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Roman Warfare Timeline

800 - 750 Iron-age settlement at Palantine Hill

o 753 Romulus founds Rome
616 - 510 Rome under Etruscan influence
o 510 Romans overthrow Etruscan Kings (Tarquinis Superbus = last
Et. King of Rome) result of Rape of Lucretia by TSs son incited
rebellion led by Brutus
- establishment of 2 annually elected consuls (Senate) to serve
for one year
396 siege of Veii, Etruscan city. First real military success of Rome.
390 Gallic sack of Rome
o 378* Rome builds the Servian Wall (accredited to Servuis Tullus)
343 341 First Samnite War Rome gains control of Campania
340 338 Latin War Rome gains control of Latium. Established the
Roman commonwealth, Roman citizenship given to Latin cities (including
voting rights) as well as ability to enter army.
327 304 Second Samnite War
o 321 Battle of Caudine Forks Rome loses, but wins the war
298 290 Third Samnite War Roman power expands to Adriatic Sea
o 295 victory at Sentium opens up rest of central Italy.
o Opposing side anti-Roman alliance (Gauls, Samnites, Etruscans,
Umbrians, etc.)
281 275 Invasion of Pyrrhus: Greek leader, landed in S. Italy with 25,000
troops and 20 elephants (first Rome had seen)
o wins battles but cant make significant headway and is ultimately
pushed out of Rome
o allows Rome to expand and maintain hold on regions of S. Italy.
264 241 First Punic War with Carthage
o ultimately gives Rome control of mostly all of Sicily
o begins with Mamertines (mercenaries who once fought with Pyrrhus)
who are unhappy with protection by Carthage. They call on Rome for
help when he refuse t relinquish their holdings of Messina/Sicily to
Syracuse (backed by Carthage).
o 264 262 initial conflict with Syracuse = unsuccessful because of
lack of experience at sea (results in rostrum spike in battering rams
to attach on to enemy ships).
o Rome adapts to sea warfare and gains upper hand at land and at sea
ultimately wins 1
o Rome gains control of Sicily and Sardinia (Carthage cedes islands),
and Carthage required to pay lump sum of cash up front as well as 10
annual installments of cash to Rome
o Sicily and Sardinia become Roman provinces
229 228 First Illyrian War - Rome aids Greece against pirates
o results in peace treaty between Illyrians and Greeks that Is wont
expand past Lissus river (in Greece)
220-219 Second Illyrian War Illyrians violate peace treaty and sail south
of Lissus defeated by Romans
218 -202 Second Punic War
o Rome lunches dual attack on Spain and Africa
o Hannibal (Carthaginian) invades Italy from north across Alps,
occupies Italy for 16 years. Wins major battles against Rome, gives
Roman army a run for their money.
- 217 Battle of Lake Trasimane Hannibal wins
- 216 Battle of Cannae Hannibal wins
decisive victory over Roman army
- unable to capture Rome itself, but came very close.
o 203 Scipio invades Africa and attacks Carthage pulls Hannibal out
of Italy to go defend Carthage.
o 202 Battle of Zama (N. Africa) Scipio defeats Hannibal, Rome wins
215 205 First Macedonian War (occurs during 2
punic, Rome fighting
on 2 fronts)
200 196 Second Macedonian War
o Both first and second Macedonian War: Rome defends Greece from
Hellenistic States, promises autonomy and freedom for Greeks.
198 1
slave revolt Sestia, Italy.
192 189 Syrian War Rome v. Selucids
o Antiochus III recovers eastern half of Selucid empire (Egypt), makes
Rome uneasy
o Both sides want to be benefactors of Greece
o Selucid Dysnaty weakened at the expense of Pergamum
o Established all Hellenistic kingdoms as clients of Rome
181 178 First Celt-Iberian war
o led by Tiberius Gracchus
o Roman army surrounded by Celts, Rome surrenders.
o T. Gracchus tries to offer peace treaty with Spain, Senate refuses and
sends him back with more troops.
172 168 Third Macedonian War
o new Hellenistic king gaining popularity, Rome worries about
instability in Greek provinces
o Rome banishes Monarchy
o Macedonia split into 4 smaller states and fined
o Rhodes, previously slave capital of Mediterranean, punished by Rome
because didnt directly support Rome during the war.
