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Old January 17th, 2013, 03:45 AM   #1

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If Greek Hoplites dressed like they did in 300! How successful would they be?


If they dressed like this and rarely fought in the Phalanx formation, and instead fought much more offensively and heroically, as they did in 300.

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Instead of like this:

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How successful would ancient Greece had actually been? Would they have been able to not only defeat the Persians with their great ferocity, but also drive off the Macedonians, AND invade and conquer Etruscan Italy, causing ancient Greece to be the undisputed brutally awesome military might of the ancient world? Or would this have been a silly way to fight, and more realistically a roving band of Gauls would have stumbled upon Greece crushing its military, and plunder all of the mainland Poleis with relative ease, causing Greece to be remembered as perhaps the dumbest military organization that history had ever recorded?
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Old January 17th, 2013, 04:20 AM   #2

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The 2nd picture shown is a Macedonian phalanx, composed of phalangites rather than hoplites. In the greek world, they replaced the hoplite as the main infantry force.

And I think you'd be surprised how Spartans were equipped. In terms of protection they weren't very far from what was depicted in the movie:

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The typical hoplite during Xerxe's invasion should have a linothorax though.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 05:22 AM   #3

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Spartans weren't into heavy body armor, but I don't see them nearly so effective if they adopt the individualistic swashbuckling melee style in the movie.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 09:03 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
The 2nd picture shown is a Macedonian phalanx, composed of phalangites rather than hoplites. In the greek world, they replaced the hoplite as the main infantry force.

And I think you'd be surprised how Spartans were equipped. In terms of protection they weren't very far from what was depicted in the movie:

Click the image to open in full size.

The typical hoplite during Xerxe's invasion should have a linothorax though.
Does this picture represent the Spartans of the Persian wars? To me it looks like the dress adopted late in the Peloponnesian war, and aren't their enemies Beoetians/Thebans (I'm going by the helmet shapes), in which case would depict the period of Spartan domination after the Peloponnesian war? That was a century after.

I always thought the Spartans dressed like a 'typical' hoplite of the time, and as such would look similar to any other, except for the shield pattern and perhaps the helmet shape.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #5

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Honestly as long as they were fighting in a phalanx, had a spear, shield, and sword they could have fought naked and still have been successful.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #6

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They had to be in the phalanx. The only way to block the gorge was to stand in the phalanx, with the long spears lying on the shoulder of the hoplite standing in front of you. As to the rest. The shields were very huge, and heavy. Larger than in the movie. Basically, covering the shoulder of the hoplite standing next to you. Not something you could freely move into the air. The Spartan swords were shorter than these of other soldiers, very easy to use and light. I can not imagine them not wearing their helmets, because head and neck wounds were very common during battles (someone counted the percentage of wounds in Homer's writings, most of them were neck and head ones). I also can not imagine wearing long cloaks in the battle. The easiest way to get hold of. (These days, a woman who does not want to be attacked or raped, should know not to wear anything long that the rapist can get hold of). The upper part of the legs was uncovered, most wore greaves. But very often they would be barefoot, because sandals were expensive! In fact, most of their military outfit would not be brand new... Even the shields were often passed from the father to the son, not hanging in the house when fathers died. So I can even imagine that not every Spartan had Л (Lambda) on their shield. It was not a newly equipped army that met Xerxes at the gorge.

Another impossible thing would be for the Spartans to have their long hair sticking out of the helmets. They were put into some kinds of hairdos and inside the helmets, because again, long hair sticking out of the helmets would be a huge handicap! Plain dangerous.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #7

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Arrows would be a nightmare
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Old January 19th, 2013, 01:09 PM   #8

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They had to be in the phalanx. The only way to
Another impossible thing would be for the Spartans to have their long hair sticking out of the helmets. They were put into some kinds of hairdos and inside the helmets, because again, long hair sticking out of the helmets would be a huge handicap! Plain dangerous.
That doesn't seem to bother this guy.

Click the image to open in full size.

If your enemy is close enough to grab hold of you then he is as likely to grab clothing as hair.
Herodotus mentions the Spartans dressing their hair for battle and makes no mention of it being hidden under helmets.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 01:35 PM   #9

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That doesn't seem to bother this guy.

Click the image to open in full size.

If your enemy is close enough to grab hold of you then he is as likely to grab clothing as hair.
Herodotus mentions the Spartans dressing their hair for battle and makes no mention of it being hidden under helmets.
Alexander had his men shave their hair.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 02:05 PM   #10

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Alexander had his men shave their hair.
Beards only.
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