First published in Great Britain in 2005 by Osprey Publishing, Midl,md House, West Way, Botley,Oxforo OX2 OPH, UK 443 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016, USA Email: info@osplceypublishiPlg.tom

Matenal previQu~lY.published in C"mpaigh36: Cannqe' 2/6 BC, Campaign 84: Adrianople AD 378, Essential Histories 16: The Punic Wars 264-146 BC, Essential Histories 21: Rome at War AD293-696, Essentie] Histories 42: Caesar's Civil War 4~4.4 BC, Essential Histories 43: (ae5<'lr's Gallic Wars 58-50 BC, Elite 50: The Proetorion Gt.r<l~d)Elite I I G: Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 226-642, Elite 120: Mounted Archers o( the .5teppe 600 BC-AD 1300, Elite 121 :.Andellt Siege Warfare: Persians, Greeks, CarthaginianS lind RDmQn5 546-14'6 BC, Elite 1'49: Siege Warfare in the Roman World 146 BC-AD 378, Men-at -Arms 46: The Roman Army (rom Caesar to Trojan, Men-at-Armssi3: The Romon Army tram Hadrian to Constantine. Men-at-Arms 121: Armies p( the Carthaginian War$ 265-146 BC, Men-at-Arm~ 129: RD.me'$ Enemies (I) Germanics and Dacians, Men-at-Arms 137: The Scythians 700-300 BC, Men-at-Arms 158: Rome's Enemies (2) Gallic and British Celts, Men-at-Arms 175: Rome's Enemies (3) Parthians and Sassanid Persians, Men-at-Arms IjlO: Rome's Enemies ('I). Spanish Armies, Men-at-Arms 243: Rome's Enemies (5) The Desert Frontier, Men-at-Arms 283: Early Roman Armies, Men-at-Arms 291: Repuplir:;on Roman Army 200-104 BC, Men-at-Arms 360: The Throcians 700'BC-AD 46, l:1",nCat-Arms 373: The Sarmatians 600 BC-AD 45Q, Men-at-Ann, 374: Roman Military Clothing (/) 100 BC-AD 200, Men-at-Arms 390: Roman Military Clothing (2) AD 200-400, Warrior 9: Late Roman Infantryman AD 236-565, Warrior 15: Lote Roman Cavalryman AD 236-565, Warrior 17: Germanic Warrior AD 236-568, Warrior 30: Celtic Warrior 300 BC-AD 100, Warrior 39: Gladiators 100 Be-AD 200, Warrior 50: Pirtish WalTlfi( AD 297-841, Warrior 71: Roman Legionary 58 BC-AD 69, Warrior 72: Imperial Roman Legionary AD 161-284 Vanguard 78 399 BC-AD 63, and Roman Artillery 399 Be-AD 63.

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by Tom Holland

6 14


Early Republic 753BC-150BC
PART 2 86

A CIP catalogue record for this bo6k IS available from the British Library ISBN I 8~ 176 932 0 Page layout by Ken Vail Graphic Desi'g ..., Cambridge, UK Index by David Worthington Maps by The Map $twdio- Ltd Origin<rted by The Electronic Page, Company, Cwmbran, Primed and bound in China through World Print Ltd 05 06 07 08 09 I0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 I UK

Late Republic 150BC-27BC
PART 3 166

Early Empire 27BC-AD235
PART 4 228

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were none who could match the legions on the battlefield. Rome's greatness was won and maintained, above all, by her genius for war. A destiny manifest in her very origins. The city was founded, after all, by a man who had drunk in savagery from a she-wolf's teat. The story of Romulus' suckling was one that always caused the Romans much embarrassment - for it was the habit of their enemies, shocked by the legions' savagery, to condemn Rome as 'the city of the wolf' The image of the Romans as a killer breed, sniffing the wind for prey, feasting on raw meat, is a powerful illustration of the impact that this alarming people could have on their neighbours, and of the terror that they inspired. Not for nothing did the Romans regard red as the colour of war: red, the colour of viscera; red, the colour of blood. Yet evident although the strain of violence in Roman militarism always was, such murderousness would have been nothing without a parallel reserve of self-control. There could be no place in Rome's legions for ill-disciplined vainglory. When a soldier fought, he did so not for himself, but for the army as a whole. Duty and cohesion of the line were all. True, for a century after the expulsion of the last king in S09BC, and the establishment of a republic, the Romans had struggled to put these principles into practice. Racked by social convulsions, they failed to turn their predatory instincts upon their neighbours. All that changed in the year 390BC, when the Republic suffered a salutary and shocking humiliation. An invading horde of Gauls, having wiped out an entire Roman army, swept into Rome itself, and pillaged the city mercilessly. This was the episode, more than any other, which served to put steel into the Roman soul, and transform Rome into the world's deadliest military power. The Republic, from that moment on, was resolved never again to tolerate defeat, dishonour or disrespect. For their neighbours, slow to wake up to the character of the mutant state in their midst, the consequences were devastating. A century and a half after the Gallic occupation, Rome had emerged as the dominant power of the western Mediterranean. It was not in victory, however, that she best demonstrated the


ome was the supreme carnivore of the ancient world. Predatory and intimidating, the Romans' civilisation was both eerily like our own, and

utterly, astoundingly strange. It is this tension, between what is familiar and what is not, that best explains the fascination that Rome still holds for us to this very day. What theme is there, after all, to compare for drama with that of the Roman Empire? The famous words that Gibbon applied to its ruin might equally well describe the entire parabola of its thousand-year rise and fall. 'The greatest, perhaps, and most awful scene, in the history of mankind.' Lying at its heart is a mystery as profound as any in the records of human civilisation. How on earth did the Romans do it? How did a single city, one that began as a small community of cattle-rustlers, camped out among marshes and hills, end up ruling an empire that stretched from the moors of Scotland to the deserts of Iraq? So solidly planted within our imaginations are the brute facts of this rise to superpower status that we have become, perhaps, de-sensitised to the full astonishing scale of the Roman adventure. Virgil, the great laureate of his people's achievement, saw in it the fulfilment of a mission entrusted to them by the gods. 'Your task, 0 Roman,' he wrote in celebrated lines, 'is to rule and bring to men the arts of government, to impose upon them the arts of peace, to spare those who submit, to subdue the arrogant.' Rome's enemies, unsurprisingly, were inclined to interpret her motives a little differently. 'Warmongers against every nation, people and monarch under the sun,' spat Mithridates, an Asiatic king of the first century BC who devoted his life to resisting the. encroachments of Roman imperialism. 'They have only one abiding motive - greed, deep-seated, for empire and riches.' So it has ever been, of course: one man's peacekeeper will invariably appear another's brutal aggressor. Yet both Virgil and Mithridates, profoundly though they may have disagreed as to the character of Rome's dominion, had not the slightest doubt as to what had made it possible. Rome's truest talent was for conquest. There were other peoples, perhaps, who excelled the Romans in the arts, or in philosophy, or in the study of the heavens, but there


Not themselves took this supremacy of charismatic entirely for would-be might easily find themselves and locating their identity their fortunes delusory glamour in the reflected glory of his name. shocking even to the enemy'. now bound to surrender. unprecedented Roman traditions of Legionaries. have been the least typical. commander. were even statues of Hannibal by contrast. they emerged one of the most sensational . the Romans of human sacrifice in an attempt self-promotion . he was only one of a number of warlords against anything that any power anywhere could throw against them. as a virtue.the scene of carnage. in many ways.. of her militarism. but in 107BC a fateful reform had opened regardless of whether he owned property or not. with Republic had ever put into the field was effectively wiped out. completing military history. on the first day of the battle of the Somme . above he had when his fellow citizens began to worry that he was getting put in his place: menaced with prosecution. in the growing reach of the Republic's BC. but an expression of the Republic itself in result. should also. starting to be supplied spectacular by the state. Not that he was uniquely aberrant. And in the long run. Scipio himself. As a to take on by a second of the legions. Roman had been brutally of the army had reaped 9 . the headlong phalanx. On 2nd August. campaigns opportunities became. among the Romans. in that single day's fighting than were killed it is said. disastrous and seemingly been forced into retirement that could rival the addiction in a general. that none of the generals who his ultimate himself. of war.for what was a legion. an intriguing fought against Hannibal. armies during the first century The further-flung that the themselves for self-aggrandisement. placed in the very streets of Rome. The battle of Cannae. Why. Glamour. for rush of a barbarian The Romans them the or the measured with that instinctive craving for comradeship attaching that was the mark of to those of their a Hellenistic granted. as the world's most menacing to a century BC. but in catastrophe. oblivion Marcus has been estimated. the most celebrated triumphant Hannibal. The blend of discipline had proven itself triumphantly and flexibility adaptable warband that they brought to any and the longer they lasted.first against comebacks All of which explains why Julius Caesar. In truth. all Romans.E AND HER ENHAIES INTRODUCTION unique total quality catastrophe. and having a film named after him. for war The spoils of war were owed rather to the Roman people as a whole after all. bristling of the Forum might in them. there development: the creeping professionalisation not even Scipio Africanus. himself. who would end fought on. enemies. Alexanders. conqueror. and suggestive fact. his crushing Appian was so desperate to crosses standards to advertise all along the of Roman Rome's greatest enemy. with weapons restructuring and armour service. and then his city's history.yet it was Spartacus. in example and the comparative the posthumous of Rome's In 71BC. the greatest the richest man in the Republic. of her own generals Crassus. of private been citizen militias armies. Against all the conventions and barely believably. at the time. what had previously the characteristics momeritous Traditionally. Hannibal manpower. On one level. 216BC. suspicion. that same addiction could only be regarded celebrity is evident. if it turned from public life. wiped out perhaps a fifth of her available among the victors was that Rome was of warfare of a servile revolt that he nailed billboards grotesque even captives by the presumption Way. 'was victory of Hence. While there was certainly of the Roman nothing the largest army that the Roman it people to glory. after example. only those citizens who could afford to equip themselves could ever compare for fame with the great Carthaginian had been eligible for military the army up to every Roman. even going to appease the angry in up being played by Kirk Douglas. the Romans The legions conclusively instrument battlefield whether were the undisputed established who found. were slaughtered selfish and pathological. this dividends: by 50BC. a trend began increasingly only encouraged . arms? So it was. By the first masters of the Mediterranean. the slave he had defeated. military genius in was rarely regarded gods. implacably to the shocking extreme But she did not. More soldiers. and the universal Barca. so the more distant start to seem to those who fought circumstance.

and that. an expedition. forfeited to He became subject. 'What is happiness?' asked Horace. beatings . Maintenance of the chain of were made . security of the Empire. rather than to expand. Octavian. he consciously privileges of his citizenship. during the long years of the imperial peace. Henceforward was only permitted frustrated. could legitimately be subjected to a discipline both more half of the first century not against barbarians. dictatorship . briefly. to the turmoil of 'the August link between and chaos. Yet it ultimately for in the second the legions of terrible his nephew. The umbilical ruined Republic service and the civic institutions the legions would by women disciplined. given only a little slack.' them their greatness. He would at almost . but as a mule. civil war. Octavian. might periodically engulf capital. The it that even the SAS might find insupportable. who would and there once have amid the bogs and forests of Germany.Britain.'Augustus' military . seem an ever more however. were served to menace Rome herself with implosion BC. secure. of family life would onwards. Mesopotamia .banished the legions from of the stay far on from the time of Augustus authorities did not want were forbidden softened The military sex. more than to uphold. and to the total of Roman power. and comforts burden of armour now found themselves of liberty the comforts awarded not even as a slave. whether back in the capital Roman as a stewardship of peace.so that of a fierce trumpet. remind as the badge of rank. is precisely what loyalty. Marriage violently Italy. but equilibrium could genius for war became the underpinning even among the senatorial the legions on spectacular Barring one savage flare-up of Mesopotamia. distant from Rome. So it was that the traditional of the Pax Romana. A series and then world. True. would carry a cane made of vine-wood. emerged out of which first Julius masters than any to be found in the armies of the modern by a recruit when he first joined the legions. were animated Ferociously super-fit. the greatest but amongst battles waged in the ancient world. established occasional aristocracy fleeting panic briskly back in the distant foreign adventures.and his just to Yet his genius aftermath sound brought slavery splendid was to hide it.E AND HER ENEMIES INTRODUCTION eagles had been planted in the wilds of Armenia. Octavian was military provided. depended distant crucially memory. like a slave. to his officers. Dacia and. the as the undisputed of the Roman The Republic. the eagles. to anarchy and had duly perished breakdown by the sword. of everyone were few regrets. because legionaries themselves. it was coast of Gaul. unexampled centrally organised and predominantly peace-time military. upon the integrity of the centre: for the all constituted as new provinces men of the Roman capable of destroying army were. only alternative having lived by the sword. As an example the very order that they were being employed 11 . Only Roman legions themselves really threaten of civil war in AD68/69. there was no one. could be represented stationed by a uniquely savage esprit de corps. had come to by Augustus conquests held for almost two centuries. legionaries to the eagles. in the to the had of the centurion. while marching and equipment of the horrendous civil wars. be obliged to carry. in truth. The very be denied him: for private to marry. and soldiers. recruited frontiers where their loyalty increasingly from among non-Italians. in a sense. or the to the would the to the emperor to civilians Who could hope to stand against them? For centuries. was forever broken. command. his blood pumping The Romans. and more brutalised The oath sworn the result was troops civil wars were fought. honed world. and on the northernmost by a professional. the occasional sand-dunes debacle. was of a rare ferocity: vowing duty to Caesar. sacramentum. 'Not a soldier. and order honorific five miles per hour. a truly monstrous he would pleasures be jeered at by civilians. Passing into the realm of Mars. for the old days the peace although were to keep of be restored. And indeed. hoped to captain of the Republic. their men One' . Caesar. weary of the militarism preferring that him as much. he consecrated his own life and possessions as the stake of his the rights and appeared. In that period.the duty of the legions was primarily the limits of Roman dominion.

was used for the rest of his life by the Persian king as a mounting block for climbing onto his horse. Now. The entire government days was subordinated to the requirements only of the army. without there could be no wealth. A potent symbol. the interests of rival caesars. resurrected decay? So it might have during provinces. an autocracy of blood world had been transformed and steel. the West. 'that there could be no taxes. in a bitter irony. True. prisoner. had been able to summon fresh legions. grimly. however. and the empty skin filled with straw. when legion pay as the But what if those the Roman payments became impossible to make? In 378. an emperor. an enemy emerged menacing Valerianus. without Locked into this vicious cycle. when the Roman army of the over Attila and his Huns. from the grave.even. in what finally died. even than those that had In the war against Hannibal. citizens were bled white. at far richer than peacetime Adrianople. The Goths. demolishing Without the to universal foundations disbelief. was the story of Rome herself. far distant from Rome. such as Constantine Between 395 and 420. in the West at any rate. forever the most successful fighting force in history. the Empire was one before. the entire Roman armed camp. Once. 'whole and even a seasoned armies had vanished imperial completely spin-doctor was obliged to confess that The Empire was still Rome's dominions was even taken in the East. had sought to veil the true foundations and his successors ruled nakedly of his authority. the Republic. emerged on which the imperial wealth. his corpse was flayed. as a disaster fit to compare of course. The security been restored of the East. the army of the Rhine suffered the Power.lE AND HER ENEMIES INTRODUCTION This was to be brutally after legion discovered demonstrated that rewards during the third century potentially AD. Whereas Augustus. mustering all its strength. garbed in his sinews. In 260.were steadily army had come to depend. In Persia. at the battle of Chalons it had only been able to fight in alliance outer limits. and cost. far from finished. in the form of the Sassanid monarchy. with startling taxes. which had once resided far distant from the frontiers. capable of directly the elderly Licinius still. The wretched captive. as a military emperors strongmen. worn out by his humiliations. When Valerian. Taxes. began suddenly Empire of subtle tyrant'. Simultaneously. Twenty-five years later. for the first time. like a shadow'. year by year. and plundering the Empire's very heartlands . and Visigoths. army of the East suffered ranked a defeat at the hands of the with the slaughter tautening its and were to be had by promoting Roman world collapsed destroyed the Republic. the army the fourth century upon a new and formidable markedly different from that of three centuries footing. As it army parity with the Persians. machinery shot of had been from the beginning. be brought Roman but Adrianople had given a foretaste by settling of how it might indeed had formerly been to its knees. with Burgundians that lined the Empire's into an West won its last great victory.and yet the Roman of an Empire in irrevocable order. haul itself back from the brink. permitted mortgaged to serve in the legions. among the military strongholds now dwelt instead In 451. loss of almost two-thirds of its regiments. perhaps. the Roman and alarming speed. there could be no army. into civil wars more internecine a fresh catastrophe loomed. had gradually . imperial purple. in 410. so at the very end: the story of the Roman and fourth Rome's AD. in the early those with property had been of the Roman rise to greatness. In a sense. to disintegrate. was over. Spending between through on the military.but at an agonising With it had vanished it has been estimated. Five years after Adrianople. it has been estimated. Goths that contemporaries at Cannae. to pay for its soldiers. seemed . the third the roof. the Empire itself was 13 . and the Empire itself. centuries went up by some 40 per cent hardly surprisingly. the city of Rome itself .

•• .d for land. APENNINE TRIBES AND LATINS page 37 Chapter 3 THE CARTHAGINIANS page 50 Chapter 4 THE HELLENISTIC EMPIRES pa.·_ The powerful constantly city-state struggled Rome's greatest EARLY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC Italian neighbours of Rome v.ge 70 .je. trade and the spoils of war. as each Alliances were forged and broken for survival and dominance. allies could quickly become her most feared enemies .~ Chapter 1 I THE ROMANS page 18 Chapter 2 THE ETRUSCANS.

~.In_.. .. and the tribes stilities with neighbouring The Laws of the Twelve Tables published Rome sacked by Gauls Rome begins wars with the Samnites Sarnrutcs defeated.i ... and ends Second Punic War Start of Second Macedonian End of Second Macedonian Start of Third Macedonian End of Third Macedonian Fourth Macedonian War Carthage. Start of Third Punic War against Roman soldiers destroy Punic War Start of Roman civil wars t I NORTH AFRICA N c:::::::J Warg 17 The Roman Republic before the Punic j . ~ CHRONOLOGY { a 1'Lr'"'1 ----- ( ~ 753 715 673 641 616 579 534 509 508 450 390 343 290 280 275 264 241 218 214 205 Romulus founds Rome and becomes and accession its first king Pompilius of of of of Death of Romulus Death of Numa Tullus Hostilius of Numa Pornpilius and accession and accession an'd accession Death of Tullus Hostilius Ancus Marcius Death of Ancus Marcius Tarquinius Priscus Death of Tarquinius Servius Tullius Pris s and accession Death of Servius Tu ius and accession Superbus (Tarquin he Proud) Tarquinius Super nus expelled Republic is for ed Rome begins of Tarquinius from Rome. Roman and become allies of Rome at Beneventum the Carthaginians Hannibal's army Rome begins war with Pyrrhus army defeats Pyrrhus Start of First Punic War against DACIA Rome seizes Sicily.r.. and ends First Punic War Start of Second Punic War against Start of First Macedonian Philip V of Macedon End of First Macedonian War between War War War War War Carthaginians and end Third Rome and SPAIN 201 200 197 171 168 149 148 146 133 Rome seizes Spain.

