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Thread: Romans and Pike Formations

  1. #1
    Member Member brymht's Avatar
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    Default Romans and Pike Formations

    I understand when the Romans DID use spearmen they prefered the loose formations of the auxilia. However, did they ever have occasion to use Sarissa wielding pikeman in fighting the successor states? It seems they could have held a front much better than legionaries, if the legions were responsibile for flanking.

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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    No, i really don't think so. I know about pretty much any major Roman engagement and i've never heard about them having pikemen. The early triarii did fight in a hoplite phalanx formation though
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    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    maybe mercenaries or allied kingdoms like the pergamese, but they themselves?
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    Bruadair a'Bruaisan Member cmacq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    Brymht

    as you say spearmen please see the Triarii.
    Last edited by cmacq; 03-19-2008 at 01:03.
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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    Allies that used the Sarissa certainly did so too when lining up with the Romans. But these occasions were rare; the Greeks that supported the Romans against Makedonia, the Pergamons against Seleukia and may be one or the other contingent against Mithradates - even though the vast majority of the Hellens were on the other side in those wars.

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    Where there are Greeks, there are mercenaries.

    - Old Klingon Proverb
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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    As translated into Klingon, hAQoS nag'H qOnOS, greKoS ulgAMatagh.


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    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    Quote Originally Posted by konny
    Allies that used the Sarissa certainly did so too when lining up with the Romans. But these occasions were rare; the Greeks that supported the Romans against Makedonia, the Pergamons against Seleukia and may be one or the other contingent against Mithradates - even though the vast majority of the Hellens were on the other side in those wars.
    The 3,000 infantry of Pergamon at Magnesia were described as peltastai, which could mean a number of things. The more that I think about it, a pike phalanx makes more sense, but 3,000 doesn't particularly fit well with any deployment scheme of the phalanx.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    Quote Originally Posted by abou
    The 3,000 infantry of Pergamon at Magnesia were described as peltastai, which could mean a number of things. The more that I think about it, a pike phalanx makes more sense, but 3,000 doesn't particularly fit well with any deployment scheme of the phalanx.

    Didnt the term peltastai get used later on with the hyspatists and such as well in the sucessor kingdoms. My history is really hazy and I'm just getting back into it, but it seems I remember there always being issues talking about the later Hyspstists and elite troops or the peltastai, it seems some authors mentioned the hyspatists themselves of being lighter like the peltasts.

    Much confusion it seems, hopefully that didn't sound retarded.

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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default AW: Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan21BS
    Didnt the term peltastai get used later on with the hyspatists and such as well in the sucessor kingdoms.
    The term "Peltastai" in the sources can mean anything from unarmoured javelin throwers to well equiped phalangites. That depends very much on the author in question and his knowledge or usage of the word. A medium or heavy infantry-man in the successor armies did not always fight in just one way. In this occasion he might use a Sarissa and line up in phalanx, during the next operation he might be equiped with javelins and do skirmishing.
    Last edited by konny; 03-19-2008 at 17:48.

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  11. #11
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Romans and Pike Formations

    it later meant "mercenary" too; in that aspect perhaps not all 3000 pergamese were Phalangites; maybe perhaps 2/3 or something?
    -it depends on the size of the Taxis (1000 to 2000, depending on who you hear it from)
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 03-20-2008 at 02:39.
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