A tightly formed phalanx of sarissa-armed infantry presented an almost impenetrable wall of spear points, especially to cavalry. The Macedonian phalanx advantage was protection, but it had disadvantages. The Macedonian phalanx unlike the traditional Greek Hoplite phalanx was not engineered to defeat its enemy all by itself. The longer spear meant people in the fifth row could use their spear tips against a closing enemy. The larger unites with heavier spears were also slower than normal phalanxes. This weakness wasn't well understood when it was occurring because all the greeks uses single formations armies and thus could not well exploit the weakness of the post Alexander Macedonians. All pikemen were essentially Hoplites trained and equipped as pikemen. The phalanx finally met its end in the Ancient world when the more flexible Roman manipular tactics contributed to the defeat and partition of Macedon in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. Malaskor Knight Querist. Make your purchase as normal here on our website and use the individual code for the show in question shown below to â¦ Although very long spears had been used since the dawn of organized warfare (notably illustrated in art showing Sumerian and Minoan warriors and hunters), the earliest recorded use of a pike-like weapon in the tactical method described above involved the Macedonian sarissa, used by the troops of Alexander the Great's father, Philip II of Macedon, and successive dynasties, which dominated warfare for several centuries in many countries. Why can't people on the back of the phalanx “reorient” their shield? Was the Macedonian phalanx, with their long spears and small shields, really more effective than the hoplites? In field battle the sarissa and the smaller shield could effectively pin down normal Hoplites. Unable to get under the thick Because the Macedonians had light infantry, light calvary and heavy calvary to complement their phalanx, the Macedonian phalanx was designed to hold the enemy, and control space while these more mobile specialized troops destroyed the enemy by flanking or the use of projectile weapons. Macedon alone could put into the field 50,000 men, not including their Allies. Namely 4 separate Wars with Rome spanning five decades, 5 wars if you count the Seleucid War all accusing centuries after Alexander's death. An example is the Battle of Falkirk in 1298. The Hoplite was a standard infantryman of all Greek nations, also the in Macedonia under Philip and Alexander. The sarisa or sarissa (Greek: ÏÎ¬ÏÎ¹ÏÎ±) was a long spear or pike about 4â6 metres (13â20 ft) in length. The Macedonians asked different things of their phalanx(heavy infantry) than did the Hoplite greeks, and so the longer spears helped the phalanx achieve their particular role in the Macedonian battle tactics. Well, proofs do, in the final account, matter. But the formations would be far more rigid and slow, thus dependent on other units to cover their flanks and rear. What do men in the middle of a phalanx contribute? Should I give her aspirin? The military forces of this successor state, the Antigonid Macedonian army, retained many features of the armies of Philip and Alexander. Etymology: From ÏÎ¬ÏÎ¹ÏÏÎ±. It â¦ In Alexander's time Macedonia had a big advantage in that they were an equestrian culture and usually had a larger cavalry than their opponents. bristle of spikes, the Romans used a planned retreat over the rough Why didn't NASA simulate the conditions leading to the 1202 alarm during Apollo 11? Any infantryman or rival phalanx attempting to battle such a formation would be out ranged and outnumbered by the spear tips of the Macedonian formation. As for the origins of Philip's reforms, I'm not an expert but at least I can point out that he probably took the idea from the reforms of Epaminondas at Thebes, where young Philip had been a hostage. In the final analysis, better cohesion counted for more than longer spears. So while the Macedonian Phalanx was more defended unless the enemy infantry was willing to throw themselves upon the spear tips of the Macedonians it was not really capable of closing with the enemy consistently to make it a reliable offensive threat. Why did Sparta turn on its ally Elis during the First Macedonian War? I am playing as the Sparta faction. and integer comparisons. All the Greek phalanxes used Spears or pikemen all the phalanx men had swords as secondary weapons. Paullus claimed Thanks for contributing an answer to History Stack Exchange! short sword (little more than a dagger) and lighter armor of the Why doesn't NASA release all the aerospace technology into public domain? If you read Plutarch, you will find that at the beginning of the battle the Roman army was shattered on the phalanx. Greek pikemen vs. Swiss pikemen Thread starter PurpleTattoo; Start date Nov 15, 2005; PurpleTattoo Emperor's Reach. How do you measure "more effective"? If I had a choice, I know which army I would like to be in!! The Romans had an equal cavalry, and using their signalling systems used their cavalry better. It was twice as long as a normal hoplite spear(Dori). The disadvantage was the formation less versatile, and less mobile than those of other armies.