(715-6TlBC). Etruscan rule and reform The fifth king of Rome was the first Etruscan Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (616-579BC) to hold the position. Romulus' successor. thunderstorm. rule in Rome saw In Roman legend. lape of the Sabines was . kills his brother Alba Longa. This was considered a most appropriate were constantlv shifting. the three Horatii brothers from Rome had a symbolic fight with the Curatii triplets from Alba. Tllllus Hostilius 753BC soon descends into fratricide. This is a 19th-century engraving of the event. Ancus Martius (641-617BC). the battlefield. According Latins to Livy. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) 19 . on religious reform. made shrewd military reforms in order to defend his through conquest. This had some proven efficacy. and the defence of one's own land. the period of Etruscan order to garner favour in his new kingdom. and concentrated (673-641BC) was very war-minded. as well as the acquisition was the means to success and survival. version. the first king. effectively doubling the population of Rome with Alban refugees. Pompilius chapter in the story of mndation of Rome.'S seem most appropriate the god of War. Renaissance and id. The method by which Romulus set about populating rape. as the neighbouring Romulus himself eventually Sabine women disappeared were abducted during a violent to Hostilius. (© a/AAA Collection Ltd) was a much more peaceful king. monarchy and republic Background The story of how Rome was born is steeped in violence. when the e men returned to Romulus.1 "11d the ferocity and skill of its armies. Romulus The legend of orphaned twins and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf and founding as Romulus a city on the Palatine Hill in whilst jealously defending the city involved kidnap and and war by Rome's first seven kings. believed to have City.lLY REPUBLIC 753BC--150BC his father Mars been ta I<en up by " . The Sabine wives. the Roman army up to this time mainly consisted of groups of warriors under the command of wealthy nobles. Although successful in fighting together to become Rome's first mothers. '. Although the stuff of fables. 111 waged war with the neighbouring Certainly. Although not a ·n event. between the Roman abine men to prevent from fighting. and built his power on his ability on kingly quality at a time when borders of others. .n. by J L David 99. Rome's and destroyed neighbouring third king. to try to reclaim their . but would have to adapt and become a more homogenous U11ltto be able to survive the battles ahead. was certainly military-minded. but the writings of Roman historians emphaSIS given to military organisation such as Livy and Dionysius can build a picture of the THE ROMANS Foundation. the third king of Rome. shows a later stage legend. it has become Chapter 1 Earliest kings Records of the organisation of Rome's military forces under the early monarchy are scarce. 'and of their Roman mds and children.ular image for artists . the Sabine Numa . these violent of its THE rZ01'v1ANS I)cglllnlng (1 for a city that grew I11to an empire by the strength S\V01( . as a way of settling a dispute between the two states. and expanded Rome's frontiers and population war. This 'took place during the reign of Tullus Hostilius. The successor his new city.

interwoven. in a common Greek cities he had come to assist and he was forced to withdraw. was ruled by a senate and two consuls . and after a number m Latium. Servius Tullius (579-534BC) replacing the order of citizenship Celts proceeded to overrun based on race by temples and killing mnocent citizens. 21 . the city of Rome. PUnIC of the Republic. Marcus Manlius. against the Sabines. and the Romans fundamentally lost new and a of Tarquinius in the final toppling Lucius against Republic Junius of the monarchy Brutus. His high-handedness. him to exclaim: 'Another such victory and we are undone'. or plebeians. Roman policies continued to anger the Samnites. who was the second Etruscan to have introduced a sweeping reform. in the senate was a matter people. One of these cities. in the new Republic of its armies. called centuries by their wealth. Much of the fifth century BC saw Rome the Latins. Rome had no serious It was Rome's and possessed a secure northern border with Etruria. A Roman army met wa) . defending fertile Latium territory. would from 264BC unri1146BC. and indeed deliberately. meant undertaken life were unavoidably. or 'Tarquin the Proud'. siege of the important a run of success and War. and treaties with Rome. her power to neighbouring peoples. of troops were drawn. A small number of soldiers would not leave a garrison one based on residence. 20km north following a six-year-long However. a "Pyrrhic victory'. ensured the continued. but his success as a warmonger of Rome as an early superpower. southern for protest. the Romans in a hard-fought giving rise office. ferocious and skilled in battle than the Romans had expected. Philip V of Macedonia expansionist signed a treaty with Hannibal after was about to come to an end. driving the Carthaginians however. of victories over others of the Latins.LLY REPUBLIC 753BC-lSOBC its most significant Etruscan around form military reforms warfare of the early period. and taxes) Punic and Macedonian Wars Responding to an appeal from the Greek city of Syracuse. eventually lost him the support censors (responsible extended for taking the census of citizens and regulating and praetors (magistrates Rome gradually fifth century junior to the consuls). rights against or judges. The Republic Rome's dominance had come mto As Rome had extended scattered around consuls being elected annually. came to withm a few miles of Rome. then pursued policies from Illyria northwards. quaestors (prosecutors responsible later aediles (magistrates the corn supply). that would dictate the success or failure of the Republic. and Greek-style due to the introduction tactics in the Roman of the army south from northern Italy. News that their homelands were bemg sacked in their absence eventually convinced the Celtic and the Celts finally left Rome to be into one of five classes. were divided groups thus increasing the pool of military manpower. or patricians. and by the start of the The threat to the region aimed at western extremity. in this role. determined These newly defined From these in the city. Fall of monarchy and rise of republic The reign of Tarquinius Superbus (534-509BC). Carinae in 216BC. Vol sci and Aequi who Rome effectively doubled the Carthaginians to exercise their arms. back and prophetically observed 'what a field we are leaving As he set sail he looked to the Romans and from a number presenting defensive alliance. so that by the middle challenge. others negotiated the corrupt and violent monarchy. However. class. when Gallic Celts. the nephew in Rome. were eager to settle in more territory Etruscan dominance under the control In 396BC. by the common conflict Greek the peninsula's to Pyrrhus. Much of the conversion to hoplite tactics is associated with the sixth king was said of Rome. challenger next major wars were where the wealthy class system military were bound to serve and to provide who could their own military which The and from where they had fled across the Tiber. burning and demolishing THE ROMANS of phalanx hoplite this time.chief magistrates The dominant power of the aristocratic or judges . . Rome was also engaged in a number of city of Veii. led his fellow the of the early Republic. to protect the plebeians' organisation. Pyrrhus crossed over to Sicily in into its of the 278BC and was soon in possession of most of the island. Many communities citizenship. More offices were added to the political originally officers). Tarentum for help. them. and remained trapped there for seven months under their leader. the police. family that resulted It was. Etruscans. prompting to the unmortal the Adriatic (Taranto). becoming but later became military paymasters expression. The new regime established and courage. rise and his next entanglements that were to draw her into new theatres.' and Carthaginians True enough. conflicts WIth the Macedonians. Brennlls. the patricians. The vicrorious and the Roman army fled after severe losses. for supervising public building and games. the cruel streak and rapid. and was increasingly the plebeians challenged coasrhnes.the army. and thus became their independence and became municipio with Roman expansionist in 509BC. was to be based on patriotism the military it was the strength final Third Samnite War saw a grand alliance of Samnites. against the Latin towns of Tibur and also controlled vote at assemblies. citizens founder in an uprising of the Roman reformed their relationship WIth the Latins and their other allies. who had been fighting their his defeat a. political leader. Crossing contest. Evenrnal Roman victory was achieved Dunng the period of the second at massive cost. BC. including tribunes (who were or treasurers). to exhaustion the arms of at war alongside both the Romans be exercised in the Punic Wars. however. returning Rome's I'racneste. Expansion War with the Samnites in 343BC took the Romans after suppressing a rebellion from the Volsci into the southern in 338BC. and the establishment of Tarquinius. that their rmght was needed elsewhere. Rome was the most important of Apennine hill tribes resulted city in Latium. a united front against the enemy tribes. cities of the third century her hegemony. is marked by cruelty and violence. Pyrrhus had appealed defeated king of Epirus until by 300BC had obtained the right to hold any in 280BC. but the Celts were far more numerous. highlands of Italy. citizens classes. defeated piecemeal by the Roman seemed beyond with Celts and Umbrians BC she resolve of its leaders. providing the basis for an army equipment. rebuilt by her surviving citizens. about of Rome.

Philip promptly ambassadors force. and he Scipio could finally deal with the Macedonian However. in varying degrees. went on to gain more his withdrawal Titus Quinctius polrcy against army Against the terms of his agreement territory in Greece. but rather a multiplicity of deities code. Due to the limited resources were not enough Roman soldiers from either a Roman ful leader. there by Neptune or victory in battle by Mars. allowing expansion. Even so. Roman sent to demand did not change their fickle natures from the lands of their allies were unsuccessful. Nevertheless. Nor was there a single all-powerful majority of Romans the mythology and Ares became Neptune hcca me Venus and Vesta. Whether his subsequent is a matter for conjecture. As-there was no church. Beliefs varied considerably. inevitably had some bearing omen could raise morale. increased intcrtermg with and squabbling over their different interests and moral proteges. can be little doubt that religion influenced military frequen~)y not undertaken jhrough decisions. modified their own earlier animistic worshLp. Flaminius took Roman command and war was declared. who were the of portents. threat. lack of favourable causing delay and hesitancy. phalanx. A favourable an untavourable one could cause anxiety. granted control of Rome. There was no established church as we know it. To the that we regard as little more than a collection of of immortals to whom established rights would The fulfilment of these obligations fables was. had been forced out of Africa. Neglect. any need to draw on Roman there were a few hardy souls like the consul Appius Claudius Pulcher who. headed by the Pontifex Maximus (Chief Priest). so the peace terms were suitably generous and seemed to please both sides. allegiance. the chief officials being the College' 1~1. without Divination. Hannibal. a portrayal were due and who had to be propitiated. long-standing enemies in Aetolian of 'the lands THE ROMANS to help halt Philip's advance.1an impending battle. Major portents. but Philip's violent presence Once Hannibal caused them to drop their Roman back to Carthage assembled in 205BC. and Aphrodite and Hestia concern to keep Philip from aiding . so they absorbed the religion and culture Italy and later in Sicily Demeter became an army to fight the Macedonians. with a hierarchy. L11 rncu's Iives was as varied as it is now. creed and moral god. In 197BC the two sides met at the battle of Kynoskephalai. and pursued Philip. but 23 . ensure the safe return ofmariners would provide an abundant would lead to abandonment. By the third century BC the Romans had assimilated the Greek gods and Ijf&!clesses. had adopted a more flexible way of fighting than By now the Roman and their the phalanx. if not the purposeful infliction of disaster. struck a deal with the Aetolians of Greece. RELIGION IN EARLY REPUBLICAN ROME their conquesjs. before the battle of Drepana off Sicily. A primary Philip to keep most of his land gains in return for the Romans was probably of the races they had subjected. was not confined known through of any importance officials. no CItizen entered into an undertaking offering a sacrifice and reading for himself the signs in and religion and its role determining the course of there ventures were the victim's entrails. then try drinking instead'. manpower reserves.<:!:Res and augurs and to these arbiters of divine and ihuman affairs and the interpreters 0111cns Their role was of great significance since the gods could only make their wishes coded messages. Poseidon and wanton ways. so long as he could afford to do so. harvest manoeuvrability helped them to defeat the Macedonian allied territory Philip had to give up all his lands in the Roman ) was renowned as a of Greece. individual interpretations on the way they face. He flung the birds overboard WIth the short-tempered disastrous though the gods for official advice: 'If you won'teat.LY IZEPUBLIC 753BC-150BC The Romans Macedonians. as it served to make the Greeks even firmer allies of the Romans. It was the influence of the Greek cities in southern that made the greatest impact. military so Flaminius presence. and in the process.. when Rome became a republic the responsibility of Pontiffs. peace terms were agreed between for no further As the Romans extended Scipio and Philip. while Ceres and Jupiter. rain. however. a more aggressive in 198BC. though this renaming and Mars. religious ceremonies became a function ofthe state. on the other hand. Among soldiers too.. Collection move. through with Scipio. defeat can be ascribed to his irreverence cannot: have been too enraged since he managed to escape with his life. and all Greek cities came under the direct left to Rome after the recent Second PUl11e to garrison Greece. Greece her freedom shrewd or Macedonian This was a without supplicants. Greek names Were Romanised: Ceres. as the many iyals of his continence This 17th-century s Scipio Africanus pardoning Hellier/AAA tapestry the Ltd) War. after allowing for this individuality. lost patience when the sacred chickens would not eat and so pre-vide a favoura ble omen.

assembly. of Rome. This made military planning and predictable. as a dominant power should be preserved. called proletarii. and served for a few weeks or a month or two per year and equipment. be in danger for the legitimate threat. by the time of the Punic Wars these were normally up only in times of emergency were primarily farmers and traders. The men mature tough and experienced or skirmishers. were sometImes The men 111 the minimum they Were this to occur. as at most. warned the grandson of the military genius the others said 'Idem in me' ('the same for me').. and youngest citizens who had little Who were Rome's soldiers? Citizen soldiers During her early history. with the same sorts of arms. they had a vested interest in the security and expansion size. 25 . and their first task six for each of the four legions of Rome. as light infantry. and to ensure a more equal their citizenship in more distribution of the load amongst those citizens who had obtained recent times. who to age and experience: or veteran a steadying the Roman social groups Confederation pursued of disintegrating as fractious political their own self-interested ends. At the beginning was to appoint appointed above 24 military of each year the two consuls were elected. of Servius Tullius in the sixth century army could draw. This levy.was called and was discharged as soon as that emergency ended. the most experienced a reserve and be remarkably perspicacious. . Scipio Nasica. the legions taking it in turn to have first choice in men and those of the best physical condition were and all to ensure that the experienced evenly distributed among the legions.the main strength of the poorest of any legion. armour to compensate for loss of earnings. men in the prime of life who had been in service before. where they were tribunes. (for Rome was continually provided the principes and hastati. They were given a date and place of Men between troops.-]50BC Shortly before the Third Punic War. each legion were divided into four classes according of the oldest men and therefore at war).which gave the legion its name . and play an equally The division of Rome into five classes for in a neatly pigeon-holed his income. and armour.LY ItEPUBLIC 7531)(. Events proved Scipio's prediction rhe marti. a new type of levy based on the tribe . consisting troops influence. The men were then brought by the tribunes forward four at a time for of each legion. although in the absence of any external levied during the Punic Wars. Rome depended to conquer entirely upon a citizen militia to protect herself and the local tribes. there would be no check to Rome's arrogant interests and concerns of smaller would states. all male citizens between the value of 11. of the Second Punic War. days. Scipio Africanus. or legio . far more scientific By the time of the First Punic War. each man of fighting age into the area of service most appropriate that the centuries provided by each class were all fighting It also meant similar manner. theoretically. and finally the uelites. and then dismissed. and to were under no obligation to serve in the army. in warfare.000 asses had to assemble arranged selection order by height and age group. Moreover. Carthage not be destroyed disregard times of need to serve as garrison wealth level. the need to defend it required The reforms from which a more extensive. though the state did pay because.there were four urban attempt tribes and 16 rural tribes of Rome at this time . They provided them a small allowance their own arms. BC extended the pool of resources was no longer and weapons. As Rome grew in and centrally organised force. solely Citizens the Roman The role of soldier armour dependent on the financial ability to buy the most expensive with average incomes could afford to arm themselves important part in the army as their richer neighbours. the legionaries were still expected to provide purchased their own arms from the state.had been introduced on the wealthier in an to ease the burden classes of Rome. however. the ages of 47 and 60 were also enrolled Those citizens who fell below in THE ROMANS the Senate that though should Rome's position as a rival. light troops consisting or no experience Although. One recruit then swore an oath of obedience. On specially the ages of 17 and 46 and who owned property on Capitoline Hill. and they fought citizens.

It is reasonably fashion. and Cremona In 218BC the 30 Latin colonies. which would legions' method have made the army difficult much less effective. When legionaries also despatched contingents (Piacenza) infantry were recruited of each year. Land confiscation have been too poor Rome with a series of reliable strongholds the war. encroached Roman Roman garrisons were established century at strategic points in allied lands and Roman after the fourth upon. men. certain that the men were organised practice to have Roman and armed and allied and to the Latin colonies to ensure ranging very much in the Roman legions arrayed rendered organised for It was normal were up to strength. total manpower could provide of over 600. a status in of allies was provided.000 cavalry.000 cavalry.rv REPUBLlC 753HC--ISOBC grvmg a uniformity introduction and principes supplying of armour and weapons formation. The Italian allies. a Roman expected to the allied states was seldom to provide troops organised on The allies were. but occasionally occasions to serve in the army in times of grave danger. BC the land belonging however. with their new land. of men than her limited The actual proportion a new type of Roman without citizenship was but dunng proportion the Second of Roman After Rome's introduced. and when called upon to provide from Rome. recruiting cities of Italy nominated by the consuls. 215BC. This meant a substantial possibly of the proletarii as between 75. they wealthy to qualify for military at the beginning and allied service. This gave a this way Rome was able to field a substantially manpower would have allowed.000 infantry and 26. the legionaries the citizen militia was stripped were armed and armoured armed of its class character. but Rome pursued appropriation policy that must also have had the same effect.citizens who may previously It is difficult to tell how the contingents armed. officers called and service under the Servian system. the property qualification for army service was lowered number as many drastically were and asses to 4. which was now essential because of THE ROMANS tH of the manipular which required that all men within the hastati The Romans made their mark on their colonies through construction and engineering. in excess of their treaty obligations. to Brundisium in the south. and sometimes a greater This was the civitas (citizenship the vote). classes be armed and armoured in a similar fashion. in Spain in 206BC. sine suffragio Punic War It was never less than It is also probable 1:1. Colonial and allied contingents Though colonies. mainly to provide rowers for the navy.000 another men. to control. all other states in the Italian peninsula and armed differently. for the senate is hardly likely to have resorted slaves. criminals and youths of 16 and younger when many thousands of adult to recruiting proletaru citizens were still available. Andalucia. citizens to allies varied from campaign to campaign. in the hoplite light troops.000 suddenly 100. The various was under contingents from the colonies and allies were organised by their own officers. But now. On these units quite separate were levied prior to they were armed at public expense and served in non-regular order of battle. The proletarii had been levied for service rn the past. As a result of the state and from the men's armour. of some of the land of a number breadth of Italy throughout allowed the settlement to be liable for Roman would of Roman citizens . officers were that their were commanded of three and each 'legion' who were become sufficiently the overall command Roman praefecti.not even after Cannae. that during that war Rome relied the holder was liable for taxation political and military service but could not participate available more heavily on the Latin colonies over to the Carthagmians sides . in the north could supply the Roman of fighting if the legions were and 5. These grants hugely increased another manpower.000 alike. when six new legions were raised. from Placentia 80.000. (© Prisma/AAA Collection Ltd) remaining between the heavy infantry.000 under side by side. whereby Roman victory over the Latins in 338BC. very much then onwards distinction unarmoured By around from 11.and this provided than on her Latin allies: not one of these colonies went when many of the Italian allies changed running the length and affairs or hold office. This is particularly true of the battles of Zama in 202BC 27 . alongside lines and grouped legion to form a consular army. It is even possible that the proletarii from the legionary Cannae. they received special payments greater number 250. the only rM4 fashion. This was the of defeated opponents. . In Roman control. The allies did not have to pay for their soldiers' troops food and weapons.000 available for service in the legions. and the This road was built by Roman soldiers in Santi ponce.

in which he divided society into five classes. personal gain and glory must have motivated many of them. the number of cavalry remained very small. Spanish cavalry and infantry and. as well as pushing back the borders by fighting neighbouring peoples for control of their land. and for their particular military skills. The word curiae comes from the Latin for 'assembly of armed men' Each tribe appears to have this army must have been the Manipular warfare Whilst hop lite warfare remained dominant from the middle of the sixth century BC down through the fourth in Latium and many areas of Italy. The hop lite army of Servius Tullius had a strength of 4. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) The hop lite phalanx The earliest possible reliable information earliest Roman army describes how it was recruited from three 'tribes'. The resulting dense body of men was difficult to penetrate and operated almost like one vast weapon. and replaced by the much more flexible 'manipular' formation. Roman military reform Individual warriors The first Roman army was probably made up of bands of warnors. These warriors would have fought as individuals.000 at the end of the fifth century BC. the manipular formation consisted of a number of lines of infantry. The first really major change to adoption of hophte tactics in the sixth century. at some point during the fourth century BC the Roman hop lite phalanx was completely abandoned.000 archers and slingers. as part of his major changes in the organisation of Rome. from the seventh century. and were armed spearmen who fought as a group in tightly packed lines. and complex strategies that required a detailed knowledge of set pieces. by constant reform.Y REPUBLIC 753BC150BC and Great Plains in 193BC. So how did a band of warriors become one of the most highly organised and well-trained fighting forces in history? The answer is. The middling classes were more lightly armed. THE ROMANS Mercenaries Mercenaries were employed by the Roman army. with overlapping shields. Essentially. of course. From Etruria. The battle of Lake Trasimene in June 217BC therefore may have seen the debut of the archer in the Roman army. from the tribes that surrounded each under the form of warfare spread to Rome and the other Latins.Celts. the famous Balearic slingers. or a particularly skilled and brave warrior. a force well adapted to cope with Moors and Baliares and other tribes which fought with missiles'. due to the high cost of horses . the preparations for the next campaign included an appeal for help to King Hiero of Syracuse. usually about eight ranks deep . who arc crushed beneath the shields and spears. as ways of building up manpower. The phalanx system worked by columns of men standing in tight formation.. Each of the five newly created classes had to contribute centuries of men to fight. but true cavalry probably did not exist at this time. Just a few centuries later. and it is unlikely that Rome possessed any true force of cavalry before the last decades of the fifth century Be. armed with long spears and swords. This Greek carving from 400BC shows hoplite warriors grouped together in the traditional phalanx. command of a nobleman. The mtroduction of hoplite tactics to Rome is associated in Roman historical tradition with Servius Tullius.however. if not impossible. and although their successes were often to the benefit of the larger group. where the interaction of the three lines would have been total1y ineffective. For the battle of Zama in 202BC the Romans also obtained many Numidian allies. both infantry and cavalry. this new 29 . After the fall of Cartagena in 209BC the Romans gradually recruited more and more mercenaries . defending the city it. if the various contingents had not been organised and armed in a similar manner. divided by wealth. Hoplite tactics soon spread to Etruria. The cavalry were drawn from this wealthy class too.000 and was later augmented to 6. After the disastrous Roman defeat at Trebia in 218BC. each line made up of blocks of troops or maniples (which translates literally as 'handfuls') with wide spaces separating the maniples. the Roman army was involved in battles being fought with tens of thousands of troops on both sides.000 men. enabling them contributed 1. There were horsemen in this early army. The centuries who fought using hoplite tactics were drawn from the wealthiest class. where their use is confirmed in a wide variety of contemporary artwork. who sent '1.a phalanx. and the poorest class were concerning the size and organization of the exempt due to the cost of arming themselves. The strength of the unit is clearly overcoming the enemy. This is because Roman society was at some early stage divided into three tribes and 30 curiae. The original hop lites were Greek.

