Ancient Greek Warriors for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Ancient Greek Warriors

In ancient times, there was no Greek army. There was no Greek navy. Greece was not yet a country. Greece was a collection of city-states. Each city-state had its own government, its own military, and its own way of doing things. In some city-states, like Sparta, all men were warriors and the women were trained warriors as well. In other city-states, there was a small group of full time soldiers while the rest of the men joined up to fight during times their city-state was at war.

Nearly everyone in ancient Greece agreed that Sparta had by far the best army. Athens, by far, had the best navy of all of the ancient Greek city-states. But the men in all the city-states were capable fighters.

The Greeks invented the Phalanx. This was a Greek way of fighting where each warrior locked shields with the warrior next to him in a triangle shaped formation. The men in the middle locked shields above them to form an almost impenetrable shield.

The Greeks also invented a way to use their cargo ships as war ships when necessary. The tip of the ship was made of metal so the ship could be used a battering ram. The ships were fast. They were also small, about the length of three school buses lined up in a row. The Greeks used oarsmen to move the ship.

There were many city-states in ancient Greece, and they often fought each other. One war between Sparta and Athens lasted 27 years.

They also combined forces to fight invaders. One of those invaders was Persia. The Persian Empire was huge. It was the largest and most powerful of its time. The Persians should have won from sheer size alone. They had far more men and far more ships. The Greeks won anyway.  The Greek ships were more agile, and Greek warriors more capable.

The Ancient Greek Military for Kids

Ancient Greek Wars (game, quiz)

Persian Wars

Delian League

Peloponnesian War

Sparta, the militant city-state

Greek Ships

Legend of the Trojan War

Hercules Challenged - a story for kids

The Terrible Tutor - a story for kids

QUIZ: Ancient Greek Wars (Interactive with answers)