Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Philip II of Macedon's Military Reforms
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
woven, porcupine, military, wealth, 32, sarissa, Thracian, aggressiveness, together, deflect, flexibility, 359, thrust, conical, largest, Illyrians, Hypaspistai, one, pleated, foot, advantages, cavalry, Persian, breast, head, Bulgaria, Javelin, shield, king, population, sun, pezhetairoi, right, Crete, Asia, infantry, greaves
Philip II of Macedon's (382–336 BC)                  reforms
affected Macedon's ability to wage war significantly
gave Macedonians massive                     s over
the Hoplite city-states
forces of                kings
most important changes: infantry and               
pezhetairoi [πεζέταιροι]
distinguished them from the other group merely called "companions"
               and most important contingent of infantry men
pileus [πῖλος]
metal helmet
               in shape
                 style helmet with peak over front with cheek pieces
if you serve in the back, you might be wearing Macedonian        hats made out of straw
unlike Greek hoplite warriors, you probably don't wear a metal              plate even if you serve in the front ranks
but rather layers of linen            together
might stop an arrow or cut from a sword, but will not stop a direct              from a sharp sword
short cutting sword
               to protect knees and shins
some protection on top of feet
left shoulder
small, button-shaped shield
protects left shoulder
primary weapon is a 4-7 meter long pike known as a               
introduced by Philip around        BCE
sarissa weighs more than 6 kilograms
can't be wielded effectively with        hand
a two-handed weapon you have to carry on your           -hand side
yet it is more than twice as long as the spear carried by a Greek hoplite soldier
encountering Macedonia's pezhetairoi formations in battle with their massively long sarissa pikes would have been like meeting up with a large, angry, well-disciplined                    with quills five meters long
the                        are brigaded into units of about 1500 men
at least three or a least or all six of the these brigades that Alexander brought with him to          were recruited locally in Macedon
the people in these infantry units were serving next to people they grew up with and possibly related to it
if you were good at wielding the sarissa
belong to the                        [Ὑπασπιστής]
"the              bearers"
developed from a body guard
the elite unit of this fought around the         
had high speed, flexibility and                             
down the lines and behind lines, also                  units
gathered up among Macedon's allies
Greek city states
some of the most dangerous missions
               men from Macedon
men who came from Strymon [Στρυμών] valley
                , Strymon river begins near Sofia
archers from Macedon and island of           
long history of producing first rate bowmen
pezhetairoi lined up in 16 ranks
common at the time as 8-10 ranks
later expanded to      ranks
made possible by the greater                      of Macedon
men in the back hold up their sarissi to                arrows and other missiles
turned to the side
moved back and forth
moved together left, right, back and forth
locked shields                 
provide protection
or held over         
Philip had the              and commitment to make military training excellent, the best in the world at that time
armor was lighter
defense had been exchanged for speed, mobility, and                       
no army in the world at that time had an answer to the sarissa

Ideas and Concepts:

On key weapons for Macedonia's military advantage, via this morning's Alexander the Great class: "The sarissa [σάρισα] was a long spear about 4–7 meters long introduced by Philip II of Macedon and was used in his Macedonian phalanxes, the spear being considerably longer than the dory spear used by the other Greek hoplite armies which measured at most only 3 meters. Philip invented, developed, and drilled his soldiers in the use of the sarissa, while also raising their morale by calling them pezhetairoi [πεζέταιροι], or "foot companions" or friends of the king with a secret weapon. The sarissa-bearing phalanx would usually march to battle, then before the charge, it would tighten its files to close formation. The tight formation of the phalanx created a "wall of pikes", and the pike was so long that there were fully five rows of them projecting in front of the front rank of men. Even if an enemy got past the first row, there were still four more to stop him. The back rows bore their pikes angled upwards in readiness, which served the additional purpose of deflecting incoming arrows. Philip's son, Alexander, used this new tactic across Asia, conquering Egypt, Persia and the northwest India, victorious all the way, the sarissa-wielding phalanxes being vital in every early battle, including the pivotal battle of Gaugamela where the Persian king's scythe chariots were utterly destroyed by the pezhetairoi's well-trained use of the sarissa."
From the colorful war metaphors department, via this evening's Alexander the Great class: "Encountering Macedonia's pezhetairoi [πεζέταιροι] battalions in battle, consisting of 1500 men in formation holding their massively long sarissa pikes, would have been like meeting up with a large, angry, well-disciplined porcupine with quills five meters long."
Alexander the Great, the Terrible, or the Insignificant
Why Study Alexander the Great?
The Importance of the Battle of Thermopylae
The Peloponnesian War and Internal Greek Struggles
Early Macedon
The Nature of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon's Military Reforms
Alexander's Cavalry Units
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)