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Greatest Roman Generals?

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I think Caesar and Marius were the greatest generals, Caesar conquerd Gaul, won the civil war versus Pompei while Pompeiis army was double as big. Marius was also great, you can read about the battles of aqua sextae(think thats the spelling) he also defeated the african king jughurta, and made the marius-reforms who upgraded roman warfare, he also outmanouvred sulla in the civilwar

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Publius Cornelius Scipio the conqueror of Hannibal. No other Roman commander defeated so great an opponent in battle.

 

Scipio should be recognized for his strategic sense in defeating Carthage by conquering her base in Spain and forcing Hannibal to abandon Italy by invading Africa. His operational brilliance was shown by initiating the campaign in Spain by siezing the main Carthaginian base at Carthago Nova by a coup de main, and by his campaign against Syphax, Hanno and Hasdrubal prior to Zama. Finally his tactical innovations were evident in the battles of Baecula and Ilipa.

 

Add to all this that he was a military diplomat superior to even Eisenhower in the way he dealt with Spanish tribesmen and Massinissa.

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Scipio is definitely up there, as well as Caesar. For later individuals, I might put down Aurelian. He may not have been Rome's greatest military mind, but he just may have saved the empire from a permanent split. Also, Belisarius was a military genius, though I argue in my Justinian thread that his Italian campaign may have been the most disastrous that Rome ever undertook.

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I changed my mind, 3 is Marius who made the reforms that allowed the state to pay the legionares gear, he deafeated the germans at aque sixtae and another battle wich i cant remember the name at, and the defeated the afrikan king Jughurta. Second place is Constantine the great, because of his charisma and skill. His soldiers followed him anywhere and painted a crucifix at their shield when Constantine said that he saw a crucifix and the words "In this sign you will win" in the sun before the battle of Pons Milvius, where experianced veterans won over Maxentius garrison troops. After that he marched into Rome with Maxentius head to be the last emperor to controll the entire empire. As best general i place Julius Caesar, who conquered Gaul in 3 years, then crossed Rubicon where he won the civil war against Pompeii at Pharsalus. Augustuus where the first emperor, but it was Caesar who cleared the way fot him.

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As best general i place Julius Caesar, who conquered Gaul in 3 years,

 

I think you'll find that it took Caesar considerably longer than 3 years to conquer Gaul. His Gallic campaign began in 58 BC against the mass migration of the Helvetti and it more or less ended with the siege of Uxellodunum in 50 BC.

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Now I realize I might not ever be able to win any debate against any of you but I believe the two reasons for Rome's success were it's great organization skills and capable military leaders that stepped up every so often. It was proven through the Roman's biggest defeats that if they had a capable leader they might of been able to win those battles. In the battle of Cannae if C. Terentius Varro didn't lead the Roman forces down the from higher ground where they had the advantage he led them down to the plains where it forced L. Aemilius Paullus to fight Hannibal on his terrain, the flat surface, the Romans might of had a chance, maybe. There the Romans got crushed and if it weren't for Scipio Africanus who led the force which crushed Carthage, Rome might have been crushed herself. In the battle of Carrhae Marcus Crassus was a complete fool motivated by glory and which in the end he died. Now, no general really showed up to save him, yet his two highest surviving officers showed great bravery in the Roman retreat. And finally one of the other great roman defeats was at Teutoburg Forest, where Publius Quinctilius Varus made a lot of mistakes. Of course, the Roman Army came back under better command and punished the germans.

 

These three Roman defeats show how even the best armies can lose horribly if put under bad command and how if it weren't for good, capable generals who came along and helped defend Rome, we might not even be discussing anything much about Romans.

 

Now the greatest general i could never tell, but Marcus Trajanus is up there with Julius Caeser.

Edited by lost legion23

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Publius Cornelius Scipio the conqueror of Hannibal. No other Roman commander defeated so great an opponent in battle.

 

While I don't disagree with the fact Scipio was one of the greatest generals of the republic era there is one point I think we need to be mindful of. Scipio faced Hannibal when the latter's power was on the decline. He was stuck in Italy waiting for reinforcements for a considerable period of time when the Romans took the battle to Carthage in Spain and Africa. Hannibal's tactics in truth did not change much as well. By the time Scipio faced Hannibal in Zama he knew perfectly well how to handle the war elephants. Keeping these points in mind I don't think he was as brilliant as many paint him to be.

 

The greatest general in my opinion was Caesar. He was a great politician as well as a master tactician. The seige of Alesia was testament to his brilliance - he surpassed Alexander's brilliant seige of Tyre. To add to that Caesar's invasion of Gaul was the greatest undertaking of that era - he conquered Gaul in just over 8 years. To add to that he defeated a German army as well as expanding the frontier to soutern England. This is to name just a few.

 

On the topic of conquests, Caesar's feats were not matched till the days of Trajan's successful conquest of Dacia.

 

As a politician he paved the way for the waning republic (with its corrupt senators) to be dismantled and reorganised as the Roman Empire. I won't go too much into detail with his political achievements; most are well aware of his achievements here.

 

As a sidenote, while some might disagree, Rome gained true success when the government was reorganised as an empire. But that's just my personal opinion.

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Publius Cornelius Scipio the conqueror of Hannibal. No other Roman commander defeated so great an opponent in battle.

