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[split] Phalanx warfare: use of the spear
#46
precisely. Thats why i doubt those overarm theories.. construction of Dory with its weighted rear part screams against any other grip than rear part grip... and whole overarm with the spear held like that would be totally ineffective (and very problematic, and fatiguing)


but let me go back to the pushing theory - combat is not reenactment. guy in front of you wants to kill you.. so If I was fighting somebody in front of me, and somebody from the second rank would push me to my back, i would see him same enemy as that guy in the front... thats a perfect way how to rout own men, destroy their morale and lose a battle. If anything, guys in the front rank need to feel support from the rear ranks... but pushing them towards danger thats perfect way how to start panic.
Jaroslav Jakubov
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#47
I'm inclined to support Paul's argument rather than Matthew's. Looking forward to reading his book.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#48
i think lindybeige summed all points that are wrong with the pushing shields theory quite well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmaYtNW_wR8
Jaroslav Jakubov
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#49
(08-22-2016, 05:51 AM)JaM Wrote: sorry but you are denying basic laws of physics and human psychology... nobody in his sane mind would want to be in a front row of a 8-16 (or more) formation pushing against another 8-16 men formation, while holding 2.5-3m long spear in the middle.. humans are not machines.

and he is right about overarm "thrusts", those are much weaker than uderarm thrusts. even Thrand doesnt do a thrust but practically a sliding throw...

and of course, everybody just keep ignoring the fact that Chigi vase clearly shows the ANKYLE attached to those JAVELINS.


You have set up a false dichotomy where overhand means spears held in the middle. I concur with Mathew's description of the classical battle dory, mine is over 8' long and weighted to about 1/4 from the sauroter and I use it overhand just fine.  There is no reach advantage for underarm against overarm when striking.  There is an ability to hold the underhand spear extended in a static pose- which is a rather stupid thing to do. There is also no fatigue advantage if you know how to use the spear in overhand- hint: you don't hold it up in the air for a half hour.


You are simply wrong about the force generated by underarm thrusts.  Every study except Mathew's has shown this- which should make you wonder.  Thrand does not always slide, I have been showing him that you don't need to and he has shown as much in his latest video on shield and spear. There are ankyle on the Chigi because at that date, probably well into the Archaic period, hoplites used two spears, throwing at least one. Hoplites did not remain unchanged from the 7thc to the 4th.
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#50
Any time an illustration shows a fighter with two spears it is a good bet that at least one of them was meant for throwing.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#51
(08-22-2016, 10:04 AM)JaM Wrote: but let me go back to the pushing theory -   combat is not reenactment. guy in front of you wants to kill you.. so If I was fighting somebody in front of me, and somebody from the second rank would push me to my back, i would see him same enemy as that guy in the front...  thats a perfect way how to rout own men, destroy their morale and lose a battle. If anything, guys in the front rank need to feel support from the rear ranks... but pushing them towards danger thats perfect way how to start panic.

You obviously need to read my 2011 paper or my book if you think Lindy disproves anything I say.  In fact what he describes supports the idea of my late crowd-like othismos rather than the Orthodox charge to push. 

It is ironic that you attempt to counter me with "combat is not reenactment" because I believe that is exactly why Mathew got it wrong.  He and his crew were playing a game with no sharps, and that changes everything.  Many weekend warriors have opined on spear use from their experience in a game that does not allow face shots!  All of the shield-prodding that you read of is great in a game with a duct taped spear, but less so when your jab gets your spear suck in the face of my willow aspis and I kill you.

If you were fighting someone in front of you that is pushing you back with their shield, it would be the responsibility of the man behind you to support you.  Or do you think you can just jump back out of the shield line as he comes on?  No one forces you into the enemy spears, the rear ranks only close up after the front ranks have collapsed to shield on shield, a point at which the 8' dory is useless.  This is why it only happens after spear-fencing and then only in some battles.
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#52
Quote:If you were fighting someone in front of you that is pushing you back with their shield, it would be the responsibility of the man behind you to support you.

Support you means not push you toward danger... that's not support that's exactly the opposite..

I didnt read your book, but remember your video from some talkshow where you actually defended the (what you call" orthodox pushing), claiming that Aspis was designed to allow such thing... but of course, i will read your book and will give you benefit of doubt, when it comes out. But till then, unless you present some facts (and i really mean facts - like measuring kinetic energy from all possible strike positions etc), ill stick with my beliefs.
Jaroslav Jakubov
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#53
(08-22-2016, 01:55 PM)JaM Wrote:
Quote:If you were fighting someone in front of you that is pushing you back with their shield, it would be the responsibility of the man behind you to support you.

