RomanArmyTalk
Decisive Battles - Printable Version

+- RomanArmyTalk (https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat)
+-- Forum: Research Arena (https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/forumdisplay.php?fid=4)
+--- Forum: Roman Military History & Archaeology (https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/forumdisplay.php?fid=8)
+--- Thread: Decisive Battles (/showthread.php?tid=23393)

Pages: 1 2


Decisive Battles - Flavivs Aetivs - 03-17-2014

We've seen the "Ten Great Generals" debate time and time again. Why not focus on the conflicts themselves? A list of decisive battles would make much more sense anyways.

Instead of Ranking the "Ten most decisive", I think it's best to go by centuries, starting with the end of the bronze age (12th century BC) and ending with what is often considered the end of the Classical Era in the 7th century AD.

I have started with some suggestions and are looking for you guys to fill the list in.

12.
11.
10.
9. Battle of Qarqar (853 BC) - A large Coalition stopped Assyrian Expansion into the levant
8.
7.
6.
5. Platea (479 BC) - Prevented Persian Invasion of Europe
- Battle of Lake Regulus (499 BC)?
4. Battle of Guagamela (331 BC) - Allowed for Hellenization of the Eastern Mediterranean
3. Battle of Zama (202 BC) - Ended the 2nd Punic War and secured Roman Domination of the West Mediterranean
2.
1. Battle of the Lycus? (66 BC) - The End of Hellenic Powers through the defeat of Mithridates
AD
- Battle of Phillipi (42 BC)?
- Battle of Carrhae (53 BC)?
- Siege of Alesia (52 BC)?
1. First/Second Battle of Bedriacum (69 AD) - Beginning of the so-called "Pax Romana"
- Battle of the Teutoberger Wald (9 AD)?
2.
3. Battle of Hormozdgan, (224 AD) - The Rise of the Sassanid Empire
4. Battle of Adrianople (378 AD) - The Romans could no longer assimilate federates from this point on
- Battle of Milvian Bridge (312 AD)?
- Battle of Chrysopholis (324 AD)?
- Battle of Mursa (353 AD)?
5. Sack of Carthage (439 AD) - The Fatal Blow to the Western Roman Empire
- Battle of the River Neado (454 AD)?
6.
7. Battle of Yarmouk (636 AD) - Ended the Classical Era with the defeat of the Roman Army


Decisive Battles - ValentinianVictrix - 03-17-2014

I would not class Ad Salices as a decisive battle as it was actually at best a draw between the Romans and the Goths. It did have an impact on the next major battle, and which must surely be considered one of the most decisive, the Battle of Adrianople in AD378. Many of the senior officers at Ad Salices were at Adrianople, including Richomeres. They would have known only too well how difficult the Goths were to defeat if they were not substantially outnumbered, or were caught napping as Sebastianus and his 2000 men had done shortly before Adrianople itself.


Decisive Battles - Flavivs Aetivs - 03-17-2014

Good point. Edited.


Decisive Battles - Frank - 03-17-2014

For the 1st century AD I see the Battle at Teutoburg Forest as the most important one. It changed the grand strategy of the roman empire - if it ever had one - significantly.

For the 1st century BC, I see your point with the downfall of hellenism. But was there any hope at all? However, I am undecided, which battle during the roman civil war was more decisive for the implementation of the roman monarchy, which finally changed the world: Pharsalos, Philippi or Actium.


Decisive Battles - AMELIANVS - 03-17-2014

Quote:However, I am undecided, which battle during the roman civil war was more decisive for the implementation of the roman monarchy, which finally changed the world: Pharsalos, Philippi or Actium.

Philippi seems clear winner to me.At Actium two "monarchs" were already fighting for supreme rule over Roman world.


Decisive Battles - Flavivs Aetivs - 03-17-2014

Quote:For the 1st century AD I see the Battle at Teutoburg Forest as the most important one. It changed the grand strategy of the roman empire - if it ever had one - significantly.

For the 1st century BC, I see your point with the downfall of hellenism. But was there any hope at all? However, I am undecided, which battle during the roman civil war was more decisive for the implementation of the roman monarchy, which finally changed the world: Pharsalos, Philippi or Actium.

Thanks for your suggestions. I can see what you're saying about the civil wars, I'm interested in the discussion that will certainly follow.

