• 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
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,431 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Taking a populist approach to a serious subject, Myke Cole combines a novelist's flair for drama with an ancient historian's eye for detail to create a unique book that delves into one of the most popular areas of the Ancient World.

From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder with shields interlocking, the men of the phalanx presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. Until, that is, the Roman legion emerged to challenge them as masters of infantry battle.

Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280 - 168 BC), Myke Cole delves into their tactics, arms and equipment, organization and deployment. Drawing on original primary sources to examine six battles in which the legion fought the phalanx - Heraclea (280 BC), Asculum (279 BC), Beneventum (275 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), and Pydna (168 BC) - he shows how and why the Roman legion, with its flexible organization, versatile tactics and iron discipline, came to eclipse the hitherto untouchable Hellenistic phalanx and dominate the ancient battlefield.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Myke Cole (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Legion versus Phalanx

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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.

142 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It's Great After First Few Chapters

Loved the book. It was well written and narrator was excellent. I have no criticism once the book gets going...but... the only problem was it took awhile for the book to get going. Lol.

The author took way too much time explaining what the book is and what the book is not. It's as if he expected to catch some heat by fellow intellectuals and so he tries to nip potential criticisms in the bud by over explaining the goal of his work.

As far as the actual material and insights, they are awesome. Again, loved this five-star book aside from the first few chapters.

90 people found this 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.

20 people found this 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.

16 people found this helpful

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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!

16 people found this 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.

15 people found this helpful

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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.

13 people found this helpful

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Bro-History

Dude, do you even phalanx? And the the legions were all like "Come at me bro!"

This is light-reading, bro-history. If you make it through the intro and the first part of chapter 01, you'll know right way if this book is for you.

I immediately became worried during the intro when a) Star Wars / pop-culture was heaped with praise while b) boring "academic" history books were dismissed. Granted, the author acknowledges his conscious effort to make an accessible, lively history book and good on him for doing the work. But this is the kind of history I lump in with cable-TV, ancient-aliens, hitler's secrets of the secret nazi occult weapons, type of work. The magic is in the history, you don't have to tart it up.

There radio DJ performance of the narrator under-scores the tone of the book,

12 people found this helpful

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a wonderful examination

Myke Cole gets it... he does a wonderful job of explaining history using current analogy and ancient sources. I enjoyed this book much more than I expected and look forward to more Non- Fiction from Mr. Cole... cheers

9 people found this helpful

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An Introduction's Introduction

The author's stated purpose was to create a book accessible to the every day reader, but in doing so has so choked his prose with explanation that it is exhausting for anyone (I imagine) not completely new to the study of history. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HISTORY THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU. If you've never ever in your life ever considered history and you have no idea what happened in the world before today maybe you won't feel like this book is condescending to you.

3 people found this 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!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-14-22

Casual yet educational

The narration is clear and engaging. The language is effortlessly digestible. The example battles are excellently described and together form a compelling story. As a whole the book is somewhat simplistic, not academically rigorous.

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  • Diamond
  • 12-24-21

Brilliant

Very accessible and interesting. Looking forward to more topics like this in military history. Good narration

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-21

Fast, factual & entertaining.

I have read a lot about ancient warfare in the past.

I found this book short, to the point & factual.

Myke Cole offer his opinion on certain situations, but these are well thought out & not glib in anyway.

I would really recommend this book, very entertaining & an excellent read.

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  • Michael
  • 11-26-20

good but not great

good summary of a few major battles. the narrator was hard to follow sometimes.

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  • Street
  • 05-11-19

Outstanding story and superb analysis.

Interesting for the military expert, not above the casual listener. A great story well told.

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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.

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