Hoplite

A soldier equipped with a large shield (hoplon), a spear or pike, and body armour, trained to fight as heavy infantry in dense formations. Their armour and shields protect hoplites against archery, and so long as they can maintain their formations they are irresistible on the battlefield.

In the Archaic Period the hoplite phalanx of solid citizens is driving the individually more fearsome aristocratic makhetes from the battlefield, a development regretted by the admirers of the individual prowess which prevailed in the old days. This new military power of the middle rank of citizens is breaking the power of aristocracies and monarchs. Military supremacy goes to the side with the most hoplites, therefore many states oblige all those of their citizens who can afford it to own hoplite panoply and serve in the militia from the age of twenty to forty (see Four Lives).

In the Classical Period the hoplite is the standard type of soldier. Hoplites make up six of the ten taxeis in a regular tagma. The militia still use spears for the most part, but the [[[imperial army | regular army]] is changing over to pikes. Because of the success of the Melankreuthes against hoplites in the Civil War, makhetes are make an experimental comeback during this period (see Arētē).

In the Decadent Period, hoplites still make up the core of the regular army, the original Melankreuthes having proven difficult to imitate. Makhetes find their place as agema to teh [[episkopos | episkopoi]]], where battlefield supremacy is of less importance than prowess in more informal circumstances.


Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.