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PHALANX 100.00%
The Greek term for the order of battle in which heavy infantry were drawn up, in an unbroken line, several ranks deep. (See HOPLITAe.) The most famous phalanx was that formed by king Philip, constituting the chief strength of the Macedonian army. It was first 8, afterwards 12-16 deep. In the eight-rank formation, the lances (sarissae) being eighteen feet long, those of all ranks could be presented to the enemy. They were grasped with the right hand at the butt, and, with the left, four feet from the butt end; hence the lances of the first rank projected fourteen feet, while the spear-beads of the last rank were level with, or just in front of, the men in the front rank. In the deeper formation, and after the reduction of the length of the sarissa to fourteen feet, only the first five ranks presented their weapons to the front; the rest held them slanting over the shoulders of their comrades in front. The name phalanx, or taxis, was also applied to the separate regiments of the phalangitae. The line of each such phalanx was divided from front to rear, into four chiliarchies, each chiliarchy into four syntagmata, each syntagma into four tetrarchies. The importance of this formation lay in its power of resistance to hostile onset, and in the weight with which it fell, when impelled against the enemy's lines. Its weaknesses were want of mobility, the impossibility of changing front in face of the enemy, and unsuitability for close, band to hand engagement. The Roman legions also fought in phalanx in the older times before Camillus. Under the emperors the phalanx was used after about the 2nd century A.D., in fighting against barbaric nations.
The soldiers of the Macedonian phalanx (q.v.).
The leader of a division of 1,000 men. (See PHALANX.)
SARISSA 37.06%
thrusting-lance of the Macedonian hoplites (see PHALANX) and light cavalry, which in the time of Philip and Alexander was 18 feet long, afterwards 14; from this lance the light cavalry were called sarissophori (sarissa-bearers).
The Greek term for a commander of a taxis, which contained a variable number of men. In Athens the ten commanders of the ten taxeis were so called. They were elected annually by show of hands, one for each tribe. They also had to look after the levying and distribution of recruits, and they were thus concerned in the drawing up of the register of those citizens who were liable to serve. On the Macedonian taxis, see PHALANX.
The heavily armed foot-soldiers of the Greeks, who fought in serried masses (see PHALANX). Their weapons consisted of an oval shield suspended from the shoulder-belt, and wielded by means of a handle, a coat of mail (see THORAX), a helmet and greaves of bronze, and sometimes a lance about six feet long, and a short sword. The Spartans, who fought with shields large enough to cover the whole man, appear to have worn neither cuirass nor greaves. The whole equipment, weighing close on 77 lbs., was worn only in battle; on the march the greater part of it was carried by a slave. An idea of the equipment of an Athenian hoplite [about 500 B.C.] may be derived from the accompanying illustration of the monument to the Athenian Aristion (found near Marathon, but probably of earlier date than 490). The weapons of the Macedonian hoplites, or phalangitoe, were a circular shield with a bronze plate, about two feet in diameter, and about twelve pounds in weight, a leather jerkin with brass mountings and ornaments, light greaves, a round felt hat (see CAUSIA), a short sword, and the Macedonian sarissa (q.v.).
WARFARE 14.24%
Greek. The distinctively warlike people among the Greeks were the Spartans, whose whole life from early youth to advanced age was spent in the continual practice of martial exercises. Even the meals shared in common by all Spartans who had attained the full rights of citizens, were arranged with reference to military service. (See SYSSITIA.) Owing to constant practice in military exercises of every possible kind, the Spartan army possessed a dexterity in the handling of weapons, and a tactical education, which, combined with their lofty sentiment of military honour, for a long period ensured their supremacy over the other Greek races. The duty of service, which began with the twentieth year, and admitted of no exceptions, did not terminate until capacity for service came to an end; but with his sixtieth year the soldier became exempt from foreign service. Originally the heavy-armed infantry, or hoplites, consisted solely of Spartans; but even at the time of the Persian Wars, side by side with the Spartans, whose troops in their larger divisions were termed lochoi, the periaeci also served as soldiers, but in separate divisions. The helots who accompanied the army served as personal attendants to the hoplites (see HYPASPISTAe), and as light-armed troops in battle. A picked corps of the hoplites, specially employed as a royal body-guard, were those known as hippeis (horsemen) composed of 300 Spartans under thirty years of age, who were selected by the three hippagretae, and commanded by them. A peculiar corps of lighter infantry was formed from the Sciritae (the inhabitants of the district of Scirits), who were specially employed on the out-post service of the camp; they were used as scouts on the march, and in battle had their position assigned them on the left wing. The Spartans also kept up a fleet, in which the helots were employed as marines and oarsmen; in cases of great emergency they were transformed into heavy-armed soldiers and served in the army, after which they received their freedom. (See NEODAMODEIS.) From the end of the 5th century B.C. the Lacedaemonian army was divided into six moroe, each commanded by a polemarch. Owing to their steadily decreasing numbers the Spartans only formed the nucleus of the battalions, which were brought up to their full complement by the addition of periaeci. The officers, however, were exclusively Spartans, and the place of honour was always reserved for that body. In military expeditions the troops often consisted of periaeci, neodamodeis, allies, and mercenaries, while the Spartans acted only as officers (see XENAGOS) and members of the royal staff. On the cavalry, which only played a subordinate part among the Spartans, see HIPPEIS. The ephors had the command of the veterans in time of war. In the earlier times the kings divided the supreme authority; but after 512 B.C. one alone commanded, unless the circumstances of the case required more than one general. The fleet was commanded by nauarchoi. Among the Athenians the citizens of the first three classes were alone eligible as hoplites, and they were chosen, according to Solon's law, from the pentacosiomedimni, hippeis, and zeugitae; the fourth class, the thetes, were freed from service, and were only exceptionally employed at sea, but sometimes as light-armed troops on land. They were very rarely heavily armed, and were always remunerated at the expense of the State. The age of military service extended from the eighteenth to the sixtieth year; there were thus forty-two classes of age, and every man was mustered in a certain list (katalogos) under the name of the archon eponnymus under whom he had first attained the age of service.[1] The first two of these classes were only employed (as peripoloi) to patrol the frontiers. Foreign service began in the twentieth year. From these classes, which were on each occasion called out by a special vote of the people, only so many as were absolutely necessary were taken out of each of the ten phylae or tribes. The members of the Council and probably all other officials, were exempt from service. The men who were levied were enrolled, according to their phylae, in ten battalions, taxeis (see TAXIARCHUS), which are sometimes called phylae, while their subdivisions are called lochoi. On the occasion of a levy the troops were sometimes equipped by the aid of the aliens resident in Attica (see METOECI), and also, in the days of the earlier Attic confederation, by means of the contingents contributed by the allies. It was the hoplites who were benefited by this equipment. From the time of Pericles, and during the Peloponnesian War, the cavalry received pay and maintenance money, usually amounting in all to 4 obols (5 1/3 d.) a day. The State also allowed pay and maintenance for the horseman's personal attendant. On the Athenian cavalry, which was more important than the Lacedaemonian, see HIPPES. As to the fleet, on which Athens mainly relied in time of war, the Council (see BOULE) had to see that a certain number of vessels of war were built annually. The supervision of the ships in the docks (neoria) was exercised by a special board, the ten epimeletae of the neoria. It was their duty to consign the vessels, with the equipments allowed by the State, to the trierarchs (see LEITOURGIA), wealthy citizens who undertook to complete the equipment of the vessels, to provide sailors and oarsmen, and to take the command over them; while the marines, the epibatai, were under their own commanders. The strategoi (q.v.) held the chief command over the fleet as well as over the land forces. In most of the other Greek states the hoplites, consisting of wealthy citizens, formed the main strength of the army, and generally helped to turn the scale in engagements in which the light-armed troops and the cavalry played a subordinate part. They fought in the phalanx (q.v.), in closely serried lines eight deep. The pick of the troops were stationed on the right wing as the post of honour, to advance to meet the foe amid the singing of the poean. When at a distance of about 200 yards, at the signal of a trumpet, they raised the battlecry (alala) and charged either at a run or at quick march. It was only the Spartans who slowly advanced at an even pace and to the sound of flutes. Requesting permission to bury the dead was the formal admission of defeat. The enduring token of victory was a trophy composed of the armour captured from the defeated side. It was usual to join battle on ground which was suitable for the phalanx. The Peloponnesian War was the means of introducing many innovations, including the formation of a regular force of light infantry, called peltastae (q.v.). Still more decisive in the transformation of the general system of Greek warfare was the famous retreat of the Ten Thousand, the first important mercenary army among the Greeks which tried to make the phalanx of hoplites suit the ground better, and to utilize at the same time the light infantry, or peltasts, and the gymnetes (spearmen, bowmen, and slingers). Iphicrates, the first distinguished general of mercenary troops, introduced a lighter equipment by substituting a small pelta, for the heavy shield, adopting a longer sword and spear, lighter shoes, and a linen corslet. In the course of the 4th century B.C. the army composed of civilians gave way more and more to the mercenary army, which, by its intimate knowledge of the use of its weapons gained an immense advantage in actual war. (See MERCENARIES.) An important novelty was oblique battle-order, the discovery of Epaminondas. In this the great mass and strength of the hoplites was drawn up in considerable depth on one of the two wings, without any expansion of the front. The hoplites could thus make a vigorous attack on the centre of the enemy's wing, whilst the true centre and other wing of the assailants was held in reserve, with a view to advancing later to crush the enemy.
