Greek Mythology Wiki


Description and Uses

A spear is a close range weapon that has a long staff usually made of wood or metal.  It has at the top a large metal flat leaf-spearhead tip similar to a large arrowhead.  Except for archers, spears were the primary weapon of Greek soldiers.  Most spears have only one sharp tip, but the bident and trident are variations of the standard spear.  

The dory (δόρυ) or spear is hat was the chief armament of hoplites (heavy infantry). The word "dory" was first used by Homer with the meanings of "wood" and "spear". The Dory was a symbol of military power, more important than the sword.

The dory was about 7 to 9 feet long with a handle two inches in diameter made of wood, either cornel or ash weighing 2 to 4 lb. Its flat leaf-shaped spearhead was made from iron and its weight was counterbalanced by a bronze butt-spike.

The rear of the spear was capped with a spike called a sauroter, (Greek for "lizard killer".) It functionally served as a counter-weight to give balance. This spike had several uses; it could stand the spear up, serve as a secondary weapon if the iron spearhead was broken off (though its combat range would be reduced, the dory's complete length would have lessened the chance of a single break rendering it ineffective). Enemies that had fallen could be dispatched by the warriors marching over them in the back ranks of the Phalanx who were holding their spears in a vertical position.

The principal advantage of the dory was that it enabled a soldier to keep an enemy at a distance and in a pitched battle. Similar to the Xiphos, it was a single-handed weapon, held in the right hand leaving the left free to hold the shield.

Variations of the spear