Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 2
Posted: 1/16/2015 9:43:54 PM EST
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 9:47:53 PM EST
Caesar's legions were pretty bad-ass. Beat the Egyptians, French, Spanish, half the Italians, and a few Greeks.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 10:59:47 PM EST
Bump.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:06:55 PM EST
Huh.

We got a vote for the Late Roman Legion.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:09:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?
View Quote

Don't know that much about Roman history, but I was shocked when I discovered that this thread wasn't started by Primus.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:12:28 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PiccoloPlayer:

Don't know that much about Roman history, but I was shocked when I discovered that this thread wasn't started by Primus.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PiccoloPlayer:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?

Don't know that much about Roman history, but I was shocked when I discovered that this thread wasn't started by Primus.




I love studying about Classical Antiquity, specifically anything pertaining to Greco-Roman culture.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:17:22 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:17:51 PM EST
I'm too lazy to look it up. In the Augustan legions, was the 1st Cohort double sized or just the 1st Century in the 1st Cohort?
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:19:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:19:24 PM EST
I picked late republic because of J.C. Not sure if they were the badest assed, but J.C. was.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:19:24 PM EST
The Caesar will take the Hoover dam and destroy the NCR...


Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:19:43 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Huh.

We got a vote for the Late Roman Legion.
View Quote


Must drink leaded wine.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:21:38 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:
I'm too lazy to look it up. In the Augustan legions, was the 1st Cohort double sized or just the 1st Century in the 1st Cohort?
View Quote


First Cohort was always double strength

Full strength Legions consisted of 6,000 men each, with 4,800 actual combat personnel and 1,200 support personnel.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:41:13 PM EST
I can't recall much from HS Latin, but the triple battle line stands out. 13ers to the front...
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:48:15 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:
I'm too lazy to look it up. In the Augustan legions, was the 1st Cohort double sized or just the 1st Century in the 1st Cohort?
View Quote
First cohort was sometimes double strength, but only well into the Imperial Age, sometime around the reign of Hadrian. Evidence of this is Vegetius, who wrote in the Late Roman Empire, and barrack's in Hadrian's Wall. There is no evidence that the 1st Cohort of any legions was double strength during the Republican or early Imperial periods.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:51:30 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Late Republic or Early Empire - toss-up
View Quote

Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:03:03 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:


First Cohort was always double strength

Full strength Legions consisted of 6,000 men each, with 4,800 actual combat personnel and 1,200 support personnel.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:
I'm too lazy to look it up. In the Augustan legions, was the 1st Cohort double sized or just the 1st Century in the 1st Cohort?


First Cohort was always double strength

Full strength Legions consisted of 6,000 men each, with 4,800 actual combat personnel and 1,200 support personnel.


Impressive that they had more teeth than tail, because it's not anything like that now.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:06:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 12:28:26 AM EST by steinhab]
Throughout Roman history, the Army wasn't a truly standardized entity. The was no Roman Army, like there is a US Army. Each legion during is history was unique in its abilities and effectiveness. Armies of multiple legions also differed greatly from one another during the same time periods, let alone different ones.

I'd say that the 104 BC to 40 BC time period would probably be the best. In terms of not only unit and individual training, it was during this time that gladiator instructors were brought in to drill the men in sword play and the first real mention of commanders commonly spending months drilling their legions before committing them to battle. Additionally, it was a time with lots of veterans of successful large wars, so altogether the post Marian period saw lots of highly trained, blooded, victorious legions.

Afterwards, during the Augustus Civil Wars, the level of effectiveness of the soldiers seems to have dropped, probably due to the massive numbers of legions levied in such a short amount of time (35+ legions at Philippi, combined armies numbering +500,000 at the time of Augustus' reign and victory over Antony and Cleopatra).

Standards dropped during the later Imperial periods, especially after the Antonine Plague that killed a large proportion of the Roman empire, including the army. Afterwards, during the Late Empire, the army was largely dominated by outsiders, non-Italian Romans and barbarian "mercenaries", but still saw many great successes and military innovations, including the newer emphasis on heavy cavalry and horse archers.

Altogether, I'd say Caesar's army, immediately after they defeated the Gauls at Alesia in 52 BC, was probably the best army in Rome's history. Twelve legions, seven of which had been under the standards continuously from 6-9 years. Great cavalry too, German, Gauls, and Numidians, as well as highly experienced skirmishers. A truly 1st rate army.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:13:47 AM EST
Late Republic for me.

The manipular system was fine so long as you were primarily facing hoplite or Macedonian based systems on relatively level ground. However, once that time had passed, the versatility and maneuverability of the cohorts, were tough to beat.

I also wonder how the Heraclian system would have done against more infantry heavy armies. There's lots of flexibility with guys who can ride up, shoot the shit of you, pursue on horseback, or dismount as heavy infantry.

Also stunned this wasn't a primus thread.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:22:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 12:29:56 AM EST by steinhab]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SilentType:


Impressive that they had more teeth than tail, because it's not anything like that now.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SilentType:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:
I'm too lazy to look it up. In the Augustan legions, was the 1st Cohort double sized or just the 1st Century in the 1st Cohort?


First Cohort was always double strength

Full strength Legions consisted of 6,000 men each, with 4,800 actual combat personnel and 1,200 support personnel.


Impressive that they had more teeth than tail, because it's not anything like that now.
I wouldn't take those numbers at face value. Those are hypothetical paper strength numbers, specifically from a single period. In reality, it really differed from time to time and unit by unit. For instance, Caesar's 10th Legion (Legio X Equestris), his best, a band of highly skilled killers who were always placed in the positions of honor in the battleline, were probably numbered originally at around 5,000 combatants but for most of their combat service, especially during the Civil Wars, was around 2,500 (from battle casualties, disease, desertions). When the 10th shipped out to Africa during the Civil Wars, after garrisoning Rome for a couple of years, Caesar was forced to "cull" the leadership of the 10th when he saw how lax they had become. This included a large amount of centurions that were sacked and sent home, as well as a single military tribune (one of six officers who commanded a legion) who had so many personal servants attached to him that an entire transport ship was filled with his own personal effects and people (These ships could normally hold hundreds of soldiers).

In theory, one slave/servant was allocated to every 6-10 rankers, at least following the reforms of Marius. Officers like centurions were allowed at least one servant of their own. More senior officers like tribunes had more, ranging from 3-20. Officers like Legates (lieutenants to the commander) were of Senatorial ranks and not only had small armies of servants, but also brought friends and companions with them, some Roman citizens, some of other nationalities, like Greeks, that included philosophers, poets, etc. Army commanders had even more. The great Gaius Marius, known for streamlining his army, even brought an soothsayer women with him on campaign that was carried everywhere in a litter.

This didn't include the many other non-combatants that were attached to or followed an army, which included various smiths and artisans/engineers, sutlers, female camp followers, families, children, slavers, fortune tellers and sooth sayers. Basically an entire army of its. Some commanders purposely limited the numbers of camp followers to a bear minimum.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:25:31 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kac:
Late Republic for me.

The manipular system was fine so long as you were primarily facing hoplite or Macedonian based systems on relatively level ground. However, once that time had passed, the versatility and maneuverability of the cohorts, were tough to beat.

I also wonder how the Heraclian system would have done against more infantry heavy armies. There's lots of flexibility with guys who can ride up, shoot the shit of you, pursue on horseback, or dismount as heavy infantry.

Also stunned this wasn't a primus thread.
View Quote
The cohort structure of the Roman army actually had little effect in a normal pitched battle. The benefit of the cohort was that is was a preset unit that was the perfect size for detached duty (foraging, garrison, etc). Additionally, once the whole of Italy was given the citizenship after the Social War in the 1st Cent. BC, Roman legions stopped being recruited wholly in Rome like they had previously. From that point forward, recruiters would go to region to region and recruit cohorts and then would put cohorts together and form legions.

The "manipular" tactics, of three battlelines with spaced gaps between units, was still in use well into the Late Republic and even the Imperial time period.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:31:12 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
The cohort structure of the Roman army actually had little effect in a normal pitched battle. The benefit of the cohort was that is was a preset unit that was the perfect size for detached duty (foraging, garrison, etc). Additionally, once the whole of Italy was given the citizenship after the Social War in the 1st Cent. BC, Roman legions stopped being recruited wholly in Rome like they had previously. From that point forward, recruiters would go to region to region and recruit cohorts and then would put cohorts together and form legions.

The "manipular" tactics, of three battlelines with spaced gaps between units, was still in use well into the Late Republic and even the Imperial time period.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Originally Posted By kac:
Late Republic for me.

The manipular system was fine so long as you were primarily facing hoplite or Macedonian based systems on relatively level ground. However, once that time had passed, the versatility and maneuverability of the cohorts, were tough to beat.

I also wonder how the Heraclian system would have done against more infantry heavy armies. There's lots of flexibility with guys who can ride up, shoot the shit of you, pursue on horseback, or dismount as heavy infantry.

Also stunned this wasn't a primus thread.
The cohort structure of the Roman army actually had little effect in a normal pitched battle. The benefit of the cohort was that is was a preset unit that was the perfect size for detached duty (foraging, garrison, etc). Additionally, once the whole of Italy was given the citizenship after the Social War in the 1st Cent. BC, Roman legions stopped being recruited wholly in Rome like they had previously. From that point forward, recruiters would go to region to region and recruit cohorts and then would put cohorts together and form legions.

The "manipular" tactics, of three battlelines with spaced gaps between units, was still in use well into the Late Republic and even the Imperial time period.


Something like this, I assume, since the older system of dividing troops by wealth/experience was outdated by the time of Caesar.

Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:07:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 1:08:12 AM EST by steinhab]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:

Something like this, I assume, since the older system of dividing troops by wealth/experience was outdated by the time of Caesar.

http://romanmilitary.net/images/typicalmarch.svg
View Quote

From my vast military historical knowledge () that illustration is a bit off. First, it only shows one legion (+) in Duplex Acies (Double Line) formation, but one legion present only was basically never the case (even Praetor led were two legions). Additionally it shows skirmishers in the rear when they should be either in vanguard, guarding flanks, or interspersed between units. The illustration contains Triari (3rd Liners), a reserve force, but doesn't specify which legion they came from, since the duplex acies contains the 10 cohorts of the legion. Last, the cavalry sizes for the wings were never equal, the Romans favored stacking the left with more cavalry, to counter the usual tactic of the enemy stacking their own right wing with majority of cavalry.

Check this out, it depicts the battle of Pharsalus, between Caesar (bottom) and the Republican army led by Pompey (top).



Caesar's left was anchored by a river but he was heavily outnumbered in both infantry and especially cavalry. Knowing that Pompey would try to roll up his line with a flanking cavalry attack, Caesar formed a 4th line of infantry, one cohort pulled from each legion, and had them placed perpendicular to the line on the right flank. These dudes stopped Pompey's cavalry flank attack in their tracks, chased them off, and then flanked Pompey's line, slaughtered his skirmishers and then caused Pompey's line to rout once they realized their left flank was lost.

The guy that made that illustration spent years doing some pretty intense research and then made a hell of a website with illustrations to demonstrate some really cool stuff. I don't agree with everything, but for the most part its highly accurate to the historical record.


Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:16:19 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
From my vast military historical knowledge () that illustration is a bit off. First, it only shows one legion (+) in Duplex Acies (Double Line) formation, but one legion present only was basically never the case (even Praetor led were two legions). Additionally it shows skirmishers in the rear when they should be either in vanguard, guarding flanks, or interspersed between units. The illustration contains Triari (3rd Liners), a reserve force, but doesn't specify which legion they came from, since the duplex acies contains the 10 cohorts of the legion. Last, the cavalry sizes for the wings were never equal, the Romans favored stacking the left with more cavalry, to counter the usual tactic of the enemy stacking their own right wing with majority of cavalry.

Check this out, it depicts the battle of Pharsalus, between Caesar (bottom) and the Republican army led by Pompey (top).

http://www.romanarmy.info/pharsalus6_animation/pharsalus_animation_current.gif


Caesar's left was anchored by a river but he was heavily outnumbered in both infantry and especially cavalry. Knowing that Pompey would try to roll up his line with a flanking cavalry attack, Caesar formed a 4th line of infantry, one cohort pulled from each legion, and had them placed perpendicular to the line on the right flank. These dudes stopped Pompey's cavalry flank attack in their tracks, chased them off, and then flanked Pompey's line, slaughtered his skirmishers and then caused Pompey's line to rout once they realized their left flank was lost.


The guy that made that illustration spent years doing some pretty intense research and then made a hell of a website with illustrations to demonstrate some really cool stuff. I don't agree with everything, but for the most part its highly accurate to the historical record.
http://www.romanarmy.info/



View Quote


Interesting information.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 11:45:47 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:


First Cohort was always double strength

Full strength Legions consisted of 6,000 men each, with 4,800 actual combat personnel and 1,200 support personnel.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:
I'm too lazy to look it up. In the Augustan legions, was the 1st Cohort double sized or just the 1st Century in the 1st Cohort?


First Cohort was always double strength

Full strength Legions consisted of 6,000 men each, with 4,800 actual combat personnel and 1,200 support personnel.


IIRC this was the major change implemented by Augustus. That and loricated armor instead of mail shirts. I don't think that's enough to make them radically better than the Caesarian legions, especially the Spanish raised legions. Then add in Augustus' politically reliable appointments for upper level Centurians for the final element of my vote.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:49:27 PM EST
The http://www.romanarmy.info/ is a really interesting site.
Can y'all recommend any other sources (books or web sites) to read?


Monk
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:55:02 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:


IIRC this was the major change implemented by Augustus. That and loricated armor instead of mail shirts. I don't think that's enough to make them radically better than the Caesarian legions, especially the Spanish raised legions. Then add in Augustus' politically reliable appointments for upper level Centurians for the final element of my vote.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Belisarius_33:
I'm too lazy to look it up. In the Augustan legions, was the 1st Cohort double sized or just the 1st Century in the 1st Cohort?


First Cohort was always double strength

Full strength Legions consisted of 6,000 men each, with 4,800 actual combat personnel and 1,200 support personnel.


IIRC this was the major change implemented by Augustus. That and loricated armor instead of mail shirts. I don't think that's enough to make them radically better than the Caesarian legions, especially the Spanish raised legions. Then add in Augustus' politically reliable appointments for upper level Centurians for the final element of my vote.


Segmented plate armor (Lorica Segmentata), wasn't in common use until the 100's A.D, and even then half the troops still preferred to wear the simpler and more practical chain mail armor (Lorica Hamata), as many accounts by soldiers and historical re-enactors say that the plate armor tended to chafe the soldier and it was a absolute bitch to get on properly.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:57:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?
View Quote

I love it!


Augustus made reforms that completed those initiated by Marius.

I say this because his focused on sustainment/logistics, force protection/survivability and command and control, incluing, IRRC, formalizing a small cavalry detachment for each legion.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:58:43 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Diesel:
Caesar's legions were pretty bad-ass. Beat the Egyptians, French, Spanish, half the Italians, and a few Greeks.
View Quote


Diesel, you've been typecast by your previous roles. I don't buy this performance. Stick to what you know, give the fans what they want.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:07:20 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By primuspilum:

I love it!


Augustus made reforms that completed those initiated by Marius.

I say this because his focused on sustainment/logistics, force protection/survivability and command and control, incluing, IRRC, formalizing a small cavalry detachment for each legion.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By primuspilum:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?

I love it!


Augustus made reforms that completed those initiated by Marius.

I say this because his focused on sustainment/logistics, force protection/survivability and command and control, incluing, IRRC, formalizing a small cavalry detachment for each legion.


IIRC, the cavalry detachment was mostly for scouting purposes, due to the fact that poor scouting had led the Romans into disasters like Cannae.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:09:10 PM EST
late republican or early empire.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:13:28 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Valintino:
The Caesar will take the Hoover dam and destroy the NCR...


View Quote


Not if I kill him first.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:14:06 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Late Republic or Early Empire - toss-up
View Quote

This.
I voted early empire but either way
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:15:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By The-Bald-Monk:
The http://www.romanarmy.info/ is a really interesting site.
Can y'all recommend any other sources (books or web sites) to read?


Monk
View Quote
Books:
It sounds terrible but I actually recommend reading the Dummies Guide to Roman History to start out, just so you have a good understanding about the generalities.

Afterwards, read these:
Klaus Bringmann, A History of the Roman Republic
Ross Cowan, Osprey, Roman Battle Tactics 109BC-AD313
Ross Cowan, For the Glory of Rome; A History of Warriors and Warfare
J. Lendon, Soldiers and Ghosts
Simon James, Rome and the Sword

Ancient Warfare Magazine is also great

Some assorted websites and forums:
A really good forum that discusses Roman history and reenacting:
Paper discussing Roman logistics, very good but academic
An academic paper about Roman tactics in mid Republic.
Roman citizen cavalry during the Republic

Some ancient primary sources, the Big 4:
Polybius:
Caesar's Commentaries:
Livy
Vegetius:

I have about 70 different bookmarks for various Roman websites and have dropped enough to buy a couple KAC rifles in the last few years on Roman history books. But the above is a good start.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:21:57 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:

IIRC, the cavalry detachment was mostly for scouting purposes, due to the fact that poor scouting leadership had led the Romans into disasters like Cannae.
View Quote


It was poor Roman leadership and hubris that cost them Cannae. They had already had a preview of Hannibal's army at Trebia and Trasimene.

Hannibal had already done the unimaginable when he crossed the Alps, and proved it again to the unbelieving Romans with his crossing of the marshes, which the Romans thought he would never do.

Hannibal had studied the Romans and knew perfectly well what they could and - more importantly - what they could not do (fight effectively out of formation). It was the Romans that refused to believe what Hannibal was capable of. And it cost them dearly
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:29:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:


It was poor Roman leadership and hubris that cost them Cannae. They had already had a preview of Hannibal's army at Trebia and Trasimene.

Hannibal had already done the unimaginable when he crossed the Alps, and proved it again to the unbelieving Romans with his crossing of the marshes, which the Romans thought he would never do.

Hannibal had studied the Romans and knew perfectly well what they could and - more importantly - what they could not do (fight effectively out of formation). It was the Romans that refused to believe what Hannibal was capable of. And it cost them dearly
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:

IIRC, the cavalry detachment was mostly for scouting purposes, due to the fact that poor scouting leadership had led the Romans into disasters like Cannae.


It was poor Roman leadership and hubris that cost them Cannae. They had already had a preview of Hannibal's army at Trebia and Trasimene.

Hannibal had already done the unimaginable when he crossed the Alps, and proved it again to the unbelieving Romans with his crossing of the marshes, which the Romans thought he would never do.

Hannibal had studied the Romans and knew perfectly well what they could and - more importantly - what they could not do (fight effectively out of formation). It was the Romans that refused to believe what Hannibal was capable of. And it cost them dearly


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:30:11 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:


IIRC, the cavalry detachment was mostly for scouting purposes, due to the fact that poor scouting had led the Romans into disasters like Cannae.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By primuspilum:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?

I love it!


Augustus made reforms that completed those initiated by Marius.

I say this because his focused on sustainment/logistics, force protection/survivability and command and control, incluing, IRRC, formalizing a small cavalry detachment for each legion.


IIRC, the cavalry detachment was mostly for scouting purposes, due to the fact that poor scouting had led the Romans into disasters like Cannae.
Cannae had nothing to do with poor scouting. The Roman right cavalry wing was made up of 1,600 citizen horsemen. Facing them were about 4-5,000 Iberian and Celtic horse, which quickly destroyed the Romans. On the other side, Hannibal's Numidians (3500) held off the 2,400 Italian allied cavalry long enough for the Celtic and Iberians to ride around the back and flank them. Then the Roman foot marched themselves into a sack with Celtic and Iberian infantry to the front, African spearmen on the flanks, and cavalry in the rear. Surrounded, they were completely destroyed, aside from small forces able to escape the encirclement.

I linked a paper by McCall regarding Roman cavalry, you really should read it. Roman citizen cavalry were actually top notch, not the best but definitely highly competent, they'd turned the tides in many a battle.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:33:14 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PiccoloPlayer:

Don't know that much about Roman history, but I was shocked when I discovered that this thread wasn't started by Primus.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PiccoloPlayer:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?

Don't know that much about Roman history, but I was shocked when I discovered that this thread wasn't started by Primus.


Me too, om both counts.

I could pick a Legionnaire out of a crowd of ancient soldiers, I know a little bit about them, but not how their tactics evolved over time.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:33:18 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Books:It sounds terrible but I actually recommend reading the Dummies Guide to Roman History to start out, just so you have a good understanding about the generalities.

Afterwards, read these:
Klaus Bringmann, A History of the Roman Republic
Ross Cowan, Osprey, Roman Battle Tactics 109BC-AD313
Ross Cowan, For the Glory of Rome; A History of Warriors and Warfare
J. Lendon, Soldiers and Ghosts
Simon James, Rome and the Sword

Ancient Warfare Magazine is also great

Some assorted websites and forums:
A really good forum that discusses Roman history and reenacting:
http://www.romanarmytalk.com

Paper discussing Roman logistics, very good but academic
http://www.olimpia.com/logistics.pdf
An academic paper about Roman tactics in mid Republic.
http://cdn.romanarmytalk.com/media/kunena/attachments/9056/Historia-Taylor.pdf
Roman citizen cavalry during the Republic
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=137ede2e4e364af0&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D57aebbba77%26view%3Datt%26th%3­D137ede2e4e364af0%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbSdENkRshKmumFyyOVGlQlmlFHdhg


Some ancient primary sources, the Big 4:
Polybius:
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Polybius/home.html

Caesar's Commentaries:
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Caesar/home.html

Livy
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/

Vegetius:
http://www.digitalattic.org/home/war/vegetius/


I have about 70 different bookmarks for various Roman websites and have dropped enough to buy a couple KAC rifles in the last few years on Roman history books. But the above is a good start.

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Originally Posted By The-Bald-Monk:
The http://www.romanarmy.info/ is a really interesting site.
Can y'all recommend any other sources (books or web sites) to read?


Monk
Books:It sounds terrible but I actually recommend reading the Dummies Guide to Roman History to start out, just so you have a good understanding about the generalities.

Afterwards, read these:
Klaus Bringmann, A History of the Roman Republic
Ross Cowan, Osprey, Roman Battle Tactics 109BC-AD313
Ross Cowan, For the Glory of Rome; A History of Warriors and Warfare
J. Lendon, Soldiers and Ghosts
Simon James, Rome and the Sword

Ancient Warfare Magazine is also great

Some assorted websites and forums:
A really good forum that discusses Roman history and reenacting:
http://www.romanarmytalk.com

Paper discussing Roman logistics, very good but academic
http://www.olimpia.com/logistics.pdf
An academic paper about Roman tactics in mid Republic.
http://cdn.romanarmytalk.com/media/kunena/attachments/9056/Historia-Taylor.pdf
Roman citizen cavalry during the Republic
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=137ede2e4e364af0&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D57aebbba77%26view%3Datt%26th%3­D137ede2e4e364af0%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbSdENkRshKmumFyyOVGlQlmlFHdhg


Some ancient primary sources, the Big 4:
Polybius:
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Polybius/home.html

Caesar's Commentaries:
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Caesar/home.html

Livy
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/

Vegetius:
http://www.digitalattic.org/home/war/vegetius/


I have about 70 different bookmarks for various Roman websites and have dropped enough to buy a couple KAC rifles in the last few years on Roman history books. But the above is a good start.




Thank you very much.


Monk
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:33:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 1:35:46 PM EST by Headless_Ned]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Cannae had nothing to do with poor scouting. The Roman right cavalry wing was made up of 1,600 citizen horsemen. Facing them were about 4-5,000 Iberian and Celtic horse, which quickly destroyed the Romans. On the other side, Hannibal's Numidians (3500) held off the 2,400 Italian allied cavalry long enough for the Celtic and Iberians to ride around the back and flank them. Then the Roman foot marched themselves into a sack with Celtic and Iberian infantry to the front, African spearmen on the flanks, and cavalry in the rear. Surrounded, they were completely destroyed, aside from small forces able to escape the encirclement.

I linked a paper by McCall regarding Roman cavalry, you really should read it. Roman citizen cavalry were actually top notch, not the best but definitely highly competent, they'd turned the tides in many a battle.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By primuspilum:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?

I love it!


Augustus made reforms that completed those initiated by Marius.

I say this because his focused on sustainment/logistics, force protection/survivability and command and control, incluing, IRRC, formalizing a small cavalry detachment for each legion.


IIRC, the cavalry detachment was mostly for scouting purposes, due to the fact that poor scouting had led the Romans into disasters like Cannae.
Cannae had nothing to do with poor scouting. The Roman right cavalry wing was made up of 1,600 citizen horsemen. Facing them were about 4-5,000 Iberian and Celtic horse, which quickly destroyed the Romans. On the other side, Hannibal's Numidians (3500) held off the 2,400 Italian allied cavalry long enough for the Celtic and Iberians to ride around the back and flank them. Then the Roman foot marched themselves into a sack with Celtic and Iberian infantry to the front, African spearmen on the flanks, and cavalry in the rear. Surrounded, they were completely destroyed, aside from small forces able to escape the encirclement.

I linked a paper by McCall regarding Roman cavalry, you really should read it. Roman citizen cavalry were actually top notch, not the best but definitely highly competent, they'd turned the tides in many a battle.


Your link is coming up broken for me.

ETA: Found the paper through a google search.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:39:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:

It was poor Roman leadership and hubris that cost them Cannae. They had already had a preview of Hannibal's army at Trebia and Trasimene.

Hannibal had already done the unimaginable when he crossed the Alps, and proved it again to the unbelieving Romans with his crossing of the marshes, which the Romans thought he would never do.

Hannibal had studied the Romans and knew perfectly well what they could and - more importantly - what they could not do (fight effectively out of formation). It was the Romans that refused to believe what Hannibal was capable of. And it cost them dearly


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.


