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HOPLITES 100.00%
The heavily armed foot-soldiers of the Greeks, who fought in serried masses (see PHALANX). Their weapons consisted of an oval shield suspended from the shoulder-belt, and wielded by means of a handle, a coat of mail (see THORAX), a helmet and greaves of bronze, and sometimes a lance about six feet long, and a short sword. The Spartans, who fought with shields large enough to cover the whole man, appear to have worn neither cuirass nor greaves. The whole equipment, weighing close on 77 lbs., was worn only in battle; on the march the greater part of it was carried by a slave. An idea of the equipment of an Athenian hoplite [about 500 B.C.] may be derived from the accompanying illustration of the monument to the Athenian Aristion (found near Marathon, but probably of earlier date than 490). The weapons of the Macedonian hoplites, or phalangitoe, were a circular shield with a bronze plate, about two feet in diameter, and about twelve pounds in weight, a leather jerkin with brass mountings and ornaments, light greaves, a round felt hat (see CAUSIA), a short sword, and the Macedonian sarissa (q.v.).
(1) A Greek artist, and like his brother Canadchus, a sculptor in bronze at Sicyon. He flourished about 480 B.C.; and founded a school at Sicyon that lasted for a long time. (2) There was an Athenian sculptor of the same name and of the same period, author of a relief known as The Athenian Hoplite, one of our oldest monuments of Attic art. (See cut under HOPLITES).
WARFARE 63.64%
Greek. The distinctively warlike people among the Greeks were the Spartans, whose whole life from early youth to advanced age was spent in the continual practice of martial exercises. Even the meals shared in common by all Spartans who had attained the full rights of citizens, were arranged with reference to military service. (See SYSSITIA.) Owing to constant practice in military exercises of every possible kind, the Spartan army possessed a dexterity in the handling of weapons, and a tactical education, which, combined with their lofty sentiment of military honour, for a long period ensured their supremacy over the other Greek races. The duty of service, which began with the twentieth year, and admitted of no exceptions, did not terminate until capacity for service came to an end; but with his sixtieth year the soldier became exempt from foreign service. Originally the heavy-armed infantry, or hoplites, consisted solely of Spartans; but even at the time of the Persian Wars, side by side with the Spartans, whose troops in their larger divisions were termed lochoi, the periaeci also served as soldiers, but in separate divisions. The helots who accompanied the army served as personal attendants to the hoplites (see HYPASPISTAe), and as light-armed troops in battle. A picked corps of the hoplites, specially employed as a royal body-guard, were those known as hippeis (horsemen) composed of 300 Spartans under thirty years of age, who were selected by the three hippagretae, and commanded by them. A peculiar corps of lighter infantry was formed from the Sciritae (the inhabitants of the district of Scirits), who were specially employed on the out-post service of the camp; they were used as scouts on the march, and in battle had their position assigned them on the left wing. The Spartans also kept up a fleet, in which the helots were employed as marines and oarsmen; in cases of great emergency they were transformed into heavy-armed soldiers and served in the army, after which they received their freedom. (See NEODAMODEIS.) From the end of the 5th century B.C. the Lacedaemonian army was divided into six moroe, each commanded by a polemarch. Owing to their steadily decreasing numbers the Spartans only formed the nucleus of the battalions, which were brought up to their full complement by the addition of periaeci. The officers, however, were exclusively Spartans, and the place of honour was always reserved for that body. In military expeditions the troops often consisted of periaeci, neodamodeis, allies, and mercenaries, while the Spartans acted only as officers (see XENAGOS) and members of the royal staff. On the cavalry, which only played a subordinate part among the Spartans, see HIPPEIS. The ephors had the command of the veterans in time of war. In the earlier times the kings divided the supreme authority; but after 512 B.C. one alone commanded, unless the circumstances of the case required more than one general. The fleet was commanded by nauarchoi. Among the Athenians the citizens of the first three classes were alone eligible as hoplites, and they were chosen, according to Solon's law, from the pentacosiomedimni, hippeis, and zeugitae; the fourth class, the thetes, were freed from service, and were only exceptionally employed at sea, but sometimes as light-armed troops on land. They were very rarely heavily armed, and were always remunerated at the expense of the State. The age of military service extended from the eighteenth to the sixtieth year; there were thus forty-two classes of age, and every man was mustered in a certain list (katalogos) under the name of the archon eponnymus under whom he had first attained the age of service.