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Legio X

What battle would you be in?

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I wonder what ancient battle you would like to be in, not only roman, also greeks egyptians etc all from ancient. Also say on wich side you would be in.

I would be in Thermopylae with the greeks =P

Edited by Legio X

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I wonder what ancient battle you would like to be in, not also roman, also greeks egyptians etc all from ancient. Also say on wich side you would be in.

I would be in Thermopylae with the greeks =P

 

I'll take my chances with the Persians :)

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Hum Strasbourg in 357 with Julien II the apostate would be a nice place to be, a crushing victory with few losses and an opportunity to see post-classic roman legions in action...

 

Or maybe the battle of Nemea in 394BC, one of the largest ( and of the last ) classical hoplite battle, during the war of Corinth. As to which side, i'm not sure : on the the 19 000 lacedemonian hoplite ( one of the 6000 spartans ? ), of whom 1100 died, or one 24 000 allied hoplites ( athenians, argians, corinthians, thebans, and other from minor cities ), who lost 2400 men ?

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I wonder what ancient battle you would like to be in, not only roman, also greeks egyptians etc all from ancient. Also say on wich side you would be in.

I would be in Thermopylae with the greeks =P

 

I'll bet you wouldn't!

 

Reads this - Its by Ammianus Marcellinus, an experienced soldier, who wrote about events surrounding the Roman defeat at Adrianople in ad378

 

But when the barbarians, rushing on with their enormous host, beat down our horses and men, and left no spot to which our ranks could fall back to deploy, while they were so closely packed that it was impossible to escape by forcing a way through them, our men at last began to despise death, and again took to their swords and slew all they encountered, while with mutual blows of battle-axes, helmets and breastplates were dashed in pieces.

 

Then, you might see the barbarian towering in his fierceness, hissing or shouting, fall with his legs pierced through, or his right hand cut off, sword and all, or his side transfixed, and still, in the last gasp of life, casting round him defiant glances. The plain was covered with carcases, strewing the mutual ruin of the combatants; while the groans of the dying, or of men fearfully wounded, were intense, and caused great dismay all around.

 

Amidst all this great tumult and confusion our infantry were exhausted by toil and danger, till at last they had neither strength left to fight, nor spirits to plan anything; their spears were broken by the frequent collisions, so that they were forced to content themselves with their drawn swords, which they thrust into the dense battalions of the enemy, disregarding their own safety, and seeing that every possibility of escape was cut off from them.

 

The ground, covered with streams of blood, made their feet slip, so that all that they endeavoured to do was to sell their lives as dearly as possible; and with such vehemence did they resist their enemies who pressed on them, that some were even killed by their own weapons. At last one black pool of blood disfigured everything, and wherever the eye turned, it could see nothing but piled-up heaps of dead, and lifeless corpses trampled on without mercy.

 

Roman History Book 31 - Ammianus Marcellinus

 

The battlefield isn't a pleasant place to be is it?

Edited by caldrail

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Be in ? Not for me...

Watch ? The list is endless . First I would like to see how Caligula smashed Poseidon , Oh... The strategy, the tacticts, how he outflanked the seashells and than killed them like they were seashells

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Not sure I'd like to BE in any of 'em.

 

To be able to witness though? Give me Cannae and Alesia.

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Military battles? None.

 

However, I'd love to be a demented emperor and arrange interesting gladiatorial jousts. For instance ... could a phalanx of midgets defeat a legion of lame old men?

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I have little interest in military battles, so I would neither be in any battle nor care to observe any historic battle.

 

But I do adore midgets. Especially fighting midgets!

 

Picking up on Ursus' very appealing, very un-P.C. idea, I would place my midgets astride squealing, wild boars as a sort of cavalry, before setting them loose in the amphitheater. Wheee!

 

And, given the choice, I would choose to observe the inauguration of the Flavian Amphitheater, and enjoy the fantastical battles staged there. (From the safety of a box seat, of course.)

 

-- Nephele

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And, given the choice, I would choose to observe the inauguration of the Flavian Amphitheater, and enjoy the fantastical battles staged there. (From the safety of a box seat, of course.)

