Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
How to Retreat without turning your back
In the De Viris Illvstribvs Vrbis Romae under the section of M. Claudius Marcellus (consul en 222, 215, 214, 210, 208 av. J.-C.) I read that: “He was the first to teach the soldiers how to retreat without turning their backs.”
[What is the meaning of this phrase? Could it perhaps be a new kind of Roman Army Formation? A new way of battle? Maybe it could be the “frons” formation of Aulus Gellius NA 10.9.1. ?

Enlightenment is needed regarding this matter fellow Romans.
Backstepping while remaining cohesive in disciplined formation still following the standard, versus turning around and walking/running to the rear, which could induce a panicked rout.
So does this Ancient Source tell us that only after 500+ years of fighting, the Roman soldiers suddenly exclaimed: “Hey , that’s right, we could do THAT too!” Does this make any sense?

There could be one theory: What if the ancient source appropriates this tactic to Marcellus, but the actual first instance happened before his time? This is a possible explanation, but…

Ever more questions arise. Could this tactic have something to do with line replacement?

Are there any Roman battles that speak of this tactic before Marcellus?

If what this ancient source tell us is completely true, then one can ask the question: When during Marcellus’ lifetime was the first instance? During the battles with the Gauls or could Hannibal have been his teacher?
If Hannibal is the catalyst, that would be illuminating.
Why not track down the primary source? You're quoting from something written nearly 2,000 years after the event. Who wrote it first? When?

Also, there is no reason to make your lettering large and bold, it just makes it harder to read.
Could it be some oblique reference to one of the countermarch drills mentioned in a couple of Greek manuals that any professional Hellenic phalanx would have been familiar with ? Specifically, I have that in mind:
Now Aelian is a much latter writer but he is said to have drawn inspirations from the work of Pyrrhus and Polybe so that would sorta fit.
Please don’t make trouble, give your Junior some face. We are talking about the archaic realm of the 4th century.  Just because previous generations of Patriarchs couldn’t bother to remember DVI’s name, that doesn’t mean you can just bully him. Bullying is immoral.

I’m always respectful to all of the Ancient Sources. I want to know exactly what Devi did to offend Senior. Why do you want… to slander his reputation!?1?

Dear Timus, I could not read what’s in the link. It says I have reached the end of my available pages. But it doesn’t matter because: Your words made me achieve a breakthrough in my cultivation.

Soldiers can go forward…   

…and they can also go backward!

 Now I have a better understanding on the Cuneus Formation!!
Bryan wrote:

Why not track down the primary source? You're quoting from something written nearly 2,000 years after the event. Who wrote it first? When?
Julian has provided the primary source. It is called “De Viris Illustribus Urbis Romae,” believed (but not proven) to be written by Sextus Aurelius Victor (320 AD to 390 AD). So I do not know how Julian is quoting something written 2,000 years after the event? Have you read it or known of its existence? The section in question reads:
“45.1 Marcus Marcellus crushed Viridomar, the leader of the Gauls, in singular combat. 2 He was the third from Romulus to consecrate the opulent spoils to Jupiter Feretrius. 3 He was the first to teach the soldiers how to retreat without turning their backs.”
For those that want to know, the newest translation is:

ANONYME Les Hommes illustres de la ville de Rome Texte établi et traduit par : Paul Marius MARTIN EAN13 : 9782251014708 Les Belles Lettres
Lucius Ampelius        

Claudius Marcellus, qui Annibalem primus in Campania proelio vicit idemque docuit in bello quomodo equites sine fuga cederent.

Claudius Marcellus, who first defeated Hannibal in a battle which he delivered to him in Campania, and who taught how the cavalry could retreat without flee before the enemy;


With this primary source the problem is solved. A new Roman Tactic has been resurrected. (Or an universal tactic has been rediscovered.) Now, what are the mechanisms of this movement?

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  ordered retreat and line changes Calvo 7 1,381 07-27-2013, 03:49 AM
Last Post: Michael J. Taylor
  Turning Key Fasteners on Newstead Segmentata kazeryu 4 1,613 08-16-2011, 09:51 PM
Last Post: kazeryu

Forum Jump: