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Friday, July 1, 2016

013 - Hoplite Warfare

In this episode, we discuss the revolutionary changes in warfare that took place in the 8th and 7th centuries BC that were strictly Greek and reflect the abstract nature of the polis; the type of armor worn and weaponry employed by a typical hoplite; the organization and training of military forces; their application of tactics in a typical battle sequence; the cultic practices of the bloodlust god, Ares, who personifies the grim and horrific aspects of warfare; and the Lelantine War, the first large-scale war on the Greek record after the mythical Trojan War and the first instance in which these military changes were employed

ca. 725-650 BC - the Levantine War took place pitting Eretria, Miletus, Aegina,  Megara, and Chios versus Chalcis, Samos, Corinth, Erythrai, and Thessaly
ca. 700 BC - Lefkandi was destroyed, probably by Chalcis
ca. 650 BC - the Chigi vase is the earliest depiction of hoplite warfare in Greek art

Greek words: phalanx (deep-lined military formation that formed a solid defensive block and worked together as one entity)hopliteis (hoplite, i.e. an infantry soldier), hoplon/aspis (shield), panoplia (panoply, i.e. all of the armor of a hoplite),  porpax (handle of shield), antilabe (leather thong inside shield for left arm), thorax (breastplate), linothorax (breastplate made of linen), knemides (grieves), doru (spear), sauroter (four-sided spike on spear end), xiphos (short sword), kopis (curved blade), encheiridion (dagger), psiloi (light-armed troops of poorer classes), toxa (bows), akontia (javelins), lithoi (stones), sfendonai (slings), lochos (file), lochagos (file leader), protostates (the ones who stand in front), epistates (the ones who stand behind), ouragos (officer who kept order in the rear), polemarchos (general or commanding officer), salpinx (trumpet-like instrument), aulos (flute-like instrument)paean (battle hymn), alalagmoi (war cries), krousis (the moment two hoplite armies met), promachoi (the front-line fighters), doratismos (spear combat), othismos (huge shove intended to knock down the front line of the enemy), ripsaspis (the one who threw his shield away), pararrexis (moment a phalanx was broken through), tropaion (trophy), trepho (to turn)

Recommended Podcast Episodes for Further Listening:
MythTake Episode 07 Mars/Ares
Ancient World Magazine Podcast Episode 02 The Ancient Greek Hoplite

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