Ancient Greek Soldiers Lesson for Kids: Types, Life & Facts

Instructor: Tammie Mihet

Tammie has taught elementary school for 14 yrs. and holds an MA in Instructional Technology

They were some of the fiercest and most highly trained warriors on the ancient battlefield. Delve into the lives of Greek soldiers and discover their ways of life for yourself!

Ancient Greek Mighty Men

Just imagine living the life of an ancient Greek solider! You would have been one of the most elite soldiers of your day. However, you didn't become that way from fighting other countries and great empires. You became strong by fighting your own countrymen! You actually fought your own Greek neighbors more than people from other empires.

City-States and Growing Seasons

As a Greek solider you would have been a citizen of Greece. To truly understand your life, you have to understand two things: city-states and growing seasons. Because of Greece's many mountains and other land features, towns became very isolated from each other. Each developed its own government and culture, known as city-states. The different city-states in Greece were constantly at war with one another!

It's also very important to understand that in order to survive you had to take advantage of growing seasons to farm. In ancient Greece you couldn't just go to your local grocery store to buy food - instead you had to grow everything you ate.

The Battle From Within

One year of your life as a soldier would have been broken up into two seasons. First was the growing season. Because Greek soldiers knew they could not live without food, during the growing season there was a truce. During this time, the various Greek city-states would not attack each other.

However, as soon as the growing season ended, the battles would begin. This was known as the campaigning season, and it was a time for the different city-states to settle their issues and prove who was the strongest. It was this constant sparring with each other that kept the soldiers in tip-top shape and brought new battle techniques to the forefront. When the Greek city-states were called upon to fight in a united front against a common enemy, they did not hesitate to put these talents into action!

Soldier's Protection

All Greek soldiers had to buy their own armor and weapons. This became very expensive so you probably would have used armor and weapons that had been passed down to you by your father. More than likely your uniform would have consisted of a bronze helmet, special shin guards to protect your legs, and a breastplate to protect your torso. For weapons you would have carried a shield, a long spear, and a short sword for hand-to-hand combat.

Elite Fighting Force

Ancient Greek Foot Soldiers Were Known as Hoplites
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