The Hoplite Spear

The hoplite spear, used by the Ancient Greek heavy infantryman, known as a hoplite, from the mid 7th century BC through to the 4th century BC, was the archetypal "stick sharpened at both ends" having a large iron spearhead at one end and a heavy bronze spike at the other. We might very well be puzzled, just as young Ralph was, as to why a weapon like the hoplite spear should have two sharp-ends. The answer lies in understanding that a weapon is a tool, designed to do a particular job in a particular way, and that the form of a particular weapon reflects its intended function. The two ends of the hoplite spear are different shapes and made of different materials because they were intended to perform different functions, and these differences can provide us with important clues about what it was like to be on the sharp-end of a hoplite battle. [Ancient Warfare]

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