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(troops without defensive armour). A name for the different sorts of sharpshooters employed in the Greek armies after the Persian Wars, in place of the lightarmed slaves. It was only after the expedition of the Ten Thousand that they came to form an essential part of a Greek army. They were generally recruited from the barbarous nations who were specially distinguished in the use of particular missiles. The archers (toxotoe), for instance, were generally Cretans, the slingers (sphendonetoe) Rhodians and Thessalians, while the javelin men (akontistoe) were taken from the semi-Hellenic populations in the west of Greece, notably the Etolians and Acarnanians. The common characteristic of all these troops was the absence of all defensive weapons. It was among the Lacedemonians that they were introduced latest. Alexander the Great had a corps of 2,000 of them, with which he opened his campaign against the Persians. Half of these were spearmen, taken from the Agriani, in the mountains of northern Macedonia; the other half archers, from the lowest class of the Macedonian population.
Type: Standard
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