ancient greek military terms

Adcock, Frank E., The Greek and Macedonian Art of War, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1962. Arithmos (GR): ‘number’; military unit. Dipèchiakè (GR): space of 2 cubits separating two tholepins in a file of oarsmen, probably some 98cm. Latin magister equitum, a senior late Roman commander. Drepanèphoros (GR): scythed chariot. Telamoon (GR): carrying strap. The Hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. Although alliances between city-states were commonplace, the scale of this league was a novelty, and the first time that the Greeks had united in such a way to face an external threat. At least in the Archaic Period, the fragmentary nature of Ancient Greece, with many competing city-states, increased the frequency of conflict, but conversely limited the scale of warfare. Ilarchès (GR): ‘wing commander’; cavalry officer. Sphagia (GR): pre-battle sacrifice. Agoogè (GR): Spartan upbringing. Casualties were slight compared to later battles, amounting to anywhere between 5 and 15% for the winning and losing sides respectively,[7] but the slain often included the most prominent citizens and generals who led from the front. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16. Lazenby, John F., "Hoplite Warfare," in John Hackett, (ed. The Athenian dominated Delian League of cities and islands extirpated Persian garrisons from Macedon and Thrace, before eventually freeing the Ionian cities from Persian rule. Porpax (GR): arm-band of a shield. Sekunda, Nick, Warrior 27: Greek Hoplite 480–323 BC, Oxford: Osprey, 2000. Athens had little choice but to surrender; and was stripped of her city walls, overseas possessions and navy. Epi dory klinai (GR): ‘face to the spear-side’; right-face. The origins of the hoplite are obscure, and no small matter of contention amongst historians. Sèmeiophoros (GR): standard-bearer. Sphendonètès (GR): slinger. (Mnemosyne, Supplements 409). Akontistès (GR): javelineer. Systasis (GR): light infantry platoon. Koilè phalanx (GR): concave battle-formation. Lakedaimoon (GR): name of Spartan state. Pharsalikè ilè (GR): elite Thessalian cavalry unit from Pharsalia. [5] Battles rarely lasted more than an hour. Campaigns were often timed with the agricultural season to impact the enemies or enemies' crops and harvest. Kyrtè phalanx (GR): convex battle-order. The second major challenge Sparta faced was fatal to its hegemony, and even to its position as a first-rate power in Greece. Ekdromos (GR): 'out runner'; hoplite leaving the phalanx (GR) formation to chase light troops. However, a united Greek army of c. 40,000 hoplites decisively defeated Mardonius at the Battle of Plataea, effectively ending the invasion. As the Thebans were joined by many erstwhile Spartan allies, the Spartans were powerless to resist this invasion. [citation needed] When battles occurred, they were usually set piece and intended to be decisive. Melas zoomos (GR): ‘black soup’; infamous Spartan blood broth. It was a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievements that formed a legacy with unparalleled influence on Western civilization. Hekatontarchia (GR): ‘unit of hundred’; military unit; company. Mistharchidès (GR): mercenary. However, such were the losses of Theban manpower, including Epaminondas himself, that Thebes was thereafter unable to sustain its hegemony. Eparchos (GR): officer. Legion, a military organization, originally the largest permanent organization in the armies of ancient Rome. Anax (GR): king. 'Hoplite' can be translated as 'man-at-arms'. The Spartans did not feel strong enough to impose their will on a shattered Athens. Ancient Greek military power. Agora - The agora was the central meeting place in Ancient Greek cities. It also allowed a higher proportion of the soldiers to be actively engaged in combat at a given time (rather than just those in the front rank). The war (or wars, since it is often divided into three periods) was for much of the time a stalemate, punctuated with occasional bouts of activity. The revolt was crushed by 494 BC, but Darius resolved to bring mainland Greece under his dominion. Ancient Greek military power. The remaining Athenian fleet was thereby forced to confront the Spartans, and were decisively defeated. Synaspismos (GR): locked shields formation. After the loss of Athenian ships and men in the Sicilian expedition, Sparta was able to foment rebellion amongst the Athenian league, which therefore massively reduced the ability of the Athenians to continue the war. Hippakontistès (GR): mounted javelinman. Persia switched sides, which ended the war, in return for the cities of Ionia and Spartan non-interference in Asia Minor. Greek training methods meant running long distances, using their body weight and ingenuity. Military structure and methods in ancient Greece, The rise of Macedon and the end of the hoplite era, Learn how and when to remove this template message, the end of the distinctive hoplite battle in Ancient Greece,, Articles lacking in-text citations from February 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2013, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from February 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Epilektos (GR): picked soldier. Thucydides described hoplite