Now in terms of equipment, ancient writers and pictorial evidence rather paint a vague picture of the renowned Macedonian phalangites. [111], The tactics used by the Macedonian army throughout the various campaigns it fought were, of course, varied; usually in response to the nature of the enemy forces and their dispositions, and to the physical nature of the battlefield . All Rights Reserved. So, without further ado, let us take a gander at ten things you should know about the mighty ancient Macedonian army of Alexander the Great. And on ‘completion’ of the term, many of these young men (who had entered adulthood) were drafted as officers of the Macedonian army or as members of the elite corps of Companion Cavalry – thus alluding to a cyclic order of military support from the noble families. In any case, as we fleetingly mentioned, beyond the scope of their armor, it was the bristling set of pointed sarissai that presented a nigh-impenetrable (albeit rigid) formation of the Macedonian phalangites. In addition to around 3,600 heavy cavalry forces (comprising the Hetairoi and Thessalians), complemented by around 1,400 light cavalry troopers (comprising Thracians, Greeks, and other auxiliaries), the Macedonian army of Alexander also inducted mercenary horsemen. It was seen as one of the principal Hellenistic fighting forces until its ultimate defeat at Roman hands at the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC. Photo about Soldier in uniform of the Macedonian army guard. The Macedonian Army has an estimated 15,000-20,000 ground troops (about 1% of the population), although, in reality, it can only muster around 10,000 combat troops. [111] This offered cavalry far greater manoeuvrability and an edge in battle that previously did not exist in the Classical Greek world. 28mm Ancient Macedonian Army I took advantage of Wargames Foundry's 50% off offer for regiments on ebay a few days ago and bought a bunch of Macedonians. A nifty solution came forth in the form of the Royal Pages (Basilikoi Paides). Curtius, on the other hand, talks about how these ‘bodyguards’ performed the function of Royal Pages, which goes against the Macedonian norm that forbade noble male adults from performing menial tasks. Although a Spartan boy learned enough to be literate, more importantly, he learned how to endure … With all the talk about the elite Companion Cavalry, it may come as a surprise that it was actually the Thessalians who were considered as the finest horsemen in the Macedonian army (and possibly even the whole Greek world). The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. Ancient Macedonian army. Now in spite of such frugal means and lack of actual pay (that was usually replaced by the plunder taken from enemy settlements), the infantrymen who had joined Alexander in 336 BC and then embarked on his Asia-bound campaign, had traveled more than 20,870 miles (or 33,400 km) by the time Alexander breathed his last in Babylon (in 323 BC) – according to a calculation made by historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge. Interestingly enough, other than archers, the light troops that played their instrumental role in many a military encounter, pertained to the peltasts and javelinmen (akontistai). The shield was of Thracian origin and was originally crescent-shaped, however, by the time of Macedonian greatness many depictions of peltai show them as being oval or round. One of the clues comes from the position of the Royal Bodyguard (Somatophylax Basilikos) – which was considered as the senior-most rank in the army. These group comprised the sons of nobles who were incorporated into the aristocratic court, albeit as servants of the kings. Some book about Alexander the Great that I'm reading atm made me want to research the inner workings of the macedonian army closer, especially the recruitment mechanism. The Thracians, on the other hand, were perceived as an unruly bunch by their Greek neighbors. On the offensive avenue, the Companion cavalrymen were equipped with the lengthy xyston spears usually made of sturdy cornel wood, and these were backed up by the secondary weapons of swords. Given their esteemed martial value, many of the veteran Hypaspistes possibly also formed the renowned Argyraspides – the ‘Silver Shields’ who later took part in the Wars of the Successors after Alexander’s death. Now considering the relatively rigid tactics of the aforementioned Pezhetairoi, it can be surmised that the Hypaspistes probably fulfilled a flexible battlefield role that bridged the gap between the mobile cavalry and the ‘stagnant’ phalanx. Find the perfect ancient macedonian army stock photo. This was a light shield made of leather-faced wicker. If you not already did, please like and subscribe! Alexander was also the de-facto head (archon) of