A hoplite (from ta hoopla meaning tool or equipment) was the most common type of heavily armed foot-soldier in ancient Greece and dominated greek warfare from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE. Hoplite warfare was best described by Xenophon who in 401 took part in the expedition of 100.000 greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger to seize the throne.
Hoplites formed the armies of kings and tyrants, yet at heart, he was a citizen-soldier. It was the duty of all free Greek states to perform military service. Any formation of citizens could be called a hoplite. Their method of training and recruitment varied from state to state. Usually by the age of 18 one began his military training. These new recruits gathered together and would swear a common oath and after follow a series of activities in order gain the necessary traits for war.
For the greek hoplite, the shield called aspis was his most important asset. A light shield weighing at 6.2 kg it could stop a spear or sword thrust yet it was not enough for arrows as many vase paintings show shields pierced by spears. The helmet was again light and sacrificed protection in order to fully cover the head. Their helmets were adorned with horsehair crests with the purpose to look more imposing and after it became a symbol of rank. Their wore either a muscle cuirass which took the shape of a human torso and composite cuirass made from composite materials like scales or plates made of bronze or iron and covered with linen or leather in order to prevent rusting. The groin was protected by a layer of groin flaps or pteruges and the shins were protected by greaves. Their main weapon was the spear or dory or sword-shaped as leaf or saber.