War in the ancient greek world

War was an integral part of the life of all Greek cities. Sources mention numerous clashes, which often lasted for years, with short interruptions during the winter. In the 7th c. B.C., the infantry began fighting in formation, which was famous for the superb coordination of the lined-up soldiers (“hoplite phalanx”). Every soldier (hoplite) wore a helmet, a cuirass and greaves and carried a spear, a sword and a shield (hoplon). The infantry was flanked by the cavalry and lightly armed soldiers, such as archers. From the 4th c. B.C. onwards, armies used siege engines to break down the walls of enemy cities. Once the battle had ended, a truce was called. The warring sides buried their dead, usually in public funerary monuments (polyandria). The victors set up a trophy (tropaion) to commemorate their victory. Naval battles were equally common, given the maritime tradition of the Greeks. According to Thucydides, the first warships with three rows of oars, called triremes, were built by Corinthians.