phalanx, in military science, tactical formation consisting of a block of heavily armed infantry standing shoulder to shoulder in files several ranks deep. Fully developed by the ancient Greeks, it survived in modified form into the gunpowder era and is viewed today as the beginning of European military development.
How did the Greek phalanx work?
When engaging in battle, the phalanx would form a tight defence and advance towards the enemy. The defence would be held tight by the hoplite shields and greaves which formed a barrier on all sides of the unit. Each soldier was armed with a spear.
What was the importance of the Greek phalanx?
The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults against it very difficult. It also allowed a higher proportion of the soldiers to be actively engaged in combat at a given time (rather than just those in the front rank).
Who invented the Greek phalanx?
Phillip II of Macedon, learning of Epaminondas’ tactic in Thebes, brought it back to his kingdom where he created the first professional fighting force in Greece outside of Sparta. He armed his men with the longer sarissa spear (which had a length of 18 feet) and much smaller shields than previously used.
How big was a Spartan phalanx?
The most common was the “close-order” phalanx. In this formation, hoplites stood 45 cm apart (around 1.5 feet), with their shields overlapping.
What is the only weakness of the phalanx?
The main weakness of the phalanx alway was that its right wing was poorly protected, because hoplites had their shields on their left arm.
How many soldiers are in a phalanx?
The typical phalanx was eight men deep, that is, eight rows of men, and any number of men wide. There are instances of both less and greater ranks of men in various battles though. The hoplite’s main weapon was a spear (600074) between seven to nine feet long.
What does helots mean in ancient Greece?
helot, a state-owned serf of the ancient Spartans. The ethnic origin of helots is uncertain, but they were probably the original inhabitants of Laconia (the area around the Spartan capital) who were reduced to servility after the conquest of their land by the numerically fewer Dorians.
What was the main weapon on a trireme?
The principal weapon of the trireme was the bronze-sheathed battering ram affixed to the prow which was used to sink enemy ships.
What were three items traded by Greek merchants?
Who trained Alexander the Great to fight?
Alexander was the son of Philip II and Olympias (daughter of King Neoptolemus of Epirus). From age 13 to 16 he was taught by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who inspired his interest in philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation. As a teenager, Alexander became known for his exploits on the battlefield.
Did Alexander create the phalanx?
The Macedonian phalanx (Greek: Μακεδονική φάλαγξ) is an infantry formation developed by Philip II and used by his son Alexander the Great to conquer the Achaemenid Empire and defeat armies of other kingdoms.
Did Spartans use phalanx?
Spartan Military Innovations. The hoplite phalanx, however, consisted of specially-armed infantry. They all wore bronze body armor, helmets, bronze shin guards, and all carried shields. … The phalanx fought in formation in a highly organized and disciplined manner.
What is the Roman phalanx?
The combat formation used by the Greeks and Romans was called the phalanx. This involved the soldiers standing side by side in ranks. … With only about three feet between the rows of soldiers, the Romans would move towards the enemy. The phalanx was a very difficult barrier to break through.
How heavy was a Spartan sword?
It was a rather light weapon, with a weight around 450–900 g (0.99–1.98 lb). It was generally hung from a baldric under the left arm. The xiphos was generally used only when the spear was broken, taken by the enemy, or discarded for close combat.
Who used the most powerful fighting formation in the ancient world called phalanx?
The ancient Sumerian army fielded a standard six-man-deep phalanx; the first line went into battle carrying large, rectangular shields, and the troops bore heavy pikes and battle axes.