the Thessalian army and the commander of the League of Corinth that gave him the power to levy military support from the Greeks. Fulfilling a role similar to the medieval squires, these teenager males were basically taken up as hostages who would serve as ‘guarantees’ of their parent’s loyalties. RealmofHistory(C)2019. According to Polyaenus’ account of Macedonian military training, the infantrymen of phalanx were supplied with bronze helmets (kranos) of the Phrygian variety, light shields (pelte), greaves (knemides) and their characteristic long pikes (sarissai). For instance, during the Peloponnesian War, the Spartans were never able to take Athens despite easily conquering her surrounding territory. For example, Diodorus talked about how the king’s friends or philoi had sent around 50 of their sons to serve as bodyguards in the Macedonian army of Alexander. This ‘anvil’ of solid bodies of infantry was complemented by the ‘hammer’ of elite cavalrymen – Philip’s new ‘companions’ comprising various Greek nobles settled on the fiefs taken away from previous enemies. Photo about Soldier in uniform of the Macedonian army, a member of the Guard. 'flying wedge') formation of the Scythians. While Athens would become a naval power, Sparta easily emerged as the atypical military city, initiating a strict code of conduct with intense military training for every male citizen. For starters, the Macedonians themselves, who formed up the ‘Royal Army’, were bolstered by their vassals, including the Triballians, Agrarians, Odrysians and even Illyrians – their former enemies. The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. Such machines could shower the defenders of a city with missiles and create a breach in the walls themselves. Philip massed his cavalry on his right flank and arranged his army in echelon, with the left refused. It was created and made formidable by King Philip II of Macedon; previously the army of Macedon had been of little account in the politics of the Greek world, and Macedonia had been regarded as a second-r Properly nice figures sculpted by Steve Saleh and Nick Collier with Mark Copplestone, they paint up a treat, pics below are armoured phalanx prior to adding the shields and basing effects. The Macedonians, on the other hand, regarded their southern neighbors as being effete and soft. 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. Image of peace, soldiers, homeland - 26244281 164-165. Diodorus talked about at least such 600 Greek horsemen crossing the Hellespont with the main expeditionary force, and they were possibly reinforced by other detachments later in the campaign. Suffice it to say, fueled by the personality cult of Alexander the Great, many of the impressionable noble youths from the cavalry regiments may have also tried to mimic their leader and charged into the battle – wearing just their ritzy tunics and armed with the xysta. Shop with confidence. As had been anticipated, the Illyrians stretched their formation in order to bring the Macedonian left wing into action. Prominent in a number of sieges, including the epic Siege of Tyre (332 BC), were siege towers; these allowed men to approach and assault the enemy walls without being exposed to potentially withering missile fire. The phalangites were armed with longer pikes and as a result the phalanx itself became less mobile and adaptable than it had been in Alexander's era. So as can be gathered from this small list of items, the armor is conspicuously missing. Macedonian Camouflage Patterns Towards the end of the period, however, there was a general decline in the use of the combined arms approach, and the phalanx once more became the arm of decision. It was the birth of the citizen-warrior. However, in spite of these cultural differences, the ‘hotch-potch’ of Alexander’s force was admirably successful in conducting long-lasting campaigns while enduring logistical obstacles – feats that were only matched by Hannibal and his army of ‘multinationals‘ more than 80 years later. This was a dramatic shift from earlier warfare, where Greek armies had lacked the ability to conduct an effective assault. Two forms of such ballista were used by the Macedonians: a smaller bolt-shooting type called the oxybeles and a larger stone-throwing machine called the lithobolos. To that end, it is known that Alexander’s closest friend Hephiastion commanded the Bodyguards at the famous Battle of Gaugamela. I know the companions were … "Quintus Curtius [History of Alexander] with an English translation by John C. Rolfe (2 voll., Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1971-76)", Twilight of the Polis and the rise of Macedon, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ancient_Macedonian_army&oldid=992447681, Military units and formations of the Hellenistic world, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 32,000+ - the field army for Alexander the Great's invasion of the, Campbell, B. and Lawrence, A. (illustrator) (1986), This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 09:16. Against such foes the Hellenistic-era phalanx proved vulnerable. Partly inspired by the great general Epaminondas and his Theban army, and also influenced by the contemporary Athenian general Iphicrates, Philip adopted the nascent ideas of the phalanx, wherein the infantrymen, in their deep formations, were armed with heavy, lengthy spears but armored in light attires. 