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Athenian and Spartan tactics and strategies
Athenian and Spartan strategy and tactics.
Advantages and disadvantages of Spartan tactics.
Spartans, famous for their brutal force and ravaging skills on the battlefield, held a great advantage over the soldiers of other Greek regions. When Spartan boys were born, they would be inspected for any deformation or athletic impediment. If a child was judged unsuitable for battle, they would be abandoned in a hill, left to die. At the age of seven, Spartan boys were taken away from their mother and sent to "barracks" in which they receive a much harsher discipline, they would fight with other boys their age or in some cases even with their own mentors so that "the sutdent can surpass the master". At the age of 10 they would learn to wield the spear, the sword, the shield and would learn the Spartan battle formations. Their devotion and capability in the battle field made them excellent for wiping out enemy camps and occupying territories. As such, Spartans had a passion for battle and a lack of fear for death only surpassed by their pride. This pride, however, would prove to be the major weak point of Spartan tactics, formations, and strategies. Spartans would not allow any foreigners that bore an intent to spread ideals distinct to Spartan methodology in their territory, which made their strategical warfare reach a point of no further development. This ideology caused Spartans to have heavy cassualties in battles such as the Peloponnesian War. Spartan platoons had no specific amount of soldiers but as depicted in the famous movie
a group of 300 Spartans was fierce enough to detain and deteriorate the forces of the Persian empire at the battle of Thermopylae.
Advantages and disadvantages of Athenian tactics.
Origin of great philosophers and thinkers, Athenians held a great intellectual flexibility and an athletic display which was handy to accomplish tactics on the battlefield. Athenian children were raised in the fields of philosophy, mathematics, and music to strengthen their mental capabilities. This resulted in excellently deviced strategies and battle plans that could be adjusted in an easy manner. Although it was mentioned before that Athenian boys were trained in athletics to become competent soldiers, if an Athenian platoon were to engage and equally numbered Spartan platoon in a plain, clear battlefield, the Spartan platoon would be victorious since Athenians were much weaker and less brutal than Spartans.
Athenian strategy in the Peloponnesian War.
The Athenian strategy, employed in the Peloponnesian War which was fought against the Spartans, was deviced by Pericles and had a very simple
battle scheme. The Athenian ground troops would avoid any engagement with the superior Spartan infantry, even if it raveged Athenian territory. Any major assault led by the Athenians on the Spartan occupied town Phalerum were dealt by the Athenian warships that parted from the port in Piraeus. Even if Athenian crops and cattle were destroyed by the Spartans in an attempt to deal heavy damage on the Athenian supplies, Athens would receive supplies from the sea due to their occupation in Piraeus. The purpose of this strategy was to maintain pressure on the enemy occupation to eventually overrun it while having the least possible amount of friendly cassualties. Pericles predicted that Athens would prevail over Sparta due to its superior amount of resources, money, and men.
Spartan strategy in the Peloponnesian War.
The Spartan strategy was much more simple and straight forward than the Athenian strategy. Spartans would attack territories that belonged to the Athenian League which was Athens and its allies. Unfortunately most of the Athenian territories were greatly fortified, rendering the Spartan strategy bleak and futile, eventually leading to the delay on the victory of the Spartans over the Athenians. Eventually the Spartans overran key positions surrounding Athens and dealt a mortal strike to the Athenian empire.
The Phalanx tactic.
The Spartan military first employed a formation in which the front line of the platoon would stand their ground firmly blocking any incoming troops blocking their pass. As the enemy troops made a futile attempt to overcome the shield blockade, the central line would reach out for the enemies with their spears, shaving off the enemy infantry. Eventually this formation would evolve into the widely used Phalanx tactic all over Greece which involves utilizing the formation mentioned before in a much greater scale that would keep pressure on large incoming enemy groups on the front and flanks, leading to the overrunning of the enemy troops due to the advancement and infiltration of Greek troops.
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