Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Romans = great warriors???

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 3456>
Author
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Romans = great warriors???
    Posted: 29-Jun-2007 at 16:46
Originally posted by Mumbloid

perhaps but they also got victories...yet it has nothing to do with the inf. who performed wery well during the famous battle.


The Roman infantry at Adrianople were run down and slaughtered by cavalry; that's not "performing very well". If they performed well, they would have won; they outnumbered their opponents two to one, and did not lack cavalry forces themselves.

the shape of roman army changed a lot, and not only because of the influence of barbarians. Let me say, I dare to postulate that the barbarians improved thanks to the contact with rome.


Absolutely. But the reverse is also true, and had been from Rome's inception. Where do you think the gladius or the bossed shield or chainmail or the Roman helmet came from?

And yet no sign about the obsolecense of the roman inf is seen.


Yes, there was. Western Roman armies became anachronisms, as demonstrated by the Eastern empire in the Battle of Save (not to mention numerous barbarian groups).

But that does not mean the inf was obsolete (how can they be obsolete?)


Because they didn't adapt to new fighting styles, the appearance of new threats, and a changing battlefield. Infantry itself wasn't obsolete, just the Roman infantry doctrine (in the Western Empire, anyway).

Edited by edgewaters - 29-Jun-2007 at 17:03
Back to Top
elenos View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 13-Jun-2007
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1457
  Quote elenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2007 at 19:22

Your article is nicely expressed, Calvo. I think you will find Rome suffered more than several defeats. That is not to say their army was inferior, they just lacked manpower, suitable recruits and good leaders. As you say the morale of the ruling junta was fading away because robber barons came to power in the countryside and bands of Germanic tribes who had slipped through the decaying borders roamed about looking for la dolce vita, the good life. They didnt want to fight anybody they just wanted to settle down with the wealth and security that Rome had always promised but never delivered.

It was not so much the barbarians that dealt the death blow but organized Christian warriors who could read and write and ready to take over the Roman administration. They admired Rome but could no longer stand the corruption. They won but were largely untrained in the affairs of Empire.



Edited by elenos - 29-Jun-2007 at 19:23
elenos
Back to Top
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jun-2007 at 22:20
Originally posted by calvo

You cannot come to the conclusion that Rome's military might was inferior to the barbarians just because they suffered several defeats in the 5th century.



You're talking in constants and absolutes. Rome was far from inferior on the field in, say, the 2nd century. But that doesn't mean the situation continued.

The Roman army, as well as the civilization as a whole, had been in decline since the 3rd century ... As for the army, ever since the crisis of the 3rd century, the moral had greatly declined, as well as the quality of the individual soldier ... For more than 50 years the empire was ransacked by civil wars and military coups


These are all fine (although only partial) explanations for Rome's military ineffectiveness toward the end, but they do not change the fact of military ineffectiveness after a certain point.

To illustrate the point: Celtic armies, after a period of irresistable expansion in the early 3rd or late 4th century BC, became relatively ineffective overall - a few victories here and there notwithstanding. We don't excuse them because of the changes in their society which caused this ineffectiveness, we don't deny this ineffectiveness; it just was. They were not just unequal to the task of battling Romans, they were no longer an expansionist force on any front, and were losing ground to everyone they encountered, including Germanic tribes and the Carthaginians. Roman writers confirm Celtic society had become soft by this point. The Celts became decadent, failed to adapt to new challenges and were overcome; simple as that.

The same applies to Rome in the 5th century AD. There was no potential for some great leader to come to the fore and rid Rome of all the corruption and allow Rome to continue along, in the same form and using the same sorts of organization and institutions as it had during its heyday. They were non-adaptive to the challenges that Rome faced. In the end, Rome was abandoned by European populations as a system and as an ideal because it didn't provide solutions, especially not military solutions (feudal institutions such as serfdom provided better protection). The reforms required to make Rome adapt, would have made it something other than Rome; centralization itself was non-adaptive, and even now, a millenia and a half later, is only partially desirable for Europe, in a limited fashion.

The Romans certainly were capable of adapting to the times. Initially they fought in a phalanx like the Greeks, then in the more flexible maniples, and later on in cohorts. After contact with Persians, Sarmatians, and Huns, the calvary replaced the infantry as the main force.
Prior to contact with the Cathaginians they didn't even have a navy, but they managed to build one pretty quickly....




