The Ancient Library

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On this page: Warfare (continued)



their supremacy over the other Greek races. The duty of service, which began

•with- the twentieth year, and admitted of no exceptions, did not terminate until

•capacity for service came to an end; but with his sixtieth year the soldier became exempt from foreign service. Originally the heavy-armed infantry, or hoplites, con­sisted solely of Spartans; but even at the time of the Persian Wars, side by side with the Spartans, whose troops in their larger divisions were termed l8choit the perlceci also served as soldiers, but in separate divisions. The helots who accompanied the army served as personal attendants to the hoplites (see hypaspist^:), and as light-armed troops in battle. A picked corps of the hoplites, specially employed as a royal body-guard, were those known as hippeltt (horsemen) composed of 300 Spartans under thirty years of age, who were selected by the three hippagrgtce, and commanded by them. A peculiar corps of lighter infantry was formed from the Sciritse (the inhabitants of the district of Sciritis), who were spe­cially employed on the out-post service of the camp ; they were used as scouts on the march, and in battle had their position as­signed them on the left wing. The Spartans also kept up a fleet, in which the helots were employed as marines and oarsmen; in cases of great emergency they were transformed into heavy-armed soldiers and served in the army, after which they received their free­dom. (See neodamodeis.) From the end of the 5th century B.C. the Lacedsemonian army was divided into sixmoro?, each commanded by a polemarch. Owing to their steadily decreasing numbers the Spartans only formed the nucleus of the battalions, which were brought up to their full complement by the addition of perioeci. The officers, .however, were exclusively Spartans, and the place of honour was always reserved for that body. In military expeditions the troops often consisted of periceci, nedddmodfils, allies, and mercenaries, while the Spartans acted only as officers (see xenagos) and members of the royal staff. On the cavalry, which only played a subordinate part among j the Spartans, see hippeis. The ephors had the command of the veterans in time of ! war. In the earlier times the kings divided the supreme authority; but after 512 B.C. one alone commanded, unless the circum­stances of the case required more than one ' general. The fleet was commanded by nau&rckoi.

Among the Athenians the citizens of the

first three classes were alone eligible as hoplites, and they were chosen, according to Solon's law, from the pentdcdsldmedimni, hippeis, and zeuyltce j the fourth class, the thetSs, were freed from service, and were only exceptionally employed at sea, but sometimes as light-armed troops on land. They were very rarely heavily armed, and were always remunerated at the expense of the State. The age of military service extended from the eighteenth to the sixtieth year; there were thus forty-two classes of age, and every man was mustered in a certain list (kdtdldgds] under the .name of the archdn Pponymus under whom he had first attained the age of service.1 The first two of these classes were only em­ployed (as pSrlpoloi) to patrol the frontiers. Foreign service began in the twentieth year. From these classes, which were on each occasion called out by a special vote of the people, only so many as were absolutely necessary were taken out of each of the ten phylce. or tribes. The members of the Council, and probably all other officials, were exempt from service. The men who were levied were enrolled, according to their phylce, in ten battalions, taxeis (see taxiarchus), which are some­times called phylce, while their subdivisions are called Itichoi. On the occasion of a levy the troops were sometimes equipped by the aid of the aliens resident in Attica (see metcegi), and also, in the days of the earlier Attic confederation, by means of the contingents contributed by the allies. It was the hoplites who were benefited by this equipment. From the time of Pericles, and during the Peloponnesian War, the cavalry received pay and maintenance money, usually amounting in all to 4 obols (5%d.) a day. The State also allowed pay and maintenance for the horseman's per­sonal attendant. On the Athenian cavalry, which was more important than the Lace­dsemonian, sec hippeis. As to the fleet,

1 [This is the view of SchOmann, Antiquities of Greece, Eng. trans., p. 423; but in Aristotle's Con­stitution of Athens 53, a distinction is drawn between the archdn of the year in which service began and the ep&nymus, who was one of the forty-two eponymoi ton helikion (the ages of mili­tary service). Who these eponymoi were is un­certain ; possibly (as suggested by Mr. Kenyon) they were forty-two heroes of the legendary history of Athens. In any case they must not be confounded either with the eponymous heroes who gave their names to the ten tribes instituted by Clisthfines, or with the arcfion eponymus, who gave his name to the year in which he was chief archon.]

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