Ancient Greek Weapons

Ancient Greek civilization is considered as one of the most powerful and dominant civilization of its time. Ancient Greeks had to fight with the city-states within Greece and at the same time with the neighboring countries such as Rome, Macedonia, Persia and so on. Ancient Greeks had a very proficient military and naval force. In ancient times, battles were fought using sharp weapons and not using guns and shells. The ancient Greek wars were fought differently because the ancient Greek weapons were fashioned differently.

The foot soldiers were the backbone of an ancient Greek army. A hoplite means an armor. Since ancient Greek soldiers were armored and weaponed men, they were known as hoplites. Hoplites were brave men who fought in broad daylight using sharp weapons such as spears, double-edged swords and shields. Hoplites combated hand-to-hand and had no pre-planned war strategy. They relied on their personal war skills and those of the fellow soldiers.

An Important Ancient Greek Weapon

A hoplite was considered as an important ancient Greek weapon by the Greek warlords. An armor of a hoplite approximately weighed 60 to 65 pounds. A hoplite carried a metal shield to defend himself against the opposing army and also to break the weapons of his immediate enemy. The spear was a weapon of choice of a hoplite. A spear of a hoplite was six to eight feet long with a sharp iron head fixed on a shaft of ash wood and a bronze butt. The butt of a spear was used when the spearhead of the spear broke. A hoplite wore a helmet to protect his face and head during the battle. He also carried a double-edged sword.

A Few Ancient Greek Weapons

The weapons are the key to success of any war. Weapons defined the victory of many wars fought by the Greek in ancient times. Ancient Greeks invented many weapons and were well-versed in military and naval skills. A few ancient Greek weapons that were popularly used by the ancient Greek army are given below.

  • Shield – One of the important ancient Greek weapons was the shield. This was used by a hoplite to smash a spear of an opponent.
  • Spear – The hoplites used spears to attack the opposing army. An ancient Greek spear was known as a “dory“. A typical spear has a sharp iron spearhead on a wooden shaft and a bronze butt. If the spearhead breaks off, the butt of the spear was used as an additional weapon to fight the enemy.
  • Ballista – A ballista was an important ancient Greek weapon. A Ballista was a weapon of siege from which multiple arrows could be shot at long ranges.
  • Dagger/Sword – Along with a spear, a hoplite was expected to carry a sharp dagger or a short sword. This was probably used when a spear was completely broken.
  • Catapult – A catapult was used to throw large objects and stones at the opposing army. A catapult is one of the ancient Greek weapons used for besieging an enemy.

Ancient Greeks brought about many innovations in the technology of warfare. Ancient Greeks were constantly at war either between their own various city-states of that times (Athens, Corinth, Sparta and Thebes) or against the neighboring countries. The ancient Greek weapons were considered to be ahead of the weapons of the neighboring countries.