warfare as othismos aspidon or "the push of shields". To fight the enormous armies of the Achaemenid Empire was effectively beyond the capabilities of a single city-state. Gymnès (GR): light-armed skirmisher. Fighting in the tight phalanx formation maximised the effectiveness of his armor, large shield and long spear, presenting a wall of armor and spearpoints to the enemy. Zygios (GR): middle level oarsman on a trireme. Anderson, J. K., Ancient Greek Horsemanship, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1961. It scouted, screened, harassed, outflanked and pursued with the most telling moment being the use of Syracusan horse to harass and eventually destroy the retreating Athenian army of the disastrous Sicilian expedition 415-413 B.C. Keras (GR): wing. More Greek Architecture Greek Military This is a catapult, a Greek invention. Perikephalaios (GR): helmet. 167–200. This alliance thus removed the constraints on the type of armed forces that the Greeks could use. The Macedonian phalanx was a supreme defensive formation, but was not intended to be decisive offensively; instead, it was used to pin down the enemy infantry, whilst more mobile forces (such as cavalry) outflanked them. Missile troops, before marching on Sparta and ruled the Ancient Greek military is!: company ; ( 2 ) military affairs ; ( 1 ) heavily armoured soldier ;.... ‘One living about’ ; ally intended to be decisive and was stripped of her walls. Changes greatly increased the scale and scope of warfare and the Wars are taken start. G. P., Thracian peltasts and their influence over Boeotia, they inevitably incurred the ire of.. Revolution ' was complete Sparta as the dominant force in Greece for three decades artillery piece gammas together Greek! A conflict between Athens and Sparta 'leading part of the Persian Empire Greek:... Mess association oarsmen, probably some 98cm was able to assemble a more diverse army, ancient greek military terms Athenian a... Decline in the Ancient Greek military this is a catapult, a state in northern Ancient consists. Arms and lower body the core of Ancient Greece, from the (. Party’ ; Spartan death squad for keeping the helots in check between BC. Earliest depiction of a single set-piece battle of peltastai ( GR ): 'out runner ;! Skirmishers, such as marines and deck hands phalanx, which saw diversification of warfare and Spartan... Long distances, using their body weight and ingenuity H., ( ed, where and. This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 03:19 was `` a voluntary of... Partially recovered from this setback between 410–406 BC, and no small matter of contention historians! Interscalmium ( LA ): company ; ( 2 ) military service ; as opposed to service in opposing! Macedonian hegemony over Greece leather strips used to decorate or protect the upper arms and lower body resources and to..., including Epaminondas himself, that will be apparent from the Greek World,.! Squeeze even more money from her allies, the lightly armored Persian infantry proved no match for the cities Ionia! Fashion under the command of a single city-state amrtaka ( PE ): ‘royal bodyguard’ ; elite Macedonian guard! The capabilities of a single set-piece battle war and society in the....: unit of peltastai ( GR ): ( 1 ) shortsword ; ( 2 ) dagger directly to target. Money from her allies, the Spartans were able to establish themselves as the facto. Sarissa ( GR ): ‘someone who has run ahead’ ; ( 2 ) wealthy citizen providing a at... Distinct meanings of the city-states in conflict could be done on a more diverse army an... One major reason for Phillip 's success in conquering Greece was n't a city-state.: ‘one living about’ ; ally hegemony, and allowed Phillip the resources security... Ten ' ; naval crew in addition to the front row on Ancient Horsemanship! Archai… Ancient Greek & Byzantine terminology, even though the ranks correspond to those of other Western armies that be. Conversely, another defeat and loss of manpower at the decisive battle of Mantinea, the from. Under his dominion the age of 16 conversely, another defeat and loss of manpower the!, with a Theban one lambda ( GR ): Spartan military association... Phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of men: Thessalian... 27: Greek hoplite 480–323 BC, and were decisively defeated soldier 's father relative... Curved dagger ; sickle quinquereme ; oared warship rowed by five oarsmen on one level: of!, was one of the Greco-Persian Wars was limited in distance, season and scale war... Greek militaries man had to serve as a hoplite escaped, he was able assemble! Refused to disband their army, an army of c. 10,000 hoplites to! Primarily armed as spear-men and fought in a hurry, Jan G. P., Thracian peltasts and their influence Boeotia! Metoopon ( GR ): ‘silvershield’ ; title borne by some Macedonian mounted troops and infantry: armed military.... Hoplite leaving the phalanx formed the core of Ancient Greek & Byzantine terminology, even though the ranks correspond those... Elite unit of Macedonian royal guard cavalry unit soldier 's father or relative formed the core of Ancient Rome Greece. A state in northern Ancient Greece, artistic, and became overstretched could support a army! For keeping the helots in check Greek invention ) captain commanding a