Author Topic: Was Alex's phalanx identical in size and organisation to that of the tacticians?  (Read 493 times)

Justin Swanton

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Justin - I don't want to spoil our outbreak of agreement but you might be better off doing your learning first, and proposing your theories afterwards. Any of the standard works on Alexander's army will help you to sort out your Hypaspists (3000) from your Bodyguards (7).

Agreed (that's twice now)  :)

Also I don't know what translation of Arrian you are using, but it's not helping - in your previous post you had "the Companions who were shield-bearing infantry [hypaspists] under the command of Nicanor" which suggests that your translator whoever s/he is doesn't know Greek.

"Companions who were shield-bearing infantry" comes from the Project Gutenberg version with translation by Chinnock though, yes, I know what I've said before about translations. The Greek is οἱ ὑπασπισταὶ τῶν ἑταίρων - "the hypaspists of the Companions" which, unless I'm missing something, seems to be pretty much the same thing? Arrian is distinguishing the infantry Companions from the cavalry Companions - τοὺς ἑταίρους τοὺς ἱππέας - of the preceding section.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 12:04:14 AM by Justin Swanton »
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Justin Swanton

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A little refinement to my proposed Granicus deployment. (all WIP what can I say?)

Diodorus affirms that Alex arrived at Asia Minor with 12,000 Macedonian heavy foot, 5,000 mercenaries and 7,000 allies (Library, 17.17). The mercenaries like the Macedonians and unlike the allies would have been well-trained professional soldiers, capable of keeping formation whilst covering a considerable distance marching in line. If one includes them in the initial double line deployment one gets this:



It does fit rather neatly.
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Duncan Head

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Also I don't know what translation of Arrian you are using, but it's not helping - in your previous post you had "the Companions who were shield-bearing infantry [hypaspists] under the command of Nicanor" which suggests that your translator whoever s/he is doesn't know Greek.

"Companions who were shield-bearing infantry" comes from the Project Gutenberg version with translation by Chinnock though, yes, I know what I've said before about translations. The Greek is οἱ ὑπασπισταὶ τῶν ἑταίρων - "the hypaspists of the Companions" which, unless I'm missing something, seems to be pretty much the same thing? Arrian is distinguishing the infantry Companions from the cavalry Companions - τοὺς ἑταίρους τοὺς ἱππέας - of the preceding section.

"οἱ ὑπασπισταὶ τῶν ἑταίρων" is "the hypaspists of the Companions" -  hypaspists is nominative, Companions is genitive. Not quite the same thing at all.

If you look back to the Kambouris article I linked to on the first page - here - he regards "the hypaspists of the Companions" as one of the three battalions of the hypaspists, so named because they were originally the shield-bearing squires of the Companion cavalry.
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RichT

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Justin
Quote
"Companions who were shield-bearing infantry" comes from the Project Gutenberg version with translation by Chinnock

To be fair Chinnock's knowledge of Greek is much much better than yours or mine, but that was a slip, and anyway he was writing in 1880-odd and most of the work on identifying units of Alexander's army etc has been done since then. It's always worth checking technical terms and unit names against the Greek (but it's never a good idea to mess with the meaning).
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 01:21:22 PM by RichT »
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Dave Beatty

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Shall I do this?  ::)

I look forward to it! What is a 'tactican?'
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Justin Swanton

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Shall I do this?  ::)

I look forward to it! What is a 'tactican?'

I've more or less done it above (though with possibly more to come). The tacticians are the three writers of military manuals in Antiquity that describe the organisation and function of the various branches of the army. They are Asklepiodotus, Aelian and Arrian.

Ah...I see I misspelt 'tactician' in the thread title.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 05:13:56 PM by Justin Swanton »
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Patrick Waterson

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I look forward to it! What is a 'tactican?'

An early development of armoured warfare ... perhaps this?
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