Warfare of the Greek World- part2

Here I continue my article on Ancient Greece, especially about Greek warfare, once again it is about the military of ancient Greece and its history. This time it would focus more on the empires made by the Greek world, not only in Greece itself but outside Greece, going south, east, and west. These other Greek nations and empires from outside Greece include Macedonia, the Seleucid Empire, the Egyptian Empire, and Carthage. These empires (except Macedonia) are from outside Greece but were still Greeks and dominated other parts of the world with Greek power. The one that was responsible for spreading Greek ideas including warfare outside Greece was the conquests of Macedonia.

map of Alexander's Macedonian Empire
Map of Alexander’s Macedonian Empire
Macedonian empire symbol
Macedonian empire symbol

First of all, Macedonia was just a small kingdom in northern Greece (the Balkans) next to Thrace, Epirus, and the Greek cities. What all changed it was the legendary general and king, Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC who conquered the lands to the east and south making the Greeks a world power. The person who started Macedon’s ambitions was Alexander’s father King Philip II who conquered the Greek cities making the Greeks fall to Macedonia and from then the Macedonians joined in with the Greeks and used Greek armies to expand their empire. In more than about 12 years of Alexander III the Great’s reign (336-323BC), Macedonian territory expanded from Greece going east all the way through Persia and Bactria, all the way to the Indus river, at the border of India, an to Egypt in the south, the Balkans in the west. Alexander conquered these lands with his powerful army with Macedonians and Greeks combined. As the conquests progressed, the Macedonians used different armies from all over the eastern world such as Persians and more. Part of the powerful army were holiness and the same Greek army units combined with battle tactics from Greeks and Persians. Afterwards, when Alexander died in 323BC, the Macedonian Empire was divided between his generals making the rest of the world Greek.

Macedonian hoplites in phalanx formation
Macedonian hoplites in phalanx formation
Macedonians with combined armies
Macedonians with combined armies
Macedonian hoplite with arms and armour
Macedonian hoplite with arms and armor
Macedonian cavalryman
Macedonian cavalryman

When building their empire, by the conquests of Alexander the Great through the known world in the east, the Macedonians expanded their territory by a large army having the same units as the Greek army, except with Macedonian and Greek armies combined. The Macedonian army had the same units of hoplites as their special forces. Although Macedonian hoplites had skills and looks different from Classical Greek hoplites; the Macedonian hoplites did not wear a full Corinthian helmet but instead a bronze helmet placed above and around the head but not covering the face, these helmets had a round shape only covering the head and sometimes had a round or pointed tip with a plume coming out.These hoplites did not wear heavy iron armor but the white leather cuirass with metal scales, this type of armor was lighter and more flexible in battle (though white may not be the exact color they used), the armor then was a lot more lighter and it came together with a tunic under and cape sometimes. These hoplites carried a spear as their primary weapon and formed phalanx in battle, for secondary weapons they held either a xiphos sword or a kopis sword if they had no spear, and a large round shield with the Macedonian vergina sun symbol. Most of the hoplites wore armor though the minor forces of Macedon wore just a tunic with a helmet. The Macedonian army was also made up of the minor Greek forces including peltasts (javelin men), archers, slingers, and cavalry men; the cavalry men though were in greater use in the Macedonian army than in the Greek army. The Macedonian cavalry was an important unit in their army, they were also armored with the usual white armor and had the round helmet covering the face, which is also called the Boeotian helmet, used by Greek horsemen, they carried spears as their main weapon and a sword too; to symbolize the Macedonian army in the conquests, they had a purple or red cape. However, the Macedonian army did fully use their own men but used the forces of the Greek city states to fight for them. The cavalrymen were mostly from Macedonia or Thessaly, the peltasts (javelin men) were hired from Thrace or the Greek islands or even Scythia so were the archers and slingers, while the hoplites were either from Athens, Sparta, or Macedonia. The powerful Macedonian army of Alexander fought against the Persians at the battles of Issus and Gaugamela, then conquered Persia and all their lands including Babylon, Egypt, Judea, and Medea. Afterwards, Alexander’s army hired the remaining Persian armies to fight at their side on their next conquest in India, though they failed as it was too far and the Indians had more elephants than men. Afterwards, the Macedonian empire and army id not die, they continued to expand with the new empires, although Macedonia later on grew to become a weak kingdom but its succession kingdoms grew and expanded and their armies changed with ideas form the east.

