use of light troops, particularly the mobile, missile-carrying peltast.

During the early Iron Age (eighth century BC), as described by Homer, aristocrats dominated the Greek battlefield, fighting heroic duels in front of a large but mostly uninvolved mass of armed supporters. Combats between individuals or small groups were scattered about the battlefield, with no coordination between allied fighters using common tactics and formations. This was the first recorded Greek way of war.

As the archaic period yielded to the classical era, the nature of Greek warfare gradually changed. Whereas in the Homeric age the aristocratic class dominated the life of the polis (city-state) in all its aspects—political, social, economic, and military—the classical period (500– 350 BC) saw a democratic system of government take hold in many Greek cities. This new form of government allowed citizens who were property owners, merchants, farmers, and free laborers to take part in the affairs of the state. Since defense of the city was paramount for the protection of its members and their democratic rights and privileges, all eligible males in the community were subject to military service. Armed citizen militias became the hallmark of classical warfare.

Heavily armed and armored infantrymen—hoplites, whose name derived from the Greek ta hopla, meaning tools or war equipment, especially the large, round shield called the hoplon—became the primary defenders of the state. Hoplite gear was expensive and individuals had to furnish their own. This, combined with the classical polis ideology that closely linked military service and political power, meant that possession of hoplite battle panoply gave a man political as well as economic status.

The well-protected hoplite carried a double-handled, 18-pound, three-foot-wide shield and was encased in metal body armor that included an iron cuirass protecting his torso, a metal helmet, leg greaves, and arm guards. His principal weapon, a six- to nine-foot-long thrusting spear (dory), weighed about five pounds. He also carried a 30- to 35-inch-long slashing sword (xiphos), and a dagger (encheiridion) for really close fighting. But this burdensome kit limited the Greek hoplite’s mobility, sometimes putting the fighter at serious disadvantage in combat.

The hoplite’s equipment weighed from 50 to 70 pounds at a time when the average Greek male weighed less than 140 pounds. Consequently, a fully equipped hoplite moved slowly and had limited stamina during battle. Helmets like the Corinthian type covered almost all of the head and face, and therefore impaired vision and hearing. Die hoplon gave the left side of the hoplite great protection, but it was so heavy that the warrior needed to grip the handle and hold it steady with an armband. The user’s right arm was free to use spear or sword, but was unprotected unless he kept close to the hoplite to his right.

What transformed hoplite warfare from a staring match between two unformed, static, heavily armed mobs was the employment of the phalanx—the second Greek way of war. The Spartans are thought to have first used the phalanx in mainland Greece, in the early seventh century BC. Soon the formation gained wide acceptance. Over the next 300 years, Greeks expanded its use and honed its tactical application. The phalanx reached its highest point of development in the classical period.

Replacing the once customary loose collection of individuals and small gaggles of warriors who fought without any coordination, the phalanx grouped its members into a rectangle that regularized movement and delivered overpowering shock effect against disorganized warriors. By the mid-fifth century BC, the phalanx formation typically comprised rows of men four to eight soldiers deep, so tightly massed that their shields overlapped. Only large city-states such as Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes could field wide formations, but the smaller cities could pit their smaller phalanxes against the forces of cities of equal size, and did.

The bravest warriors occupied the front and rear the least resolute or poorly armed fought from the middle lines. This spear-tipped juggernaut had to form before battle began, warriors standing anywhere from two to six feet apart. Then they advanced straight for their opponent, determined to bull their way through. When two such forces met, a pushing match ensued, each side thrusting with spear or hacking with sword to create gaps in the enemy lines. The contest could last an hour, but most were over in minutes. Usually, one side broke ranks and ran, and the victors would try to pursue, since hoplites out of formation were totally vulnerable.

The phalanx yielded significant results on the battlefield that earlier Greek forms of fighting had failed to achieve, but it did have failings. Phalanxes required large numbers of well-equipped, seasoned warriors to be truly effective. Except for Sparta, the Greek polis fielded citizen-soldiers who often lacked training and proper battle gear.

Such volunteer soldiers were not always willing to serve when needed. This became such a problem for Athens that the polis instituted a citizen hoplite draft during the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC). While this helped meet the city’s manpower problem, the drafted hoplites often lacked the proper combat equipment that the city expected them to personally supply.

