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Carrying the weight
#1
Hi, I’ve read that in general, the weight of a hoplites equipment (bronze cuirass, greaves, helmet, shield, spear and sword) was so cumbersome that one would never (be able to) marsch in it. Instead the greeks typically had someone else carry their armor if not wheel it in a cart, then was helped to put it on at the chosen site for battle. Is this correct?
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#2
Cuirass: 4-5 kg.
Helmet and crest: 2 kg.
Greaves: 1 kg
Aspis: 6-7 kg
Spear: 1 kg
Sword: 1 kg.
Clothing: 2 kg
Total: no more than 19 kg.

The average US rifle platoon soldier's load is over 40 kg.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#3
(06-22-2016, 02:31 PM)Dan Howard Wrote: Cuirass: 4-5 kg.
Helmet and crest: 2 kg.
Greaves: 1 kg
Aspis: 6-7 kg
Spear: 1 kg
Sword: 1 kg.
Clothing: 2 kg
Total: no more than 19 kg.

The average US rifle platoon soldier's load is over 40 kg.

That cleared up allot for me - thanks a bunch!
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#4
Hi everyone. Long time lurker, first time writer....

You are correct in that much has been made about the weight of Greek armor. Hanson goes on at length about how unpleasant and difficult it must have been to endure it. As OP mentioned, Hanson writes that a slave or servant would have followed the hoplite and they would have waited for the last possible moment to don their armor. I have no doubt that wearing it was an extremely unpleasant.

But I'd like to clarify a point. OP writes, " that one would never (be able to) marsch in it." There is a big difference between someone who can "never" do something and someone who simply prefers not to. The other response above points out the weight a modern US soldier carries. This is only somewhat accurate, in that our modern equipment is made of flexible kevlar and is undoubtedly much cooler and more comfortable than a hoplite's panoply. Nonetheless, having been in Iraq and Afghanistan let me tell you: We strip that crap off at the first possible opportunity.

Modern tests indicate that a person could run for 200-300 meters before becoming seriously fatigued, and they could likely walk for quite some distance. I think the real problem was not so much the weight alone as it was the heat, the discomfort, and the impediments to vision and hearing that come with wearing the helmet.

I'd also like to ask what you mean by "to march." If you mean marching the distance from the assembly area to the enemy formation, that would only be a few hundred meters and is easily doable. If you mean marching a 20 mile road march over the course of a day... Well, yeah that would suck. But if you are doing a road march without expecting enemy contact, there is no reason to don the armor in the first place, and it makes sense to put it on a cart or let your slave carry it.
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#5
The armour is no discomfort at all. I have jackets that weigh more and are less comfortable than any of my cuirasses. It is enclosed helmets that cause problems in the heat and prolonged fights. As battles went for longer you find more and more open helmets being worn.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#6
Well on the other side one does not need to march with the helmet on, is pretty easy to get it over your ears Wink in few secs. The cuirass might be another story but the truth is that I was surprised how easy and relatively comfortable is to wear it. I always asked myself why did the scholars used the "never" word.

I also ask myself as a matter of choice, The 10000 with Xenophon would not have many slaves though they were able to march and survive. For me is not very practical to march together with as many slaves as the army numbers, you know you still need to feed them and cloth them. I think that probably the commanders or officers did had slaves nut the common hoplite (including Socrates) would have to carry its own burden.
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#7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc1Lbhd78NY

You see that fully armoured hoplites aren't slow at all. This is a 100m dead run. The unarmoured hoplite (lighter helmet, no cuirass, no greaves) is indeed a little faster, but we didn't test if he would not be faster in even terms.
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#8
interesting less than 30 secs probably time for an archer to shoot 4 shots and probably the ancients trained a little bit too
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#9
This video was awesome.
Kis György Márk (by western standards, György Márk Kis)

Legio Leonum Valentiniani

http://www.legioleonum.hu
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#10
Yes, thanks for the great video, Giannis!
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#11
You're welcome!
It was great fun filming it!
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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