Military Review

Legion against the phalanx. The decisive battles of the Roman-Macedonian wars. Part 1-I: The Battle of Kinoskefalah

Battle of Kinoskefalah takes in the military stories special place. Partly because it was the first large-scale field battle of the Roman legions and the Macedonian phalanx, partly because the fate of the Macedonian power was decided in it.

Traditionally it is believed that the phalanx and legions first encountered on the battlefield at Kinoskefalah. and it was this battle that showed the complete superiority of the Roman tactics over the Macedonian. This is not quite true. Previously, the phalanx and the Romans had already encountered in battle, but these were local clashes or battles on rough terrain, the purpose of which was not to defeat the enemy. It was impossible to speak about the superiority of any one side. The battle itself at Kinoskefalah also showed no superiority of legion weapons and a tactical concept over the phalanx. Rather, we can talk about the unsuccessful battle management by the Macedonian king and competent actions of the Roman commander.

The romans

The commander of the Roman army, Titus Quinctions, Flaminin was a man highly ambitious and greedy for glory. In the Hannibal War, he served under the command of Marcellus and at a very young age was the vicar of Taren. A year ago, Tit, with difficulty, contrary to all customs and in violation of the procedure for occupying posts (he was not even 30 years old with the age of qualification in 43), achieved the election of consul and was sent to Macedonia. The year of the war passed without decisive results. The term of office expired in January, and Flaminin was ready to make peace rather than Tit Quinces rather than hand over the command and glory of victory to a new consul. The Senate allowed the young aristocrat to continue the war, but sent to help two legates who commanded the army before. Therefore, the Roman commander sought to impose a decisive battle on the Macedonian army.

Roman military art at that time was on the rise. After the victory over Hannibal, it was believed that the Roman army was stronger than any other, and Roman military art was the best. The warlords had extensive experience in the war against the regular army, there were many experienced fighters in the army, and Flaminin was able to strengthen the 3000 army of veterans Scipio when he took office. The forces of the Romans in the battle of Kinoskefalah are known to us: it was the consular army strengthened by the Greek contingents, which included the 2 of the legion and the cohorts of allies assigned to them.

The Legion, which was led alternately by 6 elected military tribunes in the national assembly, consisted of three lines: 10 gastropus maniples, 10 principle maniples (120 people in each) and 10 triarii maniples (60 people) to which 1200 velites and 10 cavalry rides (300 riders). The legionary’s armament was lightened by Greek standards: instead of a linen cotfib shell or a bronze thorax, Roman soldiers wore a combat belt and a small Italian breastplate-pectoral on shoulder straps. On the head they wore a Monteforte type helmet, lighter in comparison with Greek samples. Since this was a very unreliable protection in close combat, a large (120 × 75 cm) oval scutum shield was used to cover the body. Offensive weapon included a heavy dart-pilum and a sword. During the Hannibal war, the Mediterranean piercing Hoplit sword was replaced by the Celto-Iberian "Spanish Gladius" - a powerful 65-70 long-slitting sword of cm, whose blows left wide bleeding wounds. Velit wore a round leather shield-parma, darts and a sword. The Roman cavalry from the battle of Cannes has not changed - it was all the same riding infantry, ready to grapple with the enemy, to fight on foot, but unable to equestrian battle.

The legions assigned to the legion (3000 heavy infantry, 1200 light infantry and 900 riders) had the same organization and armament as the Romans, and were reduced to ali Alu (“wing”), which in combat stood on the outer flank of the legion, forming a combat wing order At the head of the ally of the Union stood three Roman prefects.

In total, 6000 heavy infantry, 2400 light infantry and 1200 riders entered the army wing, and the army as a whole had 12000 heavy infantry, about 5000 light infantry, 2400 riders. The place of the consul was either in the center of the attacking wing (between the legion and the scarlet), or between the inner flanks of the legions. The commander of the legion of the stands went in the center of the legion next to the legion badge, the rest of the stands controlled the lines of battle formation. The teams gave the signals tube.

Additionally, the Aetolian allies — the 6000 infantry and the 400 horsemen — entered the Flaminin army. The Aetolian infantry was ill-equipped for a regular battle: the warrior’s weapons were light shield, sword, and sling or darts. The Aetolian cavalry also did not know how to fight in the ranks and was strong in an all-out battle. Finally, at the disposal of the Romans were captured Carthaginian war elephants - a powerful fighting force, which the Romans did not know how to use.


The king of Macedonia, Philip V, was, unlike Flaminin, an experienced and wise life politician who fought half his life with his freedom-loving neighbors - Greeks and Illyrians, not only for the sake of multiplying the kingdom, but to maintain political balance in the Balkans. Victory in battle meant for him an increase in his authority in the Balkans and a victory in the campaign, and defeat meant a threat to independence and a humiliating peace to the joy of [8] Greek cities. For him, this was already the second war with Rome, and the king, using the example of Carthage, knew what are the conditions of peace with Rome: extradition fleet, a sharp reduction in troops, the rejection of an independent foreign policy.

The basis of the Macedonian army was a phalanx. The phalangite warrior was armed with a 6-meter lance sarissa with a heavy inflow and a narrow dagger tip designed to pierce linen armor. An additional weapon was a Greek xyphos sword with a narrow bay-blade with a length of up to 60-65 cm and a massive handle. It was a weapon for combat in the cramped phalanx, it was convenient for them to apply short piercing and ripping blows to the enemy’s unprotected face and thighs. In combat, an aspis shield with a diameter of about 70 cm was hung on the forearm and neck strap, and the warrior was holding a sarissa at the ready. The armor consisted of a Thracian-type helmet with an elongated ovoid head, a visor and developed cheek pads, which were well protected from slashing and stabbing blows to the face. The first ranks of the phalanx wore a Greek bronze thorax with a scalloped pterugon skirt and leggings, in the depths of the phalanx the warriors were limited to linen kotfib, wide combat belt and ikfirattovymi boots - high laced shoes with open fingers.

