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Who is the greatest Roman General

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Poll Question: Who is the greatest Roman General
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
3 [5.66%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [1.89%]
0 [0.00%]
18 [33.96%]
3 [5.66%]
2 [3.77%]
22 [41.51%]
1 [1.89%]
3 [5.66%]
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Winterhaze13 View Drop Down
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Who is the greatest Roman General
    Posted: 01-Jan-2005 at 18:16
Who would you say is the greatest Roman general in terms of talent, success and power?
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

-- Voltaire
French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)
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vagabond View Drop Down
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  Quote vagabond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2005 at 00:26

W-13

I have moved your poll to the Greco Roman forum from the Ancient History forum - I think more people with an interest in things Roman will find it here.

 

v

In the time of your life, live - so that in that wonderous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it. (Saroyan)
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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2005 at 16:26
Always like this debate. Such a tough choice and so many differant veiws. Some notables missing from the choices- Sulla and Agrippa
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2005 at 17:33

Originally posted by Dawn

Always like this debate. Such a tough choice and so many differant veiws. Some notables missing from the choices- Sulla and Agrippa

I knew I would forget some because there are so many possible chooses. I hope people don't settle on Julius Caesar because he is the most famous on the list. Although he conquerored Gaul and was probably the most powerful of those on the list, in terms of talent and military manouvering he is not undoubtably the best. In fact, although he was able to defeat Pompey in his power struggle, it is Pompey who is widely considered the better of the two. 

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

-- Voltaire
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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2005 at 18:36
I think you will find that most here will not choose him. As to choices, you can never include them all. I only thought of those ones because I never considered Augustus much of a general. 
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  Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2005 at 19:22

My vote is for Julius Caesar: good tactic, good strategy, very good in the siege war.

Surelly, a roman army of the second century AC was more powerful than an army of first century BC; but Julius Caesar were the first roman general that fight with the highest power of legions. All the elements existed before him, but he got the best use of that elements: artillery in the battlefield, powerful cavalry, bettered the pilum, great use of auxilia and changed the basic tactic of the legion (three lines to two lines if was necesarily) The imperial generals tooks his lessons and fighted.

Julius Caesar make more things than other general after or before him with the roman army.



Edited by Ikki
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2005 at 17:57
It's a hard choice between Julius Caesar and Scipio Africanus, both are excellent generals, and it's hard to choose the better one. I mean, Scipio Africanus overthrew the strongest military general of the day - Hannibal, and that was definately not an easy achievement. Julius Caesar on the other hand conquered the vast lands of Gaul and reunified the Roman Republic under his rule.

Let there be a race of Romans with the strength of Italian courage.- Virgil's Aeneid
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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2005 at 18:54
I chose Scipio, although it is a hard choice.  I'm just facinated by his victory against Hannibal, his prior victory at the Great Plains and his subsequent victories in Spain. 
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  Quote Cornellia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2005 at 19:48

I'm going to go out on a limb here and probably place the only vote for Marcellus who, because of his earlier successes against Hannibal, was known as the "Sword of Rome". 

M. Claudius Marcellus had a long and distinguished military record.  As a veteran of the First Punic War, he served the earliest of his 5 consulships fighting Gauls in the north of Italy where he killed the Gallic chieftan in a personal batttle.  A play was even produced about it.

In the Second Punic War, Marcellus was the first Roman commander to enjoy a victory over Hannibal while defending the city of Nola.  Militarily it wasn't an important battle but the effect that it had on Roman morale was.   Marcellus was able to provide the first hope that Hannibal could be beaten.

Again in 215 BC, Marcellus beat Hannibal in Nola and Plutarch claims that for the first time there were enemy desertions to Rome.    His efforts won him a 3rd consulship and after fending off Hannibal's final atempt to take Nola, he moved to assist in the siege of Casilinum.  Once that city was retaken, Marcellus was assigned to Sicily.

Syracuse was one of the most important cities in the West and one that was probably the best defended thanks to Archimedes.  Marcellus abandoned his attempts to take the city by storm, deciding to put a blockade in place.  He resisted Carthaginian attempts to relieve the city and foiled all Syracusan atempts to break the blockade.  During a festival in 212 BC, the Syracusans became careless and Marcellus was able to lead a force over the walls and captured the suburbs.   The inner city was finally betrayed by an opportunistic mercenary which allowed the Romans to overwhelm the remaining defenders.

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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jan-2005 at 15:09

I love Archimedes. I'm so proud to be from the same island he was from.

 

Not saying that he's the best, but I love Gordianus III. Gaining the throne at the age of thirteen, he defeated the Sassanians who were invading Rome. Gordianus III defeated Shapur I in battle, and was even about to occupy Ctesiphon, but alas, he was assassinated by Philip the Arab, who assumed the imperial throne after his death.


Let there be a race of Romans with the strength of Italian courage.- Virgil's Aeneid
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jan-2005 at 19:00
Scipio is my favorite, but man is it tempting to pick "Fabulous Fab" Fabius Maximus, Lord of Interior Design and King of Drag!
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I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
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  Quote Lannes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jan-2005 at 19:10
Caesar.  He beats all others in terms of tactical ability quite easily.

Edited by Lannes
τρέφεται δέ, ὤ Σώκρατης, ψυχὴ τίνι;
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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jan-2005 at 20:29
Yea, but Caesar didn't wasn't born one hundred to two hundred years before...so Scipio gets to say he defeated Hannibal. 
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  Quote pytheas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2005 at 14:07
Fabius Maximus.  He was responsible for the rebuilding/raising of a professional army where none really existed.  He had the toughest job and was able to suceed at laying the foundation for the Roman military machine.
Truth is a variant based upon perception. Ignorance is derived from a lack of insight into others' perspectives.
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  Quote Infidel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2005 at 16:42
Definitely, Gaius Julius Caesar. Veni, Vidi, Vici
An nescite quantilla sapientia mundus regatur?
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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2005 at 17:22
Originally posted by pytheas

Fabius Maximus.  He was responsible for the rebuilding/raising of a professional army where none really existed.  He had the toughest job and was able to suceed at laying the foundation for the Roman military machine.


I must agree that Fabius is always underrated, and that his policies had been continued with the war may have lasted a bit shorter and the Romans wouldn't have lost 80,000 men at Cannae.
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  Quote pytheas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2005 at 15:25
Jay Caesar was indeed a brilliant tactician and politically very astute, but I think that Fabius laid the base for which many other later generals tread, Caesar included.  He wouldn't have been able to "been there, done that, got the T-shirt" (to modernize the old Latin quote from above).
Truth is a variant based upon perception. Ignorance is derived from a lack of insight into others' perspectives.
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  Quote Qnzkid711 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2005 at 19:48
What about Scipio Africanus. IMO, his a very underrated general. He beat Hannibal. Also what about Belisarious? IMO, his another amazingf and underrated general. From the East Roman Empire(Byzantine). Look him up.
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  Quote Qnzkid711 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2005 at 19:48
Oh okay, I didnt see Scipio.
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  Quote ChineseManchurian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2005 at 23:16

Scipio

reason: capture Spain, the base of Carthage, defeat Carthage for like 5 times kills anymost 200000sodiers.

Jilius almost lost the war in the final battle against Guals, he just got won by lucky, he is a little bit over rated.

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