The Good – Legion vs Phalanx is highly readable. Until, that is, the Roman legion emerged to challenge them as masters of infantry battle. The two armies lined up, each splitting the cavalry on the wings and the Macedonian phalanx advanced. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. by Jeff Jonas. In his histories, Polybius directly address the strengths and weakness of both formations. Phalanx vs Legion: Battle of Cynoscephalae. Embedded by Arienne King, published on 04 October 2019. Original video by Syntagma. The Roman legions did meet both the Macedonian phalanx (the more advanced version of the traditional Greek hoplite phalanx, which rendered the hoplite obsolete), as well the the older Greek hoplite phalanx. The author has quite a few thoughtful insights into the nature of classical warfare. The best descriptions of the formations come from the historian Polybius. The video and its description text are provided by Youtube. Polybius states that the biggest weakness of the phalanx is its uselessness in rugged terrain, but we know that under competent leadership the phalanx had won victories even while crossing rivers. Please check the original source(s) for copyright information. Maniple (Latin: manipulus, lit. Initially adopting a hoplite style phalanx due to influence from Southern Italian Hellenic colonies, the army eventually transformed into the flexible manipular legion. "Phalanx vs Legion: Battle of Cynoscephalae." Syntagma, . Initially adopting a hoplite style phalanx due to influence from Southern Italian Hellenic colonies, the army eventually transformed into the flexible manipular legion. Legion versus Phalanx begins by asking a simple question. You need variety; missile and cavalry troops give you options. Phalanx vs Legion: Battle of Cynoscephalae. At Heraclea and Asculum the tried and true Macedonian phalanx faced the Roman maniple that had only been established 40-100 years before. "Phalanx vs Legion: Battle of Cynoscephalae." As gaps grew, more, presumably fresh, men from the rear lines were fed through to completely infiltrate dozens of segments of the phalanx and the Macedonians soon broke. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder with shields interlocking, the men of the phalanx presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. The organization from Homeric style hero warfare to tightly packed hoplite warfare was world changing. $4.5 million buys you a P51 Mustang & twenty, yes TWENTY Merlin engines! The Macedonian phalanx continued to be used from Germany to Egypt and did prove to be effective. Initially adopting a hoplite style phalanx due to influence from Southern Italian Hellenic colonies, the army eventually transformed into the flexible manipular legion. Ancient History Encyclopedia. The first combats were during Pyrrhus’ invasion of Italy in 280 BCE. The maniple was fluid, with each maniple led by centurions who were encouraged to take initiative and lead by example. In Band of Brothers, Malarkey Asks a German POW Where he Was From, He Answered Eugene, Oregon. Raised in ancient Greece, Polybius fought in Hellenic battles before being sent to Rome as a hostage, though he was given great freedoms during his stay. 23 Dec 2020. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. WAB Macedonian Phalanx vs. Roman Legion. The earliest Roman ventures across the Adriatic had occurred before the Second Punic War. Meanwhile, the remaining Roman right wing advanced up the hill and met the rest of Philips army as they were arriving in bunches. The last great example of maniple and phalanx battle is found at the battle of Pydna during the third Macedonian war between Rome and Perseus. 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. With all the expertise of a 12 minute video, I cant see how this really shows it. With three lines, one behind the other the Romans deployed in separate maniples with each line having a maniple-sized gap between units, with those gaps covered by the next line back creating a checkerboard formation. The Roman infantry met the phalanx and did not break, but were steadily forced back towards the broken ground behind them. While advancing an unnamed officer noticed that they were marching right past the vulnerable rear of the Macedonian right phalanx and peeled off a large enough force to flank the engaged phalanx and quickly rout them. After Pyrrhus’ invasion, the Romans fought titanic wars against Carthage that brought them to superpower status in the Mediterranean. The battles selected are interesting and highlights each formation’s weaknesses and strengths. This last battle shows the small unit tactics for which the maniple was built towards but also shows how well the maniple fit the Romans as a people. In celebration of the book, please leave a comment detailing what you think is a classic legion vs phalanx battle. 