EB1: Thureophoroi were a new class of Hellenic infantry. They are an extremely mobile force that can hit hard with their heavy javelins then rush in to flank pike units.

EB2: Thureophoroi are medium infantry. They throw javelins before charging into the enemy with their spears. They are flexible and capable of responding to situations quicker than traditional Hellenistic line infantry. Their name comes from the shield they carry: the thureos.


Thureophoroi were a new class of Hellenic infantry that was designed to both augment the phalanx and provide a type of soldier between the Phalangitai and the Peltastai that was able to both skirmish and fight in melee effectively. These men provide an extremely mobile force that can hit hard with their heavy javelins then rush in to flank pike units. They are well armed and armored for the task, having stout bronze helms, linen armor, an almond shaped thureos shield, heavy javelins, and a stout spear. They are highly versatile infantry, akin in spirit to the legionnaires of Rome. They are a highly effective force of heavy infantry that is in the forefront of Hellenic military know-how.

Historically, Thureophoroi were used as harassing and flanking troops by the successor states. Though they were often described by Latin writers as copies of the legion, it is debatable whether they were developed with knowledge of warfare in Italy or not. Most Thureophoroi were Pezhetairoi, middle class property owners with voting rights, and as such, they were well able to devote time to training and practice and were highly disciplined and courageous troops. Despite their obvious advantages, or perhaps because of them, there was a lot of confusion as to how to utilize these new soldiers. As they were deadly in the extreme to the less mobile phalanx units they forced a, much resisted, revaluation of Hellenic warfare. Perhaps for this reason the Diodachoi tended to used them conservatively, except for the Seleukeis, who took to these new soldiers quite well. The city-states of Hellas used them even more frequently against the armies of Makedonia, and were often able to hold the more powerful kingdom at bay. Still, their uses were limited in scope and not as widespread as their versatile and deadly role would have indicated. This is the fault of their commanders, however, and a more astute or innovative commander might have realized their potential in conjunction with the more static phalanx.

EB2: Thureophoroi('thureos-bearers')

The thureophoroi represent the ability of the Hellenistic states to adapt to changing conditions. The coming of the Galatians has brought a shattering realisation that an evolution was necessary for continued success militarily. To that purpose, the thureophoroi have been developed. They fight with javelins and the common hoplite spear the dory. They are armoured with a helmet and at times greaves and a tube & yolk cuirass, and now use the Celtic thureos shield instead of the more familiar aspis or pelte. This elliptical shield of varying sizes is made of wood, covered in leather and has a horizontal grip. And with it, these men fight in a looser formation than traditional hoplitai, allowing them to be more mobile and flexible. They are a newer class of infantry, but are capable of many roles on the battlefield. Their key word is versatility; however, as Jack of all trades, they are masters of none.

The Galatian invasions and migrations of the 270s were incredibly destructive. Makedonia was hit the hardest, but few in the region escaped damage. It was during this epoch that the Hellenistic states saw the potential of infantry equipped similar to these invaders, which included utilizing the thureos. Within the next few decades, this shield seems to have spread quickly, and could be seen even as far as the Bosporon kingdom north of the Black sea.

Thureophoroi proved their worth as an infantry class again and again as attested by their continual appearance in historical writings, iconography, inscriptions and documents. Their inherent flexibility meant that they could react to changing battlefield conditions much more quickly than the traditional hoplite or Makedonian phalangite - including their ability to operate in rough terrain as evidenced in Antiochos III's eastern campaigns. The Ptolemaic army particularly favoured this unit class, which may have been due to the large numbers of Galatians serving in Egypt, but also to the failure of the phalanx at the massive Battle of Panion. Regardless, thureophoroi and the heavier thorakitai became staples in the armies of the Ptolemies in the 2nd century: a testament to their capabilities.


These highly-versatile units are good for any role as they can hurl javelins to weaken enemy units from afar, have enough stamina to chase skirmishers and perform flank attacks towards unsuspecting enemy units and are well-armed and well-armored enough to hold the line and stand against most infantry and defeat cavalry with their spears.

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