Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 December 2013
At the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War in 431 most Greeks believed that, if Sparta led her allies by land to ravage Attika, Athens would be unable to hold out for more than three years at the most (Thuc. vii 28.3; cf. iv 85.2; v 14.3). Admittedly the majority of Athenian citizens—and perhaps even the senior Spartan king and general Archidamos— did not share this belief. But since the Persian Wars of 480/79 it had been dogma, both inside and outside the Spartan alliance, that such an invasion was the most potent means of compelling Athens to fulfil her enemies' will. Yet the few concrete precedents—of the late sixth century and 446—were at best inexact, at worst frankly discouraging; and in the event Spartan strategy, in so far as it was determined by the dogma, was shown to have been null and void ab initio. The Spartan alliance was of course ultimately victorious, but victory was postponed for close on a generation and was achieved even then only through massive Persian subventions (Pritchett I 47 f.; II 119 n. 19). Above all, it was secured at sea, where the Athenians had been the undisputed masters (Pritchett II 225–7), while in Attika itself the new technique of epiteichismos proved far more devastating than the timehonoured esbolai.
Thus the Peloponnesian War with its heavily ironical outcome marks a watershed in the history of Greek military practice, truly the ‘end of a chapter’ (Snodgrass 1967, 107). It is therefore an appropriate moment to turn back to the beginning of the chapter and review one of the most portentous innovations of Greek antiquity, the hoplite ‘reform’.
This article began life as an undergraduate essay for Geoffrey de Ste. Croix, who persuaded me that the ideas were worth developing further. Its second incarnation was as an appendix to my unpublished doctoral dissertation (see n. 99), in which form it was heavily criticised by J. K. Anderson, Henry Blyth, John Boardman (my former supervisor), John Salmon and Anthony Snodgrass. The version presented here is, I hope, much improved, but I alone am entirely responsible for the errors of doctrine and fact that remain. At the editor's suggestion I have inserted cross-references to points of agreement and disagreement in John Salmon's companion paper, which he generously discussed with me at all stages of its composition.
Abbreviations Adcock: F. E. Adcock, The Greek and Macedonian Art of War (1957); Anderson: J. K. Anderson, Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon (1970); Detienne: M. Detienne, ‘La Phalange: Problèmes et Controverses’ in J.-P. Vernant (ed.), Problèmes de la Guerre en Grèce Ancienne (1968) 119–42; Finley: M. I. Finley, ‘Sparta’ (1968), The Use and Abuse of History (1975) 161–77; Greenhalgh: P. A. L. Greenhalgh, Early Greek Warfare: Horsemen and Chariots in the Homeric and Archaic Ages (1973); Lorimer: H. L. Lorimer, ‘The Hoplite Phalanx with special reference to the Poems of Archilochus and Tyrtaeus’, BSA xlii (1947) 76–138; Pritchett I, II: W. K. Pritchett, The Greek State at War I (1971, 1974), II (1974); Snodgrass 1964: A. M. Snodgrass, Early Greek Armour and Weapons; Snodgrass 1965: ‘The Hoplite Reform and History’, JHS lxxxv. 110–22 ; Snodgrass 1967: Arms and Armour of the Greeks.
1 Apart from Sparta herself (probably 478/7, c 465, 457, 446, 433/2 and 432/1), attested believers include Thasos (c. 465), Persia (c. 457) and Poteidaia (433/2).
3 A debunking case could be made (starting from the factor of numbers noted in Plutarch, , Pelopidas xvii 5)Google Scholar for assigning the reputation to the Spartan ‘mirage’ (for which see n. 8 below). What impressed, cowed and so helped to defeat other Greeks was Spartan professionalism in a world of amateurs: see e.g. Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. x 8Google Scholar; Lysias xvi 17; Aristotle, , Pol. 1338b 24–9;Google Scholar while Adcock 72 rightly notes the skilful Spartan use of diplomacy to preserve untarnished the prestige of the army—by avoiding a fight! However, Finley esp. 172–4 properly emphasises that Sparta was not wholly militaristic stricto sensu.
4 See e.g. Chrimes, K. M. T., Ancient Sparta: a re-examination of the evidence (1949) ch. 10Google Scholar; Michell, H., Sparta (1952) ch. 8Google Scholar; Forrest, W. G. G., A History of Sparta 950–192 B.C. (1968) 131–7Google Scholar. The only real exception is Toynbee, A. J., Some Problems of Greek History (1969) 365–404Google Scholar; but see my criticisms in n. 109. The charge cannot of course be levelled at Anderson 225–51: see n. 9.
5 See generally Loenen, D., Polemos (1953)Google Scholar; cf. Momigliano, A. D., ‘Some observations on causes of war in ancient historiography’ (1954), Studies in Historiography (1966) ch. 7, esp. 120 f.Google Scholar; Pritchett I 82 and n. 194; Garlan, Y., La guerre dans ľantiquité (1972) 3–5Google Scholar; Dover, K. J., Greek Popular Morality (1975) 313–5Google Scholar. Ancient descriptions of battles (the one aspect of war on which Greek authors did elect to dwell) are often most unsatisfactory, for the reasons given by Whatley, N., ‘On Reconstructing Marathon and other Ancient Battles’, JHS lxxxiv (1964) 119–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. 122 f.
6 In the more advanced areas of Greece warrior-graves generally—and not, I imagine, coincidentally (cf. Finley 171 f.)—died out by c 700: Snodgrass 1967, 48; for a Spartan or Messenian example of c 725 from Nichoria, see McDonald, W. A.—Rapp, G. R. Jr, (eds.), The Minnesota Messenia Expedition (1972) 238Google Scholar. Spoils, however, were regularly dedicated to the gods, most conspicuously as a tithe of booty at Delphi or Olympia: Pritchett I ch. 5. But the Spartans, although they were not of course averse to spoliation (esp. Hdt. i 82.5) and even appointed specialist booty-auctioneers (laphuropõlai: Pritchett I 90–2), reputedly scrupled to dedicate such arms and armour in their own sanctuaries: Plutarch, , Mor. 224B (18)Google Scholar, 224F (4).
