Athenian Greek 448 BC - 275 AD

Warm. Ag 3 if any mercenaries are used, otherwise 1.
WW, Rv, H(S), H(G), O, V, RGo, Rd, BUA.
Nominal list scale: 1 element equals 128 men (1/2 normal)

C-in-C as hoplites - Irr Sp (O) @ 14 AP 1
Sub-general as hoplites - Irr Sp (O) @ 14 AP 0-2
Hippeis - Reg Cv (I) @ 6 AP 0-8
Hoplites - up to 2/3 allied, the rest Athenian, all as Irr Sp (O) @ 4 AP 24-80
Replace allied hoplites with mercenary hoplites - Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP 0-12
Lower class army followers - up to 1/4 Irr Hd (O) @ 1 AP, rest Irr Ps (I) @ 1 AP 0 or 1 per Sp
Pontic, Cretan or other archers - Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP 0-6
Slingers - Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP if mercenary, otherwise allied - Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP 0-10
Armed rowers - Irr Ax (I) @ 2 AP 24*-60
Thracian mercenaries - Irr Ax (S) @ 4 AP or Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP 0-10
Javelinmen, stone-throwers, gymnetes, hypaspists, etc - Irr Ps (I) @ 1 AP 0-1 per 2 Sp
Trieres - Reg Gal (O) @ 3 AP [marines or armed rowers] 0-6
Marines - up to 1/2 Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP, rest Irr Sp (O) @ 4 AP 0-1 per Gal
Greek allies - List: Later Hoplite Greek (Bk 2) up to 3 contingents

Only before 424 BC or from 366 BC to 359 BC:
Lowland Macedonian allies - List: Early Macedonian (Bk 1)

Only the Sicilian expedition from 415 BC to 413 BC:
Etruscans - Reg Bd (I) @ 5 AP or Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP 0-1
Other Italians - Reg Ax (0) @ 4 AP 0-4
Chalcidian-supplied mercenary allies -
- - - Ally-general - Reg Cv (O) @ 18 AP or Reg Sp (O) @ 15 AP 1**
- - - Campanian horse - Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP 0-1
- - - Campanian foot - up to half Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP, rest Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP 4**-6

Only before 403 BC:
Allied or mercenary peltasts - Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP 0-8
Upgrade allied peltasts given heavy armour to Reg Ax (S) @ 5 AP 0-4
Thracian mercenary horse - Irr LH (O) @ 5 AP 0-3
Metic hoplites - Irr Sp (O) @ 4 AP 0-24

Only before 365 BC:
Horse archers - Reg LH (F) @ 4 AP 0-2

Only after 404 BC:
Regrade generals as mercenaries - Reg Sp (O) @ 25 AP if C-in-C, @ 15 AP if ally-general (each ally-general replacing a sub-general) Any
Prodromoi - Reg LH (O) @ 5 AP 0-1

Only from 403 BC to 374 BC:
Replace hoplites with mercenary peltasts - all Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP 0-32

Only after 374 BC:
Bolt-shooters - Reg Art (O) @ 8 AP 0-2
Regrade marines Sp as Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP All

Only from 373 BC to 336 BC:
Replace hoplites with mercenary peltasts - Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP, or with Iphikratean hoplites - Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP Any

Only after 366 BC:
Upgrade Hippeis to Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP or Reg Kn (I) @ 10 AP All
Hamippoi - Reg Ps (I) @ 1 AP 0-1 per Hippeis
Upgrade Athenian hoplites as Epilektoi - Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP 0-8
Palisade for camp - TF @ 1 AP 0-24

Only after 336 BC:
Regrade Athenian hoplites other than Epilektoi as Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP All
Replace all other hoplites with mercenary Iphikratean hoplites - Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP 1/2 - all
Regrade mercenary Iphikratean hoplites if acting as Euzonoi - Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP Any
Aitolian allies - List: Hellenistic Greek (Bk 1)

