The pezhetairoi (Greek and Ancient Macedonian: πεζέταιροι, singular: pezhetairos) were the backbone of the Macedonian army and Diadochi kingdoms. They were literally "foot companions" (in Greek, pezos means "pedestrian" and hetairos means "companion" or "friend").

The Macedonian phalanxes were made up almost entirely of pezhetairoi. Pezhetairoi were very effective against both enemy cavalry and infantry, as their long pikes could be used to impale enemies charging on horse-back or to keep enemy infantry with shorter weapons at bay.


The pezhetairoi were the battalions of the Macedonian phalanx. They first came to prominence during the reign of Philip II, particularly when they played such an important role in Philip's subjugation of Greece at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE. The name "foot companions" was used by Phillip II, father of Alexander the Great as an ancient recruiting method. By labeling his infantry as his personal "companions" and "friends," Philip was able to engage a wider manpower base for his subsequent military campaigns, as positions in his personal infantry would denote pride and honor.

They were armed with the sarissa, a long spear with a shaft made from flexible cornel wood, which had a much longer reach than the traditional hoplite spear. Because of its length the phalanx could present the spearpoints of around five files of men; which made the phalanx almost impenetrable, and fearsome to oppose.

Tactically, the pezhetairoi were best used as a strong defensive line, rather than as shock troops. The length of the sarissa, while making them terrifying for an enemy to oppose, severely limited their maneuverability; and if they were taken in flank or rear they had little chance of responding. This was particularly clear at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BCE, when the rapid advance of the right wing caused a breach to open between two of the battalions of pezhetairoi—a force of enemy cavalry broke through and, had it not been for a lack of discipline in their own command, and for Alexander's placing of a second line of traditional hoplites in reserve, the phalanx might have been destroyed from the rear.

Apart from in pitched battles, the pezhetairoi and their sarissas were not very practical; it is supposed that they were re-armed, and their tactics adapted, to suit the guerrilla warfare that was prevalent, and necessary, in Bactria and Sogdia.


There is a separate group of Pezheteroi called Asthetairoi (singular Asthetairos). There is a debate as it is not fully clear what the prefix asth- (Greek: ασθ-) is referring to. Some claim it comes from asty (= city) or asthoi (= townsmen), which would mean the Asthetairoi were recruited from cities. But the units referred to as Asthetairoi where recruited in northern Macedonia, where there are just a few cities. Another suggestions say asth- comes from aristoi (= the best) and thus implying they were some kind of elite. This would correspond to the fact, that they were placed on the right side next to the Hypaspists. The common conception is that Asthetairoi means 'closest companion' in terms of kinship and designated units from Upper Macedonia. Another explanation is that 'close' is referring to their position in battle, as they were the closest to the king. For fighting near the Hypaspists it is possible, that they were better trained and equipped than normal Pezheteroi.[1]


The battalions of pezhetairoi appear to have been organised on a regional basis, at least to begin with. We know of battalions named for the regions of Orestis/Lyncestis (two battalions probably combining men from both regions), Elimaea and Tymphaea—if all pezhetairoi were from Upper Macedonia then we would expect the other battalions to have represented Eordaea and Pelagonia. In 334 BCE Alexander the Great took six battalions of pezhetairoi with him to Asia. By the time the army moved into India in 327 BC, a seventh battalion had been added.