hardly the picture one usually has of the solid. at an earlier date. supported Italy. and toil. The importance the Gauls next returned. of light troops According to Polybius. but he forced them to teach his own smiths their secrets. and respectful wives who occupied reanng of children. the phalanx with the running of their households effective than the more flexible formation large number javelins of smaller The Samnites equipped Few would have held doubts conservative.000 has been estimated at 325. hierarchy corporate of state authority. was that the Romans and fortified by the rigorous demands of public an ideal of and in the to his by Rome at the hands of the Gallic Celts. of which was a complete by superstition and the usual measure of human failings. by Scipio in its correct victories. army 'f 0 R orne was four Iczi our egions p Ius their cavalry . loyalty and integrity youth. devoid of frivolity.a total of 20. with heavy lines deeply very imaginative. 300BC the flexible formation the Roman to between of three separate They were certainly parochial in outlook by a powerful training. were as the normal Samrntes southern that taught the Romans the phalanx. of the movement of the battle-line as a whole. may possibly have been copied by the extremely Xlar shows vast numbers gin ian troops. the most notable of the light troops. a rural society. defeat experienced trauung of the Spartan Some historians think this reform was as a result of the massive crushing The result of this upbringing. Dionysius. responsibilities. the institutionalised instilling obedience. writing in the second century BC. rendered used by the Samnites. The maniples were still moral code of reciprocal hardened mentally loyalty. and set to work This weapon producing the excellent gladius Hispantensis. Another when Scipio Africanus took Cartagena in 209BC. opinion. A snapshot of the Roman army at the time of the Punic Wars Social background The Romans of this period were predominantly by close contact standards. whose strength were drastic reforms in the army. slow-moving change occurred legion of predominantly heavy infantry. but now reduced army. In had hardly with others who possessed of their and the loosening paterfamilias The Roman ruled his family as an autocrat. The new sword almost widespread probably introduction contributed to Scipio's African but prior to its legions would to the Roman army around troops 200BC. all established was subordinated a bmding sense of duty to the family. that some form of tactical Dionysius writing in the first century AD. while striking at the enemies' groin with the sword. there is evidence to abandon to suggest that it was the wars with terrain the and a willingness to sacrifice his own interests standard of personal or even his life for conduct. They were hard working. by obedient and the the good of his group was accepted This gave nse to a pragmatic. probably about the rectitude not of the state's policies and profoundly and more manoeuvrable By around units of soldiers. cavalry ma/AAA and elephants. of whom sturdy.yet her adult male population in 215BC. simplistic horizons minds code of had not been widened and more sophisticated behaviour to advance addition or withdraw independently of manoeuvre. rhe Romans high-quality for which they were famous. and Plutarch. The rough of central much less employed a dour and persistent themselves breed of men. self-restraint. in 216BC there re-organisation and physically and a life of laborious was tempered sources record that after the massive Roman defeat at Cannae They made hardy. Collection but they had never been able to achieve forging which was the main 'value of the weapon: now Scipio not only had the Spanish smiths. courageous and disciplined soldiers. but bound together and the scutum.000 men at most . A considerable 31 . and most superstitious. less dramatic number per legion was doubled Roman Recruitment and service The 'standing . by the vicissitudes of nature brave through 70 and 80 men each. Roman army which landed in Africa in 204BC was entirely equipped HispantenSls and had been thoroughly certainly trained and exercised with the true gladius use. only divided into maniples based on the original Ancient was being used throughout centuries. SOCial group. Consequently. where the Samnite wars were mainly fought. SCiplO'S Afncan have been the only Roman using the true gladius Hispaniensis. y. begun. certainly writing in the first century BC. However. the proportion .S REPUBLIC 753 BC-150lK of Spanish manticised ttle during epic portrayal the Second of including Ltd} THE ROMANS sword-smiths were captured. tells how the Roman soldiers ducked down under tli~ of the individual blows of the Gallic swords and took them on the shield. perseverance or military unit. Their intellectual more questioning strict. upheld displayed with a severity approaching to this flexibility each line of maniples could be armed differently. by the Romans when believed change was employed high standards a seriousness and set themselves virtue based on willpower.

legion did exist. for an entire year at a time and troops being regularly replaced By the Second Punic War. of service had no lasting identity completely of and as did those further times.LY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC THE ROMANS Roman economy at this time and some 240. changing. extended men and hold in the ranks . principes and triarii. armed with two pila (see below). difficult reliant of this early period during the Punic Wars. the front Organisation and deployment A legion number consisted of some 4. The hastati formed for battle. Rome. kneeling.yet even this was only half her potential Under proper infantry. normally normal conditions. This Romano-German employed in the navy in time of war. to merely bringing the legions up. except 111 line. The principes formed the second of hastati. Rome did indeed field considerably of 25 legions after Cannae in 216BC.000. cuirass armoured and possibly greaves. between 70 and 80 men. a large oval shield and a short sword. impossible. service and were recruited were enrolled the legionaries for the year.rains.000 to 5. larger men f shows a Roman harvesting hine. knocking . a total of at least 120. ection (© R Sheridan/AAA Ltd) off armies . with front-line levy was then reduced with men from home. t Roman men were peasant required iers. A maniple contained two centuries of and advancement especially since it was only after ten years' duty that a man could hold public office. The annual to strength. the men were not keen on. When deployed the legion formed three lines of hastati.R. ready to move 33 . Imperial further so the legions However. This does not include for service. giving a total of from 140 to 160 men. though its content was constantly of Rome was never reason why the total manpower utilised at anyone Military service was regarded were virtually as a mark of honour. legions were being mobilised it was necessary to introduce a rota system. The triarii made up the third line. The donkey pushes a 'P into the corn. from as the campaigns rose moved and the length to recruit necessary them accordingly.000 proletarii normally who would were have been available below the minimum for military wealth service. and who the were reliant upon agriculture. have been mustered for only one short campaign. without which public recognition maniples of prtncipes.a maximum . infantry. but would home.000 military strength. and ten maniples of triarii. all males between the ages of 18 and 46 who satisfied into the cavalry the or criteria Under were eligible for military the levy system. it became and increasingly busmessmen. and some kind of permanent The rota system was another time. after which they returned When the men were selected for service the next year they would have formed new legions. times of special danger when the helmet.being farmers on these concerns for their main income. periods of service and were forever agitating for their discharge. armed was increased The legion was divided into ten maniples in a similar fashion. ten and wearing and line.

and allied legions might be alternated.Lt~d ELlQ. at close range .lpa illcluded· wl-clhammeliing..( b t~ tt. which not only inflicted many opponents' shields useless because of The pita were discharged the advance to attack. The number on the depth of the enemy's formation.the light one first. In a consular army who £aMb~l:tg1:l itofl!en There were about 100 metres between the four legions might be deployed the flanks. each of the lines of mfantry. with a gap slightly wider of the princtpes Each line of infantry than a maniple'S frontage each pair of maniples.'tl'f.er!!olci" .nl(ll1"lifut. and a heavier one with all the ratio of heavy catapults and ballistae to light was about overall length of three metres.rile Sp <1W1. phase would instantly and possibly when receiving a charge..LY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC THE R01V\ANS forward initially. or Roman with the two Roman ones in the centre and the allies on jobl . I!l "I" "&.c{Jeed In 1+athl" TCl~~ ore was maae swo -J ~ . each commanded . The velites fought as skirmishers the to the rear rank and joined the reserve. owever. y'" . which to wait in reserve with the triarii.-. or equites. 1:6.i$hJ~. It was carried in a scabbard on the right side in the Greek fashion.d bb. but also rendered 35 . with a frontage of two metres per rnarr. • The cavalry were deployed on the flanks. and the triarii covered those in the line of principes. the ca valry. divided into ten turmae of 30 men. Carthaginian na val supremac I db' d .ihC~. providing In addition with missile back-up if necessary. Y ia een recognise : they would aid the Romans by sea should the need arIse The R . types: a light one with of the legions a socketed was the pilum.~ .ltil u tile . thin iron shaft. as there would use the shield offensively. with a norm was necessary discharge swordsmen advancing of the pila. was divided into its separate between maniples..during caused by this hail of missiles. which could be used and cavalry carried the short The Roman navy The 11lstorv of th R ' .l lilly 1'!!!~i€ $~a'f'J. of which half consisted of a barbed iron head on a long. e oman navy IS strange mdeed. iron ferrule. venrua y.s' ~J1is"p:. have been insufficient room to swing the sword or to and shield.. It is most likely that the legionaries in each maniple were drawn up in open order. the legionaries charged the final few yards and attacked through with sword their man. either retiring the gaps in the lines of hastati before Weapons The main weapon. .1 (If)' .ture pl. ~ this rna de it ver''! ~ ~[r·"'ng'"·ncl"·~I·"s"a"'" . lawn up 111 at t e time of Pyrrhus' campaign in Italy. Spanls'b. to reinforce also made extensive since around use of siege and artillery 282BC.uc. depending from six to 12. groups to it. i' . each legion also had 300 cavalry. head. Open order in the sword-fighting enable tired front-rank by the man behind to stabbing men to fall back as they killed and to one side of their position. and the cavalry had a Greek spear with a pointed as a weapon if the spear was broken in combat. maximum range of about 30 metres in the hands of an expert.". which in turn were divided by a decurion with an optio as second in of ten. or. The maniples covered the gaps in the line of hastati. if necessary.~p(\)ni5'ih lecfbro:ma tJ.B0-deSDJ.t'id. spearmen and fill any gaps in the lines ahead but then normally returned of them. were two distinct had a arsenal included rams. attached into three command. The spear of the triarii was about four metres long. fl"0. The ve/ites would have withdrawn the discharge of the pi/a.y 1.i.m exteBw-e. and for the men to be able to fight in their traditional once at close quarters. Open order varied considerably. of eight or ten. then the heavy one .' kt0:ri~Sg uW1. Following the third treaty between Rome and Carthage d· .~1Rd the . which had been ballistae and of moving outwards The Romans part of their catapults: to the flanks between the lines of infantry. cavalry (in a maximum depth of eight ranks) on the extreme in a tQ. the defensive. motions from behind the shield the pita impaling them.e side l>l:l. short javelins. with double edge and an obtuse point. The velites used light. being replaced Sword fighting would have been restricted when in close order. manner The men could change to close order by every other rank when on into the gaps in the rank in front of it: this would have been necessary receiving a missile attack.~" 'V.0ce~. oman conquest of southern Italy had been achieved with just an army. In the confusion casualties in the enemy's line.was a liigh ly skI) lBtl sllil. which there and therefore the most important. A Carthaginian All infantry iron sword.and of ranks per and mighr for the as that each successive maniple range rank covered the gaps in the rank in front. This arsenal weapons. 1ilrtce ~h. ~:w6J. with the combined flanks. creating the so-called 'chequer-board' formation.N" hll arn·1. 279BC he ri .l'lfedto "' 4. . and no attempt ha i b d cc een rna e to reduce the coastal cities using a combined land and sea assault or even a block dElI h ' a C. ananual wrirten .. about 60cm long by 50mm wide.. the Romans recognised their maritime deficiency and with th· Ih ell usua t oroughness set about putting things right.swo rd ~a~ liitoOF.

THE ETRUSCANS. but this number gradually or destroyed as power each other. and the ships themselves at sea. Leagues between happened city-states were busy building in the newly and training of the sailors proceeded and the rowers involving drilled apace. felled and shaped. It was a amount of along the shore stupendous pre-planning. APENNINE TRIBES AND LATINS Warnng neighbours The origins of the Latin League Italy m the early centuries occupymg BC was home to a number within distinct regions. to the north. The most ferocious and about which more will be explained three. and residency with the Carthaginians. the Volscians in the south. This statue of a Samnite warrior is Etruscan. states states warlike people. Earliest records show that there were around or independent either absorbed was mevirable. for their lack of nautical innovation expertise. Skeleton ship frames were constructed the command men. Rome was by although it turned out to be the most and no means the first such city-state. looking for land. Small independent states. target for neighbouring important tribes . suggesting the timber all completed of their officers.Y REPUBLIC 753BC-lSOBC THE ETRUSCANS APENNJNE TRIBES AND LATINS Chapter 2 The Samnites were an ancient. which may have been a key factor in its success. Rome well for many years. These tribes were the ones who most frequently land. who occupied an area of the Sangro Valley region of the Abruzzo in Italy. recruiting of an entire Roman assirrulatmg Its neighbours.the land was very fertile. introduced the (commercium). it is small wonder that in the first inadequate. all their own city-states. of different ruled tribes and peoples. such as BC. the Romans aptitude This league was an important defensive step. This so-called undertaking some 35. popular (conubium). the skeleton training. from the sixth century BC. and increase Rome's own citizen-base a constant supply of manpower served facts relate how 100 quinqueremes While the workmen This ability to create allies and colonies. and it had a neighbours of Latium to the that exploited their legionaries' in Chapter for close-quarter coastline providing were the Etruscans trade links. slaves. Laun League united the Latium states in defence of their region against neighbouring regions. and 20 triremes were ordered to be and fitting out the ships. but how the alliance worked in practice is r: 37 . wealth were vulnerable on neighbouring city-states and spoils. as it ensured acquired lands of Europe and beyond. over by their own 30 different populi.000 a considerable with the Latium city-states in the early sixth century with the crews being recruited. quinquereme which had run aground during a naval brush was dismantled fleet. and others to jealously guard theirs. inter-marriage the communities. the and used as a powerful and long-lived. under in the same region were a logical step. and the Aequians encroached east. There is evidence to suggest that Pontius Pilate was probably a Samnite. actually began. and could easily be picked off by stronger The Latin League agreed to present a united defence against the threat from these Apennine tribes. It was also one of the best at absorbing model for the construction The recorded ready in two months. states. (© R Sheridan AAA Collection Ltd) leaders and kings. Friction decreased between as neighbouring neighbouring and land struggles caused the stronger tribes to expand their territories. It also gave the member states certain rights of commercial and citizenship trade between frames constructed including encounters a period before the two months' Even so. the Roman navy proved to be hopelessly however. since Latium was a To compensate corvus _ a technical fighting.

This is the Coriolanus immortalised by Shakespeare.Y RE PU BLlC 753BC]5013C difficult to THE ETRUSCANS. but were unable to defeat them. It is notable that this treaty was between Rome and the rest of the league. 39 . The Sabines Roman historians record that when the Sabine men went to rescue their women in early Rome. renamed (according to Livy) Coriolanus as a result of his small victory. a constant source of pressure on Rome's eastern borders. and important Sabine family names could be seen in positions of Roman The Volsci and Aequi The Volsci lived south of Rome. Corioli.which threatened Rome's security. A settlement was agreed between Rome and the Latin League. particularly the Anus Clausus. provided troops. Eventually. After seeing how the Samnire organisation of troops produced a swift and flexible force. The Sabines were. Early Rome and neighbouring lands. Volsci and Aequi regularly encroached on the borders of Rome and other Latin states. but it was the Latin League as a whole that eventually helped Rome defeat the Etruscan Lars Porsenna at Aricia in 504BC. including Rome. Livy's history of this battle claims that one Village. which suggests that Rome already saw herself as a republic standing apart from the alliance of city-states. but the city was back under Roman control by 449BC. According to some histories they seized Rome in 460BC. This ended with a Roman victory at Lake Regillus in either 499BC or 496BC. Rome's allies in Latium turned against her. seeing this as an opportunity to check the rising power of this city-state. and caused one of Rome's most crushing and humiliating defeats at Caudine Forks in 321BC. known as the foedus Cassianum. This was signed in 493BC and swore both parties to keep peace between each other. The other Latin states refused to accept Roman hegemony. and the Aequi to the east. Rome was left in a weakened position.Numa Pompilius (715 BC-673) . and the two fought almost annual battles against Rome and the Latins. the Samnites fought three wars with Rome in the 50 years between 340BC and 290BC. The Romans tried to drive the Volsci out of the city. if the kidnap of Sabine women by Romulus took place as recorded. one of Rome's most elite and important families. Eager to settle in more fertile lands. tell given the scarcity and unreliability of historical source material. but tried to assert independence. Allies of the Carthaginians. The Samnites were some of Rome's fiercest enemies at this time. and the foedus Cassianum Etruscan rule in Rome from 616BC to 510BC had already established Rome as a very powerful state in Latium. This seemed to work. however. and would not leave their new husbands and children in Rome. government for years. givmg them greater manoeuvrability on the battlefield. was captured by the Romans under the command of Cnaeus Marcius . Coriolanus was not popular amongst the plebeians of Rome. along with the rest of hIS people. They were supposed to help protect one another by stopping the enemies of any of the states crossing their land.and there were undoubtedly numerous Sabine mothers of first-generation Romans. the Romans abandoned the phalanx. I SEA The Apennine tribes Latium at this time was increasingly threatened by a number of Apennine hill tribes. and to share any profit gained from military successes. the Sabines. but also come to one another's military assistance in the event of N t . and they often proved formidable opponents. TYRRHENIAN SO miles IOOkm ( attack. As a sign of peace. the women forced themselves between the fighting sides. and that Romulus and Titus could rule together. Romulus suggested that the Sabine king Titus Tatius stay in Rome. The Samnites were probably a strand of the Sabine people. or the Cassian treaty. and the Latin League embarked on a war with Rome. All the Latin APENN IN E TRIBES AN 0 LATINS communities. the Romans seemed to assimilate the Sabines into Roman citizenship.present-day Anzio . and adopted the manipular formation. In the early fifth century the Volsci conquered Antium . and their military prowess was such that it caused Rome to reform her armies. the Romans later claming the mythological Castor and Pollux had aided them and secured triumph for Rome. since the following king of Rome was also Sabine . but who commanded them? One literary fragment from the first century BC Roman antiquarian Cincius implies an annual command rotating between the various members of the alliance. Conflict between Rome and the Latins. who became the Gens Claudian.

as they then embarked lost lands. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) only nine centuries. APENNfNE TRIBES AND LATINS fought. and people to trade with. and wine around have in tombs. was key to Etruscan Etruscan paintings their metal goods. to farm on a scale that led to great wealth. one assumes as an act of revenge against his own state of exile. increase the land was a bountiful to a steady in the wealth development. nation probably had its origins as it was certainly in the Villanovian of the Etruscan 900BC. and won. 41 . or Trusci. the command Tubertus. At its but it could not lived on as developments painting in art and technology. (from which the Tyrrhenian Historians leans women . Both the Volsci and the Aequi were and the Latins reclaimed lost back to the western rebellion of Italy. Their slaves were of them was The Etruscans by examining technique also placed the entrails much faith in soothsayers (particularly and haruspices. This Etruscan statue shows a typical plough. and living standards and as a result. or unacceptable. of which can be seen in many Valley . and this may have upon a period The Volsci were said to have even reached been the event that changed of reconquering under forced the tide for the Romans. the nation's true back the tide of Roman elements legacies of Etruscan The Etruscans reveal assimilated of its conquering nation. and Livy also notes that of Be. pulled by oxen. hold the Etruscan nation was wealthy. many Etruscan by Rome. dance and art. found and some of the most associated with links were vital to Etruscan travelling by ship to trade they became A belief in the afterlife Impressive funerary surviving practices. many battles against the Latins in the early fifth century list the city-states captured by Coriolanus.the Etrusci. and Rome lands. The use of slaves allowed and also left them the time to widen Etruscan kings of Rome The proximity ambitious of Etruscan lands to those of Rome made conflict inevitable from Etruscan between the two as three nations. the roots and adultery. but by 338BC the rebellion had been suppressed. An influx of and surviving appreciation of The Etruscan economy relied on widespread use of slaves and servants to farm the land of wealthy nobles. had extraordinarily of Etruscan liberal art show views on the role and ability women holding positions of their The name 'Etruscan' came from the Latin name for these people . history This may have been self-fulfilling. pottery The Etruscans a pagan religion. drawn from the many lands they conquered not always cruelEtruscans and colonised. leading Trade seamen. and their society was based on a type of working for wealthy nobles. lines. sheep. called themselves but most recent Rasenna. the victor.the around The Etruscans Greek immigrants examples culture. and finally defeated of Aulus Postumius highlands the Volsci in 431BC at the Algidus pass. but were a cultured lead to impressive sculpture and people. enjoying music. Coriolanus driven out of the city. leaving the nobles enough time to travel great distances establishing trade links. An attempted by the Latins in 341BC saw the Volscians actually join the and Latins in their fight agamst Rome was unarguably Rome. the outskirts of Rome.rich in natural fertile. and ended in the first century BC when it was effectively absorbed zenith. of Italy in the tenth Campania of which were considered of literacy. Rome profited supremacy. The Etruscans The rise of the Etruscans' An ancient Etruscan prophecy stated that the Etruscan people and nation would accurate culture last for . Livy and Dionysius Coriolanus instructed his soldiers to spare the Roman rich. made widespread use of slaves. ceremonies. with slaves and servants planning was something they passed on to the Romans. nation neither in terms descendants centuries of the Villanovans who lived in that region encompassed Tuscany. Sea gets its name). excellent Europe. and only damage the property the plebeians. cultured although and deeply influential. North metal deposits. and ninth that Etruscan Etruscans society ran along matrilineal towards also seem to have had very liberal views on promiscuity to be undesirable had an alphabet.LY REPU BLlC 753BC-150BC and was eventually general. however. their search for goods to trade.many superiority examples of similar The Greeks knew them as the Tyrrhenoi the Etruscans came from. followed A forward BC. but their treatment slaves were allowed to own their own houses. Africa and the Mediterranean. and very of the Etruscans. research in a household to that of their husbands. Etruscans feudal who told the future This unpleasant the livers) of sacrificed structure. For a while. The Etruscan nation and a part of the Po place to live. expansion. whereupon he joined the Volscian army as a THE ETRUSCANS. and there is some evidence to suggest are divided over where the Etruscans them being indigenous peoples. subsequent the Etruscans alphabets. influenced religious been by the gods of the Greek tradition.

military elsewhere. among the Etruscans. Though dominance prevailed their rule in Rome had come and by around 500BC rule. of at the bravery of Rome's defenders to Etruscan lands. from the Etruscan states.the toga praetexta (a white toga supposed The very symbols of power in the Roman government with a purple border). Their military fighting techniques. induding Elba. and the wealth of some of the leading Etruscan nobles was dramatic. The civic areas of the city were improved. of Horatius Codes defending in poetry by the Forum. were citizen-soldiers and armoured river. was a popular Or their reigns were not forgotten. still remain today. colonies of Italy and Spain. and swam to the bank and safety. neighbouring established Rome warred games Rome. to take the rest Codes rushed and Titus Rome as the leading city of Latium. to protect The last Etruscan Superbus (534-509BC) king of Rome was the last king of any nationality is recorded Larcius back in history as a cruel leader . in Rome. (© AAA 111 Ltd) to an end. . However. even he brought wealth and land to Rome from his war with the Volscians. Livy records a story that Horatius to the bridge.while they camped outside the walls of Rome. leaped into the served it well for many years. Etruscan power was at its height .Tarquinius that he called off his attack and returned on the Capitoline (579-534BC) Hill. placed a very visible stamp on of the public The auleros. in a tender by the Etruscans. decorated with birds and plants. Servius Tullius reforms for some of the one for naming and in many artistic depictions the bridge. king of Rome was Tarquinius Under Tarquinius. the Sarcophagus de. Porsena (near of Clusium to modern-day and marched on and he put together an army (616BC-579). 1 is a famous example of art from 520 to 530BC. It was common for Etruscans to paint their tomb walls with lively. Servius Tullius also signed a treaty having quickly seized the janiculum ridge in a sudden attack. When powerful Rome's phalanx his people that they rose up against Etruscan army. Horatius shout from the Romans Father the bridge The Etruscans was introduced Hoplites using the Greek hop lite formation army under Servius Tullius. her local power. and ensured games IS APENNINE Their TRIBES AND LATINS . Parts of the wall built by Servius Tullius after the attack Rome from further attack. Both are smiling The Etruscans held n high regard. . Herminius. being and :h the man's arm on his oulder. to Roman society and military. fasces (an axe encased in a bundle of birch sticks) . Horatius legacies. who armed to the Roman invoked Tiber. the city. Their motivation for fighting was the defence of their and shares in the spoils of battle.he warred him. unhappy with his ejection Etruscan. It is said that. thus founding the three held the entire feverishly and so enraged Rome. Sardinia the Balearic Islands. the first Roman or historical sources. REPUBLIC ow cinerary urn is 753BC-150BC THE ETlUJSCANS. What happened next is not agreed upon by historians course of events is that In fact. Tarquinius with the Latins the Republic of the way lay open over the Tiber for Porsena of the city. Other versions of this story have Horatius the only act that defending was the bridge alone. and their introduction double flute. instrument one of the enduring Etruscan symbols of Rome today. founded a temple to the god Jupiter His successor. military too . (© Mike Andrews! AAA Collection Ltd) Etruscan clashes with Rome Lars Porsena marches on Rome In around Tarquinius of the first seven kings of Rome were Etruscan. This was not to have impressed the out of their own pockets. drains and other public structures the city. themselves city-state. ruled help him try to re-conquer the Etruscan Florence). installed drains in the city. the curule chair (a backless Etruscans . :ied couple arc reclining ng couch. and together together with Spurius on the city by Celts in 387BC. these reforms). to over called upon another Lars Porsena. This depiction of an auletos player comes from the wall of the tomb of the Triclinium in Tarquinia. from Rome. Trade links with their colonies and allies were well used and busy. and they portrayed as inferior to \truscan art. and improved was responsible the buildings This version of the story has been immortalised Thomas Babington Macaulay. the coastlines Their prowess as sailors cities were under Etruscan led to Etruscan Corsica. The legendary Porsena was so impressed by Tarquinius as a way of celebrating his victory over the Latins and Sabines. most important more about in the history of the Roman army (see Chapter with the Latins. improving Between them they initiated crucial reforms Priscus with were 508BC.. a Roman called Cauis Mucius crept into the camp in the dead seat with heavy curved legs) and the 43 .many of the Umbrian along with much 'established around of Latium. vibrant images. city-state The first Etruscan city of Tarquinii.this technique were crucially fought sent back the two others and carried on the fight alone.were introduced constructIOn of temples. With a crash and a deafening finally fell. while behind them work continued on the demolition of the bridge. kings were eventually reforms driven from Rome important they left behind in the development them of of a and the Etruscan When scarcely anything was left of the bridge.

