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Why did Rome collapse?

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Poll Question: What was the main reason for the collapse of the Roman Empire?
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Illirac View Drop Down
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  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why did Rome collapse?
    Posted: 24-Jun-2007 at 16:00
haha, i never mentioned testudo and yet you are obsessed with it, and can you explain me why from 300 the romans hired all heavy cavalry they could?, and what can a infantryman with sword, shild and heavy armor stand against a horseman heavy armed with long spear
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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jun-2007 at 16:11

Ok, forget about it. You mentioned shiltron and I got the impression it was related to the battel of Carhhae where the Romans formation (at some point of the battle) was the testudo. My bad.

The idea is that all different types of troops are useful for something different and spearmen are useful to defend against any type of cavalry successfully.
 
Romans hired all kinds of troops they conceived to be useful and could not produce themselves. Heavy cavalry was one of them, same as slingers, horse archers etc.
 
 
 
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  Quote Hextar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jun-2007 at 16:14
Disease,economics,internal political disagreements where the main cause...barb invasions followed does events end managed to bring the already devastated empire to it's knees. 
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  Quote Hextar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jun-2007 at 16:38
Yiannis...testudo as you said was ment to defend infantry against ranged wep. Shiltron was used by William Wallace at the battle of Stirling bridge(1297) to counter the English heavy horses. Shiltron is not like the porcupine formation used by phalanxes like the spartan ones...but was more like a phalanx itself...except that they were using long pikes...not spears...,no shields and the soldiers forming it where not capable to engage infantry from near without breaking the formation....testudo is not  shiltron and shiltron is not phalanx...they are distinct formations which served for different pourpouses.


Edited by Hextar - 24-Jun-2007 at 16:43
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  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 01:22
Illirac, the reason for the fall was not military. Rome did not fell because somebody destroyed Rome. Rome fall because a cospiracy.

Now if you read what I wrote I already told you the roman army evolved. the Legioneers at the time you mention were equiped with spears, pikes and  spatha's. Rome also employed heavy cavalry like climbanariis, the roman army was not only inf.

Originally posted by Illirac

yes, and why a shiltron has been overrun by a charge of heavy cavalry?, and why Constantin hired 6 000 heavy German cavalry?


when was a shiltron overrun? a shiltron can be overrun only if the soldiers become scared and break the formation. Cavalry cant force it.

Why did Constantin hired g.cavalry? because he was in need of them. I dont understand the question? romans hired allied and mercenary cavalry all the time they could. Costantin didnt anything new.




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  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 02:12
i now that the army evolved (limitanei and others), and yes they hired mercenaries which turns their favor to the higher bidder, and  heavy cavalry do not charge imidiatly, they wait until in the enemy army was confusion(caused by the other units), then they charge in an practically they were unstoppable, they military evolved, but the cavalry not much

and i did not said it collapsed due to their military weakness, but as i said before because there were few true romans(army and as citizens), there were more Illirians and Gauls ,
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  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 02:31
Originally posted by Illirac

i now that the army evolved (limitanei and others), and yes they hired mercenaries which turns their favor to the higher bidder, and  heavy cavalry do not charge imidiatly, they wait until in the enemy army was confusion(caused by the other units), then they charge in an practically they were unstoppable, they military evolved, but the cavalry not much.



that was the common cavalry tactic....during and before the age of heavy cavalry.

Cavalry was good because it could move fast up and down the field, but was vulnerable to spears and arrows (even heavy cavalry), IMO heavy cavalry is overrated, they were strong, but to much vulnerable.


and i did not said it collapsed due to their military weakness, but as i said before because there were few true romans(army and as citizens), there were more Illirians and Gauls ,


Rome was not a etnic empire, actually there never was a true roman etnie. You can even say Gauls were roman, because in the end they all became citicen.



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  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 03:30
Many factors ...

A few ...

Loss of Roman economic relevance. Cheap labour in the provinces, churning out every sort of product imaginable from huge slave estates, rendered the free Roman worker non-competitive. Increasingly the City simply consumed more and more with diminishing productivity. Rome ceased to be a centre of production and became a black hole which drained the resources of the empire without much contribution. As economic relevance and productivity shifted to the provinces, the empire began to lose its centre and had difficulty exerting political power - towards the end this is clearly seen as local officials, often wealthy latifundia owners, are able to put pressure on Rome and got their titles made hereditary.

