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Thread: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

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    Default Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Roma Surrectum proudly presents


    Most people know Sparta.
    They consider it the Sparta which spawned the “300”, the Achaimenid Persian’s defeat, the “Molon Labe”

    This isn’t that Sparta.
    Sparta of 216 is a wounded lion, a force broken but not extinguished, not yet at least.

    The prime enemy of Sparta now isn’t Achaimenid Persia. It is the state which vanquished it. Makedonia.
    Sparta lost to the Makedonia in 331 BC when Agis the second died defending Lacedaimon, in 264 BC when Areus, the winner of Pyrrhos was killed fighting them in the Chremonidean war and the last time at Sellasia at 222 BCE, which led Spartan King Kleomenes to exile. Had it not been for the Illyrians raid at Makedonia which led to the death of Antigonos Doson, Sparta’s fate would have been sealed. History though, has a way of humbling even the strongest power and saving from Charon’s teeth even the lowest ones, as Sparta is right now.

    Machanidas is the king, and if history is to follow his course he will go on to fight the Achaioi league, Makedonia’s lapdog in Peloponnesos, and while winning in his flank, he stupidly gave chase to his opponents, against the teachings of the ancestors, allowing the Achaians to defeat the rest of the Spartan army in detail.
    This is in the future, however. Now it is up to you to restore what Sparta was and what it could have been but failed due to its introversion.

    It is not that there haven’t been visionaries. People like the Kings Pausanias, Agesilaos and even rebels like the hypomeion Kynadon who tried their best to wake Sparta of its sleep and turn it into a Greek Roma, for it is only Sparta who could play that role. Spartans deep rooted territoriality, distrust of anything non Spartan, as well as Ephors’ fear of losing their share on power, led to all of those reforms being either a failure, or a vain measure. Undefeated in combat Spartans of 400 BCE lost to Persian gold. Thebans and Makedonians followed. Spartans had been asked by them to take part in the campaign to rid the Greece of the Persian threat, and avenge Thermopylae, but their stubborn answer was to say “we only lead in campaigns not follow”. Furious Phillip threatened that IF he should invade Sparta he would level it down and turn all men into slaves. Spartans answer was a laconic “If…”

    Sparta never had grand walls or Parthenons built. Thucidides, an Athenian was right in stating that Sparta would be forgotten, if its buildings were what mattered. It wasn’t however. It was its people. Its men who fought, its women who stayed back and were equal to them, considering each birth a battle, and each Spartan child a victory. Its expression with the fewest possible words, the “laconic” way, or its practical philosophy which equipped its men with a poisonous sense of humor that still survives. An Athenian once was making a grand speech on their honoured dead, comparing them to Homer and his own warriors. “What then” remarked the smirking Spartan “should be spoken about us, who killed them?”

    Sparta was no stranger to controversy. Sparta did oppress the lower tier of its populace, the helots, in ways that we can’t imagine. Beautiful helot women would find themselves widows and fathering Spartan Children called “Mothakes” whose number rised steadily throughout Spartan history. Helots would be killed just as a precaution, and their own Spartan Lords shamed should their helots be fat. It wasn’t a pretty image nor it was meant to be. Yet, 6000 helots sprang up to defend Sparta when Thebans broke through after Leuktra and Mantineia defeats for their freedom. Freed Helots among other troops were sent abroad not just as garissons but to fight (the Brasideioi), and some helots even served as “Harmostai” or city governors in conquered territories. This shouldn’t ever happen but it did. Sparta while an “evil slaver state” was the main reason why Greece won in the Persian wars and remained free. It led the army and was wise enough to let navy expert Athenians lead in Salamis against the Achaimenid Persian Fleet. Sparta was also magnanimous beyond belief. It occupied all 3 of its major Hellenic enemies, and didn’t destroy them against the wishes of its allies. Sparta could conquer Argos in 494 BCE (after slaying all of its army), Athens in 404 and Thebes in 382 BCE. It didn’t destroy any of them, nor sold their people off as slaves. Compare that with Roma or Megas Alexandros. Spartans were also known for their absolute respect for elders, even enemy ones. They would stand aside to allow an elder to cross their path, whoever he may be. After all this, then, a conclusion can be made : Sparta is too alien to our way of thinking and too peculiar to judge by any conventional means. So, perhaps the best way to deal with Sparta is to try and not judge it, only learn about it and accept it as it was. Sparta.

    There are many things people “know” about Sparta. A lot of them are misconceptions, others are plainly not so. Many more things that Spartans did and were famous for are simply unkown. Such as the absolute synchronized way they fought in. Spartan hoplites could turn on a dime, performing complex maneuvers with a lighting speed. According to some Greek historians they even wore nametags in the form of wooden tablet. They marched and fought in step. Death wasn’t their greatest fear. Being dishonored in combat was. “Tresas” or he who fled from battle, or surrendered to the enemy would be disgraced in any form of social event, his sisters couldn’t get a husband, his wife would drive him out of his house, and he would have to stand aside and bow his head to any one passing through, be he younger older or hypomeion. His only redemption would be in battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia

    Structure of Spartan society
    Spartan society in the classical period was rigidly divided into several castes, each with assigned duties and privileges. The smallest of these, with the most power and freedom, was the Spartiate elite. Spartiates were exempt from manual labor, and controlled the government of the state. Spartiate men were expected to prepare constantly for military conflict. Below the Spartiates were the Perioikoi, literally "dwellers around," inhabitants of outlying towns who carried out most of the trade and commerce of the city, since Spartiates were forbidden to engage in commercial activity. Further down the ladder were the helots, enslaved populations tied to the land and owned by the Spartan state. In the late 4th century and later, a new class, the neodamodeis (lit. 'new' damos dwellers), arose. It seems to have been composed of liberated helots. Also, there were the hypomeiones (lit. inferiors) men who were probably, although not certainly, Spartiates who had lost social rank.
    There have been many to dismiss Sparta over the centuries since and many will do so in the future. Sparta was never an empire builder or a patron of the arts, except of course the art of war. Still a question will be asked. Why bother with Sparta? What does it have, especially in 216 mere decades before its eternal demise?

    Military historians consider Spartans the best soldiers, maybe ever. Even better than the Roman soldiers man to man. Or any other who ever fought then or now. Even at the decaying state of 216 BCE, when everyone was bowing either to Macedon or Roma Sparta was willing to fight. Lose maybe, surrender never.

    It is however the mere diference to ANY other culture surrounding it, that leads people to admire Sparta, even to this day. It is wrong to try and compare two different states, like Roma and Sparta were, but it would be useful to understand the realities that each nation had to face and just how different they were.

    If Roma was Sparta, it would have destroyed Sparta's arch enemies, Argos, Thebe, Athens, establish colonies in those grounds and by any means necessary create an empire through allied cities, protected mini states, and alliances. If Roma was Sparta by 216 it would be fighting against Seleukids in Byzantion province, having defeated Makedonia long ago. Its people would be the leaders of an army made of subjects of former defeated enemies. Organised into families, not brotherhoods like Sparta, it would be Imperialistic as hell.

    If Sparta was Roma in 216, it would have remained content within the borders Of Roma of 282 BCE. It would keep Etruscans as an allied "border" state to defend against its northern borders after defeating them, Samnites exactly the same but in the south, and turn all other cities of its empire into Perioikoi (mountainous areas) and helots (river valley areas). Its ruling class would send its sons to fight in the war not as lieutenants but as soldiers in the first rank of its armies. It wouldn't expand beyond that.


    The state of the world near Sparta in 216

    Sparta as a power was beaten to a pulp. After Sellasia in 222 its army was drained, its king Kleomenes forced into exile in Alexandreia. There he was killed along with his family, trying to escape back to Sparta. Machanidas took over. Not a Spartan, but a Tyrant from Taras. He had been the leader of the Taras mercs stationed and in the payroll of Sparta and from there on he made his moves. Even if it is stated that he assumed charge of Sparta at 211 as a guardian of Pelops, the legal King who was minor at the time, he is assumed to have been the real power behind the scenes for at least 7 years before.

    Sparta didn't frighten anyone at the time. The traditionally good relations with Crete held, as well as with Rhodes, with whom Sparta had shared membership in the Chremonidean league, 60 years ago.
    Macedonians were going through some problems of their own having challenged their undoing, Roma. The real problem for Sparta, was the Achaian league, which under the Captain General Philopoemen had become quite a strong army. Aitolians were going through some power games of their own. Athens was reduced to a mere vassal of Makedonia, while Thebes hadn't and wouldn't recuperate from its destruction by Alexandros 120 years ago.

    Machanidas, the only Non Spartan to rule Sparta (as a guardian of the proper King) is now poised for either greatness or destruction. In real life he lost.

    Can you win?

    The army of Sparta follows the same distinctions as that of the Spartan society. First the underclass, aka the helots, hypomeiones (lesser spartans) and Neodamodeis (freed helots). Then there would be the Free but second rate citizens, the Perioikoi and Metoikoi ( or Xenoi, immigrants). Finally the Spartans. Masters of their world, but for the powers of the Ephors and Apella, their limited congress like venue. It is also important to make another distinction. Lakedaimonian is whoever free man resided in the area of Sparta, that would mean Spartans, Perioikoi, Hypomeiones would be considered Lakedaimonians. Metoikoi would have to wait a generation to be Lakedaimonians, meaning that their children would be. And now having made those clarifications let's move on and see in year 216 BCE just what was...

    The army of Sparta...



    HEILOTAI, HYPOMEIONES and NEODAMODEIS


    Helot Akontistai


    -Meant to skirmish with the enemy shoot of their akontia javelins and get the hell out before the enemy arrives. Cavalry fodder, they shouldn't be in its way.Myron of Priene, specifies one the humiliations they were subjected to: they had to wear hats of dog skin as well as sheep hides to distinguish themselves from others.

    Helot Akontistai

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Helot Akontistai were the bread and butter of Spartan skirmish troops. They wouldn’t stand in battle, but they would certainly pepper the enemy with spears. Akontistai would form up in loose order 2-4 lines deep. Nearing the enemy up until range they would pepper the enemy with the 3-8 javs they carried. They were armed with a small pelte shield and a small knife for self defense. Myron of Priene, cited by Athenaeus (XIV, 657 D), specifies the humiliations they were subjected to: they had to wear hats of dog skin (κυνῆ / kunễ) as well as sheep hides (διφθέρα / diphthéra) to distinguish themselves from others. Helots weren’t free. They weren’t slaves either, not in the sense that they would be in other Hellenic poleis. They had many rights, much more then other greek city slaves. “Community slaves” is a term that has been used for them. Another, according to Polydeukes, is that they were those in between free men and slaves. They had the opportunity to accumulate fortune (much like Romani slaves), because of their set 50% of their crops that they would give to the Spartans. This is why in the reign of Kleomenes (224 BCE), thousands of them could buy their freedom, when such an option was offered by a Sparta in desperate need of funds. Still, thousands more remained helots. Initially helots were used as baggage carriers or weapon bearers (they carried the offensive and defensive equipment of the Spartans in battle). It seems the weapons they carried in battle were their hunting gear, be it spears or slings. According to Herodotos, for every Spartan who took part in a campaign, there would be 7 helots accompanying them.

    Historically when Spartans fought at Plataiae, they brought along the grand total of all fighting helots, about 35.000 of which, most of which would be akontistai. They fought against the Persian cavalry along with the Spartans and their assistance in the outcome of battle is not to be underestimated. Helots were situated mainly in the valley of Messinia (stenyklaros) and the balley of Eurotas river in Sparta itself. In those very fertile ground would the Sparans have their lands which the Helots would cultivate. Most hillside lands and mountain villages were Perioikoi domain. There is evidence to suggest that each Spartan would “loan out” the helots to the other, when certain produce needed to be harvested. Helots were under constant threat, either dying from hard work, or from the “Krypteia” secret police which assassinated the best of them. Even the Spartan state regularly declared war against them, so as to justify mass helot killings. There were many mothaxes around, such as Lysandros famous Spartan general who won the Pelloponesean war., (Mothax=child with Spartan father and helot mother), and some historians have even gone to suggest that some of the helot killings were to secure helot women. Helots would have none of this and fought very hard the Spartans at every chance they would get, and 3 Messenian wars or rebellions were fought. It was the Thebeans, however, who managed to set them free, after their victory at Leuktra at 371. Messenian helots were freed as Helots from Sparta remained in their chains, up until just prior to Romani conquest.


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    Helot Slingers

    The most deadly missile troops. They were deadly against enemy infantry, but also a cavalry bait. When horsemen attack they must withdraw behind heavier troops. The sheepskin they are forced to wear, increases a tiny bit their own survivability as it enhances their non existant armor.

    Helot slingers

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    Helot slingers (Heilotai Sphendonetai)
    Being a slinger was one of the few tasks that Helots were trusted with in warfare. After the Akontistai it was the bigger type of “psiloi” missile skirmishers type in the greek battle field and Spartan too. Equipped with the “sphendone” sling, a leather strip with a bigger, flattened part in its middle in which the sling would be placed. From there on it would be slung at the enemy. The old clay missiles had been replaced by molybdenum ones, whose weight increased from 30 gr. to 80 gr after Phillipos B. A good slinger could hit his target from 150 meters away. He needn’t kill the target outright. The bent helmet and the great concussion which would cause massive internal hemorrhage on the brain would do that.
    Spartans were in the top of a pyramid. Small in number but terrible in their fighting skills. Lower down that pyramid were the middle class of Perioikoi, free but with limited rights. The base of the pyramid however, and the reason Sparta existed as a state were the Helots. On top of their backs was Sparta built. They were a particular case of slaves. They had many rights, much more then other greek city slaves. “Community slaves” is a term that has been used for them. Another, according to Polydeukes, is that they were those in between free men and slaves. However they must have been one of the most massive slave classes in history, in relation to their ruling class at least. In the time of Sparta’s greatest peak Helots must have numbered near to 100.000 (women and children included). At that same time Spartan “homoioi” citizens (basically only Homoioi would be called Spartans) were about 5.000 fighting men at about 600 BCE. Their numbers kept diminishing until the time of Kleomenes’ reforms at 224 BCE, only 100 spartans existed, who controlled almost all the lands of Sparta.

    While it is true that a lot of Helots bought their freedom in the period right up to 216 (In Kleomenes reforms’ many thousands of helots bought their freedom), those were incorporated in Spartan or Perioikoi troops, they weren’t helots anymore. Helots would only fight with their hunting equipment, aka spears and slings. Not the best of slingers, as the slingers of Corsica and Rhodes and Pisidia are many times better than them. Still, they will shoot their slings at the enemy phalanxes, with devastating results. They must wear a hat made of dogskin or even better a sheep hide at all times to distinguish themselves according to Myron. Spartans, for all their faults would allow them to amass property, and even award some of them liberty for their bravery in battle. Even though that number was never big, it did happen. Spartans, obsessed as they were with bravery and war, this was the one commodity they valued among all else. They must have fought in Plataiae, and even more so in skirmishes of the Peloponnesian war against the Iphikratides hoplites of Athenians who destroyed a Spartan company, mainly by using javelins, slngshots and outnumbering them 6 to 1. Thus the slingers would accompany most hoplitic phalanxes as a way to protect them from missile fire. Most of them were freed after the battle of Leuktra when the Koinon of Messenion was formed. 6.000 of them took up arms voluntary to defend against the Boetian invasion. Many others, though, especially those in Lakonia, Sparta’s environs, remained helots until the end of Spartan’s independent state existence.



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    Hypomeiones peltasts



    The Peltasts of Sparta, which are also good in close combat, despite their abysmal moral. Prone to attack without orders.

    Hypomeiones peltasts

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    Armed with the cheapest pilos helmet available, some javelins to throw to the enemy and a whicker thureos shield, Hypomeiones are used as skirmish troops to soften up the enemy advance. Even if some of them can and do fight, as befitting of a man who has gone throught agoge, most will run on sight, as they are very likely to reject a state which has rejected them. They are the peltasts of Sparta. Good also at close combat as some of them have been though the Agoge, and prone to attack without orders, as there is no Spartan officer to give them.
    Being Spartan wasn’t easy. A price constantly had to be paid. Hypomeiones couldn’t pay that price, so they were ditched and left to fend for themselves. Although most tried and actually managed to enroll in Ekdromoi hoplitai many couldn’t. Hypomeiones were younger sons of Spartiatai (other than the firstborn), whose parents’ not willing to divide their land, cast them off to fend for themselves once they completed the Agoge. Another category of men who would join the ranks of Hypomeiones were the mothakes who couldn’t join the Ekdromoi hoplitai. A mothax was a son of a Spartan man and a Helot woman. Spartiatai who lost their land after the land losses post 369BCE also became Hypomeiones. Not being selected for a position in a fratra (brotherhood) or cowardness in battle led to the same result. Spartiatai hated Hypomeiones and Hypomeiones responded in kind. It is no secret that the only attempted coup when Lycourgos’ law was in effect was from the Hypomeiones, the conspiracy of Cinadon, as it is known. Sparta tried hard to both hide them and employ them as it could. After the attempted coup though, they really did mean less than zero for Sparta. In fact for the average Spartan, Hypomeiones were considered even less than helots. It is no accident that in RS, they aren’t even given a lochagos to lead them. Spartans avoided them like the plague.

    Historically, at 224 BCE, as part of the Kleomenes’ reforms, 2000 hypomeiones were re-introduced to the “Homoioi” (Same Spartans or Peers). They were given land plots and incorporated in the Pike phalanx which became the prevalent infantry formation in the Spartan army from that point on until Sparta’s demise. While no Hypomeiones actually existed in the time RS begins in, it is absolutely certain that a growing and expanding Sparta would definitely produce them, as had happened in the past. Hypomeion meant “lesser homoios” or “under-peer” or “inferior” in an exact translation. It could also mean “hypo-meion” meaning literally “less than zero”. This must have been what it felt like for them. To be a blood relative of men who fought in Thermopylae, and just be dumped into the street, and become invisible to former friends or relatives, all because one can’t afford to be a Spartan.
    Every Spartan had to pay his share in the Syssition, or public mess, that was obligatory for all the “same” Spartans. Not one of them even the King could be absent, unless of course there were state reasons. To be able to take part in them, one would need to provide a monthly share to the common pot, the φιδίτης / phidites, of which the composition has been passed to us by Dikaiarchos (through Athenaeos and Plutarch ibid., 12): 77 kilograms of barley, 39 litres of wine, 3 kilograms of cheese, 1.5 kilograms of figs, and 10 Aiginian obols which served to purchase meat. This served to prepare the main dish, the black broth (μέλας ζωμός / melas zomōs), of which Athenaios has given us the ingredients: pork, salt, vinegar and blood. Failure to afford those set prices for all meant that that Spartan would lose his place in whichever military unit he belonged, lose his rights as a citizen, disappear to the eyes of his peers. This was the fate of the younger sons of each Spartan family. Spartans carried on the ancient custom that all land goes to the first born son, and the others would have to fend for themselves. As the conspiracy of Cinadon showed, some tried to reform the system. A system which was even more cruel to its own who couldn’t pay, than its own admitted enemy slaves, the helots. Cinadon was no ordinary hypomeion. He was a part of Spartan society. In fact he was a police officer who carried out important missions for the Ephors of Sparta. He processed a scytale which meant that he could direct Somatophylakes Hippeis, the members of the elite Spartan Kings’ guard. He was literate and had thus must have received some education, leading to speculations that the firstborns of Hypomeiones could also take part in the Agoge. Because of his job he should have been a valued and respected person likely (according to Xenophon and Aristotle) to be a member of the peers (Homoioi). In his trial, he said he tried to overthrow the Laws of Lykourgos so as "to be a Lacedaemonian inferior to no one". Around him other hypomeiones joined in. Tisamenos, a member of the Melampodidon (a seer), was the most dangerous, according to Xenophon. Hypomeiones were the thorn in the Spartan side. The flaw in their “perfect” system.

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    Ekdromoi Hoplites



    In Sparta or over it, in the North of Peloponnesos, a new lighter hoplite emerged. Faster and lighter he could chase down the peltasts who were becoming very dangerous

    Ekdromoi hoplites


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    Spartans were considered one of the inventors of the light aspis round shield carrying spearmen, whose only task in the battle line is to chase peltasts, psiloi and/or toxotai. Equipped with a trusty pilos helmet, their only protection, along with the shield, they hurl themselves against the enemy missle troops. The best thing about their minimal armor is that it is easy for them to either duck or lie completely prone to avoid missiles and then jump back up and run at the enemies hurling missiles, but never in a straight line as this would make them easy targets, spelling their doom. Their pilos helmet has a crest on so as to inspire a measure of fear on the opposing side, but also to detract their target with its ebbing and flowing, wavy movement. On their feet and for minimal missile protection they wear thraikian boots. Those boots are thought to have been a remnant of campaigns in Makedonia, where Ekdromoi fought Thraikian peltasts on the payroll of Athenians. Back then they were known as Brasideioi. Once thought to have originated in Sparta, it’s being considered nowadays that Spartans just followed Northern Peloponneseans along, and not a moment too soon. Athenian Iphikrates in 392 BCE using a 6:1 peltast force ratio under his command overwhelmed a Spartan hoplite detachment with his lighter missile troops (even if he still needed heavy troops to finish off the wounded Spartans). Trying to avoid such mishaps in the future, Sparta not only created those hoplites, but pretty soon had all hoplites wear their outfit just like them. In fact, for a brief period of Spartan warfare, from 404 BCE to 371 BCE, all armor is said to have been abandoned for infantry, but for Pilos helmet and round aspis shield.


