Famous Land Fights

Cover of book Famous Land Fights
Categories: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III GREEK


AND MACEDONIAN WARFARE? THE PHALANX THE Greek soldiers of the days of the Persian wars were, for the most part, citizens and country folk temporarily armed and enrolled for the campaign, at the end of which they returned to their houses and farms. I say " for the most part," because even at this early period it is likely that there was a small element of what one may call professional soldiers. At a still earlier date we know that Greek mercenaries sold their skill in arms to foreign employers, and some of these adventurers on returning to their native cities would no doubt place their experience at the service of the generals when there was a call to arms. But their numbers must at this time have been insignificant, nor would their professional standing count for as much as the reputation for good conduct in the field that some of the older stay-at-home citizens had already won in local wars. The general of mercenaries figures as an important man only in the period that followed the Persian war, when the fame the Greeks had acquired by their victories over the vast armies of the " Great King " made soldiering a regular trade, and Greek valour and military skill were sold to Eastern princes, Sicilian despots and the merchant rulers of Carthage. But though in the glorious days of Marathon and Plataea the Greek armies were citizen militias, they could not be counted as mere hasty levies of untrained men. In Sparta, a State permanently organized for war, therewas regular peace training of the citizens, begun in boyhood and carried on far into middle age. In the other States, though there was no such systematic method, there was some substitute for it in the existing conditions of life. These old Greek Republics, that fill so large a place in the story of th...

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