The Eubœans excelled in standing1 fight, which was also called close fight,2 and fight hand to hand.3 They used spears extended at length according to the words of the poet; ‘warriors eager to break through breastplates with extended ashen spears.’4 The missile weapons were perhaps of different kinds, as, probably, was the ashen spear of Pelion, which, as the poet says,
When the poet says,
“ Achilles alone knew how to hurl.5”Il. xix. 389.
he means with a missile spear. They, too, who engage in single combat, are first introduced as using missile spears, and then having recourse to swords. But they who engage in single combat do not use the sword only, but a spear also held in the hand, as the poet describes it, “‘he wounded him with a polished spear, pointed with brass, and unbraced his limbs.’7” He represents the Eubœans as fighting in this manner; but he describes the Locrian mode as contrary to this; “‘It was not their practice to engage in close fight, but they followed him to Ilium with their bows, clothed in the pliant fleece of the sheep.’8” An answer of an oracle is commonly repeated, which was returned to the Ægienses; “‘a Thessalian horse, a Lacedæmonian woman, and the men who drink the water of the sacred Arethusa,’” meaning the Chalcideans as superior to all other people, for Arethusa belongs to them.
“ I strike farther with a spear than any other person with an arrow,6”Od. viii. 229.