A trip to north of Athens leads to the scenery of a Greece-specific gentle slope that merges with the skies, which allows you to imagine what the formation of Hoplites would have been like. “Landscape” mattered to the first ever army’s war tactics in history. Landscape has to be taken into consideration when it comes to tactic and weaponry planning although it is not a sole determining factor. The rocky landscape around Athens tells enough that Greece used Hoplites as a main weapon while lacking cavalry forces.
Then, Thessaly in mid-northern Greece offers you a panoramic view of picturesque plains, which are completely different from any other Greek field that lies sandwiched between rocky hills. Once you arrive in Thessaly, you are met with a chunk of genuine plains. Low-lying hummocks sparsely spotted in the landscape are the perfect place to train and graze horses.
Compared to the southern part of Greece, mid-northern regions including Thessaly were famous for producing powerful cavalry troops in the country. Places with plains and pastureland properly in harmony used to be home to cavalry forces and war strategists.
These cavalry troops were a nightmare of the people in Athens. The scenes of Hoplites fighting against Kentauros are often found on panels of the walls of the Parthenon on the Acropolis hill. According to a theory, the mythological creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse is a symbol of cavalry troops. The panels may imply how much the people of Athens would have suffered from them.
However, Athens chose to nurture cavalry soldiers over vilifying and demonizing them just as Kentauros. Much effort was done but to no avail, which led partly to the loss to Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.
It is easy to curse and blame your enemy. However, such resentfulness just as expressed on the panels of the Parthenon does not add up to victory at all. Be smart to win even if you learn and steal what you need from your enemy. It has been an all-time secret to victory in numerous battles throughout the history.