 

While I don't disagree with the fact Scipio was one of the greatest generals of the republic era there is one point I think we need to be mindful of. Scipio faced Hannibal when the latter's power was on the decline. He was stuck in Italy waiting for reinforcements for a considerable period of time when the Romans took the battle to Carthage in Spain and Africa. Hannibal's tactics in truth did not change much as well. By the time Scipio faced Hannibal in Zama he knew perfectly well how to handle the war elephants. Keeping these points in mind I don't think he was as brilliant as many paint him to be.

 

The greatest general in my opinion was Caesar. He was a great politician as well as a master tactician. The seige of Alesia was testament to his brilliance - he surpassed Alexander's brilliant seige of Tyre. To add to that Caesar's invasion of Gaul was the greatest undertaking of that era - he conquered Gaul in just over 8 years. To add to that he defeated a German army as well as expanding the frontier to soutern England. This is to name just a few.

 

On the topic of conquests, Caesar's feats were not matched till the days of Trajan's successful conquest of Dacia.

 

As a politician he paved the way for the waning republic (with its corrupt senators) to be dismantled and reorganised as the Roman Empire. I won't go too much into detail with his political achievements; most are well aware of his achievements here.

 

As a sidenote, while some might disagree, Rome gained true success when the government was reorganised as an empire. But that's just my personal opinion.

 

 

I agree . Scipio won Zama when Hannibal had no chance because of the objective circumstances .

I agree . Caesar was the greatest .

But, Scipio was great and the most successful general until Caesar . He conquered Hispania at an age of 23 to 29 against 3 Carthaginian generals, he bacame consul at an age of 30 and pressed an invasion for Africa against most of Rome's old politicians (Hannibal could have stay in Italy until 170...), he smashed Hannibal (a good point for him no matter what), he knew, in 194 (3 years before everyone) that Antiochus was dangerous and finally got the command against him with his brother . He was a legend in his own days .

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Publius Cornelius Scipio the conqueror of Hannibal. No other Roman commander defeated so great an opponent in battle.

 

While I don't disagree with the fact Scipio was one of the greatest generals of the republic era there is one point I think we need to be mindful of. Scipio faced Hannibal when the latter's power was on the decline. He was stuck in Italy waiting for reinforcements for a considerable period of time when the Romans took the battle to Carthage in Spain and Africa. Hannibal's tactics in truth did not change much as well. By the time Scipio faced Hannibal in Zama he knew perfectly well how to handle the war elephants. Keeping these points in mind I don't think he was as brilliant as many paint him to be.

 

The greatest general in my opinion was Caesar. He was a great politician as well as a master tactician. The seige of Alesia was testament to his brilliance - he surpassed Alexander's brilliant seige of Tyre. To add to that Caesar's invasion of Gaul was the greatest undertaking of that era - he conquered Gaul in just over 8 years. To add to that he defeated a German army as well as expanding the frontier to soutern England. This is to name just a few.

 

On the topic of conquests, Caesar's feats were not matched till the days of Trajan's successful conquest of Dacia.

 

As a politician he paved the way for the waning republic (with its corrupt senators) to be dismantled and reorganised as the Roman Empire. I won't go too much into detail with his political achievements; most are well aware of his achievements here.

 

As a sidenote, while some might disagree, Rome gained true success when the government was reorganised as an empire. But that's just my personal opinion.

Your wrong in one thing, caesar did not include britain in the roman empire, he forced them to pay tax but they quited when he left, it was an emperor long time later, cant remember the name, that made britania to a roman province.

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You are thinking of Claudius no doubt. He added Britain to the Roman Empire in a campaign of conquest.

 

For me Julius Caesar is by far the best Roman general. He may have made some political mistakes but wow did he ever change the Roman Empire, and win some important battles.

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Here's my humble two cents. I am going to list for the later part of the Western as well as the Eastern Generals till the end of Justiian's rule. No particular order

 

1. Stilicho

2. Aetius

3. Theodoric

4. Odoacer

5. Solomon

6. Germanus Cousin of Justinian

7. Belisarius

8. Narses

9. Sittas

10. John Troglita

11. Sunicas

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I say Caesar was a brilliant general. It may sound like an easy choice, but I truly think he was a good tactician and he knew how to use what he had, no matter little or pitiful the amount was.

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You are thinking of Claudius no doubt. He added Britain to the Roman Empire in a campaign of conquest.

Did Claudius do the battle plans himself?

 

I always assumed he just watched as others designed the attack plans and he merely signed off on them.

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Also, Belisarius was a military genius, though I argue in my Justinian thread that his Italian campaign may have been the most disastrous that Rome ever undertook.

 

Unfortunately, Belisarius doesn't get the recognition that he deserves. His armies were vastly superior to those of the earlier Romans. No previous Roman mastered the art of combined arms the way he did. He was very successful despite the political squabbling that held him back (much like Zhukov who was held back by Stalin)

 

And I know that historians tend to downplay the importance of the reconquest, but I would argue that the reconquest showed the world that the Roman legacy was not dead. They were no longer huddled away in the East in fear of the rising barbarian tide. They actually got out there and turned the tables on the barbarian world. Had it not been for the plague, which devastated the Roman population, they may have completed the reconquest.

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