Units of History – The Macedonian Companion Cavalry DOCUMENTARY

Learn about the Macedonian Companion Cavalry who conquered the world for Alexander the Great in this in depth history documentary! Check out The Great Courses Plus to learn about daily life of Greek soldiers: http://ow.ly/osex30rvhjf

In this Units of History documentary we continue to explore the most famous ancient warriors from the past by turning to the kingdom of Macedon. We begin with the history of Macedon from the early Bronze Age as a small local power in the Balkans. According to legend its earliest kings had come from Argos and founded the Argead dynasty which was to rule Macedon for centuries. Initially this involved carving out a home in the lowland regions before slowly expanding the realm under great rulers like Amyntas 1.

When the Persians arrived, Macedon initially became a vassal before being incorporated into the Achaemenid Empire following the Ionian Revolt. In the ensuing Greco Persian wars, Macedon fought with the Achaemenids such as at the battle of Platae but often helped both sides and ultimately turned on the easterners during their retreat. During the ensuing Peloponnesian War, the Kingdom of Macedon gained more power but was rocked by a series of assassinations, revolts, and invasions over the years which slowed its growth. It wasn’t until the reign of Philip II that the Rise of Macedon would finally take place. This was made possible by the bold military reforms of Philip II which saw 600 Companion Cavalry take center stage of a new army. This force then subdued the surrounding regions of Greece, Thessaly, and Thrace making Macedon a formidable power that could now be turned against the Achaemenid Empire.

When Philip II died, Alexander rose to the throne. After consolidating his realm, the young king them setoff to realize his father’s dreams. 1800 Companion Cavalry would cross the Hellespont with the Macedonian Army. Their hammer and anvil strikes would prove to be one of the most effective tools in conquering the vast territories of the Achaemenid Empire. We cover the evolution of the Companions Cavalry and their fascinating service history over the course of the conquests of Alexander the Great. This includes their critical role in all major pitched battles: the Battle of the River Granicus, the Battle of Issus, the Battle of Gaugamela, and the Battle of Hydaspes.

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