Classical Greek Tactics by Roel Konijnendijk
Ancient Greek armies were loose collaborations and rarely trained. Were training a spectrum with None at one end and Suvorov (Izmail) at the other, the ancient Greeks would be close to None.
Note that a) this is for hoplites, not Spartans nor mercenaries, and b) in 330 BC Athens finally instituted universal military training for men.
The Prussians were aware that the depth of the phalanx differed according to circumstance, but Rstow and Kchly asserted that it must have had a standard depth of eight ranks; after all, the execution of formation evolutions demanded it. All known alternative depths were therefore dismissed. Delbrueck protested that the standard of eight ranks was arbitrary no such standard was ever established by the Greeks but even he conceded in the end that eight ranks must have been the norm.
There was a clear desire to see the standards of then-current military theory reflected in the ancient world nowhere more poignantly illustrated than in Rstow and Kchlys attempt to reconstruct the textbook deployment of chariots and infantry in Homer.
These assumptions require a military genius. They require a revolution. Any casual subversion of protocol can only be a minor aberration; change must take the form of a wholesale dismissal of tradition, a clear statement that the rules no longer apply. Leuktra provides this statement. It was not the first to deviate, but it deviated more; Epameinondas dispensed with tradition and mighty Sparta was defeated.
What Xenophon suggests by the nature of his advice is that Greek armies were not only commonly untrained, but that they could not be trained unless a suitably inspiring commander was present. If Greek citizens felt no urge to impress their general, it would be nearly impossible to get them to do his bidding. If they did not care to train, they could not be made to do so (Oik. 21.4). Lendon has pointed out the com-plete absence in Xenophon of any sense that a general ought to be obeyed simply because he is a general.