That is certainly true, Fabian tactics and Scipio's generalship were successful in out-maneuvering Hannibal. But he gave the Romans one hell of a bloody nose and steep learning curve
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:40:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:


That is certainly true, Fabian tactics and Scipio's generalship were successful in out-maneuvering Hannibal. But he gave the Romans one hell of a bloody nose and steep learning curve
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:

It was poor Roman leadership and hubris that cost them Cannae. They had already had a preview of Hannibal's army at Trebia and Trasimene.

Hannibal had already done the unimaginable when he crossed the Alps, and proved it again to the unbelieving Romans with his crossing of the marshes, which the Romans thought he would never do.

Hannibal had studied the Romans and knew perfectly well what they could and - more importantly - what they could not do (fight effectively out of formation). It was the Romans that refused to believe what Hannibal was capable of. And it cost them dearly


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.


That is certainly true, Fabian tactics and Scipio's generalship were successful in out-maneuvering Hannibal. But he gave the Romans one hell of a bloody nose and steep learning curve


Hannibal is the Robert E. Lee of the ancient world. Great tactician.

Poor strategist.

The Latins were never going to defect from Rome, en masse, permanently.

Besides, Rome was a haughty and overbearing neighbor at times, to be sure.

But Hannibal was a foreigner at the head of an army of barbarians.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:10:57 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:

IIRC, the cavalry detachment was mostly for scouting purposes, due to the fact that poor scouting leadership had led the Romans into disasters like Cannae.


It was poor Roman leadership and hubris that cost them Cannae. They had already had a preview of Hannibal's army at Trebia and Trasimene.

Hannibal had already done the unimaginable when he crossed the Alps, and proved it again to the unbelieving Romans with his crossing of the marshes, which the Romans thought he would never do.

Hannibal had studied the Romans and knew perfectly well what they could and - more importantly - what they could not do (fight effectively out of formation). It was the Romans that refused to believe what Hannibal was capable of. And it cost them dearly


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.


I'd love to see someone do a proper biopic of Scipio. There's a definite Hero's Arc there just made for an epic film.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:37:55 PM EST
Late Republic they were also probably the best equipped too
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:39:54 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PiccoloPlayer:

Don't know that much about Roman history, but I was shocked when I discovered that this thread wasn't started by Primus.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PiccoloPlayer:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
I hope you don't mind me doing one of these threads, primus.

But which one of the types of Roman legions, from the early Kingdom period legions to the Late Empire period, was the most battle effective and efficient, in terms of logistics, command, equipment, tactics, and so on?

Don't know that much about Roman history, but I was shocked when I discovered that this thread wasn't started by Primus.


+1
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 8:17:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By primuspilum:


Hannibal is the Robert E. Lee of the ancient world. Great tactician.

Poor strategist.

The Latins were never going to defect from Rome, en masse, permanently.

Besides, Rome was a haughty and overbearing neighbor at times, to be sure.

But Hannibal was a foreigner at the head of an army of barbarians.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By primuspilum:
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:

It was poor Roman leadership and hubris that cost them Cannae. They had already had a preview of Hannibal's army at Trebia and Trasimene.

Hannibal had already done the unimaginable when he crossed the Alps, and proved it again to the unbelieving Romans with his crossing of the marshes, which the Romans thought he would never do.

Hannibal had studied the Romans and knew perfectly well what they could and - more importantly - what they could not do (fight effectively out of formation). It was the Romans that refused to believe what Hannibal was capable of. And it cost them dearly


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.


That is certainly true, Fabian tactics and Scipio's generalship were successful in out-maneuvering Hannibal. But he gave the Romans one hell of a bloody nose and steep learning curve


Hannibal is the Robert E. Lee of the ancient world. Great tactician.

Poor strategist.

The Latins were never going to defect from Rome, en masse, permanently.

Besides, Rome was a haughty and overbearing neighbor at times, to be sure.

But Hannibal was a foreigner at the head of an army of barbarians.
Prior to the arrival of Hannibal, Rome dominated the entirety of the Italian peninsula. In 225 BC, Cisalpine Gaul to the Po was secured after the defeat of the combined Gallic army at Telamon. A generation earlier, the Samnites were defeated, ending probably the most dire war it Rome's history. With the Samnites tamed, and southern Magna Grecia (Southern Italy) and Sicily taken, Rome the city was thought to be out of danger and its armies were flush with allies, especially the warlike Samnites.

After Hannibal invaded Italy and beat Rome up for two years and ending up destroying that massive army at Cannae, Rome basically lost 2/3 of its territory in Italy. Everything from Capua down south, aside from a few cities, capitulated to Carthage. The Samnites, the Lucians, and the Bruttians, all notoriously warlike peoples, switched allegiances completely and many, especially the Lucanians and Bruttians, who were recruited in Hannibal's slowly dwiddling army, replacing the less skilled Celts and Spaniards with more effective Italians. Additionally, the Cisalpine Gaul area was contested as well, with numerous armies being delegated to quell the many Gallic and Ligurian uprisings.

At the end of the war, when Hannibal was forced to return to Africa to protect the city directly from Scipio Africanus, the corps of veterans that he brought with him that fought at Zama were all Italians, and all allied to Rome previous to Hannibal.

Overall, Hannibal was able to break the alliances of a good portion of Rome's Italian allies. Additionally, the Latins were so hard up from casualties they basically were telling Rome halfway through the war that they could no longer supply troops because they were tapped out. Hannibal's tactics, based off the idea to break Roman alliances and force them to capitulate to a modest defeat, probably losing Sicily and other areas, was actually pretty good strategy. It just didn't account for the ridiculous Roman political tenacity. The Roman Senate was the very epitome of stubborn.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 8:38:28 PM EST
Toss up between Late Republican and Early Empire (Principate), but I always preferred the Late Republican legions a la Gallic Wars and the Civil Wars.

Talk about battle hardened. In High-Late Empire it wasn't uncommon to find a legion filled with centurions who had never been in a battle. During Caesar's conquests they were fighting every year and sometimes throughout the winter. Those guys were the definition of hard. When people think of Legionaries creating the Empire, these are the soldiers they are thinking about.



Link Posted: 1/17/2015 9:29:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Prior to the arrival of Hannibal, Rome dominated the entirety of the Italian peninsula. In 225 BC, Cisalpine Gaul to the Po was secured after the defeat of the combined Gallic army at Telamon. A generation earlier, the Samnites were defeated, ending probably the most dire war it Rome's history. With the Samnites tamed, and southern Magna Grecia (Southern Italy) and Sicily taken, Rome the city was thought to be out of danger and its armies were flush with allies, especially the warlike Samnites.

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Originally Posted By primuspilum:
Originally Posted By Oiparhon:
Originally Posted By Headless_Ned:


One Roman knew what to do - Fabius. He knew that they had to bleed Hannibal slowly, and constantly advised waging a guerrilla campaign against him, which the Senators found barbaric.

Scipio Africanus may have been the one to ultimately beat Hannibal, but Fabius was the one who set the stage.


That is certainly true, Fabian tactics and Scipio's generalship were successful in out-maneuvering Hannibal. But he gave the Romans one hell of a bloody nose and steep learning curve


Hannibal is the Robert E. Lee of the ancient world. Great tactician.

Poor strategist.

The Latins were never going to defect from Rome, en masse, permanently.

Besides, Rome was a haughty and overbearing neighbor at times, to be sure.

But Hannibal was a foreigner at the head of an army of barbarians.
Prior to the arrival of Hannibal, Rome dominated the entirety of the Italian peninsula. In 225 BC, Cisalpine Gaul to the Po was secured after the defeat of the combined Gallic army at Telamon. A generation earlier, the Samnites were defeated, ending probably the most dire war it Rome's history. With the Samnites tamed, and southern Magna Grecia (Southern Italy) and Sicily taken, Rome the city was thought to be out of danger and its armies were flush with allies, especially the warlike Samnites.

After Hannibal invaded Italy and beat Rome up for two years and ending up destroying that massive army at Cannae, Rome basically lost 2/3 of its territory in Italy. Everything from Capua down south, aside from a few cities, capitulated to Carthage. The Samnites, the Lucians, and the Bruttians, all notoriously warlike peoples, switched allegiances completely and many, especially the Lucanians and Bruttians, who were recruited in Hannibal's slowly dwiddling army, replacing the less skilled Celts and Spaniards with more effective Italians. Additionally, the Cisalpine Gaul area was contested as well, with numerous armies being delegated to quell the many Gallic and Ligurian uprisings.

At the end of the war, when Hannibal was forced to return to Africa to protect the city directly from Scipio Africanus, the corps of veterans that he brought with him that fought at Zama were all Italians, and all allied to Rome previous to Hannibal.

Overall, Hannibal was able to break the alliances of a good portion of Rome's Italian allies. Additionally, the Latins were so hard up from casualties they basically were telling Rome halfway through the war that they could no longer supply troops because they were tapped out. Hannibal's tactics, based off the idea to break Roman alliances and force them to capitulate to a modest defeat, probably losing Sicily and other areas, was actually pretty good strategy. It just didn't account for the ridiculous Roman political tenacity. The Roman Senate was the very epitome of stubborn.


I'm not arguing with your facts, just your conclusions. He turned some, but it was the predominant loyalty of Rome's allies that prevented Hannibal's strategic aims from being achieved on the Italian peninsula.

It's wiki, but you get the idea.




Hannibal defeated the Roman legions in several major engagements, including the Battle of the Trebia, the Battle of Lake Trasimene and most famously at the Battle of Cannae, but his long-term strategy failed. Lacking siege engines and sufficient manpower to take the city of Rome itself, he had planned to turn the Italian allies against Rome and starve the city out through a siege. However, with the exception of a few of the southern city-states, the majority of the Roman allies remained loyal and continued to fight alongside Rome, despite Hannibal's near-invincible army devastating the Italian countryside.




Link Posted: 1/17/2015 9:33:14 PM EST
Caesar's 10th Legion.
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 1:27:08 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By primuspilum:
After Hannibal invaded Italy and beat Rome up for two years and ending up destroying that massive army at Cannae, Rome basically lost 2/3 of its territory in Italy. Everything from Capua down south, aside from a few cities, capitulated to Carthage. The Samnites, the Lucians, and the Bruttians, all notoriously warlike peoples, switched allegiances completely and many, especially the Lucanians and Bruttians, who were recruited in Hannibal's slowly dwiddling army, replacing the less skilled Celts and Spaniards with more effective Italians. Additionally, the Cisalpine Gaul area was contested as well, with numerous armies being delegated to quell the many Gallic and Ligurian uprisings.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By primuspilum:
Originally Posted By steinhab:
Originally Posted By primuspilum:

Hannibal is the Robert E. Lee of the ancient world. Great tactician.

