Pritchett opted for the former. They disagree about whether the phalanx or the shield came first, and they credit different Greek poleis with being first in the field: H. L. Lorimer and Paul Cartledge favor Corinth and Athens, Antony Andrewes Argos, Marcel Detienne Sparta. A figurative “push” makes equally good sense in the other passages Pritchett cites as evidence of an ōthismós in the Iliad.68. Military service was the primary duty of Spartan men, and Spartan society was organized around its army. 45. ———. These tactics inspired the future king Philip II of Macedon, who was at the time a hostage in Thebes, also inspired the development of new type of infantry, the Macedonian phalanx. 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 … in Hans van Wees, War and Violence in Ancient Greece, London and Swansea: Duckworth and the Classical Press of Wales, 2000, pp. Forthcoming from the Institute of Classical Studies, London. Berkeley: University of California Press. The Greeks break their formation somewhat as they run toward the stationary Trojans, deployed in a tight formation outside their city wall. This formation was known as a ‘phalanx’. [22] The large amounts of hoplite armour needed to then be distributed to the populations of Greek citizens only increased the time for the phalanx to be implemented. as well, hoplite infantry battle determined the very nature of Greek warfare, and became the means to settle disputes—instantaneously, economically, and ethically…. 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. “Symbol and Story in Geometric Art.” In Ancient Greek Art and Iconography, ed. Too soon, and the men might lose their edge before they reached the enemy; too late, and faint-hearts might have dropped out before the unifying and invigorating chant began. Since the Lakedaimonian poet Tyrtaios, whom he put in the second half of the seventh century, did not describe an exclusive phalanx, Helbig concluded that the Euboians, not the Spartans, created it. 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. The rear ranks held their spears underarm, and raised their shields upwards at increasing angles. They would also carry a shield and spear, with some carrying a short sword as a secondary weapon. Thereafter other Greeks emulated the exclusive phalanx and experimented with specialized contingents of archers and cavalry and even, at Athens, Persian-style mounted archers. The drinking song of Hybrias the Cretan, usually dated to the late Archaic period, demonstrates that a leather shield could be a source of pride (Athenaios Deipnosophistai 695f–696a). In total, such armor was very heavy, weighing up to 34 kg, which certainly made it very difficult for the hoplite to maneuver during the fight. “A Cup by Douris and the Battle of Marathon.” In New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare, ed. Instead there was increased reliance on navies, skirmishers, mercenaries, city walls, siege engines, and non-set piece tactics. [15][16] This large shield was made possible partly by its shape, which allowed it to be supported on the shoulder. Did the back rows push the men in front? The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization, 2nd ed. These troops were used as a link between the light infantry and the phalanx, a form of medium infantry to bridge the gaps. Polybios 18.29–30 with Pritchett 1971–91: 1.145, 151–54. He comments (and I can confirm) that a little practice with a broom handle will show that changing grips is not all that hard. I would not be surprised to find the rugby analogy somewhere earlier. “Alternative Agonies: Hoplite Martial and Combat Experiences beyond the Phalanx.” In War and Violence in Ancient Greece, ed. Rutherford, Ian. The Romans later changed their fighting style to a more flexible maniple organization, which was more versatile on rough terrain like that of Samnium. So the phalanx of hoplites existed before any surviving source names it. They had defeated the Thirty’s forces once, but as they anticipated the fighting to come, they needed to equip javelin and stone throwers with enough protection to let them join the hand-to-hand fighting. I think of Thrasyboulos’ men in 403, making wooden and wickerwork shields in Peiraieus (Xen. Let me say a bit more about the shield, which a hoplite called an aspis, since it has played a significant role in the debate about the origins of the Greek phalanx. 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. Snyder, Zach, et al. The linothorax was the most popular type armour worn by the hoplites, since it was cost-effective and provided decent protection. The hoplite phalanx proved itself far superior to the Persian infantry at such conflicts as the Battle of Marathon, Thermopylae, and the Battle of Plataea. 6. Hans van Wees. Pittman 2007: 70–72. See Hale (this volume). 