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  • Disasters of the Roman Legions

    Other than Cannae and the Campaigns of Hannibal, what other major disasters took place and how did it affect Rome?
    http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

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  • #2
    Roman Military Disasters

    Danny...There are more Roman Military Disasters then we have time to list. Carrhae, Teutobergerwald, Adrianople are just some of the really big ones. But there are countless others. But the key wasn't the fact that the Romans were defeated its the fact that they learned from their mistakes and for most of a thousand years came back to win. Their doggedness is legendary as was their discipline. Perhaps their most disasterous battles was when they were killing each other during the periodic civil wars. Yet few civiliations have made a greater footprint in the application of military art then Rome.

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    • #3
      Re: Disasters of the Roman Legions

      Originally posted by dannybou
      Other than Cannae and the Campaigns of Hannibal, what other major disasters took place and how did it affect Rome?
      The one that stands out in my mind is Teutoburgerwald ("the battle that saved English"), though between the Eastern and Western Empires there were an abundance of disasters, especially as Rome decayed. If memory serves Rome was sacked on at least two occcasions.
      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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      • #4
        Re: Re: Disasters of the Roman Legions

        Originally posted by hogdriver
        The one that stands out in my mind is Teutoburgerwald ("the battle that saved English"), though between the Eastern and Western Empires there were an abundance of disasters, especially as Rome decayed. If memory serves Rome was sacked on at least two occcasions.
        I agree. The loss of Varus's legions was a catastrophe as were the various sackings of Rome. I also see Chalons as a catastrophe. Although Aetius won, he had to use the Visigoths, which gained power for them, and was executed later because of his rise to prominence as a result of his victory against Attila.
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        • #5
          Also, you can include the battles in the East (Adrianople, the Fall of Byzantium, etc.). Byzantium's fall in 1453 was certainly one of the high points of Muslim campaigning.
          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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          • #6
            romes legions

            I agree with Churchill, it was Romes ability to recover and adapt from these disasters that is the impressive thing. Before the
            first Punic war Rome had no navy to speak of, but when they realized it was crucial to victory , they designed one that specialized in boarding actions to take advantage of the well trained infantry they produced.

            In speaking of doggedness, during a slave revolt on Sicily, which preceeded Sparticus, the slaves withdrew to Syracuse. When the Roman general who besieged them demanded their surrender they refused, saying they had enough food for five years, to which the general repiled, "We'll still be here."

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            • #7
              Carrhae, the Romans never were able to deal with mounted archers............
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by hogdriver
                The one that stands out in my mind is Teutoburgerwald ("the battle that saved English"), though between the Eastern and Western Empires there were an abundance of disasters, especially as Rome decayed. If memory serves Rome was sacked on at least two occcasions.
                Euh? Saved the english?
                Please do explain?????
                Dearest of all my Friends(Vlad in max payne 2)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hogdriver
                  Also, you can include the battles in the East (Adrianople, the Fall of Byzantium, etc.). Byzantium's fall in 1453 was certainly one of the high points of Muslim campaigning.

                  Technically the roman legion was not involved in the fall of Byzantium. By this time the legion did not exist anymore.
                  Dearest of all my Friends(Vlad in max payne 2)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Janos
                    I agree. The loss of Varus's legions was a catastrophe as were the various sackings of Rome. I also see Chalons as a catastrophe. Although Aetius won, he had to use the Visigoths, which gained power for them, and was executed later because of his rise to prominence as a result of his victory against Attila.
                    Aetius was killed on behest of the impotent emperor Honorius because he was conceived as a threath by the court parties. Aetius was a very skill-full operator playing of different parties amongst each other for a decade or more. His skill is the more amazing when on considers the weakness of the western empire. The favored allies of Aetius were.... Huns.
                    By this time the legions were non-existent as a force in the field and the roman army consisted of other kinds of troops. Mostly cavalry and light troops.
                    The legions of old had declined in a sort of unreliable border troops.
                    That they therefore were not present at Chalons was not exceptional, they had not been present for quite some time at battles.
                    Last edited by owen36; 27 Mar 05, 14:32.
                    Dearest of all my Friends(Vlad in max payne 2)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by owen36
                      Euh? Saved the english?
                      Please do explain?????
                      Not the English, but the English language. Many historians and lexicographers theorize that, had the Romans prevailed here, they may have conquered all of the Germanic lands, spreading Latin and presumably preventing the development of English, which is a Germanic language. Imagine speaking "the King's Latin" rather than English. How would slang & colloquialism be affected by this lingusitic change?
                      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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                      • #12
                        wow I have never even thought about that, thats crazy.
                        All war is based on deception. - Sun Tzu

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                        • #13
                          I was in an argument with one of my friends who is in the Latin class. The teacher there delves heavily into Roman history as well as the language. According to him they beat the Germans all the time. Now I know they did but they did meet defeat as well in Germanica right?
                          Naturally Teutoberg Forrest would be a very big exception to the rule which I brought up. Props to Arminius.
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                          • #14
                            I have to dig out my old SPI game 'Legionairre' -or was it Legion - well whatever it was - I recall this one battle vs (iirc the Parthians) where the Romans loast - and the Roman leader was executed by being made to drink molten silver.

                            I think the guy was Crassus - but not positive on that -will check sometime.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by trauth116
                              I have to dig out my old SPI game 'Legionairre' -or was it Legion - well whatever it was - I recall this one battle vs (iirc the Parthians) where the Romans loast - and the Roman leader was executed by being made to drink molten silver.

                              I think the guy was Crassus - but not positive on that -will check sometime.
                              That's the battle of Carrhae I mentioned...............those darn mounted archers.
                              Lance W.

                              Peace through superior firepower.

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