Absolutely, they were by a wide margin much more adaptive than their neighbours through most of their history. But, not all. They failed to adapt in the latter period. On the field, socially, culturally, economically - they were presented with challenges and did not respond effectively, while the barbarians did. Feudalism worked. That's why the Eastern empire, which adapted much better than the Western empire, adopted it.

Edited by edgewaters - 30-Jun-2007 at 22:45
Back to Top
calvo View Drop Down
General
General


Joined: 20-May-2007
Location: Spain
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 846
  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jul-2007 at 10:35

Since the crisis of the 3rd century, the Roman empire evolved towards a feudal state by all means. The classic social system based on citizenship, law, and paterfamilies had all but phased out and the powerful landlords that dominated the countryside were the predecessors to the medieval feuds. All the barbarians did was deliver a final blow to the "nominal" central authority.

As with the army, I reckon that back in the days of hand-to-hand fighting, the quality of the individual soldier mattered much more than in the days of gunpowder.
I read an article comparing the structure of the army to a crossbow: the individual soldiers worked together like the mechanical components, while the commander in charge was like the archer. The archer could only prove himself effective if the mechanical components were skrewed together correctly giving the maximum potential.
 
The late Roman army was recruited largely hereditary enlistment and rounded up by conscription and the barbarian substitutes. As expected, the quality and stamina could not even be compared to the legions at the time of Augustus or Trajan.
The legions the Julius Cesar took the Gaul marched 50km a day weighed down by a pack of 30kg, after which they built their own camp and slept in it.  During Julian's campaign in Persia in 357, the soliders took apparently all day just to build a camp!
 
An interesting article that I read stated that by the 4th century much of the Roman army consisted of Germans and Sarmatians; and their tactics had somewhat adapted to these peoples. At the same time, desertion was also rampant and many Roman deserters found sanctuary within the Germanic tribes, thereby "romanizing" the Germanic way of war.
When Alaric sacked Rome, the "Roman" army and "German" army were in fact hardly distinguishable at all in tactics, weapons, and all outward appearance.
Back to Top
Praetorian View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian
Avatar

Joined: 28-Nov-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 190
  Quote Praetorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jul-2007 at 19:35
Originally posted by retaxis

I do not know much about Roman history in comparison with Asian history but i am thinking what countries did the Roman's conquer? Who did they have to fight against to be named such great warriors. I know back two thousand years ago there wasn't many Euro nations such as France/Germany/Poland/Britan etc etc. So honestly was it just a few Barbarians that the Romans had to conquer?

Compared with the East the Chinese fought technologically equal or advanced civilizations such as the Korean's and the Vietnamese and the Japanese.

P.S Hitler isn't the biggest murderer, i believe Chairman Mao is. Deaths over his rule is estimated between 50-100mil whereas Hitler is ~20 from what i heard. I can most definitely be wrong.
 

Japanese technologically equal?  I think thats wrong; China was way more advanced then the Japanese during the Roman/Han times.  Now I can see what your saying in later times, Germany became advanced later on

 

Well Germany was around, and some others as well

 

 No it was not just a few Barbarians that the Romans had to conquer, there were many others as well, and just the Barbarians alone were overwhelming to deal with for any Empire! And not all Barbarians were savage homeless people  

 

As for technologically equal or advanced civilizations, the Romans too had to fight agents. 

 

Name a few:

 

The Etruscans

 

The Carthage Empire 

 

The Greek Empire

 

Macedonians

 

Egypt

 

And many, many others!

 

These civilizations were at one time more advanced then the Romans, and even during Roman conquest they were as or more advanced!   Like they say Rome was not built in one day.  The Roman became the most advanced civilization in Earth OVER TIME not over one day!   And even to this day Roman accomplishments are still marveled and effected the way we live! 

 



Edited by Praetorian - 01-Jul-2007 at 19:37
Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris
--If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.

"game over!! man game over!!"
Back to Top
elenos View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 13-Jun-2007
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1457
  Quote elenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jul-2007 at 22:21
I've always wondered about Rome not being built in a day, for many indications show how it was. Let me explain further,  Rome was on top of a sewer and water system, built before the first brick was laid. How can that be? This shows the original builders were working to a pre-arranged and professional plan where cost was no object and experts gave advice. This is not what Roman history tells us, of Rome rising from a group of farming villages. The building of Rome was therefore very swift, and built in day or the blink of an eye so to speak.
elenos
Back to Top
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 01:12
Originally posted by elenos

Let me explain further, Rome was on top of a sewer and water system, built before the first brick was laid.


Not quite.