The minimum tactically independent part of the phalanx was a spair - a detachment of soldiers in 256, consisting of 16 who had joined the 16 phalangit series "in the column on 16". Spare commanders (speirer. Tetrarchs, lohagi) stood in the first row. The last line formed the closing-uragi. Behind the ranks there were control-providing hurricanes (in fact, it was he who transmitted the received orders to the phalanx), adjutant-hyperet, messenger-stratocrick, signal-semietophore with a signal flag on the shaft, trumpeter-salpincts. The phalanx system (16000 shields) was formed by a line spare. reduced on a regular basis in the chiliarchy (about 1000 people) and strategies, each of which was given its own hurricanes, signallers, familytophores, etc. The maximum structural unit of the phalanx was a wing that had its own management.

The 2000 peltsts were an elite formation and took the place of the Alexandrov hypaspists in the Macedonian army. These were warriors in lightweight armor, similar to the armor of warriors in the depths of the phalanx. Instead of sariss, they were armed with long spears, and the xyphos was usually replaced with a powerful, convenient mahaira. Peltasts were able to fight both in the phalanx and in the loose ranks. In the armies of the army, the Peltasts rose on the right flank of the phalanx. On the left, the phalanx was covered up to 1500 by Greek army mercenaries who entered the army and were armed similarly to the Macedonian Peltasts.
The elite formations of light infantry were 2000 Thracian mercenaries, armed with mahairas (it was their national weapon), bows, or darts. The protective equipment for them was a crescent-shaped shield. Another unit of the light infantry was the 2000 Illyrian tribe of the Tallas with darts and swords.

The Macedonian cavalry (1000 riders) was considered the best in Europe: they were heavily armed warriors-aristocrats, operating in dense formation. Their armor, on the whole similar to Hoplit's, also included hornbags and a cuff, which (instead of a shield) completely covered the left hand, which held the reins. The right hand also had extra protection. The Boeotian type helmet (bronze headband with kneaded fields) allowed you to look down, acting with a spear or mahaira. Also, less heavily equipped Thessalian riders (1000 people) acted in tight formation.

The place of the king on the battlefield was determined by tradition and the need to control the troops. As a rule, the king led the cavalry on the right wing at the head of the royal ooze, or went on the attack in the ranks of the Peltastes, who stood up to the right of the phalanx and in turn covered themselves to the right of the Macedonian cavalry and Thracians. Traditionally, the entire course of the battle was determined by hitting the right wing, while the left, which usually included the left wing of the phalanx and mercenaries-Pelttias (not Macedonian) attached to it on the left, hired light infantry (Cretans, Illyrians, etc.) and the Thessalian cavalry, remained attention of the king and demanded a separate command.


Both sides in winter 197 year BC preparing for battle on the Thessalian plain. The Romans sought to squeeze the king to the north, in Macedonia, and isolate his garrisons in Greece. Philip, in turn, wanted to keep Thessaly behind him and cover the Tempean passage to Macedonia. In the 50 stages from Fera on the Phthiocian plain, a clash of vanguards occurred, ending in the victory of the Aetolian cavalry. Phillip decided to leave the “glorious beauty of his wives”, overgrown with gardens and blocked by Fthiotida with stone fences and go to Scotus, more comfortable for the phalanx. Flaminin understood his idea and moved in a parallel march along the southern side of the ridge of stony hills. On the first day Philip reached Onhesta, and Flaminin reached Eretria, on the second Philip was located at Melambia, and Flaminin at Fetidius (Farsala). In the evening a heavy thunderstorm began, and in the morning there was a heavy fog.

The plot of the battle

In the morning, Philip went on a campaign, but because of the fog he decided to return to the camp. For cover from Kinoskefal, behind which there could be an enemy, he sent ephedria — a sentry troop of no more than 1000-2000 people. The bulk of the troops, putting guard posts, remained in the camp. Much of the soldiers were sent to collect fodder for cavalry.

Titus Kvinktsy Flaminin, also not aware of the movement of the enemy, decided to explore the situation on the ridge of hills that separate him from the Macedonians. For this purpose, extraordinarians were singled out - selected 10 rounds of allied cavalry (300 riders) and 1000 light infantrymen.

On the pass, the Romans suddenly saw the Macedonian outpost. The battle between them began with separate skirmishes, in which the velites were overturned and retreated with losses along the northern slope. Flaminin immediately sent to the [9] pass, under the command of 2, the Roman tribunes 500 of the Aetolian horsemen of Eupoleme and Arhedam and the 1000 of the Aetolian infantry. Crumpled Macedonians moved from the ridge to the top of the hills and turned to the king for help.

Philip, who intended to remain all day in the camp, decided to help his soldiers and sent the most mobile and maneuverable part of the army to the pass. The Macedonian cavalry of Leont (1000 horsemen), the Thessalian cavalry of Heraclides (100 horsemen) and mercenaries under the command of Attenagora - 1500 of Greek Peltasts and lightly armed and, possibly, 2000 swells entered the battle. With these forces, the Macedonians overthrew the Roman and Aetolian infantry and drove them down the slope, and the Aetolian cavalry, strong in a loose battle, clashed with the Macedonians and the Thessalians. Lightly armed infantry fled to the foot of the mountain.

Arriving messengers said to Philip that the enemy is running, unable to resist, and the case simply cannot be missed - this is his day and his happiness. Philip, dissatisfied with the uncertainty of the situation and the inopportune nature of the battle and the randomness of its place, gathered the troops that remained with him. He himself led the right wing of the army to the ridge: the right wing of the phalanx (8000 phalangites), 2000 Peltasts, and 2000 Thracians. On the ridge of the hills, the king rebuilt the troops from the marching order, deploying to the left of the pass and occupying the height dominating over the pass.

Also dissatisfied with the inevitability and suddenness of the battle, Titus built an army: on the flanks there were detachments of cavalry and ally aly, in the center there are Roman legions. Lined up in front, 3800 velites lined up for cover. Flaminin turned to the army and explained that the enemies are already Macedonians, whose greatness rests not on power, but on glory alone. He led the left wing of the troops — the right 2 legion, the left of 2 allied ala, all light infantry in front, the Aetolians, probably on the flank of the legion led to the aid of the broken Aetolians. The right wing, in front of which, instead of velites, stood a line of elephants, remained in place.

