Ernst Berger. Cartledge, Paul. Van Wees, Hans. There it does not stand alone, but is modified by “of shields” or perhaps, by analogy with Herodotus 5.30.4, we should understand “of men with shields.” From these few passages, it is hard to be sure that Thucydides’ ōthismós of shields is any more literal than Herodotus’ōthismós of words (8.78, 9.26). 2000. The word for the great shoving contest supposed to be the essence of Greek battle, in other words, occurs once in a description of Greek fighting Greek. While Alexander's army mainly fielded Pezhetairoi (= Foot Companions) as his main force, his army also included some classic hoplites, either provided by the League of Corinth or from hired mercenaries. Rüstow and Köchly 1852: 10 cite Polyainos 1.10. Toronto: Edgar Kent. Grundy, G. B. It’s an interesting case where Xenophon uses the verb ōtheō while alluding to a passage in Homer that does not use it. J.-P. Vernant. In 1909 he suggested in a page or two that the phalanx developed gradually.21 Only after the development of the close-order formation had made considerable progress did Greeks adopt the porpaxshield, which Helbig pronounced suitable only for fighting in close ranks. The Face of Battle. The Athletes of War: An Evaluation of the Agonistic Elements in Greek Warfare. He cited the Chigi olpe, which was then dated to the early sixth or even fifth century, as the earliest definite depiction of a hoplite phalanx. 30. Armies generally marched directly to their destination, and in some cases the battlefield was agreed to by the contestants in advance. ———. These two points of contact eliminated the possibility of the shield swaying to the side after being struck, and as a result soldiers rarely lost their shields. The History of Greece. In any case, Johannes Kromayer and Georg Veith used the word Massendruck in their 1928 handbook, though they did not amplify what they meant by it.60 They may have meant that the entire front rank or two pushed, or they may have meant that all ranks pushed together. An overarm motion would allow more effective combination of the aspis and doru if the shield wall had broken down, while the underarm motion would be more effective when the shield had to be interlocked with those of one's neighbours in the battle-line. Ecchevería Rey, Fernando. 11. Roisman, Joseph, and translated by J. C. Yardley, Cartledge, P. "Hoplites and Heroes: Sparta's Contribution to the Technique of Ancient Warfare. If the men had previously walked some distance, it helped them regain their order, as they found their places and fell into step with the movements of the dance. These tactics inspired the future king Philip II of Macedon, who was at the time a hostage in Thebes, and also inspired the development of new kind of infantry, the Macedonian Phalanx. 2007. We see this in the reconstruction to the right. ———. Raaflaub, Kurt, and Nathan Rosenstein, eds. The details of Helbig’s theory no longer seem tenable.24 Yet many distinguished scholars have accepted Helbig’s innovative claim that the porpax shield would only work in a close-order formation, so that once Greeks had that shield, they had the hoplite phalanx.25 These scholars stress that the shield’s weight and distinctive handling system meant that it provided better protection for the left side than the right, and they cite Thucydides’ comment that in all armies each man, out of fear, gets his unprotected side as close as possible to the shield of the man stationed next to him (5.71.1). Hanson writes forcefully and shows an excellent eye for vivid details. 2000. 3. By the time of the Persian Wars, helmets and shin guards had gotten thinner, and leather-and-linen corselets had largely replaced bronze-plate cuirasses, which were never ubiquitous. 1991. Though I have been rebuked by literalists such as Robert Luginbill and Adam Schwartz, I take heart in the number of other writers since 1985 who have declared themselves skeptical about the rugby model.64. Woodhouse 1933: 78–79. The richer upper-class hoplites typically had a bronze cuirass of either the bell or muscled variety, a bronze helmet with cheekplates, as well as greaves and other armour. Helmets were often painted as well. Jacqueline Odin and published as “Nature de la bataille hoplitique” in La guerre en Grèce à l’époque classique, ed. 31. Hanson 2000: 162–64; Matthew 2009: 400–406. Other writers, starting with Johannes Kromayer, have argued that the porpax shield could have been used in a mixed fight.26 While it is true that this shield protects the left side better than the right (as any shield carried in the left hand does), a hoplite could get squarely behind the shield by turning sideways with his left foot forward. Argivische Schilde. It gave them a sense of solidarity, as they joined in doing something familiar, something they had learned to do as young men. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood. 16. Carey, Christopher, and Michael Edwards, eds. Grote, George. “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. Hell. Equipment was not standardized, although there were doubtless trends in general designs over time, and between city-states. But the idea seems impractical for an entire line of men. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1:195–202. Are hoplites slaves or soldiers? They would pull in opposite directions and would have to break the wall. A history of Greece; from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great, 12 vols. Stroud: Tempus, 64–76. This aspis, with its central bronze armband (porpax) and leather handgrip at the right edge, was made of wood. [27] Anagnostis Agelarakis, based on recent archaeo-anthropological discoveries of the earliest monumental polyandrion (communal burial of male warriors) at Paros Island in Greece, unveils a last quarter of the 8th century BC date for a hoplitic phalangeal military organization.[28]. Though he found this depiction inadequate in some ways, he did think that the piper on the Chigi vase proves a close-order formation advancing in step. If hoplites could fight successfully in a mixed force, why did the Greeks eventually exclude archers and other lightly armed fighters from the hoplite ranks? The word hoplite (Greek: ὁπλίτης hoplitēs; pl. 1823. 2011. The ancient Spartans did not, in fact, fight naked, nor did anyone else in classical Greece. Van Wees depicts iconography found on pots of the Dark Ages believing that the foundation of the phalanx formation was birthed during this time. 1973. Luginbill, Robert D. 1994. 1977. A few years ago Simon Hornblower commented that “only an unusually arrogant scholar could claim to know exactly what kind of thing went on in a hoplite battle.”69 I am thankful that he included the words “unusually” and “exactly.” I feel close to certain that hoplites never carried 30+ kg of equipment. Victory was enforced by ransoming the fallen back to the defeated, called the "Custom of the Greeks". [20] Specifically, he uses an example of the Chigi Vase to point out that hoplite soldiers were carrying normal spears as well as javelins on their backs. [U]nusual uniformity in both arms and tactics … guaranteed that the killing and wounding were largely familiar to many generations—whether they had fought one summer day in the mid-fifth century in a valley in Boiotia, or on a high plain in the central Peloponnese one hundred years earlier. ———. ———. Snodgrass, Anthony M. 1964. The Hoplite Association in London judges 14 lbs to be about the maximum manageable weight (http://www.4hoplites.com/Aspis.htm). 45. 1975. They had to trust their neighbours for mutual protection, so a phalanx was only as strong as its weakest elements. The hoplite was a specially trained Greek soldier around 650 B.C. Die Perserkriege und die Burgunderkriege. “The enemy line was not necessarily an absolutely impenetrable wall of shields.” I agree. In his view, there was a longish period of development lasting until the sixth century. 2009. If Keegan is right that in other times and places infantry lines did not crash into each other, we require good evidence for believing that Greeks were different. 1968. Geschichte der Kriegskunst im Rahmen der politischen Geschichte, vol. The history and antiquities of the Doric race, trans. Mitford clearly has literal pushing in mind, but it is unclear whether he imagines the Greeks in the rear ranks pushing their own men ahead of them. The typical engagement, prior to the hoplites, involved a less organized charge toward the enemy that usually ended in a fragmented battle. The prebattle paean served multiple functions. At this time hoplite battle remained a “pure,” static, unchanging match between men in the heaviest of armor, void of support from auxiliary cavalry, missile throwers, or archers…. 1997. Each man's shield protected the warrior to his left as well as himself - and he was protected a little by the shield of the man to his right. Performing the paean gave “courage to friends as it rids them of the fear of the enemy” (Aeschylus, Seven against Thebes 270). Jameson, Michael H. 1991. Kagan, Donald, and Gregory Viggiano. Its continued use has important implications for the nature of the Archaic phalanx. Unfortunately, nearly all of the conflicts of the seventh and sixth centuries remain unrecorded. Hans van Wees. A passage from Xenophon makes clear that doing the paean differed from marching in time to pipes (Anabasis 6.1.11). “The Charge at Marathon.” Classical Journal 71:339–42. Pittman 2007: 70–72. Leiden: Brill, 183–204. Krentz, Peter. “Taktikè Technè—the Neglected Element in Classical ‘Hoplite’ Battles.” Ancient Society 41:45–82. I would not be surprised to find the rugby analogy somewhere earlier. So the solid wall of riot police was not always solid, but flexible and permeable enough to permit these mobile troops to dart forward and then back for cover. This passage strikes me as really odd. Oxford: Clarendon Press. These troops were used as a link between the light infantry and the phalanx, a form of medium infantry to bridge the gaps. George Rawlinson in 1858–60 was typical: “a fierce struggle” and “a hand-to-hand struggle.”53 Commentators and lexicographers were no different. Sitch’s heaviest version, 0.91 m in diameter, faced with brass and lined with leather, weighs 9 kg. “Eine frühgriechische Kampfform.” Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 53:90–113. Yet as best we can tell, when facing odds greater than 3:2, Greeks did not go out to fight another Greek army. Gabriel, Richard A., and Donald W. Boose, Jr. 1994. ———. Hoplites usually wore greaves, vambraces, and a chest-plate. The two lines would close to a short distance to allow effective use of their spears, while the psiloi threw stones and javelins from behind their lines. Fagan, Garrett. ὁπλῖται hoplitai) derives from hoplon (ὅπλον, plural hopla ὅπλα), referring to the hoplite's shield. [clarification needed]. 19. By the time they reached the enemy, the line would not have been straight or the files even. “Die Hoplitentaktik und das Staatswesen.” Klio 22:240–49. There the wails of despair and the cries of triumph rose up together of men killing and men killed, and the ground ran with blood. The Corinthian helmet was at first standardized and was a successful design. ), as Professor Woodhouse supposes. Washington, D.C.: Combat Forces Press. It was not till Leuktra that the Greeks really learnt this particular lesson in the military art.59. 1989. As a result, hoplites began wearing less armour, carrying shorter swords, and in general adapting for greater mobility. But I do not think Hanson has made his case for a general collision. When battles occurred, they were usually set piece and intended to be decisive. Archaic wars sometimes dragged on and on. How can we explain this time lag in the use of bronze for shields compared to its use for other pieces of defensive equipment? Each hoplite provided his own equipment. The most experienced hoplites were often placed on the right side of the phalanx, to counteract these problems. Some hoplites also carried a javelin, a light throwing spear. ———. …experience of the ancient Greek hoplite infantrymen is one example of positive influence. Instead there was increased reliance on navies, skirmishers, mercenaries, city walls, siege engines, and non-set piece tactics. Basic Books. “The Hoplite Phalanx.” Annual of the British School at Athens 42:76–138. I believe the impetus came from the Persians.74 Herodotus says that the Median king Cyaxares was the first to divide his forces into spearmen, archers, and cavalry, in the late seventh century (1.103). Some states maintained a small elite professional unit, known as the epilektoi ("chosen") since they were picked from the regular citizen infantry. Since all Hoplites had to buy and upkeep their own equipment, they were usually from the middle or upper classes. ———. The phalanx is an example of a military formation in which single combat and other individualistic forms of battle were suppressed for the good of the whole. The Greek hoplite warriors would train and fight in a regimented fashion, fighting in a straight line formation shoulder to shoulder with the next Greek warrior. 63. Unlike the complete shields, “the adapted version could therefore be used offensively, combined with little or no body armour to ensure crucial mobility. The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization, 2nd ed. The revolutionary part of the shield was the grip. If a hoplite escaped, he would sometimes be forced to drop his cumbersome aspis, thereby disgracing himself to his friends and family (becoming a ripsaspis, one who threw his shield). Keegan, John. London. 2004. By the time of the Peloponnesian War, lightly armed troops fought separately from the hoplites, as emerges clearly from Thucydides’ description of the battle of Syracuse (6.69.2): “The stone-throwers, slingers, and archers of either army began skirmishing, and routed or were routed by one another, as might be expected between light troops.” Following this inconclusive skirmishing, the seers sacrificed and the trumpeters blew, and only then did the hoplites move forward. One of the terms used to describe the close-order formation is ‘with interlocked shields’ (synaspismois). The allusion is clearer in the expanded version of the scene Xenophon gives in his Agesilaos (2.12–14). Rüstow and Köchly 1852: 16–17. 1976. But if he does not, the natural interpretation is that they do not either. However, the hoplites were very well-organized and had ability to fight in close formations. The men who came to be called hoplites were not equipped identically. “Deception in Archaic and Classical Greek Warfare.” In War and Violence in Ancient Greece, ed. 64. 1996. In earlier Homeric, dark age combat, the words and deeds of supremely powerful heroes turned the tide of battle. After the Macedonian conquests of the 4th century BC, the hoplite was slowly abandoned in favour of the phalangite, armed in the Macedonian fashion, in the armies of the southern Greek states. How did the hoplites fight? The phalanx was also employed by the Greeks at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC and at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC during the Second Greco-Persian War. 390–380 BCE. Kromayer, Johannes, and Georg Veith. 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. London. All hoplites were expected to take part in any military campaign when called for duty by leaders of the state. Whether they lined up with three feet per man or had a few feet more, most armies lost their formation as they advanced and charged. 1968. The Greek armies of the Hellenistic period mostly fielded troops in the fashion of the Macedonian phalanx. Gomme, A. W. 1937. 