Throughout the civilised world, levies formed the backbone of many armies. Called to service from among citizens or subjects, levies followed a long tradition that began, in Greece at least, with hoplite warfare between the city-states. Equipped with spears, these levied phalanxes could present a formidable wall of spear points to other infantry and cavalry. What levies lacked in skill and discipline compared to professional soldiers and mercenaries they made up for in numbers and the advantage their weaponry provided. These troops, especially the citizen-levy of the Greek city-states, were at first expected to provide their own arms and equipment. As time passed the citizen army developed into a more formalised body in which arms and equipment were provided. Often, however, personal loyalty to a general or king replaced any sense of civic duty, although 'civic duty' might be grudging to say the least in men taken from their homes, families and livelihoods, and thrust into battle.