ANCIENT HOPLITIKON of MELBOURNE Inc. Archaic Hoplites

DI-IASTI-MA: "Interval"

TA D-ORATA EPI TON DEXION OMON EH-EIN: "Raise the shield / spear at rest on the right shoulder"
EPi D-ORY: "To the right / raise the spear"
EF-ODOS: "Advance / charge!"

Greek Arsenal

HOPLOMACHIA: Weapon's drill
 
 
1. 
EKTAXHS:     EKTAXIS
"Battle Order"
2.
DIASTHMA:  DIASTIMA
"Interval"
3.
TA DORATA EPI TON DEXION OMON ECEHN
TA  DORATA  EPI  TON  DEXION OMON   E-HIN
Raise shield/spear at rest on right shoulder
4.
EPI DORU KLINAI:    EPI  DORY  KLINAI
Turn to the spear,"RIGHT"
5.
EP, ASPIDA KLINAI:    EP'  ASPIDA  KLINAI 
Turn to the shield, "LEFT"
6.
META BOLH:   META   VOLI
"About  turn / face"
7.
TA DORATA EIS PROBOLIN KAQENTAS:
TA   DORATA   E-IS   PRO-VOLIN  KATHENTAS
Lowering the spear's for the charge.
8.
EFODOS:  EF-ODOS  /  ????????: EPI-DROMI
"Advance"   /  " Charge."
9.
PUKNOSHS:  PYK-NO-SIS
"CloseOrder "
10.
EPI  DORU:    EPI  DORY
To the right/raise the spear!
11.
SUN-ASPIDOW :   SYN - ASPID-OO'
"Lock Shield's"
12.
ANAKLHSIS :   ANA-KLI-SIS
Retreat
13.
AKINHTOS :     AKI-NI-TOS
"Halt"
 

 Xenophon01.jpg - large

Black Figure (Attic) Amphora c.550 B.C. NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) Australia.

Pyrrhic War Dance

"Pyrrhic War Dance", depicted within a Red Figure Kylix painted by the Eucharides painter c.490 B.C.

Stele found in 1932 The Ephebic Oath


 

THE EPHEBIC OATH IN FIFTH-CENTURY ATHENS

 

Wherever a mans station is, whether he has chosen it himself in the belief that it is for the best, or he has been placed in it by his commander, there I believe he must remain and face the danger, taking no account of death or of anything else in comparison with disgrace.

 

Socrates words closely correspond to the epigraphic version of the oath ( I will not disgrace these sacred arms, and I will not desert the comrade beside me wherever I shall be stationed in a battle line) (and I will not hand over [to the descendants] the fatherland smaller, but greater and better, so far as I am able, by myself or with the help of all ).

Socrates speech is usually regarded as nothing more than a particular application to the personal experience of Socrates as a Hoplite citizen of the general principle that duty is more important than life.

 

In the early part of the 5th Century B.C. the young men in Athens registered in the Demes ( townships ) and entered a one year period of military training, following by another year of Garrison duty. Their moral conduct was observed by an elected board of Sophronistai ( Chasteners ). Those who stood the test became Ephebi, the others, if they failed in the test of age, were returned to the status of minors; but if they failed the test of birth they might either accept the verdict or exercise their right of appeal to a popular court. If the appeal failed he was sold by the city as a slave.

 

After completing his year of training, an Ephebi took an oath and was ceremonially presented with sword and shield. Ephebi were exempt from taxation and participated in important festivals. By the end of the 4th Century B.C. the Institution had spread throughout the Greek World and the Institution lasted until the end of the 3rd Century A.D.

 


 

ATHENIAN EPHEBIC OATH

 

I will not disgrace my sacred arms nor desert my comrade, wherever I am stationed. I will fight for things sacred and things profane. And both alone and with all to help me. I will transmit my Fatherland not diminished but greater and better than before. I will obey the ruling magistrates who rule reasonably and I will observe the established laws and whatever laws in the future maybe reasonably established. If any person seek to overturn the laws, both alone and with all to help me, I will oppose him. I will honour the religion of my Fathers. I call to witness the Gods Agravlos, Hestia, Enyo, Enyalios,Ares and Athena, Ariea, Zeus, Thalo. Auxo and Egemoni, Herakles. The borders of my Fatherland, the wheat, the barley, the vines and the trees of olive and the fig.

(In the Ancient Athenian Deme (township) of Archarnae a fourth-century stele on which was engraved `in dubitable letters of stone the true, Ancient, Authentic and official wording of the oath. 334/3 B.C. )

 


AthenianEphebicOath51.jpg

 

 

(the original text in ancient greek)

 

Stele, found in the Sanctuary of Ares God of War at Acharnae in 1932. It records the Athenian Ephebic Oath and the Oath taken by the Greeks before the Battle of Plataea fought in 479 B.C. against the Persians.

 


 

PYRRHIC DANCE

 

The Pyrrhic dance in armour was a popular element in Ephebic training and usually at religious festivals. It originated in Archaic times as a means of training young warriors in the moves required to avoid enemy blows and to deliver their own.

 

The origin of the Pyrrhic dance comes from Pyrrhus (PURROS) `The Redhead, The Surname of Neoptolemus(NEOPTOLEMOS) `Young Warrior, Son of Achilles. After his Fathers death at Troy, he was brought to fight on the Greek side. Neoptolemus killed Eurypylus a Trojan and in his delight he invented the PYRRHIC WAR DANCE which is named after him. He was among the Heroes who entered Troy in the Wooden Horse.