Flaminin brought the troops to the battlefield, saw the retreating Aetolians and immediately, without diverting the lightly armed over the line of maniples. attacked the enemy. The Romans approached the Macedonians beating light infantry and the Aetolian cavalry, Velita threw pilum and began to cut with swords. The numerical superiority was again among the Romans. Now, 3500-5500 infantry and 2000 riders fought around 8000 infantry and 700 riders. The ranks of the Macedonian and Thessalian cavalry, which were mixed up in the pursuit, and lightly armed did not withstand the blow and rolled back up to the defense of Philip.


The king took the retreating crowd to the right flank, without wasting time on the separation of cavalry from the infantry. Then he doubled the depth of the phalanx and Peltastes and closed their ranks to the right, making room for deployment of the left flank rising to the crest. The right wing of the phalanx was lined up in 32 ranks by 128 people. Philip stood at the head of the Peltasts, the Thracians stood on the right flank, the retreating lightly-armed infantry and cavalry deployed to the right. On the left, the right wing of the phalanx was not covered by either the left wing of the phalanx (it rose next to the marching line), or the Pelttases. The Macedonian army was ready for battle - 10000 in the ranks, until 7000 in the loose ranks, 2000 riders.

Legion against the phalanx. The decisive battles of the Roman-Macedonian wars. Part 1-I: The Battle of Kinoskefalah
Hellenistic type of helmet, III cent. BC. Bronze. Louvre Museum №1365. Paris, France

Titus Kvinktsy Flaminin missed the lightly armed infantry between the rows of maniples, rebuilt the heavy infantry in a chess order and led them to the attack - 6000 in the ranks, to 8000 in loose ranks, to 700 riders. Philip commanded to lower the sarissas, and the phalanx bristled with dagger-like sariss heads. The culmination of the battle.

Greek sword types: 1. Xiphos, 2. Kopis. 1 - IV c. BC. Veria, Greece; 2 - IV c. BC. National Archaeological Museum. Athens, Greece

The Romans, accustomed to overturning the barbaric phalanx with hail of pilums, stumbled upon an impenetrable wall. 10 sarissas were sent to each legionary’s chest, which inflicted deep bleeding wounds, and the Romans fell onto the stony ground wet from the rain, unable to even cause damage to the Macedonians. And the phalanx went forward in even steps, the Macedonians stabbed forward with sarissas, and only a sudden resistance to a sent forward spear meant for the warrior of the fifth or sixth rank that he had fallen into the enemy. Having met with resistance, the 2 Legion and the allies with the Aetolians began to roll back. The Aetolians still tried to cut with a phalanx, but the demoralized Romans simply ran.

The battle was essentially lost by the Romans. King Philip was advancing quickly. On the right flank, at the right wing of the Macedonians, which were tearing forward, were ordered Peltasts, lightly armed and mercenaries under the command of Athenagoras. In the same place, the best cavalry in the Balkans, Heraklides and Leonte, were put in order. Nikanor Elefas led to the crest of the hills, went down and consistently turned the left wing of the phalanx into the battle line.
If at this moment Philip could bring the cavalry into battle, the retreat of the left wing of the Romans would turn into a beating, and it would be very difficult for them to avoid defeat. The Romans were supposed to have riders still not around 1800, but the quality of the Italians was not comparable to the Macedonian or Thessalian ones: it was the same infantry rides as at Cannes. In order to preserve the battle formations of the right wing, the Romans would have had to let past the remnants of the 2 Legion, pursued by the Macedonian cavalry, and meet the blow of the rebuilt phalangite front. who, under the leadership of the king, had just routed the enemy and to whom a fresh left wing of the phalanx was attached.

There was still some hope of hitting war elephants, but the Romans knew well that this branch of service was powerless against disciplined and well-armed heavy infantry. Moreover, the only known way for the Romans to use elephants was to attack them in front of their own infantry, and a close phalanx with sariss attacks (as happened in the Battle of Hydasp) would have turned the animals back to the Roman system, turning it into a crowd of panicked people. However, Philip continued to pursue, not paying attention to the unprotected left flank of his wing and the deployment of the second part of the phalanx.


Flaminin did not wait for the defeat, but turned [10] horse and drove to the right wing, which alone could save the situation. And at this moment the consul paid attention to the construction of the Macedonian army: the left wing in the marching order, with separate spiers, rolled over the ridge of hills and began to descend from the pass to turn into battle order to the left of the pursuing king. The cover of the cavalry and Peltasts was absent - they all went on the right flank of the successfully advancing right wing of Philip.

Then Titus Quinces Flaminin launched an attack that changed the course of the battle. He led the right wing, who was standing apart from the battle, and moved him (60 handles — near 6000, heavily armed) to the left wing of the Macedonians. Ahead of the battle order were elephants.

It was a turning point in the battle. The phalangites, built into the marching order, did not have the opportunity, on a narrow road, to consistently turn the front towards the enemy and began to retreat randomly, without waiting for the impact of the elephants and hail of pilums. Nicanor Elefas either hoped to regain control on the crest of the hills, when the phalanx broke away from the Romans, or gave in to a general panic.

The Romans rushed to pursue. One of the stands held 20 maniples and deployed them to the rear continues to pursue the defeated enemy Philip. Since these maniples were not involved in the pursuit of the runners (Roman discipline could not have recalled them), it should be assumed that they were in the 3 line, and these were 10 manipulations of triarii and 10 principles of allies or triarii of allies - only around 1200- 1800 people

Montefortine type of helmet. Bronze, approx. 200 BC Found in Canizume (Canosa di Puglia, Italy). Baden State Museum. Karlsruhe, Germany

There was no cover on the left flank of Philip - the left wing did not have time to settle down, and the light infantry remained on the right flank. The 20 handles hit the flank of Philip's advancing right wing and stopped his advance. Even in this situation, Philip had a chance to stop the attack of the enemy and maintain control. The fact is that the spiers before the attack doubled the line, and the doubling was done by tapping into the second line of the even rows. In the first rank of the second line were protostat - the commanders of the ranks, who are able to keep equal and carry out the front line evolution. Hemilochitis were also able to do this - half-ranks commanders who stood in the calculation in the 8-th (in this case - in the 24-th) rank. It was possible to withdraw from the battle a few half-spiers of the left flank under the command of the hurricanes, turn them facing the enemy, pulling the front, rebuild the ranks in 8 (for this purpose, the hemilochitis brought back semi-rows into the intervals between the front semi-ranks) and meet the sariss line attack. But for this it was necessary for the king to control the battle, and not to chase running legionnaires.

