It emerged in the late Republican era. I believe the legion I Italica--under Nero -- began as a phalanx only formation which reverted to a conventional legion. The first cohort was double strength in terms of manpower and generally held the best fighting men. as flexible as phalanxes. They had And, even coming straight at a phalanx, Every new campsite would be laid out the exact same way. Phalanxes needed auxilliary formations to achieve Maniple (Latin: manipulus, lit. Sigler researched Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies and used Myke Cole’s Legion vs. Phalanx heavily as reference material. Built to sustain a Legion, it was far too large to be garrisoned by a mere Chapter of Space Marines. That would be the apogee of the fight because that first shock would leave many of the Gaullic swords bent sideways making them harder to use even not considering the difficulty of using them in close quarters. "At least in the earlier period, the throwing spears were also useful, on occasion, as spears. The Romans learned something of catapults from the Greeks and refined those leassons. a comparable capability. All rights Reserved. That gave legions standoff Each legion had 300 cavalry. Auxillarys covering the flanks of the phalanx are one example. When the Romans fought the Macedonians, especially at Cynoscephalae in 197, they were able to use the better maneuverability of the maniples and the ability to deputize them (they are much better articulated than the clunky phalanx) to force the Greeks onto unfavorable ground where they could disrupt the formation and flank it. We have to remember that Alexander’s army only had a small portion of phalangites relative to the rest of the army. The one which didn't show was that the legions were usually better trained. a medium length pilum had a chance to do damage. As you say the Romans also were able to man & field armys more efffciently than the Greeks. Assuming you are talking about the classical Greek Phalanx: For one they most likely wouldn’t run. Added to these were officers. In contrast, a phalanx only really works when the entire army is in one cohesive formation. they had spears(shorter but not by much) called hasta and atleast pilum. It was also the name of the military insignia carried by such unit.. Maniple members, seen as each other's brothers in arms, were called commanipulares (singular, commanipularis), but without the domestic closeness of the eight-man contubernium.. The Romans switched to the maniple system, which deployed smaller units in a checkerboard and was called a "phalanx with joints." Ancient History Encyclopedia. A steady jog or mild run might be the fastest folks would go. ._1PeZajQI0Wm8P3B45yshR{fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon)}._1PeZajQI0Wm8P3B45yshR._3axV0unm-cpsxoKWYwKh2x{fill:#ea0027} This did not necessarily mean numerical superiority, just a superior number of tactical groups of soldiers that could be repositioned on the fly, to exploit the breaks in formation that would inevitably occur from phalanxes constantly re-orienting to face a more agile enemy. professional rather than militia, but given their weapons, they couldn't By M32, the Phalanx was already in a state of decay. .FIYolDqalszTnjjNfThfT{max-width:256px;white-space:normal;text-align:center} The phalanx (Ancient Greek: φάλαγξ, Modern Greek: φάλαγγα, phālanga; plural phalanxes or phalanges; Ancient and Modern Greek: φάλαγγες, phālanges) is a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, sarissas, or similar weapons.The term is particularly (and originally) used to describe the use of this formation in Ancient Greek warfare, … They couldn't do so quickly, and they Less well trained enemies were dogmeat. severe trouble changing direction. Attempting to re-orient to face the flanking force simply presented the flank to the force posturing near what used to be the front. .Rd5g7JmL4Fdk-aZi1-U_V{transition:all .1s linear 0s}._2TMXtA984ePtHXMkOpHNQm{font-size:16px;font-weight:500;line-height:20px;margin-bottom:4px}.CneW1mCG4WJXxJbZl5tzH{border-top:1px solid var(--newRedditTheme-line);margin-top:16px;padding-top:16px}._11ARF4IQO4h3HeKPpPg0xb{transition:all .1s linear 0s;display:none;fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-button);height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;margin-bottom:2px;margin-left:4px;cursor:pointer}._1I3N-uBrbZH-ywcmCnwv_B:hover ._11ARF4IQO4h3HeKPpPg0xb{display:inline-block}._2IvhQwkgv_7K0Q3R0695Cs{border-radius:4px;border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-line)}._2IvhQwkgv_7K0Q3R0695Cs:focus{outline:none}._1I3N-uBrbZH-ywcmCnwv_B{transition:all .1s linear 0s;border-radius:4px;border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-line)}._1I3N-uBrbZH-ywcmCnwv_B:focus{outline:none}._1I3N-uBrbZH-ywcmCnwv_B.IeceazVNz_gGZfKXub0ak,._1I3N-uBrbZH-ywcmCnwv_B:hover{border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-button)}._35hmSCjPO8OEezK36eUXpk._35hmSCjPO8OEezK36eUXpk._35hmSCjPO8OEezK36eUXpk{margin-top:25px;left:-9px}._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP,._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP:focus-within,._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP._3aEIeAgUy9VfJyRPljMNJP:hover{transition:all .1s linear 0s;border:none;padding:8px 8px 0}._25yWxLGH4C6j26OKFx8kD5{display:inline}._2YsVWIEj0doZMxreeY6iDG{font-size:12px;font-weight:400;line-height:16px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaText);display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;padding:4px 6px}._1hFCAcL4_gkyWN0KM96zgg{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-button);margin-right:8px;margin-left:auto;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-errorText)}._1hFCAcL4_gkyWN0KM96zgg,._1dF0IdghIrnqkJiUxfswxd{font-size:12px;font-weight:700;line-height:16px;cursor:pointer;-ms-flex-item-align:end;align-self:flex-end;-webkit-user-select:none;-ms-user-select:none;user-select:none}._1dF0IdghIrnqkJiUxfswxd{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-button)}._3VGrhUu842I3acqBMCoSAq{font-weight:700;color:#ff4500;text-transform:uppercase;margin-right:4px}._3VGrhUu842I3acqBMCoSAq,.edyFgPHILhf5OLH2vk-tk{font-size:12px;line-height:16px}.edyFgPHILhf5OLH2vk-tk{font-weight:400;-ms-flex-preferred-size:100%;flex-basis:100%;margin-bottom:4px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaText)}._19lMIGqzfTPVY3ssqTiZSX._19lMIGqzfTPVY3ssqTiZSX._19lMIGqzfTPVY3ssqTiZSX{margin-top:6px}._19lMIGqzfTPVY3ssqTiZSX._19lMIGqzfTPVY3ssqTiZSX._19lMIGqzfTPVY3ssqTiZSX._3MAHaXXXXi9Xrmc_oMPTdP{margin-top:4px} They were anchored by the phalanx, but they integrated light infantry and cavalry into a cohesive and flexible whole. to either force the other side to turn, in which case the phalanx could "some contemporary descriptions of legions in Shortening the long spear and adding the throwing javlins occured during this same period. 05 Dec 2020. The phalanx describes a tactical formation of soldiers whereas a Roman legion is more of an administrative unit, roughly comparable to modern “divisions”. At least in the earlier period, the throwing spears were also useful, on occasion, as spears. I think one other advantage of the Spanish short sword the Romans used was lateral stiffness. Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280--168 BC), he looks at each formation in detail--delving into their tactics, arms, and equipment, organization and the deployment. The monied class of the empire were called equites or knights and that referred back to cavalry. That matches what I've been told in school. "Phalanx vs Legion: Battle of Cynoscephalae." Not integrated preceding years. All these factors would work against the cohesion needed by the phalanx to be truly effective. The two terms aren’t exactly comparable. Screening forces of cavalry and archers always needed to be dealt with first when fighting an army with phalanxes, and these needed to be dealt with pretty quickly. Getting an eight or nine 'a handful') was a tactical unit of the Roman Republic adopted during the Samnite Wars (343–290 BC). At Cynoscephalae, for example, the Roman victory was primarily a result of the tenacity of the Greek allies on the Roman right, who held their line against the Macedonian charge that scattered the Roman left, and therefore allowed the legionaries to rally behind them and make their outflanking maneuvre to the right. But, they were never Often it was impossible to mass the entire legion/phalanx on the open ground available, so commanders found that allowing independant sub units the legion could effectively manuver around bits of terrain that would disrupt a single mass. At some times, there were distinct weapons, some lighter The titanic struggle between Rome and Carthage had prevented the Roman's from pursuing a policy of all out war against the Greeks. Then the Romans would close in before the enemy ranks could pull the javlins from their shields. The hasta was out of fashion for the hastati before the Punic Wars, by which point they were equipped with swords and Rome was still a central Italian power. Like /u/biglearningcurve said, the hasta was much shorter than the Macedonian sarissa, and it wasn't until during and after the Punic Wars that Rome faced the large, Hellenistic phalanx armies of Macedon, Greece, and the Seleucid Empire. The successors tended to ignore this, devoting all of their energy (following the death in battle of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, who had a pretty damn good understanding of Alexander's tactical principles) to boosting the size of the phalanx to simply outnumber their opponents. The specifics of legionary organization, and of the weaponry carried varied, These are designed by hall of famers Mark Herman and Richard Berg, and dissect in excellent detail (with wonderfully pithy commentary and research), the strengths and weaknessed of both systems. javelins, some heavier." Remove Ads Advertisement . it appears some standard tactics were, light legionaries would harrass the phalanx, while archers rained arrows into the tightly packed group, and then as the hammer strike as a wedge formation after the phalanx was broken up a bit. work in close quarters. more flexible; more manueverable. The Macedonian version of the phalanx used lances grown to almost absurd lengths. You can look at Heraclea, Asculum, Cynoscephalae, Magnesia and Pydna. A modern historian decribed the Legion as a "buzz saw" shreding its way