BCF Western Civilization class takes to the field

BCF Dean of Students and History Professor Roger Richards demonstrates historical warfare techniques during Western Civilization.

BCF Dean of Students and History Professor Roger Richards demonstrates historical warfare techniques during Western Civilization.

Sometimes, getting out of the classroom and putting what you learned to the test is the best way to really understand the concept. At least, that is what some of the students in the Western Civilization class at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) determined on Tuesday. After discussing the Hoplite formation developed by the ancient Greeks of Sparta, BCF Dean of Students and History Professor Roger Richards took his students outside to demonstrate exactly how effective this form of warfare really was.

Richards divided the class into two groups, with one group outnumbering the other by about two to one. The smaller group, he placed into a small Hoplite phalanx, where the “soldiers” would have interlocked arms and supported by the soldiers in the rear. To really illustrate the point, Richards took the smallest class members and placed them on the front line. According to Richards, in reality, they would have been protected by shields, but at least they had the support of the others standing behind them. After they were placed in formation, Richards instructed the larger group to push the smaller group down the hill into the small pond behind them. They enthusiastically began pushing, but quickly discovered that even though they had the advantage of numbers and pushing down-hill, the task was not as easy as they thought. BCF Senior Haden Keough said, “The was the best class ever!”

“The reason this formation was so effective is because each person functions as a part of the larger unit, not as individuals,” acknowledged Richards. “The entire group was able to understand how strategically we function best when we work together, rather than just looking out for individual interests.” Richards likened the illustration to what the church does when Christians work together in harmony, rather than just trying to function as individuals. “It is not enough just to be focused on a common goal; we need to work in harmony to be the most productive,” stated Richards.

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