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Why are Romans generally seen as superior to their opponents in every way?

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Intranetusa View Post
    Like many great armies of its day, the Roman military was an ever evolving army that changed according to the type of enemy they faced.

    The core of all Roman armies was recognisably the same in 400 AD as it was in 400 BC. A swordsman equipped with a large shield, helmet, usually a mail shirt and throwing a heavy javelin before contact.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Gooner View Post
      The core of all Roman armies was recognisably the same in 400 AD as it was in 400 BC. A swordsman equipped with a large shield, helmet, usually a mail shirt and throwing a heavy javelin before contact.
      To a certain extent yes, but there were some changes. The short gladius was replaced by the longer spatha, around the time of Septimus Severus. The pilum was replaced by smaller darts as well as a somewhat longer thrusting spear.

      Major differences seem to have been in organization. Legions were smaller, about 1000 men and they were generally better suited for small skirmishes rather than pitched battles.

      Most of the operations in Western europe during the 4th century were small scale, i.e chasing after small raiding parties of barbarians. Large battles against barbarians were rare. The Battle of Strassburg was the exception rather than the rule.

      There were actually more large battles between rival Roman Armies than there were against barbarians. Usurpation and civil war was fairly common in the 4th century, but not as common as it had been in the 3rd century.

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      • #93
        Your right in a way that hollywood and the media have portrayed the Roman legion as vastly superior to there enemies and no doubt it is an overestimate of the legions prowess to think that they were untouchable as they did lose battles.

        BUT the reason they have gained this stereotype is like all stereostypes there is some truth to it.

        Firstly look at the Roman Republics military record (not the Empire) they fought in many campaigns ranging from the punic wars against carthage to wars with Greece, Spain, Seleucids/Syrians,Turks,Illyrians, North Africans, Germans and through all these wars they lost some battles but they never lost a war.

        So even though we can say Germans had size and strength which they did but they were not match for Roman tactics and equipment and Africans may have had speed and hieght but they were outclassed in training, discipline and lacked heavy infantary and the Greeks may have had good command structure and good equipment but the Romans had a better infantary tactic (maniple is better than phalanx sorry Spartan Fans) and more flexible formations. So there is no doubt that some of the Roman enemies had advantages over them but when it came down to it the Romans were either to well trained,equiped,discplined,advanced,determined,agg resive or just to strong for all the peoples they conquered which is why in the end they conquered all these people.

        Also i dont know where you got all your info but Roman tactics i.e formations and sieging were the best on display in the world forget Europe and there equipment overall was by far the best no army not even the elite units from carthage,greece etc fielded men as heavly armoured and as well disciplined as the Roman Legion.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Twiggy D View Post
          Your right in a way that hollywood and the media have portrayed the Roman legion as vastly superior to there enemies and no doubt it is an overestimate of the legions prowess to think that they were untouchable as they did lose battles.

          BUT the reason they have gained this stereotype is like all stereostypes there is some truth to it.

          Firstly look at the Roman Republics military record (not the Empire) they fought in many campaigns ranging from the punic wars against carthage to wars with Greece, Spain, Seleucids/Syrians,Turks,Illyrians, North Africans, Germans and through all these wars they lost some battles but they never lost a war.

          So even though we can say Germans had size and strength which they did but they were not match for Roman tactics and equipment and Africans may have had speed and hieght but they were outclassed in training, discipline and lacked heavy infantary and the Greeks may have had good command structure and good equipment but the Romans had a better infantary tactic (maniple is better than phalanx sorry Spartan Fans) and more flexible formations. So there is no doubt that some of the Roman enemies had advantages over them but when it came down to it the Romans were either to well trained,equiped,discplined,advanced,determined,agg resive or just to strong for all the peoples they conquered which is why in the end they conquered all these people.

          Also i dont know where you got all your info but Roman tactics i.e formations and sieging were the best on display in the world forget Europe and there equipment overall was by far the best no army not even the elite units from carthage,greece etc fielded men as heavly armoured and as well disciplined as the Roman Legion.
          I recommend you read about the Sassinids in reference to Roman equipment and siege weaponry not being the best in the world. Seriously the Sassinids were so advanced as a society and as soldiers that even the Romans considered the Sassinid empire as their equals in military and cultural power and sophistication!

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Jakvortex View Post
            The reason the romans were seen to be invincible and flawless in fighting abilities is because of several thing:




            Much of what you wrote ARE MYTHS OR OVERSIMPLFICATIONS!Take Number
            3:
            Originally posted by Jakvortex View Post
            3.While goths were barbaric and powerful/bloodthirsty the romans were well 3disciplined and were able to maintain formation against even the strongest charges due to heavy tower shields and the quickness and swiftness of their gladius's:


            The Barbarian Hordes were well disciplined troops!Just read on how the Gauls at Alesia had the discipline not to eat their dead despite starving for months because it would be disgraceful to. Or how the Sassinids were disciplined enough not to fall into Roman traps and were very cautious.