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. ———. For example, Herodotus refers to Miltiades pushing the Apsinthians away by walling off the neck of the Chersonesos (6.37.1) and speaks of the Greeks pushing the Persians back in reference to Xerxes’ invasion as a whole (8.3.2). 2009. 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). Important recent advocates of this view include Lazenby 1991: 87–109; Luginbill 1994; Raaflaub 1999: 132–33; Eccheverría Rey 2011: 64–65. (Luginbill’s “natural reading” really means “literal reading.”) Now there is no doubt that the classical historians sometimes use ōtheō figuratively. Hanson mentions 70 lbs at least four times in The Other Greeks. 300. Extended Gradualists argue that hoplite warriors did not fight in a true phalanx until the 5th century BC. Greek writers applied the term “hoplite” to Egyptians carrying shields that reached to their feet and to Macedonians who used a much smaller shield.10 Did all Greek hoplites carry this porpax shield? The formation proved successful in defeating the Persians when employed by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC during the First Greco-Persian War. Pritchett 1971–91: 4.66 n. 200. First of all I suppose we are talking about the hoplite of the classical age. Argivische Schilde. There was no screaming, nor was there silence, but the noise that anger and battle together will produce…. 37. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1:195–202. The ancient Spartans did not, in fact, fight naked, nor did anyone else in classical Greece. Many famous personalities, philosophers, artists, and poets fought as hoplites. [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. For men aged twenty through sixty—the uninitiated and veteran alike—the charge, the collision of spears, the pushing, trampling, wounding, panic, confusion, even the pile of the battlefield dead, were all similar events to be experienced one awful, fatal time, or perennially until a man could fight no more. Hoplites had customized armour, the shield was decorated with family or clan emblems, although in later years these were replaced by symbols or monograms of the city states. ———. “The Hoplite Reform and History.” Journal of Hellenic Studies 84:110–22. Kromayer in Kromayer and Veith 1928: 21; Nierhaus 1938: 90–113; Snodgrass 1965 and 1993; Greenhalgh 1973: 69–75; van Wees 2000 and 2004: 166–83; Krentz 2002; Wheeler 2007; Rawlings 2007: 54–59. 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. Everyone could benefit from walking in rhythm together.31. Basel: Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig. John Hale may well be right: The first Greeks to use big, round shields might have been mercenaries employed in the east.73 When they brought their shields home, they used them in the early phalanges, fighting beside or behind aristocrats armed with the best defensive armor available and using lighter shields. Nierhaus, R. 1938. The Lacedaemonian citizens of Sparta were renowned for their lifelong combat training and almost mythical military prowess, while their greatest adversaries, the Athenians, were exempted from service only after the age of 60. Matured hoplites did not carry long-range weapons including javelins. 1, Das Alterthum, 3rd ed. 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. [12] It also meant that, in battle, a phalanx would tend to drift to the right (as hoplites sought to remain behind the shield of their neighbour). See also George Campbell Macauley in 1904 (“a great struggle” and “jostling”), Henry Cary in 1908 (“violent struggle” and “a close conflict”), and Alfred Denis Godley in the 1921 Loeb edition (“a great struggle” and “blows at close quarters”). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. He relies on the Hellenistic tactician Asklepiodotos (4.3), who mentions an offensive formation called pyknosis in which each man had two cubits (about 90 cm) and a defensive formation called synaspismos in which he had only one (about 45 cm). As for a collision and a shoving match, I’m skeptical that a general collision or general shove occurred, but willing to believe that some men ran into each other and that some literally shoved an enemy when they thought it would give an advantage in the hand-to-hand fighting. Paeans before battle are best understood as a subset of paeans in general, which Ian Rutherford has elucidated as song-dances performed by men to honor the god and to demonstrate a sense of community among men.39 Soldiers performed the paean before they began their final advance into battle, as aorist participles often suggest.40 The commander had to choose the right moment to begin the paean. “The function of those to the rear,” he says, “was literally to push their comrades forward.” This statement assumes what needs to be proved. They included this great oval