All posts tagged Macedonians

Sarissa (Macedonian), Form, Function & Origin


Imagine sparring against a boxing opponent that outreaches you by a factor of three and you’ll understand what it was like fighting against an opponent armed with the long pike known as the sarissa. At 15-18 feet long, it afforded the bearer an extremely long reach over a traditional spear wielding hoplite.

This article will discuss the origins of this long pike and use within the Macedonian phalanx. Strengths will be discussed and weaknesses explored.

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Alexander The Great Books

Alexander the Great in the temple of Jerusalem

As an undergraduate student studying Ancient History, I always find the usefulness of books varies greatly. On the subject of Alexander the Great books, I thought I would share those that I have on my personal bookshelf and those that I have found useful.

Please post a comment if you can recommend any others!

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Why did Alexander the Great invade Persia?

Alexander's invasion of Persia

Upon arriving on the shores of Persian held territory, Alexander the Great hurled his spear in Homeric fashion to show ‘that he received Asia from the gods as a spear-won prize’.

This prize had been made accessible by the inheritance of his father, Philip II of Macedon, whom left behind a professional standing army, an ideological pretext and an expeditionary force already in the field.

As Captain-General of the league of Corinth, imbued with the romantic conceptions of a second Achilles, Alexander would lead the Greeks against the barbarians in a war of vengeance.

However, the reality is far less glamorous, Alexander and his companions set out to invade Persian territory for territorial expansion and profit.

For Alexander himself, the invasion had held further promise, a chance to outshine the achievements of his mythical ancestors and his greatest competitor, his father.

This article will explore these propositions in an attempt to better understand the motivations that brought Alexander and his army into Persian held territory.

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