ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Greek Vs Persian Military

Updated on September 24, 2016
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

When the Persian and Greek armies clashed for the very first time, the strengths of each side pushed the enemy forward while the weaknesses pulled them back. Each individual strength and weakness would become very important in determining the outcome of each battle.

Strength of the Persian Army

The strength of the Persian army could be found in their training ability to use various forms of combat. The Persian army was a better trained and disciplined army compared to the Greeks. These were professional soldiers. They knew how to fight, and they knew how to win. In their training, many of the soldiers learned how to ride horses and became experienced cavalry riders. As not many others cultures were doing this at that time, the advantage is perfectly clear.

Archers were also trained along with many other troops into hand-to-hand combat. This gave the Persians the advantage of “versatility” with the various war units. Take all of this and add to the fact that the Persian army had many years of experience expanding a very impressive empire that had conquered Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, and many other cultures and the scales tip in Persia’s favor. Greece was coming out of the Dark Ages and just developing into an empire that would be talked about for centuries. It would be like a high school baseball player going up against a major league all-star player.

Source

Weaknesses

As with anything, weaknesses can also be found even in a major league veteran. The Persians did not have heavy and protective armor. Instead, they wore thick clothing to protect themselves. This was not very effective against spears and swords. Another weakness could be found in the actual weapons that they used. Their spears were much shorter compared to the Greeks’. This put them at a disadvantage when it came to hand-to-hand combat with the Greeks’ longer spears. Weakness also showed up in the leadership of the Persian army. The soldiers could be trained, but leadership could sometimes be lax. Though there were huge strengths, it only takes a small vital weakness to bring a nation down.

The Greeks

The Greeks, who were fighting for their freedom, were not as well trained as compared to the Persians. Of all the Greek armies, only the Spartans had extensive training. This gave the Persians an advantage. The leadership of the Greek army was also not very clear. The style of government from Athens actually put the leadership under the strategoi back in Greece and not on the front lines. With the lack of disciplined training, it could be said that the Greek army was unruly and was not as prepared for battle as they should have been.

What the Greeks Did Have in Their Favor

On the other hand, the Greeks had a few things up their sleeves that helped them defeat the Persians. Unlike the Persians, the Greeks wore heavy armor. Despite the weight, it allowed the experienced soldier to move about freely in the midst of the fighting. In addition to this, the spears of the Greek soldiers were much longer. Therefore, death could be met a lot quicker at the end of the Greek spear than that of the much shorter Persian spear or sword. Another advantage that the Greeks had was the phalanx. It was this form of fighting that gave the Greeks a tactical advantage. The development of this style of fighting gave the Greeks a psychological piece of warfare.

Through the phalanx, soldiers and their full armor and shields would pull together into tight units and advanced onto the enemy. Though there could be only a hundred soldiers, enemy saw them a much larger force in the tight, compact formation of the phalanx. It was intimidating and hard to kill. Add to that the hoplon and the phalanx ran over the enemy. This shield was developed specifically for use in the phalanx and created the image of one massive force driving forward instead of many individual men.


In many ways, the Persians and the Greeks were equal when weighing their weaknesses versus their strengths. Yet, in the end, strategy and luck was what helped in each and every battle within the Persian and Greek wars.

Sources:

- Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Andrea L. Purvis (New York: Pantheon, 2007).

- Sarah B. Pomeroy et al., Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      MahirKhalifazadeh 

      22 months ago

      Very informative and interesting!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)