Ancient writers about Macedonia – Dionysius of Halicarnassus

 

The Battle of Asculum (279 BC), between the Greeks forces of Pyrrhus of Epirus and the Romans under publius Decius Mus, from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, p387, Excerpts from Book XX

“Having agreed through heralds upon the time when they would join in battle, they descended from their camps and took up their positions as follows: King Pyrrhus gave the Macedonian phalanx the first place on the right wing and placed next to it the Italiot mercenaries from Tarentum; then the troops from Ambracia and after them the phalanx of Tarentines equipped with white shields, forced by the allied force of Bruttians and Lucanians; in the middle of the battle-line he stationed the Thesprotians and Chaonians; next to them the mercenaries of the Aetolians, Acarnanians and Athamanians, and finally the Samnites, who constituted the left wing. Of the horse, he stationed the Samnite, Thessalian and Bruttian squadrons and the Tarentine mercenary force upon the right wing, and the Ambraciot, Lucanian and Tarentine squadrons and the Greek mercenaries, consisting of Acarnanians, Aetolians, Macedonians and Athamanians, on the left. The light-armed troops and the elephants he divided into two groups and placed them behind both wings, at a reasonable distance, in a position slightly elevated above the plain. He himself, surrounded by the royal agema, as it was called, of picked horsemen, about two thousand in number, was outs the battle-line, so as to aid promptly any of his troops in turn that might be hard pressed.*

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Dionysius Halicarnasus
  2. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Arrian
  3. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Herodotus
  4. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Curtius Rufus
  5. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Arrian
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