A phalanx (plural phalanges or phalanxes) is a rectangular array of infantry, typically spearmen or pikemen. The formation was typically close order so the weapons could be used to keep enemies at a distance. The first phalanges appear on Sumerian inscriptions, and they dominate the battlefield for millennia, reaching their culmination in the Macedonian phalanx under Alexander the Great and his successors. Phalanges are generally good on forward defense, but have difficulty advancing and are weak on the flanks. They were largely replaced by the much more mobile Roman legion, though phalanges of pikemen were employed against mounted knights with considerable success.
Phalanges are also the bones that form fingers and toes. The thumb and big toe have two phalanges, while the other fingers and toes consist of three.
The phalanges do not really have individual names, but are named after the digit, and their distance from the body. Distal phlanges are at the tips of the fingers and toes, the proximal phalanges are closest to the hand (or foot) and articulate with the metacarpals or metatarsals. Middle phalanges are between the distal and proximal. The thumb and big toe do not have middle phlanges.
Phalanx is also a group of villainous aliens in the comic, X-Men.