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"Ptolemaic Infantry Phalanx Set 2" Topic


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796 hits since 2 Apr 2023
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0102 Apr 2023 3:50 p.m. PST

"The box for this set refers to the Battle of Raphia, in 217 BCE, the background to which is described in our review of the first set of Ptolemaic infantry here. About the best ancient source we have for this period, Polybius, makes the claim that as an emergency reaction to the threat to the Egyptian domain, the new Egyptian king Ptolemy IV Philopator caused thousands of native Egyptians to be trained and organised as phalangists, much like the Macedonian troops he and the other Hellenistic kingdoms already had. Whether this was a sudden emergency measure or part of a longer reform is debated, but the fact is that by the time of Raphia, the Ptolemaic army could indeed field around 20,000 new phalangists described as ‘Egyptian' rather than Macedonian or Greek. However, we must treat such sources with care, and labels such as these do not necessarily describe the ethnicity of the men involved, though there is no doubt that the campaign did change the balance of the forces of Egypt, and in an area where the phalanx could be very effective, the extra troops that Ptolemy brought to the battle may well have been the deciding factor in his victory…"


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