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sonic

'Unknown' Generals

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Having done lots of research on Belisarius recently, I was struck by how many good generals were available to Justinian, but slightly saddened by the fact that so many of them are now 'unknown'.

 

Are there any generals that you know of whose exploits have been lost in the mists of time?

 

As a starter, I offer Solomon.

 

Began on Belisarius' staff but, during the Moorish revolt after Belisarius' reconquest of Africa, he defeated the Moors and in a single battle he allegedly killed 50,000 enemy without ANY losses to his own men. Surely he would have been given major honours in an earlier period?

 

Is there a similar figure from the earlier periods, or is this just a one-off scenario?

Edited by sonic

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Well, a lot of early Rome generals are overlooked when we talk about generals like Caesar but we forget the early generals who helped take Italy for Rome.

For example there's Marcus Valerius Corvus who had quite an impressive military career.

He defeated a giant Gaul army in 349 BC as a tribune

He became consul again in 346 BC, defeats Volsci

He became consul again in 343 BC, defeats Samnites

342 BC dictator

335 BC, consul, defeats Cales

301 BC dictator again

300 BC , consul, defeats Aequi, introduces law of appeal

299 BC, suffect consul, defeats Etruscans

And he lived to be 100 (370 BC- 270 BC)

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Whether a general was 'good' often didn't matter. Roman society was always competitive and political intrigue was part of military life. From the Augustus onward, each legionary commander was chosen by the Emperor, he wasn't a career soldier. The Emperor chose 'safe' men. people he thought were reliable, and often they proved not to be. Therefore a popular general might not be such a good idea, nor one who who was immodest.

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Whether a general was 'good' often didn't matter. Roman society was always competitive and political intrigue was part of military life. From the Augustus onward, each legionary commander was chosen by the Emperor, he wasn't a career soldier. The Emperor chose 'safe' men. people he thought were reliable, and often they proved not to be. Therefore a popular general might not be such a good idea, nor one who who was immodest.

 

But what about those that proved themselves in the field but have since been lost: overshadowed by Caesar, Trajan et al?

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Whether a general was 'good' often didn't matter. Roman society was always competitive and political intrigue was part of military life. From the Augustus onward, each legionary commander was chosen by the Emperor, he wasn't a career soldier. The Emperor chose 'safe' men. people he thought were reliable, and often they proved not to be. Therefore a popular general might not be such a good idea, nor one who who was immodest.

 

 

Who was that general in Spain? I can almost see his name. Marcellus????? Help!

 

The above quote seems to apply to him. He was 'good' but politics etc did him in.

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Whether a general was 'good' often didn't matter. Roman society was always competitive and political intrigue was part of military life. From the Augustus onward, each legionary commander was chosen by the Emperor, he wasn't a career soldier. The Emperor chose 'safe' men. people he thought were reliable, and often they proved not to be. Therefore a popular general might not be such a good idea, nor one who who was immodest.

 

 

Who was that general in Spain? I can almost see his name. Marcellus????? Help!

 

The above quote seems to apply to him. He was 'good' but politics etc did him in.

 

Do you mean Sertorius?

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There was Marcus Claudius Marcellus consul of 166, 155 and 152BC who was the grandson of the conqueror of Syracuse (M Claudius Marcellus cos 222, 215 214 210 and 208BC). He brought the war against the Arevaci and other Celtiberians to an honorable close in 151.

Edited by Pompieus

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Is there a similar figure from the earlier periods, or is this just a one-off scenario?

 

Certainly not unknown to the Romans, but unknown to most is the pivotal plebeian hero who defeated the Samnites and expelled Pyrrhus: M Curius Dentatus

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There was Marcus Claudius Marcellus consul of 166, 155 and 152BC who was the grandson of the conqueror of Syracuse (M Claudius Marcellus cos 222, 215 214 210 and 208BC). He brought the war against the Arevaci and other Celtiberians to an honorable close in 151.

 

Or possibly Metellus Pius, who managed to keep the highly competent Sertorius at arm's length, and even rescued Pompey when Sertorius was getting the better of him.

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