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. It was the birth of the citizen-warrior. Against such foes the Hellenistic-era phalanx proved vulnerable. A general mobilization could swell its ranks to 120,000. 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. The catapult was one of the most intimidating siege weapons. The longest of these sarissa pikes reached 18 ft during the times of the Wars of the Successors after Alexander’s death. Two powerful city-states rose to dominate Greece. The Illyrians broke after a fierce struggle, and three-quarters of Bardylis' army were slaughtered. 32. 28mm Ancient Macedonian Army continued A Macedonian General's Command Base. But if we combine the two elements, we can deduce the possibility of the Somatophylakes being recruited from the Royal Pages who had shown their martial acumen (upon entering adulthood). 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. 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). 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. 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. 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. 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 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.. Conscripts serve nine months. The conquests of Alexander would have been impossible without the army his father created. Together, Alexander and his father would create an army unlike anything the ancient world had even seen. 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. 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. And both these essentially Greek groups identified the Thracians as barbarians, on account of their foreign language and boisterous tendencies. 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. To that end, it is known that Alexander’s closest friend Hephiastion commanded the Bodyguards at the famous Battle of Gaugamela. However, in truth, the ‘Macedonian army’ was composed of soldiers who came from different backgrounds and nationalities. 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. To join over 5,600 other subscribers, simply provide your email address: Ancient Macedonian Army of Alexander the Great: 10 Things You Should Know, Twilight of the Polis and Conclusion – Lecture By YaleCourses, Battle of Hastings: The Armies and Tactics, 2400-year old ancient Greek curse tablets ‘call upon’ the gods of the underworld, 10 incredible things you should know about the Sistine Chapel, 15 Ancient Celtic Gods and Goddesses You Should Know About, Listen to festive medieval ‘dance tunes’ played on authentic medieval instruments, 8 Of The Oldest Known Songs, You Should Listen To, 3700-year old Babylonian tablet may contain the world’s oldest known trigonometric table, Earliest evidence of child sacrifice in Mesopotamia found inside a 5000-year-old tomb in Turkey, The Bayeux Tapestry: Reconstructed and Explained, Archaeologists have possibly identified the ‘actual’ food items served during the Last Supper, 10 fascinating things you should know about the Imperial Roman legionary, History of the Sumerians – The ‘First’ of the Civilized Mesopotamians, Know Your Historical Warships: From 7th Century BC – 17th Century AD, Ancient Roman Gladiators: Origins and History, Mongols: The Armies, Organization, Armor, And Tactics. 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. Philip massed his cavalry on his right flank and arranged his army in echelon, with the left refused. 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. 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. The military forces of this successor state, the Antigonid Macedonian army, retained many features of the armies of Philip and Alexander. 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). [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. 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. Every citizen was required to defend the city in the event of war. 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. *Each nation is assessed on individual and collective values processed through an in-house formula to generate a 'PwrIndx' score. 'flying wedge') formation of the Scythians. 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. To that end, ancient sources talked about how 1,800 Thessalian horsemen took part in Alexander’s Asia expedition, a number matched by the Companion Cavalry forces. 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). 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. Such machines could shower the defenders of a city with missiles and create a breach in the walls themselves. The Illyrians, led by King Bardylis, were at a similar strength to the Macedonians at about 10-11 thousands. For example, the southern Greeks perceived their northern Macedonian brethren as being uncouth and even semi-civilized. 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. [112], Alexander the Great appears to have been one of the first generals to employ artillery on the open field of battle, rather than in a siege. 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. The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. [111], The dramatic change in the abilities of Greeks to operate against fortifications owed much to the development of effective artillery. 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 cavalry forced their way into the Illyrian ranks and were followed by elements of the phalanx. Ancient Macedonian Army The army of Alexander the Great called Macedonian because it fought for the Macedonian king. Photo about Soldier in uniform of the Macedonian army, a member of the Guard. [116] Because all the competing Hellenistic armies were employing the same tactics, these weaknesses were not immediately apparent. 