A light-armoured soldier, trained to fight in open or loose formations as light or medium infantry. The usual equipment of a peltast is a pelta, a hatchet or mace, and a few javelins. Sometimes peltasts wear light armour, such as a leather jerkin, or a hard leather or light laminate cuirass, and leather or steel helmets are not uncommon. The tactics of peltasts stress mobility and flexibility. They are used to harry the flanks of a phalanx, to protect against enemy peltasts, to secure areas of rough going, and to form the flexible joints between blocks of hoplites when manœuvre is expected.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.