Phalanges MacÚdoniennes - Fr
Makedonische Phalanxen - Ger
Falangistas Macedonios - Sp
Falangiti Macedoni - It
Macedonian Hoplieten - Dutch
No sarissas are included with this set, you must make your own.
In ancient times, the word conjured up pictures of a forest of spears held by ranks of men from the city states of Greece. It was from the far north, however, that the most perfect phalanx of all was to come. King Philip of Macedon transformed the bearded warriors of his hilly state into a military machine. Carrying a pike up to 12 cubits (5.4m) long, the Macedonian phalangites surprised the world by crushing the might of the Greek cities at Chaeronea.
Philip dreamt of invading Persia, but it was his son, Alexander, who took the Macedonians eastwards and into legend. Alexander the Great, took 9000 men of the phalanx with him on his campaigns. These men made up the solid core of the army. The king himself would fight with the mounted Companions, and a whole host of Greek mercenaries fulfilled special duties, but it was the Phalanx that gave the army the staying power that let it conquer an empire.
The figures in this set show the diversity of the Macedonian phalanx. The men wear differing styles of bronze helmet, and several types of body armour. Most wear the linen cuirass. The front ranks would see more men with a shirt of metal scales. Some would wear a solid bronze armour, shaped like the muscles of the human torso. In the rear ranks, there would be men without any body armour at all.
There are a few surviving relics that allow us a glimpse at the colours of the Macedonian phalanx. They show dull red tunics, with some men wearing purple. The cuirass is in white or purple linen with contrasting borders. Metal scales show natural bronze, or (rarely) a silvery coating of tin. The same is true of the shields and helmets. Surprisingly, there is also evidence that many infantry helmets were painted blue.
Text by Norbert Black, Canada.
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