  • At the Battle of the Granicus the battalions were those of (from right to left): Perdiccas, Coenus, Amyntas, Philip, Meleager, and Craterus.[2]
  • At the Battle of Issus the battalions were those of (from right to left): Coenus, Perdiccas, Craterus, Meleager, Ptolemy (replacing Philip), Amyntas.[3]
  • At the Battle of Gaugamela the battalions were those of (from right to left): Coenus, Perdiccas, Meleager, Polyperchon (replacing Ptolemy), Simmias (deputising for Amyntas, who was recruiting in Macedonia), Craterus.[4]
  • At the Battle of the Hydaspes River only five battalions took part, and were those of (from right to left): Antigenes, Clitus the White, Meleager, Attalus, Gorgias. The other battalions (those of Polyperchon and Alcetas) remained on the western bank of the Hydaspes, under the command of Craterus, and crossed only when Alexander was victorious, in order to continue with the pursuit of the fleeing Indians. However, there is much supposition and guesswork regarding this battle.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Macedonian Warrior: Alexander's Elite Infantryman
  2. ^ Arrian, Alexander's Anabasis 1.14.2
  3. ^ Arrian, Alexander's Anabasis 2.8.3–4.
  4. ^ Arrian, Alexander's Anabasis 3.11.9–10.
  5. ^ Fuller, pp. 180–199.


  • F.E. Adcock. The Greek and Macedonian Art of War. California: 1957.
  • J.F.C. Fuller. The Generalship of Alexander the Great. New Jersey: 1960.
  • D. Lonsdale. Alexander, Killer of Men. Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Art of War. London: 2004.
  • Waldemar Heckel, Ryan Jones, Christa Hook. Macedonian Warrior: Alexander's Elite Infantryman. Oxford: 2006.
Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "highest point, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city"). Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. During ancient times it was known also more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the supposed first Athenian king.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495–429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were damaged seriously during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, romanized: Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (c. AD 600). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization.Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable ("divine") knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics, philosophy and knowledge in general.

Ancient Greek coinage

The history of ancient Greek coinage can be divided (along with most other Greek art forms) into four periods, the Archaic, the Classical, the Hellenistic and the Roman. The Archaic period extends from the introduction of coinage to the Greek world during the 7th century BC until the Persian Wars in about 480 BC. The Classical period then began, and lasted until the conquests of Alexander the Great in about 330 BC, which began the Hellenistic period, extending until the Roman absorption of the Greek world in the 1st century BC. The Greek cities continued to produce their own coins for several more centuries under Roman rule. The coins produced during this period are called Roman provincial coins or Greek Imperial Coins.

Ancient Greek dialects

Ancient Greek in classical antiquity, before the development of the common Koine Greek of the Hellenistic period, was divided into several varieties.

Most of these varieties are known only from inscriptions, but a few of them, principally Aeolic, Doric, and Ionic, are also represented in the literary canon alongside the dominant Attic form of literary Greek.

Likewise, Modern Greek is divided into several dialects, most derived from Koine Greek.

Ancient Greek sculpture

Ancient Greek sculpture is the sculpture of ancient Greece. Modern scholarship identifies three major stages in monumental sculpture. At all periods there were great numbers of Greek terracotta figurines and small sculptures in metal and other materials.

The Greeks decided very early on that the human form was the most important subject for artistic endeavour. Seeing their gods as having human form, there was little distinction between the sacred and the secular in art—the human body was both secular and sacred. A male nude of Apollo or Heracles had only slight differences in treatment to one of that year's Olympic boxing champion. The statue, originally single but by the Hellenistic period often in groups was the dominant form, though reliefs, often so "high" that they were almost free-standing, were also important.

Cycladic culture

Cycladic culture (also known as Cycladic civilisation or, chronologically, as Cycladic chronology) was a Bronze Age culture (c. 3200–c. 1050 BC) found throughout the islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. In chronological terms, it is a relative dating system for artefacts which broadly complements Helladic chronology (mainland Greece) and Minoan chronology (Crete) during the same period of time.


Demonax (Greek: Δημώναξ, Dēmōnax, gen.: Δημώνακτος; c. AD 70 – c. 170) was a Greek Cynic philosopher. Born in Cyprus, he moved to Athens, where his wisdom, and his skill in solving disputes, earned him the admiration of the citizens. He taught Lucian, who wrote a Life of Demonax in praise of his teacher. When he died he received a magnificent public funeral.

