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Thread: Roma Surrectum 2.0 Preview: HELLENISTIC HOPLITES

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    Default Roma Surrectum 2.0 Preview: HELLENISTIC HOPLITES



    "Hoplites...the torso of the army..." Iphikrates,
    Athenian General.

    Hoplites. Heavy infantry, spearmen first and foremost, who would fight in an organized fashion, with each hoplite's shield covering the one in his left, while covered in his right by the shield of his fellow hoplite. The spear would be held overhand, and have two business ends, as more often than not, one of them would break during battle. In that case, the hoplite would use the opposite end, then his sword, either the straight xiphos, or from 500 BCE onwards, the curvy slasher, kopis. Hoplites mostly used xiphos though or even smaller swordknives as Spartans did after the Persians wars.

    The era that RS begins in, sees the twilight of the hoplites. Even if historically the last hoplites fought in 146 BCE for the Achaian league, and later on in 86 BCE, in the siege of Athens by Sulla, their era ended for most Hellenic cities in about the time RS begins. Sarissa pike phalanxes "armed in the Makedonian way" were the norm. Boeotian Koinon turned its hoplites into pikemen in 250 BCE, Sparta in 227, and Achaians in 223, and massively so in 209 BCE. Hoplites could still be used as flank guards, but the use of Thureos' shield armed troops was preferred. The obvious reason was that they could be used for both skirmishing, as well as close style fighting. Hoplites would soon become the dodo bird of infantry evolution. Rather than being the only heavy infantry, they became one of many types, not too good at anything in particular. That doesn't change the fact however that many greek cities fielded hoplites for as long as they remained independent, or that their reign wasn't long lasting. They ruled the battlefield for more than 400 years. Carthaginians, Persians, Etruscans and even Romans fielded hoplitic armies themselves at some point.

    I guess the best tribute to the hoplites is to say that all other heavy infantry formations used at the time, were designed specifically to beat hoplites and their shieldwall phallanx. One way to do that would be by being heavier than the hoplitic phallanx. That's how the Macedon Kingdom united Greece. Phillipos' II Macedonians copied Jason of Pherrai, tagos (leader) of Thessaly and his pikemen phallanx. In a way Sarissa pikes carrying phallanxes are the penultimate evolution of the phallanx, as it can be called hoplitic phallanx evolved. Another way is to become more agile than the hoplitic phallanx. Romans had their thureos carrying peltasts form into maniples and throw pilae after pilae after pilae, and assault on the most weakend point of the phallanx with Hastati. Retreat if failing and try again, with more experienced and armored troops, aka the Principes. Then if that fails retreat behind the shieldwall of the Roman veteran hoplites, the Triarii.

    "Tactics" or "TAKTIKH" in ancient greek meant the knowledge of how to arrange the hoplites in a "taxis"=order of a phallanx.

    Catapults were develloped as a way to defend the hoplites from the skirmishers, and especially slingers who could decimate a phallanx and run away before the heavier and slower hoplites could catch up.

    Evolution and Classification of the Hoplites

    Hoplites are divided in Archaic hoplites, Classic hoplites and the last ones Hellenistic hoplites, by the time they were fielded in. There are other divisions as well, the most important one of them being their type. Epilektoi or chosen hoplites would be the elite and professional, always on call. Plain hoplites would be the middle class and lower middle class, who would be drafted into service at time of need. Levy hoplites would be the underclass of freemen with helmet, shield and spear being provided for by the state. A military service for them would mean a change, any change at all, from a dreary existence.

    Historically, first were the Archaic hoplites. People consider them an off shoot of the "dark" era which followed the Dorian conquests and the fall of Mycenaean kingdoms in mainland Hellas. The social and economical changes as well as the mountainous terrain riddled with valleys of Hellas caused the city states to form. A union of villages would create the polis, aka a union of freemen some of which were slightly better of. It was only later when some became very rich, while others were left to fend for themselves.

    An archaic hoplite wouldn't necessarily fight in a phallanx, but like Achaimenid Persians, heavy infantry would shield the slingers and archers who would pepper the enemy while protected. There wasn't a clear cut distinction between skirmishers, missile troops and heavy infantry. In Illiad, the first written account of an early phallanx (especially so when the battle around Achilles or the first landing in Troy is conducted) is riddled with hoplites protecting missile troops. Teukros shoots with his bow, while protected by his brother Aias (Ajax). Other anonymous Achaians are described to be doing the same, while covered from shields in the first line of combat. In Tyrtaios depiction of a battle, in 7th century BCE, the familiar figure of a lightly armed figther is repeated. In the first line of combat, while protected by hoplites, he shoots all sorts of missiles, even rocks at the enemy. Later on in the 6th century and even much later, Skythians are shown to be firing among Athenian hoplites who are covering them. -Note that this could very well be the "epilektoi" Athenians at Plataiai who used the "Skythai" archers to break off Mardonios' cavalry charge, for more further down under "Epilektoi".-


    As such, to allow for skirmishers, the phallanx per se was either very shallow (2-3 lines deep) or not crystalised as it was in the classical period.

    An Archaic hoplite, bronze clad and brandishing an iron longsword. Not until medieval footknight would an infantryman be as armored in Europe proper. Egyptians of this time called mercenary hoplites "Men of bronze". It is easy to tell why.


    His gear, found in the Archaeological museum of Olympia. While it fell out of use by the 5th century BCE, for hoplites, parts of it kept being in use in far flung territories and for horsemen,

    foot protection


    early greaves (knee is out) and thigh protectors

    lower arm protector,

    upper arm protector,

    Feet protection. In London, England, Archaeological museum. It was also worn by hoplites until about Marathon. Was abandoned later on, but a heavy horseman could deffinitely use it, and the heavy horseman will.

