A "sarissa" was an 18-ft. long spear used by the Macedonian main infantry unit the "pezhetairoi." It was an advantageous weapon because most other armies at the time utilized a spear half as long as the sarissa. It was this weapon that made it possible to end the era of the Greek "hoplite" warfare. The sarissa had a single iron tip and an iron "butt-spike." The butt-spike would be jammed into the ground at an angle when defending to keep attackers at bay and to provide extra stopping power. The butt-spike also had a practical offensive purpose as well: if the sarissa broke on the battlefield, it did not just become a stick but, rather, two spears. Also, when marching, the butt-spike came in handy to finish-off downed enemies without having to turn the sarissa completely around.
"Boy I'm glad that my sarissa (with butt-spike) is longer than their hoplite spear! Otherwise I'd have had to work to keep those Greek bastards at bay!"
-Macedonian pezhetairoi quoted at the battle of Chaeronea (338 B.C.)
by Historius Maximus October 15, 2007

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×