(-1-). site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. (3) Erosion of the Macedonian Cavalry Advantage. Rome never had such a high class cavalry... ever. (diving) A dive position with knees straight and a tight bend at the hips. Both types showed well versus Persians, from Xenophon and his long retreat to Alexander and his long advance. To attack, prod, or injure someone with a pike. (2) Signalling. â¦ Following the fragmentation of the empire of Alexander, Macedon became an independent kingdom once again. I would like to know your opinion of the pros and cons of Qin pikemen, who held 7m long pikes with both hands, vs Macedonian phalagites who held a sarissa on one hand and a shield in the other. The longer spears were better at defending the phalanx and holding the enemy setting them up for the other units. This is exactly what happened at Pydna. After reading some of the responses hear I have to say that everyone who stated that a phalanx equipped with sarissas is superior to a classical hoplite phalanx is categorically wrong. In particular the late medieval pike tactics tended to start most often preferring on much deeper squares or columns for combat, sometimes up to 60-80 ranks deep, which could usually move quicker and maintain cohesion more easily if only due the much smaller frontage. Their Cavalry was easily the most effective mounted force in the Ancient World. In fact there are numerous battles that shown when an unsopported phalangite phalanx meet a hoplite phalanx hoplite would chew their lines ranging from battles that Philip had with the Greeks, to the Persians employing Greek hoplite mercenaries, to the Romans having Greek hoplite allies. The Macedonians under Philip and then Alexander utilized an army of mixed components where few others did and fewer still had developed the tactics which made these mixed component armies so lethal. I'd suggest omitting that part. Welcome to History: SE. The butt-spike could be used as a back-up point shâ¦ It's just not supportable given the time and differences occurring over that time. When Paulus conquered Macedonia, he took immense riches and booty. The only advantage the Macedonian phalanx had over the hoplite phalanx was it's use of calvary. The Macedonian success was not due to their phalanx's superiority (with the sarissa pike). Mass distribution of the Macedonian Sarissa pike. We will be on the road again during 2019 visiting as many shows as we can.  Polybius (18.31.5), emphasises that the phalanx required flat open places for its effective deployment, as broken country would hinder and break up its formation. Sarissa - The sarisa or sarissa (Greek: ÏÎ¬ÏÎ¹ÏÎ±) was a long spear or pike about 4â6 metres (13â20 ft) in length. For example, regarding the battle of Gaugamela, Alexanders heavy infantry numbers 31,000 - but this number again doesn't mean 31,000 men armed with sarissas. Rome suffered defeats against Pyrrhus and, in spite of what the Roman accounts said, had considerable trouble dealing with the Phalanx. The critical source for you to read here is Plutarch's life of Paulus Aemilius, the Roman general who conquered Macedonia and was the victor at the key battle of Pydna (168 BC). The Legion could work in rough terrain, and outflank the phalanxes. You may also want to read the Wikipedia article on the battle. 08 Apr âSocial Distancingâ Macedonian Style vs Persian Style Saved in: Uncategorized by Mark Mclaughlin; with 2 Comments; Twenty-three centuries ago Alexander the Greatâs Macedonians practiced a form of âsocial distancingâ â by using a 5-meter long pike to keep enemies at a distance. The Romans legions were superior because they were disciplined and could attack weak spot of the phallanx. I know Alexander the Great conquered the known world with the phalanx, but I think to give the credit to the phalanx would be false here. their points, but with little success. As you are able to grow fodder more cheaply, it becomes cheaper and easier to have horses. Thus those who served as pikemen were quickly considered some sort elite or of superior training than most others. He used massed artillery to fire across a river at a Scythian army, causing it to vacate the opposite river bank, thus allowing the Macedonian troops to cross and form a bridgehead. The Minoan enkhosâ¦a pretty pike-ish spearâ¦predates the sarissa by whole meaty chunks of historical time, yet traces for a Knossos-based tyranny reaching from the Atlas mountains to Crete to Balkh are strangely absent. The Macedonians had ruled the whole Middle East since the time of Alexander and had grown rich and fat. It was introduced by Philip II of Macedon and was used in his Macedonian phalanxes as a replacement for the earlier dory, which was considerably shorter. Economy grows better over time. It seems more like Romans outsmarted phalanx. on the Romans a short distance from the Roman camp. They used both trumpets and flags to direct men around. The Macedonian phalanx was not called to fight apart from the rest of the army. However, perhaps the dory, being one-handed, has more range of motion, allowing more momentum to build up? This was what let them find and exploit the weak spots in the phalanx. Total War: ATTILA> Workshop > bigsur's Workshop > A Farewell to Sarissa! Mind also that the victory was not easy at all - the Macedonians first had the upper hand at Pidna but their formation broke when they started pursuing the Romans on uneven ground. Couple that with luring Macedonians into rough ground and you take away all the advantage of their formation and long pikes. 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