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Late fifth century to first half of the fourth century B.C. Athenian military commander of mercenary troops known for his skillful use of peltasts, a medium-armed infantry.
Iphicrates lengthened the spears and swords of the peltastsand created an army that could carry out the missions of light and heavy infantry, that is, use throwing weapons and engage in hand to hand fighting and also move easily and rapidly. He was several times chosen strategos of Athens. Iphicrates won several victories during the Corinthian War (395–387 B.C.). In the 380’s he fought in Thrace on the side of the local ruler Cotys, and in 374–373 he participated in the Persian campaign against Egypt. During the War of the Allies (357–355 B.C.), he was accused of treason but was acquitted. Iphicrates was a typical commander of mercenary units that were increasingly losing touch with thepolis.