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Ancient Greek Weapons

Maya Pillai
The ancient Greek civilization is considered as one of the most powerful and dominant civilizations in history. Ancient Greeks city-states were not only involved in constant battles with each other, but also with the neighboring countries. Due to this reason, ancient Greeks were compelled to maintain very strong military and naval forces. Spears and shields were the main weapons of ancient Greek soldiers.

Hoplite - The mainstay of the greek army

Infantry used to be the backbone of any ancient Greek army. Armed infantry soldiers went to battle carrying spears, and heavy shields. These soldiers were called hoplites. They wore a helmet to protect their face and head and armor that weighed about 60 to 65 pounds.
The spear was a weapon of choice of a hoplite. They also used double-edged swords, and shields.
They mostly specialized in hand-to-hand combats and were skilled in using swords and spears.

The Greeks use a large made of metal and leather to defend themselves and to smash the spearhead of opponents. This was considered the most important weapon of a hoplite. The Hoplon would cover a soldier from shoulder to knee, and with this overlapping the person besides them, they could form an impenetrable shield wall.
This was a military strategy called a Phallanx, which was used often with great success. The Hoplon has also been referred to as an Aspis in certain cases.

A typical spear that had a sharp, flat, leaf shaped, iron spearhead on a shaft of Ash wood. It also had a bronze butt spike called "sauroter"for a counterballance. If the spearhead broke off, the butt of the spear could also be used as a backup weapon to fight the enemy. A spear could be up to ten feet long.

Along with a spear, a hoplite was expected to carry a short double edged sword. Daggers and swords were, in essence, the second choice of a hoplite after spear. It was only used after a spear was lost or broken. Primarily the Xiphos was designed for close quarters combat, allowing for both a thrusting and slashing motion.

A Greek Phallanx


A ballista was an important ancient Greek siege weapon. It was a missile weapon from which multiple large arrows could be launched for long-range shots.


A catapult was used to throw large objects and stones at the opposing army. A catapult is one of the ancient Greek missile weapons used for besieging an enemy from a significant distance.