Support you means not push you toward danger... that's not support that's exactly the opposite..

I didnt read your book, but remember your video from some talkshow where you actually defended the (what you call" orthodox pushing), claiming that Aspis was designed to allow such thing... but of course, i will read your book and will give you benefit of doubt, when it comes out. But till then, unless you present some facts (and i really mean facts - like measuring kinetic energy from all possible strike positions etc), ill stick with my beliefs.
The danger when being pushed back, is being pushed back.  Try fighting while moving backwards on your heels.  You don't push on the man in front of you while he is spear fencing, but only when he and his foe are shield to shield.


Yes, the aspis is what allows you to survive othismos- we did this at Marathon last fall and recorded the force generated by men in different file depths.  Men would have died without the aspis.

It seems that you have seen only Mathew's incorrect data.  Had he cited the earlier work by Connolly you would see his "couched" strike is very weak compared to a proper overhand strike.  A more recent study by De Groote also showed overhand stronger and more importantly the average strike was stronger.  It is true that if striking flesh, you do not need the most powerful strike imaginable, but all of your strikes will be on a bell curve of force due to a variety of factors, and overhand you will have a much larger portion of strikes over the minimum needed.

Part of the problem with Mathew trying to turn hoplites into one-handed short sarissaphoroi is that there is no reason to stop at an 8' dory.  Why not a 12 foot dory?  Wouldn't that easily win in the situation he describes?  Why not longer?  Why would we have to wait for a Macedonian upstart to realize that you could use two hands and a long pike?  Spartan hoplites all used two handed spears- when they hunted boar!  So they knew how to hold them this way.  The obvious answer is that hoplites had pushed the spear as far as it could go and still be used with one hand in an overarm thrust and needed to retain the aspis in its classical form that precluded the use of the left hand in holding the shaft.  The best reason for a lack of change in the aspis over the whole hoplite period is that it had a specific function that worked best in that form- so much so that you would add a silly apron to your shield rather than build it oval to protect your legs..  That function was probably keeping you alive in othismos.
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#54
you misunderstood.. im taking about being pushed into back... and as Lindybeige said in his video.. whole idea is ridiculous, because all you need is a knife to slice a throat of a man behind the shield opposite of you... you are way to close to avoid such thing...


and regarding the reach, so why do you think Macedonian came with the idea extending the Dory? Why Iphicrates came with the idea giving his "peltats" longer spears? To me, Matthew's idea show clear military progression in tactics - extend the reach so you gain advantage over your enemy using same tactics.. so eventually, you dropped the Aspis and used the "spear" in both arms, and instead you went for Pelta shield... but with hoplite phalanx not even care for reach of their spears, then what would be the reason for extending the spear? if anything, they would try to make spear shorter and more serviceable in tight formation, not the opposite...
Jaroslav Jakubov
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#55
(08-22-2016, 03:12 PM)JaM Wrote: you misunderstood.. im taking about being pushed into back... and as Lindybeige said in his video.. whole idea is ridiculous, because all you need is a knife to slice a throat of a man behind the shield opposite of you... you are way to close to avoid such thing...


and regarding the reach, so why do you think Macedonian came with the idea extending the Dory? Why Iphicrates came with the idea giving his "peltats" longer spears?  To me, Matthew's idea show clear military progression in tactics - extend the reach so you gain advantage over your enemy using same tactics.. so eventually, you dropped the Aspis and used the "spear" in both arms, and instead you went for Pelta shield...  but with hoplite phalanx not even care for reach of their spears, then what would be the reason for extending the spear? if anything, they would try to make spear shorter and more serviceable in tight formation, not the opposite...

Yes, exactly as I wrote, the appearance of the small sword in the 4thc on Theban Steleai, that famous Athenian vase with a fallen "Spartan" who may well be a theban, and the attribution of the enchiridion or dagger to Spartan hoplites, all speak to me of an increase in the occurance of othismos in battle.  This may have been driven by the Thebans and their big farm boys in order to counter the greater spear skill of Spartans and Athenians and track the increasing depth of phalanxes after Pagondas.

I think that the appearance of the sarissa comes on the heels of the Iphicratids.  I beleive these to have been "cheap" hoplites who could threaten true hoplites with spear fencing and pin them to a linear front to meet such a challenge while peltasts flanked them.  It was clear that if you are not on an island, peltasts along cannot reliably break hoplites.  They still need at least the threat of shock combat.  Iphicratids could do this, though you will note that they no longer carry the aspis and may have used two hands.  I think it more likely that the 12' spear they carry was used in one hand, underhand much like Mathew wishes hoplites to do.  A 12' untapered, unweighted spear has a reach of about 6' past the grip, while a dory that is properly balanced has almost the same reach and actually weighs a bit more.  The 12' spears were just cheap dorys.

