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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%]
You can not vote in this poll

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Serge L View Drop Down
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  Quote Serge L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Who is the greatest Roman General
    Posted: 11-Jan-2005 at 02:07

Originally posted by Lannes

Caesar.  He beats all others in terms of tactical ability quite easily.

I agree . . . and yet I voted for Augustus. In fact, if Caesar was the best tactician (with Scipio approx. on the same level), Augustus was the best strategist; besides, he not only knew how to do war, but also how and when to stop.

IIRC, among the listed ones, was the only one who was born a little more than a commoner (actually, one of many self-appointed heirs of Julius Caesar), and eventually died in his own bed and of old age as an emperor.

Since the exact question was about "the greatest Roman general in terms of talent, success and power", I think the answer is obvious.

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  Quote Inquisitor Dei Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2005 at 11:35
Scipio was great but I think none matched Caesar.
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  Quote jesusfreak1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2005 at 22:39
Julius Ceasar most definitly.....with his war tactics and and strategys I think he would have made a fine Dictator....now if only he wasn't killed so early...darn...well I guess that all turned out for the best
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  Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2005 at 02:13

Scipio is remembered as a great general by the accounts of Livy and Polybius, Caesar is remembered as great because he wrote his own accounts.  Next to the genius of Scipio Caesar was no more than an overrated sepoy general.  Scipio fought against the most lethal enemies Rome ever faced and crushed them in turn.  If you disagree I challenge you to find a battle fought by Julius that demonstrated the same brilliance of Scipio.  You can look at Alecium and Pharsalus but neither is an Illipia.

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  Quote Infidel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2005 at 13:45
Perhaps you have a point. Scipio was in fact good. But one tends to chose Caesar. His name endured more...
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  Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2005 at 13:59

Of course Caesar's name endured more, he was the first emperor and he was assasinated.  As far as I'm concerned this further proves the superiority of Scipio who didn't sieze power and crown himself emperor even though he could have. The far better man Scipio fought his entire life for the service of Rome.  Caesar only for himself.



Edited by Laelius
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  Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2005 at 14:05
BTW Augustus was not a general though he was a brilliant politician and administrator who surrounded himself with exceptional commanders.
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  Quote Infidel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2005 at 12:07
Originally posted by Laelius

Of course Caesar's name endured more, he was the first emperor and he was assasinated.  As far as I'm concerned this further proves the superiority of Scipio who didn't sieze power and crown himself emperor even though he could have. The far better man Scipio fought his entire life for the service of Rome.  Caesar only for himself.
 
Fair enough.
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  Quote Degredado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2005 at 13:46
It was a tough decision for me, but I ended up choosing Scipio over Caesar. Scipio beat Hannibal, and Caesar beat Pompey, which means that both beat great generals. Both conquered large portions of land. Their fairly matched. So why did I choose Scipio? Well, one must remember, Julius Caesar had the benefit of an army reformed by Marius. Scipio on the other hand had to use soldiers conscripted in the old way (so to speak), under stressing circumstances. Also, I see Caesar more as a leader than a general, strangely enough.
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  Quote Perseas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2005 at 14:25

My two favourites are Julius Ceasar and Scipio. But i will have to say that despite all of the contestants of the list were good generals they always had their right hand men who many times ran the army for them. For example, generally people are considering Octavian as a great general, judging from his victories but not many know that most of his successes should be credited to his right hand man, Agrippa.  

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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2005 at 19:25
I would say the greatest Roman commander is Belisarius. No other Roman commander was so blessed in war (and cursed in love). Second greatest would be Emperor Constantine, followed by Emperor Aurelian who was the "restorer of the world". 

Edited by Imperator Invictus
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2005 at 08:03

Several major figures are missing from this poll.

Where is Vespasian?

Where is Agricola?

Where is Trajan?

And what about Marcus Agrippa, victor of Actium?  You should take down Octavian (aka Augustus) and put Agrippa up there.

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2005 at 13:04

was Belisarius really Roman? and I wouldn't include Constantine the Christian there either, after all he ended the real Roman empire.

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  Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2005 at 16:16

I would say the greatest Roman commander is Belisarius. No other Roman commander was so blessed in war (and cursed in love). Second greatest would be Emperor Constantine, followed by Emperor Aurelian who was the "restorer of the world". 

 

Don't get me wrong Belisarius was an exceptional commander yet I think that his success was more the result of his insane luck.

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  Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2005 at 16:24

There's far too many notable Roman commanders for a single poll.  Asides from the others mentioned where is Flavius Stilicho, Septimus Severus, Avidus Cassius, Nero Claudius Germanicus(well of course none of them compare to Scipio Africanus   ).  Personally I think a number of different polls should be created for different eras of the Republic/Empire with the winners from each poll included in one final poll.



Edited by Laelius
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  Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2005 at 16:25

was Belisarius really Roman? and I wouldn't include Constantine the Christian there either, after all he ended the real Roman empire.


Belisarius was born in the Balkans, I think the Dalmation coast.

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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2005 at 17:35

If you like Ancient history please check out this great forum:

http://ancient-empires.net/forum/index.php?act=idx

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

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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2005 at 10:49
I too think Octavian should be removed in favour of his trusted general Agrippa, as Octavian wasn't much of a military leader at all.

Out of the ones available I choose Julius Caesar, in my opinion a great general also needs a firm grip on politics. War is politics.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2005 at 22:31

Read Procopius' On the Wars and you will see Belisarius succeeded due to his own imaginative brilliant more than anything else. Belisarius was a count from Thrace but under the circumstances of the day may rightly be considered Roman. Being Roman was being part of an idea and ideology, not specific genetic stock.

I pick Scipio. As has been said Caesar wrote his own histories and Scipio did not. Scipio was integral in snatching Roman victory from the jaws of defeat in what was a deathmatch for survival. Caesar's victories, though great, annexed the land of a militarily poorly organised and outfitted people without strong central leadership or a commander comparable to Hannibal. Caesar did this inheriting the most effective military force of the day, recently reorganised under Marius. Scipio had to use men leftover from the creme de la creme being wiped out at Trebbia, Trasimene and Cannae. Slaves were freed to take up arms and ceremonial weapons stripped from the temples to outfit them in desperation. Scipio brought Rome from desperation to the greatest power in the Western World, Caesar set out on a campaign based on greed and personal ambition.

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  Quote Vlad Catrina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2005 at 09:42
Caius Julius Casar is the greatest. I`m not talking from my experience, I`m talking from precise sources.
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