    Ekdromoi hoplites, one of the two units which has an inclusive name. There are a lot of Spartan warriors who could have been called Ekdomoi and at one time everyone could. Their line does go back a long time and under many different guises. First there were the Brasideioi Heilotai, who campaigned unto Makedonia and beat back the Athenians there under General Brasidas. Survivors upon their return were granted freedom and land plots. Brasideioi must have been part of the Neodamodeis (according to the most accepted theory). Neodameis were helots who for extraordinary services rendered were granted their freedom in return. (Not necessarlily in war as it was Helots who swam past the Athenian patrols to bring food to the besieged at Sphakteria). It has been suggested that during the Peloponnesian war most of the campaigning detachments were in their majority helots, a few perioikoi and just a sprinkling of Spartans (other than officers). Sparta did conserve its citizens as it was facing an ever greater problem of not finding enough Spartans to fight. Thus fusing units with a small cadre of elites with a mass of non soldiers was found to have excellent results if the unit could have some time to drill as one unit and under a spirited officer develop a sense of unit pride. They Spartans were aided in their effort by seconds or third sons of Spartans cast away after their agoge was complete, as there were no Spartan land plots to support second or third boys. Hypomeiones like those boys, and sons of Hypomeiones who didn’t lose the right to enter the agoge for the following generation after their fathers fall from grace. They would be accepted in this unit as full Spartans, and outside of Sparta would be equal to a member of the “homoioi” or same Spartans. Mothakes (plural of mothax, which means son of a Spartan man and a Helot woman) if not taken under the protection of a richer Spartan, would end up in the Ekdromoi. Perioikoi would be called upon to serve as well, but all other categories came willingly, so as to avoid an even worse fate.


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    PERIOIKOI AND METOIKOI


    Perioikoi Thureophoroi



    Peltasts they were as well, but with a vengeance. Linothorax clad, and with bronze greaves, they were peltasts in name only. They couldn't go up against all the heavier opponents, but against peltasts, unarmored hoplites, archers and slingers, they are at their best.


    Perioikoi Thureophoroi
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    Kleomenes’ reforms of 224 BCE, were the greatest chance that Sparta had to reclaim its power. Kleomenes tried his best to re-create the Glory of Sparta. Part of his reforms was the formation of a Thureophoroi force, a heavy peltasts outfit, equipped with a Thureos Celtic/Italian shield, which Sparta was possibly the last Hellenic state to field. As the perioikoi would be quite rich sometimes, their equipment would reflect their status. While not rich enough to field a bronze muscle cuirass, (in truth, few men were able to afford such an armor), they did wear a leather or woolen spolas subarmalis or “thoromachos” and on top of that a bleached white linothorax with some gorgoneion and decorative designs on it. No greaves for them, as they would have to run for their lives when heavier forces or cavalry arrived. They could fight hoplites but not win them. They would too form up in 8 lines or less but were able to shorten their lines, effectively creating a light phallanx. carrying a number of javelins, (4 most of the time). They carry a black shield with a white leopard signifying the Mora recruitment center of Pylos. Pylos was the site of a great Spartan loss in the Pelloponesean war, but also the site where the Perioikoi stood their ground agains the re-emerging Messenian state post 374 BCE. As such with the ressurgence of Sparta, old emblems would be used anew and new warriors with novel weapons and armor would join in the fight to make Sparta great.

    Perioikoi, while not the best troops of Sparta, they certainly were many, and certainly among those who would embrace many of the novelties of war, in direct contrast to the more “set-in-stone” ways of their Spartan overlords. They would become pike phallangitai, thureophoroi, thorakitai, elite archers and tarentine horsemen as the needs of Sparta would differ in time. Diodoros of Sicily and Isokrates speak of the 1000 perioikoi who fought along Leonidas in Thermopylae. They were forgotten by history and “spartan-only” theories. Perioikoi thureophoroi, though know their history and are going to prove once again that even if they aren’t Spartans they are Lakedaimonioi, and it is Lakedaimonioi that the dedication in Thermopylae speaks of.

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    Perioikoi Thorakitai


    The final evolution of the peltast, which was a unit among skirmishers and heavy infantry. Thorakitai wear mail armor, and can also fight as well as throw javelins

    Perioikoi Thorakitai
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Kleomenes and his reforms of 224 BCE didn’t stop at the creation of Thureophoroi. A heavier force much like them, but with many similarities in equipment was planned like that of the other Diadochoi states. Even if Thorakitai didn’t fight at Selassia, they were deffinitely planned. Machanidas’ time is now, and if the time and finances allow is sure to bring them forth. Thorakitai, evolving from Thureophoroi are equipped with a Thureos Celtic/Italian shield. It is a red clad shield with a white “lambda” signifying the perticular “Λ” that the Perioikoi went to battle with. Even if they were rich enough to be equipped with a bronze muscle cuirass, they chose not to. Instead, on top of the leather or woolen “spolas” subarmalis or “thoromachos” they wore the Celtic chainmail. In fact it was worn and fasted like that of the richest celt heavy swordmen or Principes. Their main difference to the other states’ thorakitai would be the bronze greaves they might wear. Still considered missile troops by many, and in fact they were, carrying a number of javelins, (4 most of the time). It is no wonder why they have been called “immitation legionaires” from that point and up until today. They surely look like it but they are not. They are the heaviest peltasts Hellenic states built which just look like the Romani, as they themselves evolved along the same lines. It is parallel evolution and influence up to a part, but not an all out copy of a Romani princeps.

    Thorakitai, historically were the last ditch attempt for a Greek state to come up with something to fight the Romani with. Thorakitai and their lighter armed brehtren, thureophoroi, much like the peltasts they descended from, can fight in all sorts of terrains, especially so in rough and dangerous terrain. Hoplitic phallanxes and pike phallanxes may defeat them on open ground but on a more uneven terrain, when the phallanxes lose their cohesion they are fair game for the fast moving thorakitai to engage them and in that case their larger shield and greater sword would prevail. In battle of Sellasia, Kleomenes tried to do that same thing. Force the enemy phallanxes into uneven ground and him being on the fortified hilltop, he would face their attacks with his own Periokoi and Spartan phallanxes and force them to flee down with his lighter troops like thureophoroi (or Thorakitai if he would have them) cut them down. Unfortunately for him, treason from his leader of Krypteia (secret police equivalent) and a sudden assault from thraikian and illyrian heavy peltasts drove him into disarray costing him the battle. There was nothing wrong with Thorakitai and his battleplan, though. It is just that it didn’t survive contact with the enemy.

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    Perioikoi Skiritai


    Covered in carbon dust to prevent detection for their mostly nocturnal missions. Destined to exploit every opening in the enemy battle line, or create one if need be. They are especially good against cavalry.

    Perioikoi Skiritai( elite swordmen)

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Skiritai were arcadian perioikoi, but were the most trusted among all the perioikoi of Sparta. Their honorary position in the battleline right next to the Spartans and their bravery in their missions means that they were elevated to a higher status than even some native Spartan units, as Spartans above all treasured bravery and prowess in battle. They are equipped with a shortened version of the pilos helmet, and a leather or felt cup underneath to soften the blow on the head, should the helmet be struck. They wear an “exomis” variation of the “chiton”, which leaves the right shoulder free for sword or spear movement. This was worn by laborers, but was popularized in between the battle of Aigos Potamoi 404 BCE and Battle of Leuktra 371 BCE, when most armies dropped all defensive armament but for the shield and helmet. Later on, most troops resumed wearing armor for the body, but Skiritai, due to the nature of their mission, probably remained in that “exomis outfit”. They are armed with a long xiphos sword, as a spear would definitely prove unwieldy in close quarter fighting. It is slung inside their shield for easy reach. They are also equipped with the Spartan shortsword, in case they lose their sword in the heat of the battle, and it wouldn’tt be easy for them to find their sword in the dark. Their shield is dark and has some bronze pins on to cover their Mora emblem an “Ierax” or hawk. They would also be covered in carbon dust so that they would be less visible, during their mission. They set up a perimeter guard around the round shaped Spartan camp, and stood guard during the night. Skiritai while a geographical term initially, it signified a way of fighting and Perioikoi from other towns too were admitted in the Skiritai units.

    Historically Perioikoi Skiritai were elite specialized troops of the Spartans. They were night fighting troops be they night guards or night raiders. Their most astounding achievement was the assassination of the brothers of Xerxes at Thermopylae according to Diodoros of Sicily. The story goes like this. During the second day of the conflict at Thermopylae, Leonidas is informed in the late evening from a Persian fugitive, Tyrrastias from Kyme, the movements of the immortals under command of the Hydarnes in the mountain pass of Anopaia and decides a night raid with Xerxes himself as the target. The Persians, obvioulsly worn out by the their continuous attacks of the battleline, don’t notice a unit of skiritai night raiders, who penetrate in the royal tent slaughtering everyone they find. Xerxes however wasn’t in the tent at the time so he escapes. This wasn’t the case though for his brothers, Abrokomes and Hyperanthes. After killing them the skiritai were slain themselves as the immortals overwhelmed them. Herodotos considers that the brothers of Xerxes died fighting Leonidas in the final stand of the Spartans in the hill. That, however is false as the Persian Kings’ brothers wouldn’t fight at the first line according to their customs, and of course we know that the last Spartans of Thermopylae died from the massive arrow shots, not direct action. Thus, Xerxes’ brothers are more likely to have been killed at a Skiritai night ops than anything else. They kept on fighting for the Spartans and they are mentioned in the first battle of Mantineia, when they along with the freed Helots Brasideioi were given the left flank (with Spartans and Tegeates allies holding the right). In that battle they were the bait as they faced the elite troops of the Spartans’ enemies. They fled eventually, but after buying the right flank enough time to dismantle their opposing force and then defeating the rest of the enemies in detail. Post Mantineia they were used as hamippoi (between the horses), meaning going in battle along with the horsemen, and gutting the enemy horses when the two cavalry forces would join. Skiritai were dismantled when Thebans stripped the Spartans of their Arcadian holdings post 371, but Spartans reclaimed Skirititai land and would definitely recreate that elite night-op force.

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    Perioikoi archers



    Perioikoi archers (Toxotai) are elite archers trained by Cretans and as good as them, both in shooting their composite arrows and in melee fighting.

    Perioikoi archers
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    Spartans despised archery. They hated it so much in fact that a dying Spartan is depicted by Plutarch in his work “Ethica” (of morals) as complaining that he dies because of an arrow shot by an effeminate archer. Archery and cavalry however, were the two areas the Spartans were severely lacking in. Kretan archers however, were respected warriors and were considered an integral part of Spartan army, They fought alongside the Spartans ever since King Theopompos in the 8th century BCE. Sources don’t mention the existence of Cretan merc archers at Sparta, but they must have serveed with Spartan army throughout its history. They were the best tutors to train the Perioikoi archers force and in fact this force was formed and equipped, exactly like Cretan archers. An evolved boetian helmet, a “spolas” leather or woolen subarmalis or “thoromachos” as it would be called, and on top of that, an ochre linothorax. Linothorax wasn’t white, it was bleached to be white. They are equipped with a composite bow, an oriental influence brought over by the conquering armies of Megas Alexandros, and their training was vigorous, as to quote a medieval English saying “To train an archer you must start from his grandfather”. Unique among archers they carried a long xiphos and a small buckler to defend themselves should they be attacked. While able to defend themselves, they should be defended well as they too valuable to waste in hand to hand combat. Due to the hardship of training and the time it took to raise them, Perioikoi would be an elite archery unit, to be recruited in the higher tiers of Spartan barracks. Their lethality in battle, however, more than justifies all expenses associated with them.