32. Added to this mix were the mercenaries, most of whom hailed from the southern Greek realms and the neighboring Balkans. They were also known to carry the longer sarissai instead of the sturdier xysta preferred by the heavy cavalry regiments. The oblique advance with the left refused, the careful manoeuvring to create disruption in the enemy formation and the knock out charge of the strong right wing, spearheaded by the Companion cavalry, became standard Macedonian practice. [113], In conjunction with various forms of artillery, the Macedonians possessed the ability to build an effective array of siege engines. The longest of these sarissa pikes reached 18 ft during the times of the Wars of the Successors after Alexander’s death. The native Macedonians however remained the most important part of the army. Collectively the Macedonians displayed a singular bloody-mindedness seldom exceeded by … The average Macedonian soldier was, even by the standard of his time, ruthless, relentless, and remorseless. The basic tactical unit in the Macedonian army was known as the dekas, which contrary to its allusion to the number 10, actually consisted of sixteen man – equivalent of a single file in a square formation of the phalanx (comprising 256 men). However, there were a number of features of the tactics employed by the Macedonians in pitched battles which can be identified as being typical. The Antigonid Macedonian army was the army that evolved from the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia in the period when it was ruled by the Antigonid dynasty from 276 BC to 168 BC. Interestingly enough, there may have been a conspicuous absence of shields – the mainstay of Greek warfare, when it came to cavalry maneuvering, except on rare occasions. It was created and made formidable by King Philip II of Macedon; previously the army of Macedon had been of little account in the politics of the Greek world, and Macedonia had been regarded as a second-rate power.. The catapult was one of the most intimidating siege weapons. 40 THE UNITS OF ALEXANDER’S ARMY of well-organised poleis in fourth-century Macedonia (which strengthens the resemblance between the Macedonian mon-archy and Greek confederacies),2 or the fact that ancient authors list Macedonia together with Greek federal states as These features were evident in the first major battle the army, newly trained up by Philip, fought in 358 BC and could still be discerned at Gaugamela in 331 BC. It was created and made formidable by King Philip II of Macedon; previously the army of Macedon had been of little account in the politics of the Greek world, and Macedonia had been regarded as a second-rate power.. Nevertheless, they were renowned for their effective light cavalry forces. The most famous of them arguably related to the crack troops of Agrianians, who numbered around 1,000 and carried both short and long javelins. [115], Following the fragmentation of the empire of Alexander, Macedon became an independent kingdom once again. *Each nation is assessed on individual and collective values processed through an in-house formula to generate a 'PwrIndx' score. The largest lithoboloi could fire stones up to 80 kg in weight. While I will argue (in part 2) that Macedonian horse would also have been present, most Macedonians soldiers were Pezetairoi, and a Macedonian army without them would have been strange indeed. It was created and made formidable by King Philip II of Macedon; previously the army of Macedon had been of little account in the politics of the Greek world, and Macedonia had been regarded as a second-rate power.. Delving into the scope of the infantrymen, earlier we talked about how around 9,000 Pezhetairoi (or Foot Companions), the main phalanx force of the Macedonian army, were assembled for Alexander’s incredible military expedition. Pertaining to the latter, it has been hypothesized that some of these allied Greek forces (along with mercenaries) were possibly relegated to garrison duties after crossing the Hellespont. The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. And in terms of armor, most of these infantrymen adopted the heavier ‘muscled cuirass’ and the ubiquitous Phrygian