Definitions for hopliteˈhɒp laɪt
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word hoplite
A heavily-armed infantry soldier of Ancient Greece.
Origin: From ‘heavily armed foot-soldier’, from ‘arms, armor, weapon’. Compare Latin hoplomachus ‘gladiator’.
a heavy-armed infantry soldier
Hoplites were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields. Their main tactic was the phalanx formation. They were primarily free citizens—propertied farmers and artisans—who were able to afford the bronze armor suit and weapons. Hoplites generally received basic military training. In 700 BC, a new military innovation called the phalanx formation was introduced. This new tactic proved to be a success during the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC and the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC, when the Greeks defeated the Persians. The Persian archers and light troops who had fought in the Battle of Marathon failed when their bows were too weak and incapable of penetrating the Greek shields, and their own armour and shields could not stand up to the heavy armour of the Greeks. The word "hoplite" derives from "hoplon", the type of the shield used by the soldiers, although, as a word, "hopla" could also denote the weapons held or even full armament. In later usage, the term hoplite is used to denote any armored infantry such as the Swiss mercenaries during the Burgundian Wars.
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