[1] The first two of these classes were only employed (as peripoloi) to patrol the frontiers. Foreign service began in the twentieth year. From these classes, which were on each occasion called out by a special vote of the people, only so many as were absolutely necessary were taken out of each of the ten phylae or tribes. The members of the Council and probably all other officials, were exempt from service. The men who were levied were enrolled, according to their phylae, in ten battalions, taxeis (see TAXIARCHUS), which are sometimes called phylae, while their subdivisions are called lochoi. On the occasion of a levy the troops were sometimes equipped by the aid of the aliens resident in Attica (see METOECI), and also, in the days of the earlier Attic confederation, by means of the contingents contributed by the allies. It was the hoplites who were benefited by this equipment. From the time of Pericles, and during the Peloponnesian War, the cavalry received pay and maintenance money, usually amounting in all to 4 obols (5 1/3 d.) a day. The State also allowed pay and maintenance for the horseman's personal attendant. On the Athenian cavalry, which was more important than the Lacedaemonian, see HIPPES. As to the fleet, on which Athens mainly relied in time of war, the Council (see BOULE) had to see that a certain number of vessels of war were built annually. The supervision of the ships in the docks (neoria) was exercised by a special board, the ten epimeletae of the neoria. It was their duty to consign the vessels, with the equipments allowed by the State, to the trierarchs (see LEITOURGIA), wealthy citizens who undertook to complete the equipment of the vessels, to provide sailors and oarsmen, and to take the command over them; while the marines, the epibatai, were under their own commanders. The strategoi (q.v.) held the chief command over the fleet as well as over the land forces. In most of the other Greek states the hoplites, consisting of wealthy citizens, formed the main strength of the army, and generally helped to turn the scale in engagements in which the light-armed troops and the cavalry played a subordinate part. They fought in the phalanx (q.v.), in closely serried lines eight deep. The pick of the troops were stationed on the right wing as the post of honour, to advance to meet the foe amid the singing of the poean. When at a distance of about 200 yards, at the signal of a trumpet, they raised the battlecry (alala) and charged either at a run or at quick march. It was only the Spartans who slowly advanced at an even pace and to the sound of flutes. Requesting permission to bury the dead was the formal admission of defeat. The enduring token of victory was a trophy composed of the armour captured from the defeated side. It was usual to join battle on ground which was suitable for the phalanx. The Peloponnesian War was the means of introducing many innovations, including the formation of a regular force of light infantry, called peltastae (q.v.). Still more decisive in the transformation of the general system of Greek warfare was the famous retreat of the Ten Thousand, the first important mercenary army among the Greeks which tried to make the phalanx of hoplites suit the ground better, and to utilize at the same time the light infantry, or peltasts, and the gymnetes (spearmen, bowmen, and slingers). Iphicrates, the first distinguished general of mercenary troops, introduced a lighter equipment by substituting a small pelta, for the heavy shield, adopting a longer sword and spear, lighter shoes, and a linen corslet. In the course of the 4th century B.C. the army composed of civilians gave way more and more to the mercenary army, which, by its intimate knowledge of the use of its weapons gained an immense advantage in actual war. (See MERCENARIES.) An important novelty was oblique battle-order, the discovery of Epaminondas. In this the great mass and strength of the hoplites was drawn up in considerable depth on one of the two wings, without any expansion of the front. The hoplites could thus make a vigorous attack on the centre of the enemy's wing, whilst the true centre and other wing of the assailants was held in reserve, with a view to advancing later to crush the enemy.
SARISSA 55.18%
thrusting-lance of the Macedonian hoplites (see PHALANX) and light cavalry, which in the time of Philip and Alexander was 18 feet long, afterwards 14; from this lance the light cavalry were called sarissophori (sarissa-bearers).
THEON 47.77%
Of Samos. A Greek painter who flourished in the second half of the 4th century B.C. His pictures were celebrated for their powerful effect on the imagination, which caused those who looked at them to forget that they were only counterfeits of reality. The picture of a young hoplite charging the enemy was especially celebrated for this effect of illusion [Aelian, Var. Hist. ii 44].