But there was no cover on the left flank, and the Macedonians were in dire straits. The commanders were either far ahead or in the middle of the ranks, and could not get out. Uragi died in the first moments of the fight. It was very difficult to turn around in deep formation: aspis worn on an elbow and huge sarissas in the near fight were useless and clung to equipment. The linen kotfib worn by the warriors of the back rows, poorly defended the broad gladius legions of the newly adopted armies from the slashing blows. But even now the phalanx was held at the expense of the density of the system and heavy weapons, and stopped phalangites, throwing sarissas that became useless, fought off the xyphos that were attacking the heat and flank of the Roman swordsmen. The left wing of the wing still retained the ability to spontaneously, unorganized rebuilding of the face to the enemy. However, the advance of the phalanx stopped, and the Macedonian cavalry was never withdrawn from the crowd on the right flank for pursuit. When the stands were put in order, the 1 Legion, and the battle from the front resumed, the phalangites fluttered and ran.


Only now the king got out of action with a small group of riders and peltasts, looked around and realized that the battle was lost. The left wing randomly rolled back to the ridge of the hills, and the right was swept from the front and rear and rapidly turned into a crowd of fugitives. Then the king gathered around himself loyal Thracian mercenaries and Meltonian Peltastes and began to quickly retreat to the pass, in order to regain control of at least the left wing. And here there was also a hope to avoid defeat - just to have time to reorganize on the hill and repeat the attack of the sarissas. In case of failure, one could at least orderly leave the camp. But when the king reached the summit, the Romans finally caught up with the retreating left wing, and the demoralized phalangites, seeing elephants and a line of legionaries in front of them, began to raise sarissas as a sign of surrender. Flaminin tried to avoid the beating and accept the surrender, but the soldiers already caught up with the frustrated Macedonian ranks, and the slaughter began. The crowd rushed to the pass, ran down the hillside and swept away the royal squad. Now the rout has become inevitable.


The Romans did not pursue the enemy for long, while they were chasing the Macedonians, their Aetolian allies looted the captured camp. In the evening and at night, the king broke away from the persecution, retreated to the Tempe Valley, gathered the fugitives and with the remaining troops locked the passage to Macedonia. Began peace negotiations.

Flaminin announced 8000 killed and 5000 captive Macedonians - mostly from phalanx. It was announced that the losses of the Romans were 700 people; whether purely Aetolians were included in this is unclear. It was purchased by the Roman cities 1200 of the Romans from the number captured and sold into slavery by Hannibal. In triumph carried the 3730 gold libre, 43270 silver libre, 14500 Macedonian staters. Estimated contribution should have been 1000 talents - 3200 kg of gold and silver.

The Aetolians, inducing Flaminin’s deserved indignation, in every way blasphemed Philip and bragged about the victory over the Macedonians. In response to another offensive poem, the king wrote a couplet:

Here, without a bark, without foliage, a pointed stake rises.
Traveler, look at him! He is waiting for Alkey to himself.

Philip V issued a fleet to the Romans, removed garrisons from Greek cities, and pledged to consult with Rome in the conduct of foreign policy. The army was greatly reduced. Each year, the king recruited recruits from the peasants, conducted training for the military formation and dismissed their homes, while maintaining the appearance of a few troops. After 30 years, his son Perseus had in the 32000 system phalangites and money for 10 years of war.

Warrior #5, 2001, page 8-11
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  1. Megatron
    Megatron 6 February 2016 07: 32
    Thanks, I'm waiting for the second part!
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 6 February 2016 07: 46
    Rather, we can talk about the failure to control the battle from the side of the Macedonian king and the competent actions of the Roman commander.
    ... And the author brilliantly confirmed this .. Thank you .. wait, continued!
  3. Razvedka_Boem
    Razvedka_Boem 6 February 2016 08: 44
    Very interesting, we look forward to continuing. I would like to see more illustrations, maps, battle patterns.
  4. Cartalon
    Cartalon 6 February 2016 09: 09
    Very good description
  5. engineer
    engineer 6 February 2016 09: 46
    it turns out the phalanx did not know how to reflect the blow to the flank and rear. flank bending maneuver and rebuilding in the square were not used. Is it so ? interesting to know.
    1. Glot
      Glot 6 February 2016 12: 01
      it turns out the phalanx did not know how to reflect the blow to the flank and rear. flank bending maneuver and rebuilding in the square were not used. Is it so ? interesting to know.

      Rather, under the Kinoskofalah, the role was no longer played by the completely correct use of the phalanx, not by the best guide to it. But the Roman legions were certainly more flexible than the phalanx. Which is also important.
      In general, the Romans quickly learned everything, adopting and transforming the old, creating the new and the best.
    2. Astrey
      Astrey 8 February 2016 14: 40
      Quote: engineer
      it turns out the phalanx did not know how to reflect the blow to the flank and rear. flank bending maneuver and rebuilding in the square were not used. Is it so ?

      In the classical sense - it is. BUT! The Macedonian kingdom had a twin neighbor - Epirus. Its king, Pyrrhus, is immortal with the expression "Pyrrhic victory" and the anecdote, "And what will we do after victories - Feast. - What prevents us from doing this anyway?"

      His phalanxes bent in every way, and Pierre fought more successfully with Rome. And in his failures he blamed not tactical forms of troop building, but stretched logistics.

      I don’t remember where, I noticed some references to the notes of the commanders of Pyrrhus, who supposedly give reason to believe that carracollation - the top of linear tactics originated during his time, during the time of Alexander Filipovich. And not in the XV century. Nearly fifteen hundred years earlier than in the rest of the Mediterranean.
      It seems that it remained unclaimed due to the lack of a gunshot. Bullshit, of course. When this absence was not present before something else changed.

