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Decisive Battles
#16
Quote:Milvian Bridge always struck me as a kind of philosophical watershed.
Not really. On March 7 323, Constantine declares his dies Solis Invicti as the day of rest - that 11 years after the Milvian Bridge. The war with Licinius is far more important in that sense I think. Constantine totally defeats Licinius at Chrysopolis (September 18, 324 AD). Not a very well-known battle, but then the Milvian bridge was better suited for later propaganda purposes.
Robert Vermaat
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FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#17
Indeed-althought you can often read somewhere that Constantine turned to Christianity immediately after that battle fact is that is was much more complicated and longer process with Constantine only gradually accepting view that it was Christian God who helped him to victory.But it is quite possible at the time of battle itself he still identify his divine help(if there was any strange occurrence at all)rather to Sol Invictus-deity which likely merge into one with Christian God in his mind later.It was not a sudden twist from day to day.

In short:in reality two pagan armies fought each other at Milvian bridge.
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#18
A much better example of a decisive battle between two Roman armies would have been in AD353 between Constantius II and Magnetius at Mursa. A total of perhaps as many as 200,000 Romans fought each other on that day, with probably half that number dead on the battlefield at the end of it. Gaul was overun by the 'barbarian' tribes north of the Rhine after the battle and was not reclaimed until 357 when Julian was assigned that task.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#19
Indeed.Also almost every historian from that era or from little later never missed to mention it at least a little and to state what a tragedy this extraordinarily
bloody battle was for Roman state-a clear sign that it was regarded as very significant clash in its own days.It is clear candidate on one of the Biggest and bloodiest battles Romans ever fought among themselves.
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#20
Aren't the figures at Mursa Exaggerated? I find it hard to believe more than 100,000 men were at Chalons, let alone 200,000 being at Mursa. Even my estimates with a 2400 man Legion woiuld require the mobilization of the Gallic, Italic, and Ilyrian Field Armies.
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#21
More a comment rather than a contribution, but do you really mean decisive, or are you referring to the significance of a battle? For example, Marathon cannot be thought decisive if the Persians were back for Plataea.
Moi Watson

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#22
I'm really thinking more-so in terms of significance I guess. Platea would have been more significant though either way.
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#23
Gaugamela of course would be the most important battle for the Hellenic world and its cultural implications. It is the point where the Hellenic culture starts its domination in the East and the beginning of the whole Hellenistic Age that shaped our world. Without it, Hellenic culture would be a local paradox instead of a western cultural norm (to a great extent) adopted by the Romans.
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#24
I listed Guagamela as I thought the exact same thing as you did. It was not the establishment of Alexander's Empire that made it great, but that it opened the East for Hellenization.
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#25
Quote:Aren't the figures at Mursa Exaggerated? I find it hard to believe more than 100,000 men were at Chalons, let alone 200,000 being at Mursa. Even my estimates with a 2400 man Legion woiuld require the mobilization of the Gallic, Italic, and Ilyrian Field Armies.

You need to read the various accounts Evan. It was obviously a battle of some great magnitude as it left Gaul denuded of the troops needed to defend it. Some historians have linked Mursa to the reason why Julian was not more successful in his invasion of Sassanid Persia as had Mursa not happened then his army may well have been far larger.

Ammianus commented on the effect of the battle in the first of the surviving books of his history.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#26
Fascinating. I will have to read it, as if it "Left Gaul deluded of Troops" then that could certainly provide insight as to the size of the Gallic Army (my estimates currently put it at roughly 63000 + 3000 men transferred from Spain and 9900 transferred from Britain)
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#27
Quote:Fascinating. I will have to read it, as if it "Left Gaul deluded of Troops" then that could certainly provide insight as to the size of the Gallic Army (my estimates currently put it at roughly 63000 + 3000 men transferred from Spain and 9900 transferred from Britain)
Not if we don't know the 'extras' hired from across the border by either side just for this campaign. Judging from the numbers Constantine and Licinius put in the field these could be quite extensive.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#28
It's probably the only battle of this era, other than Chalons, that exceeded 100,000 men.
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#29
Alesia.

It basically made sure that Gaul became a Roman province.
(Mika S.)

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