Just look up Cloaca Maxima - those are the oldest sewers in Rome. Mostly they are just modified natural streams, and didn't exist until 600 BC - by which time Rome was certainly settled. Some of the buildings in the Forum, like the Regia, would have been over a century old by then.
Back to Top
Mumbloid View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 04-Jun-2007
Location: Denmark
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 97
  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 04:02
Originally posted by edgewaters



The Roman infantry at Adrianople were run down and slaughtered by cavalry; that's not "performing very well". If they performed well, they would have won; they outnumbered their opponents two to one, and did not lack cavalry forces themselves.


as i told you it was a matter of tactics and preparation and inteligence. The romans underestimate the goths also thanks to their past victories.
And this flaws are more than enough not only to lose a battle but a entire war. As for the inf running, (first not all run) second what do you want them to do, the battle was lost....at that point everybody would run: no matter if roman, germans, greek ect.


Absolutely. But the reverse is also true, and had been from Rome's inception. Where do you think the gladius or the bossed shield or chainmail or the Roman helmet came from?


yes i know, but the barbarians rome fought at the end of the empire, was not the same kind of barbarians Marius, caesar and other fought at the beginning. The Germans, learned what the romans knew about war and they adapted it to their style (eks. Arminius served under the roman comand). Pretty much all the barbararian who crossed the rhine were already romanicised. Look at the ostrogths when they occupyed italy, it was hard to see the difference by a native italian and a goth invader only by the customs.





Yes, there was. Western Roman armies became anachronisms, as demonstrated by the Eastern empire in the Battle of Save (not to mention numerous barbarian groups).


I sincerely doubt you know what a anacronism is. WRE army was more or less the equivalent of their opponents (the link you gave me with the late romans and the goth warriror remember?) the fall of rome was not a military matter but a politcal one.



Because they didn't adapt to new fighting styles, the appearance of new threats, and a changing battlefield. Infantry itself wasn't obsolete, just the Roman infantry doctrine (in the Western Empire, anyway).


nonono, the romans adapted...they changed their army completely, so much that you could barely resemble them. But the problem with rome was mot military, but moral and economic. The reason of the fall of Rome has not to be found in the army, but by the politicians (who many times also were generals).


The future keeps the past alive.
Back to Top
Mumbloid View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 04-Jun-2007
Location: Denmark
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 97
  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 04:04
Originally posted by calvo

Since the crisis of the 3rd century, the Roman empire evolved towards a feudal state by all means. The classic social system based on citizenship, law, and paterfamilies had all but phased out and the powerful landlords that dominated the countryside were the predecessors to the medieval feuds. All the barbarians did was deliver a final blow to the "nominal" central authority.

true the latifundia structure was the fundament of the feudal society. And the latifundia has also a major role in the weaknes of rome.


The future keeps the past alive.
Back to Top
elenos View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 13-Jun-2007
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1457
  Quote elenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 04:57

Gentlemen, there in a nutshell is the greatest problem Rome ever failed to face. The latifundia, the vast estates worked by armies of slaves for the profit of the few, had passed their use by date. To have lands worked by free men would have been far more efficient, but would have meant sharing the profits, something the ruling class, the central authority, could never allow.  

Even the greatness of the Roman armies could not hold back the tide of those barbarians who, on the whole, didnt want to bring down the system of law and order, but were demanding a fairer share of the lands. However the land barons seized the chance to set up their own form of goovernment and took the side of the barbarians for a while at least.

elenos
Back to Top
Mumbloid View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 04-Jun-2007
Location: Denmark
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 97
  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 05:58
Originally posted by elenos

Even the greatness of the Roman armies could not hold back the tide of those barbarians who, on the whole, didnt want to bring down the system of law and order, but were demanding a fairer share of the lands. However the land barons seized the chance to set up their own form of goovernment and took the side of the barbarians for a while at least.



I consider the military secundary to politics and economics. IF Rome was still strong politically (political stable with few or no division) and economically florid. No barbarian or civiliced army, could overrun rome.

It is not a coincidence that during the time rome was in strengt it was almust invincible. just look in more than tousand of years of military history Rome only got few decisive defeats (with decisive I mean battle who forced rome in the corner, im not talking about skirmishes) and this proff the Roman military at it's height was one of the must marvellous military warmachine the ancient world ever saw.

When Rome started to lose weight economically and economical crisis came, it was the start of the end.
 About the military, for Rome it was cheaper recruit mercenaryes when it needed rather than use time to train legionaries. The quality of the troops was wery low, must of them was germanic, eastern mercenaryes and with the loyality doubius.


