How Were Soldiers Trained in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, warfare was an essential part of life. Soldiers were considered to be the backbone of the society, and their training was taken very seriously. The Greek city-states had a well-organized military system, which ensured that soldiers were properly trained to defend their city-state in times of war.

The Basics of Ancient Greek Military Training

Military training in ancient Greece began at a young age for boys. They were taught basic skills such as running, jumping, and wrestling. These skills helped to develop strength and agility, which were important attributes for a soldier.

As they grew older, they were taught how to use weapons such as spears and shields. This training was conducted by experienced soldiers who had already fought in battles. The young soldiers were also trained in formation tactics that would be used in battle.

The Phalanx Formation

The phalanx formation was the most effective formation used by ancient Greek soldiers. It involved soldiers lining up shoulder to shoulder with their shields overlapping each other. This created a wall of shields that was difficult for enemy soldiers to penetrate.

The phalanx formation required a great deal of discipline and coordination among the soldiers. They had to be able to move together as one unit while maintaining their formation.

Training for the Phalanx Formation

To prepare for the phalanx formation, soldiers practiced marching in unison and moving in formation. They also practiced using their weapons while maintaining their position in the formation.

Soldiers were taught how to use their shields effectively by keeping them at an angle that would protect themselves and those next to them from enemy attacks.

Physical Fitness Training

Physical fitness was also an important part of military training in ancient Greece. Soldiers had to be able to run long distances while carrying heavy equipment such as weapons and armor.

They also participated in various physical activities such as wrestling, boxing, and weightlifting. These activities helped to build strength and endurance, which were essential for soldiers in the battlefield.


In conclusion, the training of ancient Greek soldiers was a rigorous process that involved both physical and mental preparation. The soldiers were trained from a young age to be disciplined and coordinated in battle.

They were taught how to use weapons effectively while maintaining their position in the phalanx formation. Physical fitness was also emphasized through various activities that helped to build strength and endurance.

Overall, the training of ancient Greek soldiers was crucial in ensuring that they were prepared for battle and able to defend their city-states against invaders.