This list covers Athenian armies from after the main Egyptian and Cypriot expeditions until the Ephebic training system lost all military relevance. Allied Greek contingents may be Thessalian, Theban, Argive, Euboean, or, if after 404 BC, Corinthian, Tyrant or Achaian. They do not however count as foreign. If any Greek allied contingents other than a single Tyrant's contingent are used, no Athenian general may be used other than the CinC. In addition to their normal troop allowance, Greek allied contingents may include troops from this list specified as allied. Army followers may not be used with Tyrant, Theban or Achaian allies, or by the Sicilian expedition. The minimum marked * applies only if any armed rowers are used. Cv or Kn that dismount to attack or defend fortifications do so as Sp (0). Allied contingents drawn from this list may include up to 4 elements of Cv or Kn; if they do not, they may replace all Ps (I) elements with an equivalent number of extra trieres. Thracian LH may not outnumber Thracian Ax. Tetreres may substitute for Trieres after 336 BC. This does not affect grading. The Sicilian expedition may not include LH (F) or Metics and must substitute native Sikels as Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP for all Thracians and no allies may be used except for Chalcidian-supplied mercenaries. The minima marked ** apply only if any Chalcidian-supplied mercenary allies are used. A Chalcidian-supplied mercenary ally-general may also command Sikels. Unless deployed behind PF, each element of Art is replaced by two elements of Irr Hd (O) labourers and army followers. Hamippoi may support Hippeis. Metic hoplites may not be used with any mercenaries. Prodromoi and horse archers may not be used together.


List dates: I have shifted the starting date to the end of the great overseas adventures of the 450s so that the list does not start midway through the Cypriot campaign.

Aggression: I have tied aggresion to the use of mercenaries (and therefore a pre-planned campaign) rather than the lack of allies or not; while overseas campaigns often included allied contingents and home ones often didn't, the latter invariably had no significant mercenary presence.

Terrain: Attica was not noted for its vineyards, hence lack of compulsory V, but was densly populated with the major battles such Marathon and Delium being fought by routes near towns, hence the compulsory Rd.

List scale: Athenian armies were not all that large when unaccompanied by allied contingents. The largest recorded as actually taking the field (not counting army followers) was at Tanagra, just before the start of this list, of 14000 soldiers (including 1000 Argives, Thucydides 1.108). To fight battles at true scale, all list minima and maxima must therefore be halved. It should be note that after 320 BC, Athens had even more limited military resources, and a limit of 4 elements of Hippeis would not be inappropriate, and similarly for most other troop types.

Generals: Despite the official (Early) list's claims about disloyalty, battlefield desertions only occurred in one battle from before the start of this list (Thessalians deserting from the Athenians). Subordinates were often divided on policy, as their irregular status simulates, but never treacherous on the field. After the end of the Peloponnesian war, generals were often professional "mercenaries" (though still Athenian citizens rather than foreigners), although these managed to cooperate with each other no more successfully than their amateur counterparts, and so are classified as regular allies (so they can desert only in a civil war).

Hippeis: Athens could field up to 1000 cavalry, plus horse archers, although 600 was a more typical number. Not all armies included horse, although they frequently did so, even when serving as allied contingents, hence the inclusion of Cv/Kn in allied contingents drawn from this list. Cavalrymen had shields for use when they were expected to serve dismounted. It seems that ca. 360 BC each cavalry unit included a mixture of men armed with either javelins or spears, which is probably best simulated by Cv rather than Kn, but it is unknown how long this practice persisted.

Hoplites: Mercenaries were sometimes recruited, especially from the north Peloponnese, although these were never a great proportion of the army's hoplites. The Sicilian expedition for instance originally had less than 250 out of a total of 5100 hoplites.

Army followers: The mass of the Athenian population served normally only in the fleet, but in home campaigns (though they are also recorded being used in the Lamian war) could be brought along as ill-armed light troops, mostly used as labourers - eg. at Delium, where they numbered well over 10000. Their limited military value, lack of adequate weapons and great numbers inspires the option for some to be classed as hordes rather than psiloi.

Archers: The maximum number of archers employed at one time was 800 (Thucydides 4.32) although the state was said to posses twice this (the bulk no doubt usually serving with the fleet). Athenian archers from home as opposed to mercenaries were, if not regular marines, likely Skythian slaves as before, and thus still justifying regular status.

Slingers: Slingers could be used in considerable numbers although not a weapon much used by the Athenians themselves seemingly. 700 Rhodian mercenaries served the initial Sicilian expedition, and these were later joined by yet more recruited from the Arkarnanians.

Armed Rowers: The top two banks of rowers were sometimes issued weapons for service on land. Classification as Ps (I), as in the official list, doesn't seem appropriate, since they are described as peltasts (Xenophon's Hellenica 1.2.1), albeit only 'equipped as best could be' by Thucydides. They were also used in huge numbers (typically many thousands) which would preclude active skirmishing. Clearly not much was expected of them in a fight (eg. Thucydides contrasts Athenian rowers with Homeric rowers who were also soldiers), so Hd (F) is inappropriate because by definition Hd (F) must be enthusiatic for the fight. Hd (O) is a possibilty, but their deployment as Pylos indicates they had at least some capabilities as light troops and Hd (O) are not the sort to be split into small 200 man detachments), and Ax (I) seems the best classifcation.

