Mercenary Greek 401 BC - 298 BC

Bactrian revolters: Dry. Ag. 2. WW, Rv, H(S), H(G), O, RGo, Rd, BUA.
Others: Warm. Ag 4. WW, Rv, H(S), H(G), O, V, RGo, Rd, BUA.
Nominal list scale: 1 element equals 128 men (half normal scale) unless Philon's Bactrian revolt in 323 BC, when 1 element equals 256 men (normal scale)

C-in-C - Reg Sp (O) @ 25 AP 1
Ally-general - Reg Sp (O) @ 15 AP 1-3
Peltasts - Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP 32-96
Cretan archers - Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP or Reg Bw (I) @ 4 AP
Slingers - Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP 0-2
Thracian peltasts - Irr Ax (S) @ 4 AP or Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP 0-8
Javelinmen, stone-throwers, gymnetes, hypaspists, etc - Irr Ps (I) @ 1 AP 0-1 per 4 Sp

Only Xenophon in 400 BC:
Rebel Mossynoeki allies:
- - - Ally-general - Irr Ax (S) @ 9 AP 1*
- - - Mossynoeki warriors - Irr Ax (S) @ 4 AP 3*-7
- - - Dugout Canoes - Irr Bts (I) @ 1 AP [Mossynoeki Ax] 0 or 1 per Mossynoeki Ax

Only before 373 BC:
Replace hoplites with improvised cavalry - Reg Cv (I) @ 6 AP 0-1
Replace peltasts with hoplites - Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP 1/2 to 7/8

Only from 373 BC to 338 BC:
Replace peltasts with hoplites - Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP 1/4 to 1/2
Replace remaining peltasts with Iphikratean peltasts - Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP Any

Only after 338 BC:
Upgrade generals on horseback - Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP or Reg Kn (I) @ 30 AP if CinC, Reg Cv (O) @ 18 AP or Reg Kn (I) @ 20 AP if ally-general Any
Replace peltasts with hoplites - Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP 0-1/3
Replace remaining peltasts with Iphikratean peltasts - Reg Sp (I) @ 24 AP if CinC, 14 AP if ally-general, otherwise 4 AP All
Regrade Iphikratean peltasts if acting as Euzonoi - Reg Ax (O) @ 24 AP if CinC, @ 14 AP if ally-general, otherwise @ 4 AP Any
Camp defences - TF @ 1 AP 0-24

Only Bactrian revolters from 325 BC to 323 BC:
Cavalry - Reg Cv (I) @ 6 AP or Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP or Reg Kn (I) @ 10 AP 4-10
Replace cavalry with local horsemen - Irr LH (O) @ 5 AP or Irr LH (F) @ 4 AP or Irr Cv (0) @ 7 AP 0-1/2
Replace hoplites with local troops - up to 1/4 Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP, rest Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP or Irr Bw (I) @ 3 AP Any

Only after 323 BC:
Trieres or Tetreres - Reg Gal (O) @ 3 AP [any Reg infantry] 0-4

Only Thibron from 322 to 321 BC:
Extra Cretans - Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP or Reg Ps (S) @ 3 AP 0-8
Kyrenaikan allies - List: Kyrenean (Bk 1) up to 2 contingents

Only Aristodemos from 315 BC to 314 BC:
Aitolian allies - List: Hellenistic Greek (Bk 2)

Only Kleonymos from 303 BC to 298 BC:
Light boats - Irr Bts (I) @ 1 AP [any Reg infantry] 0-4
Replace peltasts with Italians - up to half Reg Ax (S) @ 5 AP, rest Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP 0-1/2

This list covers Greek mercenary armies acting independently without state sanction, starting with the retreat of the "Ten Thousand", and finishing with Kleonymos' free company in Corcyra. Xenophon was not the usual commander of the Ten Thousand, though he did lead them when they fought against the Mossynoeki. Although a cavalrymen himself, he fought on foot rather than with his improvised cavalry. The minimum marked * applies only if any Mossynoeki are used. Philon was the leader of the Greek mercenaries that revolted after Alexander's death; he was defeated when one of his generals deserted in mid-battle. Thibron led Harpalos' Greek mercenaries against Kyrene. Cv that dismount to attack or defend fortifications do so as Sp (0). Internal ally generals need only command the same troop types as themselves, and not other types. Battles against any Greek or Successor list from the 4th century BC count as civil wars.


Aggression: A rating of 4 is natural for what are essentially rebellious mercenaries with no fixed abode, however the Bactrian revolters seem to have been usually attacked before they could take any major offensive actions, so warrent a lower rating.

Terrain: Terrain is basically Greece, but can also suit Asia for the Bactrian revolts.