    Historically, Spartans after the loss at Sphakteria, where Athenian Epibatai(marines) swamped the beachfront defenses and moved inland, harassing the Spartans with missile fire whenever they attempted to come to grips with the Athenian hoplites. It has been theorised that the Athenian force had a big number of peltasts alongside it, or even Kimmerioi toxotai (scythian archers), who would pepper the Spartan force with arrows. In the end, 400 hoplites proved no match for 2000 archers and 8000 lighly armed rowers from the fleet. Whenever the hoplites would try to assault the Athenians, those 2000 archers would break up run in units of 200 men and run around while the other archer units would unleash their arrows at the Spartan’s flanks. It was a hopeless battle. It was also a wake up call for Sparta which realised the importance of light cavalry (to be able to break up toxotai and akontistai formations) and a proffesional archery force to fight against archers. Kretan archers were recruited to fight as mercenaries but also to train the new Perioikoi toxotai elite archer force. Recruited from the most trusted of Perioikoi, they would continue the tradition of Kretan archery, but also be more patriotic then them. Even if Spartans were the absolute overlords of their country, Perioikoi felt they were part of the Spartan heritage too. Thus, even if not as good fighters as the Spartans, they could go up against other cities’ troops easily. As their officers were Spartans, their battle worth would be even higher.


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    Perioikoi Phallangites


    The other phalanx of Sparta. Not as good as the Spartan heavy phalanx but only a fool would underestimate their pikes.

    Perioikoi Phalangites (medium phalanx)
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    It is considered that in Sellasia, the Perioikoi didn’t form a phalanx but were either hoplites or thureophoroi. Be it that way or not, it is certain that after Sellasia, they did. They formed a phalanx which fought alongside that of the Spartans. Perioikoi phallangitai equipped with a bronze chalkidian helmet with cheek guards, which was of a bit lower quality than the Konos of the Spartan phalanx. They wear a linothorax which even if it isn’t composite like that of the Spartan phalanx, it still provides adequate protection. A single greave in the left foot, which was in front when the phalanx did assume a fighting position. A small battleknife or smallsword, adequately called the Spartan sword. It is not a lot bigger than a knife, but it can allow some form of self defense. The shield is the standard pikemen shield, 66 cm’s in diameter, with the Spartan emblem painted over it. Perioikoi fought and died for Sparta, and considered themselves proud Lakedaimonians, even if Spartan homoioi never saw the Perioikoi as anything but a second class citizen. Even in Messenia, when it became independent, the perioikoi of that region would still attach themselves to Sparta and fight the Messenians whenever they could.

    Historically, Perioikoi are thought to have fought as hoplites in the battle of Selassia. They were stationed in the nearby hill of Evas under the command of the brother of Kleomenes III. However, when ancient writers mention the phalanx of Sparta, there is talk of “Lakedaimonian phalanx” not “Spartan phalanx” per se. If one takes into account the fact that on the Spartan phalanx along with 4.000 reistated homoioi, there were also 2.000 freed helots. So this doesn’t add up as the writers would have called it “Spartan phalanx” then, not “Lakedaimonian”. It has therefore been suggested that a different pike phalanx existed, which along with the “Spartan Phalanx” would be called collectively “ Lakedaimonian phalanx”. As no perioikoi are mentioned in the Spartan phalanx it stands to reason that this phalanx could very well be it. Not as strong or powerful as the pike phalanx of Spartans, as those Perioikoi didn’t have the chance to go through the “Agoge”, it can and will hold the line, much more than other phalanxes might. It has to be properly supported however, as it lacks the foolhardiness of the Spartan phalanx. The perioikoi phallangitai will not hold the line to the last man. They will flee if adequate pressure is applied.


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    Perioikoi Tarentines


    Perioikoi trained to fight by Tarentines in their fashion. Taras mercs have been a Spartan mainstay for a while, even rising up as guardians to the Spartan King

    Perioikoi Tarentines
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    "Tarantines" did not come from Taras; rather any cavalry that fought in the manner of Tarantine cavalry were described as such. Perioikoi Tarantinoi are the Spartan version of the Tarentines who fought for all the Hellenistic Kingdoms and were a mainstay in all their armies. Aitolian league had them and so did the Achaians. Sparta couldn’t fall behind, and it didn’t. Excellent horsemen, equipped with javelins and a round argive/aspis shield, in its cavalry version, aka smaller. They wear a bronze chalkidian helmet and a composite linothorax. Its abdomen area is covered with scales which provide some extra support in that sensitive area. Pteruges are worn under the linothorax but no greaves. The horse is unbarded. Their tactical role would be that of skirmish cavalry but with a twist. After shooting off their arrows they should attack at the weakest point of the enemy line. Or they should withdraw at the rear to serve as reserves. Both those are the tactical roles that the Tarantines had according to ancient writers of the Tactica. The main info on Tarantinoi horsemen comes from Asklepiodotos, Arrian, Aelian - who wrote so called "Tactica" (the text is very simmilar, so they are commoly reffered as "tactica writers".
    They claimed Tarentines to be the name of horse javeliners "those who throw javelins at distance". Arrian also mentions there are two types of them - those who close to melee and those who doesn't - "those are the true tarantinoi". Perioikoi Tarantinoi weren’t “true” tarantinoi as they would close in to strike after disposing of their javelins. In fact that is exactly what happened when Sparta fought the Achaian league in 207 at Mantineia, under the leadership of Machanidas.


    Luke Ueda-Sarson, historian, has this to say on the Tarentines of Sparta. (condensed) “…According to Polybios' account of the 3rd battle of Mantineia (11.12.7) the Tarantines under command of Philopoemen the Captain General of the Achaian league were ordered to engage the Tarantines serving Machanidas the Spartan regent who in turn ordered his own to counterattack. Polybios goes on to relate (11.13.1-2) that "at first the Tarantines alone were engaged, fighting gallently, but as the light-armed infantry (euzonoi) gradually came up to the support of those who were hard pressed, in quite a short time the mercenaries on both sides were mixed up. They were fighting all over the field, in a confused crowd and man to man". It is not clear if these mercenaries fighting at close quarters include the Tarantines or not; the Tarantines may well have been mercenaries, but 'mercenaries' in a Greek context in Polybios, without further qualification, usually implies men on foot.” Hence it is easy to realize that those Tarentines of Machanidas, who happens to be the ruler of Sparta the time RS begins in, must have been Perioikoi, with some native Tarantines, like Machanidas himself was, as trainers. Perioikoi had a long history in Spartan cavalry. It was them who formed it back in 424 BCE when Spartan Ephors asked the richest Perioikoi to gather 400 horsemen and called that cavalry. That tradition hasn’t faded and now it is Perioikoi turn to once again form the most versatile cavalry unit in the Spartan army. The Tarantinoi.



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    Metoikoi Hoplites


    Non Spartan hoplites who after fighting for Sparta as Mercs decided to call it home. As such Metoikoi hoplites are Mercs gone native. Sparta relies heavily on them.

    Metoikoi Hoplites
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    Historicaly, Metoikoi (meaning immigrants) or “Xenoi” as the Spartans would call them were very few and far between until the middle of the 5th century. After that point, their number started to increase as a lot of Mercs were needed to fill in the ranks that wars and Helot rebellions depleted. In fact in later years their presence was absolutely crucial for the survival of Sparta. Metoikoi hoplites would be armed with a bronze muscle cuirass, a thracoattic helmet with cheek guards which ended up in a plume, pteruges that protected his vitals, leather pieces to cover his shoulders and greaves to protect his feet. They have been given a plot of land in Sparta or opened up shop and stayed. They still retain the “tools of the trade” however, in case there is ever a reason to use them. When compared to Sparta hoplites’ they have greater armor rating due to the bronze muscle cuirass, but much less morale as the “Agoge” training effect of the Spartans kicks in. An army of 12.000 mercenaries led by a Spartan General marched into the middle of the Achaimenid Persian empire, and made it back. It has been suggested that it was the Spartan training of those mercs that allowed them to return. Then many of them joined the Spartan army which fought Achaimenid Persia at 399 BCE under the general Thibron and Derkylis and King Agesilaos. This Spartan army was Spartan in name only as it was comprised by Neodamodeis (freed helots) and mercs. It wasn’t the only one.

    Historically mercs took a vital interest in both working for Sparta, but also working with a Spartan General. In Cape Tainaros, after explicit permission from Sparta itself a general would recruit any kind of troops were available and his own employer could afford and head on to campaign. Mercs fought in all battles that Sparta gave in the era Roma Surrectum begins in. Valiant Mercs were given Spartan identity in the reforms of Kleomenes III. They fought under his orders and lost. Machanidas was the personification of the Metoikoi Hoplitai. He came in Sparta as leader of a Taras mercs detachment, became a regent, and would be a king if he hadn’t foolishly gave chase to fleeing enemies whereas he should have flanked the opposing Achaians. Then there would be Nabis, in whose case Mercs in Sparta were at their biggest number. Nabis fought a Roman army of 50.000 men and 20-30.000 who were crewing ships blockading Sparta. Against them Nabis had 10.000 Lacedaimonian phallangites (Spartan phalanx and Perioikoi phalanx), 2.000 cretans, 2.000 warriors from Argos and 4.000 other mercs. Spartans lost. Along with them, Sparta dwindled even more, down to bare minimum of its former territory. Spartans, it seems, weren’t cut up to be anything but stubborn. Even defeated, they turned against the Achaians again. So, Philopoemen, captain general of the Achaian league occupied Sparta again in 188 BCE, and drove away the Mercs who had become citizens. If Sparta rises and prospers, it will be because of the services of those Metoikoi (immigrant) hoplites who gave back much more than they were paid for, and even did so long after they stopped getting paid.


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    SPARTIATAI


    Spartan Hoplites

    Spartan hoplites were the absolute, level best fighting machine the world had known, 200 years before 216 BCE. At that time, however, Spartan hoplites are but a memory, existing only in honour guards. The Spartan "homoioi" who would man them, are all in the Pike phallanx after the reforms of Kleomenes III at 226-224 BCE.

    Spartan Hoplites (Spartiatai Hoplitai)

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    Armed with a big (.9 m in diameter) round argive shield (also known as “aspis), a 2 m. Iron head spear with a bronze spear end ( which would also be used in battle, if the front end broke). In close combat after the spear is gone, they use either a short sword, not much bigger than a knife (called Spartan sword), or a longer one called xiphos. It has been theorized that xiphos was used against the newest threat, the Romani who mainly fight with a sword. A pilos helmet of high quality bronze covers their heads, and a linothorax with attached pteruges covers their body. Bronze full legged “greek” greaves cover their lower legs. While taking pride in fighting barefoot, necessities of war, and practicality suggest that actually Spartans fought with a reinforced sandal-like footware, for the very simple reason that being barefoot denies ability to fight on rocky or haphazard terrain. It is also worthy to mention that the linothorax would be the absolute majority in most Spartans’ battle armor. Bronze wasn’t cheap and Sparta was no longer rich. Even richer states like Syracuse, couldn’t afford to create bronze armor for its hoplites, but for the bodyguard of its ruler and maybe some elite detachments. Having thousands of hoplites all clad in bronze muscle cuirass is unfortunately one of the more erroneous generalizations that persist.
    The Spartan hoplites, who always formed a hoplitic phalanx were always few in numbers throughout Spartan history. This fact, however, didn’t stop them from being winners in every encounter with all other hoplitic phalanxes. Higher quality training, constant drilling and exemplary discipline are the causes for that. Spartans would stand aside from other hoplitic armies, other than their higher training of course. The main reason for that was their almost superhuman coordination in the battlefield. Another reason was the fact that due to the constant readiness for war, plans had been conceived for any kind of engagement, be it approaching battle, doing battle, even pursuing the enemy. All those had been drilled into exhaustion until every Spartan could do them with his eyes closed. The march into the battlefield was done in a perfectly coordinated way, while forming into battle line happened almost instantaneously, as a result of years upon years of training. It is also a result of a very strong officer cadre. Thucidides, an Athenian, is very envious of them. “Their army” he says “looks like it is made in its manned entirety by officers who command other officers and the responsibility for whatever happens belongs to many”.

