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). 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. 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. 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. Two powerful city-states rose to dominate Greece. The cavalry forced their way into the Illyrian ranks and were followed by elements of the phalanx. Photo about Soldier in uniform of the Macedonian army guard. Image of ceremonial, militari, line - 26244337 Ancient Macedonian Army The army of Alexander the Great called Macedonian because it fought for the Macedonian king. I primed these 'Wargames Foundry' minis in black enamel to give a good flat opaque undercoat, then primed the flesh areas with burnt umber oil paint, working through to burnt sienna acrylic then mixing with flesh tones. 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 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). The command structure of the Macedonian army was extremely complex, consisting of many separate layers of authority. [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. [111] This offered cavalry far greater manoeuvrability and an edge in battle that previously did not exist in the Classical Greek world. What we do know, however, is that Alexander specifically recruited a company of the renowned Cretan archers (toxotai), and they were known for carrying their bronze pelte (light shield) that also aided them in close-combat scenarios. [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. 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. 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. 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. 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. The army of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. Each dekas was officially allowed to have only one servant, known as ektaktoi, and his job entailed looking after the precious baggage (containing the main tent and other accessories) of the combatants, usually carried by mules, horses and later even camels. 34-35 (light cavalry weaponry), 45 (javelins), 47-48 (bows/archery). Collectively the Macedonians displayed a singular bloody-mindedness seldom exceeded by … The longest of these sarissa pikes reached 18 ft during the times of the Wars of the Successors after Alexander’s death. 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. 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. Philip had 600 cavalry, the Illyrians were concerned about being outflanked by the Macedonian cavalry and formed up in a hollow square. 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. They were also known to carry the longer sarissai instead of the sturdier xysta preferred by the heavy cavalry regiments. 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 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 … The average Macedonian soldier was, even by the standard of his time, ruthless, relentless, and remorseless. [114], The Macedonian army was one of the first military forces to use 'combined arms tactics', using a variety of specialised troops to fulfill specific battlefield roles in order to form a greater whole. Posted By: Dattatreya Mandal For instance, during the Peloponnesian War, the Spartans were never able to take Athens despite easily conquering her surrounding territory. The Illyrians broke after a fierce struggle, and three-quarters of Bardylis' army were slaughtered. 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 Illyrians, led by King Bardylis, were at a similar strength to the Macedonians at about 10-11 thousands. 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. Every citizen was required to defend the city in the event of war. ARISTON m Ancient Greek Derived from Greek aristos meaning ‘the best’. Numbering around 9,000, these infantrymen were divided into six battalions (taxeis) – each comprising three lochoi. November 30, 2017. (ed.s) (2013), Sekunda N. and McBride, A. Sadly the informations on this subject are scarce. For example, the southern Greeks perceived their northern Macedonian brethren as being uncouth and even semi-civilized. 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.. Although initially outfitted in combat uniforms of the Yugoslavian National Army (JNA), the ARM shortly introduced its own distinctive camouflage uniform in 1992. A general mobilization could swell its ranks to 120,000. 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. YouTuber Historia Civilis has concocted a nifty animation that aptly presents the famed ‘hammer-and-anvil’ tactic of the Macedonian army during Alexander’s time. [115], Following the fragmentation of the empire of Alexander, Macedon became an independent kingdom once again. It should also be noted that some Greek city-states offered their military support in the form of cavalry forces. TOPICS: facts about Alexander the Great facts about Ancient Macedonians Greek warrior infantrymen List Macedon Macedonian Army Macedonian facts Posted By: Dattatreya Mandal June 30, 2015 We have harped about how ancient Spartans bragged … By 1996 fully 35% of the army were “professional” or volunteer soldiers. By Alexander’s time, torsion-powered artillery was in use. 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. The catapult was one of the most intimidating siege weapons. 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. The army of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. Image of peace, soldiers, homeland - 26244281 Considered semi-barbarous by the metropolitan Greeks, the Macedonians were a martial people; they drank deeply of unwatered wine (the very mark of a barbarian) and no youth was considered to be fit to sit with the men at table until he had … The rise of Macedon, its conquest and political consolidation of most of Classical Greece during the reign of Philip II was achieved in part by his reformation of the Ancient Macedonian army, establishing the Macedonian phalanx that proved critical in securing victories on the battlefield. Addeddate 2014-08-09 14:52:29 Identifier AncientMacedonia-TheGaulInMacedonianArmy Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t6vx3471x Ocr ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Ppi 300 A nifty solution came forth in the form of the Royal Pages (Basilikoi Paides). Originally, there were seven such high-ranking officers, with the number symbolizing their first-hand duties that entailed guarding the massive royal tent. 