Seleucid cavalry soldiers
Seleucid cavalry soldiers
Seleucid cavalry soldier
Seleucid cavalry soldier
Seleucid war elephants
Seleucid war elephants
Egyptian infantry men
Egyptian infantry men
Ptolemaic Egyptian heavy infantry
Ptolemaic Egyptian heavy infantry

After Alexander’s death, the Macedonian Empire was divided into 3; Macedonia, and the Seleucid and Ptolemaic kingdoms. The Seleucid Empire was the next Persian Empire based in Syria, it was one of Macedonia’s succession kingdoms which was handed to Seleucus, one of Alexander’s generals giving it its name. The Seleucid Empire became a leading power for about 200 years in the east covering Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Babylon, Persia, until the Indus River, the border with India. The Seleucids though kept their empire with an effective army of both Greek and eastern battle strategies and units. The Seleucid army was mostly made of cavalrymen, which was their most important part in battle more than foot soldiers and hoplites. The Seleucids at battle though mainly used hoplites on horses and especially chariots, this is what the empire focused on in battle. Their chariots came in units with 1 or 2 soldiers riding on it firing arrows and the chariot itself was a weapon with blades at its wheels to slash the enemy army. The Seleucid infantry was not much of an effect, but they were still used, having peltasts, archers, and hoplites, a difference with them was that they used archers and javelin men more and as shields they used an lighter oval shield instead. Another part of their army was the use of Indian elephants, which was highly effective too, above them were archers or javelin men shooting arrows and javelins from above.

The Egyptian empire on the other hand, was a successor kingdom to Macedonia, it was then renamed the Ptolemaic kingdom as it was given to Ptolemy, one of Alexander’s generals. This new empire was a different version of Egypt as it became more Greek and even the army units changed. In battle, the Ptolemaic Egyptians used infantry men more compared to the Seleucids, and focused on javelins, archers, and spear men who were not much of hoplites but a less trained version of them. The difference here was that the Egyptians used plain white leather armor while the Seleucids used iron armor more. A similarity between them was that they both used chariots with archers above them and sometimes used war elephants, and for swords they rarely used the xiphos but the stronger curved-sword, kopis. The Ptolemaic Egyptians however did not have much of a powerful army but their navy was much more effective. Their types of armor were made for desert battle, especially in the deserts of Egypt and Syria, which makes the armor lighter and flexible.

Ptolemaic Egyptian symbol
Ptolemaic Egyptian symbol
Seleucid Empire symbol
Seleucid empire symbol
Egyptian infantry man (left), Seleucid chariot archer (right)
Egyptian infantry man (left), Seleucid chariot archer (right)

Shown above is my drawing of a Ptolemaic Egyptian infantry soldier and a Seleucid chariot soldier. On the right, is a newer version of the Egyptian army; this soldier wears an iron helmet not covering the face but surrounding the head, it has a different type of white leather armor and a cape behind it. This soldier is more of a peltast except fully armed and armored, having an oval shield with the Egyptian symbol, a set javelins for throwing, and a kopis sword. On the right, it shows a Seleucid Empire soldier fully equipped with a bronze helmet and iron cuirass armor with gold scales and a dark cape behind. This soldier for a difference wears a long-sleeve tunic under and holds a kopis sword too and a bow. This soldier ont he right is an elite force of the Seleucid Empire as it is on a chariot, shown behind.

th-21
Carthaginian empire symbol
map of Carthaginian empire with Rome
Map of Carthaginian empire with Rome
Carthaginian infantry soldiers
Carthaginian infantry soldiers
Carthaginian war elephant
Carthaginian war elephant

Another part of the Greek world was Carthage, though it may be far off from Greece and Greek lands, located in north-coast Africa, west of Egypt and south of Italy, its origins though are Greek, originating from the Phoenician settlers. Carthage however was not an empire itself but a republic, same as Rome and Athens and well known for their navy and wealth by trade more than their army. Carthage though had an effective army consisting of cavalry and infantry, though their cavalry was more of the important part. They had mostly the same army units as the Greeks did including peltasts, archers, hoplites, and an extensive cavalry. The unique part of the Carthaginian army was the use of war elephants, the elephants of Carthage were their most important and effective part. Carthage is most famous for fighting wars with Rome (the Punic Wars), here Carthaginian general Hannibal launched a large attack on Rome with the whole army including elephants, but at the end lost. The Carthaginian army had the same type of armor as the Greeks, usually the light leather ones but t eh difference is that that in Carthage they sometimes used chain-mail cuirass armor which Greeks did not use but the same bronze helmets. The weapons though were the same but the Carthaginians took the use of javelins more seriously; Carthage’s forces then are more similar to that of the Romans than the Greeks.

