In ancient Greece, warriors were highly respected and admired for their bravery, skill, and strength. However, the term “warrior” was not commonly used during that time. Let’s delve deeper into what they were actually called.
Ancient Greek Warriors
The ancient Greek warriors were known by different names depending on their role in battle and the city-state they came from. The most common term used to describe a warrior was “hoplite.” Hoplites were citizen-soldiers who fought in a phalanx formation, which was a tight-knit formation of soldiers with shields overlapping each other.
The word “hoplite” comes from the Greek word “hoplon,” which means shield. As mentioned earlier, hoplites fought in a phalanx formation, which required them to have substantial physical strength and courage to hold their position and push forward against enemy lines.
Equipment of Hoplites
Hoplites wore bronze armor that covered their chest, legs, and arms. They also carried a large round shield made of wood and bronze and a spear measuring about 6 to 9 feet long. Additionally, they wore a Corinthian helmet that covered their head entirely except for the eyes and mouth.
Another group of warriors in ancient Greece were the hetairoi. They were elite cavalry soldiers who served as bodyguards to the king or general during battle. The word “hetairoi” means “companions” or “equals.”
Equipment of Hetairoi
Hetairoi rode on horseback wearing armor similar to hoplites but lighter for mobility purposes. They carried spears called xyston measuring up to 14 feet long.
Peltasts were a light infantry unit in ancient Greece. The word “peltast” comes from the Greek word “pelta,” which refers to a small shield carried by the soldiers.
Equipment of Peltasts
Peltasts wore little to no armor and carried a light shield, a javelin, and a sword or dagger. They were known for their agility and speed, which allowed them to evade enemy attacks quickly.
In summary, ancient Greek warriors were known by different names depending on their role in battle and the city-state they came from. Hoplites were the most common type of warrior who fought in a phalanx formation.
Hetairoi were elite cavalry soldiers who served as bodyguards, while peltasts were light infantry units known for their agility and speed. Regardless of their title, all these warriors played an essential role in ancient Greek warfare and left behind a legacy that still inspires people today.