Brill’s New Pauly

Get access
Search Results: | 20 of 44 |

(1,073 words)

[German version]

I. Greece

Mercenaries (μισθοφόρος/misthophóros or μισθωτός/misthōtós, ξένος/xénos) - soldiers who fought in foreign service as professional soldiers in exchange for payment (misthós) - had existed in Greece since ancient times. In the 6th cent. BC they served Egyptian or eastern kings (Egypt: Hdt. 2,154; ML, No. 7; Babylon: Alc. 350 Lobel/Page); Greek tyrants like Peisistratus [4] or Polycrates [1] needed mercenaries to protect them (Hdt. 1,61; 3,45). Only from the Peloponnesian War onwards did the poleis deploy, to a gr…

Cite this page
Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) and Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast), “Mercenaries”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