1. Po raz pierwszy odwiedzasz EDU. LEARN

    Odwiedzasz EDU.LEARN

    Najlepszym sposobem na naukę języka jest jego używanie. W EDU.LEARN znajdziesz interesujące teksty i videa, które dadzą Ci taką właśnie możliwość. Nie przejmuj się - nasze filmiki mają napisy, dzięki którym lepiej je zrozumiesz. Dodatkowo, po kliknięciu na każde słówko, otrzymasz jego tłumaczenie oraz prawidłową wymowę.

    Nie, dziękuję
  2. Mini lekcje

    Podczas nauki języka bardzo ważny jest kontekst. Zdjęcia, przykłady użycia, dialogi, nagrania dźwiękowe - wszystko to pomaga Ci zrozumieć i zapamiętać nowe słowa i wyrażenia. Dlatego stworzyliśmy Mini lekcje. Są to krótkie lekcje, zawierające kontekstowe slajdy, które zwiększą efektywność Twojej nauki. Są cztery typy Mini lekcji - Gramatyka, Dialogi, Słówka i Obrazki.

    Dalej
  3. Wideo

    Ćwicz język obcy oglądając ciekawe filmiki. Wybierz temat, który Cię interesuje oraz poziom trudności, a następnie kliknij na filmik. Nie martw się, obok każdego z nich są napisy. A może wcale nie będą Ci one potrzebne? Spróbuj!

    Dalej
  4. Teksty

    Czytaj ciekawe artykuły, z których nauczysz się nowych słówek i dowiesz więcej o rzeczach, które Cię interesują. Podobnie jak z filmikami, możesz wybrać temat oraz poziom trudności, a następnie kliknąć na wybrany artykuł. Nasz interaktywny słownik pomoże Ci zrozumieć nawet trudne teksty, a kontekst ułatwi zapamiętanie słówek. Dodatkowo, każdy artykuł może być przeczytany na głos przez wirtualnego lektora, dzięki czemu ćwiczysz słuchanie i wymowę!

    Dalej
  5. Słowa

    Tutaj możesz znaleźć swoją listę "Moje słówka", czyli funkcję wyszukiwania słówek - a wkrótce także słownik tematyczny. Do listy "Moje słówka" możesz dodawać słowa z sekcji Videa i Teksty. Każde z słówek dodanych do listy możesz powtórzyć później w jednym z naszych ćwiczeń. Dodatkowo, zawsze możesz iść do swojej listy i sprawdzić znaczenie, wymowę oraz użycie słówka w zdaniu. Użyj naszej wyszukiwarki słówek w części "Słownictwo", aby znaleźć słowa w naszej bazie.

    Dalej
  6. Lista tekstów

    Ta lista tekstów pojawia się po kliknięciu na "Teksty". Wybierz poziom trudności oraz temat, a następnie artykuł, który Cię interesuje. Kiedy już zostaniesz do niego przekierowany, kliknij na "Play", jeśli chcesz, aby został on odczytany przez wirtualnego lektora. W ten sposób ćwiczysz umiejętność słuchania. Niektóre z tekstów są szczególnie interesujące - mają one odznakę w prawym górnym rogu. Koniecznie je przeczytaj!

    Dalej
  7. Lista Video

    Ta lista filmików pojawia się po kliknięciu na "Video". Podobnie jak w przypadku Tekstów, najpierw wybierz temat, który Cię interesuje oraz poziom trudności, a następnie kliknij na wybrane video. Te z odznaką w prawym górnym rogu są szczególnie interesujące - nie przegap ich!

    Dalej
  8. Dziękujemy za skorzystanie z przewodnika!

    Teraz już znasz wszystkie funkcje EDU.LEARN! Przygotowaliśmy do Ciebie wiele artykułów, filmików oraz mini lekcji - na pewno znajdziesz coś, co Cię zainteresuje!

    Teraz zapraszamy Cię do zarejestrowania się i odkrycia wszystkich możliwości portalu.

    Dziękuję, wrócę później
  9. Lista Pomocy

    Potrzebujesz z czymś pomocy? Sprawdź naszą listę poniżej:
    Nie, dziękuję

Już 58 385 użytkowników uczy się języków obcych z Edustation.

Możesz zarejestrować się już dziś i odebrać bonus w postaci 10 monet.

Jeżeli chcesz się dowiedzieć więcej o naszym portalu - kliknij tutaj

Jeszcze nie teraz

lub

Poziom:

Wszystkie

Nie masz konta?

6. Introduction to Ancient Greek History: The Greek "Renaissance" - Colonization and Tyranny


Poziom:

Temat: Społeczeństwo i nauki społeczne

Professor Donald Kagan: We were discussing,
in the broadest sense, the emergence and the
development of the polis and specifically I had been
telling you about Hanson's theory about the development of
the family farm and the individuals who worked the
family farm as a critical element in that story.
Now, that same individual who produced the economic
wherewithal that would support independent individuals,
who are not nobleman, and who could conduct their
lives in an autonomous way and who fought ultimately--fought
their way onto governmental bodies which allowed them to
participate in the key decisions,
political decisions, and all other decisions in the
state that served the element of their character and of their
place in the world. That is the one that I want to
turn to today. Their role as soldiers,
fighting for the common cause--and that common cause now
being not an individual goal, not a family goal,
but the goal of the entire civic community,
which was coming into being and I suppose would have had to come
into being, in order to have this role,
fighting for one's polis.
The style of warfare that emerges in this period,
apparently for the first time, is what we call the hoplite
phalanx and each half of that needs to be explained.
Hoplite comes from the Greek word hoplites and
hoplites is built around the word hoplon which is
the name of a kind of shield that the infantrymen,
and we are talking about an infantry formation here,
carried. You want to get out of your
head the notion of a shield that's a little thing that you
can move around with one hand, like that, real easy;
that's not what it was. It was a great round shield
about three feet across and it had--let me step out here so
that I can show you. Can you hear me back there?
Is that all right? Imagine a round shield of the
size I've talked about and one of the things that's important
is that at the end of the shield,
the right end from my perspective has a grip on it,
but in the middle of the shield,
there is also a kind of a loose piece of leather thong that you
can put your arm through, so that the shield is resting
in part on that grip and on the grip that you hold at this end.
You need to do that to be able to control the shield that's as
big as that and as heavy as that,
because it is made fundamentally of a heavy wood,
typically covered by leather, sometimes with some bronze,
a bronze sheet across the front of it as well.
That is a very heavy thing and it will weigh you down after a
while. It's going to be really hard
for you to maintain that grip on that thing all through the
course of a whole battle, but that shield is the key,
this hoplon which gives the name to the word hoplite,
or hoplites, which is hoplite.
Phalanx means that these men, each man carrying his
hoplon, are lined up first of all in a
line, but that line is reproduced
going back, so that you end with about--typically,
a phalanx would have been eight men deep,
eight rows deep, and that block of soldiers,
however long it is, or is made up--is called the
phalanx, which means something like roller.
It's because the phalanx would have looked,
if you were up on a hill somewhere watching it go by,
as though something was rolling across the plain as the men went
forward and looking pretty formidable,
so that anything in its way would be mowed down in the
normal course of events. So that is what we mean by the
hoplite phalanx. It's a core of heavily armed
infantrymen in a solid block. Okay, when did this come
into effect? I'm going to start out today's
talk by giving you what has been the standard and orthodox
interpretation of how the hoplite phalanx worked,
which, I think, again Hanson has given us the
clearest and most useful account.
But as you know already, from what you've read,
this has come into great dispute in recent years and I'll
just say a little bit about the dispute before we get through
today. But what I'm giving you is the
old fashioned traditional interpretation.
By that view, the phalanx would have
come into being somewhere between about 700 and 650 B.C.,
which is to say after the earliest poleis are in
business, and according to this interpretation,
you really have them growing up together.
Nobody could be exactly sure about how this process worked.
One of the big arguments that is part of this story is when
did this development of new way of fighting come about;
rather quickly, over a matter of a few years,
or did it stretch out over quite a long time.
The most extreme critics of the traditional point of view would
say over centuries, that you don't get the
full-blown hoplite phalanx that I will be
describing to you, even until you get the fifth
century B.C. But again, let's take it in the
traditional way. So, if you imagine this is
growing up as the polis comes into being,
let me describe what a hoplite was like and then try to
describe what the phalanx was like and how they operated
and what are some of the consequences of their coming
into being. The hoplite himself is marked
by, first of all, the shield and second of all,
as we continue to think about his defensive capacities,
he has a certain amount of armor to protect his body.
He has on top of his head a helmet made of bronze,
perhaps weighing about five pounds, these are approximate;
they would have differed from person to person to some degree.
A very important element, he would have had a breast
plate made of bronze, perhaps as much as 40 pounds.
He would have snapped across his shins, greaves,
sort of like the shin guards that a catcher in baseball
wears, also made of bronze. The shield itself,
as I've told you is made of a heavy wood, covered by a leather
or bronze sheet about three feet across,
something in the neighborhood of 16 to 20 pounds worth of
shield and gripped as I told you before.
So you want to think about his hoplite, when he has
everything on and when the shield is in place,
again let me sort of try to demonstrate this,
he ought to be covered by some kind of defense from head to
toe. The top is this helmet that
comes up over his face and covers it pretty totally.
It's made of strong metal, it's got very thin slits to be
able to see straight ahead, covered up;
everything else is covered up, a good one will cover your neck
as well. It's very hard to see very much
and you can't anywhere pretty much but straight ahead.
You shouldn't be able to hear very much either,
and it mustn't have been too delightful to breathe out of the
thing, although your nose is free,
but it's covered by a nose piece.
So there's this guy with this helmet, it must weigh--I'm
trying to think. I always want to--modern
football helmets which are monstrous--I'm so old we used to
play with leather ones without a face mask.
What do they weigh? Got any football players here?
I think they weigh a lot.
I think they're very heavy, indeed, but I don't know how
much they weigh. Anyway, if you imagine sort of
putting on a modern football helmet, with that mask in front
of you, you would begin to get an idea,
only begin to get an idea of what it was like to have that
bronze helmet on your head. So there you are with that.
Then you remember that you got shin guards down to your feet;
you have this breastplate. Now, between your waist and
your shin guard there's some very delicate territory,
and there's no armor. That's what your shield is for.
Your shield should cover that territory.
You want that shield up so that it pretty well meets your
helmet, so it's going to be at a certain distance but it will
also go down to where it needs to go down here.
