Now following two stands worth of eastern light infantry, peltasts. Originally intended for Syracuse but until now served for Seleucids. Hoplites were fielded last week, so BI army of Syracuse is soon complete. Technically, Seleucid light infantry that I intend to represent should probably be represented by hypaspists (carried round shield and long spear – much like light hoplite), thureoporoi (carried large oval shield, few javelins and a long spear – almost a legionary) or thorakitai (essentially javelin armed thureoporoi). To that end, I should have some thureoporoi coming up at some point.
As usual, they are 6mm figures, based for 60mm x 30mm bases.
Origins of peltast is in Thracia, where style of fighting in light equipment and javelin was common. Name comes from crescent shaped, or round wicker shield called pelte. Their weapon of choice was javelin, and employed hit and run tactics with high success rate. Traditionally, light infantry and skirmishers were composed from poorer classes of society, while those with sufficient wealth, or citizenship tend to fight in the ranks of heavy infantry or cavalry. This was especially true where equipment was financed by the combatant – which was incidentally everyone.
Peltasts accumulated fame and name in history during their service in the armies of Greeks and Macedon but were eventually phased out by more adaptive thureoporoi (spear armed light infantry). In fact, post 3rd century BC, it is likely that reference to peltast actually meant any foreign mercenary force, and had nothing to do with the original wicker shielded skirmishers and light infantry.