Greek Soldiers On Campagin




The Macedonian kausia,
similar to an Afgan chitrali


Equipment
The basic item of clothing was the wool chiton or shorter chitoniskos. This was a piece of material simply wrapped around the body and pinned at the shoulders. From the 4th century BC the exomis became more popular, literally "open at the shoulder". From the 4th century cavalrymen seem to have had the option to wear the Persian inspired long sleeved tunic, which was very popular by the time of Alexander.

Xenophon mentions that phoenix, probably various shades of red, was worn by the Spartans since it was least effeminate and most war-like. Iconographic evidence suggests red was a popular colour. Soldier's cloaks such as the traditional chlamydes of red, brown, yellow and pink would be pinned on the right shoulder. In the Hellenistic period cloaks could be issued as almost uniform, and even worn in battle by the cavalry. A petasos or sun hat of felt or leather fastened behind the head and under the chin would be a useful piece of equipment and was recommended by Xenophon.

In the Hellenistic period the Macedonian kausia, similar to an Afgan chitrali became popular. Krepides make an appearance at the beginning of the Classical period. The krepis was a sandal with a thick sole held in place with a latticework lacing. They seem to have been studded with hobnails to provide grip and prolong wear. The cavalry could wear spurs over their footwear. A pellytron or sock could be worn under the sandal, or strips of cloth simply wrapped around the instep and ankle.

The Spartan campaign cup, the one handled kothon, was designed help separate water from the worst of the sediment within it, while making it look more palatable. Camp knives or encheiridia would have been useful and a Spartan carried a xule or whittling knife to help make spare spear shafts. A file and wet stone would be used for sharpening blades. Deep cauldrons chytrai, shallow pans lopades, portable braziers, griddles, ladles, strainers, spits, graters and mixing bowls would have been carried. Athenian citizen hoplites were asked to carry rations for three days, but this would vary in practice.

Items could be carried in a gylion, a wicker basket. Xenophon also mentions carrying poles, doratia, during a foraging expedition at Calpe. The Myrina figure carries a round canteen similar to terracotta Hellenistic vessels from Athens. But leather skins askoi would have been more practical. Unlike pottery they arehard to break and are easily filled from streams even with rocky beds.

Xenophon's perfect army in the Cyropaedia has plentiful shovels, mattocks, axes, sickles and lumber. Axes for chopping fire wood were common, perhaps shared within the suskenia. Tents, skenai, made up of panels of leather, stegasmata, probably goat, which could also be used as basic rafts when stuffed with hay. But if the climate was kind, sleeping under the stars without tents was perfectly fine.

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