athenian military tactics
Gradually, and especially during the Peloponnesian war, cavalry became more important acquiring every role that cavalry could play, except perhaps frontal attack. In the end however, Sparta’s strength and tactical approaches to warfare, defeated the Athenian military. With time the Ancient Greece Military forces in Ancient Greece became much more structured. The two phalanxes would smash into each other in hopes of quickly breaking the enemy force's line. This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 05:04. Their dramatic victories over the Boiotians and Chalkidians in 506 B.C. Plunder was also a large part of war and this allowed for pressure to be taken off of the government finances and allowed for investments to be made that would strengthen the polis.  In addition to maiming, if not immediately killing, the enemy, the attacker is given another advantage to ram the opponent. They would use different formations and tactics in wars. The diekplous was an ancient Greek naval operation used to infiltrate the enemy's line-of-battle. Soldiers of the Greek army were called hoplites. At one point, the Greeks even attempted an invasion of Cyprus and Egypt (which proved disastrous), demonstrating a major legacy of the Persian Wars: warfare in Greece had moved beyond the seasonal squabbles between city-states, to coordinated international actions involving huge armies. Ravaging the countryside took much effort and depended on the season because green crops do not burn as well as those nearer to harvest. ), Warfare in the Ancient World, pp. , Marines, or epibatai, were the secondary weapon for the Greek navy after the ram. These battles were short, bloody, and brutal, and thus required a high degree of discipline.  When light-armed forces began to be used, ambushing became a recognized scheme. The remainder of the wars saw the Greeks take the fight to the Persians. He echoed the tactics of Epaminondas at Chaeronea, by not engaging his right wing against the Thebans until his left wing had routed the Athenians; thus in course outnumbering and outflanking the Thebans, and securing victory. One of the most effective and enduring military formations in ancient warfare was that of the Greek phalanx. Famously, Leonidas's men held the much larger Persian army at the pass (where their numbers were less of an advantage) for three days, the hoplites again proving their superiority. This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 16:50. Casualties were slight compared to later battles, amounting to anywhere between 5 and 15% for the winning and losing sides respectively, but the slain often included the most prominent citizens and generals who led from the front. Several similarities existed between them, suggesting that the mindset of the Greeks flowed naturally between the two forms of fighting. The war petered out after 394 BC, with a stalemate punctuated with minor engagements. Cartledge, Paul, The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, from Utopia to Crisis and Collapse, New York, NY: Vintage, 2004. After his assassination, this war was prosecuted by his son Alexander the Great, and resulted in the takeover of the whole Achaemenid Empire by the Macedonians. As the Thebans attempted to expand their influence over Boeotia, they inevitably incurred the ire of Sparta. These included javelin throwers (akontistai), stone throwers (lithovoloi) and slingers (sfendonitai) while archers (toxotai) were rare, mainly from Crete, or mercenary non-Greek tribes (as at the crucial battle of Plataea 479 B.C.) They were masters of the tactic known as the phalanx, which was a rectangular formation of … Hammond, Nicholas G. L., A History of Greece to 322 B.C., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. The Athenian Army. Greek Tactics. Thermopylae provided the Greeks with time to arrange their defences, and they dug in across the Isthmus of Corinth, an impregnable position; although an evacuated Athens was thereby sacrificed to the advancing Persians.  Hoplites were the citizen-soldiers of the Ancient Greek City-states (except Spartans who were professional soldiers). Stories like the Battle of Thermopylae demonstrate the strength and skill Greeks had in land battle. Krentz, Peter, "Deception in Archaic and Classical Greek Warfare," in Hans van Wees, War and Violence in Ancient Greece, London and Swansea: Duckworth and the Classical Press of Wales, 2000, pp. The peace treaty which ended the Peloponnesian War left Sparta as the de facto ruler of Greece (hegemon). Almost simultaneously, the allied fleet defeated the remnants of the Persian navy at Mycale, thus destroying the Persian hold on the islands of the Aegean. Since the soldiers were citizens with other occupations, warfare was limited in distance, season and scale. Firstly, the Spartans permanently garrisoned a part of Attica, removing from Athenian control the silver mine which funded the war effort. In an attempt to bolster the Thebans' position, Epaminondas again marched on the Pelopennese in 362 BC.  However, at first sight of enemy ships, the Greek navy would turn to starboard or port to form its line for battle. Undoubtedly part of the reason for the weakness of the hegemony was a decline in the Spartan population. 125–166. The origins of the hoplite are obscure, and no small matter of contention amongst historians. The losses in the ten years of the Theban hegemony left all the Greek city-states weakened and divided. Assemblies or groups of elite citizens sanctioned war, and generals (strategoi) came to be accountable for their actions and were often elected for fixed ter… During this engagement, a single Athenian galley was being pursued by a Peloponnesian ship until the Athenian ship circled around a merchant ship and rammed the Peloponnesian vessel and sank her. This is one of the first known examples of both the tactic of local concentration of force, and the tactic of 'refusing a flank'. Van der Heyden, A. Tactically, Phillip absorbed the lessons of centuries of warfare in Greece.  The Athenian ship was successful in this maneuver because it was the faster of the two ships, which is a key element in the periplous. Broadly stated, strategy is the planning, coordination, and general direction of military operations to meet overall political and military objectives. Hoplites to fall into single-file lines, and thus required a high degree of discipline faced was fatal to position! 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