helmet. Interestingly enough, one of the accounts of Polyaenus anecdotally entails how Alexander himself armed the men who had previously fled the battlefield with a hemithorakion – a half armor that only covered the front part of the body so that the soldiers wouldn’t turn their backs on the enemy. Consequently, it can be assumed that they were similarly divided into eight squadrons (ilai), with the agema (vanguard) pertaining to the Pharsalian squadron – the Thessalian counterpart to the Royal Squadron (Basilike Ile) of the Hetairoi. Although it did not succeed in every battle, the army of Philip II was able to successfully adopt the military tactics of its enemies, such as the embolon (i.e. Ancient sources also mention the term philoi (friends), which could have probably denoted the personal companions who held the highest positions in the hierarchy of the court. As for their attire, the Thessalian horsemen probably wore their distinctive dark purple cloaks with white borders, while being armored in the similar white-hued cuirasses preferred by the Companions. Aside from a small number of archers attested as Macedonian much later on (Arrian 3.12.2), the only non-guard Macedonian foot were Pezetairoi. He immediately initiated a series of military reforms. Simply put, the Bodyguards was an active combat unit (manned by the elite warriors who swore to protect their Basileus) and possibly also an institution for officer training and even staff support. The Illyrians, led by King Bardylis, were at a similar strength to the Macedonians at about 10-11 thousands. In essence, it can be hypothesized that the Somatophylakes took an active part in actual military encounters, though their numbers were probably very low – in the range of just 200 men. And, when translated in geographical terms, many of the Macedonian veterans could have claimed to cross a multitude of rivers including the Nile (in Egypt), Euphrates and Tigris (in Iraq), Oxus (in Tajikistan), Syr-Darya (in Uzbekistan) and the Indus (in Pakistan). Together, Alexander and his father would create an army unlike anything the ancient world had even seen. And mirroring the honored units of their cavalry counterparts, the Pezhetairoi possibly had an elite taxis of their own known as the Asthetairoi, with its members (preferably) recruited from Upper Macedonia. One of the clues comes from the position of the Royal Bodyguard (Somatophylax Basilikos) – which was considered as the senior-most rank in the army. Philip had 600 cavalry, the Illyrians were concerned about being outflanked by the Macedonian cavalry and formed up in a hollow square. Posted By: Dattatreya Mandal Given the sometimes confusing accounts from ancient writers, historians can only deduce that the Somatophylakes or Bodyguards probably comprised a separate unit within the ancient Macedonian army. And both these essentially Greek groups identified the Thracians as barbarians, on account of their foreign language and boisterous tendencies. These men, often accompanying the marching Macedonian army, had the important duty of convincing the soldiery of favorable battle omens by a mix of showmanship and augury. By 1996 fully 35% of the army were “professional” or volunteer soldiers. 28mm Wargames Foundry Macedonians. For the task of breaching the walled fortifications of cities, Philip II hired engineers such as Polyidus of Thessaly and Diades of Pella, who were capable of building state of the art siege engines and artillery firing large bolts. This had begun around 400 BC in Syracuse under Dionysius I. A Macedonian phalanx, an infantry formation developed by Philip II (382–336 BCE) and used by his son Alexander the Great to conquer the Achaemenid Empire and other armies. [117], This article is about the army of the Kingdom of Macedonia under, An ancient fresco of Macedonian soldiers from the tomb of, The use of Asiatic soldiers under Alexander the Great, The Campaigns of Alexander, Arrian, VII.10, Campbell and Lawrence (ed.s), pp. The Prodromoi (scouts) was one such Thracian unit that was attached to the Royal Army (comprising only Macedonians), and they possibly consisted of four squadrons. The cavalry forced their way into the Illyrian ranks and were followed by elements of the phalanx. November 30, 2017. They were accompanied by 3,000 Hypaspistes (or Shield Bearers) and around 7,000 allied Greeks. To that end, Alexander may have equipped many of his Hypaspistes in a manner similar to that of Greek hoplites, thus suggesting the usage of Phrygian helmets, lighter tunics, and shorter spears. Image of ceremonial, militari, line - 26244337 The Hellenistic armies of the other Macedonian successor-states of the Diadochi period, which followed the death of Alexander, also displayed a continuation of earlier Macedonian equipment, organisation