 


Edited by Mumbloid - 02-Jul-2007 at 18:00
The future keeps the past alive.
Back to Top
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 06:12
Originally posted by elenos



<p ="Msonormal">Gentlemen, there in a nutshell is the greatest problem <st1:City><st1:place>Rome</st1:place></st1:City>
ever failed to face. The latifundia, the vast estates worked by armies of slaves
for the profit of the few, had passed their use by date. To have lands worked
by free men would have been far more efficient, but would have meant sharing
the profits, something the ruling class, the central authority, could never
allow.


Actually latifundia more or less survived on after Rome - they just evolved into manorialism.
Back to Top
elenos View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 13-Jun-2007
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1457
  Quote elenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 07:59
I said that in the next paragraph edgewaters! Never mind, perhaps the way I put it. I further suggested they dumped Roman rule to do a deal with the barbarians and so took advantage of the situation to suit their own ends.
elenos
Back to Top
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2007 at 21:00
Originally posted by Mumbloid

as i told you it was a matter of tactics and preparation and inteligence.


And tactics don't reflect on the state of a military?

yes i know, but the barbarians rome fought at the end of the empire, was not the same kind of barbarians Marius, caesar and other fought at the beginning. The Germans, learned what the romans knew about war and they adapted it to their style


The Germans adapted to a Roman lifestyle - but they took remarkably little from Rome in war. It was the Romans, who adopted their equipment, not the other way around - same with tactics like the increasing reliance on heavy cavalry and skirmishers.

German forces did not fight in the style of the Romans. Command was much less centralized, which had its advantages well into the Middle Ages. If command is centralized, it is possible to control troops and execute strategies with more efficiency, but it is also a weakness - if the commander is a poor strategist or leader, for instance, but also the army is vulnerable to disruption of communications. A Germanic war-band was flexible; if they were cut off from the main host or if the leader of the host was killed, they were not thrown into the same disarray as Roman forces under the same situation.

This method of fighting was well-suited to the conflicts of the age, in which set piece battles had given way to open field battles (not unlike what happened in the 20th century).

nonono, the romans adapted...they changed their army completely, so much that you could barely resemble them.


They changed alot, yes, but their military culture simply couldn't adapt in some ways. For all the changes in equipment and strategies, they were never able to quit the notion of such strong reliance on acting according to a plan set in motion and guided by a singular leader. The army was still viewed as a machine, directed by a single man, with the men as cogs in the machine. This way of thinking about battle was not useful again until the late middle ages or early modern age, and died out once again in the trenches of WW1. Today we fight like the barbarians did - there is still a leader and a plan, but small units are flexible and capable of acting without any direction.

But the problem with rome was mot military, but moral and economic. The reason of the fall of Rome has not to be found in the army, but by the politicians (who many times also were generals).


If you choose to look at it that way - and I think it is a valid interpretation - then yes, military failure is only symptomatic, but it applies across the board - not just to Rome. When the Romans began to inflict major losses of territory on the Celts, it was the result of a warrior class softened by Roman luxuries and lifestyle and a society rendered decadent. Where Romans had once written that Celtic warriors were capable of "living on grass" in the field, and described Roman legions actually fleeing the field in fear at the mere sight of Brennus' forces at Allia, the situation was reversed in time. Tacitus writes of a battle, much later, between Agricola and some Britons:

"These are the men who last year attacked one
legion like thieves in the night—and you defeated them by raising the battle-cry. There are the greatest runaways of all ..."

Caesar wrote of a Celtic tribe dwelling on the fringes of Gaul near the Germanic frontier:

"Of all these, the Belgae are the bravest, because they are farthest from the civilisation and refinement of[our] Province, and merchants least frequently resort to them and import those things which tend to effeminate the mind"

Edited by edgewaters - 04-Jul-2007 at 21:05
Back to Top
Mumbloid View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 04-Jun-2007
Location: Denmark
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 97
  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jul-2007 at 09:24
Originally posted by edgewaters

Originally posted by Mumbloid

as i told you it was a matter of tactics and preparation and inteligence.


And tactics don't reflect on the state of a military?
 
No not always....