Carthaginiansoldier (left) and Macedonian hoplite (right)
Carthaginian soldier (left) and Macedonian hoplite (right)

Shown above is my sketch of a Carthaginian and Macedonian soldier, each look differently. The Carthaginian soldier (left)wears the classic Greek bronze head-cover helmet but instead of a leather cuirass, this soldier wears a chain-mail similar to that they used in Rome.This soldier would be classified as an elite pelatast or heavy infantry, holding a set of javelins with an oval shield, and a xiphos sword, these were the same types of units on Carthage’s war elephants. The Macedonian soldier (right) is classified more as a hoplite, except without a spear being used for light combat with a xiphos sword ans shield. This version of hoplite does not wear a full helmet but the bronze one and a light leather armor together with a smaller shield for sword combat and the classic Macedonian purple cape being part of their royal army. All these soldiers of my drawing may have looked the same, which is true since most of the units of the Greek world empires outside Greece had the same look and weapons and somewhat the same skills. The similarity all these empires mentioned (Egypt, Seleucids, Macedonia, Carthage) has is that they all met their end fighting wars with Rome and soon falling to what will be the new Roman Empire, combining all these empires.

the Greek navy
The Greek navy

Before this finishes, here is also a short topic on the Greek navy and the types of ships together with siege weapons. Aside from the army, the Greek city states, also the empires had a powerful navy, especially Egypt and Carthage. In the history of Greece and the Greek empire, famous naval battles are recorded, such as the Battle of Salamis where the Greeks won against the Persian invaders, some happened during Alexander’s naval conquests, also in the war between Carthage and Rome, ad lastly, the Battle of Actium, between the Ptolemaic Egyptians and the Romans when Rome finally took over the Greek world. There are different types of Greek ships in the navy and have different effects, the Romans to used the same type of ships as the Greeks, except stronger; other empires too such as the Persians had a similar navy.

sample bireme ship
Sample bireme ship
same trireme ship
Same trireme ship

The Greeks had a set of different war ships of different uses and were similar to the Roman warships. The ships came in different sizes and were different from each other by the number of rows of oars. For example, the ship called bireme is much smaller and used to hold archers and skirmishers, and had 2 sides of oars but only one row, it is much simpler in look and was an earlier form of these battle ships. The trireme was much more effective moved by a double row of oars and 2 sails, it held the archers in naval battle and in battle, its effect was ramming enemy ships with its sharp point in front. The quadrireme was a larger version of a trireme, this one held more soldiers, had a sharper edge, but was more used for siege weapons to destroy enemy ships, these types of ships also had a small tower mounted on it for skirmishers or siege weapons. Following it, there are larger types of ships which were more used for blockading; the Romans on the other hand used even larger ships having until 7 rows pf oars. At battle, these ships fought in a few different ways but had limited skills.

Greek naval warfare
Greek naval warfare
naval clash- Carthage vs Rome
Naval clash- Carthage vs Rome

The ships of all these empires of the Greek world and even Rome had the same appearance but their sails had each of the country’s symbol and sometimes ships itself had different colors. In battle, the ships often fought together as one fleet but each ships had different weapons and skills. The way naval battles were fought in the Greek world, also Roman world was by firing missiles such as arrows and javelins at enemy ships. By firing arrows or javelins, archers were boarded on the ships using their bows altogether to fire at the enemy; in naval battles though, first burning oil was thrown at sea where the enemy passes, then archers fire their flaming arrows at the oil burning the enemy, or they fired a singe flaming arrow at the ship itself which was made of wood, this was very much effective especially if the enemy ship were trapped but it would be hard to escape the trap. Another way Greek ships fought as by ramming directly at the enemy ship with the ship’s point in front, after ramming, the enemy ship would get beaten. Part of naval melee combat was also when ships hit each other, the soldiers would board the enemy ship, for the Greeks hoplites and infantry melee soldiers were boarded on triremes to board the enemy ship and attack the enemies on ship, sometimes the ships would be useless as the soldiers fought jumping from ship to ship. Another effective but slow way of combat in the Greek navy were siege engines mounted on ships, used for launching bolts or large hot stones or flaming hay balls on enemy ships. Using siege weapons were quite slow but the larger ships carried them and it took up more spacing having not much soldiers in them but siege weapon operators. These siege weapons included ballistas and catapults which had the effect of destroying enemy ships by burning or simply battering them. The famous naval battles of the Greek and Roman world like Salamis, the Greeks against Persians; Syracuse and Naxos, which was Athens against Sparta; and even in the Punic wars with Carthage and finally Actium used these naval battle tactics and had great effects in the wars.