8 Ollier, F., Le mirage spartiate (1933, 1943Google Scholar; repr. in one volume, 1973) coined the phrase to describe the distorted view propagated chiefly by non-Spartans of what they wanted Sparta to be, to stand for and to have achieved; for its continuation to recent times, see Rawson, E., The Spartan Tradition in European Thought (1969)Google Scholar. For an evaluation of the evidence for pre-370 B.C. Messenian history, Pearson, L., ‘The Pseudo-History of Messenia and its Authors’, Historia xi (1962) 397–426Google Scholar; but he has missed Treves, P., ‘The Problem of a History of Messenia’, JHS lxiv (1944) 102–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
9 For the ‘Age of Xenophon’ (and many aspects of the intervening period), see also the excellent work of Anderson, which is concerned ‘to investigate Spartan military techniques, the art of drilling hoplites and handling them on the battlefield, and the way in which their own skills were finally turned against the Spartans’ (9).
10 I have deliberately refrained from citing the ‘Lakonian’ bronze warrior-figurines, whose floruit is the third quarter of the sixth century, because stylistic considerations frequently outweighed fidelity to nature and their attribution is in many cases uncertain: see now Jost, M., ‘Statuettes de Bronze Archaïques provenant de Lykosoura’, BCH xcix (1975) 339–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 355–63.
11 Tyrtaios fr. 11.4, 24, 28, 31, 35; 12.25 (bossed); 19.7, 15 West (whose edition I cite throughout); Plutarch, , Mor. 220A (2)Google Scholar (cf. n. 20).
12 Cf. peltastes from peltē (the use of ‘peltā’ in connection with the ‘Battle of the Champions’ in Anth. Pal. vii 430.2 is of course strictly anachronistic). But in Attic prose only Thucydides (vii 75.5) uses ‘hoplon’ specifically for ‘shield’ (applied to both cavalrymen and infantrymen). The Thebans are said to have used ‘hoplon’ for ‘breastplate’: see n. 100.
13 Xenophon, , Anab. iv 7.12Google Scholar; and, pars pro toto, (Tyrtaios) fr. 15.3. The rim-fragments from Sparta and Amyklai, like the wholly preserved example cited in the next note and the Olynthos shield cited in n. 78, bear the standard guilloche-pattern: Snodgrass 1964, 232 n. 105.
14 Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. xi 3Google Scholar, illustrated by the sole surviving example, which originally served one of the two hundred and ninety-two Lakedaimonians captured on Sphakteria in 425 (only one about hundred and twenty were Spartan citizens: Thuc. iv 38.5). It was taken to Athens, inscribed in pointillé, covered with pitch and then hung in the Stoa Poikile (Pausanias i 15.5); but it had found its way into a cistern by 300 B.C.: Shear, T. L., Hesperia vi (1937) 347Google Scholar f., figs. 10–12; id., Arch. Eph. (1937) I 140–3; Snodgrass 1967, 105, pl. 19. Somewhat ovoid in shape, it measured 95 cm by 83 cm, close to the upper limit of all but one of those found at Olympia (Snodgrass 1964, 231 n. 99).
15 According to the arch-‘Lakonizer’ Kritias (fr. 37 Diels-Kranz), the porpax was removed in the house in case the shield ‘fell’ into the wrong (helot) hands; cf. Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. xii 4Google Scholar (slaves barred from arms-dump in camp). But the removable porpax was by no means unique to Sparta: see e.g. Karageorghis, V., Salamis v (1973) 193Google Scholar f.
16 Pritchett I ch. 12 summarises the evidence, but see Snodgrass, , CR n.s. xxiv (1974) 248Google Scholar f.
17 This account of the merits and demerits of the hoplite shield owes most to Greenhalgh 69–73, but I cannot agree that it was ‘easily manipulated’ or even ‘more easily manipulated’ (than its one-handled predecessors). Nor is it, I think, an argument in favour of its manoeuvrability to point out (Snodgrass 1965, 111 n. 4) that multiple-handled shields were used in non-hoplite formations by non-Greeks: composition, structure and the circumstances of adoption—in the Greek case, invention—are the crucial variables. (I return to this question in Section III.) For the space normally left between each hoplite in the file, see Pritchett I ch. 12.
18 There are some sensible comments on this passage in Gomme, A. W., ‘Mantineia’, Essays in Greek History and Literature (1937) 134 f.Google Scholar; but he exaggerates the tactical aspect of the rightward drift.
19 See generally Snodgrass 1964, 61–3; 1967, 54 f. I know two possible Spartan attached bronze blazons: BSA xxvi (1923–5) 266–8, pl. 21 (gorgoneion, c 530–20?: now in the National Museum, Athens, Inv. 15917); Greifenhagen, A., Antike Kunstwerke 2 (1966) 6Google Scholar, no. 4; 43 (disc-protome from Tegea or more probably Olympia, c. 650). The most esoteric choice of a personal blazon, attributed to a humorous Spartan (Plutarch, , Mor. 234C )Google Scholar, is a life-sized fly! On badges of state, perhaps not introduced before the fifth century, see Lacroix, L., Etudes ďarchéologie classique I (1955–1956) 89–115Google Scholar, esp. 104 and n. 1 (the Spartan Pasimachos' expedient of using Sikyonian shields to disconcert the Argives in 392: Xenophon, , Hell, iv 4.10Google Scholar; Aristotle, , Eth. Nic. 1117a26–8)Google Scholar; and Anderson 262 n. 24.
20 Plutarch, , Mor. 220A (2)Google Scholar (unlike the breastplate and helmet, the shield is worn, not for individual protection, but for the line as a whole) ; Mor. 239B (34); and generally Pelopidas i 5; Diod. xii 62.5. Speaking of the Germans, Gibbon, Edward, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, I 2 (ed Bury, J. B. 1909) 249Google Scholar, writes: ‘the wretch who had lost his shield was alike banished from the religious and the civil assemblies of his countrymen’.