- Slave capital moves to Delos
o 150,000 slaves from Epirus sold into slavery in 1 day
o Rome uses terror as form of control
154 151 Second Celt-Iberian War
149 146 Third Punic War Rome attacks city of Carthage, completely
destroys it
o N. Africa becomes Roman province.
144 137 Third Celt-Iberian War
135 132 Slave uprising in Sicily. First Serville War
o slaves kill all Romans on Sicily and run the entire island for
themselves for a brief period of time.
133 Lex Sempronia Agraria
o bill proposed by T. Gracchus to address the Army-Land Problem
(Rome fighting too many wars, not enough citizens hold land
qualification so there is a shortage of soldiers)
o enforces old limit of 500 iugera of ager publicus (public land) and
distribute rest to landless citizens who had been pushed to Roman
urban centers (Rome)
o enforced by 3 surveyors to ensure land is redistributed
o met with opposition from Senate took power away from elites/large
o ultimately TG deposes Octavius (consul) from office (opponent of
plebs will), bill passes
133 Attalus III bequeaths rich kingdom of Pergamum to Rome, TG says
funds must go to fund LSA.
o Makes Senate mad b/c uses public fund for private reasons.
133 TG assassinated by Senate, LSA still stands.
123 122 Gaius Gracchus (TGs brother) tries to renew reforms
attempted/brought about by brother - results in his murder.
112 106 Jugurthine War
o Jugurtha, son of king of Numidia, given western half of Numidian
kingdom (shitty land), while brother Adherbal given Eastern Numidia
(fertile land)
o 112 J attacks As kingdom, A eventually forced to surrender, killed
along with many Italian defenders.
o 111 Numidia assigned as province, Rome (led by Bestia) invades Js
territory, reaches agreement
o 110 Rome invades again, surrenders
- also, Marius (general under Mettelus) attempts to go to Rome
and gain consulship, initially denied by Mettelus
o 109 Rome invades again, led by Mettelus
- defeats J, who escapes and raises another army, then defeated
- raises another army with reluctant backing of King of
o 108 Marius elected consul, rise of Sulla underneath Marius
o 106 King of Mauretania betrays J and hands him over to Sulla
110 102 War with Cimbris and Tuetons
o 110 battle of Norcia, Rs army defeated
o 109 107 Romans lose small battles
o 105 Battle of Arausion, Roman army (under Maximus) of 80,000
- also, Marius elected consul with still fighting Jugurthine war in
o 104 Marius takes command, returns from Africa
o 102 battle of Aquae Sextia Marius wins
104 100 Marius has unprecedented 5 consulships consecutively
o defeats Germanic tribes
97 Sulla become Praetor
91 88 Social War
o motivated by Italians wanting citizenship and voting rights.
- Currently have municipia right to move, marry, conduct
business, fight, but not to vote.
o Optimates (Sulla) (Senate members, landowners, etc.) v. Populares
(Marius) (soldiers, standard citizen, etc.)
- Populares: patricians who were cut out of power, men from
good but not outstanding families, equites, Italian aristocrats,
Roman plebs and vets. allied with Marius
- Optimates: Rich landowners,
o Established military clientela system. shift in allegiance,
- Soldiers now more committed to generals who provide for
them (land/booty) than to the Roman state
o 91 Drusus is tribune of the plebs
- enfranchised plebs, attempted to enfranchise Italians, sought
to give land in and around Rome to plebs = pisses many off
- assassinated in 90 starts social war
90 Lex Julia
o grants Italians citizenship and right to vote
o persuades northern allies to abandon fight
o Italians organized into 8 socii who vote last
- If the vote reaches 50%, Italians do not get to vote.
88 Sulla becomes consul
o deeply involved with Optimates in opposition of Marius
o Sulla given command of Mithridatic war, highly lucrative
o Rioting happening in Rome
88 Sulpicius Rufus is tribune
o passes law to distribute 8 ne tribes into existing 35 to make vote
matter no support by Optimates, turns to Marius and populares.