    Historically, Hoplitic phalanx of Sparta is the main reason people know of Sparta. Too bad Spartan hoplites didn’t exist in 216 BCE. While historically the most successful of hoplitic phalanxes in Greece, necessities of war, and continuing defeats in the pikes of Makedonians, led Kleomenes B’, King of Sparta to basically do away with them, but for a very small honour guard. A historically minded player shouldn’t have ANY Spartan hoplites in his 216 army, as all able Spartans, Hypomeiones, some Perioikoi (and, some say, even helots) were used to man the pike phalanx of Sparta, Spartiatai phallangitai. However, a successful Sparta would definitely reintroduce them, as there could be no Sparta without its hoplites. In any case that would be very unwise as Sparta had reached perfection so far as hoplitic phalanx is concerned. As mentioned before, there were procedures and battle commands for everything that could happen. A simple command of the King, passed through all his lieutenants and noncoms and it was done instantaneously by the Spartiatai hoplitai, as naturally as walking or eating. The Spartans when obeying orders would do them as automatons would, with the absolute precision that a machine would have. Such an automation simply couldn’t be conceived in any other Hellenic polis, and even if it was, the years it would take to drill into reality were just no there. This was one of the reasons why Sparta chose to become a military state. To be able to afford the time to perfect and finetune its finest weapon, the hoplites. Even if the hoplites were conceived by Argos, Sparta’s ancient enemy (hence “argive”, meaning “of argos” shields), it was Sparta that perfected them, and ruled by their power. Xenophon describes to us very graphically their coordinated way of war. His admiration can be seen seeping through page after page during his “Lakedaimonion Politeia” work. It is important however to analyze the elements which led to the utter domination of Spartan hoplitic phalanx as the main element of the Spartan army. Drilling, a lifetimes’ worth of it, Officers and noncoms for every unit of the army (Hypomeiones and helots excluded). More than once, Spartan officers and noncoms saved the day after “failing” to receive a King’s order and acting on their own accord, but more often Spartan steel weapons (it is known to us now, that Spartans had discovered steel and used it to great effect). Near automatic battle placement. Every unit would arrange itself to the one in its left. The time needed to swap formations from march to action was nil. Care was taken that missile and skirmish units could pass through a phalanx after their role in the battle was complete as they ran to save themselves from the pursuing enemy. After their passage, the hoplitic phalanx would “close up” again and “synaspismos” (interlocking shields) would ensue, with their legendary overhand iron or steel spears, projecting. Propaganda, used to great effect. More battles were won by Sparta by the fear it projected than by actually fighting them. Many enemy armies simply melt away when they saw Spartans arranging for battle. It is no accident that they never lost a battle for almost 300 years (669 BCE-371 BCE), save for elimination of some unsupported detachments of its army, or Thermopylae. It is no accident that both the oblique phalanx of the Thebans or the Pike phalanx of the Makedonians were developed primarily as a way to defeat them.

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    Spartan phalangites


    Spartan hoplites, hypomeiones and even freed Helots were trained in the pike forming a Spartan phalanx. They fought valiantly against the Makedones and Romaioi.

    Spartan phallangites (Spartan Heavy Phalanx)
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Heavy phalanx had become the mainstay of all Hellenistic Kingdoms by 216 BCE. Sparta was late in that regard, only using it after Kleomenes III made his reforms. He took every Spartan hoplite and turned him into a pikeman. Spartan phallangites are of course carrying over the tradition which made the Spartan hoplites the ideal standard any other warrior and fighting unit aspired to be. Arranged in formation 16 or 12 lines deep, armed with a 6 meters long Makedonian pike, the sarissa, it was undefeatable when fighting against anyone at the front. The Spartan phallangite was equipped with a big Konos helmet with , which some suggest it was double, aka there was an inner bronze helmet worn inside it. That and the fact that a pilos or petasos felt cap was worn underneath to minimize blunt trauma, made the Konos the ultimate anti slinger helmet, as the slingshot would penetrate the outer hull, but run out of kinetic energy prior to entering the inner helmet. It would transfer its kinetic energy into displacing the helmet, not to the skull that a previous tight fitting helmet like a Corinthian would. He wears a linothorax which is modeled exactly after a Hellenistic find of a statue depicting a painted linothorax exactly like that. An inner scale or metal plate layer would help tighten up the linothorax, but without appearing so to the eyes of the enemy. Such a linothorax would be called “composite”.Double row of Pteryges and greaves complete the armor. The small 66 cm’s diameter shield whose emblem (charging bull) stands for the Mora of Elos is standard issue for the pike phalanxes. The sword however isn’t. Seeing the destruction dealt upon other phalanxes by the Romani after they broke through the pike wall, Spartan phallangites were issued a xiphos, along with the trusty old Spartan sword which was not much bigger than a knife. In this way, they will at least have a fighting chance against them, if the phalanx loses its cohesion and the pikewall is breached. Spartan phalanx fought in many battles, but lost the two defining ones. A Very tough outfit it will be destroyed before fleeing. Of 6.000 Spartan phalanx only 200 men survived in Selassia. However, when properly used, Spartiatai phallangitai will win the day.

    Historically, Spartan Phallanx wasn’t around for long. In fact it existed from 224 BCE and up to 188 BCE. Kleomenes III of Sparta took 4.000 reinstated homoioi Spartans and made pikemen out of them, after enrolling 2.000 freed helots in their ranks, after they had paid for their freedom . In the fight against the Achaian league, they won many battles effectively limiting Achaians into the north end of Peloponnesos. While it looked for a moment that the glory days of Sparta as a leader of the “Peloponnesean alliance” might return, a different fate was in store. The combined troops of Makedonia and Achaian league fell upon Sparta. In the battle of Selassia at 222 BCE, the Spartan phalanx fought gallantly against the Makedonians. However their fate was sealed when the Makedonian King, Antigonos Doson thought of a stratagem which replicated the oblique Theban Phallanx at Leuktra. There, Theban elites 50 rows deep fell upon the Spartans which were at 12 rows. Spartans tried desperately to hold the line, but they were pushed and shoved. As many Thebans as they might have killed once the 2 to 4 front lines of their hoplitic phallax gave way or were just killed, the phalanx gave way, started retreating and pretty soon they were all dead, unable to stand the pressure of so many people pushing against them. Even Theban dead were pushed in the front against the Spartans. The same thing happened in Sellasia but with pike phalanxes instead of hoplitic phalanxes. Spartans with 12 lines of pike phalanxes in a mountain top and Antigonos Doson with 32 lines. Just as Leuktra. Superior mass won over bravery. Spartan phalanx on the mountaintop fought until it was destroyed.


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    Spartan Marines

    It is widely unknown that Spartans had created an elite force from its homioi (Same spartans) hoplites, hypomeiones and the best hoplites of its allies and coalesced them into ship-fighting-infantry. While wearing little to non armor, its reinforced chalkidian helmet and double layer bronze shield are certain to make the Marines more resistant to enemy missiles.


    Spartan Marines (Spartiatai epibatai)

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    Marines were used as an autonomous corps in Greek warfare for the first time at the naval tyrrany of Samos. Its ruler, Polykrates (562-522 BCE) according to what is alluded at Herodotos and Thucidides (1.13) was the first to institute a solid marine unit ceasing the practice which existed until then for the hoplites to be put to ships, be called marines, and then taken out if the situations would call for that. By having a solid core of Epibatai marines, a state would be at a big advantage, as at the cramped confines of a wooden oar propelled warship, there isn’t room for any hoplitic shieldwall, or even room to move a spear without hurting someone. In those cramped spaces, the Epibatai by necessity would use their swords primarily, be covered only by their helmets and large argive shields for protection, and wear not a heavy armor like a bronze muscle cuirass or a linothorax but a light quilted chiton. A muscle cuirass would be their undoing if they would fall into the sea, which shouldn’t be considered unlikely. In that event even the worlds’ greatest swimmer can’t swim for long when carrying an extra 25-32 kgs. A linothorax would start to suck water in and would be more heavy by the second, hence a deathrap as well. Or greaves if those were to be worn. So, the Spartiatai Epibatai abandoned all other forms of metal armor protection but for the reinforced chalkidian helmet and the big round aspis argive shield. That shield had double the bronze in front, so it was practically missle proof. It took a very strong man to carry it, but Marines managed. Equipped with their trusty kopis curved sword they would be entrenched in the small “ikrion proras” or “perithranon” meaning the externally armored sides and bow of the warship from which the marines will attempt to board the enemy ship literally “jump into” it, (eispedesis) as the ship they are on will probably try to ram it at an angle. Its stern would also be heavily armored so much so that some triremes would be called “Kataphraktoi trieireis” or Cataphract triremes. The armored stern made it possible for the Epibatai to defend against enemy navy archers. Spartiatai Epibatai will be recruited at the highest possible barracks outside of Sparta and highest harbor level not because of their battle worth, as there are equally good and possibly cheaper units, but to simulate the fact that it was Sparta on its highest peak which could create them, and that would take time and money. They would be an elite cadre with officers and a small part of its men from Sparta but the big majority will be provided by conquered or allied states and territories. In the Spartan triremes, Epibatai would be Spartans and other Lakedaimonians, the sailors would be Laconian Perioikoi, while the rowers would be Helots. Captains (Trierearchoi) would be Spartans or Perioikoi.