22 This gives added point to the quip in Hdt. vii 226.2, uttered when the all-metal breastplate had been widely abandoned (see n. 23).
25 So far as I am aware, the only in corpore Lakonian finds (all sixth-century) are a ‘Corinthian’ fragment dedicated to Olympian Zeus: Comstock, M.—Vermeule, C. C., Greek, Roman and Etruscan Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (1971) 408Google Scholar, no. 583; and three others of uncertain type dedicated to Amyklaian Apollo: Jeffery, L. H., The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece (1961) 190Google Scholar, n. 3, 199, no. 9. ‘Corinthian’, but undated, is the helmet of a miniature bronze vase: Snodgrass 1964, 26 and n. 86. However, a fragmentary sixth-century cheek-piece from the Spartan akropolis is not of this type: Snodgrass 1964, 33 and n. 113 (Cypriote?); cf. the open-faced helmets on a few of the earliest (second half of the seventh century) lead figurines: Snodgrass 1964, 19; cf. 27.
26 For a fine early-fifth-century Spartan bronze figurine of a trumpeter, see BSA xiii (1906–7) 146 f., fig.3.
27 Thuc. iv 34.3; Arrian, , Takt. iii 5Google Scholar; Dio Chrysostom xxxv 12. A late-fifth-century Attic gravestone depicts a fallen Spartan (?) wearing the pilos: Anderson 29–32, pl. 10; but Anderson 275 n. 90 is wrong to attribute the pilos to Athens N.M. 7598 (sixth-century bronze warrior-figurine from Kosmas in Lakonia). To the actual bronze examples from Dodona cited by Anderson 30 and no. 90, add now Hoffmann, H., AA 1974, 59Google Scholar f., fig. 12 (Sicily, late Archaic).
28 ‘One of the finest and most costly greaves known’ was dedicated by the Kleonaians at Olympia: Kunze, E., Olymp. Berichte viii (1967) 95Google Scholar f., pls. 44.1, 46. A recent sporadic find from the same site illustrates an earlier (seventh-century?) stage of development: Arch. Delt. xxvi 2 (1971) 146, pl. 126a.
30 Tyrtaios fr. 11.20, 25, 29, 34, 37; 12.36; (15.4); 19.9. Plutarch, (Agesilaos xix 6Google Scholar) describes Agesilaos' spear, which he claims to have seen, as a ‘lonchē’.
31 Note also ‘the fame of their spear’ (Pindar, Py. i 67); ‘doristephanos’ applied to Sparta in Diog. Laert. i 73 = Anth. Pal. ix 596; and the ‘Spartan spear’ of the Leuktra epigram (IG vii 2462.4).
32 Kromayer, in Kromayer, J.—Veith, G., Heerwesen und Kriegführung der Griechen und Römer (1928) 51Google Scholar inferred from vase-paintings that it was normally one and a half times the height of its bearer; certainly it was long in comparison to Persian spears: Hdt. v 49.3; vii 224. 1. No actual hoplite example survives, but see Snodgrass 1967, 38 (from Verghina).
34 Sturax: Xenophon, , Hell. vi 2Google Scholar. 19 (Pritchett II 242); Plato, , Laches 183EGoogle Scholar; cf. Xenophon, , Kyn. vii 5Google Scholar (name suitable for a hunting-dog). Saurōtēr: Hdt. vii 41.2. The aggressive use of the butt (Polybius vi 25.9), unavoidable if the head broke off, is well portrayed in Anderson pl. 10; cf. Snodgrass 1967, 56, 80.
35 If vase-paintings are an accurate guide, this was delivered overarm at the vulnerable neck. An alternative thrust, perhaps reserved for a tight corner, was aimed underhand at the abdomen and genitals (cf. Tyrtaios, fr. 10.25)Google Scholar. The natural ‘southpaw’, incidentally, was at a considerable disadvantage in the phalanx: see the protest of Plato (Laws 794D-795D) discussed with other passages by Lévêque, P.—Vidal-Naquet, P., Historia ix (1960) 294–308Google Scholar, at 297 ff.; cf. Pritchett II, ch. 10, at 192.
36 Tyrtaios fr. 11.30, 34; Plutarch, , Agesilaos xxxv 1Google Scholar; Lykurgos xix 2; Pollux x 144. For the xuēlē, see n. 33.
37 Perhaps represented in Anderson pl. 10 (the relevant bons mots are cited in Anderson 38); for the terminology, Snodgrass 1964, 104. The dominant Greek sixth-century type had been the ‘stout slashing-sword with cruciform handguard and swelling blade’: Snodgrass 1967, 97; cf. 84 f. That Spartan swords in 480 were of a then fairly recently introduced slashing type (Snodgrass 1967, 98) is an unwarranted inference from Hdt. vii 224.1.
38 Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. xi 3Google Scholar; Aristophanes, , Lysistrata 1140Google Scholar; Aristotle, fr. 542Google Scholar Rose; Plutarch, , Mor. 238F (24)Google Scholar; Schol. Aristophanes, , Ach. 320Google Scholar; Aelian, , VH vi 6Google Scholar; Val. Max. ii 6.2; Suda s.v. ‘kataxainō’. The Spartan warrior could be buried in a phoinikis: Plutarch, , Lykurgos xxvii 1Google Scholar. The dye was obtained by processing the mucous secretion of the murex (about sixty thousand molluscs to make one pound of dye): Robinson, J. P. Jr, ‘Tyrian Purple’, Sea Frontiers xvii 2Google Scholar (March-April 1971) 76–82; Coldstream, J. N.—Huxley, G. L. (eds.), Kythera: excavations and studies (1972) 36Google Scholar and n. 4.