      So, that - the problem is not in the phalanx - the problem is in the heads (establishment).
    3. Dart2027
      Dart2027 April 21 2017 19: 28
      Quote: engineer
      it turns out the phalanx could not reflect the blow to the flank and rear

      With a six-meter spear in your hands, rebuilding is a very complex action.
  6. Ural resident
    Ural resident 6 February 2016 11: 05
    Always interested in the confrontation of the Roman legion and the Greek phalanx. As historically, in the end, the impregnable phalanx gave way to other military formations. We look forward to continuing.
  7. Valera999
    Valera999 6 February 2016 11: 19
    The phalanx has not disappeared anywhere, pikemen of the 16-17th century are proof of this.
    1. Your friend
      Your friend 7 February 2016 00: 41
      Quote: Valera999
      The phalanx has not disappeared anywhere, pikemen of the 16-17th century are proof of this.

      Tertsia is quite a yes.
  8. KBR109
    KBR109 6 February 2016 11: 33
    The phalanx itself is the first known combat formation. A very large formation with little maneuverability. Even a quick offensive over rough terrain was problematic. The manipulative "chess" formation of the Romans, on the contrary, had an excellent opportunity to maneuver with its strength. This is the next page in military history.
  9. Predator
    Predator 6 February 2016 12: 06
    Well, let's figure it out. In the first place, there weren't any copies of 5-6-7 meters. Take a 6 m long pole yourself and what can you do with it ?! Throw this shaft down in 10-15 minutes. Any weapon should be convenient and effective, otherwise why is it?! Because there were no copies (in any of their versions) more than 2.5 meters. Do not believe go to the museum and if you find somewhere longer, I will personally apologize. The task of the phalanx and, in principle, any linear formation is to inflict a frontal strike or Reflections. Only the first 2 ranks work in the phalanx, in the manner of a sewing machine - throwing a spear a meter forward and retraction, at this time the second line is working. And it is almost impossible to break through this wall. Since the disabled soldiers are replaced from the rear ranks. And therefore the whole phalanx was armed and protected in the same way and leave the tales of linen armor to the children. In addition, the rear ranks were tasked with repelling a small strike (basically archery goes along a hinged trajectory). Well, then it all depends on the skill of the soldiers, and most importantlyflair and talent of the commander. For example, the wall (the same phalanx) of Svyatoslav was able in a very short time not only to bend the flank, but also to form a "square" formation, on which the plate cavalry of Byzantium was very badly burned during the first battle at Dorostol.
    The disadvantages of the phalanx are bulkiness, high cost and very long training, and then constant training. a centralized state is necessary, because professional infantry only disappeared and recovered in the 13-14th century.
    1. Sergey S.
      Sergey S. 6 February 2016 12: 54
      Quote: Predator
      Because there were no copies (in any of their designs) over 2.5 meters.

      In the Macedonian phalanx, as far as I remember, the spear rested on the shoulder of the warrior in front ...
      Short spears were at the front of the warriors.

    2. kalibr
      kalibr 6 February 2016 13: 42
      You are wrong, we have come across a lot of the peak of Japanese ashigaru, drawings, instructions for their manufacture and their length about 5 m. 6 and 7 - yes this is already too much. But 5 are famous! It is even known which general indicated how long to have peaks in his army. And if this was in Japan, then why not in Europe? Linen armor was known and described ...
    3. Your friend
      Your friend 7 February 2016 00: 54
      Quote: Predator
      The disadvantages of the phalanx are bulkiness, high cost and very long training, and then constant training. a centralized state is necessary, because professional infantry only disappeared and recovered in the 13-14th century.

      You might think that the legion is cheap and there is no need to undergo training))), especially after the reforms of Mary, when service in the Roman army became completely hired.
      Prof. infantry quite existed in the Middle Ages. The Tang emperors successfully used it in the fight against the cavalry of nomads.
  10. engineer
    engineer 6 February 2016 12: 24
    long spears were used. but certainly not six meters. although even in the Russian army 'slingshots' were used to barrage against cavalry attacks. but there was no question of any maneuver in this case. and for mobile combat, the infantry switched to the formation of 'columns'. "square" with a quick bend of the flank and the ability to strengthen the line of contact due to a deeper formation. these techniques are already at the Genoese and Swiss infantry. and then practically throughout Europe.
  11. Miner
    Miner 6 February 2016 12: 46
    After 30 years, his son Perseus had 32000 phalanxes and money for 10 years of war.

    But he disposed of all this no better than his father, losing to the Romans not only battle, but also war, and his entire state, coupled with his own life and honor ...
  12. Nikolay71
    Nikolay71 6 February 2016 15: 25
    Even if King Philip would have won the battle, by and large it would not have changed anything. How many battles Hannibal won against the Romans, but in the end the Romans still took Carthage.
  13. King, just king
    King, just king 6 February 2016 15: 33
    The author at the very beginning made a stretch by saying that earlier the clashes between the legion and the phalanx were insignificant. And where did citizen Pierre and Hercules go?
    There they cut the tactics of the legion - do not worry about mom.

    And here, the Macedonians lost in general for one reason: the wrong place of battle - hills, lowlands, narrownesses. They would try manipulations to play with the phalanx formation in an open field, and even with the flanks well covered at the phalanx.
    1. pimen
      pimen 6 February 2016 18: 07
      something tells me that several carts with pointed logs at the ready, dispersed to the front of the phalanx, would allow it to be cut into. On a technical level, this probably corresponded to time
      1. King, just king
        King, just king 6 February 2016 18: 58
        So what am I talking about: the phalanx is extremely effective in desert areas, with well-covered flanks.

        And if you follow the story about Macedon, as the phalanxes tried to break the Persian chariot, they didn’t succeed; A more interesting option would be with the bulls, at least the spears would break, then her and that (phalanx) ...
        1. pimen
          pimen 6 February 2016 19: 52
          Quote: King, just king
          So what am I talking about: the phalanx is extremely effective in desert areas, with well-covered flanks.

          And if you follow the story about Macedon, as the phalanxes tried to break the Persian chariot, they didn’t succeed; A more interesting option would be with the bulls, at least the spears would break, then her and that (phalanx) ...

          so this is the point - to wedge between the rows of spears, so that those from weapons turn into a burden. If they even managed to make way without breaking the formation, then it made no difference whether they had time to turn or not - penetration into the phalanx through the cart and immediately behind it - and there were too many "flanks".
          As for the chariots, I heard somewhere that animals, and horses in particular, do not really climb spears (bayonets)
          1. King, just king
            King, just king 6 February 2016 20: 09
            And who will accelerate the cart, and even with logs in the open, given the weight of the cart and the required speed? Given the cover of the phalanx from the front by light infantry in the form of slingers and dart throwers.
            It is clear as in the movie "Spartacus" from the hills - but this is for the phalanx - already the stupidity of the commander who put it in such conditions.
            1. pimen
              pimen 7 February 2016 08: 28
              Well, how did ramparts ramp up? I think fart steam. Not so strong resistance in several human ranks. I remember that in the army we somehow nudged the nine of us pushing a rocket on a cart to the launch pad (strategist, though on concrete). As for the cavalry and slingers, for some time their dispersal can be hidden behind the front rows of the lava; at least in this method there is a chance
              1. King, just king
                King, just king 7 February 2016 10: 10
                Yo-my, "pimen"! Rocket not trolley - push-pull speed? A log - more than 100 kg, such logs should be, as you write - "at the ready", it is necessary to put 5-6 pieces, fix, center. And roll the cart on a bumpy soddy primer to a speed of 30 km per hour (30x1000 / 3600) 8,3 m / s. It makes no less sense. So how many faces and distances are needed for such a rolling? And all this under the influence of the slingers. The navel will UNLOCK!

                And about the ram ... So it was only in the "Vikings" with Douglas that they rammed with an open log, and even then from acceleration downward, and how many people were killed.
                The builders of the fortresses were also not made with a finger, and the weakest point - the gates - protected as they could. Something about the siege of first-class fortresses is not much news about the break of the gate. Either the wall will be blown up or destroyed by digging, then the betrayal, then the wall will be destroyed with a stone thrower (a joke of historians).
                I have been to many of our kremlins and foreign castles, and I have always been interested in fortification - yeah, try to go to the gate, and even drive a ram! This is now drove into Spassky Gate by car, and at a certain time there was a sickly moat.
                1. King, just king
                  King, just king 7 February 2016 10: 58
                  Manenko add. Well, he broke through the gate, with a bunch of corpses, in a good fortress behind the gate there was a forged lattice, knocked out the lattice, another lattice from the back side, knocked out, then the opposite leaves of the gate, knocked out - rested against the blockage that the defenders piled up behind the gate - then what? While fiddling in the passage he filled up the entire passage with the corpses of his soldiers, for there are many ways to pour oil, tar, "Greek fire" into the passage, throw stones, arrows, spears. In the end, the defenders can stupidly bring down the tower - go and rake it! Or you can simply fill up the gateway during the siege, you can ram until you are blue in the face.
                  1. pimen
                    pimen 7 February 2016 11: 56
                    I feel that you really don’t like such a primitive idea, but if you don’t get distracted by the ram of the fortress gate, which I mentioned only for a better presentation, then:
                    firstly, not logs on a cart - but 1 log on a cart. Here I wrote at first with a "log at the ready", and then he doubted, you will still think as if such a log that already fit on several carts
                    secondly, 30km \ h is not necessary, it is again, not a fortress gate, 10 is enough
                    thirdly, if you object, it’s a danger that people crushed by the cart will get under the wheels, and then the depth of penetration will really seriously decrease
                    1. King, just king
                      King, just king 7 February 2016 20: 19
                      "pimen" I suggest we round off. Of course, the Russian language is rich, I mean: "that there are several carts with sharpened logs at the ready", and means different things, but oh well. 10 km / h is 2,7 m / s, I think everything is clear to you. I asked you a simple question: how many dugs are needed to disperse a cart, even with one log, is 200 kg, and where will these suicide bombers stop if they roll it onto the phalanx at a speed of 2,7 m / s, let them accelerate along the sod, which is incredible ... AND HOW MANY carts are needed for 10000 phalanxes?
                      So, I propose to round off.
                  2. Ulan
                    Ulan 5 December 2016 18: 34
                    As a rule, they didn’t make a direct passage through the gate, and right after the gate tower they turn and again along the two walls from which they water and throw and shoot.
                    In general, it is not such a simple matter to take the fortress through the gate.
                    I read somewhere that during the siege of one castle, when the gates were broken, they met a blank wall.
                    It turns out that while the siege was on, the defenders of the fortress stupidly built a stone wall behind the gates.
                    At the expense of the cart, I think our ancestors were not fools, and if this method was effective, they would use it. I have not met such references.
  14. engineer
    engineer 6 February 2016 17: 17
    and this whole system was useless against long-range weapons: a bow and a crossbow. In the famous battle of Poitiers, English archers simply shot and killed French knights. and before that, the cavalry of Genghis easily defeated the foot Russian army of both the Chinese and Europeans. then a loose infantry system was introduced with cover for the first chain of the second, etc. it is valid until our time. even in the army of the daytime, the principle of cover was introduced. in the front row of the grunt. and in the second arrow. one cuts and the other shoots dangerous. and then the next line advances, etc. but so far there is a numerical correspondence. otherwise mass crush or fire superiority. no oats against many. old proverb.
    1. King, just king
      King, just king 6 February 2016 18: 54
      Poitiers and Agincourt were lost for a reason as simple as three rubles: mediocre command with indefatigable ambitions.

      Riding on war horses fully armed up the hill ...
      1. Your friend
        Your friend 7 February 2016 00: 57
        Quote: King, just king
        Poitiers and Agincourt were lost for a reason as simple as three rubles: mediocre command with indefatigable ambitions.