Greek ballista
Greek ballista
Greek onager
Greek onager

The Greeks too had a set of siege weapons, the ballista and the onager were the classic and basically used ones. These siege weapons were both used in land and sea battles. The ballista was a commonly used one, a large crossbow low on the ground but pointed upwards, it was used on ships or in land battles when it came to siege walls and fortresses or to take down a number of enemy forces. Ballistas were also used on ships to fire flaming bolts a the enemy ships, the ballistas often fired bolts which were a larger version of arrows and had the flaming effect to burn down ships or burn the enemy lines. The onager was another type of weapon, this one was a small version of the catapult and moved on ground but needed about 6 men to operate. Onagers were both used in land to siege walls or destroy enemy ships by using heavy stones or flaming hay piles. These types of weapons then were overall used in the Greek world and also by the Romans, thought the Romans made improved versions of them.

Before this article ends, here’s to shorten the explanation of the Greek army, in battle they were different from each other having hoplites, archers, cavalrymen, siege weapons but they fought together as one and relied more on melee combat. Although the Greeks of the extended Greek world (Seleucids, Egyptians, and Carthaginians) did not fight that way anymore but individually as units and modified many parts of the Greek army. For the navy, they also fought together, and with their own military tactics, they were able to grow and build empires, dominating the known parts of the world for centuries. This topic may have been really long, but sure may have taught you a lot of things!!

Warfare of the Greek World- Part1

On this article on my blog, it is once again about historical warfare once again showing my military sketches throughout history. This time, the focus will be on Ancient Greece and the warfare of the Greek world; armor sets and weaponry. This topic on Ancient Greece focuses mainly on the warfare on ancient Greece and the city-states. (next one about the Greek world empires)!!

map of Greek city-states
Map of Greek city-states

th-1In the time of Classical Greece, Greece itself was not a full united kingdom or empire but several city-states, some ruled by a king, some a democracy. The well known city states of Greece (if you can see the names on the map above) include Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes, Thessaly, and Epirus. Each of them had a different government, different way of life such as enlightenment in Athens and warfare in Sparta, and of course each had different armies. Armies of Ancient Greece, no matter from which city state somewhat looked the same, though to tell their difference, their colors were sometimes different, some city-states had different army units or different types of weapons, and the symbols on the soldiers’ round shields were different showing symbols of different city-states. For example, Athens used the owl symbol (for Athena), while Sparta used the lambda (^) symbol, and Macedonia together with other Greek cities used the vergina sun symbol. The Greek islands however were not counted as full city states but colonies or alliances to them especially when city-states of mainland Greece are at war. The city-states became united under one empire when the Macedonians took them over in the 4th century BC, afterwards the Greek army fought at their side.

I. Greek land Warfare (Hoplites)

sketch of Greek Hoplites in battle
Sketch of Greek Hoplites in battle
Greek hoplites in phalanx formation
Greek hoplites in phalanx formation

The armies of Ancient Greece had many different battle units but had the same formations in battle. For the Ancient Greeks, fighting together side-by-side in the phalanx was an important part of Greek warfare. At the same time it was effective too, as Hoplites, the elite military force of ancient Greece fought together in different groups forming a square formation but each hoplite holding a spear for attack and a shield for defense. The hoplites were organized in different rows, the spears pointed strait at the front and going upwards at the back rows. It was effective in a way that the phalanx slowed down the enemies trapping them especially with the front row spears, which was used to hit the horses of enemy cavalry while the upper spears pointed towards the horseman. The use of the phalanx however could be hard especially when fighting another army with he same formations such as fighting other Greek hoplites (which happened in the Peloponnesian War, Sparta against Athens) though the phalanx was effective when fighting cavalry men or soldiers who did not use the phalanx such as the Persian armies (during the Greek-Persian Wars); the phalanx though was vulnerable to cavalry shock charges though the hoplites were quick in action to slow them down and sometimes easily wipe out enemy armies by simply using the spears. The Greek army was also made up of skirmishers, including archers, javelin men, slingers, and shock cavalry, however the fully-armored hoplites were the important lie of defense as the Greeks in battle took close combat more seriously.