Qw way.rthWi 45 .fifeGl. Whe~e\ ~0wlinlf10w jlJfl(}1!@e ott! bear.'{ REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC THE ETRUSCANS APENNINE TKIBES AND LATINS 'BMlc. nv Tu Will ~hll. 'lli~i. cete the l.ba ~adt.1it':6~t6 ~rgllre.a~! 0k• .1uil'l faiN' llflnvel :&l1dloosed rillG4~Jtq-~~ M10w.hJllius~ . Lies 'l'Iwds'L H. '1\ ~mr Nf1:w-~mle.0nar1'.the i'l~.

and the back to Rome. Porsena The last act of his siege of as a the end of this century even tried fighting together as one force to Samnites. when the Etruscans were given and therefore ceased to exist as Etruscans. Rome was at a famous Roman began in war with Veii from 483BC to 474. where Valeria Valeria. when the Romans city to the Roman besieged borders. hand over their arms and not replace attempting to install Tarquinius Porsena left Rome without truscan statue shows a which suggests his attack was for personal gain in the first place. Porsena was so impressed by this act that he let Mucius go free.resulting kings. and trade routes were Etruscan throughout wealth suffered. returned Porsena and swam to Porsena made to him by the Romans. plunged show his contempt his right hand into a the fourth the Etruscans even more.. Mucius him with great confidence. An Etruscan was crushed Publicola's Roman lands at the start of the second century final blow to Etruscan Roman citizenship. did battle with Rome in the early third century the Etruscan city-states were absorbed the hero was known bravery BC but. Servius Tullius. and the states very rarely fought together would have looked much the same. fire. (© R Shcridan/AAA Collection Ltd) of the Tiber. Decline and fall As the Etruscan susceptible city-states which were effectively what independent continued from each other. Veii was destroyed and occupied and her terntory by the Roman seized. in the introduction The Etruscan of the census to Rome by one of its Etruscan recruitment of cavalry.( REPUBLIC 753BC-J50BC of night. the curule chair and the fasces . produced as each was drawn from with the symbols of power . once again. thin figures were a style for Etruscan . they were promptly escaped again. were young children.the toga praetexta. Etruscan armour was (once again) so impressed by the bravery of the children that he sent them all back. A league of Etruscans. as king. however. These bronze examples were found in Olympia. 406BC general The most important conflict with Veii. and showed no pain as it burned to the bone. Some historians march southwards. during time there occurred defeat at the battle of Cremara. Mucius was caught. they were to attack. against and Gallic Celts. Etruscan 47 . is exactly to happen after Veii. to Porsena. and in 89BC. light. but they ended up fleeing in failure. under the protection of his men. and show the typical round hoplite shield and cuirass as used by the Ancient Greeks. at the end of which Veii was conquered Camillus. -pical of those used at this . and by the end of the third century the Carthaginians BC the Etruscans and one of The children allies of Rome. aiming to kill Porsena. and lasted for ten years. the city-state of Veii.hth to sixth century Be . one by one through were fighting as slave uprising in that allegedly convinced to abandon Eventually Rome was the gift of hostages sign of good faith.all. daughter.heridan/AAA tion Ltd) . and from then on as Scaevola ('left-handed'). and the nation century depleted became resources weaker. These events make good stories. hoplites class of wealth. The hostages them was the consul escaped. land in Latium and Campania (possibly due to the presence of Callie Celts in northern The fall of Veii The Romans Etruscan situated and Etruscans met again in around 483BC. none of them contemporary. Although bronze examples of Etruscan armour are more likely to have survived than other materials. and brought To colonies in Camparua severely disrupted. Gauls and Umbrians were defeated. battles towards with Rome THE ETRUSCANS. nationality was delivered effectively with little difficulty. Roman expansion. Constant and where Mucius addressed of pain. and all of them The Etruscan army Recruitment Etruscans were accustomed to using a census . This was the first time that size. as one. we know that the Etruscans also used wood and leather in making their armour.in Porsena's attack on Rome as simply one siege on an Etruscan looking tor Italy). Veii was the closest Etruscan of Rome on the opposite which being only 12 miles north-east bank of the Tiber. and that he left only after his triumph was acknowledged (heavy infantry) Each city-state and light infantry. view the appropriate its own army. census determined have reason to paint Rome in a favourable Other sources say that Porsena was successful in his invasion of the city. by Publicola. defeat the Romans. and it was a massive Rome had destroyed blow to Etruscan an enemy state of comparable power. and this bronze is from . APENNINE TRIBES AND LATINS were soon taken by Samnites and other Latins. but the evidence for them' is only from Roman sources.and on the conditions north that Rome give up their lands them.

Etruscans also wore soldiers fought whilst riding them. its strength may have contained its weakness) Roman fighting techniques. of in above and below the shield. weapons throwing were the spear behind distance in others. though image of the rectangular shield were used for skirmishing. were capable Thucydides of advancing makes in line over any great had could selected it clear that most armies obstacle great difficulty advancing with their ranks in good order. generals plains on which to fight their battles. Cuirasses strength. and routing the shields were also used. this is a typical hoplite soldier of the sixth century BC. Etruscans also used daggers and short blades for fighting. army as the most effective The light infantry from a distance. metal mines. cuirass. to provoke the However. and were used There are few by intiii. and many bows and spears have been found in Etruscan tombs. and is shown wearing armour of a type similar to that which the Etruscans would have worn . Experienced each other. There were protective heads and the results hoplites could be dramatic. broke at them rapidly and repeatedly. Xenophon to run away. metal short studs skirts for lines of shields clashed back.. or if Etruscan by Greek military and offensive Organisation and deployment As with Etruscan formation round Although a Spartan rather than an Ettnscan. how retreating were crushed. shoulder have been muscled. The Etruscans were also influenced most forces. the position In the final stages of this dash to contact. the charge usually start when both sides were about 180m (600ft) The hoplite line then broke into a the hop lite Armour The traditional image of the Etruscan Examples would hop lite shows of muscled much evidence survive. differently cohesion to attack armed hoplites. but their style of fighting was so influenced of Greek hoplite warfare to give us an insight how a phalanx helmets with brush crests. armies. by which the Etruscans were eventually subjugated by The from . Xenophon On the advance in his Anabasis describes operated on the battlefield. as one unit. spears It IS Ironic that the methods Roman military shields.the greaves. overlapping one another. It was important enemy. who might have been victorious The Etruscan cavalry for the victors to keep formation on the other wing. some with high crests. The most common shows it as being round. Chariots have been found in some large Etruscan tombs. of the Roman (and sometimes lay in its (who in turn had adapted and the Etruscan period of rule in Rome was a vital part of the development but often wore no armour. otherwise over their enemies. that since they could would push back through confirms apart. of Greek although were They Etruscan influence. not archers.ARLY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC THE ETRUSCANS. against If the two sides did meet. and the infantry the hoplites was the key element fought using 0£ and engineering. and adapted their own arms. and as a result they could produce giving them a distinct advantage fairly rare. as each side tried physcially their spears at undefended parts or fabric flaps and hoplites aimed of the enemy's The throat. under foot by one another. the older. an army vulnerable. enemy into weakness. the phalanx As hoplites supplied many force were heavily influenced by the Etruscans in the first place.a dense line of soldiers armed with. like the one shown here. and highly prized. fighting force in the world. most hop lite armies would simply find it and battle was used for as well as for striking). enemy armies. Etruscan wore bronze greaves. were armed with spears. of his weapons. His shield would have adjusted have been swung forwards to cover as much of his body as possible. armour. Hophtes from wood. trodden Xenophon in his Hellenica and flaps to cover the cheeks. groin and helmets were usually and varied shape. and others with round nose guards. jabbing thighs were especially When describes suffocated. with often bronze. and were skilled in building as well as dismantling siege engines and other defensive the phalanx those of their enemies. structures. fleeing troops usually threw away their cumbersome as they chased the weapons and shields. and there was no state uniformity. impossible to come to contact. There would be much in some places and too far the line moving forward shouting and calling and made sure that nobody by name as troops got too far ahead 48 49 . more experienced dropped men in the rear ranks kept out. then the two to push the other body not all cuirasses often had bronze. and carried a shield made To escape more quickly. Swords were and the most common axe (which Etruscans Etruscan bring the phalanx to a complete As a result. the Etruscans their armour and their arms were all adopted them from the Greeks). APENNINE TRIBES AND LATINS Weaponry Etruscan lands and colonies included those areas rich in 'ferrous iron weapons. Any unexpected halt or break its formation. were also skilled It was the job of the hoplites Hophtes in the front ranks the rear at the back to push forward unable those in front of them. which could be raised on some helmets. were physically ranks. without Few hop lite armies becoming disordered. but it is not known whether these were used simply as a means of transport to the field of battle. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) the Greeks that we can use accounts the Etruscan way of battle. cuirasses run and roared would out their battle-cry. contemporary accounts of Etruscan battles. and for pursuing bronze or leather.

would whereby Carthaginians Sicily and pa y a su b stantia. the near-defenceless However. when released. a day's march of ignore. the opportunity a difficult in Sicily. a heavy cost in lives and resources. naval victory was the key. in 255BC. to this temptation. no hope of further the best peace in Sicily the war was that the largest naval concluded leader Hamilcar the Roman retain their Barca was left to negotiate commander. It was therefore this naval it did have the side effect of rendering abandoned the defeat around Romans 255BC. there probable. A f ter 24 years of fluctuating . After Carthage. the Romans saw an opportunity were unprepared to advantage militarily. and themselves. up from a 12-foot Mediterranean why Carthage make seaboard. vessel. I war in d emruty. Carthaginian the Roman north-eastern Sicily. A fearsome unrivalled mix of military enemy. the war had ended. victory was secured . had extended its commercial empire By the middle of the to the western half of its clasp quarter as useful as the corvus was for enabling century engage in close combat. succumbed third they saw that the Carthaginians and slaughter fighting.a boarding pillar of wood. and outstanding from a general whose methods are still studied in military science. was from with The First Punic War (264-241BC) In the First Punic War. Three of power wars with Carthage and 146BC saw the pendulum swing from victory to crushing defeat for both sides. victory triumphant. Rome quickly answered to secure a foothold in Sicily. territorial I its hegemony and the Senate showed designs beyond keeping expansion. Empire tip of the Roman garrison seemed was too close to Sicily success. support. and when The southern a Carthaginian prize for either side in terms of wealth. had established recently. fleet of 330 ships under their commander elements in their victory was the but it was not to bring peace One of the most important 51 . After by the Carthaginian land battle emerged ever. call for support. First. unstable.THE CARTHAGINIANS REPUBLIC 753BC-1SOBC Chapter 3 THE CARTHAGINIANS The Punic Wars tested between 264BC Rome's armies and navy to the full. the strength of the Carthaginian army lay in its: leadership skills. and Rome Although there may never be any way of determining are two clearly identifiable factors exactly which' in the required At the end of the bridge was drove itself into the deck of the legionaries the Roman could aptitude the Romans storm for to The Carthaginian Empire and its dependencies. Whilst Sicily itself was not an important position to made it valuable. was once again and with at sea in 241BC. BC. drawn from its vast empire. locking the two ships together. it is hard not to conclude that war between Carthage and Rome had a 200 miles 250 km SfA f but at the time there seemed no reason why this should be so. Carthaginian campaigns against Rome Background With hindsight.by the Roman Marcus Atilius Regulus. spike (the corvus itself) which. and it was en route to Africa in 256BC terms he could the Catulus. advanced to within the Roman warships Sicily. Then exploiting such a war more secondly. After initial fighting taken to North Africa. appeared in Mamertine-controlled importance than before experiencing at the hands Routed of the newly organised elephants. and swung around a large pointed the opposing aboard ~ N degree of inevitability.only just . and the Romans the Carthaginian with Deserted. crews. arms but A treaty withdraw fortunes. Carthage Sicily was the cause of this temptation. possession of the island the Mamertine of more strategic recognising army under Xanthippus army took heavy decided losses. to either side. posts scattered around bridge which could be hoisted direction. . Rome over the whole no inclination her colonies of the Italian for further and trading peninsula only relatively Carthage had no the Roman use of the corvus . went to war.

Knowing that Hannibal relied on Spain for most of his supplies. This was Publius Cornelius Scipio. who would later be known as Scipio Africanus. some ten miles north of modern Seville. . 53 . son of Hamilcar. set out from New Carthage on a campaign that was to last 17 years.REPUBliC 753BC-150BC THE CARTHAGINlANS The Second Punic War (218-201BC) In the spring of 218BC. In 210BC the Romans produced a 25-year-old military genius who they hoped would be at least a match for Hannibal. secondly.the First Punic War. from both land and sea. In 206BC Scipio finally defeated the Carthaginians at Ilipa. Scipio began his assault on New Carthage almost immediately.000 of them. This from 1930 by Albert hows a Roman warship. which by then even territory. and then in 216BC Rome experienced her largest defeat ever when Hannibal's army destroyed the armies of Rome at Cannae. ~'Fantell"ria Carnarlnal Nee~umo ~) Cape Pachynus t D Caithaginian I Dominions & Dependencies N o Kingdom of Hiero Mamertini o 100 km up againsr. They also won Hannibal more recruits from Gaul . Scipio decided to cut Hannibal off logistically by taking Spain from him. and an immense amount of booty taken. by copying examples of Carthaginian ships. Carthage had expanded its empire to include much of Spain. and had put together an army that included large numbers of Spanish troops. their long enduring polItical dissension. to end the war in Spain. The city was soon secured. whrch makes Hannibal's co-ordination of these troops in a march across the Alps even more impressive. we know that Hannibal aimed to break up the entire Roman Confederation and reduce it once more to a number of states. By 218 the army was huge. para objective. therefore forcing the Senate the negotiating table. may have been more vast. and created many . His swift victories against the Romans in northern Italy were an unpleasant introduction to the sort of military genius that Rome was. Collection Ltd) In the years since the First Punic War. There were two main reasons for the Carthaginian defeat: first. These could then be held in check by those whose independence had just been restored to them. but to arrest seemingly unconstrained expansion of the Roman Empire. From a treaty drawn up later between Hannibal and Philip V of Macedonia. so Hannibal's operational aim was clearly Polybius states that Hannibal's to Aegates .nised the need for naval ty.over 50. aims included the reduction of Roman manpower by to stripping Rome of her allies. Islands ~ >'h ~ inflict such Aegusa Is ~ lilybaeum defeats on the army that the subjugated states would be encouraged to rise in revolt.st Punic War. Hannibal Barca. His aim was not just to recapture Sicily. The were not natural sailors. Hannibal's overall strategic occupied areas in the middle of Carthaginian Liparean Is ~ 'ilV o a@ 1. The cohesive power of Rome lay in its army. Hannibal went on to defeat the Romans at Lake Trasimene. reflecting the nvalry between those in Spain and Carthage. Lavalability was crucial . the loss of which to Rome 23 years previously could no longer be borne by the Carthaginians. however. most of its citizens massacred. the Ii f Sicily .

000 terrified men. No doubt at night. They were largely dependent on the Carthaginian fleet for supplies. surprising with sudden and unexpected moves. The Numidians also fought dismounted. This nimble. Carthaginians house by house. An eastern civilisation had been planted in the western Mediterranean. In 202BC thirty members of the Carthaginian Council of Elders came to prostrate themselves before Scipio. (© R Sheridan! :ollection Ltd) . 55 . After Scipio had accepted their request. but as a defeated general rather than a victor. as this Macedonian . War ensued. force with which to . Carthage's fate was sealed. They used neither bit nor bridle. as well as sealing off any further supplies. A maritime nation supported Carthaginians who had held the strategic initiative. Hannibal was brought to battle and his army destroyed at Zama. in the same year. and after six days the offered to surrender. These lightly clad horsemen had superb fighting skills. both in the hills or on the plains. sought his pardon. and a much more shocking waste of Carthaginian life. and the Carthaginians move to elsewhere in North Africa. Numidia meaning 'land of the nomads'. The Numidians The Numidians were nomadic tribesmen from modern Algeria: they and their land were so named by the Romans. bottling up the Carthaginian fleet. Carthage came to rely almost entirely on soldiers levied from vassal states and allies. Hannibal escaped. The war that had brought devastation to the whole of I was by no means the tary leader to employ s in. Their only protection when fighting was a small. and he at once set to work constructing a huge mole which was to extend from the sandbar across Carthage's harbour mouth. which included capital punishment. a period of luxuriant growth. After six centuries Carthage had been destroyed and the Carthaginians dispersed to suffer extinction. hurl their javelins. light. the Mediterranean during the previous 17 years had come to an end. Hitherto it had been the Carthaginian troops Carthage was primarily a trading nation seeking to extend its commercial connections sphere of influence. using voice and a stick to guide their mount. and a way of gaining a ychological advantage . sleeveless tunic. and its empire. women and children. and it seems likely they may have used the sling as a missile weapon in some circumstances . political or social but after heritage. The tribesmen wore only their normal dress when in battle: a simple. but now it was the turn of the Romans. The city was given over to plunder before the ruins were levelled to the ground. so a move away from its seaboard was refused. gathered at the waist by a belt. short. filed out. Some of these are Roman but others have been attributed to Numidian troops in the Roman army. warfare. Scipio acted with commendable moderation in laying down his peace terms. Rome demanded that Carthage be abandoned. and were extremely agile and fast. Carthage's survival depended on its ability to trade via sea routes. the Roman army proved too frightening a prospect for the political leaders of Carthage. its by military force. baked clay and iron. living on horseback from an early age. expansion and ultimately the defence of her empire. courageous and indefatigable cavalry were armed with spears and javelins. mainly through a superior navy. begging for their lives in return. Cut off from both land and sea. The horses themselves were small but sturdy. Alexander the ttacks an Indian prince lephant.ed by ancient Indian s. Carthage was able to maintain her role and trading monopolies for three centuries. was given command in Africa. Excavations in Numantia in Spain have revealed slingshots of lead. except in Spain. leaving no readily discernible religious. it had been violently uprooted and exterminated.certainly their light javelins would have been of little use III a siege.as a into North Africa in the period of the Punic Wars.THE CARTHAGINIANS REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC superior generalship of Scipio. The Romans cleared the city of inhabitants. though no doubt they would have carried some form of knife or dagger in their belt. Scipio Aernilianus. They would dart towards the enemy with great dash. then retreat before the enemy could strike back or make contact. and on hired mercenaries. and envoys were sent to Rome to seek ratification. enemy was also . manoeuvring like flocks of starlings that wheel and change direction as if by instinct. round shield and their own agility. the tunic was supplemented by a blanket or cloak of animal skin. some 50. For home defence. and rode bareback with only a neck strap of plaited rope for harness. some 100 miles south-west . often of plaited rope. nearing the limits of exhaustion and starvation. either in ambush or when overwhelming an enemy's cavalry by weight of numbers.of Carthage. The Third Punic War (149-146BC) The last Punic War was a much less honourable victory for Rome than the second had been. there was no cavalry on the battlefield to match them. and in the colder climate of northern Italy. and these nomadic tribes relied exclusively on the horse as a means of transport result their warriors were born horsemen. which were accepted by the Carthaginians. accustomed to negotiating rough terrain. some of them stamped and marked. had not yet been introduced The camel . Their use as oint from which to fight. The Numidians do not seem to have had a second weapon. later to be sold into slavery. iron javelin heads and pointed iron butts have been found in a second-century BC prince's grave in Algeria. Threatening and enticing. and discipline was enforced via a strict code. These soldiers seldom served in their own countries . and remained isolated from one another through differences of language and religion. After smashing their way across Carthaginian Africa. Meanwhile. leaving Rome as an imperial power of unmatched military might. literary. who would contain Hannibal in Italy while taking the offensive in Africa. The adopted grandson of Scipio Africanus. Concerned that the Carthaginians were once again becoming too powerful. and after cravenly blaming everything on Hannibal.hma coin from 325BC Here.