Unbeatable in head-on attacks against unregimented troops, the phalanx worked best on level, unobstructed terrain. Because the formation was so tightly packed, it could not maneuver on the field except to make minor adjustments to the left or right. Well-trained professionals could wheel with precision, but, aside from Sparta, the Greek city-states only required sporadic training of their volunteer armies, at best. With little option but to move straight ahead, unless the troops were well trained and experienced, the phalanx was unable to retreat in good order or re-form if broken.

Indeed, even in victory the phalanx could not retain its shape and vigorously pursue a beaten enemy. As a result, even a victory won might not necessarily be decisive.

Finally, the phalanx was very vulnerable on its flanks and rear. Unable to react to such threats without disrupting the entire formation, early phalanxes employed small numbers of lightly armed men such as archers or slingers to the sides and rear, to ward off any menace while the phalanx re-formed to meet an attack. But by the early sixth century BC, most city-states no longer found these skirmishers effective. Instead, all the major combatants in Greece devoted their resources to fielding as many heavy infantry as possible.

Cavalry, which might have used speed effectively to attack the phalanx’s flanks and rear, never emerged as a major threat. The rugged, mountainous terrain of much of Greece limited options for cavalry charges, which required smooth, level ground. Furthermore, horses need substantial quantities of food and water, which the country lacked, so cavalry troops had to be small. The great expense of maintaining war horses also discouraged their widespread use.

Just as horse soldiers were seldom a real threat to the dominance of Greek hoplites fighting in a phalanx, the same was true of archers and slingers. Most Greeks disdained such weapons, considering them suitable only for cowards and barbarians who feared close combat. The bow’s short accurate range (100 to 150 yards) and slow rate of fire (about five arrows per minute) limited its employment as well. Slingers could be quite effective, but perfecting the art of hurling lead or stone projectiles from a leather sling with deadly accuracy usually required years of practice. Bowmen and slingers were thus scarce on Greek battlefields.

Even as the phalanx and its armored infantry held sway over the Greek way of war, roughly since the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, subtle changes in classical warfare began to emerge that challenged the preeminent standing of the Greek heavy infantryman. To lighten the hoplite’s military load and make the phalanx more nimble on the battlefield, by the 450s BC composite corselets of bronze and leather were replacing body armor of iron and bronze. Jerkins of laminated linen or leather had become common by the end of the century. So too had the pilos—a light, open helmet made of bronze or stiffened felt. These changes in what the Greek hoplite wore made him more mobile and thus better able to challenge the growing number of lightly armed troops that were being developed to protect the phalanx, thwart the enemy’s hoplites, and in some cases replace them. The lighter accouterments were also less expensive to make or buy, so more men of lesser means could equip themselves as hoplites.

Moreover, as hoplites lightened their protective gear, they became more susceptible to the threat of less heavily armored, missile-equipped enemy troops. This self-perpetuating cycle also led to a general increase in the employment of light troops who, because they were cheaper to outfit, could be recruited in large numbers from both within and without the polis.

Even the seasonal nature of Greek warfare contributed to this trend. The average hoplite was a farmer or tradesman who needed to support himself and his family by working his land or earning wages. These pursuits required his attention for most of the year, so he welcomed anything that reduced his military obligations. Having other types of soldiers available could reduce the need for hop – lite service, so these breadwinners could continue their civilian endeavors with fewer disruptions.

As a result, a third way of war evolved, one centered on the increased use of light infantry to both support and substitute for hoplites. The more they were used, the more effective they became. While in theory the hoplite remained the mainstay of Greek armies during the classical period, from the Peloponnesian War onward new types of soldiers made their presence increasingly felt on the battlefield. The most prominent among these was the peltast.

Named for the crescent-shaped, circular or oval shield (pelta) he carried, generally made of wicker covered by skins, peltasts became the most important of the light troops (archers, slingers, and stone-throwers being the others) used by the classical Greeks. The javelin was their principal weapon, although they often carried short swords as well. Peltasts originated in ancient Thrace, whose boundaries encompassed the southern part of present-day Bulgaria, European Turkey, eastern Macedonia, and northeastern Greece.

