Cole clearly loves the subject. by Jeff Jonas. Syntagma, . The maps, if a bit creative, are quite good, and most of the illustrations are useful. This battle shows the ingenuity and freedoms allowed to Roman officers to enable them to make a battlefield decision that profoundly influenced the outcome. This book is a interesting analysis of the struggle between the legion and the phalanx. After Pyrrhus’ invasion, the Romans fought titanic wars against Carthage that brought them to superpower status in the Mediterranean. 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. 1 vs 1 the Legion won't stand a chance. Myke Cole uses six battles where the two fighting systems clashed, along with the history surrounding them, to discuss this. In Rome I I'd make sure to field as much missile troops as I could to decimate the phalanx before they got to my infantry. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. This book is exactly what I expected when I picked it up, a fun opportunity to geek out about to technical aspects of ancient warfare, in this case the relative merits of the Macedonian Phalanx vs the Roman Legion. My negative thoughts on … Meanwhile, the remaining Roman right wing advanced up the hill and met the rest of Philips army as they were arriving in bunches. Join Date Oct 2007 Location Belgrade, Serbia Posts 1,186. One player takes the role of Pyrrhus and his Greek, Siracusan, and Tarentine forces, while the other controls Rome and her allies. Phalanx vs Legion: Battle of Cynoscephalae. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/video/1830/. 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. The phalanx was much more rigid, but overwhelmingly powerful in a frontal assault. I'm often asked questions such as this: Most of its vast docking bays were deserted, and the Imperium's inability to replicate its ancient technologies resulted in even minor damage creating signific… 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. 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. 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. Peter Connolly captures the action as the phalanx pins and pushes back the Romans on the level ground. 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. The flexibility of the maniples allowed them to surround and destroy each unit until the rest of Philip’s forces fled. 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 Roman manipular formation was quite a unique layout. 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. Last modified October 04, 2019. “Legion vs.Phalanx: The Credibility of Polybius 18.28–32,” paper delivered at the 124th Annual 23 Dec 2020. Cole’s work spans a time period from approximately the 3rd through the 2nd century BC battlefields with a discipline focus. Initially adopting a hoplite style phalanx due to influence from Southern Italian Hellenic colonies, the army eventually transformed into the flexible manipular legion. True? While Alexander’s empire grew and fragmented, The Romans were busy with their arduous task of conquering Italy. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. After the fall of mighty Carthage in the Second Punic War (202 BC) Rome began to prepare for the invasion of Greece. 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 armies of Rome and Philip’s phalanx army met at Cynoscephalae, with a large hill separating the two camps. The expanding early Roman Republic found the Greek phalanx formation too There are several key differences in the formations. The author’s work focused on Hellenistic and Roman military unit formations with a tactical analysis. "Phalanx vs Legion: Battle of Cynoscephalae." In the foreground, a maniple has exploited a gap in the arrayed pikes of the white shield phalanx. Well, the first part is a bit difficult but would put my bet on Caesar. The maniple was fluid, with each maniple led by centurions who were encouraged to take initiative and lead by example. Embedded by Arienne King, published on 04 October 2019. PHALANX vs LEGION . The Roman infantry met the phalanx and did not break, but were steadily forced back towards the broken ground behind them. Initially adopting a hoplite style phalanx due to influence from Southern Italian Hellenic colonies, the army eventually transformed into the flexible manipular legion. In his histories, Polybius directly address the strengths and weakness of both formations. 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. The two formations actually met in battle a handful of times with varied results. You need variety; missile and cavalry troops give you options. 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. Did That Actually Happen? 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. Legion versus Phalanx begins by asking a simple question. This battle is often considered to be a victory of the Roman legion's flexibility over the phalanx's inflexibility unfairly. In a straight up fight which would win, the legion or the phalanx? The reconstruction of the battle is based on Polybius account from Histories,book 18 , 24-27. Legion Versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World, by Myke Cole, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, U.K., 2018, $30. Carthage is a neutral power that can ally with either side. For the phalanx, the sixteen-man deep formation had the first five ranks with their spears extending out of the formation while the remaining ranks held their spears upright or at an angle to deflect missiles. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. 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. 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