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Title: The Introduction of the sarisa in Macedonian Warfare
Author(s): ANSON, Edward M.
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 40    Date: 2010   
Pages: 51-68
DOI: 10.2143/AS.40.0.2056252

Abstract :
When was the sarisa introduced in Macedonia? Our ancient sources would seem to answer this question rather readily. Polyaenus (IV 2.10) relates that «Philip [II] … made them take up their arms, … carrying helmets, shields, greaves, sarisai, …» Diodorus (XVI 3.1-2) appears to put this in a clear chronological context. After relating the death of Perdiccas and 4000 Macedonians, Diodorus states, «Philip was not panic-stricken by the magnitude of the expected perils, but, bringing together the Macedonians … and … having improved the organization of his forces and equipped the men suitably with weapons of war … he devised the compact order and the equipment of the phalanx … and was the first to organize the Macedonian phalanx.» Despite these ancient accounts, it has been argued that Philip did not introduce the sarisa until 336 BC at the earliest. This paper will conclude that Philip introduced the sarisa into the ranks of both his infantry and cavalry by the winter of 359/8 BC.

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