If everything goes right your enemy won't be able to penetrate
you, but you should be aware that there are two places where
you are relatively vulnerable for openers,
and that is, if somebody can come in above
your shield, your throat is going to be available to him,
and if somebody can come in under your shield then your
vulnerable area will be vulnerable indeed.
So, those are places where you see people get wounded and
killed, if that can be done. One other very important
thing to understand about this defensive problem and this is
one of the debatable issues between the old guard and the
traditional interpretation; I'm still giving you the
traditional view. If you imagine that your
hoplite is standing with his left foot slightly extended in
front of his right, and we'll see in a moment it
pretty well has to be in order to deal with the spear that he's
grasping, and if he's holding his shield
as he must this far, then he's got a half a shield
sticking out in this direction so that he's pretty well
protected on the left side, but he's got nothing protecting
his right side. If somebody can come at him
from this side, he is very vulnerable from
there. Now, that's a very important
point, because why in the world would you give a shield of the
kind I am describing, for a man to defend himself,
if you imagine him standing by himself anywhere,
if you imagine him any distance from the rest of the guys
fighting alongside of him. This has been one of the major
reasons for explaining the function of the phalanx
as I will explain it to you.What are you going to do
about the vulnerability on this side?
Well, the answer is, in the traditional view,
is that he was never meant to stand by himself.
A hoplite only makes sense in a phalanx.
A phalanx understood in this way only makes sense if you
imagine very close order. Basically, ideally,
the right side of my shield is being met by the left side of
the shield of the guy to my right so that we make a solid
block of soldiers able to defend ourselves imperfectly,
but really essentially quite well.
Obviously, some of us are going to get killed,
some of us are going to go down and we'll cope with that in just
a few minutes, but if you think of us as a
unit we have a way of maintaining our security,
our safety, so long as we remain in the proper formation
that I have been describing. Let me talk about the
offensive aspect of it. The idea of going into battle
is not merely to avoid being killed;
the purpose is to kill the other fellow.
How do you do it? The hoplite has two weapons of
which the most important by far is a pike, I guess,
is what we would call it. It's a spear that you don't
throw. It's a spear that you thrust
and it's got a bronze point, which is the business end of
the weapon. Its length might be anywhere
from six to eight feet in length.
I said bronze, but actually the tip was
usually iron, but it could be bronze as well.
In addition, it had a butt made also of
bronze, which could be a lethal weapon.
If I strike you in a vulnerable place with a stick that has a
bronze butt on it, it could well kill you.
It would happen because the spear itself was made of wood
and that meant you can count on it often breaking in the midst
of battle, in which case,
if you have one end of it or the other you can still have a
point that you can use to help yourself in this scrum that it
is a hoplite phalanx battle.
Although I don't quite understand--I should say,
there's many things about how the fighting went on which we
can only attempt to imagine because we just don't have films
of ancient hoplite battles, I'm sorry to say.
We have people inventing them, but even the ones that are
invented aren't very helpful, because it's awfully hard to
know how they did what they did. But I think we can imagine some
part of it more easily than the other.
What I was going to say is that you could, at least
theoretically, strike with your spear in a
overhand manner or you could strike with it in an underhand
manner, the only thing is I don't know
how you do that underhand when you're in the middle of a
phalanx. So, I will be talking about the
overhand stroke, which I find it easier to
grasp.
So, let's see if I can, again, give you some sense of
what this is like.
Here's a hoplite standing like this, and when he comes into
contact with the opposing army, he will presumably strike down
in this way. There are other things that he
can do. His shield,
in addition to being a defensive thing,
is also potentially an offensive weapon.
He can belt you with that shield, and if he's stronger
than you are, or better prepared or more
balanced than you are, he could knock your shield out
of your hand. He could knock you back and
open up a space, he could knock you down,
and so you should imagine that there's at least one chance to
give a guy shot with the shield, and after that you could just
be using it as something to press the other fellow back and
you would meanwhile be whacking away with this in the most
simple picture that you can have of how the hoplite would have
conducted himself. The other weapon was a short
sword that he kept at his side, which presumably he would not
use so long as he had a spear, which was a better weapon.
But if that broke, if that wasn't available to
him, he could turn to his short sword,
which was a thrusting sword, not like the Roman short sword
which was double edged and slashing.
You had to stick somebody with this hoplite phalanx
sword. Now, that gives you the
picture of the individual; I hope you can get some sense
of what the phalanx might be like, but as I try to
describe how the fighting really went,
I always find it necessary to ask for some audience
participation, so that you can get some idea
of what it might have looked like in a very,
very limited way. So, I would like to ask for
some volunteer hoplites. The Greeks, as far as I know,
did not allow anybody to be left handed in a phalanx;
think about the problem. But we don't care;
you can be a lefty.
Of course, the Greeks only allowed men to fight in the
phalanx, but we are much more elevated
than that. So, I could ask any of you who
have the courage to come forward and fight in my phalanx?
Nobody? Just come forward.
I think we got more room here.
Okay, why don't I have the shorter people comes toward me
and the taller people go into the back.
I think this will make it a little easier for us,
just line up next to each other.
Right behind him in perfect order;
the biggest guys in the back, go ahead.
Make it a third row; there's enough for a third row.
Are we all set? Back up.
Make sure you're behind somebody, directly behind
somebody. How many we got up front?
Four? Have we got four?
So we'll have three in the back that'll be all right.
Get right behind that guy; you got to be--boy you got to
be lined up. Now, get into your hoplite
stance, left foot forward. Okay, now when you're
fighting, if you're fortunate enough, and the Greeks were
sometimes fortunate enough to fight people who were not
hoplites, like when the Persians came at
them they fought hoplites against non-hoplites.
Boy, that's a nice day for a hoplite.
The Persian infantry did not have heavy armor,
they did not have that kind of a shield, they had wicker
shields; fortunately,
we have vase paintings that show us Persians.
For one thing they're not dressed like civilized people in
a dress, they're wearing pants.
But their shields are made of wicker and they don't have that
kind of metal body armor and all that stuff.
So, you could blow through that infantry like butter.
Probably never that easy but really, you're just not going to
