Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece

Chapter 9: Night March

Chapter 9: Night March

When the sun began to sunk, the soldiers began to pack their equipment.

Putting on their chest armor – which is made of layers of stiffened linen glued together. It is about 5 – 6 cm thick and it’s very hard and tough, but it isn’t heavy. The lower hem reaches till the thighs and cut into a shape that facilitate movement.

Equipping the greaves to protect their shins and calves. Attaching the kopis[1] to their waist – this is a kind of sword, the sword is 65 cm long, it is a single-edged blade and it is curved like a dog’s hind leg.

They couldn’t wear their Corinthian helmet[2] this time, due to the low visibility during the night march and this kind of helmet that only expose the eyes will narrow their sight.

The spear is the main weapon of the Hoplite. The spear’s shaft is made of ash tree, while the flat leaf-shaped spearhead was made of iron and at the end of the spear was inlaid with a copper butt-spikes.

Davos then picked up the shield with his left hand. It has a shallow bowl-shape, the inside is wooden, while the outer face is covered with copper and it is about 90 cm in diameter, the shield is decorated with a painted face of a Minotaur. There is a leather fastening for the forearm at the centre, so that the soldier can put their entire left arm on the round shield, which not only saves effort, but also facilitates defense and shielding. There is another small metal hook mounted on the inner and outher rim of the shield, which is use to hung it on their shoulders for easy carrying while they march.

Davos, with shield in his left hand and spear in his right, couldn’t help but bitterly smile, he had changed from a modern man to an ancient western armored warrior. However, the cells on his body started boiling with joy and it made him realize that it was this body’s muscle memory at work.

He tried to walk a few steps and felt very comfortable. In addition to the tension, there was also some excitement. Every man dreamt to be a warrior in their hearts! It is the blood flowing through our vein since the time our ancestors ate the raw flesh of animals and drink its blood. The modern people in the time of peace can no longer feel the courage to fight head-on and through travelling to this era, Davos got such opportunity!

While Davos was still getting used to his equipment, Hielos reminded him: “There’s still something you have forgotten.”

He saw two javelins on the ground and a string of sausages. He smiled bitterly, this really can’t be blame on himself!

He carefully placed the sausage on his chest, for fear of the grease getting on his armor.

At this time, Antonios came over and said to Hielos: “We have to go and work with Mersis.” Then he also nodded to Davos, the reputation of Davos has even spread to his ears and he doesn’t dare to ignore him.

“Who gave the order? Isn’t Meno still with Ariaeus?” Hielos curiously asked. He was reluctant to move together with the supply unit due to how slow they are and it is also dangerous.

“Under the orders of the adjutant, Philesius, he temporarily took command on behalf of Meno. The last time when the Persians broke into our camp, most of the slaves escaped. They are now short of hands and Mersis named our unit to help.” Having said that, he looked at Davos again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Davos, I didn’t expect that we will meet again!” Mersis laugh, he went straight through the officers and soldiers and gave Davos a hug.

He then realize that this fatty is the one making trouble! Davos has no choice but to smile.

“Everyone else go take the animals. Davos is with me.” he ordered.

This fatty is strict and ruthless if he isn’t familiar with you, but once your relationship gets good he will be too enthusiastic. Isn’t this just pulling everyone’s hatred to himself? Davos quickly refused.

There are hundreds of animals and dozens of carts full of goods, as well as many slaves and women.

Meanwhile. The lines formed can be up to 2 miles long. It’s only just one unit, imagine how much it would expand if it is the entire Greek mercenary supply unit. Davos watches as he contemplate.

At this time, a long trumpet sound rang out over the bustling camp.

It’s time to go. Davos was a little nervous and subconsciously pulled the cattle’s rope.

The team began to move forward. Their supply unit is on the right side, while the troops were on the left and the officers held torches. Under the cold moonlight’s illumination. The entire Greek troops is like a long unseen head of a fiery dragon slowly creeping out.

After about an hour, he heard the sound of rushing water in front. Davos realized that the Euphrates river is getting closer.

At night, the river is dark and it look as if it is infinitely wide and deep, which caused great fear. Therefore, the troops were quiet for fear of disturbing the river god.

