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battles of Mantinea


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The three battles of Mantinea (in eastern Arcadia), fought in 418, 362, and 207 bc, exemplify the main stages of Greek warfare. The first, fought between the Spartans and a coalition mainly of Argives, Athenians (see argos; athens), and Mantineans, is the ‘classic’ hoplite battle, with both sides edging to the right, as each man sought the protection of his right‐hand neighbour's shield, with the result that each side won on its right, and only the discipline of the Spartans in not pursuing led to the rout of the allied right as it returned across the battlefield. The second battle, between the Boeotians and their remaining allies, and a combination of Spartans, Mantineans, Elians (see elis), and Athenians, marks the transition between hoplite warfare and the more sophisticated warfare of integration of ‘heavy’ infantry with other troop types. Here the attack of the Theban phalanx on the left was preceded by a charge of cavalry mingled with ‘light’ infantry trained to co‐operate with cavalry. Finally, with the third battle, between Sparta and the Achaean Confederacy, we are fully in the Hellenistic age, with both sides using all types of troops and weapons, including catapults (see artillery).

Subjects: Classical Studies — Military History.


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