Brill’s New Pauly

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Sarissa
(197 words)

[German version]

(σάρισσα/sárissa or σάρισα/sárisa). Long pike of the Macedonian infantry and cavalry, weighing 6-7,5 kg and having a length of 4,5-5,4 m (Theophr. Hist. pl. 3,12,2; Asclepiodotus 5,1; Pol. 18,29; [1]). It consisted of a wooden shaft, preferably made of European cornel, and had pointed metal tips at both ends. The bottom point served as spare part, as a counterweight and for fixing the sarissa on the ground against a cavalry attack. Since the sarissa was held with both hands during the fight, the foot soldiers armed with it could carry only a small ro…

Cite this page
Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle), “Sarissa”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 20 January 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1101540>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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