The shield-bearers in the Greek army, who followed the heavyarmed warriors and carried a portion of their burdensome equipment, principally the shield, the necessary baggage, and the usual provision for three days. Among the, Macedonians the light infantry were so called to distinguish them from the heavy Phalangitae (see HOPLITES), and the archers. They wore a round felt hat (see CAUSIA), a linen jerkin, and had a long dagger and a short hand-pike. They were a standing body of 6,000 men, and in war formed the king's bodyguard. (See AGEMA.)
STELE 24.61%
An upright tablet or slab of stone. At Athens such tablets were set up in a public place, especially on the Acropolis. Laws, decrees, treaties, etc., as well as sentences of punishment against defaulters were engraved upon them, and thus made publicly known. The use of steloe for funeral monuments was common in all. Greek countries. In earlier times they are narrow and thin slabs of stone, slightly tapering towards the top, which is crowned either with anthemia (decorations of flowers and leaves, see cut), or with a small triangular pediment ornamented with rosettes. The shorter but broader stele, crowned with a pediment, is later than the other kind. Many such steloe resemble small shrines or chapels (Perry's Greek Sculpture, fig. 121]. Besides the inscription referring to the dead, they often bear representations of them in relief, as in the famous monument to Dexileos, B.C. 390, near the Dipylum at Athens. [For a stele, more than a century earlier, with a warrior in low relief, see HOPLITES.]
METOECI 21.88%
The name given at Athens to liens (other than slaves) resident in Attica. When the State was most flourishing, they numbered as many as 10,000 adult men. The favourable position of Athens for commerce and the rich opportunities for carrying on trade and for selling merchandise induced both Greeks and barbarians to settle there. The Athenians besides had the reputation among the Greeks of being friendly towards foreigners. For the legal protection granted them by the State, they paid a sum of twelve drachmoe [8s.] annually for each man, and half as much for each independent woman; and they had to choose a patron (prostates) to conduct their dealings with the State in all public and private affairs, e.g. the bringing of an action. Whoever failed to do the one or the other was summoned before a lawcourt, and, if guilt , sold as a slave. They were prohibited from marrying citizens and from obtaining landed property; but they could follow any trade they pleased, on payment of a certain tax. They also had to pay the extraordinary taxes for war, and were obliged to go on ilitary service either in the fleet or in the land-army; they might be hoplites, but not knights. At festivals it was their duty to follow the processions, carrying sunshades, pitchers, and bowls or trays (filled. with honey or cakes). A decree of the people could, in return for special services, confer on them the isoteleia, which placed them on a level with the citizens with regard to "liturgies," or public burdens, freed them from the necessity of having a patron or paying a tax for protection, and gave them the right of holding property in land and of transacting business with the people or the authorities without an intermediary; but even this privileged class did not possess the active rights of a citizen.
The name of those inhabitants of the Spartan State who, unlike the serfs or helots (q.v.), had kept the possession of their lands and personal liberty after the Dorian occupation, but without having the citizenship. They too, like the helots, were at least twice as numerous as the ruling Spartiatae. Their name (lit. dwelling around) indicates that they lived on the plain in the neighbourhood of the chief city which was occupied by the Spartiatae. Probably they were more or less doricised by Dorian colonists sent into their towns, whereof as many as a hundred are mentioned. They were occupied partly in cultivating their farms (which, we learn, were smaller than those of the Spartiatae); partly in manufactures and industry, in which the ruling caste were forbidden to engage; partly in trade. Besides certain taxes, they were bound to military service, either as hoplites or as light-armed troops (as in the case of the Sciritoe or inhabitants of Sciritis, who formed a special body of light infantry, and were reserved for outpost duty when in camp, for advance and rearguard, and in battle for service on the left wing). After the Peloponnesian War they formed the chief strength of the army. (See WARFARE.) In the army they were also eligible as officers of the lower ranks; but from all civil offices they were excluded, as also from the popular assembly. They were completely subject to the orders of the Spartiatae; and when they made themselves troublesome, they could be put to death by the ephors without trial or conviction.
