Hoplite
Overview
 
A hoplite was a citizen-soldier of the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

s. Hoplites were primarily armed as spearmen and fought in a phalanx formation
Phalanx formation
The phalanx is a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, sarissas, or similar weapons...

. The word "hoplite" (Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: hoplitēs; pl. hoplitai) derives from "hoplon" , the type of the shield used by the soldiers, although, as a word, "hopla" could also denote weapons held or even full armament. In later texts, the term hoplite is used to denote any armored infantry, regardless of armament or ethnicity.

A hoplite was primarily a free citizen who was usually individually responsible for procuring his armor and weapon.
Encyclopedia
A hoplite was a citizen-soldier of the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

s. Hoplites were primarily armed as spearmen and fought in a phalanx formation
Phalanx formation
The phalanx is a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, sarissas, or similar weapons...

. The word "hoplite" (Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: hoplitēs; pl. hoplitai) derives from "hoplon" , the type of the shield used by the soldiers, although, as a word, "hopla" could also denote weapons held or even full armament. In later texts, the term hoplite is used to denote any armored infantry, regardless of armament or ethnicity.

A hoplite was primarily a free citizen who was usually individually responsible for procuring his armor and weapon. In most Greek city-states, citizens received at least basic military training, serving in the standing army for a certain amount of time. They were expected to take part in any military campaign when they would be called for duty. The Lacedaemonian
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

 citizens (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 60th year of their lives.

The exact time when hoplitic warfare was developed is uncertain, the prevalent theory being that it was established sometime during the 8th or 7th century BC
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

, when the "heroic age was abandoned and a far more disciplined system introduced" and the Argive shield became popular. Peter Krentz argues that "the ideology of hoplitic warfare as a ritualized contest developed not in the 7th century, but only after 480, when non-hoplite arms began to be excluded from the phalanx". Anagnostis Agelarakis based on recent archaeo-anthropological discoveries of the earliest monumental polyandrion (communal burial of male warriors) at Paros
Paros
Paros is an island of Greece in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about wide. It lies approximately south-east of Piraeus. The Municipality of Paros includes numerous uninhabited offshore islets...

 Island in Greece, unveils a last quarter of the 8th century BC date for a hoplitic phalangeal military organization .

After the Macedonian conquests of the 4th century BC, the hoplite was slowly abandoned in favor of the phalangite
Phalangite
Phalangite is the Greek name for*an infantryman deployed in a phalanx of Classical and Hellenistic antiquity. The Macedonian so-called Sarissaphoros had a tactical advantage over other phalangites because of their extremely long pikes known as a sarissa...

, armed in the Macedonian fashion, in the armies of the southern Greek states.

Many famous personalities, philosophers, artists and poets, fought as hoplites.

History

The rise and fall of hoplite warfare was intimately connected to the rise and fall of the city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

. As discussed above, hoplites were a solution to the armed clashes between independent city-states. As Greek civilization found itself confronted by the world at large, particularly by the Persians
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

, the emphasis in warfare shifted. Confronted by huge numbers of enemy troops, individual city-states could not realistically fight alone. During the Greco-Persian Wars
Greco-Persian Wars
The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus...

 (499-448 BC), alliances between groups of cities (whose composition varied over time) fought against the Persians. This drastically altered the scale of warfare and the numbers of troops involved. The hoplite phalanx proved itself far superior to the Persian infantry at such conflicts as the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate...

, Thermopylae
Thermopylae
Thermopylae is a location in Greece where a narrow coastal passage existed in antiquity. It derives its name from its hot sulphur springs. "Hot gates" is also "the place of hot springs and cavernous entrances to Hades"....

, and the Battle of Plataea
Battle of Plataea
The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and Megara, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes...

.