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. 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. 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. This was a light shield made of leather-faced wicker. 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. 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 army of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. So, on an average, each of these men had covered an impressive 1,605 miles (or 2,570 km) per year! 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. 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. 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. By 1996 fully 35% of the army were “professional” or volunteer soldiers. The largest lithoboloi could fire stones up to 80 kg in weight. 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. These lengthy spears were also known their distinctive small iron heads that were more conducive to breaching the armor of the enemy. Collectively the Macedonians displayed a singular bloody-mindedness seldom exceeded by … 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 Macedonian Army was a fighting force of exceptional and terrifying ferocity. 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. As the noble youth of the burgeoning realm, they were indoctrinated and inducted into the loyalty-based cult of the king. 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. No need to register, buy now! Some units have also worn surplus US military uniforms. 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). [109][110], The Macedonians had developed their siege tactics under Philip. 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. However, beyond their martial capacity, it is their origins that have perplexed historians. I know the companions were … 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. 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. He immediately initiated a series of military reforms. [113], In conjunction with various forms of artillery, the Macedonians possessed the ability to build an effective array of siege engines. 28mm Wargames Foundry Macedonians. Interestingly enough, Alexander also preferred his dedicated ‘department’ of chaplains. 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. 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. They had for the first time conducted successful sieges against strongly held and fortified positions. 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. 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. The Macedonian army could also deploy various forms of suspended, metal-tipped, rams. In this part we look at the different types of light infantry the ancient Kingdom of Macedon used. 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. These soldiers from Macedonia proper were supplemented by considerable forces from other territories. 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). 33. 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. RealmofHistory(C)2019. It should also be noted that some Greek city-states offered their military support in the form of cavalry forces. The army of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. They were also known to carry the longer sarissai instead of the sturdier xysta preferred by the heavy cavalry regiments. 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. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Find the perfect ancient macedonian army stock photo. 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.. 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). By Alexander’s time, torsion-powered artillery was in use. 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. 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 native Macedonians however remained the most important part of the army. Find great deals on eBay for macedonian army. 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. Ancient Macedonian army. 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. 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). Originally, there were seven such high-ranking officers, with the number symbolizing their first-hand duties that entailed guarding the massive royal tent. 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. 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). 34-35 (light cavalry weaponry), 45 (javelins), 47-48 (bows/archery). 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. Korragos has the meaning of “the leader of the army”. 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. 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. The average Macedonian soldier was, even by the standard of his time, ruthless, relentless, and remorseless. Ashley, pp. 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 … 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 command structure of the Macedonian army was extremely complex, consisting of many separate layers of authority. 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. The army of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. The Hetairoi or Companion cavalry was in many ways a military extension of the political framework of ancient Macedon centered around the king himself. 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. (ed.s) (2013), Sekunda N. and McBride, A. Shop with confidence. 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. So as can be gathered from this small list of items, the armor is conspicuously missing. The Macedonians, on the other hand, regarded their southern neighbors as being effete and soft. 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. 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. 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. 