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Men of BronzeHoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece$
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Donald Kagan and Gregory F. Viggiano

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143019

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143019.001.0001

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Early Greek Infantry Fighting in a Mediterranean Context

Early Greek Infantry Fighting in a Mediterranean Context

(p.95) Chapter 5 Early Greek Infantry Fighting in a Mediterranean Context
Men of Bronze

Kurt A. Raaflaub

Princeton University Press

This chapter highlights ideas on early Greek infantry fighting in a Mediterranean context. It places the emergence of hoplite warfare as part of a long interactive process associated with the rise of the polis. The polis, its institutions and political thought, evolved from the eighth to the fifth century along with its military practices. Despite intense interaction with the states of the Near East, the Greeks of the eighth and seventh centuries developed the phalanx independent of Oriental influence. The chapter examines Assyrian and Persian armies, arms, and armor as well as formation and tactics to determine that there is no prior model for the equipment and style of Greek infantry. Having no Near Eastern example, the Greeks must have invented the double-grip shield for use in the already existing phalanx for which the hoplite was always intended.

Keywords:   early Greek infantry, Greek infantry, hoplite warfare, polis, Oriental influence, phalanx, Assyrian army, Persian army, double-grip shield

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