    Most of the above gear was ditched in the way. Only the helmet, thorax (cuirass), either bronze or in most cases linothorax, round aspis shield/ argive shield and greaves remained. This would also be known as the Classical hoplite, as the Hoplites fought the Persians armed in this configuration. Achaimenid Persians who invaded Greece did have a very good chance of success. Especially in Plataiae, had all the Persians engaged the Greek force, it is quite possible that the battle would have turned out differently. Even in Thermopylae. Persians didn't evolve an "assault infantry" of the time of Hastati/principes that Romani evolved. Their light archer/spearmen had been created to fight the Horse Archers of the Steppes, not hoplites. As such their defeat was more of a matter of false doctrine, rather than lack of martial valor. Besides, their attack created the classical Hellenic civilisation, and was directly responsible for the First Athenian alliance, whose greatest Project "Akropolis" can be seen today, hanging about in the same place (even if its greatest works have been relocated to nearby Akropolis museum, which itself is brand new, especially when compared to Akropolis of Athens). It was the first time that a majority of Greeks would band together under a joint cause. Isokrates Pan-hellenic movement began there and then. "Koinon Hellenon" of Phillipos II of Makedonia, the great unifier of all mainland Greeks, was based on the joint struggle against the Persians.

    Achaimenid "Persian wars" era Hoplites, or Classical hoplites (490-478 BCE)

    Later on, during the Peloponnesian war, realities of war and the grim financial state of all Hellenic greek city states, obliged the abandonment of all defensive equipment other than a cheap "Pilos" helmet and the argive shield. A hoplite of the 400's would look like this.

    Then a revolutionary occurence took place. Catapults.

    (First ones to be constructed around 400 BCE by Dionysios' engineers at Syracuse-THOSEare the original Catapults from KATA=against and ΠΕΛΤΗ/ΠΕΛΤA =small flat round shield of the skirmishers, meaning to be used against all javelineers and slingers, and especially Ballearic slingers who wrought havoc against the Greek Hoplites in Sicily )
    Dionysos of Syracuse used them to conquer Carthagenian cities, therefore obliging Hoplites to reintroduce armor, for fear of dieing under a catapult bolt (which was known to pass through argive shields as if they were made of paper. Newer and stronger types of catapults followed.

    Dionysos of Syracuse used them (probably gastraphetes-the earliest catapult) to conquer Carthagenian cities, therefore obliging Hoplites to reintroduce armor, for fear of dieing under a catapult bolt (which was known to pass through argive shields as if they were made of paper. Newer and stronger types of catapults followed.

    Then, as Phillipos of Makedonia united Hellas, and his son Alexandros o Megas conquered the known world, more changes occured. His own hoplites, now called Hypaspistai would have a double role. One of them would be as elite hoplites holding the flanks of the pike phalanx, (As shown by RS. 2.0 Macedonian Hypaspistai), the other would be elite armored skirmishers (as shown by RS 2.0 Basilikoi peltastai).

    Classical era finished and it passed on the torch to the Hellenistic era (322-146 -achaian league's defeat-)
    and its own hoplite,


    The shield would become smaller in an attempt to make the hoplite more agile and also to ensure survival as, if the hoplitic phalanx lost its cohesion the large 1.2m diameter hoplitic shield could become a dead weight, whereas a more nimble 0.75m shield could actually be used in a solo encounter with an enemy, even after phalanx had broken down and people would be running around trying to save their lives. A bigger shield would be cumbersome. Of course not all hoplites used those smaller shields. RS chose to use them in all its AOR hoplites to depict the change that had taken place, as hellenistic hoplites were one of the many heavy infantry formations instead of the only one (thorakitai, Basilikoi peltastai, Hypaspistai, Principes and Fully "roman fashion" infantry, Elite pikemen, etc).

    The hoplites would struggle to fit in the battle plan of their generals. It wasn't easy, especially in a fluid political climate where today's enemies would be tomorrow's allies and vice versa. Hoplites, however, were a city-states' prime means of defense and remained so to the end.

    RS tried to depict in its AOR implementation of hoplites the difference which existed between the various hoplites. Levies would be dirt cheap to field and a lot of them could be, but that wasn't done in most of the times. A city would either lack the funds or the numbers needed for this. Only great city states like Syracuse would have both. Most cities would field linothorax armed hoplites, such as Cyrenaica and Massalia, but the richest of them, (as Pergamon, Athens and Bosporos' cities were) could go the extra mile and afford the richest of its citizens to be turned into a "round the clock heavy guard", ready to be deployed at a moments' notice wherever a city states' interest might lie. Historically Athens used them to keep its Aigean dominions in check, whereas in Argos, its Epilektoi must have been those who actually killed Pyrrhos of Epeiros' (an old woman had toppled him off his horse first). In the account of the battle, Argos' men are described to be running into "designated places of defense" which were scattered around the city (possibly to arm themselves) and then emerged to fight.

    a reconstruction of a Hellenistic "epilektos" hoplite, notice the size of the aspis shield. He is also wearing an Iron muscle cuirass, about the only thing guaranteed to stop a catapult bolt from even 20 paces long as master armourer Zoilos of Cyprus proved in his demonstration.

    No more 1.20-0.90 meter in diameter, now it was more like .75 m. Bigger than that of a phallangite, which was about .60 m in diameter, but still smaller than the aspis (round wooden bronze coated shield) of the classical hoplites. It has been called hoplon, but that is a general term, first used by the Romans to describe the aspis/Argive shield, and as such isn't correct. Hoplon in greek means weapon.

    A "heroic" depiction (aka in the nude) of a hoplite fighting an amazon.

    --An explanation of the differences between the hoplites, from levy, to plain hoplite and on to Epilektoi (chosen) hoplites.

