Heavy Infantry With a Vengeance: the Greek Phalanx
Each member of the Greek phalanx brought his own weapons and armor, an expensive and weighty proposition made largely of rust-free and easy-to-cast bronze—a quarter-inch-thick breastplate and helmet (thirty and twenty pounds respectively), greaves to protect the lower leg (three pounds apiece), a round wooden shield three feet in diameter (twenty pounds), an eight-foot thrusting spear, and a short secondary sword—a total of about seventy-five pounds, far more burdensome than the Sumerian equivalent. This was heavy infantry with a vengeance, so heavy that the most common cause of death in battle was getting knocked down and trampled. The very weight and imperviousness of this armor conditioned the whole nature of Greek phalanx warfare, slowing it down to a crawl and insuring that victory would come not through tricky maneuvers but sheer stubborn pushing.
— Robert L. O’Connell, Soul of the Sword, p. 36
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