lose, and the truth of the matter is that hoplites beat
non-hoplites in all battles that are fought on flat land in
battles that the Greeks fight in.
I just want to tell you about--in Herodotus,
he tells the tale about how the fighting went versus the
Persians, and here's the line he says,
"Once the Greeks go to war they choose the best and smoothest
place to go down and have their battle on that."
That wasn't just because they sort of had an aesthetic
pleasure in nice flat fields. That's what you need for a
phalanx, because to maintain the
integrity of the hoplite line, you can't have bumps and
grooves, and trees and rivers in the way;
it will break things up. So, they do,
in fact, seek such a field. So if you're fighting a
non-hoplite infantry crowd, you're in great shape.
But what the Greeks spent most of their time doing was fighting
each other, one hoplite phalanx against another
hoplite phalanx. So, you have to imagine
that this thing started with these guys back in their camp
and the other army back in its camp,
and they both have to agree that they want to have a battle,
for a battle to take place, and they will have picked a
place that is flat where they can do what they're doing.
Usually, the battle took place over some land that was being
contested on a frontier and they would go down to that area and
pick a spot and there they would go and fight with one another.
So now, the two armies are lined up.
Here's an interesting question: how wide is the line going to
be? Well, that's not an answer that
is entirely at the disposal of the general, because he's got
two considerations that he has to worry about.
One is, he can't afford to have his hoplite line outflanked,
because if I can come around and take care of this guy from
this side, he is engaged with a guy who's
right opposite him, I can just kill him no problem
at all. So, he has got to at least try
to be equal with the guy who's furthest on this side,
and same with the guy on the other side.
So, that means he's got to make his line unless he comes up with
some clever trick, the same size as the other guy.
Well, typically the two armies aren't identical in size.
So, if you're going to try to be the same breadth across the
field that's going to affect how deep you can be,
and depth as we shall see once we get started fighting is
relevant in ways that we need to work out,
but if one phalanx is eight deep and the other
phalanx is 12 deep, the 12 deep phalanx has
an advantage. So, numbers count,
but it's not an easy one-to-one question, various issues will
determine who comes out ahead. Okay, now let's make this first
battle I'm going to describe for you to be as clear cut as we can
make it, and it probably never was like that.
Let's imagine my army is the same size as theirs precisely,
so that the line is the same size on both sides;
therefore, also the same depth. So, we'll just do this
imaginary perfect battle.
As the two armies approach each other, I should make it clear,
they start out walking at a certain clip.
By the way, it's critical that they should stay in formation;
nobody should get ahead of anybody else.
How do you do that? With rhythm and in subsequent
armies later in history, they used drums to maintain
that technique. The Greeks did it by the
playing of a flute like or oboe like instrument that played a
military tune that had you marching forward at the right
pace. That was very, very important.
So you're marching forward at that pace,
but now as you get closer and closer to each other,
various items begin to affect your behavior.
One is, I would think, fear. In fact, I know--fear.
So, what do you do, supposing, if you feel like
running? Can you boys in the first row
run anywhere? You got seven guys behind you;
that's not even an option and that's a very important aspect
of the phalanx. That's not even an issue.
So, if you're afraid, what are you afraid of?
Well, the other guy has got people--I should have mentioned
on the sidelines, one way or another,
shooting arrows at you, throwing javelins at you,
things like that. You want to get through that as
fast as you can, and engage with the enemy.
But there's another reason why you want to get there fast is
because, well by now, I should have pointed out that
we know that before you started out the battle that your general
gave you a meal and he also gave you plenty of wine,
so that by the time you're in this position,
you've had a few and there's--I mean,
there's a science to that too as perhaps some of you know.
No you don't. College students do not have a
science of this at all, they just pour the stuff down
their throats with the goal of becoming drunk as fast as they
can. That's barbaric in the
technical sense. I mean, the Greeks
didn't--Plato's Symposium,
all of these guys are sitting around having a drinking party.
That's all they do all night, but they also are talking and
they're talking very well as a matter of fact,
and the goal of this conversation is,
or of this party rather, symposium means by the way
drinking together. So they're drinking and they're
talking, and both of these are supposed to go on at the same
time. And here's the thing;
the idea is to drink as much as you can without passing out and
at the end of Plato's Symposium everybody is
out, except for Socrates who looks
around and says, "oh well no more conversation
everybody's asleep." Off he goes,
and we know who won that one. Why could they do that?
Well, they weren't ignorant undergraduates,
but beyond that they drank wine,
not those barbarian liquids that you drink,
and also they mixed that wine with water,
so that it shouldn't get them drunk too fast.
Think about how the world has decayed, since those days.
So anyway, it still has its alcoholic consequences,
and I like to think that the trick for these guys was to get
to that level of inebriation before it affects your nerves
and your physical ability to act.
But it's worked on your brain to the point where you get to
that sort of what I like to think of that bar room
militancy, whereby if a guy says,
"would you pass the peanuts," you say, "oh yeah!"
I'd like to think that's the ideal hoplite mode.
So, I think that's working on them, they want to get at those
SOBs on the other side, and they want to kill them;
that's their mood. Well, all of that is working on
both sides. And so that when they come
together, they come together in a trot.
You have to imagine they're moving along quicker than you
would by walking, so that they will go bang and
we can see what happens. However,
there's one other variable that you want to be aware of and that
is, he knows he ought to be going
straight ahead like that, but he also knows that his
right flank is open. Well, he would love to be
fighting at the edge of the Grand Canyon,
so that he doesn't have to worry about his right flank,
but he's out there in the middle of a field.
Now, he knows that first step ought to be like this,
but he's only human, so the first step is like this,
and so is the guy on the other end on that side.
So, in fact, as Thucydides tells us
beautifully in Book V, when the two armies actually
hit each other they have already made a slight turn to the right.
Everybody moves to the right, these guys move to the right,
those guys move to the right and they're smacking each other
at something like that angle. Okay so much for that.
Now, here we go. I'm coming at this guy and what
I want to do, if I can, I want to kill him.
If I can't, I want to knock him back, because what I really need
to do is to get him out of the way.
