Hoplite Arms and Tactics

A hoplite was the main type of ancient Greek warrior. The word comes from hopla, the Greek word for the gear that a hoplite used. Here we are talking about the 8th to 4th centuries BC - that is about 800BC to 300BC. At this time a hoplite usually fought for his city-state, for example Athens or Sparta. Hoplites fought in a phalanx - a tight, well-disciplined formation of ranks and files.

In the vase painting to the right you can see two hoplites fighting. The picture shows you what sort of arms they used ('arms' means weapons and armour). Follow the links on this page to learn more about a hoplite's weapons, armour, and tactics - the way a hoplite fought and how the phalanx worked.

Weapons - spear and sword

Armour - shield, helmet, cuirass, and greaves

Tactics - how hoplites fought in the phalanx

YouTube videos of hoplite re-enactors: