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36

The Macedonian phalanx had limited protection from missiles in the form of their long spears, but it's true that it was vulnerable to missile fire. For example, during the Battle of Ipsus (fought among Alexander's successor states), Seleucus's horse archers devastated the enemy phalanx, causing many to flee. However, the phalanx did not fight alone. A ...


21

I think the first time he is mentioned as "Alexander the Great" (at least in the sources known to us) is Quintus Curtius Rufus' "Historiae Alexandri Magni Macedonis", this "Magni" has been translated into English as "Great". Here it clearly refers to his talent as a military leader which allowed him to build up a huge empire. Quintus Curtius Rufus was a ...


18

At its heyday the phalanx was the most advanced heavy infantry formation of its time. The Romans were able to beat it (at the battle of Pidna, for example) because their manipular legion was more flexible while enjoying a strong cohesion just as the phalanx did. So you can say perhaps that the legion out-phalanxed the phalanx. Mind also that the victory ...


15

I'm only aware of one surviving iron coupling-sleeve that joined the two halves of the sarissa spear-shaft. The discovery was reported in the 1970 paper Sarissa by Manolis Andronicos in the journal Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, (vol 94-1 pp. 91-107). The iron sleeve is shown in figure 8: and the measurements that will be of particular interest ...


14

Your contention that "Romans seemed to outfight Macedonian phalanx pretty easily" is not really true. The critical source for you to read here is Plutarch's life of Paulus Aemilius, the Roman general who conquered Macedonia and was the victor at the key battle of Pydna (168 BC). You may also want to read the Wikipedia article on the battle. If you read ...


14

Actually, it wasn't intended specifically to set an example, but it did serve to deliver a message that he was not someone who was going to just go away. Alexander's father, Phillip, was murdered in 336 BC, leaving Alexander to rule in his place. Many states, including Thebes and Athens, rose up in revolt when they heard the news. Alexander responded ...


11

The Greeks had demonstrated military superiority over the Persians for many years. Both Cimon and Agesilaus had led successful expeditions into Persian territory. That Persia maintained its dominant position over Greece had not so much to do with their own military capabilities, but rather because of the incessant warfare amongst Greek cities. Their focus on ...


11

Papyrus was known to the Greek world since the 8th century BC, as it's mentioned in the Odyssey: [Hom. Od. 21.390] Now there lay beneath the portico the cable of a curved ship, made of byblus plant, wherewith he made fast the gates, and then himself went within. Thereafter he came and sat down on the seat from which he had risen, and gazed upon Odysseus; ...


10

The Macedonian army was indeed relying on a well-established logistics organization. The following book, as already mentioned in the comments, is probably the most well-known one about the subject and quite possibly the best too. Engels, Donald W. Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army. Univ of California Press, 1980. According to ...


10

I voted up lins314159's answer. I would like to add a couple of things though. The vast majority of Alexander's empire actually started his tenure as the Persian's empire. So a great deal of credit (and attention) should be paid to all the work they did to put that empire together. However, Persia's loss of the Persian-Greek wars 100 years earlier had ...


10

Alexander apparently received that epithet from the Romans, who admired him. The oldest surviving reference of the title is found in the Mostellaria ("The Haunted House"), a play written by Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254 – 184 BC). This roughly a century or so after Alexander's death in 323 BC. Tranio: Alexandrum magnum, atque Agathoclem, aiunt maxumas Duo ...


9

The short answer to this question is that there is indeed a plausible connection. B.M. Kingsley (PhD) in 1981 already pointed to this connection as seen in the following abstract: The so-called Macedonian kausia was originally identical with a cap often called a chitrali still worn today by men in Afghanistan, Pakistan and, above all, in Nuristan. No ...


8

During the Punic Wars, the Macedonians allied themselves with the Carthaginians with the expectation they would be the victors of the war and therefore be on good terms with them in the future. In order to cement this, the Macedonian–Carthaginian Treaty was signed in 215 BC as recorded by Livy. On this contest, between the two most powerful people in the ...