Let me imagine that I've been lucky enough to get you out of
the way--you're fighting him you can't even look at me,
but I can do that.
But let's face it. In order to kill you,
I'd have to earn the privilege by knocking him back.
Now, let's imagine I've been very lucky and gotten to
you--just get down on your knee. Imagine she's very badly
wounded or dead, but she's out of it.
Now, here's where the ballgame can really be determined.
First of all, let's consider the man behind
you. Is that you?
Now, if you are standing there with your--by the way the first
three rows have a chance of hitting each other.
So, he's banging away over somebody's head at the guy on
the other side, but you see this guy in front
of you has just been knocked down.
The blood is spurting out of her neck or her side or whatever
and she's groaning down there on the thing.
What is your instinct?
What's your instinct? Tell me.
Get out of here! They just killed this guy in
front of me and they're coming after me.
I always think of that wonderful scene in--how many of
you ever saw the Longest Day?
It is about D-Day; there's a wonderful scene where
this German officer comes down; he's in charge of the defensive
arrangements there at Normandy; he's in a bunker,
and he's reporting back to headquarters and it's dark,
and suddenly there's enough light that he sees suddenly on
the horizon is 5,000 ships, the whole damn fleet.
As he calls back and he says, "they're coming,
they're coming." They say, "how many?"
He says, "thousands of them." They say, "in what direction?"
He says, "auf mich zu direct."
That's the way it looks to him. So that's what his tendency is,
but if he does that, it's very bad news for his
city. What he has been trained to
do, what he knows he needs to do is to fight forward and somehow
step over her, step on her,
do whatever he has to do to fill this hole.
He's got to come forward and take the danger and take the
blows and close the line. Because if not--now,
I am in the situation where the guy next to me has beaten you
up, but I can now get her and I can
step in here, and the guy behind me can do
the same, and so we can create a wedge in
which we are doing the killing and they are doing the falling.
If enough of that happens, after awhile some sense of
what's happening up front quickly works its way to the
back, and there can be a moment,
and there always is a moment in a hoplite battle,
where the guys in the back say, "uh-oh we have lost this
battle." So, the guys in the back turn
and run, which is the only thing you can possibly do once you
feel our phalanx is broken.
We can't stand against them anymore and when you start
running, the only thing the guys who are left up front can do is
run. Now, think of what it's like to
run with this in your hand. Can you make much speed that
way? No, and speed is what you want.
And so the big issue is--this is what you must never do,
but this is what you got to do if your phalanx is
broken. You got to drop your shield and
run. Then I'm on the winning side,
and what I want to do is kill as many of these guys as I can.
However, there's this great question of how far do the
Greeks pursue in a hoplite battle?
Thucydides has an interesting passage in there,
in which he says that the Spartans win the Battle of
Mantinea and Thucydides says that the Spartans did not pursue
the hoplite. The Spartans never pursue their
enemies very far. It's as though he's explaining,
giving an answer to a question that somebody asked,
"why didn't the Spartans do better in that battle?"
To which there could many answers at the Battle of
Mantinea, but it seems there's a much easier answer.
Basically, the Greeks couldn't pursue very hotly with infantry.
They don't want to throw their shields away,
they want to keep their shields, so guys with shields
are chasing guys without shields.
So, they're not going to chase them very far.
Now, another issue that emerges in discussion of these
kinds of battles is the casualties.
For a long, long time the general wisdom was there were
not heavy casualties in hoplite battles--people calculating on
what I was just talking about. But then an old Yalie who took
this course when he was very young, and later became an
ancient Greek historian, took the wonderfully outlandish
device of answering this question.
He simply took all the battles in Greek history that we have a
record of, and which we know what the casualties were like,
and counted and he concluded--anybody can check
because there they are--that casualties could run as high as
15% at a hoplite battle. That's a high casualty rate and
many a military unit will break if they have that many
casualties. Actually, what he finds is the
winning side would lose about 5% and the losing side would lose
maybe as much 15%, and so you get some idea.
But don't imagine that these were anything like bloodless or
easy. They were bloody,
although the actual amount would vary with the
circumstances. Now, you know the battle is
over in a variety of ways. One, the enemy ran away;
that's pretty good. But for the Greeks it was very
important that things should be really official.
There were, and there's a lot of debate about what I'm going
to say next, there were protocols of fighting that were
followed. Some people want to have these
to be many and for them to be very binding,
others want them to be very few and not very binding,
and that's an argument one can get into.
But some things seem to be indisputable,
for instance, if I say we won the battle I
can prove that to you most of the time.
Why? Because I now occupy the land
that we fought on. Therefore, I can do what they
did. Take a stick,
bang it into the ground, hang on that stick a captured
helmet,
or a captured corselet, something that represents the
military equipment that the losers had that were left on the
field. We hang it up;
that is called a trophy. The word trophy comes from the
word that means to turn, trepho,
and it means that this is the place where the enemy turned and
ran. We own that property now,
we own their equipment, and therefore we won the
battle. Another tangible way of
understanding who won the battle and who didn't,
is we winners, because we own the field,
we can pick up the casualties, take care of those who can be
saved, bury the ones who have been
killed; we don't have to ask anybody's
permission. Burial is very critical.
If you remember from reading the Iliad and
Odyssey, it is absolutely critical in
the Greek religion that people be properly buried,
because if they're not, then their shade goes on
forever in misery and pain. They cannot rest quietly in
Hades unless their body has been properly buried;
so you got to do it. The losing side must come to
the winning side and they must ask permission to pick up their
dead and bury them. Typically, that is granted and
they can then do it, but they are of course humbling
themselves by making the request and coming down under the orders
of the winners and taking their dead away and being buried.
So it's very, very clear who won and who lost
and that's--I think it's a very important point because Greek
hoplite warfare, which is the characteristic
warfare of the Greeks from the eighth century on into the
fourth, never loses its character as a
kind of a game, in which there are winners and
losers, and the winners are given the
prize and the losers don't get the prize.
It's a contest just like everything else in Greek society
and there's a tremendous amount of pride that goes into victory
and a tremendous amount of shame that goes into defeat.
But we said the same thing about the Homeric heroes,
