The life of a greek hoplite

However, such were the losses of Theban manpower, including Epaminondas himself, that Thebes was thereafter unable to sustain its hegemony.

Sword[ edit ] Hoplites also carried a sword, mostly a short sword called a xiphosbut later also longer and heavier types. This allowed the hoplite the freedom to quickly wield his hoplon in the defensive or offensive position.

When in combat, the whole formation would consistently press forward trying to break the enemy formation; thus, when two phalanx formations engaged, the struggle essentially became a pushing match, [3] in which, as a rule, the deeper phalanx would almost always win, with few recorded exceptions.

The main weapon on a Greek ship was a bronze prow at the front of the ship. If any person seek to overturn the laws, both alone and with all to help me, I will oppose him. The largest weakness inherent in the phalanx formation was in the weak flanks.

A piece of pottery showing Greek hoplites in action Click on the hoplite to find out about his weapons and armour Start activity A hoplite had to pay for his armour himself, unless his father was killed in battle.

Spartan women also had more freedom than other Greek women.

Realm of History

Ship builders would also experience sudden increases in their production demands. The large hoplon shields, designed for pushing ahead, were the most essential equipment for the hoplites.

Although alliances between city-states were commonplace, the scale of this league was a novelty, and the first time that the Greeks had united in such a way to face an external threat. And by the latter Classical period, the type of crest also related to the rank of the hoplite.

Unlike the fiercely independent and small city-states, Macedon was a tribal kingdom, ruled by an autocratic king, and importantly, covering a larger area. Sometimes groups of city-states would unite to fight other groups of city-states in large wars.

And it seems even the ancient Greek hoplites were quite fond of a similar social set-up where the epheboi youth was paired with an older man who still trained in the gymnasia.

The soldiers in the back provided motivation to the ranks in the front being that most hoplites were close community members. These battles were usually short and required a high degree of discipline. Almost simultaneously, the allied fleet defeated the remnants of the Persian navy at Mycalethus destroying the Persian hold on the islands of the Aegean.

As the Thebans were joined by many erstwhile Spartan allies, the Spartans were powerless to resist this invasion. To counter the massive numbers of Persians, the Greek general Miltiades ordered the troops to be spread across an unusually wide front, leaving the centre of the Greek line undermanned.

The battle is famous for the tactical innovations of the Theban general Epaminondas.

Ancient Greece

The more disciplined and courageous the army, the more likely it was to win—often engagements between the various city-states of Greece would be resolved by one side fleeing after their phalanx had broken formation.

Undoubtedly part of the reason for the weakness of the hegemony was a decline in the Spartan population. This allowed the hoplite soldier more mobility with the shield, as well as the ability to capitalize on its offensive capabilities and better support the phalanx.

Many Greeks city-states, having had plenty of warning of the forthcoming invasion, formed an anti-Persian league; though as before, other city-states remained neutral or allied with Persia.

The equipment might well be passed down in families, since it would have been expensive to manufacture. Males as young as six years would be tabbed to train in the ways of the hoplite soldier, but more importantly in the strategies of the phalanx formation.

Rarely, the Greek city-states would unite together to fight a common enemy such as the Persians in the Persian Wars. This made the trireme very fast in battle. The upward thrust is more easily deflected by armour due to its lesser leverage.

This organized army would become the Spartan army and be on call for all things needed by the nation.

Ancient Greek warfare

Reaching later years, most often after thirty and before sixty years of age, the Spartan male was expected to marry and continue the cycle. The formation depended on each individual soldier operating in unison, standing closely to one another with shield affixed on the left arm and the thrusting spear firmly gripped in the right hand.

To fight the enormous armies of the Achaemenid Empire was effectively beyond the capabilities of a single city-state. As a result, the army that held its ground often emerged victorious — thus exemplifying how morale was far more important than sheer strength in numbers which alludes to why the Spartans were considered lethal in a battlefield.

Limited manpower did not allow most Greek city-states to form large armies which could operate for long periods because they were generally not formed from professional soldiers.The Greek word for military equipment roughly translates to hopla, and thus a hoplite simply pertained to the ancient version of the ‘man at arms’ or ‘armored man’.

Of course, unlike their late medieval counterparts, the hoplites were first and foremost citizen-soldiers – and thus were.

The hoplite was an infantryman, the central element of warfare in Ancient Greece. The word hoplite (Greek ὁπλίτης, hoplitēs) derives from hoplon (ὅπλον, plural hopla, ὅπλα) meaning an item of armor or equipment, thus 'hoplite' may approximate to 'armored man'.

Hoplites were the citizen-soldiers of the Ancient Greek City-states. The Greek hoplite choice of armor: Hoplites were heavy infantry that operated efficiently in large organized formations known as a phalanx.

Armor was designed to protect the. 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.

The backbone of the Greek army was the 'hoplite'. He was a foot soldier, who fought with a long spear and used a large round shield for protection.

In battle, hoplites fought as a team. They lined up in ranks and locked their shields together with just their spears pointing over the. Being a hoplite was not a career, but a civic duty; it did not earn a wage, but only a compensation for time served. This is really important when we start to think about the "daily life" of a hoplite, or his status in society.

The ancient Greeks at war

On any given ordinary day, your average hoplite was not a hoplite.

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The life of a greek hoplite
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