Roman Legion and Greek Phalanx

Topics: Spear, Roman Empire, Phalanx formation Pages: 1 (287 words) Published: December 13, 2012
The Roman Legion and the Greek Phalanx
The Roman Legion and the Greek Phalanx were both battle formations that were similar in many ways, yet completely different in many other ways. Both formations were formed through strict organization of soldiers and commanding officers. Although both implemented strong organization, they organized their soldiers in a different manner. The Greek Phalanx was one big unit of heavily armored soldiers that were tightly packed and strapped with primarily long spears, shields and short stabbing swords. Due to the weaponry and formation they were incapable to move excessively or turn quickly. If they wished to change direction all spears had to be lifted and then the soldiers were capable to move, but only minimal as they were tightly packed. The Roman Legion on the other hand were both medially or heavily armored soldiers broken up into small groups called maniples and were much more mobile. The Roman Legion consisted of soldiers armed with throwing spears, shields and strong short swords. The Short stabbing sword is a key difference as it was used by the Romans as a primary, rather than the spear. This sword meant they were more mobile and independent on the battlefield. This independence allowed them to freely retreat, flank or attack an enemy. Analyzing these formations from a birds eye point of view also shows key differences. The Greek Phalanx from a birds eye point of view would look like evenly spaced bricks of men of about 16 with spears pointing out. The Roman Legion would range from small formations to larger formations wielding different long range or short ranged weapons, they would also be strategically stretched out to flank and also defend.

Tarun Aulakh
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