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Headword: Ὁπλῖται
Adler number: omicron,466
Translated headword: hoplites
Vetting Status: high
[Hoplites,] peltasts, light-armed: these are constituents of the infantry fighting-force, but they present differences. "Hoplites" is the term for those who use heavy equipment in the Macedonian manner, with round shields and rather long spears.[1] "Light-armed" employ the lightest gear: bow, javelin, and stones, whether slung or hand-thrown. "Peltasts" are equipped in a sort of intermediate way; for the pelte is a small, light shield; and their spears are much lighter than those of the hoplites.[2] There are also three varieties of cavalry force.[3]
And Aristophanes [writes]: "lay down your wrath beside your anger like a hoplite".[4] That is, having no weapons, he fights the war with wrath only.[5]
Greek Original:
Ὁπλῖται, πελτασταί, ψιλοί, τῆς πεζικῆς εἰσι καὶ μαχίμου δυνάμεως, ἔχουσι δὲ διαφοράς: ὁπλῖται μὲν γὰρ λέγονται οἱ βαρυτάτῃ κεχρημένοι ὁπλίσει κατὰ τὸν Μακεδονικὸν τρόπον ἀσπίσι περιφερέσι καὶ δόρασι περιμηκεστέροις, Ψιλοὶ δὲ οἳ κουφοτάτῃ κέχρηνται, τόξῳ καὶ ἀκοντίῳ καὶ λίθοις ἐκ σφενδόνης ἢ ἐκ χειρός: οἱ δὲ πελτασταὶ μέσῃ πως κέχρηνται σκευῇ: ἥ τε γὰρ πέλτη μικρά τίς ἐστιν ἀσπιδίσκη καὶ κούφη: καὶ τὰ δόρατα πολὺ τῶν ὁπλιτῶν λειπόμενα. εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ τῆς ὀχηματικῆς δυνάμεως τρεῖς διαφοραί. καὶ Ἀριστοφάνης: τὸν θυμὸν κατάθου κύψας παρὰ τὴν ὀργὴν ὥσπερ ὁπλίτης. οἷον ὅπλα μὴ ἔχων, θυμῷ πολέμει μόνον.
[1] See generally OCD(4) p.704; and cf. omicron 468 (and omicron 465).
[2] See generally OCD(4) p.1102.
[3] This material then continues at iota 546.
[4] Aristophanes, Birds 401-2 (web address 1).
[5] The scholiast here misses the point of this clever combination of figurative and literal laying-down. See Dunbar 290-1.
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; ethics; history; military affairs
Translated by: David Whitehead on 5 July 2001@04:14:01.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link) on 5 July 2001@13:21:44.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference, updated link) on 11 February 2010@19:16:29.
David Whitehead (restorative cosmetic; another x-ref) on 12 February 2010@03:03:33.
David Whitehead on 5 July 2013@07:08:17.
David Whitehead on 6 August 2014@03:17:37.


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