THORAX 14.07%
The Greek term for a cuirass, either of metal (usually bronze) or of leather. The metal cuirass consisted of two separate pieces, one covering the chest and stomach, and the other the back, attached to one another by means of clasps or buckles. They terminated with a curved edge just above the hip, and at this part were often covered with a leathern belt (zoster), fastened with buckles, to bind both pieces more firmly together. Another belt (mitra), lined with leather, was worn under the armour and above the chiton. This was fitted with a plate of metal growing broader towards the middle, and serving to protect the belly. In later times the front plate of the cuirass was extended downwards, so as to cover the belly as far as the navel. As an additional protection to the belly and the upper part of the legs, there was on the inner side of the lower edge of the cuirass a series of short strips of leather or felt, covered with plates of metal, often in several layers. They resembled a kilt, and were called pteryges (lit. "feathers"). Smaller strips of the same kind were worn under the arms to protect the arm-pits. The leather cuirass (spolas) was a kind of shirt reaching over the navel and hips, and fringed with flexible strips along its lower edge. It was open either in front or on one side (usually the left), and was there fastened together by means of clasps or buckles. It was also provided with an upright piece protecting the neck, and with two shoulder-straps. it was frequently covered, either completely, or only under the arms, with metal, especially in the form of scales. Linen cuirasses are also mentioned, even in ancient times. These were probably either thickly quilted or strongly woven corselets. (See cuts, and cp. cut under HOPLITES.)
At the time of Solon the Athenian State was almost falling to pieces in consequence of dissensions between the parties into which the population was divided. Of these the Diacrii, the inhabitants of the northern mountainous region of Attica, the poorest and most oppressed section of the population, demanded that the privileges of the nobility, which had till then obtained, should be utterly set aside. Another party, prepared to be contented by moderate concessions, was composed of the Parali, the inhabitants of the stretch of coast called Paralia. The third was formed by the nobles, called Pedieis or Pediaci, because their property lay for the most part in the pedion, the level and most fruitful part of the country. Solon, who enjoyed the confidence of all parties on account of his tried insight and sound judgment, was chosen archon by a compromise, with full power to put an end to the difficulties, and to restore peace by means of legislation. One of the primary measures of Solon was the Seisachtheia (disburdening ordinance). This gave an immediate relief by cancelling all debts, public and private. At the same time he made it illegal for the future to secure debts upon the person of the debtor (Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 6]. He also altered the standard of coinage [and of weights and measures, by introducing the Euboic standard in place of the Pheidonian or Aeginetan, ib. 10]. 100 new drachmae were thus made to contain the same amount of silver as 73 old drachmae. He further instituted a timocracy (q.v.), by which the exclusive rights which the nobles had till then possessed were set aside, and those who did not belong to the nobility received a share in the rights of citizens, according to a scale determined by their property and their corresponaing services to the State. For this purpose he divided the population into four classes, founded on the possession of land. (1) Pentacosiomedimni, who had at least 500 medimni (750 bushels) of corn or metretoe of wine or oil as yearly income. (2) Hippeis, or knights, with at least 300 medimni. (3) Zeugitoe (possessors of a yoke of oxen), with at least 150 medimni. (4) Thetes (workers for wages), with less than 150 medimni of yearly income. Solon's legislation only granted to the first three of these four classes a vote in the election of responsible officers, and only to the first class the power of election to the highest offices; as, for instance, that of archon. The fourth class was excluded from all official positions, but possessed the right of voting in the general public assemblies which chose officials and passed laws. They bad also the right of taking part in the trials by jury which Solon had instituted. The first three classes were bound to serve as hoplites; the cavalry was raised out of the first two, while the fourth class was only employed as light-armed troops or on the fleet, and apparently for pay. The others served without pay. The holders of office in the State were also unpaid. Solon established as the chief consultative body the Council of the Four Hundred (see BOULE), in which only the first three classes took part, and as chief administrative body the Areopagus (q.v.) which was to be filled up by those who had been archons. Besides this, he promulgated a code of laws embracing the whole of public and private life, the salutary effects of which lasted long after the end of his constitution. [According to Aristotle's Constitution of Athens, 4, a Council of 401 members was part of Dracon's constitution (about 621 B.C.). The members were selected by lot from the whole body of citizens. Solon (who was archon in 594) reduced the Council to 400, one hundred from each of the four tribes; and extended in some particulars the powers already possessed by the Areopagus, (ib. 8).]
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