[research] Greek city states

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Seek n Destroy

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You mean they weren't considered before? I have suggested them at least once every year  :cry:
Well maybe not for the cities but for the troops.
 
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Tristan38 said:
Here are some suggestions and remarks to try to improve and make more realistic the Lacedaemonians:
I'm sorry for my bad English

-In test version 2.55 of Rome at War, there are 2 mora: that of Amyklon and that of Geronthron but the mora of Sparta disappeared after the Battle of Leuctra and all the laconian hoplites adopted the lambda after that.

-In 300 BC, there remained about 1000 homoioi, the others had lost their title either in combat by cowardice (tresantes) or by poverty (impossibility of paying their ecot to the syssitia), they became hypomeiones and there were many more than homoioi.
There is the conspiracy of Cinadon which is an example of the numerical superiority of hypomeiones against the homoioi. When a man denounces the conspiracy on the agora there were 4000 men, only 40 were peers (1 king, some homoioi, a few gerontes and the ephors).Maybe adding them will not be a bad idea.

-The skirites are too weak. In the Spartan army the skirites formed an elite corps of light infantry. It is known that in some Battle like that of Mantinea (418 BC), they were 600 on the battlefield and they fought on the extreme-left wing in the battle-line, the most threatening position for the hoplite phalanx, they can also be used like scout and walk in front of the king.

-Shields and helmets :
1) Homoioi have just pilos helmet in the game but they also had chalcidian helmets at this period.
2) For lochagos you can add chalcidian and pilos helmet with lateral crest.
3) The lochagos have the shield of the king in their equipment (red solar) perhaps you could put it to Areus and Cleonymus.
In their equipment I noticed that you put the shield of the Talthybidae clan,
if you ever want to replace the royal shield (red solar), you can put these 2 shield episema of the families of sparta: the first with the 2 snakes is the episema of the Melabontidae clan.
The second episema is the drakon, shield emblem of Aegiades clan.
4) Also add more shield with lambda as for example: a red shield with a white lambda or a white shield with a red lambda...

I will never understand how people can say something that's either false, or entirely unconfirmed/up in the air as though it were a fact.  Do you know there is actually no credible proof that Laconians ever adopted a Lambda episema?  That's right, all those pretty Ancient Warfare magazine shots and modern depictions that are happy to plant the Lambda on everything Spartan as early as the Persian Wars, are not supported by any hard evidence. It is no more than a plausibility.  Other states used one or two-letter designations upon the shield, and Xenophon's Hellenika relates a passage to us that makes us think it's possible that Spartan shields might have been identifiable.  Beyond that, we don't know how.  It's entirely possible they still used old clan symbols on their shield, or displayed nothing on their shields.  Photios' account cannot be taken without a grain of salt, for he was as far from contemporary as they come, 870 A.D. being quite far from the 200 B.C.'s.

http://historum.com/blogs/okamido/1129-spartas-lambda-blazon.html

https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-24284.html

Now personally, I think the Lambda a little more likely on Perioikoi, or Messenians/'emancipated helots who would have no family or tribal custom to keep', as my friend Paul Bardunias writes, who have been allowed to fight for Sparta, than for Spartans themselves. But who really knows. Until any form of physical evidence or more references that don't ultimately come from a far-from-contemporary Photius appear, it is theoretical. Otherwise, your post seems good and you seem fairly knowledgeable.  Your words on the contemporary Spartan clans and helmet diversity I don't disagree with. It would seem that piloi in general were very popular with them in this era, but certainly for anyone who could afford it they might also diversify their helmets somewhat.  While you generally seem pretty on the nose, please refrain from using modern art as some sort of proof of an ancient practice. All that art reveals, (and much of it is very good, don't get me wrong), is the perspectives of what folks today believe they wore/used/looked like, unless it is explicitly based upon period evidence/art/texts.

In general, I am not super bothered by Lambdas on Hellenistic-era Spartans. But it must be accepted only as an educated guess/plausibility. There's not enough evidence otherwise to assume they might not by using older heraldry or might have, for all we know, had relatively blank or minimally decorated shields.
 
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KickingJoub said:
Tasty Leaf said:
Why no transverse crests for Greek Cities?
Provide a credible reference with them, and it'll be considered. Also see what Seek said below... :dead:
Lateral crests are absolutely supported by evidence.  However, in the Hellenistic period?  Not so sure!  They appear in the Archaic-to-Classical era art. https://imgur.com/a/aYnGHgP
 

matmohair1

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hope this helps...