The Indo-European Thracians were divided by their geography: warlike clans in the mountainous areas, and on the plains a more peaceful, agrarian society. They were split into numerous petty kingdoms and tribes with no formal political organization until the creation of the Odrysian state in the fifth century BC. Settlements were mostly small, fortified villages, with larger ones serving as regional market centers. Considered rural and barbaric by their more urbanized Greek neighbors, Thracians nevertheless developed advanced forms of music and fashioned artistic crafts from gold and silver mined in the region.

If the Greeks looked down their noses at the Thracians as politically and culturally unsophisticated, they greatly appreciated the Thracian fighting man, the peltast. The Greek historian Herodotus described the Thracians as ferocious in battle and honoring their warriors above all other professions. Thucydides, who wrote about the Peloponnesian War, said Thracian peltasts were “bloodthirsty” warriors, used to carry out executions and massacres because of their savagery.

The Greeks had been in contact with the Thracians since the latter had migrated to southeastern Europe. Homer states in his epic poem Die Ilias that Thracians from the Hellespont fought with the Trojans against the Greeks. Conflict between Thracians and Greek frontier cities and settlements was constant. After the Persian conquest of that part of Thrace south of the Danube River in 512 BC, Thracian peltasts became a prominent force of light infantry in the Persian army. About 6,000 Thracian men accompanied Xerxes’ 480 BC invasion of Greece.

In sy Geskiedenisse, Herodotus describes the clothing and equipment of the Thracian peltasts fighting under the Persians: “The Thracians went to the war wearing the skins of foxes upon their heads [the flapped Phrygian cap], and about their bodies tunics, over which was thrown a long cloak of many colors. Their legs and feet are clad in buskins made from the skins of fawns, and they had for arms javelins, with light targes [shields made of wicker or animal hide stretched over a wooden frame], and short dirks [swords].”

Thracian soldiers were typically large for the time, powerfully built with red or light-colored beards, and generally wore their hair long. Skilled in the use of javelin, spear, and sword, the Thracian peltast reveled in combat. He placed loyalty to his tribe above all else, and eagerly sought plunder before, during, and after battle, Herodotus wrote.

During the long struggle of the Peloponnesian War, both Athens and Sparta employed peltasts. In 431 the Athenians secured the support of a powerful Thracian chieftain and his peltasts in operations south of Macedonia involving raids in the Chalkidike region. These efforts were so successful that by 429 the Spartans enlisted their own peltasts to counter the enemy threat. Referred to as Krousis peltasts (possibly Thracian), these Spartan allies first defeated the Athenian peltasts and hoplites in well-coordinated missile and foot attacks near the town of Spartolos. Days later, when the Athenians withdrew from the town, the Krousis peltasts harried their retreat, never approaching to within hand-to-hand com – bat range. Pelting their enemy with javelins, they scampered off each time the Athenian hoplites turned at bay. Then, as their foes continued falling back, they resumed their missile assault. Cavalry ably assisted the Spartan peltasts. When the enemy hoplites bunched up for protection against mounted attacks, they presented excellent targets for peltast projectiles.

In 425 at the Battle of Spachteria, on an island just off the west coast of the Peloponnesus, the Athenians defeated 420 Spartan hoplites and—in an unprecedented act that shook Sparta to its martial core—captured 292 prisoners. Although Athens had more than 800 hop lites on the scene, it was the hit-and-run tactics of their 800 mercenary peltasts, supported by the missile fire of an equal number of archers, that forced the Spartans to surrender. The Athenian commanders, Demosthenes and Cleon, divided their peltasts and archers into companies of 200 men each, placing them on the island’s high ground so that they could constantly threaten the enemy’s flank or rear.

Using light troops to harry the Spartans from a distance with arrows, javelins, and stones was the key to the Athenian tactics. When attacked, the light troops fled, but when their pursuers turned, the Athenians were on them again. Even when the Spartans retreated to the shelter of a small fort along the beach, archers firing from a height made the Spartan position untenable. This was an example of what peltasts could and did accomplish against hoplites.

