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Full Version: Cavalry Defense
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Anonymous

Ave,<br>
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I have read that legionnaires typically marched into battle with 2 pila in addition to their regular layout (Gladius, pugio, scutum etc.). However, If they knew that they were to be facing both infantry AND cavalry, what did they do? What was the foot soldiers defense against a cavalry charge? The pila don't seem like very effective spears to be braced against a cavalry charge, so did they bring sturdier spears if they knew they were facing cavalry? If they did bring heavier spears, would they bring their pila as well?<br>
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Valete,<br>
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-Spatha <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Connolly seems to think that the heavier pilum was used as a spear in defensive formations.<br>
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Plutarch wrote that in Caeser's Civil War against Pompey some of his legionaries used their pilum as spears against enemy cavalry.<br>
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Caesar himself wrote that his men used their pila as spears when defending at Alesia (IIRC). <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

If they were fighting Parthian horse archers the only thing to do is stand and die. Slow moving shock infantry is inferior to mobile missle cavalry in open country.<br>
Johnny <p></p><i></i>
(This message was left blank) <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/[email protected]>Sassanid</A> at: 2/11/05 2:26 pm<br></i>
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Thank you Sassanid for editing your post, no matter how many people agreed with it! <p>"Just before class started, I looked in the big book where all the world's history is written, and it said...." Neil J. Hackett, PhD ancient history, professor OSU, </p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=caiusfabius>Caius Fabius</A> <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ROMANISROMANORVM/files/C%20Fabius%201988b.jpg" BORDER=0> at: 2/11/05 3:29 pm<br></i>

Anonymous

I assume that most on this website would believe that shock infantry is superior to mounted missle troops?<br>
I believe that the Roman Legion was superior to any other shock infantry of its day. The Macedonian phalanx, German and Celtic armies died on the points of the Roman gladius. But when they encountered the Parthian horsearcher, it was a different story.......<br>
Johnny <p></p><i></i>
I don't think any troop type can be considered inherently superior to any other. There are many other facts to consider, otherwise everyone would simply be using the same recipe as natural selection weeds out cultures using inefficient fighting modes.<br>
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As to the superiority of the Parthian horse archers and havy cavalry over the Roman infantrymen, between the Second Triumvirate and the Severan dynasty, how may Parthian troops west of the Euphrates? How many Romans east of it? Simply said, it was the Romans that had the upper hand most of the time, with their army poised like a dagger over the heart of the enemy, within striking distance of Ctesiphon. Carrhae proved that the Parthians were to be taken seriously - and, truth be told, that Crassus was neither a Caesar nor a Pompey - but this doesn't establish superiority. If it had, should the Arsacids not have been able to better protect their capital? <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Carlton<br>
I would agree with most of your statements. A great army tends to understand the balance between shock and missle power. I think that is why the Eastern Roman empire lasted about 1000 years longer than the West. The Byzantines understood this balance. The Parthians were not versed in position war, only mobile missle war. On the open plains they were deadly, beseiging fortresses they were inefficient. The boundary generally stayed at the Euphrates between Rome and Parthia, going back and forth at various times. The Arsacids did lose their capital of Ctesiphon, but enemy armies marched through Rome on several occasions too! Remember "Vae Victis" ? <p></p><i></i>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>The Arsacids did lose their capital of Ctesiphon, but enemy armies marched through Rome on several occasions too! Remember "Vae Victis" ? <hr><br>
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Err ... you're talking of an episode from when Rome was little more than a bunch of villages as compared to an empire stretching across most of the middle east? <p>Strategy <br>
Designer/Developer <br>
Imperium - Rise of Rome</p><i></i>
The other thing to consider is that it's not that easy to get horses to crash into solid objects, pila or gladius not withstanding provided the shieldwall was kept intact. It can happen but normally horses are smart enough not to go blindly charging into solid objects regardless of what their riders tell them to do. So it's not like a cohort or whatever would be utterly defenseless once they tossed their pila.<br>
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Los <p></p><i></i>