greek phalanz Essay
To say that the Ancient Greeks liked to fight may not be an untruth, in fact whole poleis were based on warring and the art of making war.War was a way of everyday life for the Greeks.If not for mere survival, war was a way for a city to demonstrate its place on the food chain in Ancient Greece.The type of warfare developed for the period, and the use of such, has absolute relevance in our understanding of military history and the military today.Concentrated masses of men formed into what is known as the phalanx.This system permeated though the years to as recent as the civil war, over 2200 years.With war playing such a large part in Ancient Greek lives and the amount of warring that went on, it is imperative to understand the form of Ancient Greek warfare and it’s leadership.Doing so, Grecian life will be easier to understand. Correlating what dimensions of this leadership can be used today can make present leaders more effective also.
The logical place to start is what is being led.During the 8th century BCE, the free for all fighting seen in the Iliad was abandoned in favor of the phalanx.This was thefirst step toward putting order into battle.Defined as a line formation with a width considerably greater than its depth. (Pritchett I, 134)The soldiers were lined up in rank and file (that is lines of soldiers across and deep, respectively), longer in file than in rank.Each file composed its own unit, and when the soldier in front fell, the next soldier took his place. Part of the problem in trying to understand the phalanx is that thefirst detailed knowledge present day historians have is almost entirely from the 4th century BCE, some 400 years after its introduction.According to a theory developed by Connolly, (Connolly, 37) the Spartan army of the 4th century contained units called pentekostyes, or ‘fifties.’Two of these units made up the standard unit of the phalanx called lochos.These !