The disappearance of the classical hoplite

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,100
here
#1

These are what comes to mind when I think of the classical hoplite. I am not referring to the phalangite, who I know carried on for some time, waning as the Roman legions conquered the Mediterranean world. So, when did the hoplite completely disappear? Did places like Sparta and Athens begin to field phalangites in the post-Alexandrian world? Or, did they hold on to the hoplite? Perhaps in a modified fashion? Anywhere else you guys can think of, where this style of fighting continued?
 

okamido

Forum Staff
Jun 2009
29,885
land of Califia
#3
Did places like Sparta and Athens begin to field phalangites in the post-Alexandrian world?
Sparta's army was completely remodeled in the Macedonian fashion by Kleomenes III (235-222), and he ran roughshod over the entire Peloponnese. When the head of the Achaean League, Aratus, realized that the Spartans would defeat him and regain hegemony over the Peloponnese and probably all of Greece, he made an military alliance with the Macedonians. It took the might of these two forces to stop the Spartans.

Or, did they hold on to the hoplite? Perhaps in a modified fashion? Anywhere else you guys can think of, where this style of fighting continued?
Maybe northern Italy....probably more modified though from the traditional hoplite.
 
Apr 2010
16,748
Slovakia
#5
Most Greek citystates (including colonies all around Mediterranean) continued to use more or less traditional gear and fighting stile even after advent of Macedon phalangs.

Also Carthaginians seem to have been equipped and fought in classical Greek fashion as far as first war with Rome. Hannibal's troops seem to gradually adopt more gear and fighting typical for Northern Italy and Iberia.
 

okamido

Forum Staff
Jun 2009
29,885
land of Califia
#6
I didn't realize the Spartans had maintained their solvency that far into history. Truly badass mofo's.
They were fighting for Octavian against Antony, and one was even a governor of Britannia (although he may have been a Roman adopted by a Spartan).
 
Apr 2010
16,748
Slovakia
#7


Bye the way, these two guys are from slightly different eras and most probably have never met on battlefield.

On the left side you have Spartan from about Peloponesian wars and on the right side you have typical hoplite from Persian wars and earlier.

After Persian wars, Greeks adopted more open styles of helmets and dropped most, in fact all armour. Spartans seemed to lead the way. Quit surprising given heavy armour supposedly should have given Greeks edge over more lightly armoured Persian troops. That is at last what we tend to think. Makes me consider if we are not wrong about that.
 

okamido

Forum Staff
Jun 2009
29,885
land of Califia
#8


Bye the way, these two guys are from slightly different eras and most probably have never met on battlefield.

On the left side you have Spartan from about Peloponesian wars and on the right side you have typical hoplite from Persian wars and earlier.

After Persian wars, Greeks adopted more open styles of helmets and dropped most, in fact all armour. Spartans seemed to lead the way. Quit surprising given heavy armour supposedly should have given Greeks edge over more lightly armoured Persian troops. That is at last what we tend to think. Makes me consider if we are not wrong about that.
Archaeology suggests that the lighter hoplites that may have took arms during the Peloponnesian War (if like you said, they ever existed), returned to an armoured form shortly thereafter. Not necessarily a bell or musculata, but an iron-reinforced tube and yoke.
 
Apr 2010
16,748
Slovakia
#9
As far as I know armour was reintroduced to heavy infantry at about time of Alexander. But newer in such form and amount as before.
 

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