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. 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. The military forces of this successor state, the Antigonid Macedonian army, retained many features of the armies of Philip and 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. 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). RealmofHistory(C)2019. The army of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. 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. 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.. 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. The latter group possibly pertained to the courtiers of ancient Macedon, who traveled with the basileus (king) and convened with him in the royal tent. 164-165. 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). As the noble youth of the burgeoning realm, they were indoctrinated and inducted into the loyalty-based cult of the king. 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. Interestingly enough, Alexander also preferred his dedicated ‘department’ of chaplains. This had begun around 400 BC in Syracuse under Dionysius I. When Philip II became king of Macedonia in 359 BCE, he inherited an army that was relatively ineffective. Now in terms of equipment, ancient writers and pictorial evidence rather paint a vague picture of the renowned Macedonian phalangites. Originally, there were seven such high-ranking officers, with the number symbolizing their first-hand duties that entailed guarding the massive royal tent. Such machines could shower the defenders of a city with missiles and create a breach in the walls themselves. These lengthy spears were also known their distinctive small iron heads that were more conducive to breaching the armor of the enemy. In this part we look at the different types of light infantry the ancient Kingdom of Macedon used. However, beyond their martial capacity, it is their origins that have perplexed historians. An army unit would then be sent to breach the defensive walls, protected by covering fire from archers, bolt-firers, and catapults. Some units have also worn surplus US military uniforms. 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 Macedonians, on the other hand, regarded their southern neighbors as being effete and soft. 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 catapult was one of the most intimidating siege weapons. 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. 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. 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 32. Addeddate 2014-08-09 14:52:29 Identifier AncientMacedonia-TheGaulInMacedonianArmy Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t6vx3471x Ocr ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Ppi 300 It should also be noted that some Greek city-states offered their military support in the form of cavalry forces. 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. 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 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. Sources: WeaponsandWarfare / Twilight of the Polis and Conclusion – Lecture By YaleCourses, Book References: Alexander the Great at War (Edited by Ruth Sheppard) / Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age ( By Peter Green) / The Army of Alexander the Great (By Nick Secunda), Home » Blog Posts » Military » Ancient Macedonian Army of Alexander the Great: 10 Things You Should Know. 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. 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). Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Macedonian Camouflage Patterns Ashley, pp. Shop with confidence. 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 … [115], Following the fragmentation of the empire of Alexander, Macedon became an independent kingdom once again. 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. [113], In conjunction with various forms of artillery, the Macedonians possessed the ability to build an effective array of siege engines. They were accompanied by 3,000 Hypaspistes (or Shield Bearers) and around 7,000 allied Greeks. The Macedonian army could also deploy various forms of suspended, metal-tipped, rams. 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). No need to register, buy now! Beyond the hierarchy of personal companions, Alexander also approved of a more centralized control over the nobles of the Macedonian society. 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. 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. 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. Image of ceremonial, militari, line - 26244337 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. [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 . Against such foes the Hellenistic-era phalanx proved vulnerable. Our popular notions about the ancient army commanded by Alexander the Great in his renowned campaigns mostly harks back to a homogenous Greek-speaking force comprising of the ‘anvil’ phalanx and the ‘hammer’ cavalry. Photo about Soldier in uniform of the Macedonian army guard. These group comprised the sons of nobles who were incorporated into the aristocratic court, albeit as servants of the kings. 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. 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 longest of these sarissa pikes reached 18 ft during the times of the Wars of the Successors after Alexander’s death. [116] Because all the competing Hellenistic armies were employing the same tactics, these weaknesses were not immediately apparent. 28mm Ancient Macedonian Army continued A Macedonian General's Command Base. 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. 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 Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. 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. 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. 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. The Macedonian Army was a fighting force of exceptional and terrifying ferocity. They had for the first time conducted successful sieges against strongly held and fortified positions. *Each nation is assessed on individual and collective values processed through an in-house formula to generate a 'PwrIndx' score. 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. The Illyrians broke after a fierce struggle, and three-quarters of Bardylis' army were slaughtered. 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. 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 … 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. 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. Among these units, the Royal Squadron (Basilike Ile) with its double numbers held the position of honor in battles, and such its members were usually drawn from the Personal Companions and Friends (philoi) of the Basileus. (ed.s) (2013), Sekunda N. and McBride, A. 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. The native Macedonians however remained the most important part of the army. 'flying wedge') formation of the Scythians. The largest lithoboloi could fire stones up to 80 kg in weight. 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. 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.. 33. 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. 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. Phalanxes remained dominant on battlefields throughout the Ancient Macedonian Period, until … However, in truth, the ‘Macedonian army’ was composed of soldiers who came from different backgrounds and nationalities. By Alexander’s time, torsion-powered artillery was in use. 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. 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. 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. I know the companions were … 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. 28mm Wargames Foundry 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. Philip had 600 cavalry, the Illyrians were concerned about being outflanked by the Macedonian cavalry and formed up in a hollow square. The command structure of the Macedonian army was extremely complex, consisting of many separate layers of authority. 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. 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.. Photo about Soldier in uniform of the Macedonian army, a member of the Guard. By 1996 fully 35% of the army were “professional” or volunteer soldiers. 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. 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. Although a Spartan boy learned enough to be literate, more importantly, he learned how to endure … If you not already did, please like and subscribe! These infantrymen were divided into six battalions ( taxeis ) – each comprising three lochoi control over the nobles the. Also deploy various forms of suspended, metal-tipped, rams ( or 2,570 km ) per year youtuber Historia has. The dramatic change in the abilities of Greeks to operate against fortifications owed much to Macedonians. 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