The stunning success of the peltasts at Spachteria came from both sound tactics and good training. Throwing the javelin (akon), whose length varied from 1¼ to 2¼ yards, required constant practice. A trained peltast could accurately throw his weapon on the run about 45 yards. Use of a leather thong (ankyle) extended the range. The metal points on the javelin were both smaller and better balanced than a hoplite’s spear point, and thus made for a more effective projectile.

Peltasts were trained to act on rough terrain in loose formations of 100 to 200 men, quickly maneuvering around enemy units. On open ground, they might be grouped into companies of up to 600 to protect a phalanx’s flanks and rear. In either case their function was to harass their opponents from afar while avoiding close combat. Trumpet calls usually controlled their movements during battle.

The most favorable situation for a peltast was to be faced by an unsupported hoplite enemy in hilly or broken terrain. Although unable to stand head-on against an unbroken phalanx, peltasts could fight at close quarters effectively against surprised or demoralized heavy infantry.

This occurred at the 422 Battle of Amphipolis when the Spartan Brasidas overcame a larger Athenian hoplite army by deploying peltasts to strike at its flank. Once the flank collapsed, Sparta routed the phalanx, killing about 600 Athenians, including their commander, Cleon. Brasidas was also killed in the close fighting of the pursuit, and with both charismatic leaders lost, each side warily agreed to peace.

By the easly fourth century many Greek hoplites feared an encounter with versatile, mobile, BC, well-trained peltasts. Spartans fighting around the city of Corinth in the 390s BC devised the only effective counter to them. The Spartans would send out their youngest and fastest men to pursue the enemy peltasts, hoping to run them down and kill them. This tactic worked sometimes, but more often than not the retreating peltasts would outdistance their Spartan pursuers and then return to harassing attacks. This occurred in 390 when Corinthian peltasts under the Athenian general Iphicrates (412–353 BC) smashed a 600-man Spartan hoplite regiment at the Battle of Lechaion after repeated and failed Spartan attempts to catch the attacking and evading light infantry.

The use of peltasts increased dramatically after the Peloponnesian War. Unemployed mercenary soldiers, a significant portion of them peltasts, sought any leader who had money to spend. Battles employing peltasts ranged from Greece to Egypt to Persia. Sometimes they were fought between Greeks and foreigners, and sometimes Greek mercenaries fought against other Greek mercenaries, both sides far from their homeland.

By now the peltast was a respected specialist, and native Greeks as well as Thracians were learning skills with the javelin. Peltasts were used extensively, on and off the battlefield. On the march, they served to guard the advance, flank, and rear. They could scout for the army as well as forage for supplies in the countryside or ravage the enemy’s fields. Since even major thoroughfares in mainland Greece were mere dirt trails and cavalry was rare, peltasts and archers were the best troops to send on raiding or scouting missions, or in any situation requiring speed.

The peltasts of the fourth century many of their commanders— BC were fortunate in that dubbed the “condottieri of the fourth century” by historian William Kendrick Pritchett—were outstanding leaders: Agesilaus of Sparta, Pammenes of Thebes, and Chabrias and Xenophon of Athens, to name a few. But the most important general (strategos) associated with the peltasts during this time was Iphicrates.

The son of an Athenian shoemaker, Iphicrates first found martial glory at the Battle of Lechaion. He then went on to clear Corinth of all enemy forces. Between 398 and 356 BC he served various forces, fighting in Thrace, Asia Minor, and Egypt, as well as in Greece. He was usually victorious.

In 374, according to the first-century BC Roman historian Diodorus, Iphicrates reformed the peltast troops he recruited by changing their battle panoply:

Hence we are told, after he had acquired long experience of military operations in the Persian War, he [Iphicrates] devised many improvements in the tools of war, devoting himself especially to the matter of arms. For instance, the Greeks were using shields which were large [megalais aspis] and consequently difficult to handle these he discarded and made small oval ones [peltas summetrous] of moderate size, thus successfully achieving both objects, to furnish the body with adequate cover and to enable the user of the small shield, on account of its lightness, to be completely free in his movements. After a trial of the new shield its easy manipulation secured its adoption, and the infantry who had formerly been called hoplites because of their heavy shield then had their name changed to peltasts [peltasti] from the light peltasts they carried. As regards the spear [dory] and sword [xiphos], he made changes in the contrary direction: namely, he increased the length of the spears by half [to 12 feet], and made the swords almost twice as long.

