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Single Combat during the Trojan War
#1
I would open this up with the "BOLD" statement of Hector running around Troy attempting to wear out Achilles to fight on more favorable terms; NOT in fear as told by Homer (a Greek). The armies of Asia Minor (for example: The Persians) were trained to run long distance for faster travel and fighting in Desert Conditions classified as light infantry. Where as The Greeks favored a heavier infantry with better armor and strength. The later fight at Thermopylae was an obvious example of the two styles interacting in battle and the Greeks proved man to man they were the better warriors. At least in so far as the end results. Terrain was obviously a factor and the naval operations were also in the Greeks favor. Even still there are two different schools of Fighter both with valid points in their respective culture,regions and styles.
I have drawn my line and wait for the attack to commence! :lol:
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#2
Incoming....... :mrgreen:

Right....simple argument, wit hno bias whatsoever...honest

Greeks... brave, trained to run in heavy armour...Trojans...sneaky wife thieves, running scared.......

OK, really though, was there that much difference between the Trojans and the Greeks in terms of equipment in this period?
Troy was a city within the sphere of Greek(mycenaean/minoan or whatever precise culture was prevalent)was it not?
Or was there that big a gulf between them?
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
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Byron Angel
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#3
:lol: The thieving according to Herodotus was done by many cultures including the Greeks. The Greeks however were the first to start a war over it. Still it is a good reason for a mano y mano confrontation. :roll: No need to destroy an empire. :wink:
Thanks for the Compliment! Smile

There are many that think the Trojans were a Kingdom more like the Hittites as they were long time allies. The Kit probably would be very similar (Spears,Shields,Armor,etc.) but with different cultural influences. Unfortunately I haven't found much in the way of period arms and armor except for "possibly or maybe" this is Trojan or Greek. The exact date of the War is still contested so for now I am waiting for more evidence. The Figure 8 shield is still an argument from what I have read but think it existed as a wicker frame covered with oxhide like most early shields up to the African Zulu warriors. Light and agile enough for extended use in single combat.
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#4
Though Champion Contest was an acceptable way of settling dispute in the Bronze Age among many cultures Homer is describing basically his time.

A heavily armed aristokrat like him:
http://soldiers-russia.com/new_soldiers ... b223_r.jpg (Helmet from Taranto, armor from Olympia)
cast two javelines and charged with sword and his kinsmen:http://soldiers-russia.com/new_soldiers/antique_greece/pb222_r.jpg
followed in similar fashion

Poorly armed and trained peasands were simply "bladefodder"
http://soldiers-russia.com/grenada/g303_1_f.jpg (they would be lucky to be armed like this one!)

Only similar warrior type could stop jeavily armed aristokrats. http://soldiers-russia.com/grenada/g290.jpg

Hardly surprising that you had champion contests

Kind regards
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#5
In one documentary (forget the name)the notion of the "Dendra Panoply" was among the armors used during the Trojan Wars. Though because of the questionable time frame I have doubts. The armor was found in Mycenae but the date escapes me. I know of one man here on RAT that has a reconstruction of the Panoply and would like to ask him his thoughts. My main question is "Was the Dendra Panoply in use during the time of Agamemnon; as Mycenae was his city?" If so that is a direct link but again I am not sure of the dates so withhold my judgement.
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#6
Dendra panoply is 300 year earlier than "accepted" dates of the Trojan war.
But lots of info on bronze age armor here:
http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/armour1.htm

I still though believe that Homer describes the combat of his time mostly

Kind regards
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#7
Wow! That is the most comprehensive site I have seen so far on the Bronze Age! So many examples! Thank You. Big Grin
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#8
Hi Craig,

Could you explain where you're getting your ideas about the Persians fighting as light infantry and relying on skirmishing and fast marches?

The Iranian troops in Xerxes' army were heavy infantry who fought with spear and bow. They advanced in dense formations, showered the enemy with arrows (while standing stoically under the fire of enemy archers) then charged when they ran out of arrows or thought they had an advantage. Units of Medes and Persians were often less effective than Greeks in hand to hand combat for a variety of reasons, some of which we can guess at. Eighteenth century European infantry give some interesting parallels. There isn't a lot of evidence of Persians using any kind of Zulu-style encircling tactics or long-distance running. Unfortunately, some writers today tend to make things up about Persian armies to fit their ideas about Westerners and Easterners.

I have been told that there exist Late Bronze Age Hittite texts describing infantry drill in formation. I tend to follow the school that Homer is describing a glamorized version of warfare in or just before his own day.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#9
Individual or 'champion' combat is found throughout history, the art of 'dueling' appears in many cultures and time periods and is also found in the Bible (David and Goliath for example) I have to agree with the experts who feel that Homer was referring to weapons and tactics of his own time, just as the vase painters tended to paint the ancient heroes in panoply contemporary to the time of the artist. The website dedicated to Bronze age Greece recommended by hoplite14gr is an excellent source of info. I realize there is no connection, but does anyone else find the similarity between the Dendra panoply and the later Roman lorica segmentata interesting?

Dithyrambus
_____________________________________________________
Mark Hayes

"The men who once dwelled beneath the crags of Mt Helicon, the broad land of Thespiae now boasts of their courage"
Philiades

"So now I meet my doom. Let me at least sell my life dearly and have a not inglorius end, after some feat of arms that shall come to the ears of generations still unborn"
Hektor, the Iliad
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#10
Homer describes so well a boar tusk that might have seen it for real (consecrated in a temple perhaps).
The item was at least 400 years earlier than Homers time.

