Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of twenty and he was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of historys most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16, after Philips assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his fathers Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia, in 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of battles, most notably the battles of Issus. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety, at that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.
He sought to reach the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea and invaded India in 326 BC and he eventually turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexanders surviving generals, Alexanders legacy includes the cultural diffusion which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt, Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and he is often ranked among the most influential people in human history.
He was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, and his wife, Olympias. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his wife for some time. Several legends surround Alexanders birth and childhood, sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wifes womb with a seal engraved with a lions image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of dreams, that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice. That same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, and it was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down. This led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, and possibly at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception
Ancient Greek warfare
Warfare occurred throughout the history of ancient Greece, from the Greek Dark Ages onward. The Greek Dark Age drew to a close as a significant increase in population allowed urbanized culture to be restored and these developments ushered in the period of Archaic Greece. They restored the capability of organized warfare between these Poleis, the fractious nature of Ancient Greek society seems to have made continuous conflict on this larger scale inevitable. Along with the rise of the city-state evolved a new style of warfare, Hoplites were armored infantryman, armed with spear and shield, and the phalanx was a formation of these soldiers with their shields locked together and spears pointed forward. The chigi vase, dated to around 650 BC, is the earliest depiction of a hoplite in full battle array, with this evolution in warfare, battles seem to have consisted mostly of the clash of hoplite phalanxes from the city-states in conflict. Since the soldiers were citizens with other occupations, warfare was limited in distance, neither side could afford heavy casualties or sustained campaigns, so conflicts seem to have been resolved by a single set-piece battle.
The scale and scope of warfare in Ancient Greece changed dramatically as a result of the Greco-Persian Wars, to fight the enormous armies of the Achaemenid Empire was effectively beyond the capabilities of a single city-state. The eventual triumph of the Greeks was achieved by alliances of many city-states, the rise of Athens and Sparta during this conflict led directly to the Peloponnesian War, which saw diversification of warfare. Emphasis shifted to naval battles and strategies of attrition such as blockades and sieges, following the defeat of the Athenians in 404 BC, and the disbandment of the Athenian-dominated Delian League, Ancient Greece fell under the Spartan hegemony. But this was unstable, and the Persian Empire sponsored a rebellion by the powers of Athens, Thebes and Argos. Persia switched sides, which ended the war, in return for the cities of Ionia, the Spartan hegemony would last another 16 years, until, at the Battle of Leuctra the Spartans were decisively defeated by the Theban general Epaminondas.
The Thebans acted with alacrity to establish a hegemony of their own over Greece, Thebes lacked sufficient manpower and resources, and became overstretched. Following the death of Epaminondas and loss of manpower at the Battle of Mantinea, the losses in the ten years of the Theban hegemony left all the Greek city-states weakened and divided. The city-states of southern Greece were too weak to resist the rise of the Macedonian kingdom in the north, with revolutionary tactics, King Phillip II brought most of Greece under his sway, paving the way for the conquest of the known world by his son Alexander the Great. The rise of the Macedonian Kingdom is generally taken to signal the beginning of the Hellenistic period, along with the rise of the city-state evolved a brand new style of warfare and the emergence of the hoplite. The hoplite was an infantryman, the element of warfare in Ancient Greece. The word hoplite derives from hoplon meaning an item of armor or equipment, Hoplites were the citizen-soldiers of the Ancient Greek City-states.
They were primarily armed as spear-men and fought in a phalanx, Hoplite armor was extremely expensive for the average citizen, so it was commonly passed down from the soldiers father or relative
Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and interpreter, after Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperors family name of Flavius. Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship and he became an advisor and friend of Vespasians son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the citys destruction, Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews, the Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Roman audience and these works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.