LEGION 9.58%
In the time of Romulus the united armed forces of Rome went by this name. The legion consisted of 300 knights (celeres) under the command of a tribunus celerum, appointed by the king, and 3,000 foot soldiers, under the command of three tribuni militum. Each of the three ancient tribes provided a third of this force and one tribune. With the increase of the military forces of Rome the name of legio was given to each of the sub-divisions equivalent in numbers to the original army. The military system of king Servius Tullius made the infantry the most important part of the military forces, instead of the cavalry as heretofore. The five classes included in the census (q.v.) were obliged to serve in the army at their own expense; those who were not comprised in these classes, viz. the proletarii, were freed from service, and, when they were enlisted, received their equipment from the State. The iuniores, those who were from 17 to 46 years old, were appointed for field service, and the seniores, those from 47 to 60, for the defence of the city. The first and second lines of the legion, drawn up in unbroken order like the Greek phalanx, consisted of citizens of the first class, equipped with helmet, cuirass, round shield (clipeus), and greaves, all of bronze. The third and fourth lines were from the second class, and had no cuirass, but had the helmet and greaves and large oblong shields (scutum). The fifth and sixth were armed similarly, but without greaves, and were drawn from the third class. The fourth class was armed with the scutum as its only weapon of defence, but, like the others, provided with spear (hasta) and sword. It either filled the seventh and eighth lines, or, with the fifth class, formed the rorarii, who opened the battle with slings and other light missiles. An impontant alteration, ascribed to Camillus (about B.C. 390), was the abolition of the phalanx and introduction of the manipular formation, which prevailed till the time of Marius (end of the 2nd century B.C.). In the flourishing days of the Republic, the normal strength of a legion, which could be increased in time of need, consisted of 300 knights (equites), and 4,200 foot soldiers (pedites). In respect to the weapons used, the latter were divided into four kinds, according to their length of service and familiarity with warfare. (1) 1,200 hastati, all in early manhood; (2) 1,200 principes, in the full vigour of life; (3) 600 triarii, who were proved veterans; and (4) 1,200 velites, who were lightly armed, and were drawn from the lowest classes of the census. The three first classes had a bronze helmet (cassis) with a lofty plume of feathers, a scutum, a leathern cuirass (lorica, q.v. ), greaves and a sword (gladius), which, after the second Punic War was of the Spanish kind, being short, strong, and two-edged, fitted for thrusting rather than cutting, and worn on the right side. There was also a spear, which in the two first divisions was a pilum (q.v.), and among the triarii a lance [Polyb. vi 23). The velites were armed with a leather helmet (galea), a light shield (parma), and a sword and several light javelins. The 3,000 heavily armed men were divided into 30 manipuli, numbering 120 men each among the hastati and principes, and 60 each among the triarii, and were again subdivided into two bodies called centuriae, and led by centurions (q.v.). Of the 1,200 velites, 20 were allotted to each century, and they formed the final complement of each maniple. On the field of battle the maniples were drawn up in open order, separated laterally from one another by intervals corresponding to the breadth of each maniple in front. The arrangement of the maniples would thus resemble that of the black squares on a chessboard. They fell into three divisions; the hastati in the front rank, with the principes behind them, and the triarii in the rear. If the first division, the hastati, were compelled to give way, then the second division, the principes, advanced through the intervals t by the maniples of the first division; if the principes in their turn had to retreat, then the third division, the triarii, who had been previously kneeling, protected by their shields, allowed the hastati and principes to fall back into the intervals separating the maniples of the triarii, and themselves closing their ranks pressed forward to meet the enemy. The 300 knights of the legion were divided into 10 turmae of 30 men each, and were equipped with a bronze cuirass, leathern