Panoply

The full panoply of a Gehennese hoplite consists of a helmet, usually of bronze or steel; a cuirass, usually of laminate; a hoplon; a spear or pike; and a mace, hatchet, or sword. The cheapest these can be bought is around 560 obols, and a more typical price is around five minai (=600 obols). This sum will feed a man for about twenty months, and is close on a year’s income for a labourer. Only well-to-do men can afford full panoply, and only these serve in the militia as hoplites. Men of less substance serve as peltasts, requiring only a pelta, hard leather helmet and cuirass, a mace or hatchet, and a sheaf of javelins. The minimum peltast array is worth about 135 obols. Poor men, labourers and peasants, serve as archers if they own bows, or as unarmoured, shieldless, javelin-hurling skirmishers, with less than 60 obols worth of equipment. The poorest men serve as rowers in ships, and need no equipment.

States that wish for large militias of well-armed men must make laws to compel their citizens to keep panoply in case of war. These laws divide the citizen body into classes by wealth or income, and require members of each class to keep such war-gear as they can afford. When citizens are allowed to make a cash payment in lieu of militia service, the amount to be paid depends on what grade of troop they are supposed to be. See shield-money.

Mercenaries, such as regular soldiers, or militiamen serving in excess of their statuary duty (see shield-money and ship-money), receive extra pay if they provide their own panoply. The usual rate is one obol per day for hoplites, and two obols per week for peltasts.


Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.