During this period, Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 and Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

 rose to a position of political eminence in Greece, and their rivalry in the aftermath of the Persian wars brought Greece into renewed internal conflict. However, the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

 was on a scale unlike conflicts before. Fought between leagues of cities, dominated by Athens and Sparta respectively, the pooled manpower and financial resources allowed a diversification of warfare. Hoplite warfare was in decline; there were three major battles in the Peloponnesian War, and none proved decisive. Instead there was increased reliance on navies, skirmishers, mercenaries, city walls, siege engine
Siege engine
A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some have been operated close to the fortifications, while others have been used to attack from a distance. From antiquity, siege engines were constructed largely of wood and...

s, and non-set piece tactics. These reforms made wars of attrition
Attrition warfare
Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent side attempts to win a war by wearing down its enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and matériel....

 possible and greatly increased the number of casualties. In the Persian war, hoplites faced large numbers of skirmishers and missile-armed troops, and such troops (e.g. Peltast
Peltast
A peltast was a type of light infantry in Ancient Thrace who often served as skirmishers.-Description:Peltasts carried a crescent-shaped wicker shield called pelte as their main protection, hence their name. According to Aristotle the pelte was rimless and covered in goat or sheep skin...

s) became much more commonly used by the Greeks during the Peloponnesian War. As a result, hoplites began wearing less armour, carrying shorter swords, and in general adapting for greater mobility; this led to the development of the ekdromoi
Ekdromoi
The Ekdromos was an ancient Greek light hoplite. The name means 'out-runners', and denotes their ability to exit the phalanx and fight in an irregular order, as the situation might demand. The Ekdromoi were mostly lightly armoured , fast infantry and were armed with spear and short sword...

 light hoplite.

Late on in the hoplite era, more sophisticated tactics were developed, in particular by the Theban general Epaminondas
Epaminondas
Epaminondas , or Epameinondas, was a Theban general and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics...

. These tactics inspired the future king Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

, at the time a hostage in Thebes, in the development of new kind of infantry - the Macedonian Phalanx
Macedonian phalanx
The Macedonian phalanx is an infantry formation developed by Philip II and used by his son Alexander the Great to conquer the Persian Empire and other armies...

. Although clearly a development of the hoplite, the Macedonian phalanx was tactically more versatile, especially used in the combined arms tactics favoured by the Macedonians. These forces defeated the last major hoplite army, at the Battle of Chaeronea
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)
The Battle of Chaeronea was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between the forces of Philip II of Macedon and an alliance of Greek city-states...

 (338 BC), after which Athens and its allies joined the Macedonian empire. King Philip of Macadonia used hipolites with great effect in Persia, Greece and in India.

Warfare

The fragmentary nature of Ancient Greece, with many competing city-states, increased the frequency of conflict, but conversely limited the scale of warfare. Limited manpower did not allow most Greek city-states to form large armies which could operate for long periods, especially in the case of light troops like the psiloi
Psiloi
In Ancient Greek warfare, psiloi were extremely light infantry who acted as skirmishers and missile troops....

, who were recruited from the lower citizen classes, and as such, they were mainly farmers, workers, even slaves. This inevitably reduced the potential duration of campaigns, as a large portion of any Greek army would need to return to their own professions (especially in the case of farmers, for example). Campaigns would therefore often be restricted to summer. Armies marched directly to their target, the battlefield having possibly already been agreed on by the contestants.

If battle was refused by the defender, they would generally retreat to their city, in which case the attackers generally had to content themselves with ravaging the surrounding countryside, since siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

craft was not efficient, at least until the 5th century BC. When battles occurred, they were usually set piece
Set piece
Set piece may refer to:* Set piece , an elaborate sequence which sees either a chase, fight, or other action taking place in an original and memorable way...

 and intended to be decisive. The battlefield would be flat and open to facilitate phalanx warfare. These battles were usually short and required a high degree of discipline. At least in the early classical period, cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 was usually used to protect the flanks, when present at all, and cover a possible retreat. Light infantry
Light infantry
Traditionally light infantry were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. Light infantry was distinct from medium, heavy or line infantry. Heavy infantry were dedicated primarily to fighting in tight...

 and missile troops took part in the battle, but their role was of a lower importance.

The phalanxes would approach each other in a steady, slow march to keep cohesion or rarely at a run, if the enemy was prone to panic, or if they fought against enemies equipped with bows, as was the case against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate...

. The two lines would remain at a small distance to be able to effectively use their spears, while the psiloi
Psiloi
In Ancient Greek warfare, psiloi were extremely light infantry who acted as skirmishers and missile troops....

 threw stones and javelins from behind their lines. If the "doratismos" (Greek for spear combat) was not decisive, then the lines would close and swords would be drawn. The shields would clash and the first lines (protostates
Protostates
A protostates , in Ancient Greece, was the man in front of an epistates . The Greek phalanx was made up of alternate ranks of protostates and epistates. Thus, in a file of 8 men, the protostates were the men in positions 1,3,5 and 7, while the epistates occupied positions 2,4,6 and 8 . The term...

