These Ioudaioi Taxeis, utilized extensively by the Seleukids and Ptolemaioi, are surprisingly effective medium infantry, fast and lightly equipped, but able to defeat many comparable opponents.
These Ioudaioi Taxeis have been recruited in the army for the purpose of providing reliable garrison troops, useful for policing borders and keeping the general population in line. They have been given somewhat outdated equipment consisting of a Phrygian helmet, a solid spear, javelins and a round shield. Though generally unimpressive, many of the soldiers supplement this equipment with armor purchased or manufactured on their own. This added body armor, combined with a good track record of loyalty and valor, make them a tough and reliable medium infantry force, capable of taking on much heavier opponents. This makes them excellent troops to fight off the occasional raids from desert peoples or hold off a more serious invasion until more professional reinforcements have arrived.
The Ptolemaioi, who after the battle of Gaza gained a firm hold on Ioudaia, lacked the Hellenic manpower to firmly garrison all of Koile Syria as well as their possessions in Egypt and Hellas. To supplement their Hellenic forces, they began recruiting heavily from a few local, warlike populations. In Koile Syria, these were the Ioudaioi and Samareitai, many of whom fought in the small field armies used by the Ptolemaioi to police the borders against Arab raids or Seleukid invasions. Armed as medium infantry, they could expect a shield, helmet, and spear from their employers, and many added light armor of their own, manufactured by their families. They proved more valuable soldiers than the Ptolemaioi had expected, well able to defeat many comparable opponents in either skirmishes or close quarters battle, and many eventually received a full-size kleros in Aigyptos. With the advent of Seleukid rule in Ioudaia, after the battle of Panion, the Ioudaioi contingents did not fall out of favor. In fact, the Seleukid monarchs had been levying outlying Ioudaian populations to serve in garrison duty all over their empire, from Lydia to India, and they only increased their use of Ioudaioi after seizing the province from the Ptolemaioi. This policy helped the Seleukids slow the deterioration of their farther territories, but also led to more disastrous consequences--a more able enemy--when the Ioudaioi eventually revolted from Seleukid rule. Even after Epiphanes' wars against them, and the atrocities committed on both sides, the Ioudaioi remained common contingents in late Seleukid armies.