|Book Title:||Greek Mercenaries. From the Late Archaic Period to Alexander|
|Book Category:||Ancient and Classical|
|Book Type:||PDF Book|
|PDF Size:||3.02 Mb(s)|
|Post Date:||April 9, 2023|
|Read Online:||Read PDF Book Online|
|PDF Download:||Click to Download the PDF|
Greek Mercenaries. From the Late Archaic Period to Alexander
Who were the Greek mercenaries
Greek mercenaries played a significant role in the ancient world from the late Archaic period through the conquests of Alexander the Great. These mercenaries, known as “Hoplites,” were highly sought after by various city-states, kingdoms, and empires due to their renowned skills in warfare.
During the late Archaic period (circa 600-500 BCE), Greek city-states began to expand their influence and engage in conflicts with one another. This led to the rise of mercenaries, as city-states sought additional military support beyond their citizen-soldiers. Greek mercenaries offered their services to the highest bidder, often serving as heavy infantry known as hoplites.
The hoplite warriors formed the backbone of Greek armies, equipped with a large round shield, a spear, and a Corinthian helmet. They fought in a tightly-packed formation called a phalanx, where their overlapping shields provided protection and created an imposing wall of spears. Greek mercenaries were renowned for their discipline, courage, and effectiveness in battle.
As the Greek city-states faced various conflicts and power struggles, including the Persian Wars, mercenaries became an essential part of their military strategy. City-states hired mercenaries from other Greek regions, such as Crete, Achaia, and Arcadia, to bolster their forces. These mercenaries fought in numerous battles, both against external enemies and in internal conflicts within the city-states.
After the Persian Wars, the rise of tyrants and the establishment of powerful empires, such as the Achaemenid Empire, led to increased demand for Greek mercenaries. The Achaemenid Empire, for example, employed Greek mercenaries to supplement its vast army and expand its influence in the eastern Mediterranean.
The most significant period for Greek mercenaries came during the reign of Alexander the Great (336-323 BCE). Alexander, the king of Macedonia, embarked on a vast campaign of conquest that stretched from Greece to Egypt, Persia, and beyond. Greek mercenaries formed an integral part of Alexander’s army, fighting alongside Macedonian soldiers.
Under Alexander’s command, Greek mercenaries fought in numerous battles, such as the Battle of Issus and the Battle of Gaugamela, where they demonstrated their effectiveness against formidable opponents like the Persian Empire. The Greek mercenaries played a crucial role in Alexander’s success, providing him with skilled and experienced soldiers.
The conquests of Alexander the Great had a profound impact on the spread of Greek culture and influence throughout the ancient world. Greek mercenaries continued to serve in the armies of successor states and other Hellenistic kingdoms that emerged after Alexander’s death. These mercenaries contributed to the diffusion of Greek military tactics, culture, and language in the regions they served.
About the book Greek Mercenaries: From the Late Archaic Period to Alexander
In Greek Mercenaries: From the Late Archaic Period to Alexander, Matthew Trundle provides a detailed answer to these questions. He examines the history of Greek mercenaries from the 7th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. He explores the motivations of Greek mercenaries, their training and equipment, and their role in ancient Greek warfare. He also discusses the impact of mercenaries on Greek society and politics.
Trundle’s book is based on a wide range of sources, including historical texts, archaeological evidence, and epigraphy. He provides a clear and concise analysis of the evidence, and he offers a balanced assessment of the role of mercenaries in ancient Greece.
One of the key arguments that Trundle makes in his book is that Greek mercenaries were not simply professional soldiers who were motivated by money. He argues that they were also motivated by a sense of honor and adventure. They were often drawn to foreign wars because they offered the opportunity to gain glory and prestige. They also saw mercenary service as a way to improve their economic status.
Trundle also shows that Greek mercenaries played a significant role in shaping the course of ancient Greek history. They were often instrumental in determining the outcome of battles and wars. They also helped to spread Greek military technology and tactics to other parts of the Mediterranean world.
In the end, Trundle’s book provides a valuable and insightful look at the role of Greek mercenaries in ancient Greek warfare and society. It is an essential read for anyone interested in this fascinating topic.
Here are some additional details that Trundle discusses in his book:
- The different types of Greek mercenaries, including hoplites, peltasts, and archers.
- The training and equipment of Greek mercenaries.
- The pay and benefits of mercenary service.
- The recruitment and deployment of Greek mercenaries.
- The role of Greek mercenaries in ancient Greek warfare.
- The impact of Greek mercenaries on Greek society and politics.
Trundle also provides a number of case studies of specific mercenary campaigns, such as the Battle of Marathon, the Peloponnesian War, and the campaigns of Alexander the Great. These case studies help to illustrate the different ways in which Greek mercenaries were used in warfare and the impact that they had on the course of history.