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Thread: Hoplitai Hellenikon Question

  1. #1
    Elite Peasant Member Son of Perun's Avatar
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    Aug 2007

    Question Hoplitai Hellenikon Question

    I mean the Saka Heavy Hoplites. Why are they using the old classic phalanx and do not fight in the reformed style (successor or iphilcrates) ? If the Sakas conquer the Bactrian lands and install the allied government, they should be able to recruit units similar to Bactrian. But it seems that Greco-Bactrians do not have any classical hoplites, they use the hellenistic style units like pezhetairoi. In fact, it seems that the nearest hoplites fighting in classical overhand style are far away on the coast of Asia Micra.

    Also, can anyone give me some historical backup on these heavy hoplites?

    Looking forward to your answers!

  2. #2
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Helsinki, Finland

    Default Re: Hoplitai Hellenikon Question

    I'm guessing the direct ancestor would actually be the Baktrioi Agema (the Baktrian Hypaspist-like unit) and the comparable Indo-Greek units, since those have most of the elements of the "classical" hoplites in place - overhand spear, the aspis etc.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Hoplitai Hellenikon Question

    Yeah, that's pretty much it. One of the best sources we had for the Baktrian Agema and the Saka hoplite comes from this:

    These are (Nikonorov):
    two gold clasps from Grave no 3 of the Tillya-tepe necropolis (Fig 24e,f). Although this burial is dated itself to the first half of the 1st century AD, the pieces under review seem to be of much earlier date. Most probably, they were manufactured by a local master, either in the Late Graeco-Bactrian or in the very Early Yueh-chih period, that is within the second half of the 2nd century BC. In any case, most of our warrior's outfit, particularly a helmet of the "sharp forehead peak" type, elaborately produced "muscle" cuirass and short sword with a hilt shaped into the griffin's head, are of obvious Hellenistic origin. Deserving attention is the method of suspending the sword - by means of the scabbard-slide. Assuming our dating is correct, then we are witnessing the earliest use of the scabbard-slide in the Bactrian region. Taking into account the parade aspects of both the warriors on the clasps, it seems acceptable to depict the whole armour assemblage on our reconstruction as made of gilt metal.
    A Greek unit, "nomadized" (i.e., with adaptations made to suit local fighting styles/needs), with metal plates on fabric instead of the old style of petyrges, and with long sleeves, a modified Boeotian helmet, and some upper-arm/shoulder protection.


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