The Athenian Army 507–322 BC

The Athenian Army 507–322 BC cover

The Athenian Army 507–322 BC

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This fully illustrated study explores the formidable Athenian army, rivalled only by the Spartan army in terms of battlefield prowess and influence.

In 508 BC, the reforms of Kleisthenes established the ten tribes of Athens, inaugurating a system of military organization that remained in place for nearly 200 years until Athens' eclipse by the growing power of Macedon in the early 3rd century BC. Fully illustrated, this lively study investigates the development and effectiveness of the armies fielded by Athens during its many wars with its Greek neighbours, notably Sparta, and other opponents such as the Persian Empire. A variety of different troop types made up these armies, ranging from formidably armed and armoured hoplite heavy infantry to lightly armed archers, peltasts and cavalry.

In this book, Athens' major wars and battles of the period are summarized, and important aspects contributing to the Athenian army's battlefield prowess, influence and legacy, ranging from mobilization and training to the evolution of arms and armour, are examined in the light of the latest scholarship and archaeological finds. The eight colour plates reconstruct the appearance of components of the Athenian army at various stages of its development. The authoritative text is complemented by carefully chosen photographs, many in colour, depicting a variety of surviving artefacts, supported by informative captions.

Table of Contents

[subject to confirmation]
Introduction: the reforms of Kleisthenes, 508 BC
The ten-tribal system
Hoplite training, organization, weapons and armour
Cavalry and horse-archers
Light infantry: archers and peltasts
Army mobilization and deployment
The decline of Athens 322–279 BC
Plate commentaries

Product details

Published 16 Jan 2025
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 64
ISBN 9781472862822
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 8 colour artwork plates; black & white and colour photographs and illustrations.
Series Elite
Short code ELI 259
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Nicholas Sekunda

Nicholas Sekunda was born in 1953. After studying…


Giuseppe Rava

Giuseppe Rava was born in Faenza in 1963, and took…


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