39 Hdt. i 82.8; vii 208.3; Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. xi 3Google Scholar (cf. xiii 9); Plato Comicus fr. 124 Kock; Plutarch, , Lykurgos xxii 1Google Scholar; Lysander i; Mor. 189E (i) = 228F (29); 230B (2); and esp. Aristotle, , Rhet. 1367a 27–31Google Scholar. This custom undoubtedly had magical or religious connotations; it has been adopted by other warlike peoples, e.g. the Zulus.
40 In Xenophon the word is regularly used of an army deployed in battle-line: Anderson 106 and n. 32; it first attained general currency when applied to the Macedonian version: Adcock 3 n. 5. See generally Pritchett I ch. 11.
41 Arrian, , Takt, xxiii 1,3Google Scholar; xxiv 2 (not of course confined to the Spartans any more than the ‘Corinthian’ helmet was a Corinthian preserve); cf. Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. xi 8–10Google Scholar (unclear account of Spartan tactics generally); and Vegetius, , Epit. Rei Militaris iii 17Google Scholar (manoeuvre first attested at Mantineia in 418).
42 E.g. Hdt. vii 225.1 (Thermopylai); ix 62.2 (Plataia). Cf. Pritchett II 175. Roman warfare differed little in this respect: ‘In the legionary scrum, the heavier packs would carry the day’: Wellesley, K., The Long Year A.D. 69 (1975) 66Google Scholar.
43 Thuc. v 70 (the manner in which T. goes out of his way to explain that the function of the auloi was secular is eloquent of the prevalent ignorance of hoplite fundamentals); other references are given in the Loeb edition of Plutarch, , Mor. 238B (16)Google Scholar. The Chigi olpe (n. 69) and a vase-painting from Perachora (Lorimer 93–6, fig. 7) suggest that ‘flautists’ had been considered important in seventh-century Corinth (cf. Salmon 89f. and n. 21). But presumably it was only in Sparta that the profession was ever hereditary (Hdt. vi 60) and a passport to the king's council of war (Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. xiii 7)Google Scholar.
44 Polybius i 32.1; Plutarch, Agesilaos i (heirs-apparent were seemingly ex officio exempt); Mor. 235B (54): see now Tazelaar, C. M., ‘Παῖδε⊂ καὶ Ἔφηβοι: some notes on the Spartan stages of youth’, Mnemosyne 4 xx (1967) 127–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Bolgar, R. R., ‘The training of élites in Greek education’ in Wilkinson, R. (ed.), Governing Elites (1969) 23–49, at 30–5Google Scholar. (I touch on the occasion of its general introduction in Section IV.)
45 Regrettably the evidence is largely restricted to the Roman period, when the ‘Lykurgan’ regime was reimposed in a misguided attempt to restore Sparta's halcyon days: Chrimes, Ancient Sparta ch. 3, with Woodward, A. M., Historia i (1950) 617–20Google Scholar, 631–3.
46 This no doubt partly accounts for the wellknown string of Spartan victories in running events at the early Olympiads: but see also de Croix, Ste., Origins 354f.Google Scholar; Pritchett II 218 n. 39. According to one tradition (Thuc. i 6.5, with Gomme), the Spartans introduced the practice there of competing stark naked: Mann, J. C., CR n.s. xxiv (1974) 177Google Scholar f. For the possible connection between hoplites and gymnasia, see Detienne 123; add now Humphreys, S. C., ‘The Nothoi of Kynosarges’, JHS xciv (1974) 85–95Google Scholar, at 90 f.; Pritchett II 219 n. 44; and generally on gymnastic training for warfare, Pritchett II 213 ff.
47 On discipline and cowardice generally, see Starr, C. G., ‘Homeric Cowards and Heroes’, Fest. H. Caplan (1966) 58–63, at 58–60Google Scholar; Pritchett II ch. 12; cf. Watson, G. R., The Roman Soldier (1969) 117 fGoogle Scholar. Spartan cowards were known technically as ‘tresantes’ (‘tremblers’) and never allowed to forget it: Ehrenberg, RE s.v. ‘τρέσαντες’. Fear, literally and figuratively, was elevated into a cult: Epps, P. H., ‘Fear in Spartan Character’, CPh xxviii (1933) 12–29Google Scholar; but see Michell, , Sparta 270–3Google Scholar. On Spartan discipline, Pritchett II 235 f. (esp. Thuc. v 9.9), 243.
49 According to Aristotle (Pol. 1256b 23–6), hunting is part of the art of war; cf. Xenophon, , Hipp. viii 10Google Scholar (horsemanship); Kyn. xii 1, xiii 11; Plato, , Laws 823B–824CGoogle Scholar. On Spartan hunting, see esp. Xenophon, , Lak. Pol. iv 7Google Scholar (keeps older men alert and fit); vi 3–5 (communalism in dogs and horses); Kyn. x 1,4 (the specially bred ‘Lakonian’ hound recommended for boar-hunting and as a scenter: the boar was a favourite motif of sixth-century Lakonian art). Braudel, F., Capitalism and Material Life 1400–1800 (Fontana, ed., 1974) 68Google Scholar quotes the Greek proverb that ‘the eaters of barley-gruel have no desire to make war’; cf. Watson, , Roman Soldier 126Google Scholar.
50 Marching-songs: (Tyrtaios) fr. 15 (anapaests); Athenaios xiv 630F; cf. Campbell, D. A., ‘Flutes and Elegiac Couplets’, JHS lxxxiv (1964) 63–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 65. Among dances note esp. the warlike pyrrichē: Morrow, G. R., Plato's Cretan City (1960) 358–62Google Scholar (Laws 816B and other sources); Borthwick, E. K., JHS lxxxvii (1967) 18–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar (Euripides, , Andromache 1129–41)Google Scholar; cf. Pritchett II 216 and n. 32.
51 The Spartans even had a word for the condition of being under military discipline (taga): Chadwick, J., ‘ταγά and ἀταγία’, Studi linguistici in onore di V. Pisani i (1969) 231–4Google Scholar. at 234.