6

Location. According to A Companion to Ancient Macedonia edited by Joseph Roisman, Ian Worthington, the "site was attractive for several reasons". The location controlled a crossroads,"controlling major passageways from east to west, and south to north." The location was also situated on a lake, with a port which may have been able to be reached from the ...


5

Against the Romans, Alexander would have lost. Several hundred years later, when Perseus of Macedon fought the Roman army, the Macedonians found it hard to keep the line strait and their ranks unbroken, so once there was a gap, the Romans would rush in and massacre the people left and right. The Macedonians with a ridged command structure and armed with ...


5

Alexander was called "the Great" by historians shortly after his death in his early 30s. During his short life, we conquered essentially all of the modern Middle East and Egypt, starting with a base of Macedonia, a kingdom near Greece. In the process, he defeated much larger, mostly Persian armies, in an unbroken series of battlefield victories and ...


5

Question: Was the Macedonian phalanx, with their long spears and small shields, really more effective than the hoplites? How do you measure "more effective"? In a 1-1 battle their isn't much reason to believe the Macedonian phalanx would outperform the more traditional Greek phalanx consistently, and even less reason to suspect it would do so on all ...


4

Just wanted to add an observation in some research on the Macedonian and Greek armies... The Hoplite was a standard infantryman of all Greek nations, also the in Macedonia under Philip and Alexander. All free men (citizens) were by law trained and own Hoplite equipment. Philip added the pikemen first as a specialist addition to the heavy infantry. They ...


4

The quote is from the chapter on Demosthenes on Lives of the Ten Orators, by Pseudo-Plutarch: γενόμενος δὲ καὶ ἐν τῇ Ὀλυμπιακῇ πανηγύρει καὶ ἀκούσας Λαμάχου τοῦ Τερειναίου Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου ἐγκώμιον ἀναγινώσκοντος Θηβαίων δὲ καὶ Ὀλυνθίων κατατρέχοντος, παραναστὰς ἀρχαίων ποιητῶν μαρτυρίας προηνέγκατο περὶ τῶν Θηβαίοις καὶ Ὀλυνθίοις καλῶς πραχθέντων,...


4

Eumenes was a Thracian, according to Plutarch's The Life of Eumenes: Duris reports that Eumenes, the Cardian, was the son of a poor wagoner in the Thracian Chersonesus, yet liberally educated, both as a scholar and a soldier; and that while he was but young, Philip, passing through Cardia, diverted himself with a sight of the wrestling matches and other ...


3

The Charisma - Macedonian soldiers were ready to go with Alexander, because they loved their leader and didn't just go with him because of fear of him. The War techniques - Alexander was "great" at designing new techniques at war. For example, He let the war chariots go inside his line and made his warriors attack the chariots from behind. The chariots then ...


3

The assumption that Philip of Macedon made radical changes seems questionable. The Macedonian sarissa was longer than the hoplite version, which would give it an advantage over a phalanx with shorter weapons. Certainly with these, and the Macedonian Cavalry, Philip managed to subdue all of Greece aside from Sparta, who also gave him little trouble. Of ...


3

There is no way to know because there are no records of his birthdate.


2

Simply; no. In war one must do a multitude of things well to win: logistics, command, morale, training, and battle tactics just for a start. Getting any one of these things seriously wrong is sufficient to ensure likely defeat. That Alexander was able to string together victory after victory virtually guarantees that he was performing all of these skills ...


1

From Rzepka, Jacek. "The units of Alexander’s army and the district divisions of late Argead Macedonia." Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 48.1 (2008): 39-56 comes a possible answer. On p49 It is the interpretatio difficilior, but (with Curtius’ variant in mind) I suspect that Arrian’s τελευταία δὲ τῶν βασιλικῶν ἰλῶν reflects a onetime dividing of ...


1

The problem Macedon had when facing Rome was manpower - Rome was a world power and could put many men in the field - up to 500,000. Macedon, by the time of Phillip II's death, was a world power whether Athens and all the city states liked it or not. Macedon alone could put into the field 50,000 men, not including their Allies. Their Cavalry was easily the ...


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