    Epilektoi hoplites,

    (Those would be the city states' finest- basically the aristocracy, able to afford a full bronze muscle cuirass and a 10 mm bronze coated aspis). They were small in number and a force which was always on standby, rather than conscripted or levied into action like the two following categories. (Only the finest of helmets for those, aka (phrygian, with/without facemask, rich attic, or thracian or thracoattic, with engraved cheekguards etc)

    A few words on the Epilektoi.

    Those guys initially+most of the time were the sons of the aristocracy in each city, either landed gentry or rich merchants' sons, or in Tyrant held poleis, the trusted guards of the Tyrant. Kyriakos Gregoropoulos, a greek historian theorises that those hoplites came to being in response to the "fully professional army" that the hoplites of Sparta represented.

    They would be the elites, having the best arms and armor and their place different than the "drafted" hoplite which was the big majority of those fighting. They would spend their lives training and drilling for combat and would be ready in a moments' notice. So, in most poleis those "epilektoi" would be the standing army, with everyone else in reserve. As the assault of Pyrrhos at Argos showed, there were "places allocated to defense" that the civilians of Argos would go to and arm themeselves, in the case of enemy assault.

    Some mentions of them in Hoplitic history...

    -Other than the "Ieros Lochos" of Thebans, and Epameinondas' peculiar ideal of "bonding" between its members (which is open to many interpretations), after the destruction of Thebes at 335 BCE by Alexandros and the re-founding of "koinon of Boioton" a force of "Epilektoi" was formed until at least the middle of 3rd century BCE.

    -Argosians from the Peloponnesian war instituted a force of 1000 chosen hoplites, from the aristocracy, most of which perished in the civil war of the Aristocrats vs the Democrats of Argos, 8 months after the Epilektoi staged a coup at 418 BCE (after the loss to the Spartans at Mantineia).

    -Arcadians too, after their Koinon was founded by the Theban Epameinondas and Pelopidas. However, after 363 BCE, financial troubles allowed only the richest to remain in the "Epilektoi", only those who could stay on pro bono, with only honorary awards.

    -Eleians (where olympia is) would also keep a 300 strong "Epilektoi" force under arms at all times who were of Aristocratic origin. Democrats, before engaging them in civil war had created an "Epilektoi" force of their own, numbering 400 hoplites.

    -In Plataiai 300 Athenian epilektoi and 300 skythian archer allies of them (which were also used as policemen in Peace time in Athens) withstood the assault of Achaimenid persian cavalry. They were called "hippeis" much like those of Sparta at the time, which meant that they could support a horse, not ride one in battle. The following could be a depiction of those.

    -Later on after the Peloponnesian war loss,
    the "Epilektoi" force was reinstituted. It was a crack unit, from which a lot of funerary friezes have been found. Its formation was due to the need of quick response to the revolts of the Athenian allies in the islands of the Aegean rather than the neigbouring cities forming their own. That unit was in place until the end of 3rd century BCE, surviving even the abolishment of the draft for the Athenians, which was ordered by the Makedonians.

    - Another epilektoi we have deffinite account for are those of Syracusians who in 460 BCE called in arms 600 of its best civillians to fend off the revolt of a mercenary unit. Even if they supposedly were exempt from work to train exclusively for war, that unit was annihilated in an ill fated assault at the Athenians when the latter besieged Syracuse.

    - A stele of Athens around 280 BCE which the "Epilektoi" of an Athenian clan devoted to Demetrios Poliorketes.

    It has been mentioned that later on Agathokles would pay for the arms and armor of his trusted guards, therefore his "epilektoi". However those can be considered a Royal guard rather than "chosen" hoplites by the rest of the polis and for its best interest. Assumption of the royal title by the last of the Tyrants who ruled over independent Syracuse, Hieron and Hieronymos, meant that this was probably the case.

    Hoplites (Linothorax cuirass, 5 mm bronze coated aspis shield). These would mean the "medium" hoplites who would be the sons of middle class citizens, aka merchants, farmers, with good armament mostly and elaborate helmets (Attic, Thracian, even the odd Corinthian from great great grandpa who fought in Salamis and his descendants won't let anybody forget . Later on the Italo-Corinthian/Pseudo-Corinthian would come into effect, but more so in S. Italy/Sicily, whereas in mainland Ascalon/Sidon type helmets would prevail). These are the most known of hoplites, and so not much more is needed for them.

    Levy Hoplites, what Europa Barbarorum calls "Hoplitai haploi" (Plain wooden aspis shield without even bronze coating). Those would be the large majority of the city dwellers in the ancient times. Living in bad conditions, 2nd or 3rd sons, with not much to go on with, and as Hammond writes in "Phillip of Macedon"..."In any slave-owning society every citizen without a capital of sorts find himself in direct opposition to the slave-labor which works without payment". As such what Aristophanes (famous comedian) writes in 393 BCE. "Let's send a fleet! The poor vote YES!, while the "moneyed" [meaning the well off,store owners, artisans, aka middle class] and farmers NO!". The poor always hoped for loot or even a "klerouchy" meaning the killing off of original people and the creation of an Athenian colony in there. According to Isokrates, they were most pleased with the Rhetors who would ask for war than those who wanted peace. In fact in 355 when Athens tried to mobilize its allies for war, the real reason was its poor citizens who had reached a "boiling point" so far as their living conditions were concerned. Being poor in ancient greek world was just about the worst fate, with the absolute worst being a slave in the mines. A house-slave would be sure to have something to eat, for a poor freeman this wasn't guaranteed. It was that reason why as Aristoteles wrote "The Demos tried to alleviate some of that pressure on the poor with altruism payments, but those never managed to raise the living standard of those poor beyond that of a (minimum wage) worker". Their greatest chance was a succesful war. In that they would serve either as rowers, or as levy hoplites with all the necessary equipment provided for them by the state. In fact Hammond considers that "Theorikon Tameion" (=Theorikon fund, in name a way to supplement the ticket for poorer people to watch the theatrical plays of greats as Euripides, Sophokles and others) was established in 354 BCE in Athens as a way to insure a "ready to be conscripted" force for Poor Athenians to go to war. Those who would sign up for free tickets would be called up for service. Their loss whould help stabilise the state, while their off chance of winning would create a "Kleruchy". This meant that the Aegean island which would have that Kleruchy installed on (as was the case in 90% of the time) would stay Athenian. (Look up the history of Samos Island for more details)