52 We are wholly ignorant of the provisions made for the training of perioikoi, but by the early fourth century (at the very latest) they were individually brigaded with Spartan citizens in the phalanx: see the works cited in n. 4. Since some, if not all, were drawn from the ranks of the kaloi kagathoi (Xenophon, , Hell, v 3.9Google Scholar; cf. de Croix, Ste., Origins 93, 372)Google Scholar, they presumably as a rule spent most of their time in their own poleis. Chrimes, , Ancient Sparta 287 fGoogle Scholar. properly stresses their economic indispensability (e.g. iron); cf. Kromayer (n. 32) 36 f. For helots and ex-helots as hoplites, see n. no. 110.
53 The evidence is collected in Popp, H., Die Einwirkung von Vorzeichen, Opfern und Festen auf die Krieg führung der Griechen im 5. und 4. Jht. v. Chr. (Diss. Erlangen, 1957) 41–58Google Scholar. But see also Pritchett I 110 n. 3 (mantis), 113–5 (diabatēria, pre-battle sacrifices), 116 ff. (phases of the moon), 122 ff. (festivals).
54 Cook: Hdt. vi 60 (cf. n. 43; the third hereditary profession, also military, was herald); Plutarch, , Lykurgos xii 6Google Scholar; Mor. 218C (3), 223F (15). Kōthōn: Kritias, fr. 34Google Scholar Diels-Kranz; Plutarch, , Lykurgos ix 4 f.Google Scholar; its identification with an attested shape is still controversial.
55 On early siege-warfare in general, see Garlan, Y., Recherches de Poliorcétique Grecque (1974) 20–44Google Scholar. Not until the fourth century would Greek states risk heavy loss of life in an assault on a fortified position: Adcock 58; but Sparta's reluctance even then was ‘one of the chief reasons why (she) neither secured a permanent hold on Greece nor made lasting conquests in Asia’: Anderson 140. Contrast above all Alexander the Great. It is not irrelevant that Sparta's own settlement remained unfortified down to the end of the fourth century: Arch. Delt. xxi 2 (1966) 155 (find of a section of possibly the oldest wall).
56 Gomme, A. W., A Historical Commentary on Thucydides i (1945) 10Google Scholar. Gomme's observation was not entirely original: see Hdt. vii 9B. 1 (speech neatly put into the mouth of Mardonios, though M. is of course concerned to maximise the Greeks' stupidity and H. to extract the full flavour from the dramatic irony of M.'s lethal miscalculations).
57 It is perhaps necessary to stress that the Greeks did invent hoplite warfare, against those (ancients and moderns) who have been too impressed by the notion of Carian ingenuity: Snodgrass, , ‘Carian Armourers: the Growth of a Tradition’, JHS lxxxiv (1964) 107–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar; cf. Snodgrass 1967, 59 f.
58 Salmon (96) asserts that it would have been ‘suicide’ for a state not to follow suit, but in view of the decisive importance of sheer numbers a small state might have been well advised to contemplate alternatives.
59 The problems of interpreting ‘Homer’ (i.e. our Homer) as history are legion, but for my limited purposes the most important is whether it is possible to locate a coherent Homeric ‘world’ or ‘society’ in space and time. To avoid multiplying references, I need only cite Snodgrass, , ‘An Historical Homeric Society?’, JHS xciv (1974) 114–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar, with whose negative response I am in complete agreement, against e.g. Finley, M. I., ‘The World of Odysseus Revisited’, Proceedings of the Classical Association lxxi (1974) 13–31Google Scholar. For the artefactual evidence, see Lorimer, , Homer and the Monuments (1950) ch. 5Google Scholar; Ahlberg, G., Fighting on Land and Sea in Greek Geometric Art (1971)Google Scholar; H.-G. Buchholz et al., ‘Kriegswesen’, Archaeologia Homerica (forthcoming).
60 Homeric descriptions of chariot-usage are often simply dismissed—as poetic fantasy, confused memory of Mycenaean chariotry or (according to the highly ingenious but one-sided theory of Greenhalgh esp. 7–18, 53–63) deliberate suppression of true cavalry. I remain unconvinced: see now briefly Anderson, , AJA lxxix (1975) 175–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Nor do I believe—despite all the Late Geometric representations of the horse, including a few carrying a warrior—that there was ever a ‘stage of true cavalry supremacy’ (except of course in Macedonia and Thessaly): Snodgrass, , ‘The First European Body-Armour’, Fest. C. F. C. Hawkes (1971) 33–50Google Scholar, at 46. However, Greenhalgh 78–83 may be right in thinking that the hoplite ‘reform’ stimulated true cavalry as a necessary ancillary force. The Spartan élite corps known as ‘Hippeis’ presumably originated as mounted hoplites: Snodgrass 1967, 85; Detienne 134 ff.; Anderson 245–9; Greenhalgh 95 f., 147. But, as Greenhalgh 94 f. remarks, Thuc. iv 55.2 does not, pace Helbig, exclude the ad hoc raising of a cavalry force by Sparta before 424.
61 Greenhalgh 63–70 has convinced me that the ‘Dipylon’ shield was not just a figment of the artistic imagination. For the importance of the telamōn, see n. 71.
62 Continuity of name (to-ra-ke in the Pylos Linear B tablets) suggests that breastplates were worn throughout the Dark Age, though they were no longer metallic. For ‘linen-corsleted Argives’, see Salmon n. 30.
64 Lorimer, , Homer and the Monuments 257–61Google Scholar; but see Snodgrass 1964, 62, 137–9. An unpublished Late Geometric sherd from Amyklai shows a spear with a throwing-loop; but there are no certain Lakonian examples of spearheads from throwing-spears.
65 Courbin, P., ‘Une tombe géométrique ďArgos’, BCH lxxxi (1957) 322–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 340–56 (breastplate), 356–67 (helmet); cf. his Tombes géométriques ďArgos i (Etudes Peloponnésiennes vii, 1974) 40 f., 135 n. 7. For a new Late Geometric Panoply Tomb at Argos, containing a similar helmet, an iron sword and possibly a bronze breastplate, see now AD xxvi 2 (1) (1971) 81 f., pl. 68z. Snodgrass, Fest. Hawkes (n. 60) has argued cogently that the bronze plate-cuirass had to be re-introduced to Greece from Urnfield Europe.
68 Actual examples: Kunze, , Olymp. Berichte vii (1961) 56–128Google Scholar; Snodgrass, 1964, 20–8. Bronze figurine: AJA xlviii (1944) 1–4Google Scholar; Schweitzer, B., Die geometrische Kunst Griechenlands (1969) 172 f.Google Scholar, pl. 200. Tölle-Kastenbein (n. 67) 25, on the evidence of an Attic LG amphora, would date the invention of the ‘Corinthian’ helmet not later than c 720.
69 Bibliography in Marangou, E.-L. I., Lakonische Elfenbein- und Beinschnitzereien (1969)Google Scholar n. 937a. See now Salmon 87.
70 For earlier versions of the hypothesis, see Nierhaus, R., ‘Eine frühgriechische Kampfform’, JdI liii (1938) 90–113Google Scholar; and, with special reference to Sparta and Tyrtaios, the works cited in Tigerstedt, E. N., The Legend of Sparta in Classical Antiquity i (1965) 348 n. 22Google Scholar; add Kiechle, F., Lakonien und Sparta (1963) 266–70Google Scholar. Snodgrass has been followed generally by Detienne, esp. 132 n. 67; Donlan, W., ‘Archilochus, Strabo and the Lelantine War’, TAPA ci (1970) 137 and n. 16Google Scholar; and now, with further nuances, by Salmon (esp. 90–2). For applications of Snodgrass' conclusions to Sparta, see n. 109.
71 Greenhalgh 73 rightly emphasises the connection between the lack of protection for the back (due to the abandonment of the telamōn—hence all those poet-rhipsaspides) and the adoption of hoplite tactics; but, as I have said in n. 17, he exaggerates the hoplite shield's manoeuvrability and so unduly minimises the vulnerability, indeed ‘nakedness’ (e.g Thuc. v 71.1; Xenophon, , Hell, iv 4.11)Google Scholar of the right flank outside the phalanx. ‘Larger size and greater rigidity’ (Salmon n. 6) are advantages pre-eminently in hand-to-hand fighting. Salmon fails to do justice, it seems to me, to the fact that the Greeks invented the double-grip shield: why should it not have been invented with the phalanx in mind rather than the other way round?
72 This may be the true explanation of a few Homeric passages (Il. xiii 130–5, with 145–52, 340–3; xvi 211–7; xii 105) that seem to describe hoplite tactics.
73 See n. 65. I agree with Donlan (n. 70) 137 n. 14 that the breastplate ‘implies a closing of range in combat’. It could, however, be argued (as Henry Blyth suggested to me) that the donning of such armour was precipitated by the development of a missile capable of piercing non-metallic breastplates too easily. Against this suggestion I would point out that, so far as we can tell from the archaeological evidence, javelin-heads are unlikely to have achieved greater penetration in the second half of the eighth century; at the same time, other missiles were no more effective then than in c. 500, when most hoplites exchanged their all-metal breastplates for composite versions (n. 23). Besides, the bronze-clad hoplite was by no means invulnerable even in the kind of warfare to which his equipment was adapted; and the bronze breastplate was not an invariable component of the hoplite panoply. So I am tempted to think that the Argos breastplate and its successors are a case of ‘overkill’ (cf. Paus, x 26.2). This may be an important clue.
74 It is misleading to call the isolated heavy-armed infantrymen of the late eighth and early seventh centuries ‘hoplites’ (as does Snodgrass 1967, 74); ‘ľhoplite “seul” est un non-sens’: Detienne 139 n. 108.
75 The need for a thoroughgoing overhaul of the contemporary representational evidence, using the latest understanding of styles, hands and chronology, has now been met by Salmon (86–90). He points out (87f.) that, even if a Corinthian painter had wanted to depict the phalanx as such before 650, he would not have had the technical capacity to execute his Kunstwollen. I return to Tyrtaios in Section. IV
76 This is the title of Part III of Starr, C. G., The Origins of Greek Civilization 1100–650 B.C. (1961)Google Scholar, which remains the best general study available.
78 For the enormous conservatism of hoplite equipment, note that a shield vainly wielded against Philip II at Olynthos in 348 would not have looked out of place on the arm of Archilochos: Snodgrass 1964, 65 and n. no. 110.
79 The bibliography on Pheidon is vast: for the ancient sources, see Mitsos, M., Argoliki Prosopographia (Athens, 1952)Google Scholar s.v.; and for a recent survey, Tomlinson, R. A., Argos and the Argolid (1972)Google Scholar ch. 7. Still, in view of the prosperity of eighth-century Argos, the broad Argive plain and its proximity to Corinth, I would be inclined to count Argos among the earliest hoplite states; and I must admit that Salmon makes a plausible case for associating Pheidon with the Argive hoplite ‘reform’. For the battle of Hysiai, however, see n. 104.
80 According to Alfred Vagts (quoted ap. Finley 172), ‘the military way is marked by a primary concentration of men and materials on winning specific objectives of power with the utmost efficiency’.
82 For the shift, see briefly Snodgrass, , The Dark Age of Greece (1971) 378–80Google Scholar; for its motivation, Braudel, , Capitalism and Material Life 66Google Scholar (‘the choice between cereals and meat depends on the number of people’). For the pattern of land-warfare, de Croix, Ste., Origins 46Google Scholar (classical Athens turned herself into the one major exception—hence the failure of Spartan strategy with which we began: n. 2). On warfare in general as a means of production, Pritchett I ch. 3 (booty), esp. the sources cited in 58 n. 40. In Polybius iv 26.7, 36.6 laphuron means precisely ‘war’.