1 vs 1 the Legion won't stand a chance. By William McLaughlin for War History Online, Concentration Camp Guard Who Hid in US for 75 Years Will Be Deported. Barely after wrapping up the second Punic war, the Romans invaded Macedon to take the fight to Philip V, who had been an ally of Carthage and was now harassing Roman-allied Hellenic cities. https://www.ancient.eu/video/1830/. Initially adopting a hoplite style phalanx due to influence from Southern Italian Hellenic colonies, the army eventually transformed into the flexible manipular legion. The javelins thrown by the maniples were also an effective formation breaking tool used to lessen the impact of enemy charges or create holes to exploit with their own charge. Peter Connolly captures the action as the phalanx pins and pushes back the Romans on the level ground. Syntagma, . The pliability of the Roman maniple allowed them to fight in any size group from whole legion advances to the individual soldier, ready for any occasion on the battlefield with two javelins, a large shield, and an effective gladius. This victory was mainly due to poorly commanded troops on Perseus's name (note, not Alexander hehe). I'm often asked questions such as this: The reconstruction of the battle is based on Polybius account from Histories,book 18 , 24-27. As the long phalanx line pushed forward, they began to break formation as some areas pushed forward more than others and the uneven ground began to break the formation. The two formations actually met in battle a handful of times with varied results. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 04 Oct 2019. This transformation was likely a result of the Samnite wars fought in the varied mountainous terrain of central Italy where the Romans needed a more adaptable formation. 1992. In small groups at first, the Romans dove into these narrow gaps in the lines and fought to widen them. The javelins thrown by the maniples were also an effective formation breaking tool used to lessen the impact of enemy charges or create holes to exploit with their own charge. Ancient History Encyclopedia. The game covers the invasions of Southern Italy and Sicily by Pyrrhus, and his campaigns against Rome and Carthage. Web. In Rome Polybius studied Roman warfare and so had experience with both phalanx and maniple style warfare. My negative thoughts on … The Macedonians outnumbered the Romans about 44,000 to 29,000 but both forces were equal in cavalry. True? The only phalanx with that level of experience would have been Alexander IIIs, and he basically never got into a situation where his phalanx needed to adapt to a changing situation. Join Date Oct 2007 Location Belgrade, Serbia Posts 1,186. The decisive battle happened on flat ground not too far from the site of Thermopylae. The Roman manipular formation was quite a unique layout. The battle is considered one of the best examples of manipular Roman legion superiority over the Macedonian phalanx in terms of flexibility and combat maneuvering. According to independent scholar Myke Cole, we needn’t rely on … The author’s work focused on Hellenistic and Roman military unit formations with a tactical analysis. This book is a interesting analysis of the struggle between the legion and the phalanx. Maksimus. Not sure how many accounts there are of the Hoplite Phalanx vs the Legion. From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Phalanx vs Legion : Battle of Cynoscephalae July 2020 The roman victory in the battle of Cynoscephalae ( 197 BC ) marked the end of the second macedonian war … The tight formation with the average phalangites taking up a frontage of three feet meant that, theoretically, the average soldier, who needed twice the frontage to operate with sword or spear, faced a total of ten spear points. Well, the first part is a bit difficult but would put my bet on Caesar. Pyrrhus won these battles but the maniples put forth a valiant effort and caused heavy casualties. Details for these battles are scarce but while it seems that though the phalanx did indeed steamroll through the Romans, it was done with great difficulty and at Beneventum the flexibility of the maniples allowed them to seize the openings made by the rampaging elephants to cause a rout. In a straight up fight which would win, the legion or the phalanx? This transformation was likely a result of the Samnite wars fought in the varied mountainous terrain of central Italy where the Romans needed a more adaptable formation. “Legion vs.Phalanx: The Credibility of Polybius 18.28–32,” paper delivered at the 124th Annual The flexibility of the maniples allowed them to surround and destroy each unit until the rest of Philip’s forces fled. Built to sustain a Legion, it was far too large to be garrisoned by a mere Chapter of Space Marines. The phalanx was much more rigid, but overwhelmingly powerful in a frontal assault. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. 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. This transformation was likely a result of the Samnite wars fought in the varied mountainous terrain of central Italy where the Romans needed a more adaptable formation. Last modified October 04, 2019. PHALANX vs LEGION . Syntagma, . (2000-year-old spoiler alert: The legion wins) The question explored in this book is: Why. This book is a interesting analysis of the struggle between the legion and the phalanx. Repelled 30 Taliban: 400 Rounds, Launched 17 Grenades, Detonated a Mine, and Used His Tripod as a Weapon, Battlefield Relics: Bolshoy Tyuters an abandoned island – full of WWII relics left by the German army (image heavy), The WWII Ace Whose Helicopter was Attacked by the World’s Largest Snake, Marine John Basilone Would Decimate an Entire Japanese Regiment In the Pitch-Black Jungle of Guadalcanal, Georg Gartner: A German Soldier who lived in the US for 40 years under a false identity after he escaped from a POW camp. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/video/1830/. As the Roman left met them and held firm, the Roman right marched up the hill in order to deny the rest of Philip’s army the downhill advantage. Even a minimally equipped and trained phalanx was still a forward moving force to be reckoned with. While Alexander’s empire grew and fragmented, The Romans were busy with their arduous task of conquering Italy. Three major battles were fought with the first two being Pyrrhic victories for Pyrrhus. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder-to-shoulder and with overlapping shields, they presented an impenetrable wall of metal to the enemy until the Roman legion eclipsed the phalanx … At the battle of Beneventum a few years later the Romans finally prevailed, with help from Pyrrhus’ elephants which charged back into his own lines. This website claims no authorship of this content; we are republishing it for educational purposes. The author has quite a few thoughtful insights into the nature of classical warfare. Myke Cole has written a new book covering ancient Hellenistic phalanx and Roman legion warriors. Problem is that phalanx is a formation, 'legion' is a unit..it's like comparing apples to elephants. The maps, if a bit creative, are quite good, and most of the illustrations are useful. This powerful Hellenic formation allowed the ancient Greeks to hold off the powerful Persian invasion and spread Hellenic culture throughout the Mediterranean. The term legion also denotes the military system by which imperial Rome conquered and ruled the ancient world. 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. The expanding early Roman Republic found the Greek phalanx formation too Why did the legion ultimately triumph on the field of battle? In the foreground, a maniple has exploited a gap in the arrayed pikes of the white shield phalanx. There are several key differences in the formations. One army (which was smaller!) 11-17-2009, 13:44 #24. Not purely a defensive formation, the phalanx could advance forward with pikes churning through virtually any opponent with ease. Philip decided to take the initiative and marched out first with the right half of his phalanx, so that they could take the hill and attack downhill. Posted on May 3, 2018 by MSW. By M32, the Phalanx was already in a state of decay. Last edited by Phalanx300; 11-17-2009 at 13:25. The exact method of this formation engaging in battle has been questioned due to the large gaps, but it seems that the gaps remained while engaged to allow the rear lines through to support when needed. USS Nevada Found Off Coast Of Pearl Harbour, Special Forces Jerry “Mad Dog” Shriver Packed as Many as Six Revolvers, Sawn off Shotgun & His Regular Machine Gun. The reconstruction of the battle is based on Polybius account from Histories,book 18, 24-27. From the time of ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry Phalanx dominated the battlefield. The cavalry fight was even but as soon as the infantry ran the cavalry followed suit. This battle is often considered to be a victory of the Roman legion's flexibility over the phalanx's inflexibility unfairly. ———. This battle shows the ingenuity and freedoms allowed to Roman officers to enable them to make a battlefield decision that profoundly influenced the outcome.