greaves, helmet, shield, a long sword for attacking, and a long lance provided at both ends with an iron point. Each turma was under three decurions and three underofficers (optiones). The legion as a whole was under the command of six tribuni militum (q.v.) The consular army consisted of two legions. Four legions were regularly levied in each year; in other words, 16,800 foot soldiers and 1,200 cavalry. This levy of citizens was further swelled by the Italian allies (socii), a body of 20,000 foot soldiers and 3,600 cavalry, thus adding to each of the two consular armies 10,000 foot soldiers and 1,800 cavalry. The former were in twenty cohorts (see COHORS), each consisting of 420 men. Ten of these cohorts fought on the right wing, and ten on the left wing of the legions. Besides these, four cohorts of 400 men each were formed into a picked body. The cavalry were in six squadrons (See ALA, 1) of 300 men each. Four of these belonged to the main army, and two to the picked body. In wars beyond the limits of Italy there were also auxiliary forces (auxilia), consisting either of soldiers raised in the country where the war was being carried on, or of light-armed troops furnished by allied kings and nations. Besides the ordinary component parts of the legion there was also the bodyguard of the commander-in-chief, the cohors proetoria. (See COHORS.) In the course of the 1st century B.C. the organization of the legion was essentially altered. In the first place, in the time of Marius, the census ceased to be the basis of the levy, and all the citizens collectively were placed on the same footing in respect to their military service and the uniform which they wore. All the soldiers of the legion alike received the heavy equipment and the pilum, while the light-armed velites were done away with. After the right of citizenship had been conferred on the Italian allies, these no longer formed a separate part of the legions, but were incorporated with them. Thus the Roman army now consisted only of heavy-armed legions and of light-armed auxiliary troops. The latter were partly raised in the provinces and divide into cohorts, and partly enlisted as slingers and archers. The cavalry of the legions ceased to exist. Like the light-armed soldiers, the whole of the cavalry consisted of auxiliary troops, who were partly enlisted and partly levied from the provinces, while some were supplied according to agreement by allied nations and princes. A further important novelty introduced by Marius was the use of the cohort-formation, instead of the maniple-formation, which broke up the front too much. The legion was now divided into ten cohorts, in each of which there were three maniples of hastati, principes, and triarii, designations which now only concern the relative rank of the six centurions of the cohort. The customary battle array was in three divisions, the first being formed of four cohorts, and the second and third of three each. Again, while in earlier times the obligation of service extended at the most in the infantry to twenty campaigns and in the cavalry to ten, from the days of Marius the soldier remained uninterruptedly for twenty years with the army; an earlier dismissal being only exceptional. For this reason the well-to-do classes sought to withdraw themselves from the general military service, and it thus came to pass that the legions were for the greater part manned by means of conscriptions from the lowest strata of the burgher population of Italy, in which the service was regarded simply as a means of livelihood. Thus from the original army of citizens there was gradually developed a standing army of mercenaries. Under the Empire we find what is really a standing army, bound to the emperor by oath (see SACRAMENTUM); apart from the legions this army consisted of the auxilia (q.v.), the guards stationed in Rome and the neighbourhood (see PRAeTORIANI), and the city-cohorts (see COHORS), the artillery and the corps of workmen (see FABRI), the marines (see CLASSIARII), and the municipal and provincial militia. The legions are now once more provided with a corps of cavalry 120 strong, and are designated not only by numbers, but also by distinctive names. Together with the auxiliary troops they form the garrison of the imperatorial provinces under the command of the imperatorial legati legionum (see LEGATI), whose place was taken in the middle of the 3rd century by the praefecti legionum (see PRAeFECTI.). The strength of the legion now