            And nonRoman troops indeed have formations using shields and the like.Take the Turtoise Formation. The Romans did not invent and actually stole it from the Gauls who defeated them at Allia!

            During the battle the Gauls used used heavier long swords and full body shields interlocked their shields for greater defense that protected them from Roman Javelin and from the spear attacks of Roman infantry!

            After the battle the Romans stole the concept and labeled it "Turtoise Formations" gaining all the credit for creating it when in fact the Gauls created it!

            This is only one thing. I could dispells all the myths you stated in several other long seperate posts!

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            • #96
              Many Gauls did have long shields, but many lacked body armor and/or helmets! The Heavy Pilum often went right through the Celtic Shield and the guy behind it. The Romans and Gauls both used Slings and even if you wore a heavy helmet a direct hit would literally and figuratively "ring your bell". The Celtic Long Sword some had was made for only slashing attacks. It did not have a point! Slashing away with a long sword can lead one open to attack when your sword is at the extreme of its swing. A Gladius stab from behind the shield does not leave you open like that.

              Pruitt
              Last edited by Pruitt; 29 Nov 10, 11:34.
              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

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              • #97
                Exactly! the gladius was also a quick blade which could slice and stab without the enemy even knowing! until their dead of course. Long swords did have a good purpose though on one on one. Romans prefered large shields and quick blades but a strong arm and a long sword could bash down a large shield and fatigue the roman beyond disbelief.

                But during that time that the person is swinging the man with the gladius could quickly slice and its over no competition. Although the gauls had less armour to for protection they had thicker clothing to protect against a weak slice and thin enough to a force charge and smash through a roman phalanx.
                I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones-Einstein

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Mr Mac View Post
                  That's not quite true. The Roman empires who were captured were so because they were invading Parthia/Persia, not vice versa. In other words, Persia was an outlying threat but not a fellow superpower. Rome alone was unmatched. Any defeats she suffered between the 1st and fourth centuries were absorbed, and some would argue very easily. Only when the system of principate that Augustus had instituted began to really break down was there a serious decay. And even then, the empire was able limp on for another century.
                  To begin with THE ROMANS NEVER CONQUERED EUROPE!At least if you sayin Rome as a city state. Anyone who reads Roman history knows that most of the time the Legions were not Romans at all but people from other Latin states(whom the people living in Rome did not consider Roman until the time they were able to become citizens).

                  As for Persia, read the words of the Romans generals who fought the Sassinid and study the Sassinid empire. Anyone who knows about the Roman-Sassinid Wars knows that the Sassinids were such a sophisticated fighting force who were incredibly fanatical about expelling the Romans from their home land.The Romans were never defeating the SASSINIDS!Anyone who reads into the war knows that the Romans were stalemated in the Middle East.

                  Every time the Romans captured a Sassinid city or fortress, the Sassinids would immediately counterattack and retake the city and vice versa. The Sasssinids often led the Romans into desert traps were Romans units would get wiped out while Roman troops desperately attempted to lure Sassinid forces into their own traps. It was a stalemate where the Romans could not win!

                  Such were the skills and technology of the Sassinids that the Roman generals who fought them described the Sassinids as the one Babarian group that were equal to the military powers and sophistication of the Roman Empire!Such was it that Romans considered the Sassinids as the only Barbarians WHO WHERE CIVILIZED!

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                  • #99
                    Your post is wrong in so many ways that I do not even know where to start. The German victory at Teutoburg Forest accomplished what? Aside from making the Romans decide that Germania was not worth the trouble, virtually nothing.
                    The victory was a successful and brilliant defensive victory that decimated (pun intended) three legions.

                    The Persians defeated multiple Roman Emperors! I don't know what version of history you read but it seems to me that, at the very least, the Romans gave as good as they received and perhaps better.
                    The Persians defeated emperors Gordian III, Phillip and Valerian, all under a single Persian ruler Shapur I; which makes me rather skeptical of the idea that the Roman Empire was the "greatest military of the ancient world."

