Hoplites and Phalanxes

10 views2 pages
31 Jan 2013
Department
Oct, 04, 2012
Hoplites and Phalanxes
Hoplite:
-Soldiers with spears and shields made up the majority of Greek forces
-Liked to fight on flat ground because it was easier to stay in formation and battles were fought mainly between
the city states of Greece
-Earliest proof of Hoplite armour is from the 8th century BC that was found in a grave
-Full Bronze Panoply costs 3 months wages so not all men could afford to armour themselves
-Armour consisted of a bronze helmet, greaves (covering shins only), and a breast plate/cuirass/corset
-At the age of 18 any all male citizens could be conscripted to the armies and they could be in the army until they
are 60 and they were only called upon at wartime and if you were conscripted you could fight a battle and then go
home not be called again for several years
-In general battles went like this where the men would advance toward the enemy army, there would be a clash of
arms, all would push, and one side collapses and the other wins
Phalanx:
-Line formation of hoplites where the right arm of each man holds the shield and protects the man next to them
-A large number of men were over 30 and this was another reason battles were short and exhausting
-Determination was to not to falter and leave a lethal gap in the line and this was the key to victory
-Often battles were at prearranged times and places
-Phalanx was made of a long block of soldiers many ranks deep (usually 4-8 ranks but Sparta used 12)
-If a man in front of you falls you step forward and take his place
-Generals of armies fought with the men to show leadership by example and to inspire with bravery
-Greek phalanxes were loose and sloppy because the average soldier needed 6ft around him to swing his weapon
-Only great phalanxes were the ones of Spartan soldiers because they were the only professional soldiers in Greece
-Most phalanxes charged into battle but people ran at different speeds so to solve this problem the Spartans
marched to flute music to allow everyone to stay in formation
-Sparta put the most experienced or best soldiers in ranks of 4-8 and in the initial clash many would die
-If not many men died the experienced men would hold firm and push forward with their shields to prevent the
inexperienced in front from fleeing
Carian:
-In Southern Asia Minor across the Aegean Sea and they were very good at making armour and mercenaries
-North of Carian is Ionia
Era of the Greek Tyrants c. 650-500:
-The 26th Dynasty’s Egypt Pharaoh needed help to gain power and he called upon the Carians and the Ionians
-Greeks heard about this and some decided to call upon these mercenaries to gain power in their own community
Greek Weapons:
-The earliest helmets were the Corinthian Helmets which are bronze and date mostly from the 7th century BC
-Made out of a single piece of bronze with a felt or leather cap worn inside and they were very decorative
-These Helmets made it difficult to see and hear and this means orders given by commanders must be simple
(simple orders = simple tactics)
-Illyrian helmets were more open and this provided less protection but more visibility and they eventually had
crests to inspire fear
-Shield called a Hoplon from which the hoplite gets its name and earliest of these are seen in the 7th century BC
-They would have had intimidating images painted on the outside such as gorgons, etc
-The arm and hand grips were on the inside and the shield was slightly concave and between 7-8kg in weight
-Phalanxes have a tendency to drift to the right because the left flank is guarded by your shield and the right flank
by the shield in the hand of the soldier to your right and as one tries to get more protected by that shield the
phalanx drifts
Unlock document

This preview shows half of the first page of the document.
Unlock all 2 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Notes+

Unlimited access to class notes and textbook notes.

YearlyBest Value
75% OFF
$8 USD/m
Monthly
$30 USD/m
You will be charged $96 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.