Greece in the Roman era

Greece in the Roman era describes the period of Greek history when Ancient Greece was dominated by the Roman Republic (509 – 27 BC), the Roman Empire (27 BC – AD 395), and the Byzantine Empire (AD 395 – 1453). The Roman era of Greek history began with the Corinthian defeat in the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC. However, before the Achaean War, the Roman Republic had been steadily gaining control of mainland Greece by defeating the Kingdom of Macedon in a series of conflicts known as the Macedonian Wars. The Fourth Macedonian War ended at the Battle of Pydna in 148 BC and defeat of the Macedonian royal pretender Andriscus.

The definitive Roman occupation of the Greek world was established after the Battle of Actium (31 BC), in which Augustus defeated Cleopatra VII, the Greek Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, and the Roman general Mark Antony, and afterwards conquered Alexandria (32 BC), the last great city of Hellenistic Greece. The Roman era of Greek history continued with Emperor Constantine the Great's adoption of Byzantium as Nova Roma, the capital city of the Roman Empire; in AD 330, the city was renamed Constantinople; afterwards, the Byzantine Empire was a generally Greek-speaking polity.

Greek Dark Ages

The Greek Dark Ages, Homeric Age (named for the fabled poet, Homer) or Geometric period (so called after the characteristic Geometric art of the time),

is the period of Greek history from the end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization around 1100 BC to the first signs of the Greek poleis (city states) in the 9th century BC.

The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean world at the outset of the period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned. At about the same time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed and in Egypt the New Kingdom fell into disarray that led to the Third Intermediate Period.

Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation. In Greece, the Linear B writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceased. The decoration on Greek pottery after about 1100 BC lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles (1000–700 BC).

It was previously thought that all contact was lost between mainland Hellenes and foreign powers during this period, yielding little cultural progress or growth, but artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c. 900 BC onwards. Additionally, evidence has emerged of the new presence of Hellenes in sub-Mycenaean Cyprus and on the Syrian coast at Al-Mina.

Grotta-Pelos culture

The Grotta-Pelos culture (Greek: Γρόττα-Πηλός) refers to a "cultural" dating system used for part of the early Bronze Age in Greece. Specifically, it is the period that marks the beginning of the so-called Cycladic culture and spans the Neolithic period in the late 4th millennium BC (ca. 3300 BC), continuing in the Bronze Age to about 2700 BC.

The term was coined by Colin Renfrew, who named it after the sites of Grotta and Pelos on the Cycladic islands of Naxos and Milos, respectively. Other archaeologists prefer a "chronological" dating system and refer to this period as the Early Cycladic I (ECI).

Hellenistic Greece

In the context of ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek Achaean League heartlands by the Roman Republic. This culminated at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC, a crushing Roman victory in the Peloponnese that led to the destruction of Corinth and ushered in the period of Roman Greece. Hellenistic Greece's definitive end was with the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, when the future emperor Augustus defeated Greek Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, the next year taking over Alexandria, the last great center of Hellenistic Greece.The Hellenistic period began with the wars of the Diadochi, armed contests among the former generals of Alexander the Great to carve up his empire in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The wars lasted until 275 BC, witnessing the fall of both the Argead and Antipatrid dynasties of Macedonia in favor of the Antigonid dynasty. The era was also marked by successive wars between the Kingdom of Macedonia and its allies against the Aetolian League, Achaean League, and the city-state of Sparta.

During the reign of Philip V of Macedon (r. 221-179 BC), the Macedonians not only lost the Cretan War (205-200 BC) to an alliance led by Rhodes, but their erstwhile alliance with Hannibal of Carthage also entangled them in the First and Second Macedonian War with ancient Rome. The perceived weakness of Macedonia in the aftermath of these conflicts encouraged Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire to invade mainland Greece, yet his defeat by the Romans at Thermopylae in 191 BC and Magnesia in 190 BC secured Rome's position as the leading military power in the region. Within roughly two decades after conquering Macedonia in 168 BC and Epirus in 167 BC, the Romans would eventually control the whole of Greece.

