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Legion versus Phalanx

The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World
By: Myke Cole
Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

Regular price: $24.95

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Publisher's Summary

From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder, and with overlapping shields, they presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. It was the phalanx that allowed Greece to become the dominant power in the Western world. That is, until the Romans developed the legion and cracked the phalanx.

In Legion versus Phalanx Cole weighs the two fighting forces against each other. Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280--168 BC), he looks at each formation in detail - delving into their tactics, arms, and equipment, organization and the deployment. It then examines six key battles in which legion battled phalanx: Heraclea (280 BC), Asculum (279 BC), Beneventum (275 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), and Pydna (168 BC) - battles that determined the fate of the ancient world. Drawing on original primary sources, Myke Cole presents a highly detailed but lively history of this defining clash of military formations.

©2018 Myke Cole (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Jonathan
  • LINCOLN, NE, United States
  • 12-17-18

I might be a niche market for this but I loved it

I love fantasy novels, I like history but sometimes its not fun to read. Myke Cole crushes it on readability and fun...with a couple disclaimers. I am a U.S. military veteran of the modern era and Myke translates a lot of historic units and strategy into modern termanology. This made it all infinitely more understandable to *me* but might not help someone who is not familiar with it. I especially enjoyed some of the author's commentary on first hand visits to the battlegrounds on terrain features and their impact. He makes some great fantasy pop culture/table top gaming analagies that are also helpful to *me* but not necessarily everyone. However, for a military veteran and fantasy gaming nerd...it was damn near perfection. Audio performance is solid too, albiet starts slow due to historical date reading as chronological background which was clearly meant as a reference point for the reader to refer back to rather than narrative. Once you are beyond that it is a wonderfully flowing narrative that flew by for me. It left me hoping Myke Cole revisits non-fiction like this in the future.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great introduction!

This book's greatest strength is simultaneously its greatest weakness:

It is nothing more or less than a brief introduction to the conflicts between the Romans and the Greeks.

I would have liked to have seen a much longer tome with a more complete vision of these conflicts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding Entry Point to the Ancient Battlefield

An in-depth and eminently readable history that illuminates both tactical basics and their ancient application.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book, excellent takeaways, broken audio

Skips, static and corrupted file at the beginning of the audiobook. Not great.

Story and content wise, both were excellent. Decent VO and a really detailed dissertation of the topic at hand.

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Recommended

very interesting, informative and accessible. the fact that it's written by a veteran and that he thinks from the foot soldier's perspective elevates the material.

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Corrupted file

I’m sure Legion vs Phalanx is a great book. Audible however has sent me a corrupted file that skips around like a scratched record, no matter how many times I delete it and re-download it, making it impossible to know for sure short of buying another copy which I can’t afford to do. If you are a history buff and want to know why *2000yr old spoiler alert* the legion beat the phalanx then buy the book, just make sure you DON’T buy the audible version!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Cas
  • 01-07-19

Really well presented and easy to digest

I really wnjoy6ed this book. Not aimed too high it is easy to digest and well put together!

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  • Bill
  • 04-15-19

Interesting, but a little to much conjecture

The author starts by saying he is not a dyed in the wool historian, and this is apparent. As will all ancient history, there is a lot of conjecture and guessing, but it appears that the guessing changed depending on who will be the victor.

quite an enjoyable read in any case.