Poor strategist.

The Latins were never going to defect from Rome, en masse, permanently.

Besides, Rome was a haughty and overbearing neighbor at times, to be sure.

But Hannibal was a foreigner at the head of an army of barbarians.
Prior to the arrival of Hannibal, Rome dominated the entirety of the Italian peninsula. In 225 BC, Cisalpine Gaul to the Po was secured after the defeat of the combined Gallic army at Telamon. A generation earlier, the Samnites were defeated, ending probably the most dire war it Rome's history. With the Samnites tamed, and southern Magna Grecia (Southern Italy) and Sicily taken, Rome the city was thought to be out of danger and its armies were flush with allies, especially the warlike Samnites.

After Hannibal invaded Italy and beat Rome up for two years and ending up destroying that massive army at Cannae, Rome basically lost 2/3 of its territory in Italy. Everything from Capua down south, aside from a few cities, capitulated to Carthage. The Samnites, the Lucians, and the Bruttians, all notoriously warlike peoples, switched allegiances completely and many, especially the Lucanians and Bruttians, who were recruited in Hannibal's slowly dwiddling army, replacing the less skilled Celts and Spaniards with more effective Italians. Additionally, the Cisalpine Gaul area was contested as well, with numerous armies being delegated to quell the many Gallic and Ligurian uprisings.

At the end of the war, when Hannibal was forced to return to Africa to protect the city directly from Scipio Africanus, the corps of veterans that he brought with him that fought at Zama were all Italians, and all allied to Rome previous to Hannibal.

Overall, Hannibal was able to break the alliances of a good portion of Rome's Italian allies. Additionally, the Latins were so hard up from casualties they basically were telling Rome halfway through the war that they could no longer supply troops because they were tapped out. Hannibal's tactics, based off the idea to break Roman alliances and force them to capitulate to a modest defeat, probably losing Sicily and other areas, was actually pretty good strategy. It just didn't account for the ridiculous Roman political tenacity. The Roman Senate was the very epitome of stubborn.


I'm not arguing with your facts, just your conclusions. He turned some, but it was the predominant loyalty of Rome's allies that prevented Hannibal's strategic aims from being achieved on the Italian peninsula.

It's wiki, but you get the idea.




Hannibal defeated the Roman legions in several major engagements, including the Battle of the Trebia, the Battle of Lake Trasimene and most famously at the Battle of Cannae, but his long-term strategy failed. Lacking siege engines and sufficient manpower to take the city of Rome itself, he had planned to turn the Italian allies against Rome and starve the city out through a siege. However, with the exception of a few of the southern city-states, the majority of the Roman allies remained loyal and continued to fight alongside Rome, despite Hannibal's near-invincible army devastating the Italian countryside.

Obviously Hannibal failed to break the Roman alliance system fully, specifically with the Latins, but that is not indicative of a failing strategy. War is a gamble and there was no sure way of knowing beforehand that the Latins would still remain loyal after Roman and her allies had suffered almost a quarter of a million dead soldiers and lots of Latin lands ravaged and plundered. In hindsight we can say his strategy failed, but it doesn't mean it wasn't a viable one. Just that luck wasn't on his side. Still, he came a cunt hair from victory.

Furthermore, taking the city of Rome itself by siege or investment was never a real option for Hannibal and was clearly never a possibility. Rome in the late 3rd Century BC had a city wall that was over 30 feet high, 20 feet wide, that stretched for almost 8 miles around. It was surrounded by other Roman towns, as well as allied cities. Taking Rome the city meant first investing and taking every major Latin and Roman city in the area first as well as crushing any relief army raised up in the vast areas controlled by Rome. This was clearly outside the possibility of Hannibal, who only controlled a relatively small army and was commander in chief of only a total of maybe six other field armies. Per Livy and Polybius, Hannibal's goal wasn't to conquer Rome the city and subjugate Italia, it was to defeat Rome militarily in an effort to halt is expansion, break its political alliance network, retake foreign assets like Sardinia, Sicily, Gaul, and Magna Grecia, and turn Rome from a major Mediterranean power back into a small regional power. Basically, similar to the conclusion of the 2nd Punic War as what happened to Carthage. The city wasn't taken, instead Rome just broke them as a major power. That was Hannibal's ultimate goal. Unfortunately the Romans were just too damn stubborn to cede to a political defeat. The few times they'd done so in the past had quickly been disregarded, such as against the Samnites and Pyrrhus.

After Trebia, Lake Trasimene and especially Cannae, Hannibal had every expectation that the Romans would sign a treaty to end the war, ceding major rights and privileges to the Carthaginians and the Barcids. Any other nation defeated that severely in such a short time period would have realistically capitulated at some level. Rome was unique in that its Senate refused to do so, which is why it became a superpower. It would lose battle after battle after battle but Rome was the Hydra, cut one head off, two new grew in its place.
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 1:31:41 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Late Republic or Early Empire - toss-up
View Quote

I'd lean towards early Empire. The army was at the height of its professionalism and presumably learned lessons from the earlier Republic period.
Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 2
Top Top