Full Version: Concerning the spartans
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Hi all,

I'm writing a fantasy novel (in swedish) placed in a setting of ancient greece. Obviously it's fiction, but I want to get the setting right. In my story the world has been conquered by a people with close resemblance to the spartans. Things that have me confused are the following;

1.) The spartans trained in dancing and singing - they probably sang when marching (?) and when entering a battlefield - but did they keep on singing once they were in the actual fight? Are there any records or hints of what they sang about or how the songs were organized (different songs for different formations or marching speed etc)?

2.) Ranks; I've found the following spartan military ranks; 

king (one of two)
polemarch (mora)
lochagos (lockos)
pentekonter (pentekostys)
enomotarch (enomotia)

Are there any more?

On the "phalanx" Wikipedia states; 
"The basic combat element of the Greek armies was either the stichos (meaning "file"; usually 8-16 men strong) or the enomotia (meaning "sworn" and made up by 2-4 stichœ; totaling up to 32 men), both led by a dimœrites who was assisted by a decadarchos and two decasterœ(sing. decanters)." 

Are these for a greek or a Macedonian phalanx? 
Wikipedia states "both", does that mean that a "dimoerites" led both the file and the enomotia? How does that add upp? How do I place these  three new ranks in the above mentioned list?

I thought I saw Bardunias in here and I already sent him another question, maybe it will pop up here in one way or another, but I'll start with these. Grateful, sincere and confused greekonoob writing out of Stockholm.
That first one is a very good question. We love Greek art, sculpture, architecture and writing, but if you could ask a Classical Greek what was their greatest art, the answer would have been unanimous: Choral singing. Yet we have no idea what it sounded like. The "Paion" is of course famous, but once again we don't know what it sounded like. If we could somehow revive anything from Classical life, I would choose Greek choral singing.
Thanks, will look into that.

About the ranks.. As I understand it every unit, whatever their size can be broken down into files, and every file has a file leader and a rear leader. Depending on the length of the file there would probably be someone in the middle with a rank above the average grunt. I've also read that the rear guard (the ouragos) was the second in command to the file leader. But how did that work out in reality? If the enomotarch died in battle - how would he be replaced? If the guy who was second in command was placed at the end of the file - how could he possible replace the guy at the far front of his file? The logical choice in my (noob) opinion would be for the guy next to the leader to take his place, and then the guy behind him would take his place. The front rank was were you wanted the most experienced soldiers (?), and the second in command should be able to see what the enomotarch sees, so he should have the second file??