shield in their 36 kg total estimate discussed above. Greek battles did not take place on village streets, and the Greeks were very well acquainted with their own military history. It was also used as a secondary weapon if the main shaft snapped, or for the rear ranks to finish off fallen opponents as the phalanx advanced over them. At this point, the phalanx would put its collective weight to push back the enemy line and thus create fear and panic among its ranks. The Chigi olpe, for instance, was painted in Corinth about 640, from which Martin Nil-son concluded that “the Chigi vase gives the lower boundary; hoplite tactics were fully enacted in the second half of the seventh century” (1929: 240). But the film is less realistic in having all the leading Greeks slam into the Trojan shields. 40. Krentz, Peter. Soldiers usually held their spears in an underhand position when approaching but once they came into close contact with their opponents, they were held in an overhand position ready to strike. Keegan, John. The Greek Bronze Age All our ancient Greece articles. Strauss, Barry S. 1996. It isn’t that the hoplite phalanx was politically unimportant. Only after the harvest had been brought in from the fields would the Greeks fight. 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. The phalanx provided a wall of protection to the column of soldiers as they … Spartan Reflections. “The Othismos, Myths and Heresies: The Nature of Hoplite Battle.” War in History 4:1–26. No. 2000. Wood did the work. The ancient Greek city-states developed a military formation called the phalanx, which were rows of shoulder-to-shoulder hoplites. Using an impressive variety of scattered pieces of evidence, he builds a thick description of a hoplite battle. Later on in the hoplite era, more sophisticated tactics were developed, in particular by the Theban general Epaminondas. The Phalanx . The formation discouraged the soldiers from acting alone, for this would compromise the formation and minimize its strengths. Xenophon Anabasis 1.8.9; Arrian Anabasis 1.6.2. 2011. But we have to guard against letting assumptions about how hoplites fought prejudge what equipment they used. 36. Heerwesen und Kriegführung der Griechen und Römer. Woodhouse labeled this “notion … to put it bluntly, nothing but a fatuous delusion and stark nonsense,” and claimed to understand the real explanation: Hoplites advanced with their shields held straight across their chests, forcing them to slant to the right as they walked. In later periods, linothorax was also used, as it is tougher and cheaper to produce. 56. [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]. Hoplites were instrumental in the Greek victories over Persia at the battles of Marathon (490 BCE) and Plataea (479 BCE). Oxford: Blackwell. On the role of the fleet in developing its rowers’ political consciousness, see Strauss 1996. Beside these units, the Macedonians also used the so-called Hypaspists, an elite force of units possibly originally fighting as hoplites and used to guard the exposed right wing of Alexander's phalanx. Hoplite-style warfare was influential, and influenced several other nations in the Mediterranean. Several ancient sources, starting with Thucydides, say that pipers helped the Lakedaimonians maintain formation.18 “In this context,” opined Hans Delbrück, “the piper is nothing other than the tactical formation.”19, In the nineteenth century, no one mentioned any of the soldiers’ equipment as suitable only for a close-order formation. Kromayer, Johannes, and Georg Veith. The problem is a practical one, a matter of what Delbrück would have called “die Realität der Dinge.” Since modern soldiers do not fight withporpax shields, we have to look at police (who are not using replicas of Greek porpax shields) and reenactors (who are not really trying to kill each other). Pritchett, W. K. 1971–91. Hoplites carried a large concave shield called an aspis (often referred to as a hoplon), measuring between 80–100 centimetres (31–39 in) in diameter and weighing between 6.5–8 kilograms (14–18 lbs). Grote rightly linked both an increasing number of men who could afford hoplite equipment and an increasing number of men who rowed in the fleets to the lengthy evolution toward political equality in ancient Greece.77. Soldiers, Citizens, and the Symbols of War: From Classical Greece to Republican Rome, 500–167 B.C. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 313–25. Burbank, Calif.: Distributed by Warner Home Video. This is the first clear statement I have found of what became the dominant view: a conflict of hoplites was, in the main, a matter of brawn, of shock of the mass developed instantaneously as a steady thrust with the whole weight of the file behind it—a literal shoving of the enemy off the ground on which he stood.61. The term for the shield was aspis, or at least this is the terminology that all the ancient writers I've read used. 52. Anyone who doubts that a porpax shield can be manipulated against attacks from various sides and angles should watch Allen Pittman’s YouTube video “Allen teaching Hoplite shield and spear.” Pittman is admittedly a martial arts expert who spent a year training with aporpax shield, but he is also using one that weighs 9 kg without the metal attachments.30, To my mind, therefore, looking at police and reenactors supports the view that warriors could have used porpax shields in a mixed formation. Delbrück must mean that by their reassuring physical presence the rear ranks supported the front ranks and encouraged their advance. These battles were usually short and required a high degree of discipline. Hoplites could also alternatively carry the kopis, a heavy knife with a forward-curving blade. Often small, numbering around 6000 at its peak to no more than 1000 soldiers at lowest point,[32] divided into six mora or battalions, the Spartan army was feared for its discipline and ferocity. So ōtheō might be meant literally or figuratively in battle narratives. New Haven: Yale University Press. ———. This estimate goes back to W. Rüstow and H. Köchly’s Geschichte des griechischen Kriegswesens von der ältesten Zeit bis auf Pyrrhos (1852).4 Rüstow and Köchly estimated weights for each piece of equipment, calculating that a fully equipped hoplite carried 72 lbs or—since they were using German lbs (one German lb = 0.5 kg)—36 kg. 1945–56. 2000. Garrett G. Fagan and Matthew Trundle. Gabriel, Richard A., and Donald W. Boose, Jr. 1994. Hoplites: The Classical Greek Battle Experience. By forming a human wall to provide a powerful defensive armour, the hoplites became much more effective while suffering fewer casualties. 43. Early in its history, Ancient Carthage also equipped its troops as Greek hoplites, in units such as the Sacred Band of Carthage. 34. The context for this passage is Woodhouse’s peculiar discussion of Thucydides 5.71, where Thucydides says that each man kept close to his right-hand neighbor’s shield out of fear. The Corinthian helmet was at first standardized and was a successful design. He cites six passages for the thrusting with swords and spears. For all its prominence in modern discussions of Archaic battle—how many other Greek words made it into Donald Kagan’s opening remarks at the 2008 Yale conference?—the word ōthismós occurs rarely in the battle narratives of the classical historians: twice in Herodotus (7.225.1, the struggle over Leonidas’ body at Thermopylae, and 9.62.2, the end of the battle of Plataia), once in Thucydides (4.96, the battle of Delion), and never in Xenophon. Hans van Wees. ———. War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, and Mesoamerica. What was the weight of the hoplite’s armor? [11] To lessen the number of casualties inflicted by the enemy during battles, soldiers were positioned to stand shoulder to shoulder with their hoplon. Men of Bronzetakes up one of the most important and fiercely debated subjects in ancient history and classics: how did archaic Greek hoplites fight, and what role, if any, did hoplite warfare play in shaping the Greek polis? ———. Many armies of mainland Greece retained hoplite warfare. Rüstow, W., and H. Köchly. The men all used their weapons, and had their right arms free.62. Unlike the complete shields, “the adapted version could therefore be used offensively, combined with little or no body armour to ensure crucial mobility. Some hoplites also carried a javelin, a light throwing spear. The neat blue and red rectangles we draw on battle plans should not seduce us into thinking of untrained Greeks as capable of marching precision. London: Duckworth and Classical Press of Wales, 167–200. See Krentz 2002: 35–37, 2011. A realistic estimate is that a hoplite equipped with a helmet, cuirass, shin guards, shield, spear, and sword carried a total weight of 18–22 kg in the seventh century. If he describes mass shoving, so do they. It was said that he “had an anchor as an emblem on his shield, which never ceased moving and was always in swift motion” (Herodotus 9.74.2). Here we have, as in Homer, the peculiar noise of battle, men killing and men dying, and blood on the ground: Clashing their shields together, they pushed, they fought, they killed, they died. Thus, the war could be decided by a single battle. Frieze of Greek hoplites fighting, from Nereid Monument at Xanthos in Lycia, ca. Web. The xiphos usually had a blade around 60 centimetres (24 in) long; however, those used by the Spartans were often only 30–45 centimetres long. ’ époque classique, ed as 300 years, 9 months ago ] [ ]! Whenever they fought… thrusting with swords and spears and arrow very often, as it was held the... 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