Alexander and Philip's Macedonian army

By Jimmy Song

The Phalanx

The Macedonian Army was started by Philip II, and continued by Alexander the Great. They used the idea of phalanx.Usually, there were16 men on a side, 256 men in each unit. The phalanx, there were 16,000-25,000 foot soldiers in the field. The Macedonian phalanx developed by Philip II. He was different to the earlier Greek hoplite formation. Philip's goal was to destroy Persia so he got ready. But it was too hard defeating Persia with this less people. So he conquered Greece to get troops. But he got murdered in his daughter's wedding. Alexander the Great continued his father's work. He got troops from Greece and attacked Persia. In the Macedonian army, it had 16 rows of soldiers.


They were armed with sarissa, a long spear which is 18 feet long. They used bronze hoplites and armor in battle. Footmen in Philip’s phalanx used a longer double-handed spear than the Greeks, a smaller shield and lighter armor. Sarissa was over 6 meters (18 feet) and the phalanx carried mini baggage train. This gave the marching speed. Battles were fought by hoplites (shields) and sarissa, footmen were heavily, strongly, and hardly armed and lined up in phalanxes. The weapons they used in battles were bronze body armor, a long iron spear, an iron machaira (short sword), and an iron xiphos (two-edged sword). All soldiers had 16 pointed Macedonian suns on the hoplites. Each of the footmenhad 6 meters long spear called sarissa. The state took care for the weapons and the army clothes.

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16 pointed shield and phalanx.

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Phalanx of the macedonian army.

Works Cited“Ancient Macedonian army.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <>.
Conroy, Gerald. “Alexander the Great and His Army.” Tripod. Tripod, 2009. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <>.
“King of Macedonia and conqueror of Illyria, Thrace, and Greece.” Philip of Macedon., 2003. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <>.
Knox, Ellis. “The Macedonian Army.” Western Civilization-Ancient History. Boise State University, 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
“Macedonian Army.” Pothos, 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <>.