Video: Greek battle waged on
Norwich’s Upper Parade Ground © Oct. 26, 2012, Norwich University Office of Communications

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Maybe it didn’t play out exactly like a battle from ancient Greece, but dozens of history students from Norwich University had a great time attempting the formations and battle techniques of the period.

Assembling on the Upper Parade Ground on Norwich’s Northfield, Vt., campus in front of an enthusiastic crowd, students formed into a phalanx—a tight formation of interlocked shields with weapons protruding from the second line. Across the quad, a smaller force prepared to attack.

Using this formation, even a small company of Greek soldiers (“Hoplites”) could stand as a powerful force under relatively protective conditions.

While known for their discipline, these Norwich students often broke ranks for the sheer fun of it, and the result was hardly a clash of disciplined forces. But what a way to learn!