2 types of Greek hoplites
2 types of Greek hoplites

Shown above here is my sketch showing two types of Greek hoplites, a Thessaly hoplite (on the left) and a Sparta hoplite (on the right). In Ancient Greek warfare, hoplites were the important line of defense in battle and the elite forces (the spec-ops or marines of ancient Greece, the leading city states had to have hoplites in their army especially if they were at war with another city state or an invading empire. Hoplites served as the professional army and were the most well-trained and organized soldiers of the Greek world, in battle they were fully equipped with a full-face helmet which was called the Corinthian helmet, hey wore an iron and leather body armor called Thorax, a set of bracers, boots, and cape depending on their city’s color, and carried a one-handed sword, a dagger, a spear, and a large round shield. The Thessalian hoplite on the left shows a classic version of a Greek hoplite with the Corinthian helmet with a crest above, at the body is the thorax armor made of leather and iron scales (the white color though is not accurate to the original armor but a modern representation, the exact color of Greek armor though is unknown though it was made of bronze). The hoplite on the left wears a red cape, carries the phalanx spear called a Dory, the sword is sheathed and covered by a large round shield, curved outwards with the scorpion symbol. On the right is a Spartan hoplite commander; to tell the difference, the commander has the patterned crest sidewards but wears the same helmet and compared to all the Spartan hoplites with a red cape, this one wears a dark colored-one to differentiate himself from the army. The Spartan hoplite wears a full metal engraved armor and a tunic under; this hoplite also does not carry a spear but the classic one-handed leaf-edge sword, called Xiphos and a large round bronze shield curved inwards with the Spartan symbol.

combination of Greek hoplites
Combination of Greek hoplites
3 types of hoplites
3 types of hoplites

The upper picture shows a close-up of different types of Greek hoplites in battle itself with their melee weapons (swords and spears) ready for attack. The lower picture however, describes the functions of different types of Greek hoplites. The 3 types shown here is a Macedonian infantry soldier (left), Spartan Hoplite (center), and Athenian Hoplite (right) and an old sketch of mine which had appeared in a previous post. The Macedonian soldier (left) is a different form of hoplite, a lighter armed and armored one with a common Greek infantry bronze helmet, wearing the light armor (white with metal scales), and carrying lighter weapons for light combat in battle which is just another type of Greek sword (Kopis) used for harder sword combat if without a spear and holding a smaller round shield for foot-soldiers. On the center, this other version of a Spartan hoplite however does not do much of the action in fighting at the battlefield but instead carries the flag representing the Spartan army at battle, this hoplite as it does not fight full on the battlefield does not wear the iron cuirass armor but a leather cuirass mostly covered by a cape or a draping, although wearing the full helmet and carries a xiphos sword and instead of a shield, the Spartan war flag. The one on the right is a full armored and equipped Athenian hoplite with the full helmet with the crest, wearing iron armor for full protection when fighting full-combat; the Athenian hoplite is on standing formation holding up the spear and the shield with Athens’ symbol kept still, the sword is sheathed. The Athenian hoplite wears the blue cape showing Athens’ state color in battle, the Athenian hoplite at battle had more battle strategy than strength at battle as the Spartans did. As for weapons, hoplites used the spear as their primary weapon to hit the first wave of enemy, the sword was secondary used if the spear hit the target or fell or if the enemy is too close. Overall in ancient Greece, hoplites were the leading and most important part in battle being fully armed and armored and also organized whether they are many (in the 10,000’s such as the Spartans in the Persian Expedition) or a few (such as 300 in the Battle of Thermopylae); in ancient Greek warfare, melee fighting was what they highly focused on in battle.

II. Greek land Warfare (skirmishers and minor units)

The Greek army had more than hoplites, though hoplites were the leading and major part in the battlefield, the other soldiers were secondary forces or citizen armies. These other forces included cavalrymen, javelin men, archers, and slingers who were not in much use in battle but sometimes effective. These secondary units of ancient Greece were also used in battle but not on the front line of defines, but in at the sides or behind instead. These units in a way wore the same thing in battle, less and light-armored or sometimes without armour but a tunic and helmet, sometimes without a helmet but a hat.

Greek peltasts, samples
Greek peltasts, samples
Greek pelatast at battle
Greek pelatast at battle

A type of these alternative units were Peltasts, or Greek javelin (as shown in the peltast images above), a Greek javelin men in battle wore light armour for skirmishes and not in full combat as the hoplites, usually they did not fight on the field but shot javelins from behind, above or from bushes. The Greek peltasts wear either a set of light armour and a light bronze helmet only covering the head, carried a dagger and the main weapons were the javelins and the small crescent-shaped shield to hold javelins when aiming, this army unit did not usually wear armour and sometimes just the under tunic.

