from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a type of light infantry units in Ancient Greece who often served as skirmishers

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Gr. antiquity, a light-armed soldier: so called from the light shield he carried. See palta, 1.


From Ancient Greek πελταστής (Wiktionary)


  • Thrace had invented the peltast, the quick and mobile lightly armed infantryman who fought at close range with a knife or at a distance with a javelin.

    The Spartacus War

  • “No, nor yet a peltast”; but he had been ordered by his messmates to drive a mule, although he was a free man.


  • Unhindered by body armor, a peltast could move much more quickly than the fully armed hoplite, whose equipment was both far more heavy and far more expensive than theirs.


  • I saw the peltast who had not spoken glance at the other as if to say he means it, and then at the crowd.

    The Shadow of the Torturer

  • The peltast said, "But Lochage -" shooting such a look of hatred toward me that I thought he might attempt to do me some harm when I left the bartizan.

    The Shadow of the Torturer

  • Such words as peltast, androgyn, and exultant are substitutions of this kind, and are intended to be suggestive rather than definitive.

    The Shadow of the Torturer

  • The peltast was relaxed, so there was no great difficulty.

    The Shadow of the Torturer

  • "No, nor yet a peltast"; but he had been ordered by his messmates to drive a mule, although he was a free man.


  • Though his men were forming on the hill, Cleon fled as fast as he could on the approach of the enemy, but was pursued and slain by a Thracian peltast.

    A Smaller history of Greece From the earliest times to the Roman conquest

  • 9 The Athenian right made a better stand, and though Cleon, who from the first had no thought of fighting, at once fled and was overtaken and slain by a Myrcinian peltast, his infantry forming in close order upon the hill twice or thrice repulsed the attacks of Clearidas, and did not finally give way until they were surrounded and routed by the missiles of the Myrcinian and Chalcidian horse and the peltasts.



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