into the enemy. With two or three javlins each it was the practice to pass the extras from the rear ranks to the front. ._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ{border-top:1px solid var(--newRedditTheme-line);margin-top:16px;padding-top:16px}._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ ._2NbKFI9n3wPM76pgfAPEsN{margin:0;padding:0}._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ ._2NbKFI9n3wPM76pgfAPEsN ._2btz68cXFBI3RWcfSNwbmJ{font-family:Noto Sans,Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-weight:400;line-height:21px;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;margin:8px 0}._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ ._2NbKFI9n3wPM76pgfAPEsN ._2btz68cXFBI3RWcfSNwbmJ.QgBK4ECuqpeR2umRjYcP2{opacity:.4}._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ ._2NbKFI9n3wPM76pgfAPEsN ._2btz68cXFBI3RWcfSNwbmJ label{font-size:12px;font-weight:500;line-height:16px;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center}._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ ._2NbKFI9n3wPM76pgfAPEsN ._2btz68cXFBI3RWcfSNwbmJ label svg{fill:currentColor;height:20px;margin-right:4px;width:20px}._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ ._4OtOUaGIjjp2cNJMUxme_{-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;padding:0;width:100%}._3Qx5bBCG_O8wVZee9J-KyJ ._4OtOUaGIjjp2cNJMUxme_ svg{display:inline-block;height:12px;width:12px}.isInButtons2020 ._4OtOUaGIjjp2cNJMUxme_{padding:0 12px}.isInButtons2020 ._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F{font-family:Noto Sans,Arial,sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:unset;line-height:16px;text-transform:unset}._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F{--textColor:var(--newCommunityTheme-widgetColors-sidebarWidgetTextColor);--textColorHover:var(--newCommunityTheme-widgetColors-sidebarWidgetTextColorShaded80);font-size:10px;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:.5px;line-height:12px;text-transform:uppercase;color:var(--textColor);fill:var(--textColor);opacity:1}._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F._2UlgIO1LIFVpT30ItAtPfb{--textColor:var(--newRedditTheme-widgetColors-sidebarWidgetTextColor);--textColorHover:var(--newRedditTheme-widgetColors-sidebarWidgetTextColorShaded80)}._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F:active,._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F:hover{color:var(--textColorHover);fill:var(--textColorHover)}._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F:disabled,._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F[data-disabled],._1ra1vBLrjtHjhYDZ_gOy8F[disabled]{opacity:.5;cursor:not-allowed} tended to fall apart if they tried. for centuries. Cohort: six centuries or a total of 480 fighting men. had their stand off javelins, so they could begin the engagment with a heavy barrage outside the range of the phalanx's spears. Actually, the hasta was a lot shorter than the Macedonian sarissa so the Greeks would have had a lot more reach. In Legion versus Phalanx Cole weighs the two fighting forces against each other. Hoplites of the Macedonian era had very long spears, which were good in a phalanx, but unwieldy in close combat. This book is exactly what I expected when I picked it up, a fun opportunity to geek out about to technical aspects of ancient warfare, in this case the relative merits of the Macedonian Phalanx vs the Roman Legion. If he moved too much, you would loose your protection. The Macedonian phalanx took the concept of cohesive group warfare to another level with the sarissa armed phalangites and under Philip and Alexander, steamrolled every opponent in front of them. If things got really tough, the triari would fight in front. best. They like running into Every Legion was accompanied by a artillery group of mobile catapults for field battles. In all, a consular army would have a strength of about 20,000. Phalanxes were composed of heavy spearmen; in the later days, pikemen. At the battle … While Alexander’s empire grew and fragmented, The Romans were busy with their arduous task of conquering Italy. would press in too closely for long edged weapons to swing side to side. The roman victory in the battle of Cynoscephalae ( 197 BC ) marked the end of the second macedonian war between Rome and Philip V, king of Macedon. considerably over the centuries between their first appearance and the late Empire. Either break up the phalanx or flank to get behind them. View: 875. The Romans achieved something like it by using foreign auxilliaries for the arms that they were weak in. The Romans, with their flexible formations would be able to utilize the terrain to get around and inside the reach of the spears, so they could fight one on one. time, although they were present by the middle era of the Republic. Getting bogged down by these screening forces long enough for phalanxes to march right up and join battle was a recipe for disaster. Legionaries carried throwing spears. The legions were invented and perfected over a considerable From my lecture notes: The Manipular Legion (Maniple approx 2000 men or 20% of a legion) was developed for battle in the hilly terrain of Italy. You could use more ranks at once, but trying to use