What Did Soldiers in Ancient Greece Wear?

When we think of ancient Greece, we often picture soldiers clad in shining armor. However, the reality was quite different. The soldiers of Ancient Greece wore a variety of different clothing depending on their region and social status.

Foot Soldiers

The most common type of soldier in Ancient Greece was the foot soldier, also known as a hoplite. These soldiers wore a linen tunic known as a chiton, which was usually dyed red. They also wore a bronze breastplate known as a cuirass, which protected their chest and stomach.

Underneath the cuirass, hoplites wore a linen shirt called an exomis. This shirt was designed to allow them to move more easily during battle. Hoplites also wore bronze greaves to protect their shins and feet.


One of the most iconic pieces of Greek soldier attire is the helmet. Hoplites typically wore helmets made of bronze or iron that covered their entire head and face except for small eye holes. These helmets were designed to protect them from head injuries during battle.


Cavalry soldiers in Ancient Greece were typically wealthier than foot soldiers and therefore had access to better equipment. They rode horses and wore leather armor instead of bronze or linen.

Cavalry soldiers also carried javelins instead of spears like foot soldiers did. This allowed them to attack from a distance without having to engage in hand-to-hand combat.

The Spartans

When it comes to ancient Greek warriors, perhaps no group is more famous than the Spartans. Spartan soldiers were known for their discipline and toughness in battle.

Spartan foot soldiers wore similar clothing to other hoplites but with some key differences. Their tunics were dyed red but they also had a special symbol on them that represented their unit.

Spartan soldiers also wore a distinctive red cloak called a capes, which was designed to inspire fear in their enemies. Spartan helmets were also unique in that they had a large crest on top, which made the soldiers appear taller and more intimidating.

In Conclusion

While the soldiers of Ancient Greece may not have worn the shining armor we often associate with them, their clothing was still functional and effective in battle. From the linen tunics of hoplites to the leather armor of cavalry soldiers, each piece of attire was carefully designed to protect and aid the warriors on the battlefield.