This is why you don't get sarissa before iphicratids.  You have to move away from an expectation of fighting shield on shield before you can move to sarissa.  Even then it is only the high density produced by allowed by the great length of pikes and men being able to stand sideways with the little pelta that made this a viable anti-hoplite tactic.  Mathew's 45cm frontage and notion of a 2-1 advantage in close order is crap, hoplites can't form at 45cm and his figures are all fudged.  Measure them and you will see.  No hoplite is ever shown in his book at 45cm.
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#56
Weren't Iphicrates infantry reforms specifically dealing with marines?

Besides this, Macedonian sarissa didn't just push enemy away with their spear points wedged against enemy shields, that's not even possible considering that only one in four or five sarissa points would actually reach the enemy's shield wall/line. See the illustration I attached, for a sarissaphoi phalanx to be using their pikes to literally push an enemy formation away through pressure on their shields, it means only the strength of the legs and arms of the front rankers are doing all the work. The "push of pike" wasn't literal. 

And I don't think hoplites literally had pushing matches using their spears to shove against an enemy's shield, vice versa. That's a terrible method of fighting and using a spear.
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#57
I agree with Paul B. and how could I not, since I have been with him testing the damned things!
I have tried every kind of spear, center balanced, rear balanced, thin, thick, tapered and not. I have found no way an underhand grip is superior to overhand.

In a close formation of two to four ranks I found the underhand grip unbearable to hold at a high position, since I couldn't lower it due to shields overlapping.

And why are we not mentioning the variety of sarauters and the variety of spear point weights? There are spear points which weigh 450 gr and there are a huge number of sauroters which are very much smaller and lighter than your famous pyramidal 350 gr ones. And still, many detailed depictions and statues show no sauroters

To be honest all this discussion seems nonsensical to me, since many people have actually tried the things. The underhand grip works only for those that have not done even mock fighting and blunt spears and they like to look static and much like the 300 movie Spartans...

In my own non scientific experiment, I couldn't pierce a rusted steel barrel with underarm only dent it. And I couldn't do even this if I was in overlapped shields!
I could pierce a little with overhand grip.
I could pierce substantially more with a throw, both from long and short distance.

To JaM, without being disrespectful, I suggest you spend some money and time in obtaining what would be ANY kind of an accurate spear, and some time testing it, before you are so categorical to your conclusions. If I sound a bit arrogant it is only because I have tried many of the things with what I consider to be an accurate tapered spear with correct points, and with full archaic Hoplite panoply of correct fit and weight, occasionally worn for eight hours a day, for days in a row. What you find out from participating in such events is not conclusive, because you never replicate actual combat meant to kill, but in many respects they are convincing, in one way or another.

Khairete
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#58
(08-22-2016, 04:08 PM)Bryan Wrote: Weren't Iphicrates infantry reforms specifically dealing with marines?

Besides this, Macedonian sarissa didn't just push enemy away with their spear points wedged against enemy shields, that's not even possible considering that only one in four or five sarissa points would actually reach the enemy's shield wall/line. See the illustration I attached, for a sarissaphoi phalanx to be using their pikes to literally push an enemy formation away through pressure on their shields, it means only the strength of the legs and arms of the front rankers are doing all the work. The "push of pike" wasn't literal. 

And I don't think hoplites literally had pushing matches using their spears to shove against an enemy's shield, vice versa. That's a terrible method of fighting and using a spear.

No Iphicratids were an infantry type meant to keep pace with his peltasts.  They may have been inspired by marines from egypt, though I think the Thracian route more likely.

