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Thread: Usage of spears

  1. #1

    Default Usage of spears

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-xtFXThEOc

    Not exactly high ranking historian speaking but still...interesting arguments. Any thoughts?

    BTW, his entire youtube account is dedicated to history and weapons usage and I found it interesting enough to recommend it:)

  2. #2
    Member Member fightermedic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    interesting enough video indeed

    i have this feeling the whole overarm/underarm thing will be debated evermore and we'll never really solve it
    Gott mit dir, dem Bayernvolke,
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    Daß der Freund da Hilfe finde,
    Wehrhaft uns der Gegner schau,
    Wo die Rauten-Banner wehen,
    Unsre Farben – Weiß und Blau!

  3. #3
    Member Member moonburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    hoplites overhand and peztharoi underhand since their funcations where diferent pike = pinning down while hoplite means kill as fast possible before th man loose moral and break

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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    I like his thinking. I'm not sure whether he is correct in this case, but the importance of decorations is sometimes overestimated, I guess. The artists are definitely interested in making them visually appealing, not accurate. You certainly won't learn much about warfare from watching Hollywood movies or analysing paintings. I just hope that he doesn't show some of these vases to the CA, because they will introduce Dolphin Hoplites unit in RTW2.

    Still, his arguments are based on common sense alone (and this can be misleading) and he admitted it himself that he is more used to underhand grip (bias), so for the moment I will remain sceptical.
    Last edited by Cybvep; 07-23-2012 at 07:57.

  5. #5
    Member Member moonburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    dolphins where a simbol of poseidon i think so nothing wrong with hoplites wearing dolphin images in their hoplon

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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Quote Originally Posted by moonburn View Post
    dolphins where a simbol of poseidon i think so nothing wrong with hoplites wearing dolphin images in their hoplon
    How about hoplites riding dolphins? :D

  7. #7
    Member Member fightermedic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    How about hoplites riding dolphins? :D
    i thought about how cool a unit that whould be for sea battles
    ah, the damn engine limitations, always in the way of historical accuracy!

    the guy really has a point with the guy creating the vases wanting only to sell his stuff ;)
    Last edited by fightermedic; 07-23-2012 at 11:04.
    Gott mit dir, dem Bayernvolke,
    Daß wir unsrer Väter wert,
    fest in Eintracht und in Friede
    bauen unseres Glückes Herd;
    Daß der Freund da Hilfe finde,
    Wehrhaft uns der Gegner schau,
    Wo die Rauten-Banner wehen,
    Unsre Farben – Weiß und Blau!

  8. #8
    Member Member Maeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    But the artist has probably fought in a phalanx himself, and many of his customers will have done so as well. Would they not look at an incorrectly rendered hoplite and think "what a load of ^&*%%!" before going somewhere else to buy their vase? I think that they would, because the image would feel wrong to them.

    I do like this guy's videos btw. I just don't agree with him on this point.
    On the linothorax (not being linen), I think he may be half right, but I would need to look at the sources and archeology myself in much more detail than I care to for this one point.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    But the artist has probably fought in a phalanx himself, and many of his customers will have done so as well. Would they not look at an incorrectly rendered hoplite and think "what a load of ^&*%%!" before going somewhere else to buy their vase? I think that they would, because the image would feel wrong to them.
    What about hoplites on dolphins? Shouldn't they feel wrong to them, too? Also, don't you know people who know that X or Y is inaccurate but still enjoy it, anyway? As long as something is impressive and show a given individual/a group in a positive light, people may be willing to ignore the fact that it's not accurate. It's cool if cops and soldiers are strong, tall, handsome and charismatic heroes, right? Some may not like it and most people know that it's not really true (because they have a neighbour who is a cop and he is fat, ugly and stupid), but art is full of idealism and ancient art in particular is regarded as idealistic.
    Last edited by Cybvep; 07-23-2012 at 16:18.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Usage of spears

    I don't really believe that artists ever saw or engaged in actual combat...Considering that the vast majority of the ancient "Greek" population was employed in either agriculture or the navy the soldiers were probably almost entirely conscripted from those fields of work.
    Throwing artists into battle would be as damaging to the polis as throwing smiths or stonemasons or some other profession of citizens that were not so numerous to be easily replaced if killed, not to mention artist never were the masculine bunch of the crew:)

    The point the guy makes in the video that you did not mention, and was the only point that got my attention to the max was the fact that depictions of hoplite duels were depicted in overhand, but the depictions of formations of hoplites were depicted with underhand spears.

    Also:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PuaUR3cFps&feature=plcp

    from 5:50 onward

    Is it safe to make the assumption that the overhand grip was used after formation broke or the fighting degenerated into individual 1 vs 1 combat through the battlefield?

    I think the only way to solve this issue is to hire a 2 bands of men to recreate the hoplite training as historical as possible, but one group to train with overhand grip and the other with underhand:D
    The one that proves to be repetitively more successful on the battlefield wins the debate:)

  11. #11
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    These videos have been posted in these fora ad nauseam...
    He completely ignores the counterweight spike, which is attested and that alone proves the overhand grip...

  12. #12
    Member Member Eastern Foot-Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Reasons for overhand handling:

    1. You can achieve more power in shock attack. Especially with as jump attack you can let the gravity do some work for you.

