The Phalanx

The Phalanx - The Phalanx Men wear their helmets and their...

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The Phalanx Men wear their helmets and their breastplates for their own needs, but they carry shields for the men of the entire line. --Plutarch, Moralia The hoplite phalanx was the perfect manifestation of classical Greek society on the battlefield. Made up of middle-class men who had day jobs, the phalanx was made to decide a war in a single bloody struggle. Equipment The hoplite's armor--the panoply--consisted of a shield, helmet, breastplate, greaves (plate armor worn around the lower leg), sword, spear, and tunic, and weighed about seventy pounds. All this on a soldier who himself probably weighed no more than 150 pounds. The hoplite's shield was his defining piece of equipment, even lending its name, hoplon, to the soldier himself. It was a large concave piece of wood, rested on the left shoulder, and stretching down to the soldier's knees. The shield was large enough to protect the right side of the man to each soldier's left, and so formed a wall behind which the hoplite was protected. The rest of the armor was made of thick bronze plate, and was so heavy that the soldiers would not don their armor until the moments before the charge began. In particular, the helmet (always the soldier's least favorite bit of equipment, then as now) was frequently tilted far
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course HIS 101 taught by Professor Salazar during the Spring '08 term at New Mexico.

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The Phalanx - The Phalanx Men wear their helmets and their...

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