The event could hardly have affected him personally.HanmbalBarca was only six years old when the First Punic Waf ended to seek revenge. who have thou'g'h~ it too lengthy and too heavy a task to wait for the death of a hated oldman. his conscience duringa was reh). had it not been for his father's enduring determination Slowly. that other men held sacred' identity: one of Hannibal's depicting him as 'excessively cruel. for the first five years of the Second Punic War. inspired with self confidence and audacity. and time and time again lured their enemies into ruses in surprising their foes. and motivating There could be no turning back. at the age of 64. his shortcomings. it was the tough and reliable Libyans whom he placed in the two key flank where opportunistic Numidian on his open right flank. Livy proceeds . re cavalry they were left to conduct the pursuit. thus easing the army's logistics problem. due to e.s old and his father was the gods with a sacrifice.r REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC THE CARTHAGINIANS HANNIBAL Born in 247BC. the scourge of the Romans.lldI. or employed on to the defensive and. Once in Spain. and limitations of those . Hannibal's youth made him a popular hero figure both duringhis lifetime and beyond. sharing their hardships and living like always sleeping 011 for his soldierly qualities.' Romans departed this 'life. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) of a harsher age. though A profile of the popular image of Hannibal. from a l eth-ccnrury Italian coin. must have shared many of the characteristics committed It is acts who now think that Hannibal could have been black. They were extremely ambushes. to the ground wrapped only in to list. His strategic vis 1011 threw the adept at using cover. Perhaps the highest tribute that can be paid to Hannibal's recognise the remarkable mercenariesinto That Hannibal IS ability as . must have been with his father's ignominious expulsion 'ft!j1D SICily. of cruelty that were mistakenly attributed Admittedly. honour and religion. for the encirdingmovement cavalry weredeployed whether was to be hinged. At Cannae. the opportunity of the setback to Barcid pride and ambitions In 2}7BC. possible that this ferocious individual. with a total disregard for the truth. They were superb At Cannae in all these roles.and demanded his extradition. for the sanctity of an oath and all The charge of cruelty might be a matter of mistaken is alleged to have advocated that his soldiers commanders should be trained to eat human flesh. swimming a river first in Spain. deadly enemy. state himself tnl'lst have recognised since he made no attempt to escape. his dashing and example. when Hannibal to make his sonswear' character conveyed to the boy. he would never forget that Rome wM the. was forced into exile. which they did with the utmost effect.a leader is to way inwhichhewielded such a disparate force of unpatriotic risks. named HannibalMonomarchus.a. 1110re than react to protect their homeland. Hannibal Romans to Hannibal himself. especially as Hannibal. but once it had been broken by the Spanish and Celtic . accusing him of plotting against them which he Ro me ' s a 11' d cava I'ry on their own. and in 183BC. 57 . of affairs Hannibal contenting Finally there was no way of escape. There are some historians HUllruID"<\1 always led by example. he force behind his lifewould have been grew up.without preliminary evidence. as Livy tells us. was a warrior by nature. they were unable to break hun.is ethnic origin as a Sarnnite from North Africa. an ordinarysoldier his military coat. like his father before him. the enormity religiousceremony. understood fully the capabilities ready' to face severe hardships and neat unbelievable commanded positions shown in the way he deployed them on the battlefield. or 111 but as a professional soldier he was undoubtedly permitted them to do little a genius. but were of little use as shock troops. Hannibal was cornered 'like a bird that had grown too old to fly' . while propitiating probably was . Having praised Hannibal when campaigning. encourage his men to follow. As PIutach wrote. himself with saving 'Let us now put an end to the great anxiety of the He took POlSOn.he a cohesive fighting force. or. he took an' oath on the sacrificial animal that when.talZij his army to Spain. the mould ofHannibal's forevercast. but wherever he sought i- After the Second Punic War Hannibal refuge the Romans pursued pursuit. and then it was indclihlystampedupon _]l[tlparing to.

Vase paintings of Iberian soldiers show them wearing the peasant's short tunic. However. if any. despite their Polybius says both infantry and cavalry wore a short white tunic with short sleeves. They were sorely missed after the battle of Ilipa (206BC) when many of Carthage's most powerful Spanish allies wenf over to the Romans. the Spanish troops were a vital part of Carthaginian armies. and who served as mercenaries in many parts of the Mediterranean world. It was gathered at the waist by a wide leather belt. having a purple. but few have been found. Iberians The original inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula were the Iberians. The Iberians did wear bronze helmets. and the Spanish light infantry were 59 . The cavalrymen wore long boots. Though infantry soldiers were recruited from Spanish hill tribes.000 swordsmen (heavy infantry) and 2. probably of leather or wool.000 Spanish cavalry.REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC THE CARTHAGINIANS DITERRANEAN SEA N I + 100 miles 200 m TYRRHENIAN SEA . The limited evidence would suggest that only the chieftains shortcomings. 6. The light infantry used a distinctively Spanish shield. not best suited to set-piece battles. a people who were famed as warriors. They had their own unique weapons and equipment. which helped to protect their legs. and they seem to have been rare. It is probable that simple metal or leather helmets were worn by the ordinary soldier. a light round buckler of leather or wood. influenced by their experiences abroad.000 infantry and 10. Little is known of the body armour Worn by the Iberians. This was used in conjunction with the sword. Spanish troops " . wore mail armour. with plain spurs attached. they were in perpetual conflict with one another. They were experts at guerrilla warfare but of temperamental disposition and doubtful loyalty.000 light troops. All heavy infantrymen were also protected by a large oblong shleld. . They served as mercenaries in the Carthaginian armies from at least 342BC. or crimson. and at Cannae Hannibal's army of 40.the Second Punic War. neck and sleeves. a national disharmony that had simplified the Carthaginian conquest of Spain. border at hem.000 cavalry included 2.

RLY REPUBLIC 753BC-lSOBC THE CARTHAG1NIANS Se(O:ll~ s:ta-ge. 61 .. I '~h( The battle of Cannae.

The horse's head was often protected metal armour. Their armour. and often dismounted also sometimes carried other men on the back of their horse into battle. Another was the slim javelin Pictorial it made entirely of iron. giving them a decided advantage light troops. The weapon for cut and thrust work. In of the THE CARTHAGINIANS sword was the main weapon remainder for the first half of its length. rivalled even the Numidian to have been deployed cavalry in swiftness and skill. Another to Strabo shield and body armour. Jll and they were more than the equal of a Roman characteristically Iberian weapon fight. speed and agility in this type of sword-and-buckler of the Iberians. Horsemen curved sword. These were of slings. man would dismount Balearic slingers From the Balearic Islands came the formidable Carthaginian Carthaginian javelin-armed armies from at least 337BC. It was an excellent fact. described by Livy as a shaft of pine wood with a long iron head. Iberian also carried a dagger that was so broad at the base as to be almost triangular. and the other for close-quarter.000 men who were armed with three types against a densely packed enemy. slightly the infantry as necessary. Spanish cavalry The Iberian accustomed peninsula to difficult was famous for its horse terrain. 63 . breedmg. The cavalryman to fight alongside shields for defence.REPUBLIC 753BC-lSOBC famous for their ability. for the sling had greater range in skirmishes and effectiveness. arsenal of which was a wrapping other Spanish incendiary weapons. slingers were said to be superior They were generally organised in fire and accuracy to the best contemporary into corps of 2. Iberian missile weapon was the the end [alarica. by some form of Saddles do not appear though a bridle and bit were used. and it was used thus by both the infantry victory at Cannae is often attributed and cavalry. slingers. the Carthaginian in part to the superiority of the blade was double edged and sharply pointed Spanish sword over the short swords The Iberian companies heavy infantry of Greek origin still bemg used by the Romans. army seem to have been organised in small in of Hannibal's under their own chiefs . the at the end. Single-edged fighting. The jinetes used the small. one for medium individual targets up to some 900 feet. and their main offensive weapon was also armed with a long. when the second to fight on foot. though they seem always in the role of heavy cavalry on the battlefield. rhis heavy infantry a straight sword lack of defensive their style of sword legionary fighting verged on the acrobatic. Balearic archers. around of tow and pitch. being used as a missile weapon. Like so many as an artillery entered arrow.the troops for. round buckler-style was the lance. to have been widely used. which was usually barbed. Balearic slingers were used in the an important part of the with and they formed troops in the Punic Wars. and according sources show these javelins could penetrate helmet. and the Spanish the Spanish horse cavalry. creating the [aldrica eventually infantrymen an incendiary the Roman weapon. [metes. with a small leaf-shaped head. only a broad girth with a blanket. despite their using sword and buckler were included equipment. delivery of stones or lead could penetrate a helmet or light protective savage fighters who were often paid in women rather than gold or silver. one for long-range engagements range fire. was or and mountainous Consequently.

most Celtic it. Consequently. Hispania (Turkey). sacking the found the Celts willing allies. by the third century (Austria). They normally carried three slings. (Spain) and and crossed into ASIa to settle in Galatia since they first attacked The Celts had a long history of fighting the Romans. They were excellent swordsmen. This bronze shows a Gallic Celt. Moorish at Zama in 202BC. class . Some wealthy Celts wore helmets. warriors scorned In earlier times. served both as light infantry line. controlled by a general such as Hannibal armies the Celts were probably The chieftains organised proved to be valuable soldiers. often stripped to the the use of armour and preferred to fight without Celts fought stripped to the waist. however. but he does not give numbers. man to man. city. Like most such warriors. Britannica (Britain). (Painting by Angus Mcbride © Osprey Publishing Ltd) and settled in Belgica (Belgium).this was crucial considering that many The upper and middle classes of the Celtic tribes were a warrior war. they adopted.they lived only for to a Celt. (© R. and Hannibal's Rome in 390BC. and their shield was their only form of armour. Noricum (Italy). during the Punic Wars the Carthaginians in Italy contained army arriving over 40 per cent Celts.EARLY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC gradually spread across western Europe until. The krufe is characteristic of finds in the Balearics and faintly similar to the falcata shape (see p12I). In the Carthaginian into small companies often wore armour. a battle The Celts carried large shields to protect the whole body . parts of Gaul. Suebia (Bohemia). Illyria. they had overrun northern Italia TI-[ E CARTI-lAG IN lANS Balearic stingers wearing simple tunics and minimal equipment. in a sword fight. Polybius says they formed skirmishers and in the heavily concentrated infantry the nucleus of both the infantry bowmen are mentioned and cavalry arms. particularly after contact with and richest warriors whose armour the Greeks and Romans. they were fiercely proud and undisciplined: consisted of simply charging straight for your enemy (preferably down a slope) and defeating and when him face to face. Hungaria (Switzerland). (Hungary). the Celts originated in southern Germania (Germany). Helvetia BC. but 64 65 . Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) The Libyans and Moors The largest mercenary Hardened contingent in the Carthaginian army were the Libyans they were versatile of Tunisia. fighters who of the by the harsh conditions of their own country. The Celts Known to the Romans as Gauls. but many preferred simply to stiffen their hair with limewash. for different ranges. under their own chiefs.

and reinforced with felt or hide. the native Carthaginians are described as splendidly armed with iron breastplates and brazen helmets. No attempt way and to its best advantage. Pnor to the First Punic War. relying mainly on agility as a defence. swinging from side to side.000 men out of 20. or by whirling it round the head and bringing it down like an axe. The Celtic warrior was essentially a heavy infantryman equipped with helmet. Shattered by the elephants and outflanked on both wings. but they were sometimes unreliable. the Romans did not realise their OWnheavy infantry line was outflanked. and with a somewhat rounded point. and this was almost certainly the case after the battle of Cannae (216BC). but the Romans soon came to realise that them and disciplined ranks and the use of reserves could defeat the best Celtic warriors. double edged. and this boss was sometimes reinforced by a broad strip of iron nailed to the planking. His criticism of the Carthaginian army came to the ears of the Carthaginian leaders. From this force the long-term professional leadership was selected. Some Celtic tribes still fought without armour at the time of the Second Punic War. therefore. As the phalanxes were concealed by the cavalry and light troops. the Roman army was completely defeated. and when the war moved to Africa and Carthage itself was threatened . he fought in the main body of the heavy infantry. as can be seen in their success in the battle of Tunes in 255BC. The outer face was frequently painted with animal or geometric designs. for it gave them the position of honour. not as a skirmisher.in both the Second and Third Punic Wars . losing some 15. After the battles of Trebia (218BC) and Lake Trasimene (217BC) many of the Celts were probably equipped with mail shirts taken from the Roman dead. large shield and long sword. Its length and method of use required space. but their number was never very great and they were mainly confined to a few hundred heavy infantry called the Sacred Band. between 75 and 80cm long. each 16 men deep. Xanthippus is said to have reorganised the army in the Greek style and to have drilled It to perfection. made of oak planks. thus ensuring that the generals who commanded the mercenary army came from amongst their own citizens.\RLY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC waist.000. bearing great white shields covering most of their bodies. Strange to relate. especially when hard-pressed. We must assume they were still fighting in the phalanx formation. and the Celtic warrior fought independently as an individual. although some of the youngest and most inexperienced warriors were probably used as light troops. During the Second Punic War allies were recruited in Italy and Macedonia. This would have meant a series of phalanxes. They were supported by four-horse chariots. Each native group fought in its own Effectiveness of Carthaginian army At the beginning of the First Punic War the Carthaglillans were twice defeated by the Romans In Africa. 66 67 . he positioned the cavalry and light troops on the Hanks with the heavy infantry phalanxes extended across the whole battlefield. was made to organise this heterogeneous mass of troops into a uniform army.the citizens of Carthage also took the field. Despite heavy losses. armed with javelins The Celt's sword was his prime weapon. At about this time a Spartan adventurer called Xanthippus arrived at Carthage with a band of Greek mercenaries. The Carthaginians There were also native Carthaginians in the army. and Xanthippus found himself appointed leader of that army! During the winter of 256-255BC.000 men in 256 files.the African infantry. A wooden spindle-shaped boss covered a central hollow for a hand grip. The Celts showed great dash in the attack. This suggests a phalanx formation. Xanthippus also introduced successful new tactics to the Carthaginian army. THE CARTHAGINIANS ELEP'HA1iTS Hannibal seems to have used his Celts mainly as a softening-up force to break the Roman ranks before launching his prime troops .000 citizen soldiers. Even when totally unprotected except for a shield. Placing 100 elephants in the front line to break up the legions. The Celtic shield was usually oval. each of some 4. After the First Punic War Carthage was able to raise 10. the Celts accepted this role. It was this method of fighting which at first struck fear into the hearts of opponents. It was used as a slashing weapon. that the Celts were manufacturing mail shirts from around 300BC: the high cost of manufacture was probably the main factor that restricted its use to the aristocracy. and marching in a slow and orderly fashion.

Others as well as bloody to mercenaries. except for the long time it took to recruit. Hannibal subdued the Spanish tribes in preparation for his assault on Italy. largely point out that though mutiny. In both instances. which general-purpose initially deployed vessels. It was these abilities which made Hannibal and use them in the most commander: such an outstanding in all his 15 years of fighting in Italy there were only two occasions control. warships. fleet of warships activities. were not factors of great significance. navy. The Carthaginian navy The navy played was manned vessels a vital part in the Carthaginian by Carthaginians. as they after the battle of Lake Trasimene with Roman Roman weapons and equipment his heavy infantry of and incorporated in their drill all the best features training and tactics.4. Hannibal his 15 years in Italy . from Africa during The gaps in his ranks were instead filled with Celts and Italians. and even then only small units deserted. ram them amidships. at the outbreak of hostilities. To a large degree. If there was sufficient space. vessels would then the Carthaginian sharply ships would move alongside enemy and by suddenly this manoeuvre and turn about If there was not enough room for gaps in the enemy line then. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) to the mercenaries and cowardice. the defects and inadequacies of Carthaginian army in an emergency. transports. the effectiveness arms depended quality of the general and his ability to hold these forces together effective way. in line ahead. However. which assured them of sea supremacy use of cargo ships as troop unique advantage over exploiting The African infantry of Carthage continued (217BC). Within two years he had subjugated the lands of Spain between the Tagus and Ebro rivers. the Carthaginian turning. it entirely were There were three basic types of ships: large cargo to troop transports. Carthage's manpower: reliance on a mercenary who were not of the same calibre. Whatever when he lost absolute of Hannibal's the composition 69 . less well wn is the fact that most of n died either on the journey. large mercenary exaggerated. n the harsh winter that rwed. and small. in turn. they possessed so long a strategic had mobility commanders any opponent. The Carthaginians. with Hannibal in Italy was gradually reduced in numbers and the The African infantry losses were not made good. had a potent With the versatile that offered capable a of break through to take them in the rear. unlike the army. to be armed and fight in this manner when Hannibal re-armed until this superiority. but the subsequent action depended the fleet was on the enemy's the dispositions. army was probably caused by the shortage of there may have been just too few men to do any more than crew their extensive and numerous trading vessels without endangering their commercial army. On balance. (© Prisma/AAA lection Ltd) army and however few Carthaginian officers he may have had in relation what mattered was the magnetism to his men. of those they served.~LY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC THE CARTHAGINIANS fact that Hannibal crossed "'Ips with 34 elephants is known. easily converted war machine and. who were. Historians differ in their views as to the effectiveness were not united by any common of the Carthaginian or reciprocal Some claim that the mercenaries had no long-term indifferent of desertion interest and concern for the well-being anyway. There were two basic battle tactics.000 Numidian received only one reinforcement cavalry and some elephants. such incidents there were incidents were not exclusive train and deploy a of the system look on the This 16th-century plate depicts Hannibal's cavalry defeating a large coalition of Spanish tribes on the banks of the Tagus river in 220Be. these of his leadership.

The size and power of the Hellenistic empire under Alexander had far surpassed anything yet achieved by the Romans . of Macedonia during and his trusted appear The fact that this in a Roman iuse shows the esteem in which was held by the omans. t I o exander acedonian ominence the Great brought kingdom to great from Pompeii the N Ancient coastline 50 miles 100 km o before his death in 3BC. and frequently fought with one another for territory and control over Hellenistic lands. and by around 200BC. This mosaic e Persian xlomannus exander urnenion. This expansionist policy did not die with Alexander. Philip V became of serious importance as a threat to Rome when he allied himself with the recently triumphant Hannibal. Alliances were forged and broken between all three kingdoms. ~ Michelle ollection Williams/AAA Ltd) 71 . and the Seleucid kingdom. just after the Second Punic War.Alexander had ruled over everything east of Rome. It could well have been Hannibal who initiated The extent this period. however. Rome. the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt. and appeals even made to Rome to intervene on the side of one or another of the powers. but went on to influence the strategic decisions and military activity of other Hellenistic rulers.the kingdom of Macedonia. did not engage militarily with Greece until an alliance was forged which she could not ignore.LY ItEPUBLlC 753BC-150BC THE HELLENISTIC EMPIRES Chapter 4 THE HELLENISTIC EMPIRES Macedonian campaigns against Rome The Hellenistic power struggle When Alexander the Great died in 323AD he left behind him three major Hellenistic kingdoms . who wanted to associate iemselves with his successes. the three main Hellenistic kingdoms effectively held control over the eastern Mediterranean. ene should lexander piers the battle of Issus. where king Darius III was defeated by general The three kingdoms did not sustain an easy balance of power.

with. the terms of which make Rome's priorities dear. Adriatic in 214 BC Philip was fighting in Illyria. having fought HELLENISTIC EMPl!'ZFS The Aetolian with them in many Hellenistic power struggles. was precarious. which he did. In return for fighting with Rome against the Macedonians. so he sought a treaty with Philip V. In 201BC. to engage with Philip's forces. an alliance was set up between the and intentions at this time Aetolians and Rome. IIIyna. and there were few. and towards all her attention. III of the Seleucid kingdom was already being called 'the great' indeed. In 20SBC. marking troops. and for Macedon Macedonians before the Romans could stop Philip's advance. The Second Macedonian War (200-197BC) The First Macedonian War (214-20SBC) Although that Rome Rome probably never actually declared war on Macedonia in 214BC.any navies. and saw Philip V as a made the III but had to pledge to not take action against an agreement by Philip not to help the the Adriatic. a child king. '2 73 . Antiochus could not let this opportunity to control Egypt lands. who then sent an embassy to Rome. while a Roman presence in the west made Philip look east. to Thrace and Ptolemy's troops across the Hellespont. and eventually Galba objected sent a small force of held firm to was drawn but it was too little too late. and expanding another pushing his empire. who were certainly the enemy Rome feared most at this time. lands. With the Romans troops to halt a land advance. using Macedonian meant that Rome was.to Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus sent no troops to liberate Aerolia. were suing for peace. with a group of Publrus Sulpicius Galba Maximus. and the Aetolians terms. this was essentially Carthaginians. did capture a few towns. if any grounds back to Macedonia. land was not what motivated this fight. also at a fleet to the area of "vas at war with Carthage. Under the terms of the treaty. to aid him in gaining Egyptian relieved that Antiochus did not have Macedonia them.EARLY REPUBLlC \ coin showing Philip V )f Macedonia. the fact (and. Philip took of conquering Caria. and they agreed to divide Egypt up between Rome's land armies were severely depleted of. Sure enough. Hannibal. Rome's response stop their campaigns. so he navy watching accepted the treaty. waned. an alliance of Pergamum. of ships. 238-179 Be. city-states on the way and his armies had been advancing and leaving them as vassal through war with Macedonia. and who were much better placed to keep control League were old enemies of the Macedonians. with Rome's Plulip was probably in his sights. and by 206BC the Aetolians the towns they had captured. and Roman for continuing the war. and interest in helping to defend Hellenistic no Roman response. by the Greeks. By making this agreement Philip V of Macedonia whom Rome could now concentrate First Macedonian War unavoidable. so his march who about Philip's campaigning. In 211BC. He was driven back by and recent defeat at the hands and the Carthaginians. having given Philip back all of to this. 3S ships and 11. Philip could keep all the lands he had gained. valuable as he wanted assistance with his plan to capture with Carthage. Clearly. so the Roman fleet crossed the and the situation go unexploited. Rome this alliance. by proxy or otherwise. watch The Roman states of his kingdom. much ground was gained and many cities captured Rhodes and Athens. Hannibal after their ongoing campaign Annochus then turned in the direction of Coele-Syria. and Carthage was allied with Macedonia Whilst Philip had been focusing Hellenistic Antiochus leader had been on alliance back with Carthage his boundaries and war with Rome. Rome. the years following 211BC were the Aetolians campaign terms. Philip's only chance of escape was to burn his fleet to Philip that his chances of effective from the coast opposite. THE of fighting Philip. Proconsul In 207BC Philip invaded Aetolia itself . was on the throne. Phil p appeared to be heading fear of attack. it was the prevention Although uneventful III of Philip assisting their greatest enemy. out over the Adriatic from Apulia for any activity from Philip around in the Hellenistic empire of Egypt. Asia Minor.000 their new agreement up. capturing Meanwhile. ally. to complain and appeal for Roman assistance against Philip. © R Sheridan/AAA =ollection Ltd) 753BC150BC already had experience of his advance. praetor Marcus Valerius Levinus organised just as they had called Alexander. so the land route to unable to send out by the Illyria was a much safer bet for Philip and his forces. to keep any towns they conquered the Aetolians were allowed along the way. troops). The greatest Roman had to be stopped fear was that Philip would be able to assist Hannibal. the treaty of Phoenice to Macedonian the formal end of the First Macedonian War. Rome decided upon a strategic alliance was to send envoys to demand Philip and Antiochus to become a Roman province under the command somehow. by sea were slim. Ptolemy V. Rome would take only those things that Rome in could be taken away . with the intention lands in the Aegean. It must have become apparent campaigning However. For Rome. and spoils.