Loss of Roman Farmer: Similar effect. During economic crises, wealthy landowners were able to buy up the lands of the small independant farming families very cheaply, sometimes even acquiring the former owners as serfs in the deal. Nor could free citizens on one-family plots compete with slave labour on the huge latifundia. The small farmer was the backbone of the Roman military (among other things), and as a class, was much diminished in the latter period.

Social decay. Seems obvious, but social decay in the city of Rome itself rendered it much less capable of swaying foreign peoples into identifying themselves as Romans. They began to reserve their own cultural identification, even though they often adopted Roman lifestyle (eg Visigoths). Formerly one of the true great strengths of the empire was to utterly assimilate populations until they were indistinguishably Roman, as for instance the Gauls of northern Italy, who simply ceased to be Gallic and became Roman in every sense of the word.
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  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 04:31
never said that heavy cavalry is invincible, the romans were never great cavalryman, and limitanei and comitatenses could not stand heavy cavalry,
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  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 05:14
Originally posted by Illirac

never said that heavy cavalry is invincible, the romans were never great cavalryman, and limitanei and comitatenses could not stand heavy cavalry,


this sound just like a claim. Why you dont re-read what i wrote.

It is true the romans were not cavalrymen, but they employed various types of cavalry in the army, and roman knew wery well how to take care of heavy cavalry (the strategicon says, the best way to deal them is a rain of arrows and or a pike wall).

I suggest you also to read something about the late roman army, look after the osprey books, they are wery good.
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  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 05:21
I've read enough to judge, i don't won't to discuss any more, it's not a tame for these topic, we agreed why it collapsed, end of the story 
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  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 05:32
Originally posted by Illirac

I've read enough to judge, i don't won't to discuss any more, it's not a tame for these topic, we agreed why it collapsed, end of the story 


you read enough to judge? what did you read im curious Wink

You wrote the roman heavy infantry could not stand the heavy cavalry, and you placed it into the reason betwee the fall of the empire. Im just saying this is not true...that's all. No reason to feel offended. And dont worry, we are not going OT. We are still discussing the reason for the collapse of Rome.

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Illirac View Drop Down
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  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 05:53
that was en example that there were few true romans(also in an army, and they hired mercenaries who also, later, turned against them and they were left without heavy cavalry) if i have written in a different way, pardon me, i am not good in english

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  Quote Mumbloid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 07:45
oh ok Smile

About your english, well dont need to excuse, mine is even worse than yours.... Thumbs%20Up


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  Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2007 at 21:14
Rome has filled its time, and naturally expired. Like any and all other empires.
We gave up your happiness
Your hope would be enough;
we couldn't find neither;
we made up sorrows for ourselves;
we couldn't be consoled;

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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2007 at 08:51
Much of Rome's collapse is due (at least in my mind) to the emperors. At the end of the republic, it was seen that some kind of powerful leadership was needed to unite the people - a figure head of the republic, so to speak. This came in the form of the emperor. The emperor represented the spirit of the republic and combined the offices of dictator (for life), pontifex maximus and censor. The emperor was a holy symbol of the divine republic - a representation of everything that Rome stood for. However, after the year of four emperors, it was seen by many that the entire idea and concept of "emperor" was in fact, not holy, and anyone could claim the purple. The soldiers- the division of society that had the power to do so- realised that it was indeed possible to use emperors for their own personal political machinations. Emperors emerging from outside the bloodlines such as Septimus Servus and Maximus Thrax in particular, de-divinized the entire concept of emperor. Thus, it became more and more important for emperors to achieve the allegience of the army. There was very simply no loyalty left to the emperors - only their wealth. For example, in Augustus's time, the pay per annum for a legionary was around 200 Sesteratii a year, In Domitions, around 340 and in Caracalla's, around 750. The emperors were begining to become intimidated by their armies. Also, the foreign emperors naturally placed their places of residence (e.g. Diocletian and Septimus Servus) in their native lands, de centralizing the empire and causing further divisions.
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