) would stab at their opponents, at the same time trying to keep in position. The ranks behind them would support them with their own spears and the mass of their shields gently pushing them, not to force them into the enemy formation but to keep them steady and in place. At certain points, a command would be given to the phalanx or a part thereof to collectively take a certain number of steps forward (ranging from half to multiple steps). This was the famed "othismos".

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. There could be multiple such instances of attempts to push, but it seems from the accounts of the ancients that these were perfectly orchestrated and attempted organized en masse. Battles rarely lasted more than an hour. Once one of the lines broke, the troops would generally flee from the field, sometimes chased by psiloi
Psiloi
In Ancient Greek warfare, psiloi were extremely light infantry who acted as skirmishers and missile troops....

, peltast
Peltast
A peltast was a type of light infantry in Ancient Thrace who often served as skirmishers.-Description:Peltasts carried a crescent-shaped wicker shield called pelte as their main protection, hence their name. According to Aristotle the pelte was rimless and covered in goat or sheep skin...

s or light cavalry. If a hoplite escaped, he would sometimes be forced to drop his cumbersome aspis
Aspis
"Aspis" is the generic term for the word shield. The aspis, which is carried by Greek infantry of various periods, is often referred to as a hoplon .According to Diodorus Siculus:-Construction:...

, thereby disgracing himself to his friends and family (becoming a "ripsaspis", one who threw his shield). Casualties were slight compared to later battles, rarely amounting to more than 5% of the losing side, but the slain often included the most prominent citizens and generals who led from the front. Thus, the whole war could be decided by a single field battle; victory was enforced by ransoming the fallen back to the defeated, called the "Custom of the Greeks".

Individual hoplites carried their shields on their left arm, protecting not only themselves but also the soldier to the left. This meant that the men at the extreme right of the phalanx were only half-protected. In battle, opposing phalanxes would exploit this weakness by attempting to overlap the enemy's right flank. 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). The most experienced hoplites were often placed on the right side of the phalanx, to counteract these problems. A phalanx tended to be 8 rows or more deep, each row with a leader, and a rear rank officer, the ouragos (meaning: tail-leader), who kept order in the rear.

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. In earlier Homeric
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

 combat, the words and deeds of supremely powerful heroes turned the tide of battle. With his friends jostling and pushing on both sides and behind, and his enemies forming a solid wall in front of him, the hoplite had little opportunity for feats of technique and weapon skill, but great need for commitment and mental toughness. The hoplites had to trust their neighbors for mutual protection, so a phalanx was only as strong as its weakest elements. Its effectiveness depended on how well the hoplites could maintain this formation while in combat, and how well they could stand their ground, especially when engaged against another phalanx. 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 before the battle. The Greek word dynamis, the "will" or "ability to fight," was used to express the drive that kept hoplites in formation.

Equipment


Each hoplite provided his own equipment. Thus, only those who could afford such weaponry fought as hoplites; as with the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

an army it was the middle classes who formed the bulk of the infantry. Equipment was not standardised, although there were doubtless trends in general designs over time, and between city-states. Hoplites had customized armour, and possibly family symbols on his shield. The equipment might well be passed down in families, since it would have been expensive to manufacture.

Hoplites generally armed themselves just before battle. Hoplite equipment ranged from light to heavy — the total weight of a set of heavy bronze breastplate armor was around 22–27 kg (48.5–59.5 lb). The average farmer-peasant hoplite typically wore no armor, carrying only a shield, a spear, and perhaps a helmet plus a secondary weapon. Some hoplite spears were 9 feet (2.7 m). A more well-to-do hoplite would have linothorax
Linothorax
The linothorax was a type of upper body armor used by the Ancient Greeks, as well as other civilizations, from the Mycenaean Period through the Hellenistic Period. The earliest attested account of a linothorax used for battle is recorded in Book 2 of Homer's Iliad . It is worn by Ajax the lesser...

