Top 10 Greek Generals of the Classical Period

Aug 2019
571
North
No, they were already in existence. Just as the phalanx existed before Philip II. As with your mention of the Agarianians, what is the point?
You can't relativise philip's contribution to the notion of the phalanx we have today. Philip's Macedonian phalanx formation, and not the greek one, is what we admire today.
I mentioned the agrianians to show how philip was attached to his allies with whom macedonians shared the same blood; These allies showed a greatest faithfulness to the macedonian cause.
 
Sep 2019
187
Vergina
Leukon I of the Bosporan Kingdom might be worth some consideration. He managed to carve out a significant long lasting kingdom, capturing Theodosia and conquering the neighboring Sindi peoples.
 
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Sep 2019
187
Vergina
@Openminded @DiocletianIsBetterThanYou

Linking the below article, Interesting viewpoint on the sarissa. Most works I have read attribute numerous revolutionary reforms to Philip. However I'm starting to question how many of these reforms are firmly grounded in source work.

Abstract
Certain generally held views about the Macedonian sarissa-armed cavalry and infantry have little support from the ancient evidence, and other interpretations are more consistent with the known data. First, there is no valid evidence for the orthodox view that Philip devised the sarissa-armed infantry phalanx. Second, Philip armed part of his cavalry with the sarissa for the first time at the battle of Chaeronea in 338 B. C., and this is the earliest attested use of that lance by the Macedonians. If this is true, the sarissa was introduced as an infantry weapon either by Philip between September 338 and his death in late summer 336, or by Alexander during the eight months from his accession until his campaign across the Danube in spring 335, when the sarissa-armed phalanx definitely appears. Third, under Alexander neither the Foot Companions nor the Mounted Lancers were equipped with sarissae for extra-combat missions but only with spears of normal length. Fourth, the sarissa-armed infantry phalanx seems to have played only a minor role in his battles; indeed, both the cavalry and the Foot Companions were trained in the use of both the long lance and the short spear. Fifth, as for the mechanics of the expeditions, the sarissae and their concomitant small targets, when they were not in use, were carried by the servants of the infantry companies and by the grooms.
 
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Oct 2018
2,092
Sydney
@Openminded @DiocletianIsBetterThanYou

Linking the below article, Interesting viewpoint on the sarissa. Most works I have read attribute numerous revolutionary reforms to Philip. However I'm starting to question how many of these reforms are firmly grounded in source work.


It's an interesting viewpoint, certainly. I'm not familiar with the debates surrounding this topic.
 
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Nov 2011
1,146
The Bluff
@Openminded @DiocletianIsBetterThanYou

Linking the below article, Interesting viewpoint on the sarissa. Most works I have read attribute numerous revolutionary reforms to Philip. However I'm starting to question how many of these reforms are firmly grounded in source work.
That would be one of severale articles Markle devoted to Macedonian arms. The others are below.

I, along with most, would disagree with Markle's assertion that the sarissa was never employed until Chaeroneia. There are any number of reasons but the "standard" notion that the large point, butt spike and "connector tube" excavated in the Royal Tumulus must be the remains of a sarissa has been challenged. More so, the so-called connector tube is anything but. Not another single one has been ever been found. The "sarissa heads" excavated from the mound near the Kephisos may not be Macedonian and certainly do not need to belong to Alexander's cavalry; a cavalry he may well not have commanded given Diodoros' language (see Rahae - The Annihilation of the Sacred Band at Chaeronea; Ma - Chaironeia 338 - Topographies of Commemoration)

Markle relies much on setting aside Diodoros' statement at 16.3.1-2 (as does Matthew):

...having improved the organization of his forces and equipped the men suitably with weapons of war, he held constant manoeuvres of the men under arms and competitive drills. Indeed he devised the compact order and the equipment of the phalanx, imitating the close order fighting with overlapping shields of the warriors at Troy, and was the first to organize the Macedonian phalanx.
That's about as straightforward as one gets in ancient sources as I remarked to Matthew when challenging his claims. Diodoros here refers to what was known, to the Greek world, as "the Macedonian phalanx". He comes back to this, in slightly different termininolgy due to his source, in Books 18-20 where infantry (pantodopoi) are armed in the Μακεδονικὴν τάξιν /Macedonian taxis or Macedonian deployment (see 19.14.5 for an example). What is this deployment? Exactly what Diodoros describes at 16.3.1-2. Contrary to Markle and Matthew, while it is a mark of the Macedonian phalanx that shields can overlap (in "sunaspismos" / locked shields), this is not something that is done with the hoplite apsis.

Interestingly, I'm involved in a comment session on a paper on Academia.edu at present involving some of this and Markle in particular. Markle attempts to prove that Alexander's cavalry - and the prodromoi ('scouts') certainly - carried what amounts to the infantry sarissa into battle. He "proves" this by demonstrating that an excellent horseman can balance this weapon in one hand - overarm or under - and ride. What he does not demonstrate is that hundreds of horsemen can do this in close coordination in a battle melee. Markle argues that art - the Alexander Sarcophagus in particular - demonstrates this as well. Markle correctly estimates the length of the lances (now missing) forward of the hand holding it at 7-8 feet. He then assumes, as these must be sarissai, that similar extends behind. Far more likely is that these are the cavalry xyston, some 12 or so feet long, and that four or so feet extend behind.

The xyston is attested for Macedonian cavalry (and I would argue it is near certain that is what Alexander carries in the eponymous mosaic) in art (Kinch Tomb) and our sources (particulary Diodoros in the years following Alexander's death and Asclepiodotus, Tact. 1.3). Markle sets this aside by claiming that the term "sarissophoroi" was replaced by "xystophoroi" in the early Diodoch period without argument. In fact, the Macedonians used "sarissa" to refer spears in general. The (in)famous passage of Theophrastus ((Enquiry into Plants, 3.12.1-2) states that the height of the male cornelwood tree height " is at most twelve cubits, the length of the longest Macedonian sarissa". Two things: the sarissa is only used to visualise the height of the tree (not that it is made of its wood); that height is the length of the longest Macedonian sarissa. That is, there are clearly shorter such sarissai. So, an 18 foot sarissa (depending upon cubit used) was the longest in Theophrastus' day but there were shorter known to him. Not hard to see a shorter sarissa as a xyston at twelve feet or so.

The Macedonian Sarissa, Spear, and Related Armor.
Macedonian Arms and Tactics under Alexander the Great.
The Introduction of the Sarissa into Macedonian Warfare.