        Riding on war horses fully armed up the hill ...

        and besides the slope was after the rain)
  15. vvsz031249
    vvsz031249 6 February 2016 19: 50
    Informatively, it would be nice to illustrate the description with maps, diagrams ...
  16. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 6 February 2016 20: 37
    This is what happens when the commander, instead of leading the battle, amuses his vanity in hand-to-hand combat. Such a commander is death for the army.
    1. King, just king
      King, just king 6 February 2016 21: 16
      This stupid heroism caused a huge decline in Russian officers in the 1st MV and the Great Patriotic War. IF my memory serves me, then in the German army at least 1 MV an officer was behind the line.
    2. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 7 February 2016 18: 02
      Quote: Mountain Shooter
      This is what happens when the commander, instead of leading the battle, amuses his vanity in melee

      Everything is complicated here, because the commander, of course, should not wave a saber himself, but you can’t argue against tradition. Initially, when people fought in very small detachments (well, there’s a stone age :))) there was no sense in separating the commander in battle, but to inspire his fighters, fighting in the forefront, and even when thirty people are fighting, every fighter was counted. In general, the martial art of each country should have grown to understand the importance of command. And again, even understanding everything is not easy, reluctance to get into a fight can be taken for cowardice
      1. Ulan
        Ulan 5 December 2016 18: 37
        In short, each time has its own tactics.
  17. Stiletto_711
    Stiletto_711 6 February 2016 22: 08
    Quote: Predator
    Well, let's sort it out. In the first, there weren’t any copies of 5-6-7 meters. Take the pole yourself 6 meters long and what can you do with it ?! In 10-15 minutes you’ll drop this shaft yourself. Any weapon should be convenient and efficient, otherwise why? ?! Because there were no copies (in any of their designs) over 2.5 meters.

    Those. and complete knightly armor, too, was not? Try to put on them and what can you do? No mobility, the review is difficult, they weigh a lot. After 10-15 minutes, throw them yourself. However, on horseback, with a spear, acting in formation against a more lightly armed and weakly organized enemy, a detachment of knightly cavalry is a terrible force. So any equipment and weapons is a matter of conditions and tactics for their application.

    Quote: Predator
    Do not believe me go to the museum and if you find where longer I personally apologize

    I don’t know where it is longer, but as you think, the wooden spear shaft used in the 2nd century BC can survive to this day.
    The Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum stores the metal parts of the spear found in the royal crypt in Vergina: a leaf-shaped tip, a drain (back weight support) and a central hub. Some archaeologists believe that these are parts of the sarissa.
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 6 February 2016 22: 31
      Quote: Stilett_71
      Those. and complete knightly armor, too, was not? Try to put on them and what can you do?

      Nuuu, on modern reconstructions quite a lot. Flip-flops were shown over the head, climbing over a stepladder and other and other.
      And about the 6-meter peak ... generally funny. Either critics didn’t hold anything heavier than a fountain pen in their hands, or I don’t know what to think :)) (comrade khychnik urgent recommendation - go down to the hay in the village, see how many women raise on the forks ...)
      1. Ulan
        Ulan 5 December 2016 12: 48
        Perhaps your interlocutor confuses tournament armor with combat armor.
  18. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 6 February 2016 22: 15
    Brilliant description, thank you very much.
    I can’t speak out in essence, I know too little this historical period. Thanks to such materials - I know better, for which thanks again to the author.
  19. Stiletto_711
    Stiletto_711 6 February 2016 22: 17
    Quote: parusnik
    Rather, we can talk about the failure to control the battle from the side of the Macedonian king and the competent actions of the Roman commander.
    ... And the author brilliantly confirmed this .. Thank you .. wait, continued!

    Something reminiscent of the defeat that the Romans later suffered from the Cimbrians at the battle of Arausion, the same factors as disorganization in the action of troops and underestimation of the enemy (only there it was connected with the foolishness of the consuls).
  20. gladcu2
    gladcu2 7 February 2016 00: 01
    I do not presume to judge historicity, but thanks to the author for a good literary style of narration. Usually a large number of descriptive details gives the impression of a boring snobbery, but the intrigue in the idea aroused genuine interest.

    I'm so joking. Thanks to the author. :)
  21. King, just king
    King, just king 7 February 2016 00: 57
    I don’t know where it is longer, but as you think, the wooden spear shaft used in the 2nd century BC can survive to this day.
    [/ Quote]

