a great deal if they eould pick out tlie brave men from tlic cowards.rnWiriiout question, the indiscriminate manner of deathrnfrom distant warriors left tlie Spartans bitter; diis was not a fightrnof real men. Plutarch savs that a battlefield death was of no concernrnto a Spartan unless “it was caused by a cowardly bow.” hirnthe Iliad, Diomedes says to Paris: “If you were to make trial ofrnmc in strong combat widi weapons, your bow would do von norngood at ail nor our close-showered arrows.” Strabo, a first-centun,’rnA.n. geographer, records seeing an ancient inscribed pillarrnwhich forbade the use of arrows or missiles of anv kind on thernbattlefield.rnBy the beginning of the seventh centnr B.C;., the Greeks ofrnthe city-states had firmly established their manner of battle.rnBy mutual agreement, heavilv armed and slow-moving infantr’,rnmassed together in formafion, sought battle on an openrnplain to determine victory or defeat in a few blood}’ hours. Thisrnmeant that the hoplite class, the armored warrior, became allimportant,rnibis also meant that war would be conducted mostlyrnby the middle class, not by horse-mounted aristocrats whoserncavalr)’ would play a very secondary role or by poor folk whorncould not afford to suppK their own weapons and armor as required.rnHoplite battle was brutal and personal. Armed and armoredrnhoplites advanced in their phalanxes and fought to the death.rnTiieir battlefields were scenes of fiirious fighfing and carnagernthat usually consumed not more than an hour or hvo. F.veryrnman was pushed to the limits of his physical and ps’chologicalrnendurance—and then it was over, not to be repeated for a earrnor more.rnThe hoplites went into battle not for fear of punishment or inrnhopes of pliuider and booty, as did Hie subject peoples of thernOriental empires. The hoplites were the middle class of thernGreek cit)’-states who owned properU—usually farnrs —andrnvoted. I’hc}- fought to defend their liberties and home andrnhearth, lliey fought side by side with neighbors, brothers, fiithers,rnsons, uncles, cousins, ‘i’hev were related bv race, blood,rnlanguage, religion, and tradition, and b” property ownershiprnand democracv. This meant that they did their utmost torndemonstrate courage, side by side with their comrades, and thatrnthey had a vested interest in the outcome—they stood to lose e-rnerv’thing. A loss for subject peoples, on the other hand, oftenrnmeant simply a change of rulers. Pericles, in his famous fimcralrnorafion, said that the hoplites “would rather perish in resistancernthan find salvation through submission.”rnGreek eifizens were called up for military service from thernciU’-state’s muster role, beginning at age 18. Thev remained eligiblernfor duty until the- reached 60. It was not unusual for menrnin their 30’s and 40’s to serve as frontline hoplites. No less a figurernthan Socrates sencd in several wars, fighfing well into hisrn40’s. He fought his last battle at Delion in 424 l^.c:. when he wasrn46 years old. He was one of the few who held his ground andrnavoided fiie general panic during the Athenian defeat.rnThe Greeks thought that a man was at his physical peak in hisrn?0’s. The Ariienian lawgiver and statesman Solon called fiiatrnthe age when “ecry man reaches his higiicst point of physicalrnstrength.” Add experience to die mix, and we can see wh’ hoplitesrnin dieir Ws and early 40’s were considered die mo.st valuable.rnThe frontlines were often manned by vvell-condifionedrngreybeards. Said fiie poet Tyrtaios:rnThis is indeed a foul thing, that the older man fallsrnAmong the forefront and lies before the oungerrnHis white head and his grey beard breathing out hisrnstrong soul in fiie dust,rnHolding in his dear hands his groin all blood).rnMany men of property and social standing served as hoplitesrnand fought into their 40’s—and a few into their 50’s. C^laukonrnwas 50 when he served as general at Samos and, later, at Goreyra.rnPyrilanipes was 56 when he died at Delion in 424 B.C.rnAndocides (the elder) was 60 when he served at Samos.rnPhaidros (the son of Kallias) was nearly 70 when he fought atrnStyra in 32-? B.C. Generally, the more veterans in the ranks, thernbetter the army. Spartan armies usually had hvo generafions ofrnveterans. It was common to see fathers and sons in the ranksrnand not rare to see grandfathers and grandsons fighting side byrnside. Two thousand vears later, the same was true of the Gaelicrnclans of Ireland and Scodand. John Prebble, in The Battle ofrnCuUoden, says, “Brodier fought beside brother, father by son, sornfiiat each might witness the odier’s courage and valour and findrnexample in them.”rnYoung men had fiie advantage of speed but not necessarilyrnendurance or strength. Old men had the invaluable advantagernof experience; their presence steadied the ranks. They wouldrnnot falter in the fiercest of fights, and fiiey set an example for thernyoung warriors. Androkleidas, a partially crippled Spartan warrior,rnsummarized it best when he was quesdoned about his battie-rnworthiness: “But there is no need of running away, but ratiicrrnto stay put where I am to fight against tiiose who are arrayedrnagainst me.”rnThe Greek hoplites—young and old —fought in the phalanx.rnA box-like fonnation, usually eight ranks deep, the phalanxrnworked something like the serum in rugby. The men inrnthe front ranks led the assault, and those in the rear pushed.rnXenophon, a student of Socrates and a hoplite, suggested fiiatrnthe strongest fighters be posifioned at tlie front and the rear ofrnthe phalanx and the weakest in the middle “in order tiiat thcrnmight be led by the former and pushed by the latter.”rn1 he ke’ to a successful use of the phalanx was a tight formation.rnIn rile heat of battle, it was critical for men to stay in rankrnand to persevere —despite wounds and fatigue —in order tornmaintain the integrih of tiie phalanx. Louring battle, it was necessaryrnto tighten the formation constantly. 7 here was also a tendencyrnfor riie phalanx to drift to the right; riie hoplites held riiernshield witii tiieir left hand and tiie spear or sword with tiieirrnright. Their right sides were thus more exposed, and thereforernriiey tended to tiirust or slash in tiiat direction. Rigorous training,rnhigh morale, and deep camaraderie were necessaiT for tiiernphalanx to work effectively. When it did, it was an awesomernkilling machine. Polybius, comparing the Greek phalanx to thernRoman legion, said that “nothing can stand in the way of the ad-rnance of the phalanx, as long as it maintains its eustoniar’ cohesionrnand power.”rnHoplite armies usually did not attack cities. The were illrnequipped for the task, lacking battering rams and artillerv, andrneould not afford tiie time and expense of a long siege. Moreorner, most of the time, tiiere was no need. Wlien an invadingrnarmy crossed the border of a city-state, the defenders usuallyrnmarched out from tiieir walled cities for a battle on some ncarbrnplain. They simply eould not allow an enemy to occvipvrntheir farmlands. Timing was uearK’ everything for an invadingrnenemy. It was best to arrive right at the beginning of the harvest,rnburn your enemy’s barley and wheat, defeat him in battle orrn14/CHRON1CLE5rnrnrn