Hoplites at War

A Comprehensive Analysis of Heavy Infantry Combat in the Greek World, 750–100 BCE


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About the Book

It has been 2500 years since the Greek heavy infantry known as hoplites dominated the battlefield. Yet they still capture the imagination today, through a wave of successful action films, novels and documentaries. The mass-media popularity of these famed warriors has, however, helped spawn a number of misconceptions about them. Drawing on classical literature, archaeology and the latest data from physical, behavioral and medical science, this study of hoplite equipment, tactics and command seeks to separate modern myths from observable facts. The authors resolve some persistent controversies and advance new theories about the nature of ancient Greek warfare.

About the Author(s)

Paul M. Bardunias is the author of numerous articles on classical Greek warfare and crowd phenomena. A behavioral biologist and entomologist working with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, he lives in Hollywood, Florida.

Fred Eugene Ray, Jr., is the author of both books and articles on the subject of ancient Greek warfare. A retired geologist and oil industry executive, he lives in Bakersfield, California.

Bibliographic Details

Paul M. Bardunias and Fred Eugene Ray, Jr.

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6602-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2636-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3

I. The Tools
1. Weapons 5
2. Shields 24
3. Body Armor 36
4. Other Devices 48

II. The Men
5. Culture 61
6. Physicality 73
7. Psychology 87

III. The Phalanx
8. Hoplite Formations 105
9. The Phalanx in Action 122
10. Special Tactics 140
11. Phalanx Maneuvers 160
12. Use of Terrain 175

Conclusions 189
Chapter Notes 193
Bibliography 221
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Battle analyses are very impressive…a worthwhile read for anyone interested in ancient warfare, full of useful insights”—StrategyPage