Sarissa

(redirected from Sarissaphoros)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sarissa

 

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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