German forces did not fight in the style of the Romans. Command was much less centralized, which had its advantages well into the Middle Ages. If command is centralized, it is possible to control troops and execute strategies with more efficiency, but it is also a weakness - if the commander is a poor strategist or leader, for instance, but also the army is vulnerable to disruption of communications. A Germanic war-band was flexible; if they were cut off from the main host or if the leader of the host was killed, they were not thrown into the same disarray as Roman forces under the same situation.
 
this is partially true, but remember that before Adrianople Romans didnt have trouble dealing with German warbands.



They changed alot, yes, but their military culture simply couldn't adapt in some ways. For all the changes in equipment and strategies, they were never able to quit the notion of such strong reliance on acting according to a plan set in motion and guided by a singular leader. The army was still viewed as a machine, directed by a single man, with the men as cogs in the machine. This way of thinking about battle was not useful again until the late middle ages or early modern age, and died out once again in the trenches of WW1. Today we fight like the barbarians did - there is still a leader and a plan, but small units are flexible and capable of acting without any direction.
 
well I dont know you have a point, no doubt, but this...."mistake" will be repated over and over again uintil modern times (pre- and - post ww1)
 
 


If you choose to look at it that way - and I think it is a valid interpretation - then yes, military failure is only symptomatic, but it applies across the board - not just to Rome. When the Romans began to inflict major losses of territory on the Celts, it was the result of a warrior class softened by Roman luxuries and lifestyle and a society rendered decadent. Where Romans had once written that Celtic warriors were capable of "living on grass" in the field, and described Roman legions actually fleeing the field in fear at the mere sight of Brennus' forces at Allia, the situation was reversed in time. Tacitus writes of a battle, much later, between Agricola 
 
I think this is a littlebit semplicistic, there are lot of factor that goes trough, about the celts, the lack of political unity (witch was largely used by the romans against the Celts) was determinant. Actually the lack of good and competent political leadership (beside few good celtic leaders) can determine if a war can be won or lost, no matter how good or tough your warriors/soldiers are.

Lets go back to Adrianople, the romans initially had a good grip against the Goths (surprise attacks, ambushes and other tactics of guerrilla warfare) but it was also clear that the goths were much more tougher than the other "traditional" german opponents and much more organiced. The romans fought them using their strategy of containment and attritionwar, who worked initially quite well, but that alone could not lead to the victory. A decisive battle was needed and here we come to Adrianople.
 
Emperor Valent management of the battle was disastrous, he underestimated grossly the Goths numerically (also due to bad inteligence work) since he outnumbered them he dreamed of a fast victorious and easy battle.
 He pushed hes troops to hard, with incredibly long marches (under the hot sun) without pauses and almust no food and water.
 This contrast with the traditional roman way of fighting always with fresh troops, so when the soldiers arrived at the decised point they were exsausted.
 The organisation of the roman formation was exagerately disorganiced, there were almust no reserve collum ( traditional roman strategy ) and there were to much space between the wings.
 
When the gothic cavalry charged the left wing, the roman formation was not entirely deployed, so the roman cavalry just as the infantry was cought at surprise and without sufficent reserves to support them they were easely defeated.
 
The romans in other words were cought with their pants down, all the best soldier valent had did their best, but they were all sl*ghtered. The lanciarii and the mattiaci fought to the last, but they couldn change the situation.
 The romans apparently lost the battle because they didnt employ the common roman way of formation and manovre. They were disorganiced, confused, exsausted, slow and undisciplined, many units charged the goths (especially the promontori and the sagittari)at their own initiative (and they were easely defeated)...breaking their formation and leaving the entire area vulnerable to Goth initiative.
 
Ammianus describe the battle wery well, the roman charged from all sides and sourronded could not manovre, they kept stand uintil it was humanely possible. Many dyed from both sides, included emperator Valent, hit by a arrow (say some) or burned alive in a house were he was trying to hide (say others).
 
Adrianople was a masterpiece of incompetence and disorganitation. if the romans were fighting in their traditional way of order and discipline, the disaster would not be roman but goth.
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Mumbloid - 08-Jul-2007 at 09:28
The future keeps the past alive.
Back to Top
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jul-2007 at 10:29
Originally posted by Mumbloid

... this is partially true, but remember that before Adrianople Romans didnt have trouble dealing with German warbands. ... this...."mistake" will be repated over and over again uintil modern times (pre- and - post ww1)


Set-piece battles worked well in some periods, while the loose system of open field battles did not always work well. Alot had to do with technology, social organization, and population patterns. The barbarians faced by the Romans during their height of power, were not adapted well to *that* period - the Roman system of set-piece battles worked far better. But with changing technology and changing society, set-piece battles started to lose relevance. What good were huge formations when you had to deal with the banditry of many dozens of small fighting forces across a front that was hundreds of miles long? Relatively small tribes were able to take tribute from Rome (the notion of "mercenary" is often a fiction - it was tribute) because Rome had no other means to respond; they were infiltrated and overwhelmed.

