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The evolution of battlefield tactics 



Between 3000 BC and 0 AD, weaponry and battlefield tactics went through many significant changes. Spearmen and foot archers made up the first dominant armies, but they were replaced by chariot archers, who dominated from 1700 to 1200 BC, near the end of the Bronze Age. At that time a catastrophe befell most of the established kingdoms and palaces. Outside of Egypt and Assyria, all were burned when barbarian infantry and light troops reestablished battlefield dominance, making chariots obsolete in a few decades. 

An ancient Dark Age lasting 500 years followed the barbarian conquests and ushered in the Iron Age. During this chaotic period, infantry reassumed battlefield domination, although cavalry began to appear and grow in importance, especially in the Middle East. The Classical Age associated with Greek culture followed the Dark Age. The infantry phalanx of Greece was predominant on their battlefields, but Persian armies were more integrated, adding missile troops and extensive cavalry. The concept of the integrated army was perfected by Philip and Alexander the Great of Macedonia in the fourth century BC. At the head of this army, Alexander conquered the known civilized world by the age of 32. Relative peace settled on the East in the wake of Alexander’s conquest, but in the western Mediterranean, Roman legions began to assert themselves. The Roman legions were integrated armies based on infantry that dominated the rest of the ancient era.