Josephus introduces himself in Greek as Iōsēpos, son of Matthias and he was the second-born son of Matthias. His older full-blooded brother was called Matthias and their mother was an aristocratic woman who descended from the royal and formerly ruling Hasmonean dynasty. Josephuss paternal grandparents were Josephus and his wife—an unnamed Hebrew noblewoman, distant relatives of each other and he descended through his father from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, which was the first of the 24 orders of priests in the Temple in Jerusalem. Josephus was a descendant of the high priest Jonathon and raised in Jerusalem, Josephus was educated alongside his brother. In his early twenties, he traveled to negotiate with Emperor Nero for the release of 12 Jewish priests, Josephus successfully fought the Roman army in Galilee, until he was captured by the Romans during the height of the war. After the Jewish garrison of Yodfat fell under siege, the Romans invaded, killing thousands, according to Josephus, he was trapped in a cave with 40 of his companions in July 67 CE.
The Romans asked the group to surrender, but they refused, Josephus suggested a method of collective suicide, they drew lots and killed each other, one by one, counting to every third person. Two men were left, who surrendered to the Roman forces, in 69 CE, Josephus was released. According to his account, he acted as a negotiator with the defenders during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, in which his parents and first wife died. While being confined at Yodfat, Josephus claimed to have experienced a divine revelation, after the prediction came true, he was released by Vespasian, who considered his gift of prophecy to be divine. In 71 CE, he went to Rome in the entourage of Titus, becoming a Roman citizen, in addition to Roman citizenship, he was granted accommodation in conquered Judaea and a decent, if not extravagant, pension. While in Rome and under Flavian patronage, Josephus wrote all of his known works, although he uses Josephus, he appears to have taken the Roman praenomen Titus and nomen Flavius from his patrons
Alexandria is the second largest city and a major economic centre in Egypt, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is Egypts largest seaport, serving approximately 80% of Egypts imports and exports and it is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is an important tourist destination, Alexandria was founded around a small Ancient Egyptian town c.331 BC by Alexander the Great. Alexandria was the second most powerful city of the ancient world after Rome, Alexandria is believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Alexanders chief architect for the project was Dinocrates, Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, and to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. The city and its museum attracted many of the greatest scholars, including Greeks, the city was plundered and lost its significance.
Just east of Alexandria, there was in ancient times marshland, as early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Canopus and Heracleion. The latter was rediscovered under water. An Egyptian city, already existed on the shore and it continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months after the foundation, Alexander left Egypt and never returned to his city, after Alexanders departure, his viceroy, continued the expansion. Although Cleomenes was mainly in charge of overseeing Alexandrias continuous development, the Heptastadion, inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and and it became Egypts main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world.
The Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there, in AD115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. On 21 July 365, Alexandria was devastated by a tsunami, the Islamic prophet, Muhammads first interaction with the people of Egypt occurred in 628, during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha. He sent Hatib bin Abi Baltaeh with a letter to the king of Egypt and Alexandria called Muqawqis In the letter Muhammad said, I invite you to accept Islam, Allah the sublime, shall reward you doubly. But if you refuse to do so, you bear the burden of the transgression of all the Copts
The Ionian Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by southern Italy including Calabria and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, all major islands in the sea belong to Greece. They are collectively referred to as the Ionian Islands, the ones being Corfu, Kephalonia, Ithaca. There are ferry routes between Patras and Igoumenitsa and Brindisi and Ancona, that cross the east and north of the Ionian Sea, and from Piraeus westward. Calypso Deep, the deepest point in the Mediterranean at −5,267 m, is located in the Ionian Sea, the sea is one of the most seismically active areas in the world. The name Ionian comes from the Greek language Ἰόνιον, Ancient Greek writers, especially Aeschylus, linked it to the myth of Io. In Ancient Greek the adjective Ionios was used as an epithet for the sea because Io swam across it, according to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, the name may derive from Ionians who sailed to the West.
