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The Macedonian Phalanx

Equipment, organization and tactics from Philip and Alexander to the Roman conquest

by Richard Taylor

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (15 Oct 2020)

The Macedonian pike phalanx dominated the battlefields of Greece and the Near and Middle East for over two centuries. It was one of the most successful infantry formations of the ancient world, only rivalled by the manipular formation of the Roman legions. The phalanx was a key factor in the battlefield success of Alexander the Great and after his death dominated the armies of his Successors (the Diadochoi), who ruled from Greece and Egypt to the borders of India. Richard Taylor gives an overview of the phalanx's development, organization, equipment and training. He analyses the reasons for its success, with an emphasis on case studies of the many battles in which it was used, from Philip II's reign to the Mithridatic Wars. He discusses whether the famous defeats by the Romans necessarily mean it was inherently inferior to the manipular legion tactics, and considers what other factors were in play. The clear, accessible and well-researched text is supported by diagrams and battle maps, making this an outstanding study of this mighty formation.

This should be on everybody's bookshelf. Richard goes beyond the technical details of sarissa length, shield style, battle formations - not that there is anything wrong with those subjects, and all are covered; but there is also good stuff on the origins of the phalanx troops and how they relate to Hellenistic military systems as a whole. Highly recommended!

Duncan Head, author of Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars

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The Greek Hoplite Phalanx

by Richard Taylor

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (Nov 2021)

Following on from The Macedonian Phalanx, this book will examine the Greek hoplite phalanx from its development in the Archaic period, through its heyday in Classical Greece and the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, to its eventual replacement by the Macedonian phalanx in the Hellenistic period.

It will be published in November 2021.

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