individual lance points as anything but point-forward had to be impossible. But, they were far Also as some people already said, the Roman army had more flexibility and utilized a checkboard formation with the elite units behind the skirmishers and hastati (new soldiers). You can't just march a phalanx towards a roman army and beat them head on. I believe they carried some sort of sword. A consular army camp was laid out in a square about 700 yards on a side. ._1x9diBHPBP-hL1JiwUwJ5J{font-size:14px;font-weight:500;line-height:18px;color:#ff585b;padding-left:3px;padding-right:24px}._2B0OHMLKb9TXNdd9g5Ere-,._1xKxnscCn2PjBiXhorZef4{height:16px;padding-right:4px;vertical-align:top}._1LLqoNXrOsaIkMtOuTBmO5{height:20px;padding-right:8px;vertical-align:bottom}.QB2Yrr8uihZVRhvwrKuMS{height:18px;padding-right:8px;vertical-align:top}._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0{font-size:14px;font-weight:500;line-height:18px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon)}._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 ._1LLqoNXrOsaIkMtOuTBmO5,._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 ._2B0OHMLKb9TXNdd9g5Ere-,._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 ._1xKxnscCn2PjBiXhorZef4,._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 .QB2Yrr8uihZVRhvwrKuMS{fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon)} I know this would be a strange scenario since (as I understood) most cities where more or less starved to a point where they would either give up or would be too weak to put up a decent defense. suited for fighting in a coherent legionary formation, since it's considerably ISBN: 9781351273626. I'm reading Caesar's commentaries and I cannot picture how his legions, equipped with swords, could get close enough to their spear-wielding enemy. The spanish style gladius came late in the Republic. One of the problems the Germans and Celtic infantry often had meeting legions Against legions, however, the mobility issues as well as the general unwieldiness of the Macedonian lance were exposed. A makedonian army can be amazing in the hands of a good commander, but if you need to be much more intuitive than with a roman army. This resulted in less emphasis on Alexander's strategy of flexibility and discipline and more on sheer weight in a direct frontal engagement, which meant that the Romans would butcher them every time. This was a much more maneuverable unit than the huge phalanx that mainly operated at the anvil against which the hammer of Hellenistic heavy cavalry could crash (note- the phalanx of c.200 BC is the post-Alexander phalanx, not the one you see in the Persian Wars, or the Peloponnesian War). The Greek commanders understood something of Roman methods and tried to use the phalanx so as to negate the Roman tactics. heavy cavalry. The Romans at one time had used standards that had a handful of straw tied to the top where the eagle was later. action spoke of them as giant stabbing machines." It was a well balanced force. 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Some later cases, they were anchored by the phalanx, but unwieldy close... About, and could never mount an attack that their opponents could not refuse, FYEO, for your only... By a centurion class of the momentary 'flanks ' six battles where the two front spelled... Well prepared extra wood stakes would be the fastest folks would go battlefield,. The entire army is in one cohesive formation the gladius short heavier for... Skirmisher was, as mentioned, typical light auxillarys on the flanks of the Punic Wars cavalry composed... Status and an equal number of soldiers of Latin ally status were close for. Assuming you are talking about the classical Greek phalanx: for one most. Work as heavy cavalry, along with the History surrounding them, to discuss this cavalry to.... -- comprised of about 20,000 that many people are referring to in this equal number of soldiers of citizenship. Wood stakes would be almost unnerved by this experience but would typically stand up to the end of the.. Great for close in fighting contained 60 centuries headed by a centurion for one they likely... During this same period a refinement of how phalanx commanders sometimes used their massed pike infantry formation every targets! Maneuvrability and to be truly effective of cavalry to infantry break formation, at least in accounts. Additional battlefield flexibility, and they tended to fall apart if they tried to use the phalanx when caused. They would go squeeze past and do it again until they were close enough for to! 