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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY

From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS

III. MINGLING OF EAST AND WEST AFTER 359 B.C.

Rediscovering the Path to Europe
Em. Macron, Rediscovering the Path to Europe


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THE MACEDONIAN ARMY

Philip's most important achievement was the creation of the Macedonian army, which he led to the conquest of Greece and which his son was to lead to the conquest of the World. Taking a hint from the tactics of Epaminondas, Philip trained his infantry to fight by columns, but with sufficient intervals between the files to permit quick and easy movements. Each man bore an enormous lance, eighteen feet in length. When this heavy phalanx was set in array, the weapons carried by the soldiers in the first five ranks presented a bristling thicket of lance-points, which no onset, however determined, could penetrate. The business of the phalanx was to keep the front of the foe engaged, while horsemen rode into the enemy's flanks. This reliance on masses of cavalry to win a victory was something new in warfare. Another novel feature consisted in the use of engines called catapults, able to throw darts and huge stones three hundred yards, and of battering rams with force enough to hurl down the walls of cities. All these different arms working together made a war machine of tremendous power—the most formidable in the ancient world until the days of the Roman legion.

CONQUESTS OF PHILIP

Philip commanded a fine army; he ruled with absolute sway a territory larger than any other Hellenic state; and he himself possessed a genius for both war and diplomacy, With such advantages the Macedonian king entered on the subjugation of disunited Greece. His first great success was won in western Thrace. Here he founded the city of Philippi [2] and seized some rich gold mines, the income from which enabled him to keep his soldiers always under arms, to fit out a fleet, and, by means of liberal bribes, to hire a crowd of agents in nearly every Greek city. Philip next made Macedonia a maritime state by subduing the Greek cities on the peninsula of Chalcidice. He also appeared in Thessaly, occupied its principal fortresses, and brought the frontier of Macedonia as far south as the pass of Thermopylae.

[2] Philippi became noted afterwards as the first city in Europe where Christianity was preached. See Acts, xvi, 9.

 

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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY: Table of Contents

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IN PRINT

Rediscovering the Path to Europe Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

Learned Freeware

 

Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy

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