What Did a Soldier Do in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Greece, soldiers played a crucial role in the society. They were not only responsible for protecting their city-state but also served as a symbol of strength and honor.

A soldier’s life was tough, and their duties varied depending on the time and place. Let’s take a closer look at what soldiers did in Ancient Greece.


To become a soldier in Ancient Greece, one had to undergo rigorous training. Boys started their training at the age of 7, where they learned physical fitness, wrestling, boxing, and how to use weapons such as spears and shields. At the age of 20, they became full-fledged soldiers and participated in battles.


Soldiers in Ancient Greece fought in wars for various reasons like land disputes or to protect their city-state from invasion. Greek warfare was based on phalanx formation, which consisted of soldiers standing shoulder-to-shoulder with spears pointed forward. The phalanx formation was effective against cavalry attacks but required immense strength and discipline.


Ancient Greek soldiers wore bronze armor that protected them from enemy attacks. Their weapons included spears, swords, shields, bows and arrows, and slingshots. The hoplite shield was an essential weapon for soldiers as it protected them from arrows and also acted as an offensive weapon.


Apart from fighting battles, soldiers also performed other duties like guarding the city walls or patrolling trade routes to prevent theft or piracy. They were also responsible for maintaining order within the city-state during times of peace.


Soldiers who displayed bravery in battle were highly respected by society. Winning battles not only brought glory to the city-state but also earned rewards for the soldiers like land grants or monetary compensation.


In conclusion, soldiers in Ancient Greece played a vital role in society. They were highly trained, disciplined, and committed to protecting their city-state.

Their duties ranged from fighting battles to maintaining peace within the city walls. Soldiers were respected and honored for their bravery and contribution to society.