                    The most overrated and horrible civilization?
                    That isn't what I posted; I wrote that Rome was "perhaps one of the most overrated and horrible civilizations" I don't deny Roman achievements (Rome certainly was culturally superior to the Ottoman Empire) yet Rome has been overrated, the popular stereotype of Rome ignores the negative side of Roman history. And yes Rome had it's share of horrors:

                    "Beasts were specially trained to copulate with women: if the girls or women were unwilling then the animal would attempt rape. A surprising range of creatures was used for such purposes - bulls, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, wild boar, zebras, stallions, jackasses, huge dogs, apes, etc. The beasts were taught how to copulate with a human being [whether male or female] either via the vagina or via the anus." Representations of scenes from the sexual lives of the gods, such as PasiphaŽ and the Bull, were highly popular, often causing extreme suffering, injury or death. On occasion, the more ferocious beasts were permitted to kill and (if desired) devour their victims afterwards.[8] Chimpanzees and mandrills, both in fact ferocious and very powerful species of primate: "made drunk by wine and inflamed by the odor of females of their kind, were loosed upon girls whose genitals had been drenched with the urine of female chimps and mandrills." The victims were often virgins and not infrequently young children. One spectacle is said to have included "a hundred tiny blonde girls being raped simultaneously by a horde of baboons."
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histori...ia#Ancient.2C_
                    Greek_and_Roman

                    Just what alphabet do you think that we are using just for starters?
                    Once again, I don't deny Roman achievements.

                    Did you know that the word justice is the derivation of the name of a Roman emperor?
                    That's hardly an achievement and the Roman version of justice was anything but just.

                    Does the Roman arch ring a bell?
                    Roman architecture is Greek in origin.

                    The names of our months; July for the Julian emperors, August for Augustus just to name two.
                    Hardly a significant contribution.
                    Last edited by The Highwayman; 30 Nov 10, 21:17.
                    "They're inviting us to defeat them! We must oblige them!"
                    -Baron Munchausen

                    "Ah, 'tis midsummer madness, the music is my temples, the hot blood of youth! Come, Kapellmeister, let the violas throb. My regiment leaves at dawn!"
                    -Groucho Marx

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                    • Ok it seems every one is divided on this one.

                      so i want to ask wiether or not you think Rome deserves the stereotype of power and superiority, was there ever a time in all of Rome's 600+ years of rule that they were the most advanced and powerful nation/empire in the world?

                      I believe that over 600+years of rule they must have been at some point and in my opinion they were the most powerful empire in the world for the majority of the reign, but iam sure many will disagree, love to hear your opinions??

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Twiggy D View Post
                        Ok it seems every one is divided on this one.

                        so i want to ask wiether or not you think Rome deserves the stereotype of power and superiority, was there ever a time in all of Rome's 600+ years of rule that they were the most advanced and powerful nation/empire in the world?

                        I believe that over 600+years of rule they must have been at some point and in my opinion they were the most powerful empire in the world for the majority of the reign, but iam sure many will disagree, love to hear your opinions??
                        Perhaps the most powerful in their world during that period.
                        Prayers.


                        BoRG


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                        • Twiggy,

                          It is not whether or not Rome was the best or what. It had a direct influence on about 90% of the people that post here! Does a Chinese Historian really care that there was a Rome? Not Likely. The same thing happens in other countries of East Asia.

                          Europe eventually worked itself up to a position where the countries there pretty much controlled the world. Rome was a large part of that growth.

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                          Comment


                          • This whole discussion seems tainted by differences in people's opinions of what the terms "most powerful" and "most advanced" mean, as well as a good deal of judging ancient societies based on modern ethical values, for instance calling the Romans "one of the most horrible civilizations," etc. Perhaps that is true based on today's moral values, but in the ancient world Rome was hardly more or less "horrible" than any other world power.
                            Satis elouquentiae sapientiae parum

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                            • as well as a good deal of judging ancient societies based on modern ethical values, for instance calling the Romans "one of the most horrible civilizations," etc.
                              I didn't judge them by modern standards; the public bestiality shows would have horrified the average Celt.

                              Perhaps that is true based on today's moral values, but in the ancient world Rome was hardly more or less "horrible" than any other world power.
                              The Roman forms of torture and "entertainment" (watching children raped and killed by animals for examples) were unparalleled by other ancient cultures (the Parthian empire, which was more tolerant than Roman society).
                              "They're inviting us to defeat them! We must oblige them!"
                              -Baron Munchausen

                              "Ah, 'tis midsummer madness, the music is my temples, the hot blood of youth! Come, Kapellmeister, let the violas throb. My regiment leaves at dawn!"
                              -Groucho Marx

                              Comment


                              • "They're inviting us to defeat them! We must oblige them!"
                                -Baron Munchausen

                                "Ah, 'tis midsummer madness, the music is my temples, the hot blood of youth! Come, Kapellmeister, let the violas throb. My regiment leaves at dawn!"
                                -Groucho Marx

                                Comment

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