Overcoming the Spartan Phalanx : The Evolution of Greek Battlefield Tactics 394 BC-371 BC

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Constantinos Hasapis (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/
Anthony J. 1939- Papalas

Abstract: The objective of this thesis is to examine the changes in Greek battlefield tactics in the early fourth century as a response to overthrowing what was widely considered by most of Greece tyranny on the part of Sparta. Sparta's hegemony was based on military might namely her mastery of phalanx warfare. Therefore the key to dismantling Lacedaemonia's overlordship was to defeat her armies on the battlefield. This thesis will argue that new battle tactics were tried and although there were varying degrees of success the final victory at Leuctra over the Spartans was due mainly to the use of another phalanx. However the Theban phalanx was not a merely a copy of Sparta's. New formations tactics and battlefield concepts were applied and used successfully when wedded together. Sparta's prospects of maintaining her position of dominance were increasingly bleak. Sparta's phalanx had became more versatile and mobile after the end of the Peloponnesian War but her increasing economic and demographic problems compounded by outside commitments resulting in imperial overstretch strained her resources. The additional burden of internal security requirements caused by the need to hold down a massive helot population led to a static position in the face of a dynamic enemy with no such constraints. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Ancient history, European history, Military history, Epaminondas, Hoplite, Phalanx, Sacred Band, Sparta (Extinct city), Thebes (Greece)
Military art and science--Greece--History
Greece--History--Spartan and Theban Supremacies, 404-362 B.C.
Military history, Ancient

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