How Does Homer Use Hoplite Warfare In The Iliad

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Homers’ epic, the Iliad, is the earliest written account of Greek warfare composed circa 750 BC. In his epic, Homer describes a style of warfare that, at first glance, appears to be alien to hoplite warfare that was present in the 5th-century BC. However, there is literary evidence in the Iliad that might contest that. Additionally, recent archaeological discoveries reinforce the idea that hoplite warfare may not be as clear cut as convention suggests. While Homeric and hoplite warfare may not be the exact same, they may not be exact opposites either. Furthermore, there is a widely-accepted idea that the emergence of hoplite warfare signifies the development of political and social rights, commonly referred to as the “hoplite revolution.” Contrary to this belief, there is evidence to support that the hoplite emerges earlier …show more content…
(Il. 8.60-64)

The soldiers coming from a chaotic, individual based fighting to a close-ranked battle where they “clash in the middle” resembles the construction of othismos. Specifically, this resembles Thucydides battle description: “the rese engaged with utmost obstinacy, shield against shield,” and Xenophon depicts a similar picture when the soldier: “setting shields against shields they shoved, fought, killed, and were killed” (Thuc. 4.96.2; Xen. 4.3.19). Beyond othismos, there are prominent parallels between hoplites and Homer in more significant aspects: the phalanx. If the phalanx is tight-rank, massed fighting, then the Iliad is, in places, depicting this style—in fact, there are “no less than 23 instances of protracted and clearly described, decisive massed fighting” (Schwartz, 2009, pp. 108). These “decisive” massed fights can be seen when Hektor charges Achaian

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