There were narratives about other eponymic legendary figures, according to one version, Ionius was a son of Adrias, according to another, Ionius was a son of Dyrrhachus. When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, who was passing through the area, came to his aid, the corpse was cast into the sea, which thereafter was called the Ionian Sea. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Ionian Sea as follows, On the North. A line running from the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania, to Cape Karagol in Corfu, along the North Coast of Corfu to Cape Kephali, from the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania down the coast of the mainland to Cape Matapan. A line from Cape Matapan to Cape Passero, the Southern point of Sicily, the East coast of Sicily and the Southeast coast of Italy to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca
The peninsula is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson and west of the Russian region of Kuban. It is connected to Kherson Oblast by the Isthmus of Perekop and is separated from Kuban by the Strait of Kerch, the Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Crimea has historically been at the boundary between the world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century, in 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. It became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within newly independent Ukraine in 1991, with Sevastopol having its own administration, within Ukraine, the ex-Soviet Black Sea Fleet and its facilities were divided between Russias Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Naval Forces. The two navies shared some of the harbours and piers, while others were demilitarised or used by either country. Sevastopol remained the location of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters with the Ukrainian Naval Forces Headquarters based in the city, most of the international community does not recognize the annexation and considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory.
Russia currently administers the peninsula as two federal subjects, the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Ukraine continues to assert its right over the peninsula, the classical name Tauris or Taurica is from the Greek Ταυρική, after the peninsulas Scytho-Cimmerian inhabitants, the Tauri. In English usage since the modern period the Crimean Khanate is referred to as Crim Tartary. The Italian form Crimea becomes current during the 18th century, the omission of the definite article in English became common during the 20th century. The name Crimea follows the Italian form from the Crimean Tatar name for the city Qırım which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde, the name of the capital was extended to the entire peninsula at some point during Ottoman suzerainty. The origin of the word Qırım is uncertain, suggestions argued in various sources include, a corruption of Cimmerium. A derivation from the Turkic term qirum, from qori-, other suggestions that have not been supported by sources but are apparently based on similarity in sound include, a derivation from the Greek Cremnoi.
However, he identifies the port, not in Crimea, no evidence has been identified that this name was ever in use for the peninsula. The classical name was revived in 1802 in the name of the Russian Taurida Governorate, in the 8th century BCE the Cimmerians migrated to the region and subsequently the Scythians as well it being the site of Greek colonies. The most important city was Chersonesos at the edge of todays Sevastopol, the Persian Achaemenid Empire expanded to Crimea. Later occupiers included the Romans, Huns, the Byzantine Empire, the Kipchaks, the Golden Horde, consideration of the succeeding residents of the peninsula by their linguistic grouping is of relevance
Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, the peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles. The radical politician of aristocratic background, took charge, the reforms of Cleisthenes replaced the traditional four Ionic tribes with ten new ones, named after legendary heroes of Greece and having no class basis, which acted as electorates. Each tribe was in divided into three trittyes, while each trittys had one or more demes —depending on their population—which became the basis of local government. The tribes each selected fifty members by lot for the Boule, the public opinion of voters could be influenced by the political satires written by the comic poets and performed in the city theaters. Most offices were filled by lot, although the ten strategoi were elected, prior to the rise of Athens, Sparta, a city-state with a militaristic culture, considered itself the leader of the Greeks, and enforced a hegemony.
In 499 BC Athens sent troops to aid the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor and this provoked two Persian invasions of Greece, both of which were repelled under the leadership of the soldier-statesmen Miltiades and Themistocles. In 490 the Athenians, led by Miltiades, prevented the first invasion of the Persians, guided by king Darius I, in 480 the Persians returned under a new ruler, Xerxes I. Simultaneously the Athenians led a naval battle off Artemisium. However, this action was not enough to discourage the Persian advance which soon marched through Boeotia, setting up Thebes as their base of operations. This forced the Athenians to evacuate Athens, which was taken by the Persians, subsequently the Athenians and their allies, led by Themistocles, defeated the Persian navy at sea in the Battle of Salamis. It is interesting to note that Xerxes had built himself a throne on the coast in order to see the Greeks defeated, spartas hegemony was passing to Athens, and it was Athens that took the war to Asia Minor.