Infliltration continued to be a succesful well into the Dark Ages. The Vikings, for instance, were masters of it - they had the mobility to strike anywhere without warning. It wasn't limited to them though. The Franks used it - that's why the Danevirke had to be built. The Saxons used it - which is why the Romans hastily constructed the Saxon Shore fortifications in England, which continued to be used after they left.

I think this is a littlebit semplicistic, there are lot of factor that goes trough, about the celts, the lack of political unity (witch waslargely used by the romans against the Celts) wasdeterminant.


Sure, but they hadn't always been so disunited. They were able to field quite large, and apparently somewhat organized, fighting forces under a powerful leader in earlier times - Vercingetorix was just a shadow of the kind of power that the two Brennuses must have held, a leader produced by desperation rather than will to conquer. When the Celts swept down on Italy and Greece, they found both places lacking political unity ...

Disunity was key to the success of Germanic barbarians against the Romans, as well. If the Germans were united under a single institution of some sort, a kingdom or the like, it would have been a simple matter for the Romans to engage them in a series of set-piece battles and establish dominance. Disunity did not favour the Celts because by the time of Caesar's conquest they simply weren't as warlike as they had once been - trade and particularly agriculture had improved so much for them, and that's what they were focussed on. While the Germans were composed of wandering tribes, the Celts were huddled stationary in their oppidum - it was just a matter of sieging them one by one.
Back to Top
Mumbloid View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 04-Jun-2007
Location: Denmark
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 97
  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2007 at 06:38
Originally posted by edgewaters

[QUOTE=Mumbloid] ...

Disunity was key to the success of Germanic barbarians against the Romans, as well. If the Germans were united under a single institution of some sort, a kingdom or the like, it would have been a simple matter for the Romans to engage them in a series of set-piece battles and establish dominance. Disunity did not favour the Celts because by the time of Caesar's conquest they simply weren't as warlike as they had once been - trade and particularly agriculture had improved so much for them, and that's what they were focussed on. While the Germans were composed of wandering tribes, the Celts were huddled stationary in their oppidum - it was just a matter of sieging them one by one.


Nooo you misunderstood me, when i say political disunity, I dont mean fragmentation toward one goal, but I mean opposing view. Some celt worked with the romans, other against. That is what I mean!

About the celtic warrior class, warlike or not I think the legions would slaughter them anyway, roman tactics did not allowed to much space for the celtic warrior to wheel with he's sword or dagger. While on the same spot required for a warrior there cuold be two legioners equiped with large shields, and short sword stabbing down everything they meet (as we could also see during the revoult of boudicca, there was nothing the britons could do to stop the romans). The only way they could defeat the romans, IMO was to catch them unprepared (see teutonforest).
 I know the romans lost several clashes, but when it was determinant they won, even agaist great odds (see Alesia).


 
The future keeps the past alive.
Back to Top
Illirac View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel


Joined: 23-Jun-2007
Location: Ma vlast
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 526
  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2007 at 09:26
No metter how many time you attack it, in the end it grounds you down to dust...so was with the romans...Hannibal won Trebbia, Lake Trasimene, Cannae....but in the end he was defeated and Hannibal could do nothing....
the roman strength was in discipline, every single barbarian fought for it's own(like the greeks before the phalanx formation)
and i never heard they were great warriors...
For too long I've been parched of thirst and unable to quench it.
Back to Top
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2007 at 12:04
Originally posted by Mumbloid

About the celtic warrior class, warlike or not I think the legions would slaughter them anyway, roman tactics did not allowed to much space for the celtic warrior to wheel with he's sword or dagger. While on the same spot required for a warrior there cuold be two legioners equiped with large shields, and short sword stabbing down everything they meet


Tactics they learned from Brennus ...

Where do you think they got those shields and swords?
Back to Top
Mumbloid View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 04-Jun-2007
Location: Denmark
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 97
  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2007 at 12:08

Tactics they learned from Brennus ...
 
improved by Marius....
 


Where do you think they got those shields and swords? 
 
I think this is irrilevant, since the celts used them in another way....
 
 
 
 


Edited by Mumbloid - 10-Jul-2007 at 12:13
The future keeps the past alive.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 3456>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.140 seconds.