Thracians: The largest number recorded is 1300 infantry. The current list's extended date until after the end of the Peloponnesian war should apply only to Spartans, not Athenians. After the Peloponnesian war, Athenian influence in Thrace was weak (although they tried hard to restablish it), and Thracians were not a feature of later Athenian armies. Both peltasts and horsemen were reportedly promised by Sitalkes, although if it is unclear if they were ever used. The current list's ratio is based on a force of 200 horsemen to 300 foot in Spartan service - a proportion that would drop at higher numbers. In the Lamian war, a few Illyrians were used - these can be included amongst the Thracians. Although a Thracian allied contingent was promised by Sitalkes (Thucydides 2.29) in 431 BC, seemingly nothing came of the offer.

Javelinmen, etc.: Light troops accompanied most Athenian expeditions (although not all), but were on the whole poorly armed - indeed Thucydides claims Athens had no proper light troops of her own in his time. Such stone thowers, javelinmen and the like he records were probably provide by the hoplites' servants.

Trieres: The vast majority of ships serving the Athenians were trieres; a few allies provided penteconters, but these were an insignificant number, and some tetreres are recorded in the last quarter of the 4th century, but these are graded the same as trieres. Horse transports were used to carry cavalry, but were also a distinct minority. Marines were sometimes provided by the bottom rowers (who could receive extra pay) serving as hoplites (Thucydides, 6.43), but often the number of fighting men per ship was very small. Recorded numbers range from 14 per ship to 100 - though these high figures look like ships serving more in a troop transport capacity than as part of a naval battle-fleet. Accordingly any proportion of ships' landing crews can be armed rowers rather than marines. Light infantry, especially archers, could make up a proportion of the marines. Occasionally, an Athenian allied contingent could be entirely water-borne, hence the option to replace followers with extra trieres elements.

Greek allies. As a powerful city, Athens headed many coalitions, although was occasionally a junior partner too - as at Chaironeia allied with the Thebans, who took the right wing position. Frequently Athenian dominance was so complete that the inclusion of allied generals isn't warrented. For larger armies however, other major city-sates had to be asked to contribute troops, and thus are accorded independent allied status.

Cypriot allies: Kimon led an expedition of 200 ships to Cyprus, winning over various Cypriot cities (Plutarch, Cimon 18.5), but when Kimon died, the expedition withdrew; this list starts after this fleey withdrew. Cypriot allies in the 4th century are best classified as Greek Tyrant armies rather than using the current Cypriot list which is clearly based on practices from the 490s and before.

Macedonian allies: Large Macedonian contingents accompanied Athenian armies in 432-1 BC (eg. Thucydides 1.61) and were possible at any time until the Athenian loss of Amphipolis in 424 BC; Athenian involvement against Philip II in 359 BC might also be best simulated as by Macedonian allies in an Athenian army rather than vice versa (though I leave the option open) since Diodoros records (16.2.6) 3000 Athenian hoplites (of which some may have been mercenaries, 16.3.5) and a considerable navy being employed; likewise Atheinena aid to Ptolemy in the previous decade might be simulated this way.

Peltasts: The increasing use of peltasts over time was rather at the expense of citizen hoplites rather than in addition to them, hence they later replace hoplites rather than supplement them. Their numbers could be considerable, and some smaller forces after the end of the Peloponnesian war seem to have been almost entirely without hoplites. The argument for classifying 4th century (Greek) peltasts as auxilia is very weak, relying as it does on accounts of then successfully withstanding Persian cavalry rather than any account of them fighting hand to hand with foot. Accordingly, they retain their Ps classification (instances of them exhibiting classical Ps behaviour, most notably at Lechaeum in 390 BC are not hard to find).

Peltasts with heavy armour: A force of 500 Argives were given heavy armour while serving in the expedition to Samos in 411 BC (Thucydides 8.25). A few similar men were also used in the Sicilian expedition (Thucydides, 6.100). I assume that their description as light troops implies that they did not fight as hoplites, hence the grading of Ax rather than Sp.

Horse archers: The 30 sent to Sicily is insufficient to count as a single element.