These victories enabled it to bring most of the Aegean and many parts of Greece together in the Delian League. He fostered arts and literature and gave to Athens a splendor which would never return throughout its history and he executed a large number of public works projects and improved the life of the citizens. Hence, he gave his name to the Athenian Golden Age, silver mined in Laurium in southeastern Attica contributed greatly to the prosperity of this Golden Age of Athens. During the time of the ascendancy of Ephialtes as leader of the democratic faction, the conflict marked the end of Athenian command of the sea. The war between Athens and the city-state Sparta ended with an Athenian defeat after Sparta started its own navy, Athenian democracy was briefly overthrown by the coup of 411, brought about because of its poor handling of the war, but it was quickly restored. The war ended with the defeat of Athens in 404
Argos is a city in Argolis, Peloponnese and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see. It is the biggest town in Argolis and a center for the area. Since the 2011 local government reform it has been part of the municipality of Argos-Mykines, the municipal unit has an area of 138.138 km2. It is 11 kilometres from Nafplion, which was its historic harbour, a settlement of great antiquity, Argos has been continuously inhabited as at least a substantial village for the past 7,000 years. The city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network, a resident of the city of Argos is known as an Argive. However, this term is used to refer to those ancient Greeks generally who assaulted the city of Troy during the Trojan War. Numerous ancient monuments can be found in the city today, the most famous of which is the Heraion of Argos, agriculture is the mainstay of the local economy. The name of the city is ancient and several etymological theories have been proposed as an explanation to its meaning.
The most popular one maintains that the name of the city is a remainder from the Pelasgian language, i. e. the one used by the people who first settled in the area, in which Argos meant plain. Alternatively, the name is associated with Argos, the king of the city in ancient times. It is believed that Argos is linked to the word αργός, which meant white, according to Strabo, the name could have even originated from the word αγρός by antimetathesis of the consonants. As a strategic location on the plain of Argolis, Argos was a major stronghold during the Mycenaean era. There is evidence of settlement in the area starting with a village about 7000 years ago in the late Neolithic. It was colonized in prehistoric times by the Pelasgian Greeks, since that time, Argos has been continually inhabited at the same geographical location. Its creation is attributed to Phoroneus, with its first name having been Phoronicon Asty, the city is located at a rather propitious area, among Nemea and Arcadia. It benefitted from its proximity to lake Lerna, during the Dorian invasion, c.1100 BC, Argos was divided into four neighbourhoods, each of them inhabited by a different phyle.
Argos experienced its greatest period of expansion and power under the energetic 7th century BC ruler King Pheidon, under Pheidon, Argos regained sway over the cities of the Argolid and challenged Sparta’s dominance of the Peloponnese
Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and at first ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, the reign of Philip II saw the rise of Macedonia, during which the kingdom rose to control the entire Greek world. With a reformed army containing phalanxes wielding the sarissa pike, Philip II defeated the old powers of Athens and Thebes in the decisive Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Sparta was kept isolated and was occupied a century by Antigonus III Doson. Alexander led a roughly decade-long campaign of conquest against the Achaemenid Empire, in the ensuing wars of Alexander the Great, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered a territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. For a brief period, his Macedonian empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic state, Greek arts and literature flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy and science were spread throughout much of the ancient world.
Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle, who had been imported as tutor to Alexander, important cities such as Pella and Amphipolis were involved in power struggles for control of the territory. New cities were founded, such as Thessalonica by the usurper Cassander, Macedonias decline began with the Macedonian Wars and the rise of Rome as the leading Mediterranean power. At the end of the Second Macedonian War in 168 BC, a short-lived revival of the monarchy during the Third Macedonian War in 150–148 BC ended with the establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia. The name Macedonia comes from the ethnonym Μακεδόνες, which itself is derived from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός, meaning tall and it shares the same root as the noun μάκρος, meaning length in both ancient and modern Greek. The name is believed to have meant either highlanders, the tall ones. Robert S. P. Beekes supports that both terms are of Pre-Greek substrate origin and cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European morphology.
