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Author Topic: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?  (Read 1182 times)

Offline Argonor

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Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:07:55 PM »
I am currently working on some ancient Greeks, and I am wondering what a unit standard could/would look like - and if they were used at all?
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Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 07:24:47 PM »
Ancient Greeks didn’t carry standards I am afraid.

Online DintheDin

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 08:23:52 PM »
I second that. I have painted hundreds and hundreds of Ancient Greek hoplites and visited different museums in Greece, searched any source that fell in my hands but I found nowhere an indication showing that they carried banners or standards.
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Offline Argonor

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 02:45:45 PM »
Hmmm... OK.

How did the Strategos signal his troops? Did he use runners to relay orders?

I'll have to make something up, then, as I need a standard for God of Battles; I plan to use the archers I am working in as part of a rainbow 'Thousand Tribes' army (and I may have to have one for Broken Legions as well).

I'll look to Roman and Carthaginian standards and mock something up, I think...

Offline Plynkes

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 03:32:19 PM »
They had musicians, but I don't know enough about the period to know if they were used for relaying orders or just to make a scary noise.

I've seen a few horn players available in various ranges. You could use one of those.


Edit: Or a vignette of a sacrifice being made prior to battle could stand in for a standard bearer figure. I've seen those for sale, too.

 
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 03:34:51 PM by Plynkes »
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Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2018, 05:25:58 PM »
I believe Greek heralds carried a sort of standard as a badge of office which some have incorporated into a command base. Might be worth looking into?


Offline Argonor

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2018, 06:30:16 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions - I shall have a look around for those heralds.

Musicians sadly are not an option, as they have a different role in the games I play, and the sacrifice idea is nice for big battles, but I also intend to use my Greeks for 1:1 skirmishes, and I think it would be a bit much of a demand on the suspension of belief to move such a scene around.

Online DintheDin

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2018, 06:49:17 PM »
I believe Greek heralds carried a sort of standard as a badge of office which some have incorporated into a command base. Might be worth looking into?

Greek heralds, κήρυκες, were considered sacred persons and were respected by both belligerent sides. Their sign of power was a special staff, the κηρύκειον.
Here, the finial of this staff.

Offline Argonor

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2018, 09:01:19 PM »
That is interesting, thank you!

Online DintheDin

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2018, 09:42:59 PM »
I'm afraid I'm leaving you with the impression that the herald could be a person relaying messages to other parts of the same army during battle. His job was to deliver a message to the enemy city. So, his function during the heat of an hoplite battle is irrelevant.
About the strategos now: The strategoi were leading their hoplites from the front, being one equal of them. So, I deem that their ability to relay messages during battle was limited. Their order would be probably transmitted from mouth to mouth along the line.
Besides this, the hoplite phalanx strategic plan was quite simple: Forward, in close order and crush the enemy with othismos.
https://sites.psu.edu/thehopliteexperience/the-othismos/

Offline Argonor

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2018, 09:47:55 PM »
Oh, yes, I did not think they were used in a battlefield-role, but thanks again!

Offline SteveBurt

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 10:20:41 AM »
No standards for Greeks, I'm afraid. But you can have musicians and leaders. Spartans have that strange double trumpet thing.

Offline Antonio J Carrasco

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2018, 10:25:08 AM »
Always wondered what was the use of flute players in a Greek phalanx. With all the noise from the clanging of weapons and shields, shouts, and the hum of thousands of men moving at the same time, and with heads enclosed in bronze helmets, how could any flute player being heard by the men?

Online DintheDin

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2018, 10:30:09 AM »
No standards for Greeks, I'm afraid. But you can have musicians and leaders. Spartans have that strange double trumpet thing.

This

Online DintheDin

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Re: Ancient Greek Banners/Standards?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2018, 10:54:00 AM »
Always wondered what was the use of flute players in a Greek phalanx. With all the noise from the clanging of weapons and shields, shouts, and the hum of thousands of men moving at the same time, and with heads enclosed in bronze helmets, how could any flute player being heard by the men?

The flute was played to give the step to the phalanx before the final clash. Before battle I deem that the helmet could be worn on the head with the visor up, like at the pictures. Of course, a closed helmet impaired the vision and the hearing, although you may find ancient greek helmets with some kind of ear opening.
The problem was solved with the adoption of the Theban/Thessalian/Alexandrian Macedonian helmet which had wider openings.
On the other side, let me remind you that the flute makes a piercing sound which can be heard from a distance and distinguished among other battle noises, don't forget that 16th-19th c infantry was using flutists alongside drummers on the field.