It's not at all clear how the greeks used their shieldwall. The idea that all 8+ ranks on both sides would be pushing forward with their shields like some sort of metallic rugby scrum is clearly ludicrous. The people in the middle would just get crushed. The battles also lasted for hours, and you simply cant push with your shield/stab with a spear continuously for that amount of time is also beyond the believable. AFAIK, very little is actually certain about how fighting worked for an individual inside a phalanx. There's huge debates about even very simple things, like if the spear was used overarm or under harm.No its a fair counter question. Sorry for the lack of clarity. I am referring to the hoplite as it was prior to the Peloponnesian War. Another follow on question to throw into the mix would be, did other cultures treat their shieldwalls in the same way the greeks did (i.e. the pushing match/othismos)?