    Levy hoplites would have a Konos or pilos helmet, or as Syracuse levy hoplites of RS 2.0, an evolved Boetian. They would wear a simple chiton or exomis, or even a loincloth, and their equipment was as good as the cheapest weapon supplier that won the contract. A knife would have to do where the richer hoplites would have a xiphos or kopis, and having a knife to use wouldn't be sure. Again, it depended on what the state was willing to pay for armament. The bronze coating on their shields would be non existent, and the leather layer which all aspis/argive shields had underneath the bronze coating would have to suffice.

    Athenian Epilektoi Hoplites

    Helemet, cuirass, and shield,

    For the helmet,




    and the following frieze was used to create the back of the helmet,

    Notice on the first two pics the children carrying the armor and helmet having a phrygian helmet along with a beard. How likely would that be, if the helmet didn't have a bearded facemask attached? Not very likely, I think, and as such Athenian and Corinthian hoplites would have a facemask.

    the proof for both of the above, the Athenian funerary steles of legend...

    (the young boy carrying shield and helmet can't possibly have a full beard on, thus the facemask phrygian you see on the graphic reconstruction)



    Shield, a reconstruction of the Athenian Epilektoi,
    a better Athenian hoplite shield,

    A little history on the Athenian hoplites and their city.

    Athens in 216 BCE is not precisely a Macedonian state, but pretty darn close. Makedonians living in the fort in Munichia and keeping everyone under scrutiny. Later on they would leave Athenians on their own devices, in which case they allied with the Romans to avenge their sworn enemies, the Makedonians. Rome, in return, left Athens alone, an ally and a noble ally at that. Young Romans would come to Athens and its Philosophical stoai to complete their education. Athens, a campus city, prospered. It wasn't meant to be though. When Mithridates of Pontos attempted to conquer Greece, Athenians flocked to his side. It was a clear case of a Demagogue destroying a city (as had happened in Syracuse earlier). There was no end to what he had promised the Athenians. The worst of them was that he promised that Carthagenians would come to the Athenians aid. Only problem was that Carthago had been destroyed more than 4 decades since. Sulla at 86 BCE reduced Athens to a mere Roman province.

    A more detailed explanation on the Athenian hoplites is needed, first because most of what is known about them can be used directly in other cities, as was the case, and second of all because precisely because they are Athenians, we know more about them. When Sulla at 86 BCE stopped his soldiers from killing every last one of the Athenians (unlike what Mommius had done at Corinth at 146 BCE) it was because he would be known throughout history as the Man who extinguished Athens, something that would bring a big amount of shame on him and his ancestors. The dead ancestors had saved their unworthy children, and that wouldn't be the first time, nor the only one.

    Following the disastrous battle of Chaironia at 338 BCE and the devastation it wrought on Thebes, Athenians realised that they might be next. So, they tightened up their training program for drafted young men. Young Athenians were drafted compulsively at their 18th year to serve for two years in Athenian army. He would be trained in all weapons in use by the Athenian army. They would serve the first year in Peiraeus learning how to use shield, spear and arrow, javelin and catapult, wheras the second year would be spent serving in some remote forts defending the land. Earlier on, only the second part was in use, and the hoplite would learn how to use the various weapons in the fort he would be assigned in. This model of training was the most common and sought after in all of the Hellenistic world. Border patrolling and manning the forts was something for the young soldiers to attend to. Not Epilektoi.

    Epilektoi would be the sons of either local aristocracy (landed gentry) or a shipcaptain who could afford to spend a time of preparation in the palestras and boxing venues, so that a minimum of men would be ready and willing in case of an emergency. Many details about their action are indeed breathtaking but none is needed (For more earlier on under "Epilektoi").

    Bithynian Hoplites

    Helmet and cuirass

    Sidon helmet

    one of the last helmets to be used by hellenistic factions, the Sidon helmet. The final evolution of the Corinthian, as it is called by many, it was widely used in present day Anatolia's kingdoms and Ptolemaic Egypt, and also in the European coast of the Black sea. It is found in statues and paintings, not to mention coins in those areas. Case in point...

    graphical reconstruction of that, (especially for the plume)

    Linothorax cuirass, found in the Pergamon frieze as well. (Not to mention that it is right next door to Bithynia). This linothorax is peculiar in the fact that it looks like it has a "horseshoe" like metal tied to the linothorax via a belt and then the shoulder straps of the linothorax are then attached themselves to it.


    Some coins from Prusias II one of the most illustrious kings of Bithynia,


    The centaur depicted in those coins isn't found in any of the shields we have depicted in vases or other depictions of the period. What we do have is Cheiron, a centaur found in shields in vases from that period,

    History of Bithynia and its hoplites,

    In 216 Bithynia had reasserted itself as an independent state. Galatians were at times allies, at times neighbours and at times hostile. It was a time of troubles for Bithynia. Prussias II was quite a character. Along with Phillip V he tried to control a big part of Asia Minor. He destroyed an old ionian colony by the name of Kyzikos and built Prussa in its place. Today's Bursa (founded as Prussa) along with Iznik (founded as Nicomedia by Nicomedes I) are the remnants of this Kingdom in the map today. Its hoplites depict the "not so rich" state that Bithynia was in. Not epilektoi in status, but very well equipped all the same.

    The Bithynian hoplites are equipped with the Linothorax , greaves , long spear , and second weapon the sword.
    The Bithynian hoplite is wearing a sidon helmet which was one of the last helmets to be used by hellenistic factions. It was widely used in present day Anatolia's kingdoms and Ptolemaic Egypt, and it is found in statues and paintings, not to mention coins in those areas.

    Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the ThracianBosporus and the Euxine (today Black Sea).

    But even before the conquest by Alexander the Bithynians appear to have asserted their independence, and successfully maintained it under two native princes, Bas and Zipoites, the latter of whom assumed the title of king (basileus) in 297 BC. His son and succeeder, Nicomedes I, founded Nicomedia, which soon rose to great prosperity, and during his long reign (c.278 - c.255 BC), as well as those of his successors, Prusias I, Prusias II and Nicomedes II (149 - 91 BC), the kingdom of Bithynia held a considerable place among the minor monarchies of Anatolia. But the last king, Nicomedes IV, was unable to maintain himself against Mithridates VI of Pontus, and, after being restored to his throne by the RomanSenate, he bequeathed his kingdom by will to the Roman republic (74 BC)

    Bosporan Epilektoi Hoplites

    Helmet, cuirass and shields

    Helmet and cuirass and sword

    -bronze muscle cuirass-

    and mainly for the shoulder straps, used to help alleviate the burden from just the shoulders, to the whole of the body,



    First off this coin of Pantikapaion (one of the leading Bosporan cities) from as near the timeline of RS as possible,

    We have a lion ready to attack. A shield with a familiar theme was located (out of 3 or so with the same depiction-it must have been popular back then)
    From these humble beginnings,

    a graphic reconstruction,

    and in greater detail,

    A bit of history on the Bosporan hoplites,

    At 216, Bosporan Kingdom was in a state of decline. The trade with Athens was blooming as always and the grain exports from the Kingdom and its colonies made its ruling elite a lot of money which were in turn spent on defense. After the battle of Thatis river at 337 BCE, the Sarmatians gained on Scythians who in turn abandoned the Steppes and came to live alongside the Hellenes in their poleis. A fusion of cultures ensued. New peoples have entered the Steppe from the west, called Celts and also some Germanics are coming down from their northern enclaves. Pontos' strenghtening on the south side of the Black sea isn't to be taken lightly. All those must be dealt with. The strife that ensues every time a King is crowned isn't in the best interest of the Kingdom. Yet it survives, as always.

    Hellenic settlement in the region,

    The epilektoi hoplites of the Bosporan Kingdom are equipped with spear , xiphos , bronze muscle cuirass , and a smaller version of the aspis shield, 0.75 m in diameter.

    The Bosporan kingdom or the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus was an ancient state, located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus (see Strait of Kerch). It is interesting as the first truly 'Hellenistic' state - in the sense of one in which a mixed population adopted the Greek language and civilization.

    -Trait/Ancillary/Building Editor

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
    and I'm not sure about the universe." -----Albert Einstein

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    Default Re: Roma Surrectum 2.0 Preview: HELLENISTIC HOPLITES

    Celto-Hellenic Hoplites

    Helmet, cuirass and shield of Celto Helenic hoplite,

    The Helmet

    Those are from Archaeological museum of Istambul, Turkey.

    mail cuirass from the Pergamon altar frieze fragments,

    and the shield

    The lion a very popular emblem for both the far easter Greeks but also for the far western ones,

    A little bit of history on Celto hellenic hoplites,

    Wearing a chainmail armor instead of linothorax or muscle cuirass this hoplite would be the fusion of two cultures and two ways to wage war. Taking the best of both would mean a pretty agile but also quite deadly hoplite. In most hoplites once the spear would break they would have to close the enemy very much as their medium to short size sword couldn't reach enough to kill. The celtohellenic hoplite wouldn't have such a problem as his iron celtic longsword would have enough reach for even the worst opponent.

    Massalia wasn't the only colony on what is now French and Spanish coast. In fact it was the single greatest one in a zone which streched from today's Nice up until Hemeroskopeion, which would be located near the southern borders of present day Catalonia.

    In those cities and many more tradeposts which would effectively become small celto-greek villages over time, a mixed population started to emerge or Celts who would be wearing hellenic gear, rather than what their fellow celts would wear in battle. Archaeological finds in the southern of France show a big influence of Hellenic wargear on the Celts who lived there.

    Corinthian Epilektoi Hoplites

    For the facemasked helmet, cuirass and shield



    a concept drawing and cuirass,

    shield for Corinth,

    the Pegasos, but care must be taken so that the emblem is from the coins of Corinth itself, There are so many pegasoi out there, that discerning what was made in that time and what was made later(and so, it isn't of use to us) is indeed difficult.

    (the magnifying lense like monogram from under the horse, is the Monogram of Korinth). There are SO MANY pegasoi out there, almost all from colonies of Korinthos that it makes the head tilt... Magnifying lense monogram, supposedly the letters "K" and "O" combined, means that this deffinitely came from KOrinthos.

    so a similar shield was found.
    This was taken from a vase depicting a hoplite with a Pegasos emblazoned aspis shield fighting a Persian.

    A little history on Corinth and its hoplites,

    In 216 Corinth had returned to the semi-protectorate status of the Macedonians that it was prior to Selasia in 222 when Sparta had briefly asserted its dominance over the whole of Peloponnesos. One of the richest cities in mainland Greece, responsible for many of the colonies in the Mediterranean, and especially Sicily and Western Greece, aka Corfu and Ambrakia. As such, its hoplites would be of the richest and best equipped in Hellas. Epilektoi hoplites for Corinthos, but always under watch. Achaian league is encroaching Corinthos and a change in ownership may happen soon.