 

-- Nephele

 

I'll definitely second this one, That would have been an awesome spectacle to behold.

 

I'm starting to feel a little bit sorry for the lame old men now, the midgets have now got cavalry mounts while the lame old men have nothing, so I'm going to propose that we give the lame old men a squadron of one armed archers to even things up a bit!!!!! :lol:

 

Now that's entertainment!!

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Hmm Strasbourg, wasn't Narses the Roman commander? Maybe im mixing it up with an other battle..

Edited by Legio X

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Your right, i wouldn't like to be in that battle, at least not with the romans, but Thermopylae seems so different when you read in Herodotus history about how attack after attack from the persians where pushed back and how these 300 men succeded to kill at least 20.000 persians.

Then when the persians outflank them they fight to death without a thought of escape ot surrender. Then it seems nice to be among the Greeks. :lol:

 

I know this is a very romantic version of the battle, of course it was lots of blood, smell of rutten bodies etc.

 

 

(Answer to Caldrail)

Edited by Legio X

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One of the less desirable features of humanity is their tendency toward organised violence, which is really only an extension of our social animal instincts. One facet of this is in every age, despite all the knowledge and wisdom gathered and educated, young men still want military glory and blind themselves to whatever reality they may have heard of. No matter what happens in the future, mothers will still weep as they wave goodbye to their sons. The problem being of course, if you don't defend your freedoms, someone eventually takes them away, hence the need to fight. And so the cycle continues.

 

We do laud courage in battle nonetheless. Those who have sacrificied their lives in defending their country are respected and sometimes remembered. The Romans were of course no different, but then their society developed from tribal raiding and they were that much keener on status derived from military service. During republican times, it wasn't unknown for irate senators to open their togas and display war wounds to the assembly, declaring that they had fought for Rome - it gave them credibility as individuals.

 

Their society was very tolerant of violence. It was expected that young men, even of good birth, would wander the streets in gangs at night and waylaw passers-by. Boxing was a sport where you pummelled your opponent in brutal and bloody fashion. The pancration, an imported greek style of wrestling, was no holds barred fighting apart from biting and gouging of eyes (and even that took place). The fights that took place in the arenas are of course well documented and the Romans remain the only culture I know of that used lethal violence for public entertainment.

 

We often read of Roman military capability but the word 'professional' as applied to post-marian legions is a little misleading. It means professional in terms of career or service as a vocation. What it shouldn't mean is that the Roman soldiers had a professional attitude similar to armies in the modern west. The average Roman soldier, despite the harsh disciplinary regime he had entered into, wasn't always as obedient as modern soldiers. Whilst the patriotic sentiment we associate with modern armies did exist in Roman legions up to a point, he was loyal to his commander, not the state.

 

Vegetius wrote a manual in the late 4th century which is often quoted from, describing the various training methods used by legions and we do see parallels with the modern world we are so familiar with. However, these descriptions are an amalgam of what happened in prior times, and Vegetius collated that collection of activities to write a manual of what he thought the legions should be doing. The conclusion is the Roman soldiery weren't as well trained in the 4th century as they had been, and that training wasn't as formalised nor as all-encompassing before that.

 

Roman recruitment required that recruits were of a minimum height, of good health, and of a background considered physically and mentally capable of soldiering. They didn't take just anyone (although it istn't clear how choosey they were in times of emergency) and they got a sort pyschological superiority from that.

 

One feature of the ancient world that remains different to our own, at least those of us in the law-abding modern west, is the ever-present danger of life. Three fifths of Romans died by the age of twenty through various causes (violence being one of them) and they were as civilised as it got in ancient times. It was a brutal age for everyone and whilst we look askance at the Romans for their tolerance of it, we need to understand that violence and warfare was never far away in those times. It was part of their lives. They accepted it, they accepted the risk, and even then, Roman soldiers of hard-bitten mindset trained to fight and kill on order would nonetheless feel the same fear and nervousness that we do today, and just occaisionally, you read in descriptions by ancient sources something a little more human than the glorification of military success.

 

It seems the Romans were human after all.

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