Sarissa(redirected from Sarisa)
Also found in: Acronyms.
the basic weapon of the heavy infantry in ancient Macedonia.
Originally the sarissa was used as a missile or a hand-to-hand weapon and was about 3 m long; later, its length increased to 6–7 m. Soldiers of the six forward ranks of the phalanx grasped the sarissa in their hands so that the weapons stuck out as much as 6 m in front of them. As a result, the enemy was faced with six rows of spears in front of the phalanx. This kind of phalanx was unsuitable for an offensive.