The ancient Greece was known for staging very many battles and emerging victorious in most of them. People have come out with varying ideas trying to explain the tremendous success of many ancient Greek battles. Some philosophers attribute it to an organized leadership while others count it on the tactful soldiers. The heavily armed Greek soldiers were known as the hoplites. Panoply is the complete suit of armor used by the hoplites. It included the shield, greaves, breastplate, spear, helmet, and other fighting tools. The main fighting style that was utilized by these Greek soldiers was the phalanx formation. A phalanx is an organized line of battle created by the hoplites when moving towards their enemies. This paper highlights the offensive weapons used by the hoplites, and also describes their defensive armor. We also used the help of Essayhave – a professional paper writing service. Read Essayhave reviews to find out more about it.
The body of a hoplite is believed to be completely covered by fighting weapons when headed for war. Therefore, nearly everything that this soldier puts on is usually fighting equipment. The first important tool that they had on is the bronze helmet. The helmet was a crucial protection tool in the battlefield. It covered the head of the hoplite from spears and arrows thrown by their enemies. However, the helmet did not guarantee full protection since it had little padding. Due to this reason, blow on the helmet could sometimes injure the soldier. The crest on top of the helmet was also a battlefield tool. The crest was made of horsehair, and it was mostly in either red or brown color. It was an important tool because it made the hoplites look taller thus intimidating the enemies in the war fields.
The Greek spear, also called doru, was one of the weapons used by these soldiers. The spear is said to be the main fighting tool for the hoplites.1 It was only after the spear could not be used anymore that the soldier reached out for other weapons. Doru was between nine to ten feet in length, and the warriors used their right hand when handling it. The spearhead was made of iron while the butt was mostly made of bronze. The bronze butt acted as the alternative if the head of the spear broke. If both ends broke off, the hoplite would have to draw out his sword as the final resort. There were two types of swords that the Greek soldiers used. The xiphos was a straight sword used for stabbing. The other one was kopis, a curved sword used for slashing. The hoplites used the short range weapons mostly because the Greek believed the tools used to fight from a long distance were for cowards.
The soldiers’ shields were also highly valued equipment on the battlefield. The three foot wide shields were made of wood with bronze at the edges. Since the spear was on the right hand, the shield was always handled using the left hand. Any hoplite who misplaced his shield in the war could be called a disgrace since the tool offered protection for the team, not just the soldier. The shield, called the aspis, enabled the Greek soldiers to use their famous tactic of the phalanx formation successfully.
The defensive armor of the hoplite is one of the factors that gave the Greek warriors power to fight on when on the battle field. One crucial part of this armor was the bronze cuirass. It consisted of the breastplate that covered the breast area and the abdomen of the hoplite. It also had a back plate that guarded the back of the soldier. The bronze greaves called knemides were also useful in offering the hoplites protection when fighting.2 The greaves protected the lower parts that the shield could not cover. The knemides covered the shins, knees, and ankles of the soldier.
The phalanx formation was one of the most effective tactics used by the Greek soldiers. However, it was a risky style of fighting if the hoplites were not given proper protection by the armors they wore. The panoply of the hoplite played a major role in protecting him in the phalanx. For instance, the helmet covered the head of the soldiers who were at the front line from being hit by the enemy. The wide wooden shield was the key element of the phalanx formation. The shield created a wall that covered the hoplites’ bodies and helped them push the enemies back.3 The bronze cuirass wore by the hoplite also protected his body when fighting at the front row. When the cuirass guarded the chest and abdomen section of the hoplite, the greaves covered the leg areas of the fighters.
The ancient kingdoms and empires used various tactics to win their battles. The warriors of the ancient Greece used their powerfully designed panoply and the phalanx formation tactic to win their battles. The different weapons utilized by the hoplite such as the strong spear and swords enabled him to fight fiercely. The armor of the Greek soldiers gave them a proper protection when fighting the enemy at close range.