but he had many enemies who would in supporting defeats against a Roman attack on Macedon.in. including 6. negotiations. was ordered to pay a large reparation campaigns.ARLY REPUBLIC 753HC-150BC went to Greece and negotiated to give up the THE peace terms with Philip.. (197BC). who had been fighting WIth during that for 14 years. He of people questions in charge of Macedon was a young man. War. Macedonia of Macedonia. By 198BC. The final peace empire becoming to put a stop to Antiochus' in Asia. the the Locrians. and to freedom.. she was interested . then. under Macedonian control which had been since the middle of the fourth century Be. id he was made king at the nder age of five. from other Flamininus then went on to carry firmly out some mopping-up back. pressure to isolate and push her boundanes Philip completely. as Philip promptly envoy sent in 200BC by envoy to Philip was towns in Thrace. for his foolish The first ultimatum as reported enemy at that time . the proclamation but there was a confused who about wondered what was by no means generally movement and asked the Macedonians.000 Aetolians.remonies ironation carried out at the lands he had reparations. Thessalians. and Rome.e detailed on the trilingual osetta Stone. taking of the young king . invaded Philip Attica and attacked that he cut short the second campaign. the victor of the battle of Kynoskephalai in 197 BC. The . but more importantly heard. the At first.Hannibal. Flamininus announcement. Flamininus the Cannae marched to Thessaly. Ptolemy V . the Macedonian manipular formulation could then be The Romans fell apart. having been by the Roman line in a second charge. used the Isthmian by Plutarch: games of 196BC feeling of wanting to teach Philip a lesson. There may also have been a alliance with Rome's greatest move. was also to prove their undoing. after the . Philip was forced with the exception fee to Rome. ignored. and tumultuous had been said. who offered captured since 200BC. Philip refused to agree to these terms. Philip relinqUIsh all Greek lands. called Titus Quinctius it. Although the Senate had been wary in the wake Hellenistic power from taking plans over. the consul Flamininus. under 30. picked off in small groups emerged victorious. so angered and went back on conquered garrisons King Philip and the Macedonians. to the enjoyment Having alienated against hesitate minor ancient laws. but their strength when. resources were so depleted by Philip and Antiochus eventually were also to be handed Galba was intent upon it. Magnesians. of their the the or sealing the onset of the Second Macedonian most of his Hellenistic neighbours. the Roman having without senate and Titus Quinctius Flamininus proconsular restored general. by the Roman and seized control of the area. and without imposts. By 199BC. At The two armies met on the battlefield at Kynoskephalai The Macedonians the Romans unprepared a phalanx overstretched phalanx fought formation. and led aged 28 in a battle ~ainst insurgents.arried Cleopatra I. Not only did he have few allies. Ptolemy V was the fifth iler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Flamininus also gathered from Greek states ~ R Sheridan! AAA ollection Ltd) along the war. The more manoeuvrable meant the scattered used by the Romans Macedonians maniples. Philip was in a vulnerable position not The rudeness of . who and to pay demanded HELLENISTIC EMPIRES coin showing the head of olemy V Epiphanes from IOBC. the and they met Romans were as in a head-on for the ferocity of the Macedonians. since the Asian lands over to Rome. Thus it was in Roman too strong. tWOlegions including Carthage legion. as they effectively meant giving up any positions of power. the Corinthians. Galba had inflicted a few the Achaean League. including Thessaly. especially at a time when Roman manpower of constant warring with Carthage. In a perfect PR to make the followmg of war. in the one made Aetolians and the Athenians had all pledged their support to Rome. strong would have removed making sure the Hellenistic interests to stop anyone were not united against Rome. Despite Although Rome may have had little interest kingdoms in Greek lands. the the Euboeans. and had not seen their homes reinforcements period. in a phalanx charge. Greek states to depose since a deposition Flarnminus one of instead went for a controlled the factors preventing terms also attempted garrisoned another containment. and Macedonia A bust of Titus Quinctius Flamininus. (© R Sheridan!AAA Collection Ltd) to give up all the lands he had acquired. This was not enough for Flamininus. Achaeans Perrhaebians. first.ath of his father and the urder of his mother. the Phocians. distinctly stadrum another of Phthiotis. and called out to have the proclamation 74 75 .

packed phalanx formation of the battlefield at Pydna made the tightly army suffered to stand almost impossible to sustain. Demetrius. built upon by the military genius of Alexander. but allied ones as well. was stirred up once more to go conubium. retraining. the failure at Thessaly. and gone feral.nearly 25. to suggest he try harder It was suggested to convince Rome that Eumenes his extensive empire. and the Macedonian which treaties. by arranging old allegiances and south. 77 . within. This made the Romans one-time allies in Greece. Perseus escaped. were keen to establish so a trick was played themselves in Greece in good time for the campaigning A consular legate called Quintus Marcius was to delay Perseus. quickly He brought the Roman a large force. as retribution By granting Greek state. In 179BC. but when silence had been restored. army had. The behaviour and uncontrolled. blamed the Aetohans for their lack of support. and greet and hail the saviour Once war was declared. Crass us experienced defeat at Thessaly. Flamininus was hailed as a heroic strategist. It seemed that more than strategically preventing an effort was being put into plundering invasion by Macedonia.commercium and became convinced an assassination by Eumenes attempt. and to a Roman army that seemed to have lost its own. but they had not yet abandoned The broken ground the phalanx. and so he was forced to surrender. that Demetrius threat to Philip's was becoming to meet the Macedonians may have in battle at Pydna on 22 June 168BC. for spoils. over-fond Philip V died.000 up to dead. became Rome for him. none of which could aid the other . and two years later. at one time. As for Macedon. Eumenes. when over Philip as a the lack of effective and inhabitants towns forces left Greece in 194BC. the Senate they split it up into four smaller republics. At first. into a series of raids on towns. with their enemy Greek towns. despite to argue that war was not their in an accident trouble intention. immediately and troops quickly blamed Perseus. The whole athletes. finally. on those Greek states who had not aided Rome in its Thousands were killed or many of them carefully casting the worst possible by these reports. so incredibly audience leagues could assist Perseus. set about not only causing. In 172BC. and the Romans to war with Macedonia. king of Pergamum. then seemed to lose the army. which reflected of the Roman but without incurring the cost and manpower of policing army at this time was undisciplined reform therein over the previous garrisons the Roman client-king. Perseus. the war turned against corrupt Roman consuls. he executed his youngest SOil the new consul. loud that it reached the sea. Philipp us went to Perseus wrong in his accusations. by encouragmg the of his actions and started reporting them directly to Rome. Philipp us then set about in 171BC a shout of joy arose. Rome felt assured of her control years. the lack of understanding contributory factor over each other's concept of 'freedom' was a in the Third Macedonian War breaking out 25 years after For the next few years. or who had ever aided the Macedonians. this freedom. kingdoms. The effectiveness the reforms fighting force was largely due to to Perseus that negotiation might be possible. and huge gold and silver reserves seized. Rome had ensured her safety from one large powerful the states from for their lack of support most unpopular as Crassus saw it. army in line with which marched the last one had ended. louder than before and reached and the herald in tones that were This delaying tactic effectively achieved a truce over the winter. Meanwhile. to ensure their continued The The Macedonian army Professionalisation of the army It is clear that the Macedonian fighting forces in the world. been one of the most effective the Great used to build since it was this army that Alexander of the Macedonian for an attack on Macedonia. since the Romans had proved their inability at keeping it contained as so little desire to go to war after nearly himself sending envoys to Rome of fighting. reorganisation northwards. The year before he died. of complaints against Perseus. with the Achaean went against League. the Senate were unswayed a century as there was Perseus sold into slavery. which was once set about making himself an enemy of Rome. The Third Macedonian War (171-168BC) As it turned significant out. his boundaries back Macedonians restocked thus despatched. The intensive amassed having been convinced by his eldest son. rose to their feet. Neighbouring increasingly massive losses . The Romans He was furious. sacking and but all were eager to spring champion of Greece.RLY REPUBLIC 753BCl50BC again. Greek towns were destroyed sold into slavery. their ranks since their crushing defeat at of Rome and that he was a potential power. Rome support. and complaints until by 168BC. of Philip II. one kingdom. and no heed was paid to the contending forward army landed on the coast of I1yria under the consul Licinius Crassus. and pushing the terms of earlier again to be their undoing. had recited the proclamation. one of the arrived in Rome with a long list light on discipline which he had showed in his organisation army to once more wreak revenge fight against Macedon. Perseus strategic marriages. and year. of the Roman most loyal allies of Rome. once more giving Rome grounds sent out envoys were sent to Epirus to the Greek to prepare states. in Illyria. but found no allies prepared Paulus far from seeing Perseus as a potential ally. the leader of Macedonia. immediately re-establishing to the north Hellenistic suspicious it was Perseus who took over control of Macedonia Kynoskephalai in 197BC. a consul was put in place who could restore discipline LucIUS Aermlius Paulus. giving the Romans time to get their legions ready in Greece for war the following making sure that none of the Hellenistic the Roman THE HELLENISTIC valuable EMPIRES the ears of all. after he was involved which he clamed was since they were denied the right to trade with each other or inter-marry Coinciding with this accident. With Demetrius in 179BC. Romans season. However.

only armed with their short sword rnanipular . The advantage '8 79 . It may not. the Macedonian army kept up their and of tactics and manoeuvres battles. That is not to say that the Roman weaknesses be seized upon by the Romans. using to send small groups into these gaps. fearful now of his supply chainbeing to ground better suited to his phalanx. the ground on which they marched its allthe phalanx could not maintain became more . Drawn up in this way. and a force of12. In the summer of 168BG.000cavalry. then cavalry on each wing. and the Roman army looked. south over the mountains toPithium. However. of bye the Roman Gradually.'1i. asifthey one taxis or regiment.around 33. them greater movement. indeed. However. 21. but many cite the catalyst as an escaped horse. under Scipio Nasica. this is how the battle started. continuing knowledge merchants of the soldier. it isironic and small gaps started to appear. flanked and little too close to the . until the fled. throughout of what they had learned. in order to choose for himself the hour the battle would start. for a while. back to the Macedonian the Romans army of theRoman to phalanx was completely broken apart. The Macedonian infantry Infantry was the key component of the Macedonian army. Around 25. Meanwhile. each province of of a Troops were drawn Macedonia providing using a territorial system established The Roman army was formed with its [egions in the middle. as the to. Mucedonians.: Paulus enabled the Macedonian the final battle ofIour years. the training of peace. (see pp82-83). as did Alexander. The Macedonian (see p81)"and around 4. 3. This should not have been able to happen. the new Roman nommander Aemilius Paulus wanted to his men in a meet Perseus and-his army head-on in battle.andbeing fought back by Thracians after which time the soldiers returned thus forgetting periods much to their peacetime and craftsmen.400 infantry and 4.a~'1:h more uneven. the Roman army numbered 38. and the surviving Macedonians with Perseus and his cavalry at the front. The Macedonians The Macedonian their central phalanx with peltasts. made the decision to move of the rest of the Roman troop force was of a similar size. meaning importanthegemonYl the flexibilitYlllf the rnanipular formation victory was solely due to their Da~li. from the rear and in the flunks. it may well have been Paulus who 'helped' the horse to escape. Macedonian and mercenaries. of this centred a COre of infantry. honoured by a triumph the losses of the march when they under-estimate. the advance of the heavy phalanx was very strong. the rest beingpeltasts being around 44. with the skilled Thraciancavalry Perseus' own elite cavalry squadron on the right. to make sure they fought highly responsive troops were drawn cohesive as and roles as By unit Until this professionalisation when they were needed.the strong command of Aernilius to they could then art~ak the enemy m their vulnerable positions. where formation. the favourable conditions. and retreated where Perseus. with the elephants on the right. Scipio moved his entire force. in earlier reigns. but it seems Perseus had lost his grip of command onthe field. The phalanx Philip II organised The phalanx his army in a phalanx around formation.000 cavalry. When night fell. These taxeis were under the command local noble from each province.000 were hypaspists Crucially. causing a small skirmish that in turn escalated. These Paulus seized upon. This ensured a group an occupation that was sufficiently devote well paid to be to of men who could as a well-trained. however. planning an attack from the sea.000 -. like most armies at this time. however .As War. and is a classic in uneven warfare could prevail over a phalanx formation w(ndd not be able'torccovcr Macedonian army continued from being pushed back from the phalanx. appeared. The catalyst might also havebeen due toa few Romans getting a from Perseus' army. including 22 elephants.allied infantry returned to Rome. then. since the men were too tightly to that the-battle itseLfwas over and done with within a single hour. when the sun was behind the Romans. If. camp. and shining into the faces of the Macedonians. more gaps army. Scipio's force was reinforced bythearrival cut off. Milo's force were defeated.cRLY REPUBLIC 753BC-ISOBC THE HELLENISTIC Elv1PIRES THE BATTLE OF PYDNA The battle of Pydna was the final S'110t of the Third Macedonian example of how manipular territory. His phalanx was unable toturn. informed the Macedoman by Perseus under Milo prevent packed to untangle their sarissae sufficiently. however. Reports of only 80-100 Roman dead may well be a gross but it is clear that the Romans suffered nowherenear and were the clear vi¢tors. first have to be lured.uM.000 men. Philip II made soldiering a full-tune traming [ole. At this stage. Roman plans were nearly wrecked when a deserter position. some say were killed .000 of which Were in the phalanx. the time required and drill. instead that were so essential for an effective phalanx. improved between of losing their skills. push forward. Some discarded their sarissae which was no match for the weapons and were taken advantage carried by Romans. afford strong position on the river Elpeus from which he w. have been a coincidence that the battle did take place in the afternoon. terrain and fighting style of the Romans made victory swift and decisive.ej1emy. as Perseus had light troops on the field that could have been sent forward to fill the gaps.OOO was sent from reaching the Macedonians. flanked by allied infantry. and then Philip V. but Perseus had entrenched cunning Paulus staged a very visiblemovementof to the coast. under Paulus. The 8. or pezhetairoi. and were often named after their commander.200 infantry and 120 cavalry troops were to make Perseus behcve that the Romans but this meant they were. cavalry was split between wings. Whatex:actly started the battle of Pydna is not clear. chased by the Romans in the direction of the Macedonians. farmers. hvtiaspists and other allied infantry and mercenaries.000 Macedonians mcluding all of the elite guard.

often accompanied their skill and merit. armour. unsuitable in rough for head-on charges. and the role guard. held their sarissae to break the first line. These were light shield. Kynoskephalai This is an early example of the Macedonian helmet. though the further back the ranks were. the cavalry. so the phalangites sarissa was no good for close-hand were also armed with a more sword or dagger. of course. The phalanx unless the front ranks of the phalanx formation were destroyed. as well as defend themselves the first five ranks of the phalanx from enemy and charges. and yet hold an advantage to the personal The hypaspists of the King's allowed peltasts to evade the charge of heavily equipped over lighter troops. phalangites. down by advancing Macedonian Romans. the says it was 14 cubits. For obvious fighting. and sometimes were more hghtly armed than the pezhetairoi. a metal tip. (© R Sheridan/ AAA Collection Ltd) gave the phalanx weakness. in was a very effective head-on battles for heavy head-on a phalanx army was hard to beat due to the fact weapon. There is evidence. a pike with a wooden shaft. (© Ronald Sheridan/ AAA Collection Ltd) the Romans in hundreds in 197BC. Soldiers in a phalanx could be greater stood close together. and a butt-spike length . such as archers. in hand-to-hand Companions. parts. unable its strength also became As soon as the phalanx to operate had been split up. affording them greater ease of movement. and were more The bypaspists to wear boots. enemy. or need. that the back ranks of the phalanx or no armour. which could be almost so that TH E HELLENISTIC EMPl RES to penetrate from the front. to allow free they were fighting. their name coming from the pelta . The sarissae were presented opportunity missiles projecting to inflict damage in a variety of ways.Polybius at the other end. carried a small round shield. Peltasts were also cheaper the cavalry and the phalanx. the overall strength weapon of the phalanx phalanx than its component The main of the Macedonian was the sarissa. giving the phalanx upon the enemy. However. In fact. The lightness of armour troops. However. been Either Side of the phalanx in battle formation were two flanks of peltasts.a light wicker and animal-skin were originally Thracian infantry. The bypaspists sarissae. The remarkable thing about the sarissa was its sheer reasons. and for The tightly packed formation of the phalanx is clearly shown by this carving from around 400BC. The front ranks of the phalanx would have worn helmets. equip than the regular lightly armed seem to have been the only infantrymen and their tunics were let down at the shoulder movement of the right arm. which is over 6m long. affording an element of the rear ranks from the If a soldier held his sarissa upright during battle were not aware of surrendering of this at the battleo. between acted as a flexible link. the less likely they were to wear. resulting up the effect of any missiles. it acted almost as one huge impenetrable or broken that terrain. and carried round shields.EARLY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC formation impossible was that it presented a very strong shield-wall. Since they they could be used for swifter were hand-selected action. charges. and wore helmet and greaves often wore little phalangites made from bronze. susceptible from the pezhetairoi to attack from behind. and also to hide the manoeuvres of surprise. was particularly and it became ineffective. principally the Macedonian state had been capable of raising large because of the 'Companion' system of recruiting from noble that 80 81 . Armour would. Peltasts with the king's personal regiment had retainers originally infantry. The other 11 ranks held their sarissae vertically. from the sixth century BC. The hypaspists Hypaspist means 'shield-bearer' III Peltasts Greek. it w:1$1 in which the phalangites The phalanx in the manner had been drilled. the very unity its greatest sometimes armed with spears.f Macedonians being cut it was a sign of surrender. than the other infantry. numbers of cavalry. was closely associated It IS thought formed from the armed with Javelins and daggers. beyond Traditionally. be less crucial in this position. showing hoplites with shields and spears. however. There is evidence Cavalry Under Philip II and Alexander.

by the state. forested pass and waited for and Coreli occupied to march along each side of a narrow the Hebrus valley in in Macedonia. and fighting according began at the the wagons. but they to secure its flanks. (© R Sheridan/ AAA Collection Ltd) Allied troops and mercenaries Manpower Perhaps the most important superiority factor in the defeat of the Macedonian It was Rome's than any innate capability superiority of Roman army by the Romans to mobilise such huge military was Roman in manpower. to diminish troops finances. superiority on the other hand. The vulnerable to the barbarians. killing the escort. Wars might These bronze greaves from the fourth century tomb at Derveni would have been either purely ceremonial. of the Roman military how many armies the incompetence reservoir commanders might lose. and the cavalryman his left arm (and thus frequently representations). numbers of his troops incursions against the Romans because Philip was unable to use significant he had to guard his eastern made extensive borders against constant and mercenaries. all that mattered Macedonian of manpower reverses. 10. which extended horse-owning cavalry coupled recruits. to push back the Roman Maduateni Roman left wing. were armed with and this was a Livy says: The Macedonian cavalry a long cavalry spear called a xyston. The battle swayed and the courage from one side to another of the combatants. No matter Macedon. the battles of the Macedonian have turned out very differently. there was always a near-inexhaustible first years of the Third matter. pool of propertied social change served ThraClans from the Astii. The Thracian and helped peltasts won skirmishes THE against Roman and HELLENISTIC EMPI RE~ by land-grants and by other devices. In 190BC. The xyston was used also carried obscured a sword by the half could then be used as a shorter as a stabbing slung under spear. rather armies that defeated system.000 Thracians in Philip's army. or worn by a very wealthy warrior. deliberately 2. victories. few h~ndred several points. which had spearheads the fact it often shattered at each end. During their wars with the were rarely able to raise more than a Consequently. rely more and more on their phalanx rarely had sufficient frequently enjoyed cavalry available a considerable to achieve victory. The but these didn't War saw many Roman was the last battle. He therefore use of foreign troops Thracian troops Philip V of Macedon extensive occupied all the cities in Thrace up to the Hellespont. to the terrain. of the second cloak in surviving Had the Macedonians effective cavalry century possessed an and arm to protect the flanks of their phalanx to attack the legions. having just left the battlefield at Magnesia. They waited until the for recruitment the Macedonians horsemen. to draw on. the Macedonians came to had passed. due to in battle .either end of the shattered spear.000 the potential Subsequent of state available Romans. made the Romans her battles with Macedonian principal factor in Roman and Greek armies. then attacked The Roman vanguard the baggage train and. the numbers of cavalry south-eastern vanguard Thrace. as most of them left their arms behind unfavourable ground. The fact that they were included as grave goods shows their high value. Rome in cavalry during numbers involved. and made use of Thracians in his army. The booty hampered the Thracians.EARLY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC families supported within Macedonia and its ally states. At the battle of Kynoskephalai in 197BC there were 82 83 . began to loot and rearguard rushed to help. so that they could carry away more spoils. with lack allied Greek troops. by the Maedi. Caeni.