During the Hellenistic period the importance of Greece proper within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great centers of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria and Antioch, capitals of Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria respectively. Cities such as Pergamon, Ephesus, Rhodes and Seleucia were also important, and increasing urbanization of the Eastern Mediterranean was characteristic of the time.

Kastelli Hill

Kastelli Hill (also Kasteli; Greek: Λόφος Καστέλλι or Καστέλι) is a landform at the city of Chania on the island of Crete in the present day country of Greece. The Minoan city of ancient Cydonia was centered on Kastelli Hill, which later was selected by the Romans as the site of an acropolis.

Kastri culture

The Kastri culture (Greek: Καστρί) refers to a "cultural" dating system used for the Cycladic culture that flourished during the early Bronze Age in Greece. It spans the period ca. 2500–2200 BC and was named by Colin Renfrew, after the fortified settlement of Kastri near Chalandriani on the Cycladic island of Syros. In Renfrew's system, Kastri culture follows the Keros-Syros culture. However, some archaeologists believe that the Keros-Syros and Kastri cultures belong to the same phase. Others describe this period as the Early Cycladic III (ECIII).

Macedonian phalanx

The Macedonian phalanx is an infantry formation developed by Philip II and used by his son Alexander the Great to conquer the Achaemenid Empire and other armies. Phalanxes remained dominant on battlefields throughout the Ancient Macedonian Period, although wars had developed into more protracted operations generally involving sieges and naval combat as much as pitched battles, until they were ultimately displaced by the Roman legions.


In the culture of ancient Greece, the term paideia (also spelled paedeia) (; Greek: παιδεία, paideía) referred to the rearing and education of the ideal member of the polis. It incorporated both practical, subject-based schooling and a focus upon the socialization of individuals within the aristocratic order of the polis. The practical aspects of this education included subjects subsumed under the modern designation of the liberal arts (rhetoric, grammar, and philosophy are examples), as well as scientific disciplines like arithmetic and medicine. An ideal and successful member of the polis would possess intellectual, moral and physical refinement, so training in gymnastics and wrestling was valued for its effect on the body alongside the moral education which the Greeks believed was imparted by the study of music, poetry, and philosophy. This approach to the rearing of a well-rounded Greek male was common to the Greek-speaking world, with the exception of Sparta where a rigid and militaristic form of education known as the agoge was practiced.

Phylakopi I culture

The Phylakopi I culture (Greek: Φυλακωπή) refers to a "cultural" dating system used for the Cycladic culture that flourished during the early Bronze Age in Greece. It spans the period ca. 2300-2000 BC and was named by Colin Renfrew, after the settlement of Phylakopi on the Cycladic island of Milos. Other archaeologists describe this period as the Early Cycladic III (ECIII).

Prostitution in ancient Greece

Prostitution was a common aspect of ancient Greece. In the more important cities, and particularly the many ports, it employed a significant number of people and represented a notable part of economic activity. It was far from being clandestine; cities did not condemn brothels, but rather only instituted regulations on them.

In Athens, the legendary lawmaker Solon is credited with having created state brothels with regulated prices. Prostitution involved both sexes differently; women of all ages and young men were prostitutes, for a predominantly male clientele.

Simultaneously, extramarital relations with a free woman were severely dealt with. In the case of adultery, the cuckold had the legal right to kill the offender if caught in the act; the same went for rape. Female adulterers, and by extension prostitutes, were forbidden to marry or take part in public ceremonies. The average age of marriage being 30 for men, the young Athenian had no choice if he wanted to have sexual relations other than to turn to slaves or prostitutes.


The sarissophoroi (σαρισσοφόροι, sarissa bearers; singular: sarissophoros σαρισσοφόρος), also called prodromoi, were a unit of light cavalry in the ancient Macedonian army.

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