At this time, the formation naturally turned into the supply unit marching along the left bank of the Euphrates river, while the troops were at the outer part protecting the supply unit. The leaders clearly have experience with marching at night. Davos watch as he studied silently.

Meno’s troops are at the end of the formation. Of course, this isn’t ordered by Meno, in fact, he sent people back to ask his men to walk in the middle of the formation. But the other mercenary leaders were dissatisfied with Meno. It is because at the start of the march from Asia Minor to Babylon, Meno in order to please Cyrus the Younger had volunteered to be the vanguard and got many benefits from killing, pillaging and burning. Now that they have to retreat, he wants his soldiers to be place in the middle so that they won’t get attacked and his losses will be reduced. How can they let him have all the good things by himself! So it was unanimously decided to let his troops be at the end. This is what Meno’s confidant, Mersis, told Davos and made him have a certain understanding of Meno.

At this time, the messenger of the whole army, Tormide, finally arrived at Meno’s troops and conveyed the order: “The vanguard has converged with Ariaeus’ troops. The leaders are currently discussing with Ariaeus. Stand down, keep alert and await orders!”

The quiet troops suddenly became noisy: “We can finally rest!”

“We have been walking for two hours, I am exhausted!”

“Me too. It’s so tiring leading the ox cart! We must not follow the supply unit again tomorrow!”

“That’s right! We need to talk to the commander tomorrow.”

“Let’s go and tell him now!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Looking at the noisy warriors, Davos stood up and shouted: “Brothers, please be quiet! Brothers! I am Davos!”

He didn’t expect that his shouting was more effective than that of commander Antonios, the warriors of the supply unit stopped making noises and they wanted to hear what the ‘God’s Favored’ is going to say.

“Let me tell a story to help solve everyone’s fatigue, alright?”

“what story?”

“It’s called A…Aris and the Forty Thieves.”

“It sounds good! Tell us the story!”

So Davos cleared his throat and began to speak loudly: “There used to be a family living in a small town in Ionia…”

Gradually, the supply unit became completely quiet and even the animals had stopped their noise. The warriors, as well as the slaves and the women, listened attentively. They admired Aris for not acquiring the wealth of the thieves, laughed at Aris’ brother for screaming the cave’s password, nervous about the thieves finding Aris’ house and praise for the wisdom of the female slave.

After the story is finished, everyone is still discussing it:

“Aris is so lucky!”

“He is lucky because he has a smart and beautiful Persian slave!”

“Yes! I think it’s pretty good that he gave back the female slave’s freedom! After all, she saved Aris!”

“Stupid! He should have married the female slave as a concubine. In this way the slave can continue helping him!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Everyone is discussing about it ceaselessly.

“Davos, is there really a cave full of gold and silver treasures?” Even Mersis couldn’t help asking Davos.

Antonios look at Davos’ back that is in front of him and he couldn’t help but sigh: “Hielos, there is a talent in your village!”

“Are you talking about Davos? Of course, he is ‘God’s Favored’! I even want to give him my position as a squad leader.”

“Squad leader?” Antonios lip’s twitched. A mercenary leader often replaces and replenished his soldiers, while most of the senior and middle officers in charge of his troops are his confidant, which is not easily replaced, because it would be convenient for him to control the troops. Antonios and Meno have also been working for 5 – 6 years and because they have also met many Greek and Persian dignitaries they have some experience in appraising people.

After observing for a day, he found that Davos was calm and was completely unlike a 19-year-old kid. He is very disciplined on his work, he is modest and courteous in dealing with people, and with a good eloquence, the soldiers were willing to approach him. And he often had ingenious ideas to solve problems that others couldn’t solve. During the march, he also witnessed that Davos was either carrying a shield or pushing the carts for others. Such a person, even if he is young, can be trusted.

If his ability to command in combat is not weak, then the future of such a charming and capable person is immeasurable. If he had enough financial resources, he could be a qualified mercenary leader! Antonios thought about it and he thought of Meno, What would he do when he realize that such a character had suddenly appeared in his troops?

[1] Kopis was an ancient Greek weapon.

[2] Corinthian Helmet was a helmet made of bronze that originated in ancient Greece.

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