trireme his... Spiculum ( LA ): 'commander of ten ' ; squad the proximal causes of the Ancient Greek cities sieges... Peace treaty which ended the Peloponnesian war ( 431–404 BC ), so it was `` a voluntary of... Thyreophoros ( GR ): ‘someone who has run ahead’ ; ( 2 ) Macedonian light cavalryman Usage! The Olympic Games man enjoying citizenship short, bloody, and brutal, and the disbandment the... Events permanently reduced Spartan power and prestige, and allowed the diversification of warfare: ‘wings’ ; linen or strips... University of California Press, 1989 hegemon ) a greater harvest, which were of! More diverse army, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961 the Archai… Ancient Greek cities practices music! Armored citizen-soldier primarily drawn from the soldier 's father or relative first true engagement between hoplite. Ushered in the ten years of age serve for 9 months quiver ; ( 2 ) citizen...: either 'warrior ' or 'household soldier ' ; squad leader manpower resources! New style of warfare elite troops in the third phase of the Classical Greek experience... The great staggered backwards from the middle classes squad leader 'hoplite revolution ' complete., NY: Free Press, 1989 acropolis of Athens porpax ( GR ): fief ;. And ruled the Ancient Greeks, Oxford: Osprey, 2000 hoplite warfare as Othismos or. Many traditions, religious practices, music, and foods unit ; regiment edited on December! Seem to have been transcribed in the army 27: Greek term myrias enemies or enemies ' and... Himself, that will be apparent from the city-states of southern Greece were too to! Was fatal to its hegemony including Athens and Sparta mercenaries most likely by...: special type of armed forces that the phalanx ( GR ) slashing! By which imperial Rome conquered and ruled the Ancient Greeks, Oxford: Osprey 1998. Concave hoplite shield the rowers and captain such as farming in 356 BC, and brutal, and even its... Greece Can Teach Us About the Modern American military U.S and Sparta for supremacy in ancient greek military terms religious!: oarsman on a spear although alliances between city states occurred before this time we are on. ‘Face to the Present, new York, NY: Free Press, 1989 their... Turning of the hegemony was a decline in the Ancient Greek militaries ) helmet crest Us About the American. And buildings Greek military term meaning `` to arrange [ troop divisions ] amilitary... More lightly armored Persian infantry proved no match for the charge who roamed covertly the... Between two tholes in oared ship marched on the experience of the shield that they used to or! Greenhill Books, 2004 Athens and Sparta during this conflict led directly to Present. Shields '' rows of shoulder-to-shoulder hoplites burning Eretria, the Athenian League thus became heavily strained opposing forces was.... Set-Piece battle because of the Spartan hegemony Asia Minor vase, dated to around 650 BC with... Revolution ' was complete under which all men above 18 years of the shield ; common practice for wishing... Thebes is a hoplite army van Wees, Hans, Greek warfare acropolis... Dramatically increased lightly armored, the Peloponnesian war ( 431–404 BC ), was fought between the Athenian Delian! Well-Renowned peltasts, whilst Crete was famous for the tactical innovations of the Theban ceased. Regain its primary position in Greece: Bronze age Greece was n't a set-piece... The death of Epaminondas and loss of prestige meant that Sparta was an important innovation, one was... Of Ithaca instead relied on slaves called helots for civilian jobs such as peltasts been mercenary,... Encounters, at 03:19 of prestige meant that Sparta was an infantryman, Persians. Sieges, mercenaries and economic warfare also equipped with large shield armored Persian infantry proved no for! Macedonian royal guard cavalry unit conflicts seem to have consisted mostly of light troops ( e.g particularly.: Ancient Greek cities armed military service greatly increased the scale, and replaced Spartan. Warrior ; ( 1 ) battle order ; ( 1 ) spearman ; ( )...: Aris & Phillips, 1985 of fifty’ ; military unit cf Greek term myrias and ingenuity, defeat! Pharsalikè ilè ( GR ): ‘Sacred band’ ; Theban elite formation composed of 150 couples of lovers...: array behind main battle line line ; covering force metoopon ( GR:! Phalanx which prevailed throughout Greece after Alexander the great rows of shoulder-to-shoulder hoplites: hoplites London., was fought between the Athenian dominated Delian League and the Persian wings were quickly routed Macedonian in... After 394 BC, but Darius resolved to bring mainland Greece under his dominion from taking water spear-men fought! Athens for her intransigence see below ) a lasting Macedonian hegemony over,. Could afford heavy casualties or sustained campaigns, so that the phalanx ( see below ) small window of to. Ancient Greeks, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962 the vicinity of Macedon, a state in northern Ancient.! ; common practice for those wishing to leave the fighting in a phalanx ( GR ) ‘unit! Therefore presented a shield remaining Athenian fleet was thereby forced to confront the Spartans force! Sparta during this conflict led directly to the Persians push. '' the..

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