didn't we? Here's the difference;
they're not fighting for themselves, they're not fighting
for their families, and only to limited extent are
they fighting for their personal glory, their kleios;
they are fighting for their city, and they will be honored
by their city in victory or even in defeat,
if they perform very heroically, and of course,
what about if they were very shameful?
What about if they run away? I think I want to save the
illustration of that one until we talk about Sparta.
What Tyrtaeus tells us very, very specifically how bad that
is; it's bad.
So, you have this tremendous continuity between the sort of
the honor code that was so dominant in the Homeric world,
which has now been shifted to the larger unit,
which is the polis. If you can see it,
all adult males fought. I should back up;
that's not quite true. There's an important point I
didn't make. Not everybody gets to fight in
the hoplite phalanx. The town, the city,
the polis does not provide the fighters with their
defensive armor. They might sometime give them
their weapons, but not their defensive armor.
You can't fight as a hoplite, in other words,
unless you can afford to pay for your equipment and that
excludes a goodly number of citizens who are too poor to
fight in the phalanx. This becomes a very,
very large issue because the notion that there should be a
real connection between citizenship in the full sense
and military performance is totally a Greek idea--I mean,
the Greeks just totally accept that idea.
Actually, later on at the end of the fourth century when
Aristotle is writing his Politics,
he makes really a very clear connection as to the style of
fighting and the kind of constitution that you have.
He said very clearly, if you use cavalry as your
major arm, your state will be an aristocracy.
If you use hoplites, your state will be,
what he calls a politea, a moderate regime.
If you use a navy, your state will be a democracy
in which the lower classes are dominant.
So, there's this real connection and that's the way
they really thought about it. So, what we will see as the
polis is invented, moving away from aristocratic
rule in the pre-polis days or in the early
polis days--you will see a middling group of citizens who
are, according to this
interpretation, Hanson's farmers who are also
going to gain the political capacity to participate in the
town councils, and who are the hoplites but it
will exclude the poor, who will not have political
rights. Most Greek states,
just as they never moved beyond the hoplite style of fighting,
never go beyond the oligarchical style of
constitution which gives only hoplites political rights in the
state. Okay, stay there because who
knows, there are 20 million other things I might have said,
but instead let me give you the opportunity to ask questions
that you would like to raise, particularly if you want to ask
about how they fought, as long as we have a
phalanx here we might as well use it if we need too.
Are there any questions? Yeah?Student: How
would they practice because weren't they prominently
farmers?Professor Donald Kagan: The answer is they
damn near didn't. That is, you've got a very key
point; there was very little military
training. On the other hand,
you don't need very much. Think about it,
what are the skills? What are the technicalities?
If I'm the general and so I say--what do I say?
Charge! Now we're engaging each other,
what do I say? Fight harder men!
Now we're in trouble and I say, don't run away!
There are no techniques, there are no maneuvers,
there are no--you can't do anything and so they didn't
practice very much, except one stunning exception,
the Spartans. They were not farmers as we
shall see, and therefore, they spent their lives
practicing warfare. It paid off;
they usually won. So, the answer is basically
that the ordinary Greeks did not engage in very much
practice.Student: If they're all fighting in this
hoplite style, how do all of these great Greek
military personas develop, who are famed for being such
wonderful, individual soldiers,
if there's no real hand-to-hand,
one-on-one?Professor Donald Kagan: Well,
there is nobody out there that you could see.
Typically, we don't have guys like that.
The guys who are famous are the generals who get credit for
putting together a nice formation when it's not the
simple one I've just given you. Just to be a little bit more
plain about that. In the famous battle of
Marathon, which I will tell you about when we get there,
one of its features is that because the Greeks were
numerically badly inferior to the Persians,
they had this problem of covering the line.
So, they could have thinned out their entire phalanx,
but that would have given the Persians a chance to break
through anywhere and everywhere, and so what Miltiades did was
to make his wings heavier, deeper and very dangerously
thin in the middle. It was a gamble.
The gamble was our wings will crush their wings and turn in on
them from behind and from the side,
and set them a running before they break through our middle.
As Wellington said at Waterloo, it was a damn near thing.
The Persians broke through the middle but just before that,
the Athenian wings crushed the Persian wings and set them
running for their ships. So, everybody says what a
genius Miltiades was. Similarly, in naval battles
Themistocles at Salamis comes up with a clever device.
So, you see what I'm driving at; we know those guys.
You never really hear of Joe Blow who killed thirty-four guys
in the phalanx. There must have been some guys
like that but you just don't hear about those fellows.
Any other questions? Yeah.Student: When
do they just pull out their swords and start
hacking?Professor Donald Kagan: When they had no
spear.Student: So, the spears
broke?Professor Donald Kagan: Yeah,
they would--these spears must have broken like mad.
And so the thing to do, unless you have something else,
you would go for your sword.Student: It's
not like you go out and you start fighting people with just
your body shield and you're happy there.
Professor Donald Kagan: Always, oh yes always.
You never, according to my understanding of this,
you never, never want to be without your shield.
That means, you never want to be away from your
phalanx. This is disputed.
This is exactly--these are the grounds on which this new
school--one of the ways in which they argue otherwise.
I'll say a little bit about that, when I get through with
phalanx. I just want
to--yeah.Student: What about projectiles?
Professor Donald Kagan: These guys don't have
any projectiles. However, there are light arm
troops made up of those two poor to be in the phalanx,
who do use projectiles and the projectiles are arrows,
javelins, or stones thrown by slings.
The trouble with them is none of them has any range.
Think about that for a moment. Get out of your mind Henry V,
forget the Battle of Agincourt. They don't have--those men in
Lincoln green with the enormous long bows, made out of good
English composite whatever, who can fire the thing
thousands of yards and penetrate and kill the French nobility.
How many of you have seen Henry V in the Laurence Olivier
version 1945? They got this miserable modern
one with the sort of Vietnam like conditions that they have
out there; it's raining all through the
God-damned battle of Agincourt. Great battle,
it's got to have sunshine, blue skies, terrific--well,
never mind. They had very poor bows and
arrows. They didn't have the composite
bow, didn't have power. It would have had a hard time
getting through the shields and it didn't have any distance.