these fought 'like wild beasts who had long been caged' (Livy) at the Kallinikos skirmish that year. Polybius claimed that the Cretans were !tighJy effective as skirmishers. suggesting that both were equally as effective and accurate. not to escape wounds and death. They returned from battle singing. and about 1. as well as provide missile fire. defeating the Roman-allied cavalry. Cretan archers For centuries.they are only mentioned in the accounts when running away! Perseus' riverbank guard of 800 Thracians precipitated the engagement after an argument midstream over a baggage animal that had escaped its Roman groom. so their ability and accuracy was finely honed by the time they reached a battlefield. Cretan archers were a highly prized addition to many armies at this time. and Philip often used them as such in his rearguard whilst the army were in the field. with severed heads as trophies. Thracian infantry also led the Macedonian army out of camp. and Alexander seems to have had a company of Cretan archers from the beginning of his reign. Their performance at the battle of Pydna (168BC) was less remarkable . but it is more likely that they were an allied contingent supplied by those cities of Crete favourable to Macedon. During the battle of Pydna. Cretan archers had been used III Greek and Macedonian armies. which enabled them to fight at close quarters. Perseus lost this battle. Perseus already had 3. Many fell on both sides and night was already coming on when the Thracians drew off from the fight. Cretan archers were mixed with Thracian archers. 4 . they acted only with the approval of Rome. due to the great skill the Cretans had with the bow.000 free Thracians under their own commander in his forces. and their children were held hostage there.000 picked cavalry. which was partitioned.:ARLY REPUBLIC 753BC-150BC and Thrace west of Hebrus was incorporated THE HELLENISTIC mto Macedonia. Cretan boys were trained in archery from the age of seven. They also served under their own officers.000 infantry. When Perseus rebuilt the Macedonian army he was joined in 171BC by Kotys. These Cretans could have been mercenaries. but because they had as much plunder as they wanted. Cretan archers were quipped with a small bronze pelta. and 200 Thracian and Cretan archers fought on the Roman side. EMPIRE From then on Thracian kings used Roman troops to secure their regimes. with 1. king of the Odrysai.

not an international signs of strain. was showing world. Rome continued to expand her frontiers througl the superiority At home. designed as it was for a regional superpower. GERMANICS AND BRITONS page 124 Chapter 8 LEGION AGAINST LEGION page 143 ..LATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC Dominating the entire Mediterranean of her armies. Chapter 5 THE ROMANS page 90 Chapter 6 THE NUMANTINES page 110 Chapter 7 THE GAULS.. Rome's guardian soldiers would soon appear in the city in a far more menacing form . the government republic. however.

" . ~ . - 8~ . Roman citizenship granted to Italians Three wars with Mithridates of Pontus Marius and Sulla engage in civil war Sulla is dictator of Rome Death of Sulla Pompey and Crassus are consuls First Triumvirate: Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar Octavianus.. Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) and Licinius Crassus Triumvirate renewed for another five years Death of Lucretius Caesar's expeditions to Britain Crassus killed by Parthians at Carrhae Caesar victorious in Gaul Pompey is sale consul Caesar and Pompey engage in civil war Death of Pompey after battle of Pharsalus Julius Caesar rules as dictator of Rome Caesar is murdered Second Triumvirate: Mark Antony... Aemilius Lepidus Brutus and Cassius commit suicide after defeat by Antony and Octavian Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide after battle of Actium Octavian becomes Augustus SPAIN ~-4 \.' ~ 42 30 27 .'0...CHRONOLOGY 133 111 105 104-100 100 91-89 89-63 87-83 82-81 78 70 60 55 55-54 53 52-51 52 49-46 48 47-44 44 43 Start of Roman civil unrest Start of war with Jugurtha End of war with Jugurtha Marius wins successive consulships Birth of Julius Caesar in Rome Social War. o The Roman Republic after-the Punic Wars ..--~--'~~URETANIA _/"~ D R A N N I t 250 miles ~..... M.. C.

The Celtiberians fighting back Roman resistance army. late contained old patrician . not a world power. the disputes escalating until the town in 133BC. It. at a loss of rule (© R Sheridan/ sights. the murder me. ruler. to keep a in Rome. The stability and unity of Roman political life for centuries began to break down. Chapter 5 THE ROMANS Background By the end of the Third Punic War in 146BC. or taken their own lives to avoid Roman fight under Scipio to gain more wealth Numantian lands were divided were either sold into slavery. extinguished by this Celtiberian was not completely savage destruction the last Celtiberian . and Corinth who had not died from the siege.ition through '-promoting. Numantia. The Senate designed becoming family too by citizens of its major city. and those inhabitants capture. having defeated of Alexander with ease the successor kingdoms that had emerged Foreign fighting The Numantine Wars Rome's Numantia first significant foreign threat during this period came from the territory control of in early Spain. As was inevitable a driven unashamedly and employing Ltd) policies were aggressively invaded expansionist. iposedly ividual verful. The Celtiberians the town marking had achieved many in the centre of Celtiberian victories against to Roman the Roman and were even responsible for a serious decline from the break-up the Great's empire. fame was or the of their in procession. of the Roman army in Spain in 134BC. Rome had the bulk of Europe Africa already sewn into the tapestry of her lands. uprising was successfully crushed. and Scipio added 'Numantinus' resistance to Rome to his own name. as the length of service of Roman soldiers in Spain became greater and greater.ck on anyone a direct result of his replacement Mithridates but in reality families was the king of Pontus in north-eastern involving. or forced to for the very power that had caused its destruction. repeatedly attempts to take over Numantia. These violent clashes between legions THE ROMANS constitute some of the major conflicts of the period. . an eight-month which had so characterised on the decisive clash with the Numantians. sealed its fate. who had achieved of his sister as his bride. led by Scipio Aemilianus. morale. iotism. stability and development The impact of these foreign wars on the of the Republic are also marked factors of this period. Politicians started to employ violent means to achieve their ends. its neighbours. The Greeks who had been living under Roman 91 .\TE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC they became civil wars fought on a massive scale. Scipio Aemilianus and he set about before siege of However. Sulla's decision to march on Rome with his legions in 88BC was as by Marius in the Mithridatic Wars. and the taking Mithridates' as it did. was much with it power. Rome dominated and some of the entire Mediterranean world. in 19BC. to avoid any single power amongst becoming too strong. though there were still plenty of foreign wars taking place to keep the legions busy abroad. restoring the army to previous embarking levels of discipline and mental and physical strength. that late was the governing the Roman e of senator ight-after it brought j The Mithridatic Wars If Hannibal had been the nemesis century saw Mithridates taking of Rome at the end of the third century the defeat of Mithridates it that it caused BC. Republic. organised as a regional. the Roman and he had Roman lands in Asia in his of Pergamum. Rome was still a republic. and his rise to power of both his brother of such and mother. Eventually. and its starving like Carthage inhabitants before could n2 longer hold back the forces of Rome. was razed to the ground. and sooner or later the wealth and power gained from conquering control by a government purpose new lands would become impossible to created to lead a small fledgling republic. the first promised on this role. . Indeed. In 89BC. and it was not until the rule of Augustus. However. with no immediate was eventually sign of achieving given control the victory that Rome so badly wanted. Asia Minor.A Collection many members warned of his ruthlessness. Mithridates Asian province far more than just land to the Romans. rule.tone carving ators of Roman The council and the of Rome. able to achieve such reward intervention for any commander the first military wealth. had many times resisted Roman in the region.

Marius was given command of the army engaged in the wars with Mithridates.he wanted rid of the king of Pontus. there was no doubt that he would conduct campaigns to 93 . but after a few Roman defeats. Gaul may have been conquered. and just as Hannibal had done in the SecondPunic War.ATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC saw a quick opportunity for defection. and set about organising his five legions to do the unthinkable . Sulla took the news badly. the Gauls were never able to unite effectively again. leaving behind L. it was nothing compared to THE ROMANS enhance his military reputation and political future. so he would be free to devote his energies to enemies in Rome. Mithridates boosted his manpower with these disaffected ex-subjects of Rome. another Mithridatic army. Few Gallic armies were capable of resisting the disciplined and well-equipped Roman legions. Marius was not the original recipient of this golden ticket. experienced defeat and victory in engagements with the Mithridatic forces. and over 80. starting with Lucullus. backed by a considerable force of men. Sulla overcame the differences in strength through his great skill in battlefield command at the battle of Chaeronea. now trained his sights on Rome. had been given the honour of the command already that year. but while he was away completing his campaigning in Italy pnor to embarking on hrs Mithraditic campaign. keen for military glory to cement his political fortunes. and Archelaus. since he was still considered a public enemy after marching on Rome in 88BC. and Pompey was his successor in Rome. Rome's streets were filled with armed citizen soldiers. however. exactly as he had been before he had invaded Roman provinces in Asia. as we have seen. expeditions that provoked shocked admiration back in Rome. pay a tribute. until Pompey was sent out in 66BC. that Gaul was properly pacified (and even after that there are indications of the occasional rumble into the mid-first century AD). In Sulla's absence.Publius Sulpicius Rufus . Over the next few years the Romans made rapid conquests throughout Gaul. and an envoy was sent to mform Sulla of this news. Sulla left for Greece to fight the Mithndatic Wars. and the Helvetii in Switzerland began a huge migration.march on Rome. Conflict at home Marius and Sulla In 88BC. Marius had seized back control. Gaul became several Roman provinces. but the Gauls were not. Murena reopened hostilities with Mithridates in 83BC. was a key appointment for any commander. heartbroken at his betrayal by his son. Mithridates took Athens from Roman control. outnumbered three to one. keen for revenge. Having secured support in the Senate (as much through fear as respect). If Rome had been angry at the loss of her provinces. A bitter two-year siege of the town resulted in its eventual surrender and recapture by the Romans. as his stoning to death of the envoy suggested. Tlus. Nicomedes IV. For the first time in her history. and when the army raised to relieve the besieged Gauls was repulsed. With victory in Greece secured. Sulla had died. In return. Sulla. Through fear of violence. and Julius Caesar went on to fight and win a civil war. release the prisoners of war. A series of Roman generals. Mithridates could not countenance a new Roman province so close to his own lands.000 Romans were put to their death in the wholesale slaughter. Licinius Murena to take care of Asia for Roman interests. Although it was not until the reign of the first emperor. This was shattered in 74BC when the king of Bithynia. and his son. heading for the Senate. as it offered the greatest of rewards . this short war ended in 81BC. and peace reigned once more between Mithridates and the Romans. Unable to return to Rome to claim a triumph. the war was effectively over. Augustus. against the terms of the peace settlement. died and left his kingdom to Rome. and so he invaded Bithynia. the horror and wrath she felt at this massacre. The relieving army dissolved and Vercingetorix surrendered. as a friend of the Roman people. died. In 88BC. Sulla returned to Rome to find a new Marius in charge. It was at Alesia that the whole war in Gaul came to a climax. Caesar was able to pronounce that the whole province was conquered and lead his army into Germany and across the Channel to Britain. The last years of Caesar's command were spent dealing with sporadic revolts across the province. Sulla instead stayed in Asia Minor and entered into negotiation with Mithridates for the ending of hostilities . having fought with Marius for the command against Mithridates. took five legions and marched to Athens. Mithridates was ordered to give up the lands he had seized (no great hardship since most of them had already been taken back by the Roman forces). and provide Sulla with a large fleet and spoils with which to return to Rome. When the governorship of Transalpine Gaul (southern France) was added to his command. and led attacks on Rhodes.glory. the situation changed. His early protege.000 from the original 120.000 who had started the battle. also The Gallic Wars When Julius Caesar engineered for himself the governorship of Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) and Dalmatia in 59BC. Caesar decided to campaign in Gaul. the Senate gave in to Sulla's demands for his opponents to be outlawed. Marius had allied himself with a tribune with an axe to grind . retreated up with . Mithridates' with his forces to Macedonia where he met and joined By the time Sulla's forces met Archelaus' '-- general. Finally the Gauls had found a leader who could unite them: Vercingetorix. Sulla routed the Mithridatic which fled as a force of only 10. The people voted for Marius to replace Sulla. starting the Third Mithridatic War. which were followed in 52BC by a major uprising. Within three years of leading his army into Gaul. Having drummed up huge popular support. In 87BC Sulla. and Rome was about to get a taste of the lengths to which Mithridates would go. It was after his defeat by Pompey in Armenia in 63BC that Mithridates eventually took his own life. His zeal to rid Asia Minor of Romans knew no bounds. He ordered the execution of every Roman citizen in Asia Minor and the surrounding areas. Mithridates would be allowed to return to his original lands. and Caesar was able to draw on an increasmgly large and experienced army. and Marius fled to Africa.who proposed a plebiscite on replacing Sulla as the commander of the armies against Mithridates. the Romans were army. who led a rebellion against him. army again in 86BC. as well as allies from Gaul and occasionally Germany to supply him with cavalry m particular. Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

Cote-d'Or. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) 95 . Caesar said of Vercongetorix: Himself a man of boundless energy.\TE REPUBLIC lSOBC-27BC THE ROMANS This statue of Vercingetorix is from Alise-Sainre-Reine. in France. he terrorised waverers with the rigours of an iron discipline.

For nearly two magistracy concentrating retirement. gladiators and convicts Joined Spartacus' band. Fighting WIth distinction title 'Magnus' ('The Great') in Italy. The armies of Sulla and Marius met in bloody civil war at the Colline Gate in 82BC. at Mutina (modernday Modena). At the time Pompey popular imagination to Kirk Douglas in the Stanley Kubrick film of 1960. Sicily and North on which to base his the Africa. and fled to the hills around Mount Vesuvius. Crassus was a wealthy man.000 menvmuch to the horror of Rome. to combine their forces with that of Crassus. During this journey Spartacus gave-final proof to Rome. constitution after his the renewal. Plutarch even states that Caesar was affected by an epileptic seizure whilst he was fighting in the battle of Thapsus.sold as a slave. under the governor of Cisalpine Gaul. It was better to use him than risk his turning In 71BC consulship Pompey returned victorious from Spain. and had held none of the normally during Sulla~s dicta. Sulla ruled as dictator power in his hands). Over time. Probably the Senate felt that. so Crassus was appointed to organise the defeat of Spartacus' army. and decided a continuation of political C disorder. had no legal authority power. r THE ROMANS only 23 and. having never held public office. since against them. Spartacus had served in the Roman army as a mercenary. who in 83BC came from his family's estates and was of Sulla at the head of three legions raised WHO IS SPARTACUS? Although inextricably linked ill who had served under his late father. celebrated of the civil war and th in 79BC fostered war in 49BC. execution his relation by marriage a far more dramatic to Marius at a family funeral. or defectio epileptica. for the Pompey and hrs legions existed. to employ the services of this private rather than a legally appointed citizen and only laid this down when he went into voluntary After Sulla's retirement. had been passed control in his place. Cassius Longmus. renremenr of open attitudes .LATE REPU BLIC lS0BC-27BC called M~~ius. and sent an army of 3. the Senate recalled Pompey from Spain and Lucullus from northern Turkey. the Senate soon realised that they Were a force to be reckoned with. Spartacus' army defeated the Roman force.000 men. In 73BC. and eventually to stand This period also had a profound in 49-45BC avoiding . a natrve of Thrace. They hung there as a warning to other slaves that the nught of Rome would eventually catch up with any rebellion. Pompeius Strabo. which pursued Spartacus' There is evidence that Julius Caesar suffered from epilepsy. Pompey was granted by Sulla. such as army down to the Italian peninsula. and seizures. as well as the next one sent to quash them of 6. When a Roman prisoner was crucified by the rebel-slaves. with absolute power (an emergency the victor. are mentioned in many Roman sources. Six thousand of the rebel slaves were crucified along 200km of the Appian Way between Capua and Rome underCrassus' orders. Suetonius and Appian. It was clear that a decisive move was needed to prevent tI1lS slave rebellion from getting any further out of hand. and bought at auction by the owner of a gladiator school in Capua. Pompey and Caesar The chaos . Employing magistrate id II co apse 0 fh t e Sullan influence under their control. and built up a large force. Spartacus' plan seems to have been to lead his army northwards through Jtaly. set an exceptionally bad precedent. Imse rst rose to prommence by the dictator when he publicly the following year. Having first dismissed the small scale of Spartacus' army.crossthe Alps and then disperse when they got to Gaul. He was too young. though Spartacus and his army had certainly given the Roman army a run for their money. the real Spartacus was born some two thousand years earlier.000 disaffected rebels. but he was later . Spartacus seems to have changed his mind andhe and his rebel slave army marched south to seek plunder. Although therr advance seemed to have been proceeding well. However. Spartacus escaped the school with 77 other men.000 Roman soldiers to suppress the uprising. that his army were a serious threat. effectively trapping them there. more escaped slaves. and before long there were 70. and his personal the Senate continued Pompey. Spartacus' army was eventually defeated on its way to the port of Brundisium. (© AAA Collection Ltd) ~6 97 . e rapi army. aesar on the careers and of the main protagonists narrowly hi If fi . and Sulla emerged years. if proof were needed.a total of 10. and Spartacus died on the battlefield. when they massacred a Roman army of two legions . to the support veterans role was played by Cnaeus Pompey.torship. though this may have been more than a little ironic.

Very much the junior partner of the mumvirate. The war was virtually over before Pompey arrived.. an utterly unprecedented action. the second was to secure grants of land for the soldiers who had served him so well. in Provence. d h . Caesar departed Transa Ipme au . Together the three men formed a secret political alliance.an was gran e . Having won the right to celebrate a triumph. Crassus was exceptionally wealthy. first major achievement was to suppress the pirates plaguing the He orchestrated the command for this campaign in 67BC. The Senate was forced to permit their candidature and the Roman people. Around this time Caesar made approaches to both Crass us and Pompey and managed to reconcile them. had won him numerous political enemies. a . France. Now he had two main political objectives: the first was to gain formal approval for all of his reforms in the eastern provinces. where he had campaigned with success against local tribes. The First Triumvirate In 60BC Julius Caesar returned from Further Spain. Marcus Licinius Crassus. Pompey then proceeded to campaign throughout the near east. A combination of careful organisation. In return for supporting his candidature. d d military glory to rival Crassus and. twice bridged the R me an vet I d int Germany and led two expeditions across the sea to Britain. despite his military greatness. Caesar hoped this honour would permit him to win the consulship for 59Be. Illyncum. '58BC never to return to Italy until the beginning of the CIVI ar a out for his provillces ill . t that greeted the moon landing In 1969. took the opportunity candidate for the consulship. Thus Pompey at the age of 36 entered the Senate directly as a consul. duly elected Pompey and Crassus as consuls for 70Be. which is known by historians as the First Triumverate. 'I W (ab . Caesar undertook to gain land The figures of a Gallic prisoner. Pompey disbanded his army. migration 0 a h' d o . Pompey was sent to Asia to continue the fighting against Mithridates of Pontus. Cisalpine Gaul and electIOn. Pompey was no politician. and returned to Rome to celebrate an especially lavish triumph. hi G 11' . from plunder and the sale of gory. d t d special command of three provinces. but. ' . campaigns a I '' robably published in annual instalments. To cement the alliance. massive resources. (bout which more can be read in Chapter six). the next years Caesar campaigned throughout Gaul. his fortune based originally on property confiscated from Sulla's executed opponents. given his age. but the news 0 t e Ia t ell' have contemp . His military record was already spectacular. and to secure the ratification of his Eastern Settlement. as he knew it to retain his own army and in turn declared himself a . Pompey's Mediterranean. a union which. . proved to be a very happy one. d nconquered but the euphoria over Caesar's expeditions could be compare to t e remame u . and a willingness to accept the surrender of pirate communities and resettle them elsewhere allowed Pompey to achieve victory in under two months.THE ROMAN LATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC required junior magistracies. he clearly expected to be given further important tasks. I' d in Chapter eight). ' f Gallic tribe towards Transalpine Gaul shifted his focus away from I yncum. and opposition from Crassus amongst others meant the argument over his requests dragged on for nearly two years and was finally resolved ina manner that astounded most senators. hun dred sIaves. the Roman aristocracy always striving to be the first to do any spectacular deed. so it took little time for him to complete the defeat of Mithridates. but he kept his legions outside the city as a scarcely veiled threat. especially. Pompey. Six years younger than Pompey. Caesar's career had been fairly conventional up to this point. Pompey married Caesar's daughter. He and his officers went into the Holy of Holies in the Great Temple. s of thousands of whom were captured during the conflict. who committed suicide when his own son turned against him. would bring early glory. Pompey took Jerusalem. Caesar won the for pompey s veterans . again by popular vote. hich more IS exp ame W . .' ' . although his lavish spending on games and public feasting. At first he appears to Caesar nee e 'f h d a Balkan war against the Dacian King Bureblsta. Caesar won massive glory ill IS a IC exotemen . although they declined to take any of its treasures. Julia. As wei as gammg p\ Cesar became one of the wealthiest men in the world. . . That Island marc re ill 0 . . for all its political inspiration. After a three-month siege. to celebrate his achievements. and produced his Commentanes. 'flanked by Roman soldiers can be clearly made out on this Roman triumphal arch from Carpcntras. who had just returned from suppressing Spartacus' slave rebellion. G I (modern-day Provence in southern France) for five years. combined with his rakish lifestyle. who were on the whole well disposed to both men after their successes. (© R Sheridan! AAA Collection Ltd) . In 66BC. . . However.. . This was a great propaganda success.

