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Phalanx

 Related Terms

• Alexander the Great
• 
Macedonia
• 
Persia
• 
Persian Wars
• 
Philip of Macedonia

 

Definition: Battlefield formation designed by Philip and executed by Alexander to provide maximum protection for an army while inflicting maximum damage on an enemy. Soldiers would bunch together, shields overlapping, while holding their spears or javelins in between the shields. An enemy trying to get close enough to cut through the shield would meet the spear point. An attacking phalanx could also jab its enemy long before its soldiers were themselves in danger. The phalanx was also a good defense against aerial attacks (such as thrown spears) because the shields were man-height and able to repel such attacks. In short, the phalanx was a revolutionary development in warfare, one that had remarkable success on the battlefields of Persia and India.

Related Resources:
Ancient Greece
Learn more about the area as a whole.

Elsewhere on the Web:
The Phalanx in Battle
Read about the effectiveness of the phalanx on the battlefield.

Drawing of a Phalanx
See for yourself what a phalanx really looked like.

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