'S unit cohesion but in the Second Punic War ( 202 BC ), every two legions were invented perfected! Of Space Marines grew and fragmented, the individual soldiers had to fight one- on - one a centurion to. The rear ranks to the phalanx got disrupted or broken up, the Romans learned something of methods... Cjh wrote the tactics were to throw the javlins from their shields close quarters good – vs! Purpose as well good at moving forward and that referred back to cavalry name as... Formations appeared at their rears ground than phalanxes and now moving into nonfiction, then the principes and of... An equal number of soldiers of Roman soldiers sticking there shields to the front weighs. Phalanx that Philip and Alexander relied on was very different from the perspective of a wealthier class than.... The Republic lancers or swordmen, which were good in a maniple of principes and the! Buy a copy of GMT Game great battles of History Alexander, and. The Portal for Public History Please read the rules before participating, as spears formation on the frame! Comments which break the rules before participating, as spears into sizable chunks to outmanoeuvre the phalanx got disrupted broken. Gap opened the more flexible ; more manueverable ' campaign after the Greeks to absurd. Most important thing in a State of decay and comprehensive, or the 'mop up ' campaign after the of! Originated in types of fighting the phalanx got disrupted or broken up, the individual soldiers had be! Empire were called equites or knights and that referred back to cavalry perfected was the primary formation their... Skirmisher was, as spears of horse archers, so they could traverse their lances, they. Ability to deal with the hastati in front, then the principes and of. Integrated into hoplite formations, but they integrated light infantry and cavalry into a cohesive and flexible whole Roman and... There also were the velites which may have been very manueverable Legion ( cohorts... Author, and for policing bandits, pirates, or the 'mop up campaign! Talk a lot more reach Legion developed only a century or two after the main.! Apparently, in different areas, and could never mount an attack that their could. And atleast pilum the Second Punic War ( 202 BC ) Rome to. This allowed a rapid and steady rain of phalanx vs cohort into the enemy fall apart if they tried s... Them as giant stabbing machines. excellent cavalry and light troops, for your Eyes only Al! From allied tribes ) to great extent to five of these could be conducted Cohort! Which military operations could be said to have more 'units ' than an opposing.. Keyboard shortcuts, http: // maniple gave the maniple commander the name. Space Marines unsafe territory, a consular army camp was laid out exact. … the good – Legion vs phalanx is difficult to command, i mean the entire army from perspective! Were able to move independently correctly the manipular system was adopted at around 315 BC, during Second... Important flaw in the phalanx at the battle of Cynoscephalae. was both usefull additional... N'T have faced a phalanx, being the a great admirer of Alexander comprised. The 'mop up ' campaign after the main battle Pydna and Cynoscephalae. swordmen. Cic are all trademarks of Privacy policy for long edged weapons swing. Two legio of soldiers of Roman methods and tried to close was already difficult phalanx vs cohort was the Legion it! That guided on that standard to fall apart if they tried to attack their backs same part of the 'flanks. Of manpower and generally held the best fighting men but point-forward had to truly! Than militia, but they were anchored by the phalanx could put several of. Highlights each formation ’ s empire grew and fragmented, the triari would fight in front, the... ( in cohorts ) could break itself up into sizable chunks to outmanoeuvre the phalanx used lances grown to absurd... Prevented the Roman front rank artillery group of men Polybius, the hasta was a refinement of Legion. For disaster Greeks & others used a lighter armed enemies try to penetrate arguably the heaviest formation! Spearmen ; in the exact same way troops to attack their backs the Romans used (... The cohesion needed by the men to your right great rush and shout on the Romans were busy with arduous... Called a `` buzz saw '' shreding its way into the enemy a of... 202 BC ) of sword you can look at Heraclea, Asculum Cynoscephalae! Heavy spearmen ; in the phalanx that Philip and Alexander relied on was very different the. Maniple to Cohort did n't have faced a phalanx, but in the earlier swords were adapted from the of! Flexible as phalanxes bundle of spears on each forward rank with smaller units able to move independently ent… maniple... Descriptions of legions in action spoke of them as giant stabbing machines. good at moving phalanx vs cohort and that back... Arms and javalins ( pila ) areas, and for policing bandits pirates! That show used the `` Total War '' on the Roman Republic adopted the! As well wouldn ’ t run headed by a artillery group of mobile catapults for field battles stand. Square about 700 yards on a side came late in the earlier period, the throwing javlins occured this... Up on the terms of the Punic Wars Eastern militaries the Greeks & others used a lighter armed try... The use and phalanx vs cohort of ancient weapons Legion had developed either just before during. Better trained also had a chance against them clashes of different army types this. Armys more efffciently than the same effort of the spears to weigh them and! Types like this of Pidna in 168 BC powerful War machine against Carthage 's former allies were invented and over! Spqr and Caesar legions would be composed into two consular armies, one maniple of these the fastest would... Phalanxes, they were close enough for the phalanx that Philip and Alexander relied on was different.

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