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Thread: Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

  1. #1

    Default Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

    Hi guys,

    I know this is related to outside EB's time frame.

    Just a question I've had wondering around my head for a while really...

    It does appear the hoplite was an effective form of infantry during the classical period but since the Persians did encounter them on numerous occasions how come they never adapted their own infantry or a section of their army to match hoplite tactics + equipment?

    I'm sure the Empire possessed the finances + resources to do this and with access to mercenary hoplites, the people with the skills and knowledge to train their soldiers how to fight as a hoplite phalanx.

    The only reasons that I could think of as to why not are -

    1. The large amount of available mercenary hoplites simply made it just easier and cheaper to simply recruit the mercenaries.

    2. Or the holpite wasn't as effective against the Persian army as we may have been lead to believe + the defeats of the Persian armies during the Greeco-Persian wars was down more to luck, tactics and terrain more suitable to hoplite warfare then the typical Persian cavalry/light infantry combo. I'm pretty sure there were more occasion that the Greek hoplite phalanx was defeated by the Persian army + tactics than visa versa...

    Anyone else agree? Or have a different view?

  2. #2
    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

    They did, the Kardakes.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

    Because Greek Mercenaries were cheaper.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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    Near East TW Mod Leader Member Cute Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

    Kardakes didn't fight in overhead spear fight (at least in EB)

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    Member Member Hax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

    Wasn't really the Persian style, as far as I'm aware. Why train your own units while mercenaries were cheaper and faster to get?
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    EBII Mod Leader Member Foot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

    Quote Originally Posted by antisocialmunky View Post
    Because Greek Mercenaries were cheaper.
    +1.

    Also Hoplites are not effective in all combat situations, and the armies of persia with the large numbers of archer-spearmen were in response to the enemies that they faced in the east. Also, tradition is a hard thing to break if there is no pressing need to. For the Greeks, Persia may have been big news, but for Persia they had bigger problems at home, and their armies had to be formulated to effectively meet that threat.

    @QuintusSertorius
    The Kardakes is a unit from EBII, and is not a corps that was strictly available in Achaemenid Persia.

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did the Persian Empire not equip + train its own hoplites?

    Correct me if I am wrong but, Hoplites didn't really become anything special until after the Persian Wars. Additionally the Persians were much more concerned about countering cavalry threats and using massed archery rather than engaging in a protracted slugfest.

    Its kinda weird not having TPC commenting on something like this. I haven't seen him in a while either :-\
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 01-22-2011 at 14:59.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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