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Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece$
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Anthony Snodgrass

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623334

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623334.001.0001

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The ‘Hoplite Reform’ Revisited

The ‘Hoplite Reform’ Revisited

Chapter:
(p.344) Chapter 19 The ‘Hoplite Reform’ Revisited
Source:
Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece
Author(s):

Anthony Snodgrass

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623334.003.0019

In classical Athens, someone in each community would be charged with the duty of mustering a given number of hoplites from their district. In his analysis of the Homeric battle scenes, Joachim Latacz cites the Homeric poems. His thesis won important support from historians and archaeologists: the implication was that any such episode as a ‘hoplite reform’, if indeed it had happened at all, did so at an earlier date than previously assumed, in time for its effects to permeate the text of the Iliad. This chapter argues that there is a substantial class of evidence, that of the actual surviving pieces of armour dedicated at Olympia and other sanctuaries, which is more robust than either new textual interpretations of Homer, or new readings of battle scenes in art. It argues that the systematic use of a pitched battle formation like the later phalanx, with tactics like those of the later synaspismos, has no part in hoplite warfare.

Keywords:   Athens, hoplites, warfare, hoplite reform, phalanx, Homer, Iliad, Joachim Latacz, armour, Olympia

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