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Phalanges In Rome?

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Chapter Summary

Amid the morass that is early Roman history, the formation of a phalanx in the mid-sixth century has long seemed one of the very few secure footholds. Seventh- and sixth-century representations of hoplites are abundant, while the weapons and armor recovered from central Italian burials. Hans van Wees has completely redrawn the conventional picture of the evolution of phalanx combat, first in a paper published in 2000 and recently in a book that is surely the most important contribution to the study of Greek warfare in recent years. The adoption of the classical phalanx in Greece appears to be a textbook example of what is often termed 'peer-polity interaction. During the fifth century, Rome's opponents were mainly the Aequi and Volsci, hill-tribes whose military institutions will have been at an even more rudimentary level than Rome's.

Keywords: classical phalanx; Rome's sixth century



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