Greek slinger drawing
Greek slinger drawing

Another type of Greek army units were slingers, they also were skirmishers, though having not much effect their use was to basically scare the enemy with stones; the slingers were the most unequipped and less-trained Greek army unit having only the use of a sling and stones and a dagger and did not wear any armour but a tunic and a hat.

Greek archer sample
Greek archer sample

Greek archers on the other hand used the bow and arrows as a primary weapon, while the sword or dagger was the secondary one, when the enemy is too close or arrow run out. Archers however did not fight fully on the battlefield but skirmished the enemies from another point, sometimes using the effect of flame arrows to burn the enemy line of defines or shock them, first by setting up burning oil then by simply firing one flame arrow to burn down the enemy’s battle lines; the Greek archers usually did not wear armour except for light leather armour and barely wore helmets, instead wore large hats, instead of armour they would wear a tunic with a cape over it sometimes.

Macedonian (Greek) cavalryman
Macedonian (Greek) cavalryman

The cavalry then was a more important part in the Greek army and was of great use, they were highly trained also but were not equal in strength with the hoplites. This one shown above, a Macedonian cavalry man wears a light bronze hemet forming a round shape, wears light, white shaded leather armour, holds a spear, and to distinguish cavalrymen from the other units, they wore extra layers of capes with different colours, either blue, red, purple, or grey. Of course, the cavalrymen are mount on horses and their ability is to perform a shock charge on the enemy using their spears. As a secondary weapon, cavalrymen used their swords and sometimes carried bows or javelins; cavalry men often fought in a way by surprising the enemy too and later ambushing them. In Ancient Greece, city states however id not use horse men much at battle, though the Macedonians were the Greeks to really use them.

Greek peltast and archer (my sketch)
Greek peltast and archer (my sketch)

Shown above here (my drawing) for example is how a Greek peltast and archer with weapons. Here both wear helmets, even though they did not but usually they wore iron or bronze helmets in battle but no armour as they were there as skirmishers and the helmets protected their head. The peltast (left) wears a helmet only for the head and instead of light armour a simple tunic with a belt holding a dagger. The peltast’s main weapons here is a set of javelins to throw at the enemy, and the wooden crescent shield with a pattern, for defines and guiding the javelin. The archer (right) is another version of one as  it does not wear a hat but an iron helmet showing the face; its weapons include the bow an arrows and a xiphos sword, ins tea of armour the archer wears a tunic covered with a cape and held by a belt also for protection.

3 types of Greek infantry
3 types of Greek infantry

However, shown here is another version of javelin men and archers of Greece, over here (my drawing) displays a Greek archer (left), a Thracian peltast (centre) and Greek cavalry soldier (right). The archer here is a more classic version of one, wearing no amror but a tunic, belt, and cape, and ins tea of a helmet a leather hat; its weapons are the same bow and arrows with the sword. The peltast (centre) is a different type of Greek soldier, this one is not fully Greek but Thracian (from Thrace, north-east Greece), wearing a distinct tunic and a pointed leather cap, holding simply javelins and as shield, the Thracians however specialised in javelin warfare. The cavalryman (on the right) is however not on a horse but has the exact helmet, spear, and sword as the Greek cavalrymen do; for armour it has the same leather armour with metal scales and a cape covering it.

III. Greek weaponry 

As I have described the army units of Ancient Greece, here is the complete set of weapons Ancient Greek soldiers carried at battle…

set of Greek weapons- part 1
Set of Greek weapons- part 1

Part 1 of my sketch of Greek weapons used in the Greek warfare shows a variety of weapons from swords, to javelins, daggers, and skirmishing equipment. This weaponry set shows 2 of the sam javelins, used by peltasts in skirmishes and below it the skirmisher’s shield. At the upper part, it shows 5 types of Greek swords, 5 of them are the xiphos swords an one is a kopis sword, an a sword sheathe; the 4 types of xiphos have different hilts, some wide, some narrow depending on the blade whether the edge curves wily or narrowly, however these Greek swords have the same function, usually for stabbing the enemy at close melee combat. The other one sword is the kopis, the curved one-bladed sword, its function is usually for Greek hoplites or citizen armies without a spear but a strong weapon for an instant kill. At the right is a Greek bow which archers use sometimes with the flame ability to shoot arrows; below are two types of daggers, one is smaller version of a xiphos, beside it is a sheathe and the other is a sharper one; beside the sharper dagger is a Greek sling for shock skirmishes but not much effect.

