Chapter

Battlefield engagements in the age of the hoplite

Louis Rawlings

in The Ancient Greeks at War

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780719056574
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700839 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719056574.003.0006
Battlefield engagements in the age of the hoplite

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This chapter describes battlefield engagements in ancient Greece during the age of the hoplites. Many battles appear to have been fought on relatively level plains that allowed the deployment of the opposing armies. The nature of hoplite combat is controversial because most explanations have been based partly on evaluations of the individual manoeuvrability of the hoplite and the density of the phalanx, as well as debate about the nature of the ōthismos. After the battle, the victors are sometimes too exhausted and had taken too many casualties to follow up an enemy withdrawal. This chapter suggests that military engagements fought by the Greeks were often limited only by the practicalities of organising and motivating large groups of men to realise their capacity for destruction.

Keywords: battlefield engagements; ancient Greece; hoplites; phalanx; ōthismos; military engagements

Chapter.  11170 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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