The Spartan Army - 1999


Pylos and Sphacteria 425 BC: Sparta's island of disaster - 2013




comparison with Italian examples of metallic crests

 
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matmohair1 said:
hope this helps...

The Spartan Army - 1999


Pylos and Sphacteria 425 BC: Sparta's island of disaster - 2013




comparison with Italian examples of metallic crests

You always post good stuff.  Kudos on the impressions and references.  I've always thought crests, and particularly transverse ones, could be utilized to signify rank. It would make sense as a manner of identifying your file leader/officer/so on.  But it's one of those unfortunate things that I think cannot quite be confirmed.  It would be fairly practical, and the ancients could be very practical people, so I'd consider it a fair educated guess.

Additional edit: I also happen to find the idea that of all people, Laconians going to war with virtually zero armor besides helmet and shield, to be incredibly far-fetched.  Aside from very poor hoplites, (which by all means Spartans never were, essentially all being aristocracy), it is simply too large a detriment in my view. A group of 200v200 soldiers having a go at it, one side armored, even lightly, the other side unarmored, unless there is some significant advantage of morale or tactics, I would think the armored side would last longer most of the time. You can simply take more hits, even glancing hits. A light layer of armor makes the difference between a glancing scratch or a wound that, however small, is so painful as to be debilitating to the user, not to mention, pain aside, the amount of blood loss that could occur could also be a problem. In an era where most weapons are edged, even a number of 1-2cm knicks across your body, arms, legs, shoulder, upper chest, etc., could lead to fairly massive blood loss.
 

matmohair1

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Greek coin Luciana Heraclea. Didrachm, 281-278 BC
Notice again the mythical Scylla on both helmets...



KickingJoub said:
Tasty Leaf said:
Why no transverse crests for Greek Cities?
Provide a credible reference with them, and it'll be considered. Also see what Seek said below... :dead:
Hope this helps  :arrow: http://www.akropoliscoins.com/Page2d.html

Macedonian coins with helmets bearing transverse crests, 4rth - 3rd centuries BC
Monograms of Demetrios I Poliorketes above and Alexander III below


 
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matmohair1 said:
Greek coin Luciana Heraclea. Didrachm, 281-278 BC
Notice again the mythical Scylla on both helmets...



KickingJoub said:
Tasty Leaf said:
Why no transverse crests for Greek Cities?
Provide a credible reference with them, and it'll be considered. Also see what Seek said below... :dead:
Hope this helps  :arrow: http://www.akropoliscoins.com/Page2d.html

Macedonian coins with helmets bearing transverse crests, 4rth - 3rd centuries BC
Monograms of Demetrios I Poliorketes above and Alexander III below



I wouldn't say the scylla on those helmets on the first coins really mean anything, since helmets that look anything like that generally don't exist in the archaeological record, however, the latter bit is great stuff!  I'd definitely consider that evidence, as variations of the piloi were definitely in use by that time, and a crest attached like so isn't very far-fetched at all.
 

matmohair1

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Childe_Rolande said:
I wouldn't say the scylla on those helmets on the first coins really mean anything, since helmets that look anything like that generally don't exist in the archaeological record, however, the latter bit is great stuff!
:wink: The Scylla crest was recorded on
Greek, Roman and even Celtic helmets.

Diversity of artistic representations on coins... notice the spear held by one of
the scyllas, and the oar held by another, just like in Gaius Flaminius's, Gallic helmet



Gaius Flaminius  :arrow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaius_Flaminius





 
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matmohair1 said:
Childe_Rolande said:
I wouldn't say the scylla on those helmets on the first coins really mean anything, since helmets that look anything like that generally don't exist in the archaeological record, however, the latter bit is great stuff!
:wink: The Scylla crest was recorded on
Greek, Roman and even Celtic helmets.

Diversity of artistic representations on coins... notice the spear held by one of
the scyllas, and the oar held by another, just like in Gaius Flaminius's, Gallic helmet



Gaius Flaminius  :arrow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaius_Flaminius






On Greek helmets, eh? Where, on coinery? Which are depicting some kind of goddess, wearing a style of helmet for which there is virtually zero proof actually existed? Is there a single helmet in the archaeological record that shows an enormous, protruding scylla crest, nevermind that helmet on most of the coins worn by (Athena, I presume), which itself does not exist in the archaeological record either. Coin depictions ≠ the strongest form of evidence. Coin depictions showing fictional characters with very elaborate attachments to helmets that virtually don't exist archaeologically even less so.

