Military Dress

Warriors in ancient Greece developed many methods of protecting themselves in battle. Mycenaeans, who ruled Greece as early as 1600 B.C.E. , crafted armor out of bronze plates. Soldiers wore suits made of bronze plates held together with leather straps. This armor protected the body from the neck to the upper thighs. Soldiers strapped additional bronze plates over their shins for leg protection and wore helmets made of boar's tusks. Mycenaean soldiers also carried a variety of different wooden framed shields and bronze daggers and swords.

The soldiers of the Greek state of Sparta became very specialized by the seventh century B.C.E. Called hoplites, these foot soldiers received special training and wore protective bronze armor. Hoplites' armor was more flexible than earlier armor. Hoplites also wore bronze leg guards called greaves and bronze helmets with cheek guards that were decorated on top with plumed crests of horsehair, resembling a mohawk. They also carried bronze or leather shields with a long spear and a short sword.

These soldiers wear various styles of boots and armor traditionally found in Greek military dress. Reproduced by permission of © .


Chisholm, Jane, Lisa Miles, and Struan Reid. The Usborne Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. London, England: Usborne Publishing, 1999.

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