Hoplitai Troglodutikes (Erythraian Sea Hoplites) are mostly Hellenic colonists who were drawn to the Erythraian Sea coast.
Hoplitai Troglodutikes (Erythraian Sea Hoplites) are mostly Hellenic colonists who were drawn to the Erythraian Sea coast. After initial exploration Ptolemaioi founded colonies in there to hunt elephants and trade with the natives and as far as India. Local garisson forces took part in those hunts and many of the veterans remained on those colonies after retiring. As in each Hellenic polis, a local force of hoplites would be summoned at time of need. Having completed the rigorous "ephebike askesis" they would be ready to fight against their enemies and as such the rigorous demands for citizenship have been lowered to whomever is available. The enemies aren't hoplites or Phallangitai. They are the skirmishers and spearmen of the Troglodytai, the fierce archers of Meroe and Inner Aithiopia, and maybe even the lightly armored but deadly Sabaioi. Hellenic discipline and courage can win the day, but not by underestimation of those enemies. Against those, while retaining the same offensive equipment, (spear and aspis shield), bronze muscle cuirass and linothorax have been dumped in favor of lighter quilted armour. It is easier to wear in the tropics as ancient Aigyptioi had proven. No pteryges, as they add to weight and can raise body temperature. A trusty "machaira" compliments their equipment too. Their helmet is an evolved Boiotian, the ideal helmet for providing some sort of eye protection in the desert and african coast. Their aspis has no bronze coating, relying on elephant skin instead. Natives had been using such an arrangement, for some time. Now Hoplitai Troglodutikes must do the same.
Historically, Ptolemaioi were very interested in the southern regions of their domain. Akte Troglodutike or the coast of the Troglodutes was perhaps the “wild, unexplored” frontier of the time. The rising elephant hunts as well as the trade with Sabaioi and Indoi, led to the founding of a series of Colonies, with Filotera, "founded by Satyr [a Ptolemaioi general] when he was sent hunting elephants in Troglodytiki" (Strabo,16,4-5) being the first. Soon enough, Arsinoe Troglodytiki, Berenike Troglodytiki, Ptolemais of the Elephantotheron (Elephant hunters) were founded. As frontiermen always do, those people cared more for what someone could do, not the purity of his Hellenic blood. Thus Hellenised Aigyptians and other nationals could be there and perfectly fit in. However rich and promising their situation was, their enemies were at the doors as to a Troglodyte which many of them were, the Colonists were godly rich. The local hoplites fight as ekdromoi mostly, since this is the only way they can effectively deal with the fluid battlefield environment in that area. Colonies in that region existed for many centuries and that was due, in no small part to the ability of their inhabitants to defend them.