What does infantry mean?

   Infantry, foot soldiers. The word means literally the infants—the boys—referring, no doubt, to the page of medieval warfare who followed the knight, if at all, on foot. It is said that the main force of the ancient oriental army was mounted. Effective infantry was developed on Greek soil. Soldiers protected by armor were called hoplites by the Greeks. They carried a long spear and dagger. The famous Greek phalanx of from 2,000 to 4,000 men was developed from infantry of this sort. The Roman legion succeeded the phalanx. The Germans who overthrew the Roman Empire used a foot soldiery. On the continent of Europe in the eighth century, this gave way to heavy-armed cavalry—the feudal "knight" and "men-at-arms." As stated the mounted medieval knight was followed by footmen. With the invention of guns and powder the foot soldier sprang into importance. Gustavus Adolphus, Wallenstein, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and Wellington won their victories with infantry.