Contradictory legends state that either Perdiccas I of Macedon or Caranus of Macedon were the founders of the Argead dynasty, the kingdom of Macedonia was situated along the Haliacmon and Axius rivers in Lower Macedonia, north of Mount Olympus. Historian Malcolm Errington posits the theory one of the earliest Argead kings must have established Aigai as their capital in the mid-7th century BC. Prior to the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered a region corresponding to the western. Achaemenid Persian hegemony over Macedonia was briefly interrupted by the Ionian Revolt, although Macedonia enjoyed a large degree of autonomy and was never made a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, it was expected to provide troops for the Achaemenid army. Following the Greek victory at Salamis in 480 BC, Alexander I was employed as an Achaemenid diplomat to strike a treaty and alliance with Athens. Soon afterwards the Achaemenid forces were forced to withdraw from mainland Europe, although initially a Persian vassal, Alexander I of Macedon fostered friendly diplomatic relations with his former Greek enemies, the Athenian and Spartan-led coalition of Greek city-states.
Two separate wars were fought against Athens between 433 and 431 BC, spurred by an Athenian alliance with a brother and cousin of Perdiccas II who had rebelled against him
A pole weapon or polearm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the users effective range. Spears, poleaxes and naginata are all varieties of polearms, the purpose of using pole weapons is either to extend reach or to increase leverage and thus increase striking power. Because they contain relatively little metal, polearms are cheap to make and this has made them the favored weapon of peasant levies and peasants in rebellion the world over. Many are adapted from farm implements, or other tools, polearms were common weapons on medieval European battlefields. Their range and impact force made them effective weapons against armored warriors on horseback, the Renaissance saw a plethora of different varieties. Polearms in modern times are largely constrained to ceremonial military units such as the Papal Swiss Guard or Yeomen of the Guard or traditional martial arts, Chinese Martial Arts in particular have preserved a wide variety of weapons and techniques.
The classification of pole weapons can be difficult, and European weapon classifications in particular can be confusing, for example, the word halberd is used to translate the Chinese ji and a range of medieval Scandinavian weapons as described in sagas, such as the atgeir. To add to this, we have various nineteenth century used by scholars. We must remember too that any particular weapon, while men-at-arms may have been armed with custom designed military weapons, militias were often armed with whatever was available. These may or may not have mounted on poles and described by one of more names. The problems with precise definitions can be inferred by a description of Royalist infantry which were engaged in the Battle of Birmingham during the first year of English Civil War. The infantry regiment that accompanied Prince Ruperts cavalry were armed, with pikes, half-pikes, hedge-bills, Welsh hooks, pitchforks, with chopping-knives, and pieces of scythes. Falx Rhomphaia Kontos The dagger-axe, or gee is a type of weapon that was in use from Shang dynasty until at least Han dynasty China and it consists of a dagger-shaped blade made of bronze mounted by the tang to a perpendicular wooden shaft.
A common Bronze Age infantry weapon, some dagger axes include a spear-point. There is a variant type with a divided two-part head, consisting of the straight blade. Other rarities include archaeology findings with 2 or sometimes 3 blades stacked in line on top of a pole, though the weapon saw frequent use in ancient China, the use of the dagger-axe decreased dramatically after the Qin and Han dynasties. By the medieval Chinese dynasties, with the decline of chariot warfare, a Guan dao or Kwan tou is a type of Chinese pole weapon. In Chinese it is called a Yanyue dao which translates as reclining moon blade
Ancient Macedonian army
The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. The latest innovations in weapons and tactics were adopted and refined by Philip II, by introducing military service as a full-time occupation, Philip was able to drill his men regularly, ensuring unity and cohesion in his ranks. In a remarkably short time, this led to the creation of one of the finest military machines of the ancient world, tactical improvements included the latest developments in the deployment of the traditional Greek phalanx made by men such as Epaminondas of Thebes and Iphicrates of Athens. Philip II improved on these military innovators by using both Epaminondas deeper phalanx and Iphicrates combination of a spear and smaller and lighter shield. However, the Macedonian king innovated, he introduced the use of a longer spear. The Macedonian pike, the sarissa, gave its wielder many advantages both offensively and defensively, for the first time in Greek warfare, cavalry became a decisive arm in battle.
