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Units of History - The Macedonian Silver Shields DOCUMENTARY

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A Units of History Documentary on the Silver Shields - Veterans of the Macedonian Army! The first 100 people to go to www.blinkist.com/invicta are going to get unlimited access for 1 week to try it out. You’ll also get 25% off if you want the full membership.

In this animated documentary we follow the story of one of the most elite units of history, the Argyraspides : the Silver Shields. We begin the video by taking a look back at their institutional origins. This can be traced back to the early practice in Macedon of having bodyguard units of Hetairoi protect the king in court and on the battlefield. Eventually these would be expanded to form elite units of horse and foot companions during the reforms of Philip the second of Macedon.

When Alexander the Great took over however he would extend the title of Foot Companion to the entire 6 unit block of Macedonian levy pikemen. The previous elite units which had held that title would now be referred to as the Hypaspitai, or shield bearers. 3,000 of these accompanied his army in the invasion of the Achaemenid Empire. They would take up the right flank in the pitched Battle of Granicus River, the Battle of Issus, and the Battle of Gaugamela. However they were an extremely flexible force that could also be embedded in the cavalry, sent over rough terrain to flank the enemy, and broken into small groups for special missions. In siege battles they also proved exceptional when it came to storming operations like in the Siege of Tyre and the Siege of Halicarnassus.

After many years of fighting, these veteran Hypaspists would find them joining Alexander the Great on his campaigns into India. It would be here that they would finally adopt their famed Silver Shields and become the Argyraspides. We cover their history over the remainder of the campaigns of Alexander the Great and their subsequent involvement in the Wars of the Diadochi. This would involve many massive battles such as Paraitakene and Gabiene where they would continue their unbroken string of victories! Follow us to the end of the video to discover their ultimate fate. You can also learn more about the history of Macedon and the Macedonian army by checking out the rest of our content.

What other Units of History do you want to see us cover next?

Bibliography and Suggested Reading:
“The Three Thousand: Alexander’s Infantry Guard” by Waldemar Heckel
“The origins of the Argyraspids.” by R. A. Lock
“The Silver Shields, Eumenes, and their Historian” by K. Roisman
“The Hypaspists: Macedonia’s professional citizen-soldiers.” by E.M. Anson
“The wars of Alexander’s successors, 323-281 B.C.” by B. Bennet
“The pezhetairoi of Philip II and Alexander the Great,” by A. Erskine
“Life of Eumenes” by Plutarch
“The Campaigns of Alexander” by Arrian
“Philip and Alexander” by Adrian Goldsworthy

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21 Eyl 2021

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