Blade Robin Locksley - Stainess Steel Sword of Robin Hood with Ornamented Hilt
(A Bit of History According to Strongblade)
You know your civilization is tough when it's very name comes to mean "warlike".
The Spartans were renowned for their ferocity and for their military strength and skill. Of the Greek city-states, the Spartans were one of the few who actually had a standing army with professional soldiers. Most of the other city-states had sitting armies who would rarely stand at all. Okay, just jokes. Other Greek city states had armies composed of citizen soldiers who would arm and equip themselves at times of war, but no real standing professional army. The Spartans had a strict military philosophy that made them strive to be as strong and disciplined as possible and to do away with all other distractions (In addition to "warlike" the name Spartan has come to mean simple and sparse).
Ancient artwork on vases, urns and the like depict Greek warriors fighting nude or with very little armor. This is a stylized version of warfare -- a dreamy artistic interpretation of fighting, man versus man in the simplest, most pure sense of the term. Frank Miller, in his graphic novel 300, took his cue from these types of artistic renderings, giving his Spartan soldiers a jock strap, a shield, a helmet and little else. This certainly looks impressive (particularly when your actors work out obsessively for 6 months before shooting) but is not exactly how Greeks fought. The hoplite, a standard unit in Greek militaries, was a heavily armored soldier, with a steel or bronze cuirass (breastplate for you who don't speak Spartanese), heavy greaves on their legs, vambraces on their arms, helmets and mud flaps with silhouettes of naked women on them (okay, no mud flaps). Thus armored, the hoplites were: A. Well protected from just about any type of attack, B. Heavier, thus allowing them to push their opponents backward when meeting shield-to-shield and C. No fun in swimming competitions.
Greeks fought as a unit known as a phalanx. They grouped themselves together tightly, using their shields to cover themselves and part of the soldier to their left. In this way, every shield covered half of two people. Their own shield covered their left and their neighbor's shield covered their right, so that every soldier was fully covered from the knees to the shoulders. Their heads were protected by a large helmet and their legs by sturdy iron or brass greaves (usually sculpted to look like legs). In their right hands, they carried a long spear with a rounded leaf-blade. The spear typically had an iron or brass spiked butt which helped to balance it and could also be used to stab with if the spearhead broke. On their waist, Greeks carried a short leaf-bladed sword. This was used when the fighting got very close or their spears were mangled beyond use.
Inspired by Model SBA-GREEKSWORD