Introduction and Brief Overview

In the 7th century BC, a new style of warfare was being developed on the Balkan Peninsula of Mediterranean Europe. A style reliant on the legendary heavy infantry soldiers known as the hoplites. These hoplites, equipped with 8 foot spears and enormous bronze-coated shields, came to dominate the battlefield with a close order formation known as the phalanx. This formation revolutionized the battlefield in this era of warfare, proving itself extremely effective in defeating forces many times larger than itself, including the military might that was the Persian Empire. The phalanx, as well as the soldiers it consisted of, helped shape a new “western” way of war. A style of war consisting of head-on clashes, intense discipline, and a one-for-all mentality. We plan to analyze and delve deep into the concept of a “western” way of war throughout the many pages on this website.

[1] The Chigi Vase, pictured, depicts an early form of the phalanx.

[1] The Chigi Vase, pictured, depicts an early form of the phalanx.

However, the concept of a “western” way of war is quite subjective. The celtic tribes of the British Isles were in the western world, yet they aren’t considered as using western tactics. The same can be said for the barbaric germanic tribes of Europe (Sage). Each argument has its ups and downs, but we feel confident in our answer.

The introduction and development of hoplite warfare brought forth new principles and ideologies for a civilization to fight for. Courage, honor, and the refusal to back down all acted as the spearpoint in this not only fascinating, but also fundamental change.

(Section composed by Robert Arnold)