I am not sure where you got the idea of pushing with sarissa, I never said that.  What the sarissa hedge did was keep hoplites from entering othismos specifically because you cannot push against a hedge of spears.  To me the history of hoplite combat was a rock-paper-scissors game of different types of battle at different ranges.  Early hoplites surely threw spears at eachother from behind a wall of aspides much like a saxon shield wall.  They could of course converge and fight with spears and swords directly, and if othismos was something that occurred in this period, it did so then as men fought over the fallen.  By the classical period, hoplites are charging right through the beaten zone of missiles directly into spear range, a range that increases as the dory becomes the sole spear of some 8'.  When enough spears break, men move to sword, and within the reach of spears.  By the end of the 5th c, I think we see a rise in this sword phase and the event that happens often from these close in clashes that we call othismos.  Thus the deepening of ranks.  After this reaches its rediculous apex with 50 ranks, we see that the only effective counter is to give up on othismos and instead flank these deep phalanxes which are terribly vulnerable due to the limited front.  With battle being decided by flanking maneuvers using troops other than hoplites rather than head on clashes, othismos is a thing of the past and spear, or sarissa, fencing once again predominates.  The whole cycle ends nicely with Thureophoroi armed with two spears that they throw as a counter to the sarissa hedge- note that roman infantry are just a form of thureophoroi with damn good organization and a zeal for killing.
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#59
egg before a chicken? if anything, Thureophoroi were copy of Roman legionaries... Romans fought that way a bit sooner than Greeks came with the Thureophoroi.. Most probable they introduced them only after Pyrrhus came from Italy and fought wars against Macedon and their allies.


and regarding Othismos, If it was really a thing, what would stop somebody from feinting a push? pushing for a brief time, then suddenly give up? that would cause other side to fall down to be beaten quite easily while they are laying on the ground... It is quite common concept even with sports where people use force to fight others.. like for example Greek-Roman Wrestling..


oh, and underarm use, quite nicely explained here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixm6sXe1TYE
Jaroslav Jakubov
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#60
(08-22-2016, 04:56 PM)Paul Bardunias Wrote:
(08-22-2016, 04:08 PM)Bryan Wrote: Weren't Iphicrates infantry reforms specifically dealing with marines?

Besides this, Macedonian sarissa didn't just push enemy away with their spear points wedged against enemy shields, that's not even possible considering that only one in four or five sarissa points would actually reach the enemy's shield wall/line. See the illustration I attached, for a sarissaphoi phalanx to be using their pikes to literally push an enemy formation away through pressure on their shields, it means only the strength of the legs and arms of the front rankers are doing all the work. The "push of pike" wasn't literal. 

And I don't think hoplites literally had pushing matches using their spears to shove against an enemy's shield, vice versa. That's a terrible method of fighting and using a spear.

No Iphicratids were an infantry type meant to keep pace with his peltasts.  They may have been inspired by marines from egypt, though I think the Thracian route more likely.

I am not sure where you got the idea of pushing with sarissa, I never said that.  What the sarissa hedge did was keep hoplites from entering othismos specifically because you cannot push against a hedge of spears.  To me the history of hoplite combat was a rock-paper-scissors game of different types of battle at different ranges.  Early hoplites surely threw spears at eachother from behind a wall of aspides much like a saxon shield wall.  They could of course converge and fight with spears and swords directly, and if othismos was something that occurred in this period, it did so then as men fought over the fallen.  By the classical period, hoplites are charging right through the beaten zone of missiles directly into spear range, a range that increases as the dory becomes the sole spear of some 8'.  When enough spears break, men move to sword, and within the reach of spears.  By the end of the 5th c, I think we see a rise in this sword phase and the event that happens often from these close in clashes that we call othismos.  Thus the deepening of ranks.  After this reaches its rediculous apex with 50 ranks, we see that the only effective counter is to give up on othismos and instead flank these deep phalanxes which are terribly vulnerable due to the limited front.  With battle being decided by flanking maneuvers using troops other than hoplites rather than head on clashes, othismos is a thing of the past and spear, or sarissa, fencing once again predominates.  The whole cycle ends nicely with Thureophoroi armed with two spears that they throw as a counter to the sarissa hedge- note that roman infantry are just a form of thureophoroi with damn good organization and a zeal for killing.

I wasn't referencing you when I mentioned pushing shields back with spears, JaM wrote it a couple pages back and he is still using that theory to support his "no shield to shield" fighting. 

With hoplites going shield to shield, can't the dory still be used with a overhand grip at the mid point?

(08-22-2016, 05:24 PM)JaM Wrote: and regarding Othismos, If it was really a thing, what would stop somebody from feinting a push? pushing for a brief time, then suddenly give up? that would cause other side to fall down to be beaten quite easily while they are laying on the ground... It is quite common concept even with sports where people use force to fight others.. like for example Greek-Roman Wrestling..

It takes significant coordination to perform a large scale retreat in battle. It would be hard to coordinate a single file all suddenly reversing direction while in hard contact, with a whole line, impossible. Besides, you're assuming they would be able to back off enough in such a quick manner that their enemy would fall on their faces, instead, if the movement was done in a manner that wasn't time to the split second, the opposing forces would simply stay on their feet and gain momentum in pushing as their adversaries retreat.
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