, armor composed of stitched/laminated linen fabrics that was sometimes reinforced with animal skins and/or bronze scales. The linothorax was the most popular type armor worn by the hoplites, since it was cost-effective and provided decent protection. The richer upper-class hoplites typically had a bronze breastplate
Breastplate
A breastplate is a device worn over the torso to protect it from injury, as an item of religious significance, or as an item of status. A breastplate is sometimes worn by mythological beings as a distinctive item of clothing.- Armour :...

 of either the bell or muscled variety, a bronze helmet
Helmet
A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries.Ceremonial or symbolic helmets without protective function are sometimes used. The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900BC, who wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from...

 with cheekplates, as well as greave
Greave
A greave is a piece of armour that protects the leg.-Description:...

s and other armour
Armour
Armour or armor is protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or action...

. The design of the helmets used varied through time. The Corinthian helmet
Corinthian helmet
The Corinthian helmet originated in ancient Greece and took its name from the city-state of Corinth. It was a helmet made of bronze which in its later styles covered the entire head and neck, with slits for the eyes and mouth. A large curved projection protected the nape of the neck...

 was at first standardised and was a very successful design. Later variants included the Chalcidian helmet
Chalcidian helmet
A Chalcidian helmet or Chalcidian type helmet was a helmet made of bronze and worn by ancient warriors of the Hellenic world, especially popular in Greece in the fourth and fifth centuries BC...

, a lightened version of the Corinthian helmet, and the very simple Pilos helmet worn by the later Spartan hoplites. The crests on the helmet differed for each city-state. The Thracian
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 helmet had a huge visor to further increase protection. In later periods, linen breastplates called "linothorax
Linothorax
The linothorax was a type of upper body armor used by the Ancient Greeks, as well as other civilizations, from the Mycenaean Period through the Hellenistic Period. The earliest attested account of a linothorax used for battle is recorded in Book 2 of Homer's Iliad . It is worn by Ajax the lesser...

" were used, as they were tougher and cheaper to make. The linen was 0.5 centimetre (0.196850393700787 in) thick. Hoplites carried a circular shield called an aspis
Aspis
"Aspis" is the generic term for the word shield. The aspis, which is carried by Greek infantry of various periods, is often referred to as a hoplon .According to Diodorus Siculus:-Construction:...

(often referred to as a hoplon) made from wood and covered in bronze, measuring roughly 1 metre in diameter. This large shield was made possible partly by its shape, which allowed it to be supported on the shoulder. The revolutionary part of the shield was, in fact, the grip. Known as an Argive grip, it placed the handle at the edge of the shield, and was supported by a leather fastening (for the forearm) at the centre. 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. It spanned from chin to knee and was very heavy. It weighed 8–15 kg (17.6 - 33 pounds)

The primary weapon was a spear
Spear
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or...

 called a dory
Dory (spear)
The dory or doru - ie not pronounced like the fish - is a spear that was the chief armament of hoplites in Ancient Greece. The word "dory" is first attested in Homer with the meanings of "wood" and "spear". Homeric heroes hold two dorys...

. Although accounts of its length vary, it is usually now believed to have been seven to nine feet long (~2.1 - ~2.7m). It was held one-handed, the other hand holding the hoplite's shield. The spearhead was usually a curved leaf shape, while the rear of the spear had a spike called a sauroter ('lizard-killer') which was used to stand the spear in the ground (hence the name). 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. In addition to being used as a secondary weapon, the sauroter also doubled to balance the spear, but not for throwing purposes. A Spartan warrior would never abandon his primary weapon in such a way. It is a matter of contention, among historians, whether the hoplite used the spear overarm or underarm. Held underarm, the thrusts would have been less powerful but under more control, and vice versa. It seems likely that both motions were used, depending on the situation. If attack was called for, an overarm motion was more likely to break through an opponent's defense. The upward thrust is more easily deflected by armour due to its lesser leverage. However, when defending, an underarm carry absorbed more shock and could be 'couched' under the shoulder for maximum stability. It should also be said that 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. Hoplites in the rows behind the lead would almost certainly have made overarm thrusts. The rear ranks held their spears underarm, and raised spears upwards at increasing angles. This was an effective defence against missiles, deflecting their force.