List scale: Philon's force of reportedly over 20000 infantry and 3000 foot was twice as large as the more typically-sized forces such as the Ten Thousand (which ranged from 9000 to 13000 strong) and Thibron's (initially 7000 strong, with later losses and reinforcements). To fight battles at true scale, all list minima and maxima must therefore be halved unless gaming Philon's revolt. Kleonymos' period as C-in-C of Tarantum is not represented here.

Generals: Unreliability and even desertions were frequent among the mercenary companies, and therefore assistant generals are graded as allies, not subordinates. Xenophon had problems with the Achaian contingent after the Mossynoeki episode; Thibron was deserted by Mnasikles, and Letodoros' battlefield desertion with 3000 men to Pithon's side led to Philon's defeat.

Hoplites: Initially the back-bone of every force, they were increasingly replaced by peltasts as the century advanced. The maximum number of hoplites attested is 11000. See my Athenian list for comments on the grading of peltasts as Sp (I). Euzonoi are assumed to swap javelins for long spear.

Cretans: The typical mercenary archer; 200 were included in the Ten Thousand. Those in the 10000 practised high-trajectory shooting using Persian arrows after being out-skirmished and can be classified as Bw.

Slingers: Mercenary slingers were somewhat rarer than archers, but 200 were found from amongst the ranks of the Ten Thousand when needed.

Thracians: 800 of these were included in Ten Thousand; Alexander employed over 10000 of them, some of whom may have been settled in Asia and participated in Philon's revolt.

Javelinmen et al.: Hoplites had their own servants who could be armed with rudimentary weapons and used on occasion as skirmishers. Xenophon records his own shield-bearer running away from combat. Mercenaries were however on the whole not as wealthy as most other hoplites, so I have limited the available number of such armed servants.

Improvised cavalry: Xenophon organised a troop of 50 men. Their small numbers and their use of baggage horses as mounts dictates the (I) classification. While enophon himself rode on a horse on the march, he fought on foot as a hoplite, and not with his cavalry.

Rebel Mossynoeki allies: 900 of these men, each armed with a 9 foot long throwing spear plus axe helped the Ten Thousand attack their King. They arrived in 300 canoes, leaving 300 men behind, while 600 went ashore hence the variation in numbers allowed.

Camp defences: Not directly attested, but are unlikely to not have been employed by this date given even citizen armies are recorded as using them.

Bactrian locals: Although Diodoros reports all of Philon's men were Greeks, it is likely that some of them were in fact locals - imagining over 20000 purely Greek infantry settled in the upper satraps revolting is hard enough, let alone 3000 Greek horsemen. Horse from the upper satrapies are described as horse archers, or else mounted javelinmen, experts at wheeling and retreating, and are thus classed as LH. Foot were mostly light troops, javelinmen, archers and slingers all being used in the area. An earlier revolt in 325 BC was also joined by local troops. LH (O) represent Median longchophoroi etc., LH (S) Bactrians and LH (F) Sogdians.

Extra Cretans: Harpalos' mercenaries numbered 6000 strong according to Diodoros when they left Greece for Crete, but were 7000 strong when Thibron arrived in Kyrene. It seems reasonable to assume the difference of 1000 represents troops recruited on their stopover in Crete.

Trieres: Thibron's fleet was not involved in any battles that are directly reported, but its men were certainly attacked on land by Kyrene's Libyan troops as they were foraging, since the deserter Mnasikles had denied Thibron the use of Kyrene as a port, and captured most of his equipment. A naval contingent is therefore allowed, and later generals all seem to have had fleets.

Kyrenaikan allies: Two contingents represent the forces of Barka and Hesperides (Eusperides, etc - it had several variant names), a single contingent can be either these two combined into one larger contingent, or else the forces from Kyrene that had patched up their differences with Thibron when Ophellas invaded. Athough Kyrene had formally ceded half of their chariot force to Thibron by treaty, they broke this before he could apparently make use of them.

Aristodemos: He hired 8000 Peloponnesian mercenaries with 1000 talents given to him by Antigonos to further his aims in Greece. He was sent a fleet of 50 ships, as was Telephoros in essentially the same situation in 313 BC; as however the fleet is not recorded participating in any battles, admttedly on scant information, only a few naval elements are allowed. He was allied with the Aitolian federation against Kassandros, and joined up with them; he was also allied with Polyperchon, but does not seem to have cooperated together in the field with him (and in any case would count as the junior partner). Telephoros started out with 2500 mercenaries and 50 ships given to him by Antigonos; after proclaiming his independence, he recruited additional mercenaries (numbers unknown).

Kleonymos: According to Diodoros, Kleonymos recruited 5000 of his 10000 men in Italy, so some (non-Greek) Italian types are likely; he is recorded by Livy as using small boats to penetrate up a river where his larger vessels couldn't reach; these were attacked by the Patavians.

This page last modified 17/5/2002.

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