1945–56. Shields were neither impenetrable nor unbreakable. The Phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults much more difficult. 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…. Forthcoming from the Institute of Classical Studies, London. Once the men were in position, the general sacrificed the sphagia, the simple battlefield sacrifice that meant, in Michael Jameson’s words, “I kill. The linen was 0.5-centimetre (0.20 in) thick. In poplar or willow, these shields would weigh about a third less. they tended to lose their formation (Thucydides 5.70). The Thracian helmet had a large visor to further increase protection. 1887. Cartledge and Hanson estimate the transition took place from 725–675 BC.[23]. Archers and other lightly armed men fought in the same ranks. But the film is less realistic in having all the leading Greeks slam into the Trojan shields. These rather soft woods tend to dent rather than split. 1869–70. [23] Rapid Adoptionists propose that the double grip, hoplon shield that was required for the phalanx formation was so constricting in mobility that once it was introduced, dark age, free flowing warfare was inadequate to fight against the hoplites only escalating the speed of the transition. [11] To lessen the number of casualties inflicted by the enemy during battles, soldiers were positioned to stand shoulder to shoulder with their hoplon. The upward thrust is more easily deflected by armour due to its lesser leverage. Basel: Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig. Only one mentions pushing. The analogy caught on in spite of both Gomme and a short 1942 article by A. D. Fraser called “The Myth of the Phalanx Scrimmage,” which takes as its point of departure the assumption that the rugby model dominates the field, at least in England. The historians worked in a literary tradition going back to Homer, from whom they inherited ōtheō. 1994. “The ‘Hoplite Reform’ Revisited.” Dialogues d’histoire ancienne 19:47–61. Furley, William D., and Jan Maarten Bremer. Many armies of mainland Greece retained hoplite warfare. Extended Gradualists argue that hoplite warriors did not fight in a true phalanx until the 5th century BC. “Techniken zur Herstellung der Einzelteile (Exkurs zum Schild Nr. A good commander, such as Cyrus the Younger in Xenophon’s Anabasis, would walk to within about 600 m from the enemy, perform the paean, and then advance to within 200 m before ordering the final charge (1.8.17). Their ideas deserve attention. And on Delion: “The field was well disputed between the rest; in action so close, they joined opposing shields; and where weapons could not avail against the compact arrangement of defensive armor, they endevored [sic] to break each other’s line by force of pushing” (1823: 3.27). “All these movements in the Grecian communities,” he wrote, “tended to break up the close and exclusive oligarchies with which our first historical knowledge commences; and to conduct them, either to oligarchies rather more open, embracing all men of a certain amount of property—or else to democracies.”76 Provided that we substitute mounted infantry, men who rode to battle in all their fine gear but fought on foot, for Grote’s (originally Aristotle’s) cavalry, this passage sounds right to me. Eliot, C.W.J., and Mary Eliot. With this new type of army he defeated a Spartan army in 392 BC. In revising my paper for publication, I have not tried to eradicate traces of its origin as an oral communication delivered to a diverse audience in a setting designed to provoke debate. The depth of the phalanx. Greek battles did not take place on village streets, and the Greeks were very well acquainted with their own military history. Müller, Karl Otfried. Lazenby, John F., and D. Whitehead. Because their density is so much lower than the density of oak or even pine, a shield made of willow or poplar will weigh roughly half as much as one made of oak and two-thirds to three-quarters as much as one made of pine. The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian. There were three major battles in the Peloponnesian War, and none proved decisive. Berkeley: University of California Press. But why would this increase the likelihood of shock? The total weight dropped to 14–21 kg. Historians and researchers have debated the reason and speed of the transition for centuries. Pritchett opted for the former. Greenhalgh, P.A.L. How did the battle begin? Using an impressive variety of scattered pieces of evidence, he builds a thick description of a hoplite battle. Scholars have usually dismissed the Boeotian shield as an unrealistic heroic marker, adapted from Mycenaean figure-of-eight shields and out of place in a hoplite phalanx. “Marathon and the Development of the Exclusive Hoplite Phalanx.” Forthcoming in a BICS supplement edited by C. Carey. Some hoplites served under the Illyrian king Bardylis in the 4th century. Supported the front being that most hoplites were a solution to the killing.. The video “ hoplite shield in the big picture, it would have to break through an 's. Armband ( porpax ) and leather see reenactors practicing with lighter poplar and willow shields weighing less than 3 each... Spears when they charged take place on village streets, and a mass of spear points to the ranks the. 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