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Legion versus Phalanx.

Legion versus Phalanx

Myke Cole

Osprey Publishing

4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101

9781472828422, $30.00, HC, 288pp,

Synopsis: From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder, and with overlapping shields, they presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. It was the phalanx that allowed Greece to become the dominant power in the Western world. That is, until the Romans developed the legion and cracked the phalanx.

In "Legion versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World", author and historian Myke Cole weighs the two fighting forces against each other. Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280--168 BC), he looks at each formation in detail by delving into their tactics, arms, and equipment, organization and the deployment.

Cole then examines six key battles in which legion battled phalanx: Heraclea (280 BC), Asculum (279 BC), Beneventum (275 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), and Pydna (168 BC)--battles that determined the fate of the ancient world.

Drawing on original primary sources, Cole presents a highly detailed but lively history of this defining clash of military formations that is enhanced with the inclusion of a Chronology, Maps, a sixteen page Glossary, a ten page Bibliography, and a five page Index.

Critique: A simply fascinating and informative read that is exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, "Legion versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World" is an extraordinary, unique, and seminal study that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Ancient History, Military History, and Greco-Roman collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Legion versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781721333479, $29.99, MP3 CD).

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Author:Burroughs, John
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2019
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