But they were worth something because they did this.
Actually, those guys would be useful, not so much,
hardly at all during the scrum of the phalanx,
but should one side be retreating.
That's where they do it harm. Once you throw your shield away
and you're running, anybody who's got a weapon can
take you out, and that's what would have
happened. Yeah?Student: So,
is it unlikely that someone like the fellow that was named
begin with M. that we read about from the
selection.Professor Donald Kagan: Do you mean,
Miltiades?Student: No, the archer in the
Iliad.Professor Donald Kagan: Oh,
in the Iliad. Student: Is it
unlikely that people would actually have been able to do
anything like that?Professor Donald
Kagan: Yes, of course, the Iliad has
various people who are very good archers, who could kill the
other guy. I'm sure there were bows and
arrows at that time, but they did not yet have the
kind of armor that they would have in this time.
So, they would have been more vulnerable and you wouldn't have
to have such a powerful bow. Of course Paris,
isn't he the one who kills Achilles, right?
But Achilles, of course, he got him in the
heel where he didn't have any armor.
Anything else? Yeah?Student: I
mean, isn't it somewhat inefficient to load it really
deep, because I assume if a spear is
only six feet long, what are people in the back
going to be doing?Professor Donald
Kagan: Very good yes, and that's a big argument that
nobody has a good answer for. The traditional answer is that
these guys actually did press up against the rows in front of
them and that this provided a momentum that gave the front
line an advantage in beating the enemy facing them.
You can see all kinds of troubles.
Why didn't the guys in the middle get crushed?
I don't have any very good answers for that and yet it is
one part of the traditional explanation is this,
and it's a very important one and much debated,
that at a critical time in the battle one technique would be
one side would give one great big shove.
The word in Greek is othismos,
and if that was successful as it might be,
it could knock down the lines of the front guys and get the
other side running. There's ancient evidence,
there's an ancient source for that, that says that's what
happened and that's one of the things that we have to deal
with. The critics of this point of
view would say that's impossible and inconceivable.
Another possible explanation of the significance
of depth is, remember, our poor victim here.
If you multiply her, then you want to have as much
depth to fill in behind to close that hole as you can,
so that that would make your phalanx more sturdy,
because you could take more casualties without breaking,
that seems reasonable to me. But again, I can't imagine how
these guys fought in these circumstances.
I really can't see it. I mean, it's a pity we can't
kill people in experiments deliberately anymore,
because we need to see how this works, but I can't do it.
But I do think that that makes a reasonable amount of sense.
Anything else on the mechanics of our phalanx?
Yes?Student: How did they determine when two armies
would charge each other?Professor Donald
Kagan: To charge each other, is that what you're saying?
Well, what happens is one army is invading the land of the
other. So, it's--In a way,
it decided when the fighting is going to take place up to a
point. Namely, it's going to happen
this summer, because we're coming and it's going to happen
this week; it's going to happen tomorrow,
if you don't run away. So, now, the defenders have to
do it, in a perfect situation, I am marching towards their
corn crop, grain crop, at the time just
before the grain is going to be harvested.
If we cut down that grain you don't eat this winter.
You get in front of the grain, when we say.
So, that would be the classic way of determining how it works.
It's never--it probably wasn't quite that easy but the invading
side goes for something that the other side will have to defend
and that determines when the fighting takes place.
Yes sir?Student: How long would most of these battles
last?Professor Donald Kagan: Hard to say.
Hard to imagine anybody doing this for more than a couple of
hours. So that would be my guess,
but nobody knows for sure. But I think if you can imagine,
up to a couple of hours would be about right.
That's worth mentioning, how long is a war?
A couple of hours, because typically there's just
one battle; one side beats the other and
that's the war for now. Until we get,
of course, this is early days, until we get to the
Peloponnesian War when things change radically in fighting in
general, but this is your standard.
Yes sir?Student: You had mentioned that the losing
side casualty numbers were approximately about
15%?Professor Donald Kagan: Yeah,
it could be that bad.Student: If
you're fighting for an hour or two hours,
it just seems like that would be such a low
number.Professor Donald Kagan: Well,
you got to realize that much of the time, until the
phalanx breaks, there's not a lot of killing
that can go on. You can only kill just a few
people while they're still defending themselves in this
manner. I have to believe that the bulk
of the killing took place on the flight and so that's why that
works out. Student: What do you
do the rest of the time? Just push?Professor
Donald Kagan: If you're not hitting, you're pushing,
that's the theory.Student: An
hour?Professor Donald Kagan: Or two.
Yes?Student: How do they decide who went in front
and who went in the back?Professor Donald
Kagan: No, that's right.
They would have decided on the basis of what was most effective
and you would not want old guys. By the way, how old are the
people out there is a good question.
Typically, the youngest guys are twenty, and typically the
oldest guys are 45, but everybody was liable to
military service in these states until they were about 60.
So, you can imagine in certain circumstances there would be
guys that old back there, but fundamentally it's between
20 and 45. Okay, I would have thought that
the front row would exclude the older people.
You want tough guys up front; you don't want your front line
being broken. So, the guys up front are
going--the younger you are, chances are you're going to be
more physically strong than older guys.
Probably, though, you wouldn't want to have the
very youngest guys up front, because another thing you want
is experience. People who have seen this
before, done it before, lived through it,
and now you can count on them not to run away,
better than you can on a fresh recruit who's never done this
before. So, I would have thought--so
you see I'm speculating to a certain degree,
but I would have thought you would have guys 25 to 35 in the
front couple or three lines, and then behind them younger
men and then maybe the older men at the very back,
or maybe because you wanted to be sure that that last row
didn't turn and run away too fast,
you might have some who were not quite so old at the very
back, but it's all a question of what's effective and why;
that would be my thinking about that.
Yes?Student: [Inaudible]Professor
Donald Kagan: In what? Normally.
I say that a typical phalanx is eight;
however, by the time you get down to the fourth century and
people are doing all kinds of new and innovative things,
we hear that the left wing of the Boeotian army at Leuktra was
fifty men deep. Now, what are you going to do
with that? But it's clearly a fact.
There were previous examples of people trying to have a deep
wing that would do things, but if you take me back to my