and tactics. However, beyond their martial capacity, it is their origins that have perplexed historians. The command structure of the Macedonian army was extremely complex, consisting of many separate layers of authority. Torsion machines used skeins of sinew or hair rope, which were wound around a frame and twisted so as to power two bow arms; these could develop much greater force than earlier forms (such as the gastraphetes) reliant on the elastic properties of a bow-stave. They were also presented with standard yet flexible cuirasses, possibly made of small metal pieces that were reinforced with leather or covered in white linen, along with the Boeotian helmets that replaced the earlier Phyrgian models. The Illyrians broke after a fierce struggle, and three-quarters of Bardylis' army were slaughtered. 28mm Ancient Macedonian Army continued A Macedonian General's Command Base. Addeddate 2014-08-09 14:52:29 Identifier AncientMacedonia-TheGaulInMacedonianArmy Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t6vx3471x Ocr ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Ppi 300 Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. When Philip II of Macedon (or Phílippos II ho Makedon – Alexander’s father) ascended the throne of Macedon, his realm was beset on the northern side by the ravaging Illyrians and precariously poised on the southern borders with the opportunistic Greeks. Ancient Macedonian Army The army of Alexander the Great called Macedonian because it fought for the Macedonian king. [109][110], The Macedonians had developed their siege tactics under Philip. The name of a Macedonian officer on campaign with Alexander the Great (Arrian, Anabasis, Book II, 9 and Book III, 11, 14). The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world.It was created and made formidable by King Philip II of Macedon; previously the army … Two powerful city-states rose to dominate Greece. Korragos has the meaning of “the leader of the army”. As the noble youth of the burgeoning realm, they were indoctrinated and inducted into the loyalty-based cult of the king. For example, the southern Greeks perceived their northern Macedonian brethren as being uncouth and even semi-civilized. If Philip II had not been the father of Alexander the Great, he would be more widely known as a first-rate military innovator, tactician and strategist, and as a consummate politician. Judging by this requirement for agility, it can be assumed that the Hypaspist wore less armor when compared to his infantry comrades of the Macedonian army. On the other hand, Diodorus talked about standardized forms of armor being issued during the tough Indian campaign, thus suggesting how at least some of the Pezhetairoi wore cuirasses. 33. In any case, they probably bore a higher rank than the members of the Macedonian phalanx, and such also comprised an agema (vanguard) known as the Royal Shield Bearers (Basilikoi Hypaspistes). And since we brought up the scope of defensive equipment, it is widely known that Alexander himself preferred to ditch his cuirass in favor of just his tunic, probably to enact bouts of bravado during the earlier parts of the expedition (or possibly due to the heat). His name derives from Koira (= army) + ago (= lead). Interestingly enough, Alexander also preferred his dedicated ‘department’ of chaplains. For 2020, North Macedonia is ranked 127 of 138 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review.It holds a PwrIndx* rating of 3.1808 (0.0000 considered 'perfect'). Originally, there were seven such high-ranking officers, with the number symbolizing their first-hand duties that entailed guarding the massive royal tent. Many historians have theorized that the Hypaspistes (‘Shield Bearers’) had their origins as retainers of the Companions of the royal court (not to be confused with the Hetairoi Cavalry), while others have hypothesized that they evolved from the mainline Pezhetairoi infantry. 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Now it should be noted that hetairoi as a term is pretty vague, and it could denote both the aforementioned ‘companion’ cavalry and the king’s own personal companions. At the highest levels it is quite well known; the same cannot be said of lesser ranks, but there are hints that suggest that, even at its lowest levels, it was as complex as the more powerful positions. 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. Unlike hoplites, however, these epilektoi had to be paid on a regular basis – a system that often severely affected the fiscal condition of many individual city-states. [115], The battle fought in 358 BC near Lake Ohrid was intended to free Macedon of the threat from Illyria and recover some western areas of Macedon from Illyrian control. 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