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PGWiP 22/11/13 A New Model of Hoplite Battle

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Roel Konijnendijk

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of PGWiP 22/11/13 A New Model of Hoplite Battle

Roel Konijnendijk (UCL)
Rüstow/Köchly (1852), 178-179; Droysen (1889), 93; Lammert (1899), 20; Delbrück (2nd ed. 1908), 107; Grundy (1911), 270-271; Kromayer/Veith (1928), 84-85; Adcock (1957), 88; Anderson (1970), 13; Cawkwell (1972), 261-263; Cartledge (1977), 15-16; Buckler (1980), 88; Holladay (1982), 97, 101; Cartledge (1987), 240; Connor (1988), 29; Hanson (1989), 5, 10, 198; (1991), 3-5; Mitchell (1996), 92-95; Sage (1996), xvii; Hanson (2000), 206-207, 218; Lendon (2005), 41-42; Schwartz (2009), 233-234; Cartledge (2009), 362; Lee (2009), 391-392...
Roel Konijnendijk (UCL)
Olpai, 426
Delion, 424
First Mantineia, 418
Syracuse, 415
Nemea, 394
Long Walls of Corinth, 392
Leuktra, 371
following Hanson
Solygeia, 425
Second Koroneia, 394
'A battle like no other in our time' - Xen. Hell. 4.3.16

Formation depth unknown: Thebans very deep?
Cavalry? Peltasts?
'as they pleased'
'extremely deep'
Model Hoplite Battle?
'The search for a "typical" hoplite battle is illusory'

- Wheeler
'There is no typical hoplite battle'

- Hanson
Time and Place: Mantineia 418
Round 1: Playing Chicken
Each side took up a position on a hill
, and the Argives prepared to fight the Lakedaimonians while they were alone; but
at night Agis broke up his camp and slipped away

Thuc. 5.58.2
Round 2: Send the Cavalry
'The Argives and their allies
did not see the danger they were in
, but thought that they could not be in a better place to fight, having intercepted the Lakedaimonians
in their own country and close to the city
Thuc. 5.59.4
Round 3: If You Think You're Hard Enough
'Here they were seen by the Argives and their allies,
who took up a strong and difficult position
and formed up for battle. The Lakedaimonians went against them at once, and came within a stone's throw or javelin's cast, when one of the older men,
seeing how strong the enemy's position was
, shouted to Agis that he intended to cure one evil with another'
Thuc. 5.65.1-2
(Xen. Hell. 2.4.10-19, 5.4.50, 7.5.8; Diod. 15.32.3-6)
Round 4: Are We Going to Fight or What?
'…and the Lakedaimonians, returning from the water to their old encampment by the temple of Herakles,
suddenly saw their enemies right in front of them
, all in battle formation and advanced from the hill. It was the greatest shock in Lakedaimonian memory:
there was little time for preparation
, as they instantly and hastily put themselves in order'
Thuc. 5.66.1-2
(Thuc. 4.43.1, 4.93.1, 4.96.1; Xen. Hell. 4.2.19, 7.5.21-22)
Time and Place: The Theory
'Attack the enemy where you are not unwilling to fight, and where you will not be at a disadvantage. (…) yield to them, and then attack them when they let their guard down.'

Aeneas Tacticus, 16.7-10
'Contrive (…) to be formed up and strike the enemy in disorder, to be armed and attack them unarmed, to be awake and surprise them sleeping, to have them in sight while unseen, and to catch them in bad ground while you are in a strong position.'
Xen. Cyr. 1.6.35
Arranging the Line
Best troops on left:

[Plataia], [Potidaia], Stratos, Olpai, Solygeia, Mounichia, Nemea, Olynthos, Leuktra, Second Mantineia

Best troops in centre:

Syracuse, First Mantineia, Long Walls of Corinth
'The Thebans (...) figured that if they conquered those around the king, all the rest would be easy to overcome.'

Xen. Hell. 6.4.12
'…if we advance formed up many ranks deep, the enemy will outflank us, using their outflanking wing as they like; on the other hand, if we are formed up a few ranks deep, we should not be surprised if our phalanx is cut through by a hail of missiles and men falling upon us; and if this happens anywhere, it will be bad for the whole phalanx.'

Xen. An. 4.8.11
Primitive or sophisticated?
Simple tactics
Citizen armies, coalition armies
Sophisticated tactics
Spartans, mercenaries,
'"So then," said Chrysanthas, "you think their plan is good?"
"It is," Cyrus answered. "Against what they can see."'

Xen. Cyr. 7.1.8
'…we should draw up guard units behind our phalanx, so that we may have men to come to its aid, and that the enemy, once they are in the thick of it, may be hit by fresh troops in good order.'
Xen. An. 6.5.9
'This is our best hope to frighten them, for those who show up later are more terrifying to an enemy than those he is already fighting.'
Thuc. 5.9.8
Secure terrain advantage

Hide intentions/obtain surprise

Protect flanks/neutralise cavalry

Devise a plan

Break the enemy's best
Full transcript