amounted to 5-6,000 men, raised partly by a regular levy, partly by drawing recruits from the Roman citizens of all the provinces beyond the bounds of Italy. As under the Republic, it was divided into 10 cohorts of 6 centuries each; the first cohort was, however, twice the strength of the remainder. It was not until the second half of the 3rd century A.D. that a now division of the 10 cohorts into 55 centuries came into use, with 10 centuries in the first cohort, and 5 in each of the rest. At the death of Augustus, the number of the legions was 25; it was then increased to 30, and this number was maintained until the end of the 2nd century, when three new legions were added by Septimius Severus. From the beginning of the 4th century it gradually rose to about 175, each of them, however, mustering a considerably smaller contingent. Incourse, of time, and especially after the 2nd century, owing to the conflicts with the barbarians, the legion was drawn up more and more after the manner of the Greek phalanx, without intervals in its line and with a division of troops in its rear. In its equipment there was an important alteration beginning with the second half of the 3rd century, when ad the soldiers of the legion carried long swords (Spathae), and the first five cohorts two pila, one larger and another smaller, while the last five had lanceae, or javelins serving as missiles, and fitted with a leather loop to help in hurling them with precision. The military music of the Romans was provided by tubicines (see TUBA.), cornicines (See CORNICEN), bucinatores (see BUCINA), and liticines (see LITUUS, 2). On standards or ensigns, see SIGNUM and VEXILLUM. On levy, oath of allegiance, pay, and discharge from service, see DILECTUS, SACRAMENTUM, STIPENDIUM, and MISSIO. The accompanying cut (from the Column of Trajan) represents the soldiers of a legion on the march, carrying their helmets close to the right shoulder, and their kit at the top of a pole resting on the left.
SHIELD 8.75%
The most important weapon of defence among the peoples of antiquity. The Greeks had two principal forms of shield in use, with broad flat rims, and the curved surface of the shield rising above them: (1) the long shield of oval shape that covered the wearer from mouth to ankles, suspended by a belt passing [round the neck and] the left shoulder, with a handle for the left hand. A variation of this form is the Boeotian shield (figs. 3, 4), the two sides of which have in the middle a semicircular or oval indentation. (2) The round shield, covering the wearer from the chin to the knee, also called the Doric shield; this had one loop, through which the left arm was inserted, and one which was held by the left hand (figs. 5 and 6). The shield of the Macedonian phalanx was round, but small enough to be easily handled, and with only one loop for the arm. Both forms were in use from ancient times; at a later date the Argolic shield seems to have predominated, though the long shield that was planted on the ground in a pitched battle remained a peculiarity of Spartan warfare until the 3rd century B.C, In Homer [Il. vii 245, xviii 481, xx 274-281] shields are made of skins placed one over another, with one plate of metal above; in later times the material appears to have been generally bronze, but also wood, leather, and wickerwork. The pelta is of Thracian origin; it was the defensive weapon of the light-armed peltasts, made of leather without a rim, and with a level surface, of small size and weight, and of various forms (square, round, and crescent-shaped, as in fig. 8). Shields sometimes bore devices in painting or metal-work (figs. 1,2); besides those chosen by the fancy of the individual, devices indicating different nations came into general use after the Persian War. Many Grecian races, e.g. the Lacedemonians, displayed the first letters of their name. The Athenian token was an owl, the Theban a club or a sphinx. The shields most in use among the Romans were (1) the large oblong scutum, bent in the form of a segment of a cylinder, covering the whole of the wearer; this was constructed of boards, covered with leather, and bound at the top and bottom with iron; it was always carried by the legionaries. (2) The circular leathern parma, carried by the light infantry. (3) The cetra, borrowed from the Spaniards; it resembled the parma, and was carried by the light auxilliary cohorts. The different divisions of the force were distinquished by devices painted on their shields.