    Historically Sparta had a small but very proud navy. It is often forgot that it contributed 16 ships and crews for even more at Salamis, it was the 5th city in amount of ships given and was commended by that, especially so when Sparta, as most other Pelponnesian cities, kept their armies fortifying in Corinth. Sparta’s proudest naval achievement however was the formation of the Dorian Antiathenean league “synaspismos” meaning joining of shields. At that time the dorian cities of Byzantion, Kyzikos, Rhodos, Lampsakos, Samos, Issos, Knidos and Effesos jointly adopted as an emblem the baby Hercules strangling the snakes which the Godess Hera had unleashed upon him, snakes signifying the poisonous influence of the Athenians. Approximately 180 triremes were built, a much lower number than what the Athenians had but the destruction at Syracuse of the Athenian force did cut it down to size. Admiral Lysandros, who commanded the Spartan fleet and its compliment of Spartan Epibatai refused to fight the bigger Athenian fleet at sea, knowing full well that Athenians were much better sailors. The previous defeat at Oinousai was definitely on his mind. Instead he bid his time, docked waiting for the Athenians to break off. They did. Then Lysandros’ followed them from a distance and as they made landfall and left the ships trying to scavenge/find some food in the surrounding country side, the much outnumbered Spartan Marines landed ashore at Aigos Kephalai capturing and killing most of the 4.000 Athenian Epibatai, forcing Athens to sue for Peace. Sparta was blamed for using Persian money to build that fleet, but it was a common practice at the time. Any fledging Hellenic power could “borrow” money from Persia to fight off its rivals, but then its rivals would ask money as well, which Achaimenid Persia was only too happy to provide, letting those Yuna (Greeks) fight it out amongst themselves. Still the moment of triumph against the Athenians was were the Spartan fleet started to crumble. After Athens was only allowed 12 triremes, Spartan navy was downsized accordingly. The rise of the Thebans put the finishing blow on the Spartan navy at 369 BCE, which was completely abandoned after the defeat by Antipatros at 331 BCE. The final glow of Spartans at sea was at the time of the “Tyrant” Nabis. At 207 BCE he started rebuilding the Navy. He used Laconian Perioikoi again. He created a base of Operations at Gytheio. He then instituted a crack pirate navy( using “lemboi” boats of the “liburna” type) alongside his Kretan allies. He must have used other ships as well, biremes, triremes and specific pirate ships like hemiolies and trihemiolies. He had become such a menace to the surrounding Romani protectorates that once Flaminius fought Sparta at 195 BCE he used naval forces from Rhodes, Pergamon and Roma itself. Nabis defeat meant that he could only keep 2 Lemboi, dismantle his port facilities, and abandon Spartan Navy forever. Still the so called descendants of Lakedaimonian Spartans, Tzakones (from Lakones) kept on their piracy habits up until the middle ages.

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    Promachoi Elite Hoplites


    Of all the Spartans who fight in the first two lines of the phallanx, the promachoi, only the best will be sent in Sparta to form a full Promachoi unit.

    Promachoi Elite hoplites
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    When the phalanx was fighting, care was taken that the best men would fight in front. Those would be the best to fight, and first to die, the Promachoi. As they would have to be in the first lines of the hoplitic phalanx, when a phalanx had to turn to face its rear, they still would have to be first. The way Spartans would do that, was so amazing to the other Hellenes that they called it “Lakonike metabole” (Laconic “about face”). The last line would turn 180 degrees and the rest lines would come in front of it in turn. It may sound easy in theory but in practice it was quite hard. In fact only the Spartans were known to be able to perform it, when given enough time. They wear a chalkidian helmet but with a difference. Their cheekguards are shaped as a horned horse. Peculiar as this animal may appear it isn’t exactly so. The horses are to honour the “hippeis” of Sparta, the original highest honorary title that a Spartan could attain (and no relation to present day horsemen called also hippeis). The horns are there to signify the sacrificed rams that “logades” sacrificed before battle. Upon their burning carcases they would take an oath to replace their carcasses with their own should they abandon the line in battle. It is those oaths that 300 “logades” or “oath takers” made prior to leaving with their King long ago for a place called Hot gates. Promachoi honour both with their helmet. Their armor isn’t the bronze metal cuirass but a more nimble linothorax, pteruges to cover their vitals and bronze greaves. Their shield bears the emblem of the Mora of Sparta, and quite rightly so, for it is only in Sparta that the Promachoi are recruited. If the words “best” are to describe some of the Spartans, those Spartans would be the Promachoi.

    These men would be the Praitorians of Sparta. A Sparta which could successfully expand and flourish wouldn’t amass wealth like the Achaimenid Persian only to be plucked away by an Alexadnros or build massive forums like the Romani for the Vandals to descecrate. Sparta would gather the only one thing it valued. Battle hardened veterans which any potential enemy could try to kill. Promachoi would be those. Veterans of uncountable campaigns, used to fighting in the frontlines as their name says, they are the “human walls” of Sparta. Even if Sparta is walled now, they are considered its honorary walls. It is upon them that Sparta would base its defence. It is upon them that Sparta would depend to be its standard as hopeful kings or family members of its twin monarchy embark on dangerous campaigns to further enhance its glory and territory.

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    Hippeis

    Hippeis of Sparta were indeed lighter horsemen than others bearing the same name. That made them more agile, however and more adept at skirmisher hunting, with a shield that could protect them from enemy missiles.

    Hippeis
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    Dressed in a long sleeved chiton those hippeis are carrying shields and a horseman’s spear (2.5 meters long to the 2 m long spear of the hoplite). His shield is smaller as horsemen argive shields are. The kopis of the swordsman, (a choice weapon for the hippeis as it can slash better according to Xenophon at his hippika) is his sword. The emblem in his shield rim means that he belongs to an Achaian town which was welcomed into Spartan nation in the early 10th century, Amuklai. The dragon snake in his shield means that he must have been part of a fratra (brotherhood) of Aigaides. The shield he carries is an influence from Pyrrhos when he had tried to conquer Sparta almost 60 years ago. Along with his army he had brought some horsemen from South Italy who fought with spear and shield, rather than spear and javelins as was the norm until that time. Horsemanship was looked down upon by the Spartans. In fact not many chose to be horsemen. Hypomeiones were the most likely to be part of the cavalry of Sparta, Perioikoi or even Mercs. This is why, even if Spartan cavalry mostly stood its ground, it was never a good cavalry, and it couldn’t stand against Thessalian cavalry, let alone Macedonia. Thebans defeated the Spartan cavalry at the opening stages of the battle of Leuktra which became Spartas’ undoing. Spartan cavalry would be formed in 2 squares each placed in both sides of the infantry. Hippeis of Sparta are light cavalry, but the difference between light and heavy in this case is the bronze muscled thorax that the heavy hippeis would wear.

    For many centuries, light horsemen have taken part in the battles that raged in the small kingdoms then city states of Greece. Horses being rare and the land to raise them even more so, a cavalry was considered a luxury despite Makedonias’ proof that Cavalry, especially when properly led could make the difference and often did. Even if ancient Dorian invaders arrived on horseback and enslaved the local populations, maintaining the horses wasn’t easy. Hence the gentry remained “Hippeis” aka “Knights” but were so in name only. Besides there was a deep cultural taboo against horsemen as can be described in the following excrept mentioned by Plutarchos in his “Ethica” that Great king Agesilaos who was a gimp himself, scolded another gimp Spartan who asked for a horse to fight with.“Don’t you understand, he pleaded, that those who are suitable for war aren’t those who can move thus flee but those who can stand their ground”” It has to be remembered however that “hippeis” means also horsemen. Those were not existent in Spartan. Only after the destructive loss of 424 BCE, when Sparta lost Pylos and Kythera to the Athenians, did the need for an actual cavalry became apparent. A call was sent to the richest of the perioikoi and 400 horses were gathered to form the basis of Spartan cavalry. So the founding fathers of the Cavalry were the second class citizens the Perioikoi. Pretty soon however, hypomeiones would flock in the ranks as serving in the cavalry would escape serving with the Ekdromoi or even worse the hypomeiones peltasts. A very distinctive Spartan stratagem was the use of hamippoi. Those would be the skiritai, elite swordsmen who would run fast along the charging infantry and then once the opposing cavalries would clash, they would slay the opposing sides’ horses by gutting them. Hippeis were never the greatest unit of Sparta, but they did their job.


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    Hippeis Xenophontos

    Hippeis Xenophontos would be the most armored horseman Sparta of 216 BCE had the "know how" to produce. It is very probable that an emerging Sparta, if it would create a heavy horseman it would follow the directions Xenophon had laid out in "Hippika" therefore coming up with a design that would look like those horsemen who are named after him.


    Hippeis Xenophontos
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    In 207 Captain General Philopoemen of the Achaian league reformed its army. He brought in pikemen in response to Spartan and Perioikoi phalanx and even went one further. He made all heavy horsemen xystophoroi. The difference between a heavy horseman and a light in RS timeline would be the cuirass on the horseman as most horses at the time went unbarded. Hippeis Xenophontos are the Xystophoroi of Sparta, the response to Achain Leagues’ armaments. An emerging Sparta would construct its Xystophoroi in such a fashion. Taking clues by one of its greatest admirers, who is an excellent writer as well, Xenophon, and using it to create a xyston carrying unit. Hippeis Xenophontos would be armed with a iron muscle cuirass, one of the few specimens that is found and which is located at the museum of Kerkyra. Their helmet and all of their armor, right down to the handgreaves they are wearing, or the Kopis sword they use as a slasher, is what Xenophon considered best for a horseman. Pteruges, full greaves and bronze feet protectors complete the armor of the Hippeis Xenophontos. He says so in the final chapter of Hippika, when he discusses how a horseman should be armed before going to war. In fact the only difference to what Xenophon says, is that instead of spear and javelins Hippeis Xenophontos carry a xyston long lance. So, by Xenophon’s word they are equipped with a Boetian helmet which is the best so far as it provides unobstructed vision towards the battlefield and protection to the wearer both from enemy action and the sun. They also wear the “pericheris” on their left hand which handles the leash, and a handgreave after that. Protection for the left hand and fingers is also discussed. For the right hand only a handgreave is discussed in the lower part of the hand. The horse's armor was then discussed, with a frontlet, breastplate, and thigh-pieces. The belly of the horse was also recommended to be protected with a saddle cloth. The limbs of the horse should also be protected. Only the thigh pieces were omitted in Hippeis Xenophontos...

    Xenophons’ On horsemanship, chapter XII
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    We will now describe the manner in which a trooper destined to run the
    risks of battle upon horseback should be armed. In the first place,
    then, we would insist, the corselet must be made to fit the person;
    since, if it fits well, its weight will be distributed over the whole
    body; whereas, if too loose, the shoulders will have all the weight to
    bear, while, if too tight, the corselet is no longer a defensive arm,
    but a "strait jacket."[1] Again, the neck, as being a vital part,[2]
    ought to have, as we maintain, a covering, appended to the corselet
    and close-fitting. This will serve as an ornament, and if made as it
    ought to be, will conceal the rider's face--if so he chooses--up to
    the nose.
    As to the helmet, the best kind, in our opinion, is one of the
    Boeotian pattern,[3] on the principle again, that it covers all the
    parts exposed above the breastplate without hindering vision. Another
    point: the corselet should be so constructed that it does not prevent
    its wearer sitting down or stooping. About the abdomen and the
    genitals and parts surrounding[4] flaps should be attached in texture
    and in thickness sufficient to protect[5] that region
    Again, as an injury to the left hand may disable the horseman, we
    would recommend the newly-invented piece of armour called the
    gauntlet, which protects the shoulder, arm, and elbow, with the hand
    engaged in holding the reins, being so constructed as to extend and
    contract; in addition to which it covers the gap left by the corselet
    under the armpit. The case is different with the right hand, which the
    horseman must needs raise to discharge a javelin or strike a blow.
    Here, accordingly, any part of the corselet which would hinder action
    out to be removed; in place of which the corselet ought to have some
    extra flaps[6] at the joints, which as the outstretched arm is raised
    unfold, and as the arm descends close tight again. The arm itself,[7]
    it seems to us, will better be protected by a piece like a greave
    stretched over it than bound up with the corselet. Again, the part
    exposed when the right hand is raised should be covered close to the
    corselet either with calfskin or with metal; or else there will be a
    want of protection just at the most vital point.
    Moreover, as any damage done to the horse will involve his rider in
    extreme peril, the horse also should be clad in armour--frontlet,
    breastplate, and thigh-pieces;[8] which latter may at the same time
    serve as cuisses for the mounted man. Beyond all else, the horse's
    belly, being the most vital and defenceless part, should be protected.
    It is possible to protect it with the saddle-cloth. The saddle itself
    should be of such sort and so stitched as to give the rider a firm
    seat, and yet not gall the horse's back.
    As regards the limbs in general, both horse and rider may be looked
    upon as fully armed. The only parts remaining are the shins and feet,
    which of course protrude beyond the cuisses, but these also may be
    armed by the addition of gaiters made of leather like that used for
    making sandals. And thus you will have at once defensive armour for
    the shins and stockings for the feet.
    The above, with the blessing of heaven, will serve for armour of
    defence. To come to weapons of offence, we recommend the sabre rather
    than the straight sword,[9] since from the vantage-ground of the
    horse's position the curved blade will descend with greater force than
    the ordinary weapon.