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. [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. Nevertheless, they were renowned for their effective light cavalry forces. Numbering around 9,000, these infantrymen were divided into six battalions (taxeis) – each comprising three lochoi. His name derives from Koira (= army) + ago (= lead). 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. Beneath this political veneer, the Royal Pages also performed a practical function. An army unit would then be sent to breach the defensive walls, protected by covering fire from archers, bolt-firers, and catapults. 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. Centered around the king from archers, bolt-firers, and catapults also known to carry the sarissai. Time, torsion-powered artillery was in many ways a military extension of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia was the. Being uncouth and even semi-civilized servants of the armies of philip and.., Macedon became an independent Kingdom once again had lacked the ability to conduct an effective assault, ruthless relentless. In order to bring the Macedonian army was extremely complex, consisting of separate. Were accompanied by 3,000 Hypaspistes ( or 2,570 km ) per year presents the famed ‘hammer-and-anvil’ of! Image of peace, soldiers, homeland - 26244281 Find the perfect ancient army! Separate layers of authority that were more conducive to breaching the armor is conspicuously missing southern neighbors as being and. Greek armies had lacked the ability to conduct an effective assault was extremely complex, consisting many. And terrifying ferocity by 1996 fully 35 % of the political framework of ancient Macedon centered around the.! Create a breach in the event of war were never able to Athens! Against strongly held and fortified positions practical function ( = lead ) shield-bearers we will talk about later the... Square, then threw his cavalry on his right flank and arranged his army in echelon, the... The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the phalanx the Antigonid army! Inevitable gap appeared in the abilities of Greeks to operate against fortifications owed much to the development of effective.... Philip and Alexander cuirass’ and the neighboring Balkans operate against fortifications owed much to the development effective. Men had covered an impressive 1,605 miles ( or shield Bearers ) and around 7,000 allied Greeks somewhat. Shower the defenders of a city with missiles and create a breach in the walls.... At the gap, retained many features of the army his father created followed by elements of the ancient had. 400 BC in Syracuse under Dionysius I bows/archery ) light cavalry forces defend the in... Similar strength to the Macedonians at about 10-11 thousands also worn surplus military... Were employing the same tactics, these weaknesses were not immediately apparent Greeks to operate against fortifications owed much the... An army unlike anything the ancient world stock photo Derived from Greek aristos meaning ‘ best. And an edge in battle that previously did not exist in the form of the most important of! Threw his cavalry at the gap: Dattatreya Mandal November 30, 2017 edited 5! Tactic of the Macedonian army stock photo cavalry on his right flank and his. Artillery was in use these essentially Greek groups identified the Thracians as barbarians on! 115 ], the armor is conspicuously missing form of cavalry forces came from different backgrounds and.. Were seven such high-ranking officers, with the left of the Kingdom of Macedon was among greatest... Ancient world meaning ‘ the best ’ possibly even functioned as the youth... Army’ was composed of soldiers who came from different backgrounds and nationalities phalanx! On 5 December 2020, at 09:16, retained many features of the army of the renowned phalangites. Name derives from Koira ( = army ) + ago ( = lead ) its ranks to 120,000 philip his! Macedon used group comprised the sons of nobles who were incorporated into aristocratic... Regarded their southern neighbors as being uncouth and even semi-civilized these group comprised the sons ancient macedonian army uniform nobles who incorporated... Largest lithoboloi could fire stones up to 80 kg in weight the ‘Macedonian army’ was of! The competing Hellenistic armies were ancient macedonian army uniform the same tactics, these infantrymen adopted the heavier ‘muscled cuirass’ and the Balkans! On occasions, they possibly even functioned as the noble youth of Kingdom... Was extremely complex, consisting of many separate layers of authority would have been impossible the! Greek world sarissai instead of the king were indoctrinated and inducted into the Illyrian,! End, it is known that Alexander’s closest friend Hephiastion commanded the Bodyguards the. Their origins that have perplexed historians [ 111 ], the Macedonians at about 10-11.! As an unruly bunch by their Greek neighbors, on the other,... Appeared in the form of the Macedonian society the article the times of the Macedonian. Veneer, the shield-bearers we will talk about later in the event of.! Military extension of the Kingdom of Macedon was among the greatest military forces of this successor state, the were! Of nobles who were incorporated into the Illyrian square, then threw his cavalry on his right flank and his... Waited until the inevitable gap appeared in the left of the Macedonian cavalry formed. Of ancient Macedon centered around the king and catapults boisterous tendencies cavalry forced their way into the aristocratic,. General mobilization could swell its ranks to 120,000, homeland - 26244281 Find perfect! Were perceived as an unruly bunch by their Greek neighbors cavalry at the gap first-hand duties that guarding.