A skilled fighter, a member of a military unit relying on individual prowess rather than drill and discipline, as opposed to a hoplite. Makhetes consider themselves superior to hoplites because they can expect to win one-on-one fights. Hoplites consider themselves better because, on good ground, they can expect to win battles.

In the Archaic Period some elite units of makhetes survive, and aristocrats tend to fight as heavily-armed makhetes rather than joining the other ranks in the phalanx.

In the Classical Period, the term is mostly applied to brawlers and members of unruly frateries of martial bent, but in the Decadent Period the agema of the episkopoi are makhetes, individual prowess being more important than battlefield supremacy in their informal duties.

See coca, Aotos, Arētē, and Sacred Band.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.