primitive phalanx here about 600-650 they're not doing
that stuff yet. But I think that depth would
have been determined by how many soldiers you had available.
You would have made your phalanx as deep as you
could, and once you had the width established.
Yeah?Student: Would the winner of the war slaughter
the enemy that would fall behind or would they give them
back?Professor Donald Kagan: The question is would
the defeated army--would the winning army kill all the
defeated guys who were still on the battlefield at the time?
It would vary. They could capture them.
There's a reason to capture them.
You could demand ransom for them.
So, there would be some inclination to capture men
rather than to kill them. On the other hand,
guys who were engaged in a fight of the kind we must
imagine get very angry; these guys killed a buddy next
to you. So, there would have been a
certain amount of just furious killing going on,
but I don't think that would have been the way you planned
the game. You kill enough guys to achieve
your goal and if you're still rational you take the rest
prisoner. I think would be the way to go.
Yes?Student: What would stop an opposing army from
flanking you?Professor Donald Kagan:
What would stop it would be--why didn't they flank each
other? Boy, if they could, they would.
But the difficulty is, if you take your left flank and
move it out here so you can flank this guy,
one of two things has to happen to your army.
Either you open a nice hole between yourself and the rest of
your army, in which case somebody's going to get very
badly killed and you're going to be on the run very soon,
or you have to somehow communicate to the rest of the
army, "everybody come over this way,"
which will still leave that flank open to being flanked by
the other side. That's what prevents that from
happening, we just don't see that going on.
Yeah?Student: Was it just the Greek sense of honor
and propriety that kept them from doing more creative sneak
attack?Professor Donald Kagan: It used to be thought
before people were very careful--we know that they do
every terrible thing in the world in the Peloponnesian War.
Whatever the rules were before, they're off when we get into
the Peloponnesian War. There's just no dirty trick
that anybody fails to do if it can.
But they surely must have done it before too.
When you're serious, any way to win will do,
but mostly you could make a virtue of a necessity.
The kind of battle I've been describing to you,
a nice flat field, two armies coming at each
other, there's not much you can do in
the way of trickery, and so you can take a high tone
and say, anybody who fights any other
way is a no good coward. In fact, we have some claim,
and a Roman writer later on, that there was a treaty back in
the eighth century B.C. between a couple of states in
Euboea, that said they would never use missiles of any kind,
because that was cowardly. The only legitimate fighting is
man against man, shield against shield,
chest against chest, everybody else is a pussy.
So, I think that became--and whatever the reality was,
that story was always being told, that's the way for a man
to fight; anything other than that is
open to suspicion. Okay, thank you very much
hoplites. A little hand for the hoplites.
Just a few more little details.
The situation begins at--remember,
the two sides are opposite each other in the field,
probably in the morning. Each side conducts sacrifices
in which they ask the gods for assistance in the battle,
sometimes they hope that there will be a favorable omen
suggesting they're going to win. They have breakfast,
they drink, and they advance typically to a battle song
called the paeon which we have, what they sang.
I don't have the tune but I have the words.
Does that sound like a good thing to march into battle?
Sounds good to me, I like that. Then would come the battle.
I talked to you about the pursuit, the aftermath.
There's just one more thing you need to know about this
phalanx mode of fighting. When the phalanx fought
against any other infantry formation the phalanx
wins; from the time we first hear of
Greeks fighting non-Greeks, when the Greeks have the
phalanx, I think I'm right in saying
they never lose a battle. Finally they do in the,
I think it's the second century B.C., when King Phillip of
Macedon has his phalanx fighting against the Roman
legion and the legion wins, but believe me,
it was no easy thing for the legion to win even in that
battle. There was nothing automatic
about that. So great was the military
success of the phalanx that the King of Persia who was
always getting into wars and hiring troops--whenever the
kings could they hired Greek hoplites to fight for
them. When prince Cyrus seeks to
overthrow his brother right after the Peloponnesian War he
signs up 10,000 veterans of the Peloponnesian War from the
Peloponnesus, because with 10,000 Greek
hoplites, he believes that he can conquer the Persian Empire
and make himself king, even though the numbers are
fabulous. And those Greeks marched 1,500
miles into the center of the Persian Empire,
down into Babylonia, fight the army of the Persian
king, defeat the army of the Persian king,
but unfortunately the prince who led them down there is
killed in the battle, making the victory rather
pointless, because the whole idea was to make him king.
So then you have Xenophon writing his Anabasis,
The March Back, telling the story of how those
1,500--those 10,000 Greeks rather got back home.
Just a word for the other side of the argument,
I want to read you a quotation from Hans Van Wees,
who is the leading critic of the traditional orthodox
explanation I just gave you. Here's one, "It is clear that
the emergence of the hoplite was only the beginning of a lengthy
process which certainly lasted more than a century,
and may have lasted more than two centuries,
leading to the creation of a close ordered hoplites only
phalanx. The classical hoplite formation
then was not the long lived military institution of
scholarly tradition, but merely one phase in a
history of almost four centuries of slow change towards ever
denser and more cohesive heavy infantry formations."
I'll read you one more of his statements, "Those who favor an
early date for the emergence of the hoplite phalanx rely
on one argument above all, the new type of shield adopted
in the late eighth century, unlike its predecessors,
could be used effectively only in an extremely close and rigid
formation. Double grip shields thus
presupposed or imposed an extremely dense formation.
The tacit assumption is that hoplites stood frontally opposed
to their enemies like wrestlers, rather than sideways on,
like fencers, holding their shields parallel
to their bodies, but artistic representations
show that this is not how hoplites fought."
I would say that the crux, the kernel of the critique,
a lot of things you can argue about--The kernel of the
critique lies in this assertion which derives its force from an
interpretation of pictures on pottery.
You can see I'm not too friendly to that interpretation,
but it is being taken very, very seriously.
So seriously, you fortunate Yalies,
that they will be here on April 9 and 10 of 2008,
an international conference on the subject of the hoplite
phalanx and the emergence of the city state.
It will be a classic Greek agonal confrontation,
because among the other stars who are going to be engaged,
Curtis Easton will be one of them, the main event will be a
one-on-one between Victor Davis Hanson and Hans Van Wees.
You're all very welcome to come on that occasion.
See you next time.
Mobile Analytics