The equites were originally a real division of the Roman army. At the beginning of the kingly period they were called celeres, and their number is said to have been 300, chosen in equal parts from the three tribes of the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres. A hundred formed a centuria, each centuria being named after the tribe from which it was taken. Thirty made a turma, and ten were under the command of a decurio, while thewhole corps was commanded by the tribunus celerum. During the course of the kingly period the body of equites was increased to six centuriae, and the constitution of Servius Tullius finally raised it to eighteen. When the twelve new centuries were formed, consisting of the richest persons in the state, whose income exceeded that of the first class in the census, the corps of equites lost the exclusively patrician character which had hitherto distinguished it. At the same time its military importance was diminished, as it no longer formed the first rank, but took up a position on the wings of the phalanx (see LEGIO). The equites, however, retained both in the state and in the army their personal prestige. In the comitia they voted first, and in centurioe of their own. They were the most distinguished troops in the army. No other soldiers were in a position to keep two horses and a groom apiece, a costly luxury, although they received an allowance for the purchase and keep of their horse. After the introduction of the pay system they received three times as much as the ordinary troops; on occasion of a triumph three times the ordinary share of booty; and at the foundation of a colony a much larger allotment than the ordinary colonist. The 1,800 equites equo publica, or equites whose horse was purchased and kept by the state, were chosen every five years, at the census. The election was carried out in the republican period originally by the consuls, but in later times by the censors. After the general census was completed, the censors proceeded to review the equites (recognitio). They were arranged according to their tribes, and each of them, leading his horse by the hand, passed before the tribunal of the censors in the forum. All who had served their time, and who were physically incapacitated, received their discharge. If an eques were judged unworthy of his position, he was dismissed with the words: "Sell your horse" (Vende equum). If there were nothing against him, he was passed on with the words Traduc equum ("lead your horse past"). The vacancies were then filled up with suitable candidates, and the new list (album equitum) read aloud. In later times, the eques whose name was first read out was called princeps iuventutis (see PRINCEPS). During their time of service (aetat. 17-46) the equites were beund to serve in a number of campaigns not exceeding ten. Their service expired, they passed into the first censorial class. The senators alone among the equites were, in earlier times, allowed to keep their equus publicus, their name on the roll, and their rights as equites unimpaired. But of this privilege the senators were deprived in the time of the Gracchi. The number of the equites equo publico remained the same, as no addition was made to the sum expended by the state on the horses. Young men of property sometimes served on their own horses (equo privato) without any share in the political privileges of the equites. After the Second Punic war the body of equites gradually lost its military position, and finally ceased to exist as a special troop. In the 1st century B.C. the members of the equestrian centuriae only served in the cohors praetoria of the general, or in the capacity of military tribunes and praefecti of cohorts. The wealthy class, who were in possession of the large capital which enabled them to undertake the farming of the public revenues, and who consequently had the opportunity of enriching themselves still further, had long enjoyed a very influential position. In 123 B.C. the lex iudiciaria of Gaius Gracchus transferred to the possessors of the equestrian census (400,000 sestertii, or about £3,500) to right to sit on juries, which had previously belonged exclusively to members of the senate. Thus an ordo equester or third order, standing between the senate and the people, was formed, which began to play an important part in politics. Its members were called equites even if they were not enrolled in the centuriae equitum. The contests between the senate and the equites for the exclusive right to sit on the juries, continued with varying fortunes until the end of the Republic. Augustus allowed the ordo equester to continue in existence as a class in possession of a certain income; but the old fiscal and judicial system came to an end, and the ordo accordingly lost all its former importance. On the other hand, the equites proper rose into a position of great consideration. They were divided into six turmae, headed by an imperial prince as princeps iuventutis. True, they had no further standing as a corporation: but the emperor employed them in a variety of confidential posts. The title eques equo1 publico was necessary for the attainment of the office of military tribune, and for a number of the most important military posts. The power of conferring or withdrawing the title came at length to rest with the emperor alone. The review of the equites, which used to take place every five years, now became a mere ceremony, and was united by Augustus with the ancient annual parade (transvectio) of the 15th July. The equites, in full uniform, rode through the Forum to the Capitol, past the temple of Mars or Honos. After the transference of the seat of government to Constantinople, the turmae equitum sank into the position of a city corporation, standing between the senate and the guilds, and in possession of special privileges. The insignia of the equites were a gold ring and a narrow purple border on the tunic (see TUNICA). At the transvectio they wore the trabea, a mantle adorned with purple stripes, and crowns of olive. From 67 B.C. the fourteen first rows were assigned to them honoris causa.
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