The Roman historian Cornelius Nepos wrote in general agreement with Diodorus, except he stated that Iphicrates made the swords 100 percent longer, while replacing bronze and chain armor with linen garments.

If the descriptions of Iphicrates’ reforms are correct, it appears that he did not maintain his troops as lightly armed skirmishers but instead transformed his peltasts into medium infantry, similar to hoplites, able to contend with both light and heavy infantry. His newly furnished soldiers were successful up to the 350s BC.

Although the classical peltasts before Iphicrates’ reforms were equally important to traditional hoplites in Greek warfare during most of the fourth century BC, there were signs that they too would meet serious challenges to their war-waging supremacy. Peltasts had also proven effective in combat when teamed with cavalry. This was especially true during the Sicilian campaign of 415–413 BC, when Syracusan cavalry and infantry working together inflicted a number of decisive defeats on the Athenians. Now cavalry alone became an ever-increasing threat to the peltast, especially if he was beyond the protection of a friendly phalanx.

Peltasts could throw javelins more accurately than a man on horseback. Cavalry presented a bigger target, a further disadvantage in battle. According to Thucydides, under rapid covering fire of javelins, Thracian peltasts successfully charged and defeated Theban cavalry. The answer for the horseman was to close the distance rapidly and use spear or sword against the peltast. This winning tactic was driven home in 381 BC when a force of Olynthian horse, feigning retreat, turned on pursuing Spartan peltasts, defeating them and killing more than 100.

Olynthian cavalry repeated the tactic against non-Spartan peltasts a few years later. In 378 BC Theban riders routed first the Thespian peltasts and then their accompanying hoplite infantry in a grand mounted charge.

The second threat to the peltast was the emerging Macedonian phalangite created by King Philip II. The Macedonian foot soldier wielded a long pike (sarissa). Estimated at between 14 and 18 feet long, the sarissa required both hands to control and could outreach any Greek spear, giving the Macedonians a great advantage when the two types of phalanxes met in combat. Philip’s phalangites carried a smaller shield, about 24 to 30 inches in diameter, that was a hybrid between the classical Greek hoplon en die pelta. The shield hung from the neck or shoulder, freeing both hands to manage the long Macedonian pike.

Philip trained his infantry to fight with either the pike or the javelin, depending on the geography. He also relied more on cavalry, which he used to attack almost any target under almost any circumstance. He reversed the accepted battle formula: His army used the phalanx as a base of maneuver around which his shock cavalry would deliver the decisive blow, not the traditional other way around. Philip’s new tactics and equipment, so foreign to what the Greeks had been doing, left them vulnerable in battle against the Macedonians.

As a student of Iphicrates, Philip appreciated the achievements of the classical Greek peltasts, but at the same time he strove to overcome them. This led him to field light infantry known as hypaspists, who were swifter than the phalangists. He formed these hypaspists into three battalions of 1,000 men each, and they became the elite fighters of his army. Although it is not known exactly how the hypaspists were armed and equipped, Philip used them to move quickly and guard the flanks and rear of the phalanx. Close combat was a part of their duties. The historian Arrian records that Philip’s son, Alexander III, used them to keep pace with his cavalry and execute special mobile operations.

The Greek peltast, in all his variations, embodied specialization requiring more training and skill than the Greek hoplite. In Greece, they may have been among the first professional military men. Their abilities to throw javelins with accuracy and stay in top fighting trim probably did not allow them to pursue full-time civilian occupations, unlike the hoplites who eagerly returned to civilian life once their brief campaigns ended.

Yet precisely because peltasts were available at any time, they were more likely to be employed than idle. Continual use rather than seasonal wars disrupted the generally peaceful system under which the Greek city-states had flourished. After their defeat by Philip II at Chaeronea in 338 BC, and subsequent subjugation in the Macedonian empire completed by Alexander the Great, the Greek city-states never recaptured their former glory.

Originally published in the Winter 2010 issue of Military History Quarterly. Klik hier om in te teken.


Greek Hoplite Warrior Sculpture

- Sculpture measures: 6 inches x 5 inches x 12.75 inches.
- Reproduction is made of crushed stone resin with a cold cast bronze finish
- Item#: 141CB

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