The word for today is…
phalanx (noun) – 1. A compact or close-knit body of people.
2. A formation of infantry carrying overlapping shields and long spears, developed by Philip II of Macedon and used by Alexander the Great.
Source : The Free Dictionary
Etymology : 1550s, “line of battle in close ranks,” from Latin phalanx “compact body of heavily armed men in battle array,” or directly from Greek phalanx (genitive phalangos) “line of battle, battle array,” also “finger or toe bone,” originally “round piece of wood, trunk, log,” of unknown origin. Perhaps from PIE root *bhelg- “plank, beam” (source of Old English balca “balk;”. The Macedonian phalanx consisted of 50 close files of 16 men each. In anatomy, originally the whole row of finger joints, which fit together like infantry in close order. Figurative sense of “number of persons banded together in a common cause” is attested from 1600.