o Consulship given to Marius
- Angered, Sulla goes to troops outside Rome and rallies
- Sulla and troops march on Rome
- Takes control of city civil war
- Sulla estd new constitution
Restore supremacy of senate
Regulate who can apply/qualify for positions
Curb power of tribune
Regularize court system
87-84 4 consecutive consulships held by Cinna (Populares)
o he and Optimate consul (Octavian) swear to uphold new const. and
Sulla goes to fight Mithridates
o Cinna proposes enfranchisement of Italians
- Met with opposition
- Cinna raises army, takes possession of city
Massacres Sullas allies, Marius dies
- Cinna assassinated
83 1
Civil War
o Sulla returns from East
o Fights at Colline gate
- Nov. 1
defeats army (populares)
b/w 50,000 and 70,000 killed, 12,000 prisoners held
3,000 brought to cirus maximus and butchered
82 Proscriptions by Sulla
o equites and senators
o punishes enemies and eliminates political opposition.
o Cities that opposed Sulla lost citizenship, others fined.
82 Sulla appointed dictator
o govt is firmly placed in the hands of the Senate/Optimates
o tries to disband military clientela - tries to make Senate more
responsive to veterans needs
o many left out
75 Sertorius uses pirates in Balearic islands
73 71 Third Serville War Spartacus
o Phase 1 : gladiatorial slaves in Capua rise up
- 78 escape, meet up with other slaves, intercept gladiatorial
wagon carrying armor and weapons move south through
Capua and defeat Roman army of 3,000.
o Phase 2: Spartacus and troops (now 70,000) move through Apulia and
- 72 4 legions move against Spartacus and are defeated
- initially spartacus and troop begin to move out of Italy, but
then change minds and continue raiding the countryside
o 71 Phase 3 Crassus named supreme commander of 10 legions
- meets Spartacus in Brundisium fights.
- Sparacus is killed, army is defeated.
- Would never be another slave rising like Spartacus
- Crassus orders 6,000 slaves to be crucified along the Appian
70 Crassus and Pompey becomes consul
70 changes to Sullan constitution
o weakened Senates position
o 64 senators removed and replaced by Equites
o citizenship granted to wider parts of italy
67 Lex Gabinia
o gave Pompey 3 year command over all seas and coastal areas up to 50
km inland (includes Pontus)
o force of 20 legions (100,000 men) and ships
- first time these combined powers had been given to a single
man - complete imperium over entire Mediterranean
o Pompey divides up Mediterranean and focuses on Cicilia (coast of
66 Lex Manilla
o transferred provinces of Asia, Sicilia, Bithynia, Pontus ** to Pompey
- Senatorial opposition didnt want to give
66 Pompey sweeps pirates out of Mediterranean in 49 days
o successful b/c was fair and not brutal
o offered land in exchange for ships
60 58 triple threat in east
o Aegean pirates
o Thracian barbarian incursions from Macedonia
o New threats from Mithridates IV

Rape of Lucretia 509
o Last ET king (Tarqunus Superbus) -> established the republic and the
Senate and 2 consuls
o No more kings of Rome
Sack of Rome by Gauls 390
Samite Wars (343-290)
o Unification of Central Italy
o First samnite war 343 341
Roman encroachment into Samnite territory
o 321 Battle of Caudine Forks
Under the yoke humiliating
major defeat for Rome
Latin Revolt 341- 338
o Conquered cities were enslaved
o Cities that surrendered became municipia not full citizenship,
meaning couldnt vote
War with Pyrrhus 280 - 270
o Tarentum last city in Italy to fall under Roman Rule Southern Italy
o Test of the maniple army against the Phalanx
o Entirety of Italian Penninsula under roman rule
o 279 Battle of Asculum
Battle of Cannae 216
o Hannibal v. Rome crushing defeat
Battle of Zama 202
o Scipio v. Hannibal
o Scipio defeat takes name africanus
Destruction of Carthage 146
o After third Punic War
o Completely destroyed, sowed salt into the ground to make land
o Subjugation of Roman enemy of Carthage
Tiberius Gracchus 133
o Tribune of the plebs
o Lex Sempronia Agraria (133)
o Assassinated illustrates cracks in the Republic
Sullas march on Rome 88 BC
o First time army marched on Rome
o First time military directly influenced Senate
o Results in civil war
Samnites under Cinna sack Rome
o Sulla returns, becomes dictator
Battle of Alesia 53
o Caesar vs. the Gauls
o Double circumvallation surrounding 2 walls
End of the Triumvirate
o Death of Crassus and Julia
o Spurs feuding of Ceasar and Pompey


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