How MUCH RISK did a Greek hoplite run of losing his life in a set battle? The consensus of recent writers on Greek warfare is that casualties were light unless and until one side retreated. 1 “Greek armour gave reasonably good protection,” explains G. Cawkwell, “hence the small number of casualties on the victorious side in set battles—there were a mere 159 on the Greek side at Plataea in 479 B.C.” Oswyn Murray finds the battle of Plataea illustrative of hoplite battles in general: “It is typical of the nature of hoplite warfare that in this greatest of hoplite battles the Greeks lost only 159 men.” A. J. Holladay also cites Plataea, along with Mantinea, Delium, and Marathon—where 6,400 Persians died, but only 192 Athenians—to support his contention that “the total casualties in hoplite battles where we have reliable figures are remarkably light.” But Plataea and Marathon were not battles between two hoplite armies. Were their casualties typical or exceptional?