CLS 150-01

Hoplite warfare pt I

  • New prosperity = large class of small to middling landowners
  • these yeomen range from subsistence to well off
  • avg. polis: 20% elite, 30% landless poor, 50% yeomen (approx. figure)
  • Yeomen = backbone of polis, with elites have greates stake in protecting community and can afford to play chief role in defense
  • Gk farming labor intensive: grape, olive orchards take years to develop, arable land scarce in GR; communities compete
  • Military tactics: massed tactics, not duels, favored as yeomen class grows
  • Yet elite/aristocrats still control political life

old man in Gk = geron

Hoplite warfare Pt. II

  • tactics for massed warfare develop & technology follows:
  • Hoplite’s equipment (panoply)
  • hoplon = shield 3′ diam., bronzed wood
  • double ended spear (6′-8′), short sword
  • helmet, corselet (breastplate), greaves
  • total weight 50-70#
  • Why massed tactics?
  • equipment affordable
  • no complicated, time consuming training & drills required
  • not professional soldiers, drawn from population
  • relativelysafe, no all-out warfare
  • disputes settled in an afternoon or few days
  • fighting seasonal, between sowing & harvest
  • few sieges, ambushes, mountain/guerrilla warfare
  • limited roles for cavalry (no stirrup), archery etc.
  • Chigi vase, 650BC
  • Chigi vase 650 BC

    colonization 800-500BC

    1. trading base in non-Gk land, (Naucratis in Egypt)
    2. new settlements sent out by mother city; eventually Gks settle coast of Medit. & Blk Sea
    3. not like modern colony, but politically independent = new polis, yet with close ties to mother-city. same cults, calendar, dialect, script, state offices, citizen divisions
    4. Why? land & resources scarce, exploit other areas; Macedonia rich in gold, timber, grain growing land (Sicily/Black Sea)
    5. Marseilles, France = Gk colony dated to 700’s
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