set of Greek weapons, part2
Set of Greek weapons, part 2

Here’s part 2 of the Greek weapons, showing a little less of it. Here it shows 2 types of Greek spears (dory) used as primer weapons for hoplites and 2 types of large round Greek shields used by hoplites having Greek patterns painted on metal. Also shown here is an extra xiphos sword design and a Greek war banner used as the army’s flag in battle. Also here are 2 types of Greek siege weapons, the mini-catapult and he ballista. However, siege weapons would be discussed more on my next post.

spartan_lambda_shield_sticker-rddadb085d43548ecbb4f686b2b14567d_v9waf_8byvr_512

So that would be all for now but to conclude the article, the thing about Greek warfare is that it comes in many forms and strategies of each Greek city-state may be different. So this may be a good lesson on Greek warfare no matter how long it is. Up next, see some more of Greek warfare as it will be on the Greek world empires!!

Byzantium- architecture, fashion, arts

Posted by Powee Celdran

I am once again back on blogging, and my first time to blog in 2015, and as I said I would continue my historical blogging especially about Byzantium. Once again, I am back discussing the grew powerful Byzantine Empire, which lasted for about 1000 years. This time the topic would not focus on everything about the Byzantines but mainly on parts of Byzantine culture. In Byzantine Greek culture, art, fashion, and architecture had an important part and these things of their from long before still live on today.

Flag_of_the_Eastern_Roman_Empire

The Byzantine Empire was plainly the continued version of the old Roman Empire though a more developed version of it. Part of what the empire developed through the centuries was architecture. Throughout the centuries, architecture improved and more of Byzantine style buildings were built all over Constantinople, its imperial city, the new Rome, some of it were built beyond the city. Samples of Byzantine architecture can be found all over Constantinople (Istanbul) and in cities in Italy as it was for a time under the empire. Most of what they built though were churches but having their own form of architecture.

Byzantine architecture samples
Byzantine architecture samples
sample, Byzantine style church
sample, Byzantine style church
Byzantine architecture, interior side (my sketch)
Byzantine architecture, interior side (my sketch)
my sample, Byzantine style cathedral
My sample, Byzantine style cathedral

 

To describe Byzantine architecture simply, it usually consists of symmetrical blocks though with a lot of arches and arcades at the dies. Being inside a building of Byzantine architecture seems a lot more different, the interiors are quite massive with high ceilings though not such light comes in. Structures of Byzantine architecture were not designed with much light coming in through them but blocks out light leaving the indie to be cool and sometimes even stuffy with so much ornate things inside. Several arches were carved at the walls not much as entrances but for design. Above these buildings, especially churches were high and low domes. Larger churches or cathedrals had one major high dome with a late circumference surrounded by arcade windows for light to enter. The large one was supported by smaller size domes which had a semi-circular shape. The windows did not do much in bringing light but were mainly something to show colours. Most of these Byzantine architecture buildings though are churches found all over parts of Europe especial those that were once part of the Byzantine empire, some in Constantinople, some in Greece, and some in Italy. To easily identify something of Byzantine architecture, look for something made of more austere material and colour, having a round dome with jagged edges and arcades surrounding it, as well as arcades and arches at the side. To simplify it, Byzantine architecture is an advanced form of classical Roman architecture, however developing domes, circular structures, and supports.

details on Byzantine architecture
Details on Byzantine architecture
different types of Byzantine outfits
different types of Byzantine outfits
sketch of Byzantine outfits (my sketch)
Sketch of Byzantine outfits (my sketch)

Two panels above show samples of Byzantine fashion, the one above shows different types of Byzantine people like noblemen and women, a priest, and a guard. The lower one (my sketch) shows a sample of men and women’s fashion while the person on the right shows a sample of a Byzantine city guard and not an infantry soldier. In Byzantium, fashion played a really important part especially in the lives of the Greeks in Constantinople. Their fashion to make it simple is an improved form of Greek and Roman fashion having the same tunics and togas. However, the Byzantines improved simple Greek and Roman colours with more ornate colours and patterns even having gold and jewels attached to their togas. The materials for their outfits were not made from plain wool or cotton as the Greeks and Romans did, theirs was made of silk and embroidered with jewels. The Byzantines got silk for their outfits by trading with the far east, which was China as they found trade routes heading to China for silk. The Byzantines improved on the toga making it wider and more colorful with a set of patterns, under it was a tunic, a little tighter but with patterns too, both the tunic and toga were held up by a belt. The Byzantine fashion focused more on robes, everyone wore them especially priests having robes with simple patterns but wide and flowing, noblemen and noblewomen wore their robes with more jewels and gold, on their head they wore gold circlets with gems and their togas were clipped with large brooches. Both men and women though had similar styles.