No offense. You post a lot of good material in general, and I love your references, but I've been immersed in the international hoplite re-enactment community for years, and what constitutes a plausible re-creation of period material is far more strict than the grading that you presume.

The single best form of evidence for anything we have is archaeological, then textual, than pictoral in that order. If a depiction doesn't match the archaeological record, doesn't match anything ever written, and doesn't ever appear in scenes attempting to depict something like combat, chances are it was a no-show in functional helmetry.

Unless I'm mis-interpreting you, and you're merely suggesting that it appeared on coins, or maybe on images of shield devices in the Greek world?  Unless you do have stronger evidence that shows Scylla on imagery of hoplites, and not on depictions of deities, who if we're to judge by that metric, the corinthian should still be in use by RaW's era since depictions and statuary of Athena are still wearing it tilted back on the head!

A fancy Consul's helmet ≠ a common mode of decoration, especially cross-culturally, either.
 
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I'm not saying any of this to be rude or to condescend. I am firstly curious if there is evidence of this in the Greek world, but importantly I'm very concerned about people lackadaisically insinuating historical realities without a thorough understanding of the breadth of evidence or a good system in place that can be critical and cross-referential toward what apparent evidence actually exists. Especially when very much of what you post, (which is good stuff, don't get me wrong!) is imagery from modern art and modern magazines. Not that they don't often have period quotations or references, which are good. And a lot of them are based upon/recreated from images of period depictions, of course. But generally speaking, magazine pieces can also be plausible or opinion-based, and of course modern imagery by itself is about as useful as an unsourced wikipedia entry.

As an obvious example, the humongous plethora of Lambdas on Spartans all over depictions, from games, to media, to movies, when there is in fact, zero concrete evidence that they ever used this, and it is lost upon the presumptuous today that the lambda in that context is really just an educated guess. We must be cautious.
 

matmohair1

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Mythical subjects have often been popular, as decorative elements on armor and equipment. Especially when there are those able to
afford such status symbols. From the Roman Victoria, to the Norse ravens, Huginn and Muninn shown on Vendel era helmets.
Greek helmets have a wider variety of subjects viable for such propose, and a lot of communities across Europe where connected by
trade, allowing the flow of ideas, and cultural exchange to flourish. We have a written record of a Gallic warlord, whose helmet was
taken by a Roman Consul, bearing a Scylla as a crest, which is also depicted on Greek coins. Different clues help build a better picture
of the past. It's all interconnected in the end. :wink: Unnecessary negationism is the reason the Flat-Earthers are popping up everywhere nowadays!
Not everything has to be perfect, we all work with what we have at the moment, & we need not dig into the earth core to theorize its layers.
 
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Warning: Incoming Novella.

matmohair1 said:
Mythical subjects have often been popular, as decorative elements on armor and equipment. Especially when there are those able to
afford such status symbols. From the Roman Victoria, to the Norse ravens, Huginn and Muninn shown on Vendel era helmets.
Greek helmets have a wider variety of subjects viable for such propose, and a lot of communities across Europe where connected by
trade, allowing the flow of ideas, and cultural exchange to flourish. We have a written record of a Gallic warlord, whose helmet was
taken by a Roman Consul, bearing a Scylla as a crest, which is also depicted on Greek coins. Different clues help build a better picture
of the past. It's all interconnected in the end. :wink: Unnecessary negationism is the reason the Flat-Earthers are popping up everywhere nowadays!
Not everything has to be perfect, we all work with what we have at the moment, & we need not dig into the earth core to theorize its layers.
Likening flat-Earthers to historical scrutiny in this context, is certainly a disingenuous comparison if I've ever seen one. I'm frankly disappointed you would go there, finding it necessary to compare the two. Especially in this field, it is quite an inaccurate comparison!  Firstly there is an unrelenting wealth of scientific evidence that easily and readily disproves the flat-Earther arguments. Negationism in this context is identical to historical revisionism. Holocaust denial is an example of that, or denial of committed war crimes and/or genocide, those are popular examples of it.

Historical revisionism, (or negationism) proper, involves skewing or manipulating evidence, re-interpreting it in a manner which spites the evidence, and so on and so forth. That's nowhere near anything I've done or suggested here, and to suggest so is just dishonest.

