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Phalanx warfare: Closing of the ranks
(09-12-2016, 07:05 PM)Paul Bardunias Wrote:
(09-12-2016, 06:17 PM)Bryan Wrote: FYI, for those reading, the femoral artery is on the inside of the femur bone. To severe it with a sword thrust or cut is very hard, especially if the opponent is leading with the left leg and the sword held in the right hand. A better target would be the Popliteal Artery, located at the back of the knee area, which can be severed with a draw cut or wrap cut, which will not only sever the artery but also the tendons, hamstringing the opponent, incapacitating them while also delivering a likely mortal wound. 

But this isn't as easy as it sounds. As seen by this image, the size of the aspis and the area it is held (upper rim resting on shoulder) means that to maneuver the sword under the aspis for a an attack against an enemy would be difficult to execute at best. Not only that, but in close quarters, with rear pressure, there will not be much room between the hoplite's aspis and body, so one can not simply change guards, low to high, or vice versa. The high guard, with the blade held on the upper portion of the shield, is the safer position. Lastly, the enemy's leg is also largely protected by their own aspis, or else the high Greek greeves, which wrapped around the contours of the leg slightly giving more protection against a cut to the side of the hamstring.

Understanding ancient warfare means understanding the limitations of weaponry and how best to use them.

I don't believe hoplites could strike below the shield when in formation.  This is why we so commonly see strikes that are either above the shield or would be above the shield even when the hoplite does not have one.  This strike is so commonly seen, it has been called the "Harmodios blow" and whole papers have been written on it.  The khopis is chopper that like the kukri knife can be snapped down at the wrist to provide a powerful blow with little gross arm movement, while the overhand strike with a xiphos, stabbing down beside the neck can also be seen.  I posted about this on my blog.
I agree. 

I think that JaM is re-imaging how he would construct a hypothetical hoplite force, based on his own biases, instead of accepting it for what it was, based on actual evidence.

Messages In This Thread
RE: Phalanx warfare: Closing of the ranks - by Bryan - 09-12-2016, 07:30 PM

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