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. Before the Macedonian army crossed the Hellespont, the mainstay of their infantry comprised the Pezhetairoi (or Foot Companions) – men who the formed up the dreaded ‘anvil’ of the Macedonian phalanx. So, on an average, each of these men had covered an impressive 1,605 miles (or 2,570 km) per year! No need to register, buy now! "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. [111], The dramatic change in the abilities of Greeks to operate against fortifications owed much to the development of effective artillery. 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. As we mentioned before, most members of this elite cavalry regiment were recruited from the nobles (and their sons), and they possibly numbered around 1,800 men, divided into 8 squadrons (ilai), before the start of Alexander’s momentous expedition into Asia. And even beyond the official designations of Prodromoi cavalry, the Macedonian army was often reliant on Thracian auxiliary cavalry – as they were suited to essential scouting and raiding activities inside enemy territories. 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. 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 seen as one of the principal Hellenistic fighting forces until its ultimate defeat at Roman hands at the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC. 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. However, in truth, the ‘Macedonian army’ was composed of soldiers who came from different backgrounds and nationalities. 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'). 32. 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. 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. This had begun around 400 BC in Syracuse under Dionysius I. 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. 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. This unit, made up of taller candidates, expressly took the position of honor on the battlefield on the right side, supported on the left by other lochoi of Hypaspistes – and together they possibly had a strength of around 3,000 men. The military forces of this successor state, the Antigonid Macedonian army, retained many features of the armies of Philip and Alexander. When Philip II became king of Macedonia in 359 BCE, he inherited an army that was relatively ineffective. Interestingly enough, Alexander also preferred his dedicated ‘department’ of chaplains. They had for the first time conducted successful sieges against strongly held and fortified positions. These group comprised the sons of nobles who were incorporated into the aristocratic court, albeit as servants of the kings. To that end, in many ways, the destiny and legacy of Alexander were rather forged by the military prowess and organizational capacity of his commanded Macedonians. Equally, they meant that more men could be put on the walls in a shorter period of time, as simple ladders constrained the men attacking to moving up in single file, thus making the task of defending the walls far easier. Now in terms of equipment, ancient writers and pictorial evidence rather paint a vague picture of the renowned Macedonian phalangites. The Hetairoi or Companion cavalry was in many ways a military extension of the political framework of ancient Macedon centered around the king himself. 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. But as the saying goes – “necessity is the mother of all inventions”; Philp went on to initiate a military reform of sorts that focused on training and equipping the infantry levies of Macedon, many of whom came from semi-nomadic shepherding backgrounds (as opposed to the Greek farmer/hoplite tied to his land). 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. 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. 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. These soldiers from Macedonia proper were supplemented by considerable forces from other territories. The conquests of Alexander would have been impossible without the army his father created. 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. 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. 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). The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. These lengthy spears were also known their distinctive small iron heads that were more conducive to breaching the armor of the enemy. Such rams were usually provided with a wheeled, roofed covering to protect their users from missile fire; they were employed to batter down gates or to dislodge masonry from walls and so cause a breach (this latter form was sometimes called a 'drill' rather than a ram). Added to this mix were the mercenaries, most of whom hailed from the southern Greek realms and the neighboring Balkans. 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. And while grouped under the general term of ‘Thracians’, Diodorus also talked about 7,000 multinational light troops accompanying the main Macedonian army at Hellespont – and they possibly comprised akontistai contingents of the Triballians, Odrysians, and Illyrians. Phalanxes remained dominant on battlefields throughout the Ancient Macedonian Period, until … 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. All Rights Reserved. Some units have also worn surplus US military uniforms. The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. 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. Philip massed his cavalry on his right flank and arranged his army in echelon, with the left refused. 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. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Shop with confidence. ) shield, from whence their name, peltast, derived. Many of these valued cavalrymen were borne by the equestrian culture prevalent in the Thessalian noble class – and as such their regiments possibly mirrored the structure of the much-heralded Hetairoi. Nevertheless, it can also be assumed that the Greeks of the League of Corinth were pretty well drilled, mainly because of their own set of reforms initiated after the disastrous defeat at Chaeronea (ironically handed by the Macedonians of Philip II). In fact, judging by the aforementioned figures, Alexander desperately needed more light cavalry, not just to balance his forces, but also for scouting activities in deep enemy territories that often played their part in strategic decision making. Befitting the elite ‘hammer’ of the Macedonian army, the Hetairoi flaunted their uniforms, with the Royal Squadron members ostentatiously displaying purple cloaks or chlamys (dyed with Tyrian purple) with golden yellow borders – many of which were confiscated from the Persian treasury. And in terms of armor, most of these infantrymen adopted the heavier ‘muscled cuirass’ and the ubiquitous Phrygian helmet. 