The new Macedonian army was an amalgamation of different forces and other Greeks and a wide range of mercenaries from across the Aegean and Balkans were employed by Phillip. Unfortunately, most of the historical sources for this period have been lost. As a consequence, scholarship is largely reliant on the writings of Diodorus Siculus and Arrian, both of whom lived centuries than the events they describe. If Philip II of Macedon had not been the father of Alexander the Great, he would be widely known as a first-rate military innovator and strategist. The conquests of Alexander would have been impossible without the army his father created, when Philip took over control of Macedon, it was a backward state on the fringes of the Greek world and was beset by its traditional enemies, Illyrians and Thracians. Macedonian infantry in this period consisted of poorly trained shepherds and farmers, Philips first achievement was to unify Macedon through his army. Philip took pains to keep them always under arms and either fighting or drilling and drills were made into competitive events, and the truculent Macedonians vied with each other to excel.
This reform made the train of the army very small for its size. The Companion cavalry, or Hetairoi, were the arm of the Macedonian army. Along with Thessalian cavalry contingents, the Companions—raised from landed nobility—made up the bulk of the Macedonian heavy cavalry, central Macedonia was good horse-rearing country and cavalry was prominent in Macedonian armies from early times. However, it was the reforms in organisation and tactics introduced by Philip II that transformed the Companion cavalry into a battle-winning force, the hetairoi were divided into squadrons called ilai, each 200 men strong, except for the Royal Squadron, which numbered 300. The Royal Squadron was known as the Agema - that which leads, each squadron was commanded by an ilarchēs and appears to have been raised from a particular area of Macedon
Mycenaean Greece was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece. It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its states, urban organization, works of art. Among the centers of power emerged, the most notable were those of Pylos, Midea in the Peloponnese, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece. The most prominent site was Mycenae, in Argolid, to which the culture of this era owes its name. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant and Italy. Their syllabic script, the Linear B, offers the first written records of the Greek language, Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace states that developed rigid hierarchical, political and economic systems. At the head of society was the king, known as wanax. Various theories have proposed for the end of this civilization. Additional theories such as natural disasters and climatic changes have suggested.
The Mycenaean period became the setting of much ancient Greek literature and mythology. The Bronze Age in mainland Greece is generally termed as the Helladic period by modern archaeologists, after Hellas, the Greek name for Greece. This period is divided into three subperiods, The Early Helladic period was a time of prosperity with the use of metals, the Middle Helladic period faced a slower pace of development, as well as the evolution of megaron-type dwellings and cist grave burials. Finally, the Late Helladic period roughly coincides with Mycenaean Greece, the transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Greece is known as Sub-Mycenaean. Moreover, it revealed that the bearers of Mycenaean culture were ethnically connected with the populations that resided in the Greek peninsula after the end of this cultural period. Various collective terms for the inhabitants of Mycenaean Greece were used by Homer in his 8th century BC epic, the Iliad, in reference to the Trojan War. The latter was supposed to have happened in the late 13th – early 12th century BC, Homer used the ethnonyms Achaeans and Argives, to refer to the besiegers.
These names appear to have passed down from the time they were in use to the time when Homer applied them as terms in his Iliad. There is an reference to a-ka-wi-ja-de in the Linear B records in Knossos, Crete dated to c.1400 BC