Hoplite A Persian at Thermopylae would have faced a Spartan hoplite that looked exactly as represented by this bronze statuette from the late sixth or early fifth century. The concave shield rests on his upper left arm and served to relieve the great weight; the spear is held in an overhand grip to target his adversary’s groin or unprotected thighs. The hoplite’s greaves, leather flaps beneath his midriff, bronze breastplate, helmet and enormous crest gave him a good chance at surviving the melee. Notice the long hair that flows from his helmet—a Spartan trademark that so astonished the Persians, who saw King Leonidas and his men calmly combing their locks before [battle]. (Hanson 48) HOPLITE
Sources Amos, H.D. and A.G.P. Lang. These Were The Greeks. Chester Springs, PA: Dufour, 1979. Cook, J.M. The Persians. London: Folio Society, 1983. Finley, M.I., editor. The Greek Historians. NY: Penguin, 1977. "Greece during the Persian Wars." Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? ItemID=WE49&iPin=AK45&SingleRecord=True (acc essed January 30, 2012). Green, Peter. The Greco-Persian Wars. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996. Hanson, Victor Davis. The Wars of the Ancient Greeks. London: Cassell, 2000.