'We have a written record of a Gallic warlord, whose helmet was taken by a Roman Consul, bearing a Scylla as a crest, which is also depicted on Greek coins.'

Yes, and it seems you are very conveniently ignoring the fact that what is a given for one culture is not a given for others. What a rich Gaul might like and what one very specific rich Roman Consul might like, might not be what a Greek would. In fact, I don't think there is very much evidence at all for Romans as early as the Republic, as having very elaborate or large adornments. And as far as I know, that Consul's scylla is the exception, not the norm. Gauls/Celts are of course a different story. If there are truly just a handful of examples of said Scylla on helmetry, I don't think it would be a great instance to include in a game without it being immediately over-represented. Have Greeks had fancy crests? Certainly. Did Gauls/Celts in particular have especially large three-dimensional attachments to their helmets on occasion?  (Such as the bird with wings on hinges that flapped when moving?)  Of course. Does this imply for a certainty that Greeks did this with a scylla? Heavens no.  That ONE Roman Consul did it, (as far as you've shown), and we assume some Gauls did as well, (though as far as I'm seeing, we have but one example of that too) does not mean anyone else did it.  The fact that your response to rational criticism which simply suggests that you be more skeptical, and follow a reasonable reliance on evidence in order to base your conclusions is seen as an act of revisionism, tells me this may be less about caring about actual history and more about egotism.

I'll repeat myself, a depiction of a Goddess on coins in no way whatsoever suggests an accurate depiction of anything a hoplite wore. Vase imagery showing scenes with hoplites that have large scyllas would be far more plausible, and those don't exist as far as I know. A written record of some soldier or important figure in the Greek world as having a Scylla would be even better.  And best of all, an actual archaeological find that can be traced back to Greece proper, would be the best. To my understanding, we have neither.

This is how these things work; you must temper your claims with skepticism. You must be a realist, not a fantasist. It is okay to suggest something is plausible without hard evidence. But ironically, it is barking up the same tree of irrationality that is revisionism, to insist, as a fact, something existed without any textual, archaeological, or pictoral evidence.  Statuary of Gods, mythic figures, and goddesses, adorning unrealistic, never-used, essentially fictional gear, has existed in most every culture that you've suggested, especially the Greeks, who were fond of putting strange, shortened versions of Attic-looking helmets onto their Athenas, and in some cases deliberately adding archaisms to their statuary, such as a tilted back corinthian helmet, even when the helmet was far out of use.

This is where your argument falls apart; as I've stated and as you have yet to respond to, mythic depictions are not, and often never were, a realistic depiction of gear that men used. As I've said, if we're to base our re-creations on statuary for instance, we would absolutely be seeing Corinthian helmets in use by the Hellenistic Era.  If you can see why that is a leap of an assumption, you should theoretically be able to see why what's depicted ON A GODDESS, ON A COIN, is not a surefire reflection of some development in historical reality. Yes, it helps to have note of some Roman Consul doing it, and some Gaul, but to attribute with a certainty that this was reflected in Greece is quite simply a leap.

In any case, the most elaborate headwear attached to Greek helmets, such as swans, bronze horns, and so on, were an aspect of the Archaic era. By even the Classical period, there is no evidence for adornments that vary very much from standard crests, transverse crests, phrygian tops, and so on and so forth. I would expect perhaps in some examples where a hoplite has money to spare, some additional adornments as engravings, painting, a fancy crest, and so on, but I would not expect a full-blown, large, three-dimensional Scylla to adorn any Greeks' helmet in the Hellenistic Era.

We can assert things all we'd like, if the evidence doesn't hold up, until we can verify this, we'd be wrong. Need I bring up the Lambda for a third time?  :razz:  It is a theoretical possibility. Technically speaking, all our wonderful depictions with Lambda-bearing Laconians, are not a direct result of any hard evidence. So that could very well be flat-out false. Do we allow this reasonable assumption? Sure. It is somewhat likely, given that other states used letters as shield devices, and in particular, perioikoi or liberated helots might not have any personal/tribal heraldry to adorn their shields with in any case. Does that means we can assert it as fact? Hell no.

What I'm saying, generally, is that your attitude toward what was a historical reality needs far more tempering if you're really striving for impartial academic perspectives. Because I could very well use your curious logic here to assert other things for which there is no evidence and claim your rational criticism of that perspective is also 'negationism'.