As for Teutoberger Wald, I can see it as big, but not really decisive. The Romans didn't conquer Germania, but they maintained control of that area with the Agri Decumates and the Frisii anyways.


Decisive Battles - AMELIANVS - 03-17-2014

I also think Teutoburg is highly overestimated battle.It had some effect but rather in long time horizon.Immediate consequences of this battle were in fact complete opposite to any intentional retreat from Germania or resignation on policy of agressive integration of those regions into Empire.Teutoburg also was not the only Germanic crisis at all with power of decisivnes changing history.


Decisive Battles - Frank - 03-17-2014

Quote:As for Teutoberger Wald, I can see it as big, but not really decisive. The Romans didn't conquer Germania, but they maintained control of that area with the Agri Decumates and the Frisii anyways.

Actually, there were much more tribes allied with Rome during Arminius coalition and afterwards, e.g the Chauci and the Hermanduri to name just two of them.
Of course the romans tried to maintain control, but with a different strategy. They changed from provincialisation to a kind of client-state strategy. Latest with Claudius adventure in Britain and the later measures of Domitian, this strategy started to fail. The romans were far away from controlling any strucutal changes in Germania Libera afterwards. And the consequences became harsh starting in the 3rd century.

Looking to the Pax Romana, you proposed alternatively, I have a different understanding of this term. For the romans the Pax Romana started with Augustus, even if his legions expanded the empire more than any other emperor after him. Pax Romana means peace amongst romans after these terrible civil wars. And has not that much to do with provinces or barbarians from a roman point of view.


Decisive Battles - ValentinianVictrix - 03-17-2014

The Battle of Nedao, AD454. A coalition of tribes including the Gepids, Goths, Alans, Rugi, Suevi and Herul,s who were all subjects of the Huns, banded together and fought alongside each other to defeat a Hun army led by Ellac, son of Attila. This broke the power of the Huns.


Decisive Battles - Flavivs Aetivs - 03-17-2014

Quote:The Battle of Nedao, AD454. A coalition of tribes including the Gepids, Goths, Alans, Rugi, Suevi and Herul,s who were all subjects of the Huns, banded together and fought alongside each other to defeat a Hun army led by Ellac, son of Attila. This broke the power of the Huns.

This certainly was important, but this process had already begun with the Battle of Chalons in 451 and the failed invasion of Italy in 452. Even if the Battle of Neado hadn't happened, the Hunnic Empire would still have collapsed as it wasn't even an Empire, just a confederation of Hunnic and Germanic groups under a strong Hunnic domination. Really not much different from the Roman Foederati System in many respects.

The Sack of Carthage was by far more important and more profound: had the Vandals not invaded Africa and taken Carthage, the Western Empire would have **likely** recovered (well... provided Aetius was alive. Nobody else had the military or political tact to do it).

EDIT: I have added contenders under each individual century.


Decisive Battles - ValentinianVictrix - 03-17-2014

Rather than the sack of Carthage in 439 would have thought that the Battle of Cap Bon in 468 would have been a better candidate as that was the last serious attempt by a joint Western and Eastern army to deal with the Vandals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cap_Bon_(468)


Decisive Battles - Michael Kerr - 03-17-2014

With all respects to the other choice in regard to 1 in BC rather than Battle of the Lycus, I would have thought the battle of Carrhae in 53BC was a battle of greater significance, where a Parthian cavalry force under the Suren wiped out a much larger Roman force under Crassus. This battle set back Roman ambitions in the east about 150 years up to Trajan's disastrous Eastern campaign. Seeking revenge became a standard roman desire for ambitious politicians & future emperors & destroyed Mark Anthony's political ambitions & Caesar himself was assassinated before he could set out in revenge of his friend Crassus which I think created one of the greatest what ifs in history. Would Caesar have done any better than Crassus or Anthony if given the chance?
Regards
Michael Kerr


Decisive Battles - Ovid - 03-18-2014

Milvian Bridge always struck me as a kind of philosophical watershed.


Decisive Battles - Currahee Chris - 03-18-2014

Quote:Milvian Bridge always struck me as a kind of philosophical watershed.

I concur. I have often felt the same way.

Always thought Zama was a pretty decisive battle myself.


Decisive Battles - antiochus - 03-18-2014

Lake Regillus in 499 BC. It subdued the Latins for 159 years.