How Were Battles Fought in Ancient Times?

Battles have been fought throughout history to gain power, land, and resources. In ancient times, battles were fought with different strategies and weapons than today. Let’s explore some of the ways that battles were fought in ancient times.

The Battle Formation

One of the most critical aspects of ancient battles was the formation of troops. The formation consisted of soldiers lined up in rows, with shields interlocking to create a protective barrier against enemy attacks. This formation was called a phalanx, and it was used by Greek armies such as Spartans during their battles.

Weapons Used in Ancient Battles

The weapons used in ancient battles varied based on the time period and location. These weapons included swords, spears, bows and arrows, slingshots, axes, and maces. The Romans were known for their use of short swords called gladii while the Greeks used long spears called sarissas.


Chariots were also an essential part of ancient battle strategies. They were used by many armies such as the Egyptians and Persians to transport soldiers to the battlefield quickly. The chariot also had a mounted archer who could rain arrows down on enemy troops from a distance.

Naval Warfare

Naval warfare was another crucial aspect of ancient battles. The Greeks had triremes – warships with three banks of oars – which allowed them to navigate quickly through waterways. The Romans had quinqueremes – warships with five banks of oars – which gave them an advantage during sea battles.

Siege Warfare

Siege warfare was another type of battle that took place during ancient times when one group would surround a city or fortress to cut off supplies or reinforcements until they surrendered. Siege weapons such as battering rams and catapults were used to break through walls and gates.

The Role of Leaders in Ancient Battles

Leaders played an essential role in ancient battles. They provided direction and strategy to their troops, often leading them into battle themselves. Some famous ancient leaders include Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Hannibal Barca.


In conclusion, battles in ancient times were fought with different strategies and weapons than today. The use of formations such as the phalanx, weapons such as swords and bows, vehicles such as chariots, and naval warfare all played a crucial role in achieving victory on the battlefield.

The leaders provided direction to their troops and led them into battle themselves. Understanding how battles were fought in ancient times gives us insight into the history of warfare and how it has evolved over time.