Armored and Ready: Inside the Training of a Greek Hoplite (Video)
The life of a Greek Hoplite in the 5th century BC was heavily influenced by their status as warriors. Hoplites were not just soldiers, but members of the Greek citizenry who were expected to fight for their city-state in times of war. They were trained from a young age in the art of combat and were seen as the backbone of the Greek army. Hoplites were often farmers or craftsmen who left their daily lives to fight for their city-state.
The weapons and armor of the Hoplite were some of the most sophisticated of their time. Their armor was made up of bronze and included a helmet, chest plate, and greaves. The shield was a key element in their defense and was made of wood covered with bronze. The Hoplite's primary weapon was the spear, which could be up to nine feet in length. They also carried a short sword for close combat. Before going into battle, Hoplites would participate in various camp activities to hone their skills and prepare themselves for combat. This included sparring with their fellow soldiers, racing, and bathing to purify their bodies and minds.