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Encyclopedia > Sciritae

The Sciritae or Skiritai (Greek: Σκιρῖται Skiritai) were a people subject to Sparta, whose status is comparable to that of the Perioeci. They lived in Skiritis, a mountainous region located in northern Laconia on the border with Arcadia, between the Oenus and the Eurotas rivers. Sparta (Doric: , Attic: ) is a city in southern Greece. ... Former Spartan slaves, now free (possibly from escape). ... Laconia (; see also List of traditional Greek place names), also known as Lacedaemonia, was in ancient Greece the portion of the Peloponnese of which the most important city was Sparta. ... Arcadia or Arkadía (Greek Αρκαδία; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a region of Greece in the Peloponnesus. ...

According to Stephanus of Byzantium and Hesychius of Alexandria, the Sciritae were of Arcadian origin. Their way of life was essentially rural: they mostly lived in villages, of which the biggest were Oion and Caryai. Their territory was inhospitable, but was of strategic importance for Sparta since it controlled the road to Tegea, which explains why it rapidly fell in Spartan hands. Their status was to that of the Perioeci, but Xenophon keeps them distinguished. Stephanus Byzantinus (Stephanus of Byzantium), the author of a geographical dictionary entitled Εθνικα (Ethnica), of which, apart from some fragments, we possess only the meagre epitome of one Hermolaus. ... page of Marc. ... Sparta (Doric: , Attic: ) is a city in southern Greece. ... There is also an ancient Tegea near Kissamos in the island of Crete, see Tegea, Crete Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greek containing the Temple of Athena Alea. ... Xenophon, Greek historian Xenophon (In Greek , c. ...

In war the Sciritae formed an elite corps of light infantry, a loche (battalion) of about 600 men, which were used as a complement to the civic army. According to Thucydides (v. 67), they fought on the extreme-left wing in the battle-line, the most threatening position for the hoplite phalanx: "In this battle the left wing was composed of the Sciritae, who in a Lacedaemonian army have always that post to themselves alone". At night, they were placed as sentinels ahead of the army (Xenophon, Constitution of the Spartans, xii. 3) and acted as scouts to open the way for the king, whom they only could precede. Traditionally light infantry (or skirmishers) were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. ... Symbol of the Austrian 14th Armoured Battalion in NATO military graphic symbols A battalion is a military unit usually consisting of between two and six companies and typically commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel. ... Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ... A hoplite armed with a spear. ... A modern reconstruction of Greek hoplites forming a phalanx formation. ... Xenophon, Greek historian Xenophon (In Greek , c. ...

In the Cyropaedia (IV, 2), Xenophon compares them to the Hyrcanian cavalry, used by the Assyrians as rear-guard. Cyropaedia (lit. ... Gorgan (گرگان); Hyrcania ; Hyrcana (Old Persian Varkâna, land of wolves; modern Persian Gorgan): part of the ancient Persian empire, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea (present day Golestan, Mazandaran, Gilan and parts of Turkmenistan). ... This article concerns the ancient Mesopotamian kingdom. ...

See also

Former Spartan slaves, now free (possibly from escape). ...


  • (French) Edmond Lévy Sparte : histoire politique et sociale jusqu’à la conquête romaine, Seuil, coll. « Points Histoire », Paris, 2003 ISBN 2-02-032453-9

Edmond Lévy ([b. ...   City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country France Région ÃŽle-de-France Département Paris (75) Subdivisions 20 arrondissements Mayor Bertrand Delanoë  (PS) (since 2001) City Statistics Land area...

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