Like I say, I generally love your stuff, you've a great wealth of pictoral illustration and references to magazines and books, but hording a digital pile of Osprey books does not give one the authority to determine theory as fact, nor does it make one an expert in the archaeological record, or even familiar with how plausibility is judged among experts in the field. In fact, a number of said books are obviously dated by now. New considerations and in some cases new evidence have determined some depictions and written statements as less likely, the communites of which, who are themselves really the ones on the bleeding edge, (as well as the academics themselves), have adapted to the new information and are eager to correct aged interpretations based upon new findings.

Here is a perfect example where said skepticism is necessary, and in particular, where depictions of Athena, head adorned with some really weird headgear, are liable to be fantastic depictions, which may not reflect the historical reality.

http://www.theoi.com/image/K8.2Athena.jpg Notice the wealth of obvious mythological qualities here. The helmet appears to be functional, and yet unfortunately, we have never unearthed one that looks exactly like this.  When it is fit beside an image of obvious mythological characters, how accurate can we say it is, really? How likely to be true? We wouldn't really know, and yet, if this was a common, 'realistic' battle scene depiction we could say it was likely with more confidence.  That it is a depiction of an interaction between two mythological figures does not help the argument. Believe me, if you would have this helmet commissioned as part of your Archaic hoplite kit, and when asked where it originated, only had an image of a goddess and gods to show for it, you would be looked at with great skepticism.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6b/f2/44/6bf2446362a8249ea29db9182668ca29.jpg Besides the mythical details here, note that the particular shaping of this strange Attic(?) helmet, with a very high, fore-shortened brow, (such that you could see her hair), is not anything coming close to what we've found archaeologically. Not to mention it's fore-shortened brow, exposing the front of the head entirely, and some of the top of the scalp, or the very oddly shaped, blocky little cheek guard, offers very little protection and in shape is also unlikely to really do its' job. The crest, at least, is a period depiction often reflected in archaic hoplite helmetry.  Should we shove this helmet into our perceptions of historical reality because it was depicted on a vase, worn by Athena?  Probably not, no.

http://www.theoi.com/image/K8.8Athena.jpg Here we have an extremely decadent, super ornate depiction of some manner of cuirass and again some version of an Attic helmet.  It appears to have appliques of bronze ears facing forward and antennae or rods of some sort curling back?  Historical reality?  Well, not only does very little of it reflect any other period source, but it is once again a depiction of the goddess Athena.  Grains of salt.

http://www.crestonhall.com/mythology/images/0300/604b.jpg Here's another one, where we have some variation of 'Attic' helmet which doesn't exist anywhere in any archaeological record; with a very high re-inforced brow, the Archaic crest again, and what is essentially an open face.

https://project3-ss.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/9/5/42953039/7078244_orig.jpg Another excellent example!  The hoplite depicted is played almost perfectly by the book, realism-wise. Nearly everything on him is a reflection of aspects that have long been verified and cross-examined and found in archaeology to boot. (Generally speaking, we know both cuirasses and TY corselets existed, his seems to be some amalgamation of both) And yet, on the very same image, we have two characters, females, likely mythological figures, again with the implausible fore-shortened Attic helmet with thick, reinforced brow which sits too high on the head, and it is on these figures that we see one enormous, elaborate attachment of some kind of griffon(?) with a tall, webbed, fish-like crest sitting atop of that. A reality?  Unlikely. There's plenty of reason as to why such things would be depicted on mythological figures and not typical hoplites.

The 'Attic' helmet itself, as a Greek convention typically adorned by their soldiery, is actually questioned within the re-enactment community, due to what precious little physical evidence there is for them in that region. We have a multitude of corinthians, chalkideans, phrygians, thracians, a huge wealth of piloi especially in the Hellenistic Era. We have a lot of variation of Attic helmet from Italy, from the Etruscans, Romans, Samnites especially, and so on.

But as of yet, from what I've heard, hard archaeological finds for the Greek Attic helmet have been mysteriously elusive. As such, our earlier preconceptions that find it to be given object which we knew for sure would exist on various Greek soldiery, has been replaced with skepticism.  Not following whim, but following the evidence, or lack thereof. Now that's another story, and something I want to get into with that community. Because I too had thought that Attican helmets were a given, that their dating and findings were surely numerous in the areas of Greece we'd expect them to be.  Apparently, they're not. The helmet certainly exists, and they've been found in some number elsewhere in the Mediterranean, but the record of finds within Greece don't match that for some reason, and yet, we have finds of just about every other type of helmet, often in considerable numbers.