 

Byzantine fashion samples- man, woman, and priest
Byzantine fashion samples- man, woman, and priest
Byzantine guards fashion
Byzantine guards fashion

 

The men wore tunics under and covered with a large cape with different patterns, the toga. The men wore belts with ornate design also holding their daggers. The women of Byzantium wore more jewellery at their head, arms, and around their necks, they also wore large togas with patterns covering most of them, under it was a tight dress with ornate patterns of gold and silver. The city guards too especially in Constantinople ha fashion as well, instead of just body armour, they wore coloured tunics under and over a large cape having patterns wrapping their padded-armour, they wore helmets or gold circlets and carried a few weapons such as swords or spears with shields too. Everyone’s hair in Byzantium ha to kept well and they had to be clean at all times and looking their best. In fact, those who wear barbaric outfits as the Germanic tribes wearing pelts, they were forced to leave the city and sent away as Constantinople was a sophisticated place where everyone dresses up and it would be inappropriate to look uncivilised. Overall, fashion had a large part in Byzantine culture, they even took it more seriously than fighting wars, this makes them a sophisticated civilisation in the Middle-ages.

assorted Byzantine patterns

Byzantine pattern art
Byzantine pattern art (possibly found at the palace ceiling)
Byzantine religious art
Byzantine religious art
late-period Byzantine art
late-period Byzantine art
Byzantine carved diptych art
Byzantine carved diptych art (possibly depicting Emperor Justinian I)

 

Part of Byzantine architecture and Byzantine life was the arts. Artworks were made part of the architecture as excoriation and as something that made up the cities. In Byzantium, nothing was plain and colourless, almost everywhere there was something of art, which also explains their fashion and colourful mosaics. They had also developed different patterns, mostly symmetrical and a form of art, ins tea of paintings, a compilation of different tiles forming figures. Byzantine art was different in so much ways from Western European Medieval art as theirs was more detailed, more colourful, and precise. When it comes to art, the Byzantines took it precisely and did it with math and measurements, by placing it on walls and ceilings. Another toe of Byzantine art are diptychs, carvings from ivory, here they carved figures out of ivory so detailed and precise. For their art, the most important subjects were Christian figures, which is shown by seeing them especially in the walls and ceilings of Byzantium’s churches. Mosaics were the common form of art in Byzantium found almost everywhere and in many different forms. Figures on mosaics however do not show much emotion and perspective is less compared to Renaissance art though it is more extravagant lined with gold tiles. The style of mosaic art changed throughout the centuries of the empire, the earlier period did not show as much detail but more colour while in the late period, the detail was sharper but the colours a little faded.  What Byzantine mosaic art often has is gold background surrounding icons of religious figures. Other forms of this art are carved ornaments on the walls and ceiling sod churches, made of gold and ivory; one of the best places to see Byzantine art is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the San Vitale church in Ravenna. To describe Byzantine art, it is an improved version of earlier Roman art with more colours especially gold and even shinier, also a more detailed version of simple and dull Western Medieval art. The Byzantines too made fresco art but made the images look more detailed tan the west, they had also put some writings in their art.

Byzantine literature page
Byzantine literature page
Medieval Byzantine jousts, sample
Medieval Byzantine jousts, sample

 

Of course there was more to art in the life of those who lived in Byzantium’s empire especially for those who lived in Constantinople. For them, art, music, and literature together with wearing fashionable colour patterned clothes was part of their lifestyle. One of Byzantium’s entertainment forms is jousts in the city hippodrome, it was their way to entertain others in an action packed way rather than watching real fights like in Rome. The golden age of Byzantine literature, arts, and architecture was the Komneneian period (the Komnenos dynasty of emperors) in the 12th century, under emperors Alexios I and Manuel I, Byzantium improved more with the arts but declined in military strength. With all the arts, architecture, literature, and fashion, Constantinople was the melting pot of cultures, where different cultures from the east and west met. The negative part about Byzantium being too much into art and entertainment was that it drew the people to it more rather than making them defend their empire causing lands to be lost. After all, by having the advance arts as well as sciences, this made the Byzantine Empire the most advanced civilisation in Medieval times.

 

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Now that’s all for now, watch out later for more of my Byzantium posts, next about the Byzantine military, hope you enjoy!