    Corinth, at the north-eastern tip of Peloponnese, the home of Sisyphos and the great hero Bellerophon, was one of the oldest Greek city-states and among the most important ones.
    Strategically positioned on the Isthmos, was controlling the communication of Peloponnese with the mainland Greece. It was this position that made her the richest commercial city of ancient Greece.
    Equated with the Homeric city Ephyra, Corinth was the innovator and master builder of commercial and war ships and developed great wealth from the ancient times, establishing a series of colonies, among them Syracuse. In 197 BC, Macedonia was defeated at Cynoscephalae in Thessaly by the Romans.
    In 146 BC, after a long disagreement with Romans, Mummios pillaged and destroyed the city, giving most of its territory to Sikyon. All men were put to death and the women and children were sold as slaves. For more than one hundred years, the city did not exist.
    In 44 BC, Julius Caesar restored Corinth and brought Italians to colonize her.Saint Paul visited Corinth in 51 AD, staying for almost two years and the Christian church flourished there sometime later.

    Cretan Epilektoi Hoplites

    Helmet and shield for the Cretan hoplite,

    Helmet and cuirass for the Cretan Hoplite

    and a graphical reconstruction of that helmet,

    xiphos for him,

    bronze muscle cuirass, as shown in here,

    the Cretan hoplite will wear his helmet with a crest as the graphical reconstruction above.

    shield, The emblem of the Knossos, famed ever since the Minoans for its labyrinth.

    A little history on Crete and its hoplites

    In 216 Crete was famous for what it had always been famous. Its merc archers and its merc hoplites. Some of those did stay at home though, and rich that they were with loot, could equip themselves in the best gear that was available. Earlier on Cretans had fought for Sparta in the battles leading up to Sellasia, but didn't share its fate. They were always ready for war, and in fact there was always a state of war between the eastern and western part of the island. In the easternmost part of the island lived the Eteokretes, the last descendants of Minoans who spoke their language and had their customs. It was in this era that they faded away.

    Krētē, modern transliteration Kriti) is one of the thirteen peripheries of Greece. It is also the largest of the Greek islands at 8,336 km² (3,219 square miles) and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. Crete was the center of Europe's most ancient civilization; the Minoan. Little is known about the rise of ancient Cretan society, as very limited written records remain, and many are written in the undecipherable script known as Linear A. This contrasts with the superb houses, palaces, roads, paintings and sculptures that do remain. Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos, Theseus, Minotaur, Daedalus and Icarus passed on orally via poets such as Homer. Crete was involved in the Mithridatic Wars, initially repelling an attack by Roman general Marcus Antonius Creticus in 71 BC. Nevertheless a ferocious three-year campaign soon followed under Quintus Caecilius Metellus, equipped with three legions, and Crete was finally conquered by Rome in 69 BC, earning for Metellus the title "Creticus".

    Cyrenian Hoplites

    Helmet, cuirass, and shield,

    Helmet and cuirass,

    Sidon helmet

    one of the last helmets to be used by hellenistic factions, the Sidon helmet. The final evolution of the Corinthian, as it is called by many, it was widely used in present day Anatolia's kingdoms and Ptolemaic Egypt, and also in the European coast of the Black sea. It is found in statues and paintings, not to mention coins in those areas. Case in point...

    graphical reconstruction of that, (especially for the plume)

    the linothorax, as found in the Pergamon frieze, too,


    The emblem can only be, Silphium (also known as silphion or laser) was a plant of the genusFerula.[1] Generally considered to be an extinct "giant fennel" (although some claim that the plant is really Ferula tingitana[2]), it once formed the crux of trade from the ancient city of Cyrene for its use as a rich seasoning and as a medicine.

    From Kyrenaike, the coins,

    A history of Cyrenaica and its hoplites

    In 216 BCE, Cyrenaica was a sleepy province of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. True enough it had sent troops to fight at Raphia against the Seleucids but other than that, all was silent. Its hoplites, would be wearing the Sidon helmet, as that was found in the Steles at Sidon, showing Ptolemaic troops. As the territory of Cyrenaica was poor, other than the exports of Silphium it was famous for, this is depicted in the hoplites it has. Regular hoplites, not Epilektoi, as the costs would be too much for one of the poorest provinces of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. No Nile around to provide wealth for Cyrenaica.

    The chief town of ancient Libya and established commercial relations with all the Greek cities, reaching the height of its prosperity under its own kings in the 5th century BC. Soon after 460 BC it became a republic; after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) it was passed to the Ptolemaic state that formed. A Ptolemaic governor, Magas fled his overlord and joined the Seleucid king and formed with him an alliance in order to invade Egypt. The invasion was unsuccessful and in 250 BC, after Magas' death, the city was reabsorbed into Ptolemaic Egypt. Cyrenaica became part of the Ptolemaic empire controlled from Alexandria, and became Roman territory in 96 BC when Ptolemy Apion bequeathed Cirenaica to Rome. In 74 BC the territory was formally transformed into a Roman province.

    Massilian Hoplites

    Helmet, cuirass and shield of Massalian hoplite,

    The Helmet and linothorax cuirass

    Those are from Archaeological museum of Istambul, Turkey.
    Linothorax shown in the tomb as well as greave.

    and the shield

    The following is a coin minted in Massalia, very near the time RS 2 begins in,

    Another lion waiting to jump at its prey, much like the case in the Bosporan hoplites.

    A great lion waiting to jump its prey is the following...
    found in a vase, in Boston museum of fine arts, Massachussets

    this reconstruction sprung,

    A little history about Massilia and its hoplite,

    The "Massaliotai hoplitai" as they would call themselves, would be pretty much in demand in 216 BCE. Against a mounting tide of Celtic assaults and Etruscan raids, a new ally would be needed to fend of the onslaught of the enemies of a lone city state (and its own colonies). That ally would be Rome. Massalia helped Rome win the second Punic war and saw its fate rise for that. A fusion of peoples with Hellenic colonists emerging victorious, the helmet he wears is celtogreek and his longsword is something no greek hoplite would ever bring to battle. Massilian hoplites are quite deadly with this though, and even if they can't afford the bronze muscle cuirass of the other hoplites, they can manage quite well without.