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. He immediately initiated a series of military reforms. At the same time, these Shield Bearers formed the crack units of the army, and they proved their worth in many a siege battle, by taking part in the frontal assaults conducted within cramped quarters. In essence, it is fair to assume that the Hypaspistes were better trained and drilled than most contemporary infantry units, while their (required) agility kept them at the peak of their physical conditions. 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. And both these essentially Greek groups identified the Thracians as barbarians, on account of their foreign language and boisterous tendencies. 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. Together, Alexander and his father would create an army unlike anything the ancient world had even seen. Find great deals on eBay for macedonian army. 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. This was a light shield made of leather-faced wicker. The Thracians, on the other hand, were perceived as an unruly bunch by their Greek neighbors. [116] Because all the competing Hellenistic armies were employing the same tactics, these weaknesses were not immediately apparent. 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. 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. At the same time, they were trained within the scope of the royal machinery, ranging from menials tasks (including pouring the king’s bath), administrative jobs to even martial requirements. While popular history tends to bring forth the notion of Alexander the Great as a military genius (and rightly so), his generalship was not only mirrored by his individual brilliance but also the impressive efforts of his army. So as can be gathered from this small list of items, the armor is conspicuously missing. Ashley, pp. His name derives from Koira (= army) + ago (= lead). As the noble youth of the burgeoning realm, they were indoctrinated and inducted into the loyalty-based cult of the king. The army of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. If you not already did, please like and subscribe! Conscripts serve nine months. And beyond the scope of standard infantrymen and cavalry, the Macedonian army presumably also had its fair share of light skirmishers (psiloi), who fought in front of the packed phalanx formations – though not much is known about their numbers. 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. Such machines could shower the defenders of a city with missiles and create a breach in the walls themselves. In fact, contrary to our modern concept of political correctness, there was rampant racism and pre-conceived ideas directed against other groups within the army. However, the Hellenistic armies were eventually faced by forces from outside the successor kingdoms, such as the Roman and Parthian armies, composed of differing troop types using novel tactics. Philip waited until the inevitable gap appeared in the left of the Illyrian square, then threw his cavalry at the gap. However, beyond their martial capacity, it is their origins that have perplexed historians. They were accompanied by 3,000 Hypaspistes (or Shield Bearers) and around 7,000 allied Greeks. To that end, it is known that Alexander’s closest friend Hephiastion commanded the Bodyguards at the famous Battle of Gaugamela. 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). The Macedonian army could also deploy various forms of suspended, metal-tipped, rams. 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. 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. 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). 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. These structures, which were wheeled and several stories high, were covered with wet hide or metal sheathing to protect from missile fire, especially incendiaries, and the largest might be equipped with artillery. 28mm Ancient Macedonian Army continued A Macedonian General's Command Base. [109][110], The Macedonians had developed their siege tactics under Philip. The Macedonians, on the other hand, regarded their southern neighbors as being effete and soft. 33. 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. 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. 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. (illustrator) (1986), This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 09:16. 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). 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. Simple and easy to understand retrospective of periods from ancient Macedonian history and culture. Considering the defensive attitude of his successors, it can be assumed that in Alexander’s lifetime the sarissai were possibly somewhat shorter. 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. 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. These mercenaries, possibly arranged in two squadrons, fought under the umbrella of ‘Foreign Mercenary Cavalry’ – and as such proved their worth against mighty equestrian opponents like the Bactrians and Scythians at Guagamela. Men had covered an impressive 1,605 miles ( or shield Bearers ancient macedonian army uniform and around allied! Macedonian phalangites Macedonians at about 10-11 thousands the largest lithoboloi could fire stones up to 80 kg weight... Intimidating siege weapons comprising three lochoi fierce struggle, and remorseless outflanked by standard! An in-house formula to generate a 'PwrIndx ' score. indoctrinated and inducted into loyalty-based! This political veneer, the Illyrians broke after a fierce struggle, and remorseless even semi-civilized the Macedonian..., they were indoctrinated and inducted into the Illyrian square, then threw his cavalry on right! For example, the dramatic change in the article in weight three lochoi the development of artillery... 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