 

(PURRICOS) Pyrrihcus reputed inventor of the Pyrrhic war dance performed with spear and shield, came from a town called Pyrrhus in Laconia, Sparta.


 

TYRTAEUS c.650B.C.

 

The Spartan Paian

Go forth, children of citizens of Sparta,

the land of brave men.

With left hand

the shield put forward firmly,

the spear raise with your right.

Go forth and show your courage

without fearing for your life,

cause fear for ones own life

does not become to Spartans.

O SPARTIATIKOS PAIAN 650p.c.

O PAIAN POU EYALLAN OI SPARTIATES

POLEMISTES KAQWS BADIZAN KATA TOU

ECQROU:

AGETE, W SPARTAS EUANDRW

KWROI PATERWN POLIATAN,

LAIA MEN ITUN PROBALESQE

DORU D~EUTOLMWS ANSCESQE

MH FEIDOMENOI TAS ZWAS.

OU GAR PATRION TA SPARTA.

APODOSH STH NEOELLHNIKH:

EMPROS W THS EUANDROU SPARTHS

TEKNA PATERWN POLITWN,

DIA THS ARISTERAS CEIROS THN

ASPIDAN PROBALETE,

DIA DE THS DEXIAS ME TOLMH

TO DORU UYWSATE,

MH FEIDOMENOI TIS ZWES

GIATI AUTO DEN EINAI

PATROPARADOTO STN SPARTA!


 

Spartans 25th April Anzac Day 2003

 "War is the father and king of all, and has produced some as gods and some as men, and has made some slaves and some free".       Heraclitus of Ephesus.

"Rule only when you have learnt to obey; for having learnt to obey you will know how to rule". Solon of Athens "Praise no man until you see his death!"???? ???' ?????, ???? ???????????' ????. Sophocles "Courage is of no value unless accompanied by justice; yet, if all men became just, there would be no need for courage". Agesilaus king of Sparta

Corithian Helmet, at Olympia, from Lemnos & dedicated by the Athenians. Athens National Museum Greece

Ariston, Archon of Athens "Philaidon" Klan 650 B.C. BM, UK

Bronze & Ivory,   ceremonial helmet 525-500 B.C. St Louis Museum, USA

Antiquities Department    British Museum

"Daily Life of Hoplites in Greek Antiquity",     War formed the backdrop of centuries of Greek Civilization. The unique practice of Ancient Greek warfare explain's how the rise of Western Civilization and many of it's institutions were originally an integral part of the conduct of war. The List of notable Greeks at war contains name after famous name of philosophers, playwrights, poets, historians - all of whom, at one time or other, had killed in hand to hand fighting.  Aeschylos, Sophocles, Socrates, Perikles,  Demosthenes, Thucydides and Xenophon each fought in battle armed only with spear and shield as citizen militia.

Bronze Early Corithian Ceremonial helmet, provinence Magna Graecia c. 540 B.C. BM UK

Bronze greaves "Gorgons"  embossed Magna Grecai (italy) c. 540 B.C. British Museum

CALKINO KRANOS (Bronze Helmet) Chalkidian type 450-400 B.C.E.  British Museum

Found in a Tomb of the Micro Bay Cemetery, Karabournaki - (Kalamaria), Thessaloniki Macedonia, Heart of Greece. Looted by the British Salonica Forces (1919) during World War I.

Body armour dedicated as votive offerings to Olympian Zeus, Olympia Museum Greece

  

 

                        

Bronze Spartan Shield dedicated by the Athenians at the battle of Pylos 425 B.C. Agora Museum Athens Greece

Bronze Muscle Cuirass in the Metropolitan Museum of Art  NY  USA

Votive offerings of Armour & weapons excavated from the ACROPOLIS in Athens National Archaeological Museum Greece

Early Corinthian helmet c.6th Century B.C. Athens National Archaeological Museum Greece

"Hypaspist" Macedonian Shield c.277-240/39 B.C.  65cm diameter, inscribed "King Antigonus Gonatas"  excavated from Vegora near Florina,   Thessaloniki Museum Greece

Phrygian helmet "bearded"  cheek piece  Athens National Archaeological Museum Greece

Battle debris excavated from "Kolons Hill" Thermopylae, famous last stand of the Spartans & Thespians against Persian forces 480 B.C. Athens Archaeological Museum Greece

'Iron Helmet' of Philip II of Macedon, from (AIGAI / VERGINA) Greece c.340 B.C.

Angeliki  Kottaridi

Director at Hellenic Ministry of Culture

Former Director of Museum of the Royal Tombs of AIGAI.

Edw mia endiaferousa fwtografia pou mou esteile o AqanasioV Porporh apo ena ergasthrio peiramatikhV  arcaiologiaV me qema , ta arcaia opla pou kaname sthV AigeV.

Here's an interesting photo sent by Athanasios Porporis from an Experimental Archaeology Lab on,               'The Ancient weapons we made,'  at Aegae.

Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai (Vergina) Greece.

Bronze "Gorgon" shield battle trophy dedicated to Zeus at Olympia, Olympia Museum Greece

Iron Thorax from the tomb of "Philip II of Macedon" (AIGAI / Vergina) Greece

The Chryselephantine Shield from "Philip II Tomb" (AIGAI / Vergina), Greece.

Stylized Corinthian helmet battle trophy dedicated to Zeus at Olympia, Olympia Museum Greece