83 This is the question that Salmon (nn. 1 and 49) fails to answer satisfactorily. I do not of course dispute that on its chosen ground the phalanx could be a superior instrument to most others.
84 Forrest, , The Emergence of Greek Democracy (1966)Google Scholar ch. 2. Sealey (n. 109, below) 267 n. 19 cites Forrest's distinction between ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ lines of social demarcation, but omits to mention that he is making a radically different use of it.
85 On this aspect of Hesiod as a social commentator, see Wade-Gery, H. T., ‘Hesiod’ (1949)Google Scholar, Essays in Greek History (1958) ch. 1, at 10–14. Gagarin, M., ‘Dikē in the Works and Days’, CPh lxviii (1973) 81–94Google Scholar, would give dikē a specifically legal, rather than a generally moral, connotation; cf. his ‘Dikē in Archaic Greek Thought’, CPh lxix (1974) 186–97. I doubt whether it is fruitful to draw such distinctions.
86 Travel by itself was a necessary, but certainly not a sufficient, condition of this psychological development: Brunt, , JHS lxxxv (1965) 218Google Scholar (contrast with Phoenicians).
87 As Greenhalgh 75 remarks, again with just the right shading, the hoplite's ‘style of warfare was not everywhere cheaper than the earlier style…, but it could be, and sometimes it had to be’. On the nature of the connection between the rise of the polis and the acquisition of real property, see Finley, , ‘The Alienability of Land in Ancient Greece’ (1968), The Use and Abuse of History (1975) ch. 9, at 159 fGoogle Scholar.
88 Snodgrass 1965, 120 considers the possibly relevant fate of the Fabii at the Cremera in c. 477; Greenhalgh 151 fails to mention that they were annihilated! Against the analogy of Greek with Etruscan and/or Roman experience, see also Salmon 12 f.
91 But see n. 102.
92 On the ‘quasi-laws’ of Greek warfare, see Diod. xxx 18.2 (from Polybius); Polyb. iv 8.11; xiii 3.2–7; with Walbank, F. W., Polybius (1973) 90 f.Google Scholar, 175 n. 15; cf. also Pritchett II 173, 251 f. On amateurism and the ‘half-religious if not almost sporting’ code of conduct (Snodgrass 1967, 103), see Zimmern, A. E., The Greek Commonwealth 5 (1931) 345 f.Google Scholar; Pritchett II 147, 187 (‘warfare seems sometimes to be a game in which all that is involved is a fair fight with equal weapons on a plain’), 231; on the ‘agonal’ spirit, Ehrenberg, V., Ost und West (1935) ch. 4, at 69 fGoogle Scholar. Whatley (n. 5) 122 speaks of a ‘lack of hard logic about Greek warfare’ and compares the ‘conventional warfare of the age of chivalry’; cf. Pritchett II 174, 177 (attitude of Franks). However, Brelich, A., Guerre, agoni e culti nella Grecia arcaica (1961)Google Scholar exaggerates the ritual aspect: see Andrewes, , JHS lxxxii (1962) 192 fCrossRefGoogle Scholar.
94 On the development of naval warfare, see de Ste. Croix, , Origins 394 f.Google Scholar; but there were no specifically war-ships before the seventh century: Gray, D. H. F., ‘Seewesen’, Archaeologia Homerica i G (1974) 122 ff.Google Scholar, 131 ff. For permanent garrisons, see Griffith, G. T., Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World (1935)Google Scholar e.g. 71.
95 Gomme (n. 56) 14 f. discusses the implications in greater detail; cf. Pritchett I 49, 132f.; II 117and n. 1, 173 f.
96 The locus classicus—suitably Spartan—is Thuc. iv 40.2, elucidated by Gomme, , CQ n.s. iii (1953) 65–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar; cf. Hdt. ix 72; Plutarch, , Mor. 234E (46)Google Scholar. The debate was still alive in the time of Procopius, (Bell. Pers. i I. 8–16)Google Scholar. Compare the general Greek attitude to sea-power, which largely reflects ‘the influence of the epic conception of an individual virtue which only land-fighting can show’: Momigliano, , ‘Sea-Power in Greek Thought’, CR lviii (1944) 1–7Google Scholar, at 7. See e.g. Aristotle, , Pol. 1327b11–13Google Scholar, with Pritchett II 99 n. 224.
97 The tangled issues have now been convincingly unravelled by Salmon (esp. 93–101). I would only add that the Greek aristocracies were not the last to discover how ‘the acceptance of technological progress rapidly undermines both the social structure on which their rule is based and the ideas serving as its justification’: Schram, S., The Political Thought of Mao (1969) 132Google Scholar (on the Mandarins).
98 This passage is to be read with Pol. 1297b 16–24, where Aristotle speaks of a stage of hoplite ‘democracies’ (the old name for politeiai); for the connection between military and political power, cf. also Pol. 1274a 12, 1291b23, 13042 20 ff., 1321a 12 ff. The link between land-ownership, access to political rights and military prowess will be further explored in de Ste. Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World.
99 The argument of this Section is unavoidably abbreviated, but I shall discuss all these questions at greater length elsewhere. Meanwhile, see my unpublished doctoral dissertation Early Sparta c. 950–650 B.C.: an archaeological and historical study (Oxford, 1975) 234–50.
100 Called ‘hoplon’ by the Thebans and carried in the annual procession at the Amyklaian Hyakinthia: Aristotle fr. 532 Rose; for further references to Timomachos, Détienne 138–40.
101 It is not coincidental that the enigmatic Partheniai and Hesiod were contemporaries. If the phalanx had already existed in Sparta, I doubt whether the former would have needed to emigrate and found Taras. For Hesiod's impotence, see Salmon 95.
102 I agree, however, with Salmon (92) that the ‘traditional methods…were far more suitable for rapid raids for booty than for war as a means of territorial aggrandisement’, and I suspect that the completion of the conquest and the annexation of Messenia could only have been accomplished by more organised methods. But there are other forms of organised warfare besides the hoplite mode, and ‘traditional’ methods had sufficed for the Spartan conquest of Lakonia.
103 On the existence of ‘privileged families’ at Sparta, see de Ste. Croix, , Origins 137 f.Google Scholar, 353 f.
104 The authenticity of this battle has been doubted by Kelly, T., AJP xci (1970) 31–42Google Scholar. In my view, the balance of probability is on the other side, though there is nothing sacrosanct about the traditional date of 669 B.C. Incidentally, no ancient source associates Pheidon with Hysiai.
105 It is not therefore surprising that ‘organised light-armed troops’ were probably ‘first used as a tactical force by Sparta’: Snodgrass 1967, 79; cf. Lippelt, O., Die gr. Leichtbewaffneten bis auf Alexander den Grossen (Diss. Jena, 1910) 28–35Google Scholar. Tyrtaios, ' gymnites (fr. 11.35)Google Scholar may be illustrated on a fragmentary Spartan terracotta relief-pithos of c. 580: Steinhauer, G., Museum of Sparta (n.d.) fig. 16 (Inv. 1793)Google Scholar; on early Greek slingers, see now Foss, C., JHS xcv (1975) 25–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. 25. For the Cretan mercenary archers allegedly hired in the Messenian Wars (Paus, iv 8.3, 12; 10.1; 19.4), see Snodgrass 1967, 40, 81.
106 For example, some (including now Salmon 91) have interpreted Tyrtaios' exhortation to close with either spear or sword ( fr. 11.29 f., 34) as a sign of the lack of uniform equipment and so of a (second) transitional phase before the full development of phalanx tactics. I see nothing ‘natural’ about this interpretation.
107 For the modern literature on the historical problems surrounding the authenticity and interpretation of Tyrtaios, see Tigerstedt (n. 70) 45–51 and notes. On his language (an amalgam of epic, Dorisms and vernacular Ionic), Dover, K. J., Entretiens Hardt x (1964) 190–3Google Scholar; Snell, B., Tyrtaios und die Sprache des Epos (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. I agree with Lloyd-Jones, H., The Justice of Zeus (1971) 45Google Scholar that, ‘when Jaeger claims that Tyrtaios was trying to substitute a city-state morality for an aristocratic morality in Sparta, he has failed to notice that in Sparta the two kinds of morality were not distinct’; cf. Greenhalgh, , ‘Patriotism in the Homeric World’, Historia xxi (1972) 528–37Google Scholar, esp. 535 f. However, like Adkins (n. 89), Lloyd-Jones presses his thesis of continuity too hard: see now Donlan, W., ‘The Tradition of Anti-Aristocratic Thought in Early Greek Poetry’, Historia xxii (1973) 145–54Google Scholar (but I cannot see why the ‘deep-rooted and self-conscious literary expression of anti-aristocratic opinion’ may not also be a ‘token of social unrest’).
108 Helmets: Snodgrass 1964, 8 and nn. 22 f.; 9 and n. 24; 195, pl. 4; 18, 26 and n. 86. Seal: Dr John Younger of Duke University photographed an impression taken by Dr Lila Marangou, Ephor of the Benaki Museum. I am most grateful to them both, and to the Managing Committee of the British School at Athens, for permission to reproduce it here. Lead figurines: Lorimer 92 f.; Boardman, J., ‘Artemis Orthia and Chronology’, BSA lviii (1963) 7Google Scholar. It is perhaps also relevant that the fine Lakonian bronze horse-figurines, which had achieved a wide circulation since the inception of the series c. 750, go out of production by c. 675: see my Early Sparta (n. 99) 167–84.
109 Toynbee, , Some Problems (n. 4) 250–60Google Scholar has attempted to apply Snodgrass' ‘piecemeal’ hypothesis to Sparta. His exegesis of the archaeological evidence and of Tyrtaios is wholly derivative, when not actually erroneous, but his wider political and economic inferences are more compelling. In my view the Spartan ‘Great Rhetra’, with its prescription of regular Apellai and granting of kratos (in whatever sense) to the damos, presupposes the formation (however rudimentary) of the hoplite phalanx; and in this sense I agree with Toynbee's formally incorrect statement (270) that ‘according to the rhetra, the damos of hoplite phalangites already possesses the ultimate sovereign authority in the Spartan state’. Also following Snodgrass, Sealey, R., ‘Probouleusis and the Sovereign Assembly’, CSCA ii (1969) 247–69Google Scholar, at 249 f., 267 f. has attempted to refute the ‘class-struggle’ theory of the assembly's sovereignty put forward by Andrewes, A., Probouleusis. Sparta's contribution to the technique of government (Oxford Inaugural Lecture, 1954)Google Scholar. I have several disagreements with Andrewes—in particular over his interpretation of probouleusis in Sparta and his imprecise use of ‘class’— but he has much the better of the argument with Sealey.
110 Pritchett I 4 n. 3; Finley 166 f.; against e.g. Chrimes, , Ancient Sparta 14Google Scholar and n. 6, who argues for the individual supply-system. For helots and ex-helots on active service, see Andrewes in Gomme (n. 56) iv (1970) 35 f.; Garlan, Y., ‘Les esclaves grecs en temps de guerre’, Annales littéraires de ľUniversité de Besançon iv (1972) 29–62Google Scholar, at 32–5, 42 f. I have not yet been able to see Welwei, K. W., Unfreie im antiken Kriegsdienst, I (Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei 5, 1974)Google Scholar.
111 ‘Homoios’ need not of course mean ‘exactly alike’, but for the egalitarian effect of uniform equipment, see Xenophon, , Cyropaedia ii 1.14–17Google Scholar; and on the effect of equal training, Pritchett II 208 and n. 4.