Iphikratean reforms: The current list date, 379 BC is wrong, since Iphikrates is noted as carrying out his reforms after he arrived back in Greece having served in Persia (374/3 BC). This dates also means that theories about such reformed troops being created for Persian armies are untenable. When Iphikrates returned to Greece, his first appointment was in the navy. It is noteworthy that both sources (Nepos, Diodoros) for his reforms affirm that it was hoplites, not peltasts, who were requipped. Since the one place were hoplites regularly served in Greek forces were their heavy shields were a handicap is on shipboard, it seems likely that it was the Athenian marines who were so reformed. This also fits in with the abandoning of greaves (since ships have bulwarks to protect the lower legs, making greaves superfluous), and the longer spears introduced have obvious advantages in ship to ship fighting (as every educated classical Greek person knew - having been used in Homer for just such a purpose). As such troops still carry useful shields (their peltas), a classification as Ax (X) is not very appropriate: Sp (I) seems to fit the bill best. I assume that Iphikrates' peltasts were soon re-equipped in a similar manner, and that this fashion then spread to all Greek armies - which would explain why Alexander's mercearies are never used as skirmishers. Hoplites need not be replaced by mercenaries to cover Chaironeia campaign - the Athenian mercenaries had been formed into a separate army.

Italians: 3 Penteconter's worth of Etruscans and several hundred Italian javelinmen from Iapygia and Metapontum fought in Sicily with the Athenians. As the Etruscans fought very well despite their small numbers, an option to class them as Bd (armed with Pila) seems justifiable. According to Diodoros, Chalcis hired 800 Campanians to support the Athenians in Sicily. They apparently did not join the Athenians before their destruction despite having left Egesta. They were mostly unmounted as the Carthaginian later bought mounts for them, when using them in conjunction with 5000 Libyan mercenaries. I have made them an allied contingent to simulate the possibility of them not showing up when flank marching.

Prodromoi: It seems that these were very few in number, perhaps only 50 or so strong, and so only warrent a single element, even at half normal scale. Their precsie date of introduction is unknown. No provision is made for 'Readers of Xenophon'. There is no evidence anybody ever took up his recommendations for horse armour at Athens.

Epilektoi: Athens formed its own body of Epilektoi, specially picked and trained hoplites, sometime before 350 BC. As these were organised on a tribal basis, I feel it is safer to classify them as (O) rather than (S) - they performed credibly in the accounts we have of them in action, but I feel if they warrented an (S) classification, much more information would have been preserved about them than has been. They can hardly have numbered more than 1000 strong, if that.

Palisades: The increasing professionalism of Athens' armies by the mid-4th century BC is perhaps most evidenced by their use of proper camp defences.

Ephebes and Regular status: After the defeat of the Greeks at Chaironeia, Athens introduced a compulsory military training programme. I have shifted the date to 336 BC, since the programme took two years to complete. I have also downgraded the hoplites thus produced as Reg Sp (I) rather than (O). There are several resons for this. Citizen morale was poor after this time, since Athens was no longer a world power, and it was also usually a much narrower democracy than before, so that civic patriotism was wearing rather thin. As a consequence, mercenaries were now Athen's normal instrument of land power, along with the Epilektoi. Those citizens that still clung to democratic ideals were also the most rash. As the option to classify hoplites as Irr Sp (O) remains for allies, such types may still be included as Irr Sp (O). Grading Athenian citizens as Reg Sp (O) at this date would make them unrealistically competent - and it would be odd to have picked elite graded no better than the mass of the citizen levy. The ephebic system had only a limited utility, since after the Lamian war, the enfranchised citizen body to which it applied was much smaller than before (a mere 9000 men), and the system was abandoned around the start of the 3rd century BC, after which time the number of members dwindled away. In any case, even in the 320s BC it would have only produced about 500 men a year.

Aitolians allies joined the Athenians in the Lamian war with a force of 7000 men. As the Aitolians are first recorded as using horsemen in the war, their Hellenistic list will be a better model than their current Later Greek Hoplite list.

Bolt-shooters. Marsden's work on Greek artillery contains quite a lot of information about Athenian artillery - bolt-shoters being in use by 370 BC at the latest, and training in their use was a feature of the ephebic system post Chaironeia. Stonethrowers are not however recorded until the 3rd century BC. There is no record of Athenian artillery ever being used in the field; accordingly it may only be used from PF.

The minima for this list come to much less than 200 AP. This is because many Athenian armies were quite small, and they could actually vary in composition quite wildly. An Athenian list that says there must be at least 36 elements of hoplites, especially when each element is 250-odd men, is simply not accurate - the huge majority of Athenian armies were far smaller than this. This at first glance looks like it should lead to rather too much flexibility in troop choice, but this is more apparent than real. A standard 400 AP competition army drawn from this list will have to include a substantial number of hoplites simply to make 400 AP.

This page last modified 18/8/2002.

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