    [9] The {makhaira} (or {kopis}), Persian fashion, rather than the
    {xephos}. "Cyrop." I. ii. 13.



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    Spartan General

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    Spartan Hegemones or Kings were according to Aristlotle, “nothing more than hereditary generals” as he writes in his “politika”. In practice there may have been, despite the fact that Kings like Kleomenes A’ and Agesilaos B’ seem to be absolute rulers bending both the Ephors and the Apella (Spartan parliament with very limited powers) to their will. Their institutional and statutory authority however was enormous. They are, according to the historian M. C. Amouretti, “priviledged intervenors between Zeus-protector of Lacedaimon and Master of the Universe and their people. Trustees of the divinations of Apollo who are of outmost interest to Sparta and protected of the Tyndarides, Kastor and Polydeukes, whose twin nature they reproduce throught their twin reign, they are by nature the most able to ensure success in the battlefield”. There were so many Kings to rule the twin monarchy of Sparta, that all kinds of Kings ruled. Traitor ones, like Demaratos who (exiled from Sparta) asked Xerxes to land an expeditionary force in Kythera to be able to threaten the soft underbelly of Sparta. Warrior ones. Even peace loving ones like Archidamos, who tried to first avert then delay Peloponnesian war for as long as humanly possible. The two kings though who define the greatest pinnacle in Sparta’s long history had a common characteristic. They both died in Battle. The first one, Leonidas was third in succession order. He became a King after his first brother passed away and the second one killed in combat. Some historians have claimed that he was directly or indirectly responsible for the death of his brother. His stance at Thermopylae, do not match the attributes of someone who would kill his own brother for power, though. Such a person wouldn’t hold the line against such an overwhelmingly superior force. The second king, from whose time on Sparta became yet another second rate city state was Kleombrotos. He fought and died trying to keep Thebes from Sparta territory. Later on, it was Spartan kings again who tried to re-establish the institutions which made Sparta Great. Ages who died trying to instigate reforms which Kleomenes B’ managed to actually put in place. Machanidas, now in 216 BCE tries to keep the flame alive. Spartans looked up to their Kings. Their Kings were mostly worth it.

    In reality the leadership abilities of the Spartan King who led the army to battle weren’t of the utmost importance. Since 506 it was set that only one King would lead the Army while the other one would remain in Sparta. During most of its history, Sparta fought in hoplitic phalanx battles in which the scenario was predetermined. A short but brutal skirmish between two bronze shieldwalls would determine the victor. Spartans were at an advantage in such a clash because of their military upbginging and never ending training. As a result, in all levels of command excellent officers led. Thucidides joked that in the Spartan homioi divisions of the army, everyone was a commissioned officer. That’s not to say that the Spartan Kings weren’t good generals. Growing up in Sparta, and going through the Agoge would make one a general, at least a passable one. It is true that Spartan Kings were the only ones who were allowed by Law to not put their children through the Agoge. It is also true that we don’t know of any Spartan King who didn’t undergo Agoge, even when it became an empty word. It was the Spartan Kings who tried to restore Sparta to its old ways, when it had become just another plutocracy. For as long as Sparta had a King, it existed as an entity. When it lost them it became just another city of the Achaian league.


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    Spartan bodyguards


    Spartan bodyguards

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    In their armament, The Spartan bodyguards (Spartiatai Somatophulakes hippeis) were no different than the rest of the Spartans, but for the bronze muscle cuirass, which they all wore. They, like the rest of the hoplites, would be equipped with a large bronze covered wooden shield, called the Aspis or Argive. Their defensive armament would be complemented by the leather pteruges they all wore, and their bronze full (or Greek) greaves Their primary weapon would be the Doru spear (From that spear is where the Dorian name of their tribe comes from, as Dorians were the “people of the Spear”. If that broke they would use its bronze “sauroter” spear butt as a spear too. When that would break as well, they would switch to their trusty kopis curved sword which was their secondary weapon. The emblem on their shields is the snare in a “Π” shape and the two snakes on their vertical limbs stand for the twin protectors of Sparta, the Dioskouroi, aka Kastor and Polydeukes., which are considered as the prime guardians of the army, wheras the snake in the middle of the snare symbolizes “Chalkoikos Athena” (Athens who lives in a bronze house). She was considered the personification of strategy in warfare, not the bloodlust that Ares stands for.

    Spartan King bodyguards were separated into two main groups. The first ones, chosen by the commander, are “Pythioi” or winners of Pythia games according to Xenophon, or “Olympionikes” according to Plutarchos, meaning winers of the Olympics. Xenophon mentions that they wear the wreath on top of their helmet. It has been suggested that it was painted on or made of metal and then hammered in place. Still, according to Diodoros of Sicily, six times Olympic winner Milon of Kroton wore an olive wreath on top of his helmet when he went to battle. Sparta had no difficulty finding Olympic winners to man its King bodyguard.. According to ancient writers, Spartans were famous Athletes, winning half of the Olympic events from the year 720 until the beginning of the sixth century BCE.
    The second ones, which were inevitably the larger group would be the hippeis, loosely translated as knights. Their name is the same as the horsemen of Sparta, also called hippeis but there is absolutely no relation between them other than the name. It is true that some centuries past they must have been a hereditary warrior class who would fight in horseback. Those must have been the Sons of Hercules who invaded and occupied Sparta. Post 5th century BCE, however, the hippeis gave up both their horses and their hereditary status of their position. They fight on foot, on hoplitic phalanx like the rest of the homioi Spartans. Now, along with other things that Lycourgos changed when he instituted his reforms that Spartans followed like it was a religious document, he changed the way those hippeis bodyguards were selected. The Ephors would pick 3 men in their prime called “Hippagretai”. They would be the ones to select 100 “hippeis” each, explaining of course the rationale behind each “hippeis” selection. Xenophon doesn’t mention other information, but it has been suggested that the winners of the Olympic games, distinguished Spartans and the best young Spartans to come out of the Agoge would be among those. There are however some contradicting information, as that of Herodotos which claims that 5 hippeis among them would be changed every year, which is a bit difficult to combine with what Xenophon says. Besides 5 persons a year would mean 60 years for the whole of “hippeis” to be changed and that makes no sense whatsoever, especially if we take into account that those “hippeis” would have to fight and defend their king as well.
    It is vital however, to NOT confuse those 300 hippeis bodyguards with the 300 chosen hoplites sent to Thermopylae, the “Logades”. The “Logades” would swear on the burning carcass of sacrificial Rams that they would replace those burning carcasses with their own, if they fail to hold the line. They were selected from all ages within the Spartan Ranks and had one thing in common. They all had a son to carry their line. It wouldn’t make sense for Sparta to send the elite of its troops, tasked with guarding its King, to a suicide mission as Thermopylae were shaping up to be.


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    OFFICER, SEER, AULETES




    From left to right

    Captain (Lochagos)

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    It is not easy to lead an army of officers, as that which is the army of the Spartans according to Thucidides. Still, someone has to do it. It would be the Lochagos, the last in a proud line of military leaders who excelled both inside Sparta and outside its borders. Wearing the transverse crest of the officers in the Spartan army, a bronze muscle cuirass, with a herkules knot to denote his office he is responsible for the conduct of his men. His shield bears the sign of a “gorgon” which itself has a transverse crest, and which is found in the museum of Olympia. Full greaves and a spear complete his appearance. A Spartan who fought naked (without adequate protection, be it linothorax or muscle cuirass) would be punished, but so would be someone like Aristodemos at Plataea (the Spartan who ran away from Thermopylae because of an eye infection) who was fighting very hard, but in a suicidal matter. He would have to make sure that his soldiers wore their issued footwear, as many did go barenaked. Still Spartans knew that troopers frost bitten or with foot torn by sharp rocks would be a liability so they did have shoes, in spite of the stories told again and again to the contrary. The one thing he needn’t worry about was getting his men to fight. During the fight his only concern was the big picture and ensuring he would comply with the orders of his seniors, not worrying about whether his troops would flee. That he needn’t worry about. Being a Spartan, especially a ranked one, did have its priviledges.

    Historically, a Spartan Captain (Lochagos) would be a General with unlimited powers outside his country, which is precisely what happened. Ranked officers were that good. Of course sometimes the exact opposite occurred, when King Leonidas B served as an officer for Seleukos. Xanthippos, who saved Carthage from destruction at the hands of the Romani and paved the way for Hannibal, is the most known example but many others excelled as well. 5th cent. BCE Kleandridas, founder of the colony of Thurioi in Southern Italy. Klearchos commander of the 10.000. He commanded with “the sword on one hand and the cane at the other”, according to Xenophon. The cane was the sign of office for the Spartan officers. Not only simple officers become Mercenaries but even Kings of Sparta joined in. Agesilaos and his men are reknown. Less known, but more profitable was his expedition in Egypt at 362 BCE, which brought Sparta 250 talents as profit. Archidamos followed on into S. Italy, Leonidas II who served in the army of Seleukos, Akrotatos and Kleonymos. According to many historians, Spartan merc officers and even kings were the Condotierri of ancient times.


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    Auletes (Diaulos player)

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    Every battle between hoplitic phalanxes would start in a set way, as would be expected by an all professional army like Spartan was. This was a set procedure, which went somewhat like this. As the two armies were approaching Spartans would stop a few hundred meters before the enemy. Then the mantes would sacrifice a goat in the name of Artemis Agroteras, the virgin godess of the hunt “she who resides in the fields” and at the command of the King started moving forward, as the Auletes of each lochos (company) would start to play their double flutes, the “diauloi” the hymn in the honour of Kastor. Then the king himself would recite one of the heroic poems of Tyrtaios and the auletes would follow suit with their double flutes. Then all the army in one voice, would start singing as well. Then in marching step (all Spartan tunes were made to be marched on), they started walking towards the enemy. On the armys’ back would be the Mantes and Auletes, both discernible and both persons unharmable by any combatant. When the battle started the Mantes Melampodidon was excused, whereas the auletes would stay on to try to impose some sense of order into chaos through his music, but far away from the battle as he might be killed accidentally.