Variant of "Naue" type swords appear in Arcahic pottery

How many smiths might have been impressed with "weapons of the old" appearing in temples?

I do not find "reappearance" of "old" techniques surprising.

Kind regards
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#11
Quote: I realize there is no connection, but does anyone else find the similarity between the Dendra panoply and the later Roman lorica segmentata interesting?
There isn't any similarity except that they both had exaggerated shoulder pauldrons. The Dendra Panoply consisted of a solid cuirass reaching down to the midriff and three segmented plates covering the groin and thighs. Roman segmented armour consisted of segmented plates reaching to the midriff and nothing protecting the groin and thighs. Even the type of segmentation was completely different, both in the width of the plates and the method of attachment.

I agree that the Dendra Panoply has no place in the discussion of Homeric warfare. Look at the artefacts found at the Thebes arsenal for a better example of Homeric armour. The Dendra Panoply dates to an earlier period when the Mycenaean elite were chariot archers just like all of their contemporaries. The most thorough argument for this was presented by Drews in "End of the Bronze Age".

I'm more inclined to think that Homer IS describing weapons, armour, and tactics that actually occurred at the end of the Bronze Age. The old argument that Homer was writing 300 years later no longer holds water. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that the current chronology is wrong. Various experts suggest that between 100 and 250 years should be removed from the so called "Dark Ages". Homer could have been writing as little as 2 or 3 generations after the events in question. There have been five publications just this year alone supporting this.
http://www.centuries.co.uk/news.htm

The most relevent one is this
Nikos Kokkinos, "Ancient Chronography, Eratosthenes and the Dating of the Fall of Troy", in Ancient West and East 8 (2009), pp. 37-56. It proposes that the Trojan War should be dated to c. 940 BC, not c. 1200 BC.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#12
Quote:Hi Craig,

Could you explain where you're getting your ideas about the Persians fighting as light infantry and relying on skirmishing and fast marches?

The Persians-Emergence of Man by Time -Life; attributes the training sources in order
1.Xenophon-From the age of 5 or 6 until 15, a boy trains in riding, shooting arrows, and fighting on foot and from horseback.

2.Strabo-They were taught in groups of 50 with those of noble-birth appointed as officers and competitions among them consisted of cross-country foot races. Also training to endure high extremes of temperature( I assume heat and cold because of the desert ) and scavenging for their provisions.

If these are wrong I understand as these are older books and not the most popular. As time progresses the quality of soldiers is said in the same book to have lapsed because of the many forces comprising the Persian army.

I wrote light troops in comparison to the Heavier Greek Hoplite and surmised the standard Persian was not as well armored as the Greek especially Spartans at Thermopylae. The Persians no doubt had a version of heavy infantry but was probably vastly outnumbered by the common soldier.
I would love to know more of Persian Forces and am currently reading Herodotus. When I get to Xenophon I will undoubtedly learn more.
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#13
Hello Dan,

I was simply refering to the use of overlapping metallic bands in armor, I realize that the two types of armor are worlds and centuries apart. By the way, the recreation of the Dendra panoply in your photo is outstanding! I followed the link you recommended and I bookmarked the sight, very interesting and I will make it a point to study this more closely.

Thanks,

Dithyrambus
_____________________________________________________
Mark Hayes

"The men who once dwelled beneath the crags of Mt Helicon, the broad land of Thespiae now boasts of their courage"
Philiades

"So now I meet my doom. Let me at least sell my life dearly and have a not inglorius end, after some feat of arms that shall come to the ears of generations still unborn"
Hektor, the Iliad
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#14
What Dan said. And I'm a slightly bigger frothing chronology revisionist than he is!

Whatever the date, Classical Greek and Persian equipment, training, and tactics are completely irrelevant to the Trojan War era, so probably best to split that topic off entirely!

In any case, sure, single combat was standard procedure in the Late Bronze Age, as it was well into the Roman era in much of Europe. It's very hard to make any solid conclusions about Achaean or Trojan equipment, partly through lack of archeological evidence, and partly because of the screwed-up dates. But I think it's safe to say that plate cuirasses and scale armor were well known, at least, and a variety of helmets. It does seem pretty clear that the boar tusk helmet and figure-8 shields were out of date, though. Most shields were probably round, though Geometric artwork often shows the "Dipylon" shield (round with large round "bites" cut out of each side), clearly descended from a similar Hittite style.

For the rest of the original post, I'm not quite sure what you're looking for? If you just want to argue about the "actual" details of a specific event in Homer, there may not be much point. Either you're taking it as history and disagreeing with the guy who was as close to that event as we're gonna get, or it's fiction and you're arguing with the author of the story! In any case, the training, equipment, and capabilities had to be at least in the same ballpark, even if there were regional differences in fashion and flavor. But there's really no way to pin down much in the way of solid details.

Khairete,

Matthew

PS: http://www.larp.com/hoplite/bronze.html
http://s8.invisionfree.com/Bronze_Age_Center/index.php ?
Matthew Amt (Quintus)
Legio XX, USA
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.larp.com/legioxx/">http://www.larp.com/legioxx/
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#15
The similarities are interesting; but as said unrelated. There are so many ways to render armor that likenesses often show up in completely different cultures and periods. Take the Medieval quilted Gambeson and the Aztec equivalent. Not the same by far but similar.
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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