    Massilia or Massalia or today’s Marseilles, was founded in c.600 BC by the Ionian city of Phocaea as a trading port in the west Mediterranean. Massalia is the original name that the Greeks from Phocaea gave the city they founded. Massilia is the latin name that appeared much later. The original greek name, Massalia, continued to be used by the inhabitants and on coinage long after the Roman conquest (the name is found in texts up to three centuries after the death of Caesar. [Worldbuilder: Decius Aemilius] Massilia's relations with Rome became famous; the Romans even stored their offerings to Delphi in the Massilian Treasury. Massilia had a keen interest in Italy, and Rome had long admired the stability of the Massilian constitution. Roman forces first entered the region of Narbonensis in 154 BCE to defend Massilia from Celtic invaders. "Massalia is a classic example, often forgotten, of the durability of the Greek city-state in the Hellenistic age; even in 121 BC, when the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis was established, Massalia was still an equal ally of the Roman Republic."(*) While in the years following 125 BCE Rome conquored southeastern Gaul, Massilia retained its independant status even after falling to Julius Caesar's troops in 49 BCE. However, the Massilian navy was henceforth banned. Despite competition from other ports, Massilia continued to prosper.

    Pergamonian Epilektoi Hoplites

    Helmet, cuirass and shields

    Helmet and cuirass and sword

    -bronze muscle cuirass-



    the shoulder attachments, an organic part of the cuirass, which were used to fasten the bronze muscle cuirass close to the body of the hoplite wearing it. As it was fashion created for each individual it achieved a good fit. With the fitting that those shoulder pads helped achieved it became perfect, so the muscle bronze cuirass could very well distribute its weight to the whole body of the hoplite, not just the shoulders.


    Pergamon history and its hoplites

    In 216 Pergamon is a small but potent power, a Prussia of the Asia Minor/Anatolia. There are frequent skirmishes and outright hostilities between Pergamon and Bithynia, when the restless Celts of Galatia aren't attacking. Seleucids have been driven away or will soon be. All the money that Lysimachos' left in Pergamon didn't go into making books. A lot of it was spent on creating a small but Epilektoi hoplites force. No better way to equip them but using the frieze that Pergamenes themselves created as a tribute to Athena, depicting the spoils of war that they acquired from the Seleucids post Magnesia. One of the finest helmets is the one that the hoplite of Pergamon is wearing. The shield that rests under that helmet is the one that the Pergamon epilektoi hoplites are equipped with.

    Pergamon or Pergamum (Greek: Πέργαμος, 39°7′N, 27°11′E) was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, north-western Anatolia, 16 miles from the Aegean Sea, located on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern day Bakırçay), that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty,
    Under Attalus I (241-197 BC), they allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon, during the first and second Macedonian Wars, and again under Eumenes II (197-158 BC), against Perseus of Macedon, during the Third Macedonian War. For support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.
    The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids would support the growth of towns through sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the Acropolis of Pergamum after the Acropolis in Athens.

    Rhodian Epilektoi Hoplites

    Helmet and shield for the Rhodos Hoplite,

    Helmet and cuirass for the Rhodos hoplite

    and a graphical reconstruction of that helmet,

    xiphos for him,

    bronze muscle cuirass, as shown in here,

    the Rhodos hoplite will wear his helmet plain like the actual "ascalon" helmet which has been found in present day Romania.

    shield, The emblem of the capital of Rhodos, named Rhodos after the greek name of the rose.

    the shield for rhodos hoplite

    would be the following,

    All emblems of Ancient Rhodos are depicting Apolo the lightgiver and on the other side, the penultimate Rhodos' emblem, the Rhodon, meaning rose. It would be the only time Rose would become an emblem of a state, until the war of the Roses, in medieval England.

    A short history of Rhodos and its hoplites

    Rhodes was one of the jewels of the ancient world until its sack by the murderers of Julius Caesar. At the time RS 2.0 begins in, Rhodes is a faithful Ally of Rome along with Pergamon, helping it against Carthage and Hannibal. Its fleet along with Pergamon's was instrumental in Roman victory. A very rich city from commerce and its engineers. Not only did its school of engineers produce some of the finest catapults, but also the worlds' first computing devices. The Antikythera Mechanism

    as it was found,

    gearworks galore in early stages of reconstruction according to the instructions written on the sides of the mechanism and some guesstimates,

    and a finished reconstructed mechanism, accurately predicting the movement of Sun moon and 5 planets and all the elliptic interactions between them,

    It was created in Rhodes in the first century BCE, and to this day it is the first gearwork equipment which can be called a computer. It can accurately predict the movement of Sun, moon and all 5 known planets at the time, a grate aid for navigation. Others consider it a way to predict the horroscope months ahead, but that would be too much effort and money spent on something as trivial. Navigation on the other hand on the time by the stars, located where the mechanism would predict, would mean life and death, especially in stormy and cloud covered night skies. Any investment paid for it would be worth that. Think about it. The PC you are reading this on. The furthest back we can trace its origin, is in the Greek National Archaeological museum, under the title "Antikythera mechanism". According to Cicero, even more complicated mechanisms were demonstrated working to him.

    The Epilektoi Hoplites of Rhodos are equipped with a spear , xiphos , greaves ,bronze muscle cuirass , his aspis shield with the symbol of the rose.

    On the island of Rhodes,
    Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος Rhódhos) is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, situated in eastern Aegean Sea. This Greek island lies approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) to the west of Turkey, situated between the Greek mainland and the island of Cyprus.
    Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built with the bronze from the siegeing equipment of Demetrios Poliorketes who failed to plunder it.

