Ancient Greek Warriors

During Ancient Greek times, there was always some kind of war happening.

The wars would happen within the city-states and they would sometimes work together to take down a certain city-state.

Most of the time though, the Greeks would not work together to fight an enemy that they all had, such as the Persians.

Ancient Greek Warrior


Any man that lived in a city in Greece was considered a warrior.

They were expected to take their place if there was a war and to be willing to fight anytime it was needed.

Most of the men that lived in Ancient Greek times was not a warrior full time and most of them had other jobs such as farmers and craftsmen and they would fight when they had to protect their land.


The Greek soldier that was a foot soldier was called a hoplite.

These warriors would carry long shields and spears.  They got their name because the shield that they carried was called a hoplon.

The Hoplite was the main Greek soldier and they were first in battle.


The stance that the soldiers would take was called a phalanx.

This is when they would stand side by side and their shields would overlap and make a wall.

The warriors would march forward and use the shield and the spear to attack their enemies.

Even if the soldiers in the front were defeated, the back warriors would keep moving forward.


The warriors of Ancient Greek had to have their own weapons.

They were also not able to get armor from the city-state and they had to buy or make their own.

A warrior that had more money would be able to buy better weapons and have better armor made and so you would know that a warrior was powerful if he had a full set of armor.

Most of the weapons that the Ancient Greeks used was a small sword called a xiphos and a spear that was long, called a doru.


The full set of armor would include a breastplate, a helmet, greaves (shin protectors) and a shield.

This armor would be very heavy and weighed almost 100 pounds.

The shield would weigh a lot on its own, more than 20 pounds.

The shield was the most important part of the armor because it was used to fight and to protect the warrior during times of battle.

When a warrior would lose his shield during the battle, it was considered shameful and would bring bad luck on the warrior.


The warriors shield was so important that a legend was made that the Spartan mothers would tell their sons to come home with their shield on or by their shield.

This meant that they would return carrying their shield or they would come home dead on their shield.


The Spartans were considered the greatest warriors of all times.

Every man that lived in Sparta was trained to go to battle and be a warrior.  Even as a young boy, they would be taught how to fight and go to a training school.

Spartan men would fight even until they were old.

Ancient Greek Military


Facts About Ancient Greek Warriors:

  • The greatest warriors of Ancient Greek belonged to Sparta.
  • The Greek warriors would decorate their shields so they could praise the gods.
  • The Greeks would throw javelins and use archery during battle.
  • The warriors would try to push the phalanx apart and when this happened, it would bring them victory in the war.
  • A Spartan shield was called an aspis.
  • Very few Spartans were out of shape and were forced to keep their bodies strong and powerful.


What Did You Learn?

  1. Who was an Ancient Greek warrior?  An Ancient Greek warrior was a person that would fight in a battle or a war.
  2. Were most people in Greece warriors?   Most people were only part time warriors, and most were farmers or craftsmen that fought to protect their property.
  3. What was the formation called when people would get in a row and use their shields as a wall? This formation was called the phalanx.
  4. What weapons did the Ancient Greeks use? Most of the Ancient Greek warriors used a large shield and a short or long spear.
  5. What was interesting about the men of Sparta? The men of Sparta were all raised to be warriors.