    "Stiletto_71" !!!! I applaud, bouncing !!!
  22. engineer
    engineer 7 February 2016 01: 04
    was the Russian army mounted? excuse me. but this is not true. and there were very few archers in the Russian armies. even in the Battle of Kulikovo, Russian archers are not mentioned. but about the Tatar many times. and the construction of Russian rati: advanced regiment. large regiment. shelves of the right and left hand. ambush regiment. clearly states that the large regiment was on foot. the cavalry was only partially on the flanks. but the ambush regiment was equestrian. so the basis of the Russian army is precisely the pawns. and cavalry. like in Europe for a surprise strike. but not the main force. as was the case with the Tatars.
    1. King, just king
      King, just king 7 February 2016 01: 23
      So if you take the Kulikovo battle, so about her, her modern references - that have come down to us, with a gulkin member. All the beauties such as "Zadonshchina" and "Legends .." were written oh, how later.
      About the Russian rati - depending on what is meant by this word. If the prince’s squad, then yes, completely high-horse plate, if the city militia or the militia of the principality, then yes - the infantry.
      1. datur
        datur 7 February 2016 13: 30
        so ours knew who attacks in the forefront and who attacks the 2nd row
    2. Ulan
      Ulan 5 December 2016 18: 43
      You forgot the sentry regiment. The ambush regiment was indeed completely equestrian, consisting of "forged rati" knights. Those. they were heavily armed horsemen.
      By the way, the Tatars also had the heavily armed cavalry as the main striking force, and not the lightly armed equestrian archer, as we were taught at school.
      If I remember correctly, then Mamai, in order to make up for the lack of foot soldiers, part of the horsemen was in a hurry.
  23. datur
    datur 7 February 2016 13: 26
    just a phalanx was magnificent against Asians !!! and the Romans knew this perfectly and applied against the Macedonians !!!!!
  24. Jääkorppi
    Jääkorppi 7 February 2016 14: 33
    A lot of mistakes, I don’t even want to list! Starting from the fact that the Romans faced the phalanx from the battles with Pyrrhus and ending with Carthage, the structure of the Roman army and weapons were incorrectly described. Article minus!
  25. Pomeranian
    Pomeranian 8 February 2016 14: 28
    Good description. The fact is that all Macedonian leaders were typical Eastern kings with all the ensuing consequences. Philip did not have the diplomatic experience to outplay the Romans, nor the military one - to defeat them in battle. The phalanx itself is not bad, otherwise it would not have lasted so long, the manipulative formation of legions was also not bad at that time. But the Roman commanders at Dog's Heads were better. And that's all. We are waiting for the continuation.
  26. Idiot
    Idiot 8 February 2016 20: 53
    Comrades commentators, you know where you are using such pseudoscientific articles. The history of the so-called Ancient Rome has been sucked from the thumb. It hurts, but it must be admitted for objective reasons - there was never any Ancient Rome. Ancient is not about Rome at all. Traditional historical science still cannot explain who the Etruscans are, although Etruscan mysterious, almost alien texts are easily read by Russian philologists. As well as the Prussian mysterious archaeological burials are "Slavic before magma." The technology of creating (concreting) Egyptian (100500 years old) pyramids is also an almost alien technology that has not been solved until now, any Tajik construction foreman will explain to you, you just set him such a task and pay decently for the work (in the future, profit from the sale of ancient souvenirs). The tactics and strategy of the "ancient Romans" take place, but they were not used by the inhabitants of modern Italy. Remember, what was the opinion of the general staff of Germany in 1914 and 1941 about the military usefulness of the Italians? The legacy of Ancient Rome?
    1. Kenneth
      Kenneth 5 December 2016 12: 50
      Your nickname does not allow you to take your text seriously, moreover, reasonably.
    2. Ulan
      Ulan 5 December 2016 18: 45
      The only true observation is that current Italians are indirectly related to those Romans.
  27. tiaman.76
    tiaman.76 10 February 2016 11: 29
    I liked the article .. if the Macedonians led the army, Alexander would end with the destruction of the Romans .. the Phillip was able to wage war against all Illyrians and Thracians but not against Rome ..
  28. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 15 February 2016 22: 39
    Quote: Predator
    First of all, there were no copies of 5-6-7 meters in sight. So, take yourself a pole of 6 and length m and what can you do with it! You should throw this shaft through 10-15 yourself. Any weapon should be comfortable and efficient, otherwise why is it?

    Actually, I saw a photo in one of the German museums of knight armor with a spear 6 meters. By the way. And starting, for example, from the 14 century, spears and infantry and cavalry tend to lengthen by the way - the race who will replay who (we have the same thing for Antiquity in the period from 4 to 2 centuries BC).

    Quote: Predator
    So, for example, the wall (the same phalanx) of Svyatoslav was able in a very short time not only to bend the flank, but also to form a "square" formation, on which the plate cavalry of Byzantium was very badly burned during the first battle at Dorostol.

    I just fall from laughter ... Man with such an aggressive nickname! No general infantry infantry Svyatoslav nebylo! Let me tell you a little secret - the battle plan used by the Russian history books for Dorostol DOES NOT FIT THE REALITIES OF THE FIGHT FOR YOU. But the Byzantine cataphracts Svyatoslav banal had nothing to oppose. Look at the losses he suffered in each battle, and as a result he was simply driven into a fortress, which was even blocked from the river. And you about the quads, quads ...

    Quote: Severomor
    But what about Svyatoslav's plate infantry? Leo the Deacon describes the entire army of Svyatoslav as "shields reaching the feet." He mentions the infantry.
    What a damn professional and even plate infantry? This is something in the Russian-Slavic army of the 10th century?!? Have you found a lot of armor on the East European Plain of armor, at least for the 9-10th century? The shield is the ONLY practically defensive weapon of the Slavic warrior according to the descriptions of his contemporaries in the period from the 6th to the 10th century. Forget all sorts of pictures from the "Book of Future Commanders", etc. Only the kings (well, princes, princes, but that's a problem - all with Scandinavian names) and their immediate entourage were fully armed (by the way, in the Norman style).

    And there was NO Russian cavalry for this period AT ALL. Svyatoslav tried to create it, but failed, for this is a long and expensive business; tried to replace her with all sorts of hired "Easterners", but the Byzantines beat them successfully and for a long time.

    It is simply trivial - an industry in the just formed in 9-10 centuries, under the constant external economic oppression conventionally called Russia at that time, in the area of ​​zero level. Where did the armor come from? Imported were weapons and wildly expensive! The situation has changed more or less in the 11 century only, and then there was no talk about any professional infantry.
  29. Ulan
    Ulan 5 December 2016 12: 44
    Interesting article. By the way, by the end of the Roman Empire, the tactics of the Romans became simpler and instead of a manipulative battle order, it came down to the same phalanx. The reason for this is simple if a high skill, precise interaction, etc., were required in a manipulative battle order. and only the citizens of Rome served in the legion of that time, in the late Roman Empire the qualitative composition of the Roman infantry was greatly reduced and in tight battle formations, it was easier to control the legionnaires, among whom were not only citizens and the training of each was much lower than in the legions of the same Scipio.
  30. Kenneth
    Kenneth 5 December 2016 12: 46
    I did not notice either the commander in the description of competent actions. The battle clearly demonstrated the flaws of the phalanx, unable to maneuver and react to a sudden change in the situation on the flanks
  31. Grandadmiral
    Grandadmiral 2 February 2017 20: 59
    Interesting article. Sorry for Phil. A little stupid and lost. But how his son screwed up after many years is a complete tryndets ...
  32. PROXOR
    PROXOR April 27 2017 12: 19
    Fiercely plus.
  33. tiaman.76
    tiaman.76 8 September 2017 17: 01
    if the Macedonians were led by Alexander the Great, Rome would have definitely lost