    -Trait/Ancillary/Building Editor

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
    and I'm not sure about the universe." -----Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Anything that isn't 'member' Member Squid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Default Re: Roma Surrectum 2.0 Preview: HELLENISTIC HOPLITES

    Syracusian Levy Hoplites

    Helmet and shield

    Syracuse levy helmet -evolved boetian-

    c would be it,

    The following one, for a concept pic

    For their shield,

    the "republican" thunderbolt, which Syracuse had on the 5th republic, after the people gained control of the city and allied themselves with the Carthagenians bringing about their doom...

    History of the Syracusian Levy Hoplites

    Levy hoplites of the Syracuse are one of the most numerous in Hellenic states. Huge armories created by Dionysios around 400 BCE saw that everyone who could would be given a helmet, a spear, a pair of greaves and a shield. The cheapest hoplites in all of Hellas, in one of its most populous cities. In fact Hellenic population of Sicily was considered around 900.000 at the time (S. Italy around 300.000). Syracuse population was easily more than 200.000. That meant a lot of arrow fodder which is in fact what those guys are. Free weapons, two weeks of training, and off to the front for these guys. Their dire financial state would mean that they probably never took part in the agoge or ephebic training, and as such their cohesion and stamina would be that of the weakest among them. When he would break they all would.

    Syracuse as the only remaining Hellenic kingdom in Sicily (those other city states who weren't allied with it, were under the sway of Carthagenians). The time of Pyrrhos and his incursion is over. At 216, The city is an ally of Rome against Carthage. This isn't to last though as the people will soon depose of Hiero II and impose a republic in his stead. The 5th Republic of Syracuse, and its final. False demagogues and an effort to stand against the Romans (as everyone could understand, a victory of the Romans meant certain loss of sovereignty overtime for its allies as well) led to the decision to break with Rome and ally with Carthage instead. That would be the undoing of Syracuse as a state, a city and a people.

    Syracusian Epilektoi Hoplites

    Helmet, cuirass and shield

    Helmet and cuirass

    The elites of Syracuse would be wearing the following an Iron helmet of 86 BCE,





    This helmet has an amazing history. It was just discovered in Athens during the digs for the Metro. It was found in Pompeion, in kerameikos. It belonged supposedly to one of the defenders of the city who fought against Sulla at 86 BCE.

    and an iron cuirass which could withstand any and all of the Romani gladii thrusts.

    Iron muscle cuirass, found in Prodromi, Thesprotia, Epeiros. During the period of Demetrios the Poliorketes of the Antigonids, weaponsmith Zoilos of Cyprus creates an all-iron cuirass, much like the one in here which could withstand a bolt from an oxybolos (bolt throwing) catapult from 20 paces away, and remain intact. That iron cuirass is presently on display on Corfu museum, but once Archaeological museum of Igoumenitsa in Thesprotia is complete, it will be relocated there.




    xiphos sword sheath,

    Syracuse hoplite would have something not yet seen in a hoplite, as well,
    Scale pteryges, as shown in the following depiction on an Attica Likythos vase, now located in Cleveland museum of Art)




    A little history on Syracuse Epilektoi hoplites

    Syracusean Epilektoi hoplites are the top of the food chain so far as hoplites are concerned. They would be iron clad, literally. Even the pteryges the wear to protect their vitals are covered in bronze scale. The iron muscle cuirass they wear means that they are effectively invulnerable to arrow bolts that any catapult can let loose at them. The iron helmet they wear is the most durable helmet of any hoplite. Even their tinned bronze shield is a work of art as it depicts the emblem of "Basileion Syrakosion" or Syracusean Kingdom that Hiero had founded. All that armor comes with a price though. They are the most expensive hoplites, and the easiest to be tired. They are, however, VERY tough to kill, as they would have to be the most trusted of the Kings' guard to be awarded a position in the "Epilektoi" hoplites. (every one else call them Tyrants). If they are not surrounded they cannot be killed, not easily at least.

    As the greatest polis of the Western Greeks, Syracuse numbered 200.000+ people in 216 prior to its destruction. A great leadership under the self declared Kings Hiero and Hiero II and an alliance to Rome led to magnificent achievements. A great ship, "Syrakosia" which must have been the greatest cargo ship ever built and one of the greatest of its time. Its self stated goal was to be loaded up with grain and ship off to every part of the Mediterranean that was under famine. The "Syrakosioi" kings wouldn't flinch at all costs that would go to the defense of their city-kingdom. It has been mentioned that Agathokles would pay for the arms and armor of his trusted guards, therefore his "epilektoi". However those can be considered a Royal guard rather than "chosen" hoplites by the rest of the polis as they would place his interest above that of the Polis in a heartbeat. Assumption of the royal title by the last of the Tyrants who ruled over independent Syracuse, Hieron and Hieronymos, meant that this was probably the case. "Epilektoi" would mean Royal, at least in this case.

    Models/textures. CeltoHellenic Hoplite, Bebbe. All others, tone
    Research Keravnos, Swhunter, Mulattothrasher, Cherryfunk
    Text Keravnos, Swhunter and good old wikipedia on the history of some of the cities that those AOR hoplites come from
    Suggestions, comments, The Roma Surrectum team.
    Last edited by Squid; 06-10-2008 at 18:30.

    -Trait/Ancillary/Building Editor

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
    and I'm not sure about the universe." -----Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    JEBMMP Creator & AtB Maker Member jirisys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    In the town where I was born.

    Default Re: Roma Surrectum 2.0 Preview: HELLENISTIC HOPLITES

    Great preview... Awesome I say... The research... It's just... Wow...

    So many varieties... Your mod is great...

    Yet, I seem to have a problem with a little thing there...

    Why do the hoplites have the sword at their left? A sword less than twelve inches was almost always carried on the right, especially with soldiers whose formation needed to be tight, they would have to make an awkward movement to retrieve it.

    Just an observation, I will download it, It's so awesome, yet I hope you would answer my questions

    ~Jirisys ()
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Because we all need to compensate...


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