    Spartan Army would also comprise men who had as occupations that of the auletes (flutist), kyrex (orator.) and cook. Those positions in the Army were hereditary and would be passed along from father to Son according to Herodotos. Auletes were very important in keeping the army moving in formation. As all the songs that Spartans sung were rhythmic and could be marched on, it was important that the Auletes would be there to keep the tune and tempo. Auletes role in battle was insignificant but the calm his tunes brought to the soul of Spartans cannot be measured in anything but gold.



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    Seer-Medic


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Seer- Medic (Mantes Melampodidon) was the link that binded together the King and his army. His daily divinations would be the lifeline of the troops and provide them with hope for the future. Even if the seer could falter, almost all of what he said prove to be absolutely great for the morale of the unit. Using that respect he had bestowed upon them, he could then do the other important aspect of tending to the wounded. It is written that Melampodides were only into bloodless medicine but many friezes depicting healed bodyparts in temples they were known to attend, allow scientists to theorize that they did in fact perform combat surgery, albeit not very succesfully.
    Every battle between hoplitic phalanxes would start in a set way, as would be expected by an all professional army like Spartan was. This was a set procedure, which went somewhat like this. As the two armies were approaching Spartans would stop a few hundred meters before the enemy. Then the mantes would sacrifice a goat in the name of Artemis Agroteras, the virgin godess of the hunt “she who resides in the fields” and at the command of the King started moving forward, as the Auletes of each lochos (company) would start to play their double flutes, the “diauloi” the hymn in the honour of Kastor. Then the king himself would recite one of the heroic poems of Tyrtaios and the auletes would follow suit with their double flutes. Then all the army in one voice, would start singing as well. Then in marching step (all Spartan tunes were made to be marched on), they started walking towards the enemy. On the armys’ back would be the Mantes and Auletes, both discernible and both persons unharmable by any combatant. When the battle started the Mantes Melampodidon was excused, whereas the auletes would stay on to try to impose some sense of order into chaos through his music, but far away from the battle as he might be killed accidentally.

    According to Lucian, the two snake-dragons symbolize the medical fratra (fraternity) of the Melampodides. Then he goes on to mention their genealogy until an ancestor of theirs called Tissamenos who abandons Boiotoia to join in the Dorians as they descend on Peloponnesos, and settles down in Sparta. Other ancient writers agree that Melampodides had a Theban ancestry but also a connection to the founders of Sparta hence the reason why Spartan Armies draw their military physicians and augurs from them. A black colour on their shield would mean a direct father to son blood line to the first ancestor who settled in Sparta. A red shield (much more common) would signify bond with the brotherhood, mostly by marriage into it. One of the most famous Mantes would be Megistias Melampodidon (from Acarnania). Having married his way into the fratra a long time ago and most respected among his fellow Manteis, he was the one to escort his King Leonidas. He assembled 300 chosen men to take into a place called Hot gates. During the third day (no augur could foretell for more than a day, only oracles could) his prognosis was that this would be the final battle for all. Leonidas then explicitly ordered him to depart to which Megistias refused, only asking that his son be allowed to depart as he was his only descendant. Herodotos goes on to speak of his monument which carries this sign…

    “MNHMA TOΔΕ ΚΛΕΝΟΙΟ ΜΕΓΙΣΤΙΑ ΑΝ ΠΟΤΕ ΜΗΔΟΙ
    ΣΠΕΡΧΕΙΟΝ ΠΟΤΑΜΟΝ ΚΤΕΙΝΑΝ ΑΜΕΙΨΑΜΕΝΟΙ
    ΜΑΝΤΙΟΣ, ΟΣ ΤΟΤΕ ΚΗΡΑΣ ΕΠΕΡΧΟΜΕΝΑΣ ΣΑΦΑ ΕΙΔΩΣ
    ΟΥΚ ΕΤΛΗ ΣΠΑΡΤΗΣ ΗΓΕΜΟΝΑ ΚΑΤΑΛΙΠΕΙΝ”

    … “This monument is for the glorious Megisitias who was killed after the passage of Spercheios’ river by the Medes,
    The Augur who knew his fate very well but still refused to abandon the hegemon of Sparta.”

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------





    Battle pics,


    Spartan heavy phalanx fighting Hamata clad legionnaires



    Charging Hippeis Xenophontos


    Charging Ekdromoi hoplites



    Defending Perioikoi phalanx



    Hippeis Xenophontos getting in position



    Promachoi Fighting



    Promachoi on the battleline


    Missiles away!


    Here they come.


    Covering fire



    Javs away



    Yet another hippeis xenophontos march, not that it gets old...



    Ekdromoi attack.




    Credits
    Tone: models and skins
    Europa Barbarorum: Thureophoroi and Thorakitai models
    ATG / Spirit of Rob/ Tone: General
    Spirit of Rob / Tone :Bodyguard
    Keravnos, Swhunter, Mulattothrasher, Pseudocaesar and RS team: historical research
    Cherryfunk and RS team: historical advice
    Keravnos: Texts
    Tone: screenshots

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Enjoy the preview, it is meant to be seen and read more than once.
    Oh, I almost forgot... :sparta:
    Last edited by tone; January 27, 2008 at 04:02 PM.
    Go Minerwars Go! A 6DOF game of space mining and shooting. SAKA Co-FC, Koinon Hellenon FC, Epeiros FC. RS Hellenistic Historian K.I.S.S.




  2. #2
    Pavlik the Rus's Avatar Civitate
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    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    WOW!
    CAN'T wait!! Sparta will be my first campaign in RS 2
    Last edited by Pavlik the Rus; January 19, 2008 at 06:21 AM.

    Under patronage of respectable MARCVS
    Надо чаще встречаться
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=58644

  3. #3
    Nellup's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Nice, very good units and well worth the wait!

    Or to put it another way (as someone has to): This is Excellent!
    "A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something" - Plato


  4. #4

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Amazing, you guys just keep getting better and better!

    Simply breathtaking work

    **RS Dev Team***Reciprocal Repper!* RIP Calvin- you will be missed

  5. #5

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Stunning!


    Roma surrectum, the only real rtw experience

  6. #6

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA


    -Can sum up my expression.

    Simply Amazing. AMAZING! THATS Sparta. Authentic, realistic, and truly matching the standards of such an illustrious history as Sparta.

    Really amazing.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    awesome, cant wait to play this

  8. #8
    Bebbe's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Excellent ! Metoikoi Hoplites are especially awesome. Though the Spartiatai Hoplitai's body armour doesn't look too good. Could need some more work.
    All in all , it looks beautiful

    BebbEdit: Almost forgot. Do you have anything special in mind for the Spartan gameplay , except for the units , that is

  9. #9

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bebbe View Post
    Excellent ! Metoikoi Hoplites are especially awesome. Though the Spartiatai Hoplitai's body armour doesn't look too good. Could need some more work.
    All in all , it looks beautiful

    BebbEdit: Almost forgot. Do you have anything special in mind for the Spartan gameplay , except for the units , that is
    Spartiatai hoplitai's armor is meant to look bad. If anything, in that era, a bad linothorax is all a Spartan could afford. Metoikoi hoplites would be many times richer than the average Spartan.

    Well, there are certain things we have in mind....

    @ Ahiga, thank you very much for your kind words, great care has been taken for Nea Sparta to be as authentic as possible.

    @Everyone on behalf of RS, thanks a bunch!
    Go Minerwars Go! A 6DOF game of space mining and shooting. SAKA Co-FC, Koinon Hellenon FC, Epeiros FC. RS Hellenistic Historian K.I.S.S.




  10. #10

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    WOW!!! Impressive, very impressive. Great job

    Definitely looking forward to playing as Sparta

  11. #11
    Spartan Soldier's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    That's great!! I can't wait for this mod.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Uhhh lol listen...
    I was stunned by the greatness of the upcoming NEA SPARTA, and it is going to be my first campaign too... well after the romans at least

    I have a LARGE issue with one thing though.

    Why is the general an exact replica of Leonidas??? And what is even worse... why does he have an open mouth? Sure, its great on pics, but if to think logically... he will be running round with an open mouth all the time? Please...
    I am not against Leonidas as general... it will be a bit strange to see Gerard Butler's face all the time but it is bearable... BUT PLEASE CLOSE HIS MOUTH!!!
    Loyal fan of Roma Surrectum!
    "Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant!"

    Love 2 Rep ppl!
    RS TEAM IS KING!!!

    Nam homo proponit, sed Daus disponit.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    yeah i dont like the open mouth either

  14. #14

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    i m quite disappointed,if i have to be onest........

    the bodyguards with laurel on their helmets?
    hoplites and phalangites with a philosopher's beard?
    hoplites with that awful "cup" helmet (i cant remember the right name)?
    colums on the shields instead of the lambda?

    i mean...............this is a very strange sparta.................

    not to despise your work,but honestly i don't like these hoplites and phalangites at all.

    the light infantry,the peltasts and the cavalry are very very good indeed!


  15. #15
    Bebbe's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravnos View Post
    Spartiatai hoplitai's armor is meant to look bad. If anything, in that era, a bad linothorax is all a Spartan could afford. Metoikoi hoplites would be many times richer than the average Spartan.

    Well, there are certain things we have in mind....
    No , that's not what I meant I mean that the texture doesn't look realistic.
    You could add some dirt , and some scratches

    And I would , ofcourse , really appreciate if you could tell us
    Last edited by Bebbe; January 19, 2008 at 09:24 AM.

  16. #16
    Pavlik the Rus's Avatar Civitate
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    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    I have a question
    All this units planned to be recruitable only in Sparta or all over lands under Sparta's control?
    Or maybe some units will be Sparta settlement exclusive, meantime other will be recruitable everywhere?

    I like all units, great work.

    Under patronage of respectable MARCVS
    Надо чаще встречаться
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=58644

  17. #17

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan 666 View Post
    i m quite disappointed,if i have to be onest........

    the bodyguards with laurel on their helmets?
    hoplites and phalangites with a philosopher's beard?
    hoplites with that awful "cup" helmet (i cant remember the right name)?
    colums on the shields instead of the lambda?

    i mean...............this is a very strange sparta.................

    not to despise your work,but honestly i don't like these hoplites and phalangites at all.

    the light infantry,the peltasts and the cavalry are very very good indeed!
    History, my friend. Keravnos has done his homework extremely well. He knows what he's talking about.

    As to the general - it started with me doing it as a kind of joke...quite happy to change things if the general feeling is one of dislike.
    Last edited by tone; January 19, 2008 at 09:40 AM.


    Under patronage of Spirit of Rob; Patron of Century X, Pacco, Cherryfunk, Leif Erikson.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    i like the units, but i think you should close the generals mouth

  19. #19
    pacco's Avatar -master-of-none-
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    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    Quote Originally Posted by tone View Post
    History, my friend. Keravnos has done his homework extremely well. He knows what he's talking about.
    Nice answer tone .

    Skinner and modeller for Roma Surrectum
    Under the patronage of Tone
    my shield collection




  20. #20

    Default Re: Roma Surrectums' NEA SPARTA

    well..........then i prefer a non-historical spartan! personally,the best i ve seen up to now are ATG's spartans...


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