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This section covers the armies of the ancient Greeks in the classical period from the wars against Persia in the 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great. It was during this period that the state played an increasingly important role in military organisation with a consequent uniformity in dress and equipment.

The start of the period was dominated by the Hoplite. An often armoured spearman with a large round bronze shield. The masters of hoplite warfare were the Spartans fighting in disciplined lines. Lighter troops were provided by psiloi and peltasts of which the Thracians provided the most famous examples. Early Greek cavalry came from the plains of Thessaly and Athens also had substantial mounted forces.

The Peloponnesian War was the titanic struggle of the period fought between Athens and Sparta for hegemony of Greece with their often shifting allies in the other Greek states. Spartan victory did not last following defeat in the Corinthian War and was ended by Thebes at the battle of Leuctra in 371. The end of the city state came with the rising power of Macedon and its pike armed phalanx and heavy cavalry.

The editors Ancient Greek wargame army is in 25mm scale. Figures come from several ranges although the Wargames Foundry range is probably the best.

The Athenian Phalanx

The Spartans.

Athenian cavalry flanked by Thessalians.

Psiloi skirmishers

Greek peltasts

Thracian Peltasts

The Macedonian Phalanx.


Recommended reading:

Adcock, F.E                 

 Greek and Macedonian Art of War                 

 Berkeley 1957

Bengtson, Hermann       

 The Greeks and the Persians                     

 London 1969


 Armies-Macedonian & Punic Wars    

WRG 1971

Connolly, Peter  

 Greece and Rome at War              

Greenhill 1998

Head, Duncan              

  Armies of the Macedonian & Punic Wars       

 WRG 1982

Kagan, Donald  

 The Peloponnesian War                                  

Harper 2003

Nelson, Richard             

 Armies of the Greek and Persian Wars           

 WRG 1978

Nelson, Richard             

 Warfleets of  Antiquity                                   

   WRG 1973

Sekunda, Nick              

 The Ancient Greeks                                         

 Osprey 1995

Sekunda, Nick              

 The Persian Army 560-330 BC                      

   Osprey 1992

Sekunda, Nick              

 The Army of Alexander the Great                   

 Osprey 1995

Webber, Christopher The Thracians Osprey 2001


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Last modified: 01/23/12