    2. In close formations the butt-pike of the doru does not hinder your fellow soldiers. Also, if you are in the frontline, you can also attack enemies beside you.
    Underhand you can only attack the one in front of you, because the butt-pike behind you is stuck between the formation gap. Only practicable in phalanx formation, and very unflexible.

    3. When the shieldwall with the big hoplons is closed, your spear has simply more space above, then under the wall. From ground to shield only about 40 cm.

    4. By overhand thrusting the head of the spear often moves forward in a circle. Your opponent has little time to recognise if the circle with the deadly iron head ends on his chest or in the flesh of his leg. Underhand, you need more power and time to move the head up or down.

    5. Overhand you can emmediatelly throw, if you decide.

    I think this are good suggestions. The overhand spear is more then an unpractical war-myth. Sorry for my bad english. If something isn't clear, please feel free to ask.
    Last edited by Eastern Foot-Rocker; 07-24-2012 at 20:50.



  13. #13
    Member Member Ichon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Personally one of the best arguments for overhand grip is that the butt won't get fouled on the men behind or knock into them.

    I also would not be at all surprised if the grip depended on what kind of enemy was approaching with overhand favored against enemies with large shields and close formations. The 'press' is important but somewhat overstated- more that a coordinated surge in the line would knock the opposing line and stagger their defense as even with an overhand grip vs a trained opponent who can deflect the spear with shield and duck it might be difficult and long process to score a hit. Coordinated surges which attempt to rock the opposing line off their feet even for a moment would allow a quicker resolution. Also one formation that is consistently getting knocked back would soon have rather low morale and might break.

  14. #14
    Member Member Aper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    not again...

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Ok,

    I just came home from spending a day during my vacation wearing full hoplite gear with some other neat guys and I came to the conclusion that there is no chance in hell that a couple of men can use a dory underhand while maintaining a phalanx.
    I tried, but my aspis said no:)

    Once the formation is set(if what we did could even be called one), the overlapping and the creation of a shield wall made of very large hoplon's that cover you from thigh to neck pretty much makes using the underhand grip useful only if you want to stab sideways and stab one of your bronze buddies to your right(you can't even stab left sideways without killing the guy on the right first because the other half of the spear will be blocked by him -_-).

    That is, if you don't want to go hollywood style and move your shield for a stab thus opening yourself just enough, for a perfect amount of time, to loose both limbs before you come back in formation.
    Then you just stand there...armless.
    Last edited by Marius Marich; 08-26-2012 at 20:24.

  16. #16
    Apprentice Geologist Member Blxz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Debate solved. Should I ever find myself in a modern hoplite formation I will make sure to use an overhanded grip.
    Thanks for taking the time out to dredge this thread up though, your insight was actually quite interesting. Do you do that sort of thing often? I've always thought re-enacters were a bit of an odd bunch. its not common where I live.
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    Member Member moonburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Debate solved. Should I ever find myself in a modern hoplite formation I will make sure to use an overhanded grip.
    Thanks for taking the time out to dredge this thread up though, your insight was actually quite interesting. Do you do that sort of thing often? I've always thought re-enacters were a bit of an odd bunch. its not common where I live.
    considering you live upside down i think you´re not quite common :X damm aussies

    i do wonder how come people didn´t drop out of the southern hemisphere before newton and it´s gravity showed up

    and isn´t it wierd that your water through the sinkhole runs the other way around ?

  18. #18
    Member Member Maeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Marius Marich, you do of course realise that saying you have been doing some hoplite re-enactment on this forum is guaranteed to result in someone asking if you took any photos. Just like I'm doing now

    You really should just post them straight away. It saves me asking.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Quote Originally Posted by Maeran View Post
    Marius Marich, you do of course realise that saying you have been doing some hoplite re-enactment on this forum is guaranteed to result in someone asking if you took any photos. Just like I'm doing now

    You really should just post them straight away. It saves me asking.
    Sorry, no pics. They exist i think, but as usual i was not capable enough to remember asking the "iphone guy" for the photos.

    And it wasn't a re-enactment like you see on some youtube videos, just a bunch of Greeks and Macedonians acting friendly after meeting on Facebook or something like that and I just happened to be a friend of one of the guys that randomly appeared out of nowhere wearing a Croatian early medieval helmetXD
    Last edited by Marius Marich; 08-30-2012 at 07:34.

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    How about hoplites riding dolphins? :D
    Dolphins are one of the only animals that can rape things, including people. If I knew that back then I would be freaking terrified.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  21. #21
    Apprentice Geologist Member Blxz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Quote Originally Posted by moonburn View Post
    considering you live upside down i think you´re not quite common :X damm aussies

    i do wonder how come people didn´t drop out of the southern hemisphere before newton and it´s gravity showed up

    and isn´t it wierd that your water through the sinkhole runs the other way around ?
    Haha, thankfully before newton came around we were all living up in england. He made it possible for the British to colonise Australia. =)
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Usage of spears

    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Haha, thankfully before newton came around we were all living up in england. He made it possible for the British to colonise Australia. =)
    So you are saying that the native Aborigines are above the laws of physics?

    Well that pretty much explains the boomerang.

  23. #23
    Speaker of Truth Moderator Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of spears

    This getting too off topic.

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