In Antiquity, were Persian arrows considered superior to their Greek counterparts?

Did Persians use bows and arrows?

The bow was one of the most important weapons in the Persian arsenal. Although the light arrows were ill-suited for piercing armor or shields, the sheer number of arrows fired often overwhelmed opposing armies. Persian archers wore their quive slung over their hips to allow for a faster rate of fire.

Did the Greeks use arrows?

The arrows (and sometimes the bow) were kept in a quiver (pharetra) made of leather, wood, or metal, fitted with a suspender, and sometimes open, sometimes having a lid. The quiver was worn either on the back, according to the Greek manner, or in Oriental fashion, on the left hip.

Why were archers important to the Persians?

Massed archery was used to break up the enemy formation, while massed cavalry manoeuvred to attack the flanks and attempt encirclement. The Iranian plateau, the Persian heartland, was a region of peasant-farmers skilled in the use of the composite bow.

Did the Persians have archers?

The Persians had one row of shield-bearers known as “sparabara” with nine rows of archers behind them. A unit of 10,000 Persian warriors arranged in this manner could fire 100,000 arrows in a minute and keep up this rate of fire for several minutes.

What were Persian archers called?


The sparabara, meaning “shield bearers” in Old Persian, were the front line infantry of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. They were usually the first to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy.

What were Persian arrows made of?

The arrows they used were often times made out of light wood or reed, so archers actually didn’t have as much range as we think of archers having today. Also since the arrows were so light, more than one was usually required to kill an opposing Greek. Tactics were very important for Persian archers.

Why didnt Spartans use bows?

The Spartan hoplites cried foul. The mightiest warriors in ancient Greece had been brought low by the despised bow, a weapon they had traditionally viewed as the preserve of cowards and women.

Did Ancient Greeks have archers?

Toxotai (Ancient Greek: τοξόται, romanized: toxotai, lit. ‘archers’; singular: τοξότης, toxótēs) were Ancient Greek and Byzantine archers. During the ancient period they were armed with a short Greek bow and a short sword. They carried a little pelte (or pelta) (πέλτη) shield.

Did Ancient Greeks use archers?

The archers were Greek and likely derived from the lower classes of citizens. Moreover, despite its ideological demotion among the elite, the bow did not carry an actively negative association until the Persian Wars in the early 5th century B.C.E.

How do Persians bow?

Iranian men commonly greet women by placing their hand over their heart and nodding/bowing gently. This greeting may also be used with other people who they perceive are unaccustomed to being touched.

What is a Scythian bow?

A Scythian bow was a composite bow, made from wood, horn, sinew and glue. Although it was one of the earliest composite bow designs, it was by far the most complex, both in terms of cross-section and profile.

What is now Persia?

Persia, historic region of southwestern Asia associated with the area that is now modern Iran. The term Persia was used for centuries and originated from a region of southern Iran formerly known as Persis, alternatively as Pārs or Parsa, modern Fārs.

Did Athens have archers?

The creation of the archer corps in the late 480s bc was a significant military innovation. For the rest of the fifth century, Athens constantly deployed archers in a wide range of important combat roles. In the late 430s the state spent as much on them as it did on the cavalry.

Did Spartans use spears?

Spears and pikes — or “sarissas” — were the primary weapons of the Spartan military and provided long-range capabilities during battles. Both weapons were constructed using wood for the shaft and iron for the pointed ends. The spears often had a bronze spike opposite to the pointed end to help balance the weapons.

How big was the average Spartan?

The average Spartan was around 6’1″ tall and weighed around 190 lbs. They had strong bodies and were able to carry heavy loads. Conclusion: The Spartans were a tall people!

Why did Spartans use short swords?

Traditionally much shorter than a Greek Xiphos the Spartan’s short sword would prove advantageous when in close quarter battle, with easier maneuverability, being able to inflict damage where a longer sword would be much harder to wield.

What replaced the Gladius?

The spatha

The spatha apparently replaced the gladius in the front ranks, giving the infantry more reach when thrusting.

Was the spatha better than the gladius?

However, the spatha proved to be pretty useful in fighting the heavily armed Germanic tribes in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. The spatha was based on the swords of these people, and proved effective at combatting them. It began to overshadow the gladius, particularly in Germany and Britain.

Why did Roman soldiers carry daggers?

Officials of the empire took to wearing ornate daggers in the performance of their offices, and some would wear concealed daggers for defense in contingencies. The dagger was a common weapon of assassination and suicide; for example, the conspirators who stabbed Julius Caesar used pugiones.

What did the Roman soldiers call their spear?


The pilum (Latin: [ˈpiːɫʊ̃]; plural pila) was a javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times.

Why did Romans stop using spears?

Put another way, the Romans had the advantage of drawing the “first blood.” The the second part of the attack was “close up” with thrusting swords. These were shorter than spears but had the advantage of being more maneuverable.

How far could a Roman throw a spear?

about 100 feet

Estimates put the maximum range that a pilum could be thrown at about 100 feet (30m). However, there would be little point in a unit throwing them at this distance, as only one or two would be able to throw it that far, and even then it would probably land tamely at the feet of an enemy line.

What were 3 fighting weapons of the Roman army?

The three primary weapons utilized by Roman officers were the pilum, the gladius, and the pugio, but Roman armor also played an important part.

Why did Roman armor have abs?

A toned torso symbolized the ideal in daily life, and that made it the ideal on the battlefield as well. So ideal, in fact, that soldiers made sure their armor had perfect abs, pecs, and nipples that we can still see today, more than 2,000 years after the fighting has ended.

Why did the Romans stop using the gladius?

The Romans shortened the gladius based on their experience in the Roman civil wars of the Late Republic. Because Romans fought each other during this period, the traditional Roman military superiority had lost its advantage.

How much did a Roman soldiers armour weigh?

The Loreca hamata (chain armour) weighs about 10 to 11 kilos. A Loreca segmentata (plate armour) is about 7 kilos.

What was the average lifespan of a Roman soldier?

The Roman lifespan for men was 41 years. The entry age for the Roman army was 18-22. So after his 25 years of service, he would been 43-47 years old — provided he had managed to live beyond the average life expectancy.

How many miles did a Roman soldier walk in a day?

In the Roman Army

Standards varied over time, but normally recruits were first required to complete 20 Roman miles (29.62 km or 18.405 modern miles) with 20.5 kg in five summer hours, which was known as “the regular step” or “military pace”. (The Romans divided daylight time into twelve equal hours.

Why did Roman soldiers wear breastplates?

In the armor of a Roman soldier, the breastplate served as protection for some of the most important parts of the body. Underneath the breastplate is the heart, lungs and other organs necessary for life.

How heavy was a Roman soldiers breastplate?

It was constructed of strips of iron joined together with hooks or straps. It covered the chest and shoulders, affording good protection from spears, missiles, and swords. It has decorative hinges which served no purpose. The lorica segmentata weighed about 9kg.

Did Romans wear muscle armor?

The monument of Aemilius Paulus at Delphi shows two Roman infantrymen wearing mail shirts alongside three who wear muscle cuirasses. They were worn mostly by officers, and may have been molded leather as well as metal, with fringed leather (Pteryges) at the armholes and lower edge.