Pedia News

Greek Warriors


Greek Warriors
The hoplites of Ancient Greece were some of the most feared fighters in the world. Find out why they were so hard to defeat.
Both in Homeric and post-Homeric Greece, hoplite warriors were considered the most deadly and efficient soldiers on the battlefield. Armed with a variety of highly refined weapons – such as spears, swords and daggers, protected by toughened bronze armour and extremely adept at executing cunning tactics and formations, these famous Ancient Greek warriors tore through many an enemy army with considerable ease.

Arguably, hoplites really came into their own around the sixth century BCE. Prior to this point Greek warriors – who were self-armed and trained civilians – fought for personal, familial or national honour singularly. They obviously grouped under city-state banners to wage wars if needed, but when the battle started, the onus was very much on man-to-man single combat; indeed, many battles of this period began with army commanders/heroes facing off against each other solo.
After the introduction of advanced military formations such as the phalanx – see ‘Wall of death’ (below) for more – circa 700 BCE, soldiers began to fight battles as cohesive military units. This increased their battle prowess further and, by the time of the massive Persian invasion of 480 BCE, enabled them to win a series of decisive battles against forces that, going on the numbers, they should have lost.
Wall Of Death
Aside from their good training, weapons and armour, a key reason hoplite warriors were so feared was their use of formations. Chief among these was the phalanx, a rectangular mass formation composed of heavy infantry that, by engaging the enemy as one, allowed the warriors to effectively crush any foe in their path. The phalanx was created by arranging hoplites in lines typically eight to ten men deep, with the front rank of soldiers interlocking their shields together. The long rectangular body of soldiers would then slowly advance, spears outstretched, skewering any enemies ahead.

Greek Warriors