Episode 5 – Syracuse, Sicily, and the Hellenes

Example of fine Grecian pottery depicting two young jockeys in a race. Estimated to be from the early 400s BC.
Artistic rendition of Greek phalanx formation.
Bronze helmet, greaves, and spear found in a Greek warrior’s tomb and believed to be manufactured in Southern Italy around 500 BC. Their owner’s name, Denda, was inscribed on his greaves.
Greek bronze breastplates and helmets at Metropolitan museum in New York.  Original photo by Wikipedia user Sheldon Martin.
Ancient Greek helmets which would have been worn by hoplites.  Original photo by Wikipedia user Ghost of Kuji.
Hoplite spear positions
Examples of how hoplites could use the doru both overhand and underhand depending on the circumstances. Notice that they also wear linothorax armor.  For further details on this linen armor’s effectiveness, check out these research results from modern day tests of a recreation of linothorax armor.  Alternatively, you can watch the video presentation of the results here as well as this video which demonstrates the effectiveness of the linothorax against missiles.
heritage history surprise at Himera
Artistic rendition of the Battle of Himera. Special thanks to Heritage History for allowing me to use their photo.

When Carthage expanded its reach into the western coast of Sicily, it became neighbors with the powerful Hellenic colonies of Greece on the eastern side of the island. The Greeks had their own impressive civilization, and Hellenic ingenuity and military innovation made the Greeks a formidable force in Mediterranean politics. The Greek colony of Syracuse, the most powerful and wealthy colony in Magna Graecia, was to prove to be a thorn to Carthaginian plans for Sicily for centuries to come.

Download: Episode 5 – Syracuse, Sicily, and the Hellenes

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