Hoplites also carried a short sword called a xiphos. The short sword was a secondary weapon, used if or when their spears were broken or lost, or if the phalanx broke rank. The xiphos usually has a blade around 2 foot (0.6096 m) long, however those used by the Spartans were often only 12-18 inches long. This very short xiphos would be very advantageous in the press that occurred when two lines of hoplites met, capable of being thrust through gaps in the shieldwall into an enemy's unprotected groin or throat, while there was no room to swing a longer sword. Such a small weapon would be particularly useful after many hoplites had started to abandon body armor during the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

. Hoplites could also alternatively carry the curved kopis
Kopis
The kopis was a sword with a forward-curving blade, primarily used as a tool for cutting meat, for slaughter and animal sacrifice, but also as a weapon....

, a particularly vicious hacking weapon. Spartan hoplites were often depicted using a kopis, instead of the xiphos, in Athenian art, as the kopis was seen as a quintessential "bad guys" weapon in Greek eyes.

By contrast with hoplites, other contemporary infantry (e.g. Persian
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

) tended to wear relatively light armour, use wicker shields, and were armed with shorter spears, javelin
Javelin
A Javelin is a light spear intended for throwing. It is commonly known from the modern athletic discipline, the Javelin throw.Javelin may also refer to:-Aviation:* ATG Javelin, an American-Israeli civil jet aircraft, under development...

s, and bows
Bow (weapon)
The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

.

In popular culture

Hoplite warfare has been portrayed (with varying accuracy) in several films including Troy
Troy (film)
Troy is a 2004 epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen based on the events of the Trojan War. Its cast includes Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector.It was nominated for the Academy Award for Costume Design.-Plot:...

, The 300 Spartans
The 300 Spartans
The 300 Spartans is a 1962 Cinemascope film depicting the Battle of Thermopylae. Made with the cooperation of the Greek government, it was shot in the village of Perachora in the Peloponnese...

and 300
300 (film)
300 is a 2007 American fantasy action film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller. It is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant...

.

Several strategy games, such as Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy computer game, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft on May 20, 2003. The development of the game was led by veteran Brian Reynolds, of Civilization II and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Concepts taken from turn-based strategy games have been...

, Rome: Total War
Rome: Total War
Rome: Total War is a PC strategy game developed by The Creative Assembly and released on by Activision...

, Spartan Total Warrior, Empire Earth
Empire Earth
Empire Earth, also known as EE, is a real-time strategy computer game developed by Stainless Steel Studios and released on November 23, 2001. It is the first game in the Empire Earth series...

, Civilization
Civilization (series)
Civilization is a series of turn-based strategy, 4X video games produced by Sid Meier. Basic gameplay functions are similar throughout the series, namely, buiding a civilization on a macro-scale from prehistory up to the near future...

, Ancient Wars: Sparta
Ancient Wars: Sparta
Ancient Wars: Sparta is a real-time strategy computer game released in April 2007. It was developed by World Forge and has been published by Play Ten Interactive. The distributor is Eidos Interactive.-Gameplay:...

, Age of Empires, Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City
Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City
is a 3D dungeon crawler role-playing video game by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. The title was released in Japan on April 1, 2010 and in North America on September 21, 2010.The Etrian Odyssey series is well known for its old-school style and difficult adventures...

and Age of Mythology
Age of Mythology
Age of Mythology , is a mythology-based, real-time strategy computer game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios...

, feature infantry units called "Hoplites" or "Phalanx". The action RTS
Dota (genre)
The Dota genre is a sub-genre of real-time strategy video games, characterized by their likeness to Defense of the Ancients, a custom scenario for Warcraft 3 drawing from both real-time strategy and role-playing game influences. Compared to traditional real-time strategy games, elements such as...

 title League of Legends
League of Legends
The BetFred League of Legends was a darts tournament featuring some of the legends of the game of darts which commenced in May 2008. The tournament is broadcast on Setanta Sports in the United Kingdom....

 features a hero modeled after a Spartan
Spartan
A Spartan is a person from the Greek city Sparta or the ancient Greek city-state of the same name. In the latter context, the term "Spartan" in its most technical sense refers to a member of the Spartiate caste and under some usages also encompasses the class of mothakes, residents of Sparta who...

 hoplite.

The Hoplite helmet is also used as the logo of clothing brand Vernato
Vernato
Vernato is an emerging menswear brand created in 2009 by Alban Selamaj and Anton Vitkovskiy. The inspiration behind the brand is rooted in the world’s history and culture.-History:...

.

External links

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