The letter also contained the scarcely veiled threat that he was also willing to free Rome from the tyranny of Pompey's faction.THE ROMANS LATE RIPUBUC 150BC-27BC In 55BC. Pompey's supporters persuaded him to recall veterans from his old army. Caesar crossed the Rubicon. provided that Pompey did the same thing. legate of Caesar and Octavian close of the year Antony. veteran army lay on Italy'S own border. and on 7 January 49BC the Senate met and passed its ultimate decree. Caesar's large. united to form a second triumvirate. and offering to lay down his command. and there were doubts about the legitimacy of a war with Parthia. from which he planned to lead an invasion of Parthia. After deliberation. With him he had only a single legion and apparently some 300 cavalrymen .a known opponent of Caesar. for it seems that he felt the need to rival the conquests of his colleagues. Disguised as slaves. Crassus was killed when his army was forced to retreat.'the die is cast'. Caesar's supporters hid in carts and fled north to join Caesar. Prelude to war In 52BC Pompey married the daughter of Publius Metellus SCiPIO. for the first time permitting troops to guard Rome itself. Caesar and Pompey were once again elected to the consulship. North Africa and Spain. at the . A final conflict for total control was inevitable. and Eventually. The latter was being forced into a corner. but he was assassinated by the Liberators led by Brutus and Cassius. Asia Minor. and in 52BC. Pompey and the Senate began to prepare the war effort against Caesar. as incoming consuls lobbied to have him replaced III j his province. adopted son and heir of Caesar. forcing him to commit suicide In 30BC the civil war finally ended. 100 km r:3 Regions 0- loyal to Power In late 50 Be Regions loyal to nlol:o. Octavian and a third commander.1~1 in Ii'l. so crossing the river would turn Caesar into a rebel. He had either to give up his command and trust Pompey to protect him from the inevitable wrath of his rivals. In the meantime. Caesar wrote to the Senate. Crass us. He spent the day watching gladiators training and held a previously arranged dinner in the evening. Lepidus was eased out of power. If he did not. but not particularly strongly . and by 40BC the Roman world was effectively divided into eastern and western halves held by Antony and Octavian. In 43BC the Caesarian factions headed by Mark Antony. In the days to come. uttering the famous line 'alea iacta est' . In 44BC he was made dictator for life and prepared to march against Parthia. The Roman world in 50BC. he was considered rather old for active command by Roman standards. reminding them of his military achievements on Rome's behalf. Commanders were barred by law from leading troops outside their province The Second Triumvirate Caesar marched on Rome. which marked the boundary of Caesar's province. and reached the river Rubicon. Pompey was given both Spanish provinces (but in an unprecedented move was allowed to remain in Rome and command through subordinates). the Senate appointed Pompey sale consul and charged him with restoring order. which called on the magistrates to use any means to defend the state. but secretly issued orders for several parties of soldiers to travel in civilian clothes carrymg concealed weapons to Ariminum (modern-day Rimini). Pressure on Caesar mounted. clashed in battle. Octavian pursued the despairing Antony to Egypt. Lepidus. but the triumvirs were too strong for any opposition to stand much chance. I without the Senate's express permission. and many Romans already feared that this force would be turned against the state in a bid for dictatorship. The news reached Caesar at Ravenna on 10 January.his attitude appeared increasingly ambivalent and the extension of his Spanish command gave him military might to match against Caesar. then Caesar felt that he was obliged to retain his legions as protection against the faction opposed to him. In 54BC Crassus left to join the army in Syria.they travelled by night. However. Rome was still torn apart by political rivalry. had himself made dictator and defeated his opponents in the Balkans. ' 10 . and take command of two legions. to concentrate power in their hands and eradicate their opponents. after some rivalry. and the following year he was defeated at the battle of Carrhae. since the war in Gaul appeared to be over. or to fight. the nearest town in Italy. His offer was rejected. Aged almost 60. Egypt. But intense friction remained between Antony and Octavian.te-SO Be xv. the senatus consultum ultimum. and granted provinces: Caesar's command of his existing provinces was extended for another five years. and in 31BC the unlikely Octavian triumphed over the charismatic Antony and his lover Cleopatra at the battle of Actium. Pompey opposed these moves. Crassus was given Syria.

and would have consisted were allied to Rome. as well as support from Gallic excellent soldiers. rather conquest methods therefore indrvldual prowess and prominent and trainmg Auxiliaries employed of the legions. from the hastati to the triarii. The cavalry Caesar Before the reforms of Marius. For these men service in the As men of property . provided the of courage than the discipline of waging war.ATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC THE ROMANS qualification for service being citizenship. By choosing the eagle standard as a single symbol to unite the whole army. they more loyal to generals them. minotaur. from rural backgrounds. employing The Roman very different Gallic warfare. was not always reliable early on in the campaigns. particularly army in Gaul included slingers from the Balearics and archers from Crete and of the army. Roman military reform The rise of the professional army The conversion of the Roman army into a professional force during this period fundamentally altered its relationship with the rest of society. the only Roman army's main cavalry force. the poorer equipment. but there were plenty of opportunities particularly on a lucrative campaign of generous army was not a career but a duty to the Republic. tribes. the states and tribes friendly to Rome. Each standard belonged to a different type of solder. displays armed and equipped emphasis on however. often serving was based on the values of a warrior a clash between two cultures of these warriors legionaries. to civilian life after each period to last longer garrisons and be fought to protect of service. of Gaul trained and paid by the state. usually from and were of the were and unquestioning military by their own officers. although they joined up. Service became increasingly unpopular units raised from other provinces from neighbouring was so successful of the Roman to men who were willing to make the army their profession. at least in theory. This transferral to the Republic loyalty from in the Roman style of fighting. conditions of his service extremely citizens. wolf. in type of need for permanent conquered territory. Marius was showing that they were now one body of men. equal within the eyes of their commander. with the likelihood tended While the legions were armed and were principally forces a successful heavy infantry. A snapshot of the Roman army at the time of the Gallic Wars Social background The Roman purposes army that campaigned in Gaul in the first century soldiers in the legion BC was to all intents regarding and a professional one. Recruitment and service Recruitment to the legions was based on a mixture of conscription and volunteering. although discharged served as cavalry. and equipped the variation uniformly. able to provide themselves the moderately service of no fixed length. harsh. elite of the tribe recruited. was a way very similar to the Roman but the Gauls placed greater in battle. horse and boar.they easily returned expanded. but when the war ended and their legion was disbanded to return to in civilian life. The soldiers were equipped. However. Pliny says that the legions of the Republican army had five animal standards: eagle. society.most were farmers as the Empire there was a good. and the poorest well off as heavy with a grant of land on which to settle after five service. who provided at a distance lightly armed mobile troops to increase or I!1 the firepower a siege. or effective. Until this time the legions had a certain property qualification being obliged with Recruits were supposed the majority to be at least 17 years old. a horse and the necessary infantry. in Gaul. Auxiliaries were not trained commanded rulmg used him with another when source of cavalry that of the Aedui that military provide and made no provision valuable the loyalty for discharged wanting began to demand territory. In a real sense the years or so continuous army represented a cross-section of Roman society under arms. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Lt. this situation. rarely served at all. who provided was particularly wavered in 52BC. to become neglected to settle them in colonies on conquered who offered of direct such rewards their own fighting techniques. Such men proved they had nothing maintaining to to the poorest who in the past had not been obliged military prestige so great that he was able to attract auxiliary units from the Germans. WIth many their military Organisation and logistics The Roman Nunudia. or small farm. Caesar in his early campaigns in Gaul and his career only tended to be attractive to serve. Military pay was not especially for enrichment. . Additional infantry was provided by Gallic tribes in from tribes who the same way as cavalry. The wealthiest I!1 of groups of warriors were probably service as a career. Individual no formal commanders reward. The Senate refused to acknowledge service was a duty requiring soldiers. The legionaries signed up for military they could expect to be The wealthiest. all citizens who possessed to serve when called upon by the Republic. and sometimes particularly 10: . and and cities with their softening been militia forces. and a military A soldier's pay was low. of as light infantry. or state members which they Senate as a whole to the generals as individuals was to prove fatal to the Republic. than land for their Soldiers started that the veteran soldiers. while Gaul. A decade of service for the owner of a solution was to turn in a garrison in one of the Spanish provinces could well mean ruination and the eventual army needed was provided by 'auxiliary' empire. consisting mainly of Gallic or Germanic they lacked discipline. for many years at a stretch. were in their early 20s when recruits Roman Ideology preferred rather than from towns corrupting influences. further away. growing wars like Caesar's conquest amounts of booty. elites.

as the Roman ownership population of property from taking positions warershedm the de. and the direction were often heavily influenced the Gallic scorched-earth quarters. f ' governmen. their commanders for their order. v ki . ancient Rome including.n of these armieswere used againsteach other incivil war. The weapons they carried were the and pilum (javelin). b ut t h e po or road system and the speed . . Rome b y f orcmg ' them to feed the occupymg . I .triurnphanr Roman victory. and the cohorts into different lines. and gave them a symbol underwhich to to from a supply-base Gaul's navigable of Caesar's . rivers to move supplies led to difficulties. He abolished the age distinnions. required a huge army in . S'e late' itself Armies turned to.lugurtha Marins had won important in the . Under Marius' reforms... Marius made the legions more permanent. with no need to supplement their wager. His own success having been achieved on the respect of his men.the eagle standard. battles against the armies of the Numidian masterminding broughtab0l. In addition to these weapons.LATE REPUBLlC 150BC-27BC THE ROMANS THE MARIAN REFORMS OF THE ARMY Marins Was perhaps the first military leader who held greater command over his legions than did theSenate. paid for by the government.'th .reerprospect by promising fitting reward for service. tern tory. t and effective lv became personal weapons.'td id this way. Veterans were instead promised land for service. Marius also made the army a more attractivec<J. they ultimately spelled disaster 'forthe RepubHc~granting.000 soldiers were apparently killed by the fierce Gennanic tribes _ and Marins did not disappoint them.lt King . AlJsoldiers were armed with the Same weapons. By boosting army class Marins also ensured he had a bedrock of numbers with this landless proletarian men who would continuous time professional be less opposed'. as in this C'IVI WT 'I war.. and the gladius (sword). having no farms at home to worry about. rather than the backing of the Senate. system to Caesar's With light Images of fighting were common i.. its own population. which Marius improved to make break at the neck on irripact. The Assembly once more looked to Marius to prevent such severe losses being repeated _ over 80'. by logistical aroun d .. tribes for supplies. Aware that a superpower. .to.1e'19Pl:i:l: . e I. e. and eventually a . power those who resisted penalty that could have affected a tribe's ability to support 10! . Nfarius abolished the laws that had prevented. MaritIs' reforms were crucial to the army being a force fit for purpose ai: this time. on sarcophagi. predictability) offering a previously unseen uniformity (and therefore perhaps By the end of the campaigns . an d. the battlefield. An understanding policy in the revo 1to. A serious defeat with heavy loss of Roman life at the hands of the allied Germanic tribes of Cimbri and Teutones in 105BC was the spur for further reforms by Marius. 110:':1OSBC. . meaning and later the subjected his movements demands. leading to their nickname of 'Marius' mules'." . Although Caesar could call on his Gallic allies of the campaign of this lay be~md movements case. Marius easily commanded The mili~ar)' reforms carried out by Mariusconstitutea Ronlan military. victory m th e to the Way they fought as an army. but the centuries eqUIpment on their backs. By the time Marins was first made consul in 107BChe had already made his mark on the battlefield. (© M Andrews/AAA Collection Ltd) unite .0'[ soldiers. w0uld not be long be ore their .' in Caesar ensured they were garnsone d I the terntories th~ to serve the dual purpose and punishing . but it was the changes in the army during his command that cemented Matius' popularity. In by. . w hi h a 11 ed the holding IC ow Logistical shuttling support was generally provisions of terrain in addition to the useful mobility of licavalry. and not attac mg. a large part of Was no longer a requirement for soldiers. of ensunng a strong rrn I' rtary p resence in newly reduced .the army. However. long periods . No longer would b"ttlecwearyveteransreturn a retirement offinancia! that tile future was one less thing that they had to worry about.s.. b'ypassmg. The German sometimes intantry. re rant on army. grouping the soldiers together into units called cohorts. the soldiers carried all. f 52BC Wh en the legions were in winter . a did. e n tually .. m IVI ua IS Could rise to power individuals through the backing' of an army. thclfsupplies fought in a flexible ma11Ipuiar style.. effectively tumingthe fortunes of Rome around ill the war.n1'ofthe Rome now was. meaning they could devote all of their time' to training and campaigning. army. affording greater flexibility to the army from battle to battle. The cohorts still the cavalry was a powerful cavalry force that contributed worked in concert . The army made use of . . WIt h a su pply to the campaigning groupings. force alone. These men became full- income. with a private service.emlld be rearranged in different ised ' well orgaI1Ise . to service and protect it. This late second-century AD sarcophagus from Rome has a stylised depictiot of battle between Romans and barbarians that conveys the confusion and urgency of pitched battle..' of recently conquered tnbes . and even keen to carry out.lugurthine Wars t a" " '. A natural commander.as ruin.

.. A detail from the Altar of Dominus Ahenobarbus. soldiers were not automatons were trained discipline to think and use their own initiative as well as follow orders. and he could even punch legionaries moved in close enough. and were well equipped for their military roles. cohort or legion on the flank or rear. If the they could literally cramp the style of their opponents.. the Roman combat. legionaries threw their pila most of a defensive fonnanon. he would of the Roman discipline front and left side. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) 107 . and that was based on unit morale. The training units could move over battlefields while still giving themselves the small amount of room they needed to operate effectively. Each legionary. on his neighbour's shield for but technique and even retreat while maintaining casualties. an invaluable Fighting style The Roman protection legionary's in combat as in a Greek phalanx as he fought as an individual. in warfare for minimising In combat with opponents with slashing swords. his short gladius was ideal for stabbing in close-quarter army lay in the strength Roman of its formations. equipment and armour Legions were uniformed at state expense. was armed as well as the most wealthy and successful Celtic warriors.p--\TE REPUBLIC 150BC--27BC THE ROMANS formation equipment did not make him reliant operation. The might and then moved in very close for hand-to-hand the legionary's The large scutum protected gave way. in a 'military machine'. If his comrades become exposed to attack in his century. from the first century Be.. he was dependent on the strength eventually of his unit. and this must have given them a huge psychological by the infantrymen and cavalrymen can be clearly seen.-. with his mail coat and bronze or iron helmet. at the enemy with the metal boss of his shield. they and fighting. The armour and equipment used and training. instilled m the soldiers meant that Roman in Weapons.

. The large shield or scutum provided additional protection. ... but a wealthy cavalryman might have a mail shirt and helmet. The Celtic-style saddle allowed Caesar's cavalry 0 perfect weighting of the gladius be as effective as later..\TE REPUBLiC 150gC--27BC THE ROMANS The Roman cavalryman shown in this Germane-Roman relief wears a mail shirt. one of the principal roles of the cavalry. a spear and a long sword.. an oval or hexagonal shield which was more manoeuvrable on horseback than a rectangular one. The legionary's principal weapons were the pilum (javelin) and short sword. the gladius. who may well have been fighting without armour. despite the absence of stirrups. . stirruped cavalry. Though Roman solders were trained to stab with their swords... :i-··::t ·-r-:~=. . which was ideal for running down those fleeing from battle. them from slashing with them. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) . '" a -_ equipment. The short gladius was a brutally efficient tool for killing: a short stab at the torso or especially the belly of his opponent. and the fine qualit~nd meant that they could easily hack off limbs. Cavalry troops might vary considerably in their 109 ..the use of the Celtic saddle made such things unnecessary. that did not stop . and he would have been killed or badly injured with damage to internal organs and serious bleeding..-...-.. advantage when facing the Gauls. The lack of stirrups is evident . since they equipped themselves..

known today as the Meseta or Plateau. the Belli and the Titii. including those of the nearby Titii tribe. Usually peaceful and benign towards strangers. they began to enlarge and repair the walls of the city. though with little success. and established camps on a mountain some 6km from Numantia. called today 'La Gran Atalaya' . Repulsed before he got very far. isma/AAA Collection Ltd) The tribes and major places of central Spain in Roman rimes. was inhabited in early Roman times by peoples who are known today as 'Celtiberians'. the Carpetani. decided to prepare themselves for war. the Celtiberians were formidable warriors when menaced or provoked. about the rapacity of Roman authorities in Hispania. when the consul Cato was forced by a dangerous outbreak in central Hispania to make the first incursion into the Plateau . the main towns of Celtiberia. Led by the chieftain Carros. 111 .region. and the inhabitants of neighbouring villages.'the great watchtower'. Their great tribes were the Lusitani. N I o o 100 miles 200 km t The first conflict between Numantia and the Romans is thought to have taken place in 197BC. the Vettones. the Pellendones.IE REPUBLIC 150l)C-27BC THE NUMANTINES Chapter 6 THE NUMANTINES Numantine campaigns against Rome Background The central area of Spain. the moment marked the end of a ten-year war which had cost Rome unbearable humiliations. were forced to take shelter in the strengthened fortress.Meseta . the Vaccei. the capital of the Belli tribe. Cato marched with seven cohorts towards the Ebro river. because of the fusion of Celtic and Iberian cultures. After decades of ignored complaints lottery horse or donkey is 'mple of Celt iberian orphic art from Verdolay. the Arevaci. such as Segeda. The site of the base he set up there was to be used by all his successors in their operations against Numantia. Each of these tribes had its own distinct personality. The Numantine Wars Defeat under Nobilior When in late summer 133BC the gates of the smouldering city of Numantia opened and a staggering crowd of human ghosts emerged to surrender to a Roman army.

famine and sickness. with a loss of a third of the Roman disaster reached afterwards troops. Romans and three elephants dead. route programme marches. foreseeing a hard fight. forbidding reducing personal baggage to a minimum. and Citerior for The Senate waived the legal ban on any man holding two consulships Scipio was given the 'extraordinary' appointment as consul of Hispania 134BC. personnel. He instituted an intense training in the country where of drills. Nobilior continued to carry out operations in the area. indicating opportunity. Reforms of Scipio This unfortunate campaign was typical of several other Roman attempts on the Numantine finally provoked Rome into sending to Hispania area. and over the coming months reduced by cold. Nobilior's force was ambushed whilst in column formation. As struck one of the elephants and it ran amock. at a cost of 2. with an almost complete work.000 men he decided to winter in there his army was further the camp on the Gran Atalya.and ever Rome that date was declared a dies ater . but the only result was a steady attrition of his forces. however. Having neglected proper reconnaissance.000 and the day ended with 4. and and hangers-on from the camps. the rough woollen sagum worn by the Hispanic tribesman they would be fighting. stampeding beasts raged through their ranks the Roman soldiers gave way in confusion. a man of aristocratic lineage whose father had combat experience in Hispania for their passivity. Command consular army instead of the more was entrusted to Quintus Fulvius in At this time the Lusitani weapons. standards and other booty they had captured from the Romans. Nobilior probably foresaw a classic clash of armies on open ground. and when news of the day' .000-strong common army of around 10. The date was 23 August 153BC. raised a 30.000 Numantine lives.000 to 15. driving camp followers in morale and discipline.LATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC Roman protests. but he was disappointed: the word 'guerrilla' is written in Spanish the world it is no accident that even today over. With his remaining 5. next battle against the Celtiberians the Numantines. Dress and rations and ordering for all to austere levels. Scipio set an example by adopting. given an army of size commensurate only allowed to raise volunteers. but who proved to have learned little from the example. were reduced along with transport facilities. until a large stone from the the others. displayed before the Celtiberians the THE NUi'vtANTINES Rome. Scipio set to luxuries. the 190s. and was to be in a armies in Hispania terrible state. Scipio found the Roman breakdown with his rank. rampart the general and assaults.000.a 'sinister no Roman general would willingly accept battle on 23 August. Having fought his way to Numantia. and no less than seven with the officers' vine sticks was reintroduced for all stakes.they panicked walls of Numantia the maddened who started to flee. and practice fortifications On the march. and the series of humiliations probably her finest living soldier: Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. Celtiberians and attempts to recruit auxiliaries frequently for the war against the Lusirani tribe. Physical punishment 112 113 . made his suspicion that too many legionaries were ready to drop out at the first Each man was ordered to carry a month's wheat ration. within ten years. were rejected. and himself the destroyer of Carthage in the Third Punic War. a point of bringing up the rear of the column. grandson of the victor over Hannibal. the most influential centre in the region. He was not. achieved great effect with his use of the Nobilior's elephant . and mocked the Nobilior.

and protected with a V-section ditch on the Nurnanrine side.000 men.500. To this we may add around 1. much attention was paid to reconnaissance tactics. one-twentieth of the Roman strength. although he had brought only 4. The wall itself was faced with stone. for insulation. choosing the long route. In May 134BC. Scipio arrived before Numantia in late August or early September. he did not have complete confidence in much of his army. and the respect inspired by the Numantines in previous campaigns was not 30m round the wall of circumvallation. It may be thought surprising that Scipio did not launch an immediate assault. to avoid some of the worst 'ambush country'. Here he met up with Jugurtha. In the centre is one of the artillery and watch towers.000 warriors who came to shelter in the city from the outlying villages. on the left.500 warriors. in VIewof his numerical superiority. including Roman citizens. a house with one store at ground level and a second dug down into the ground beneath it. This view through the wall of circumvallation constructed by Scipio at Numantia shows. a prince of Numidia and at that time an ally of Rome.ATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC THE NUMANTINES offenders. (Drawing by Rafael Trevino Martinez © Osprey Publishing Ltd) 4 115 .000 with him from Italy. By now Scipio's forces totalled almost 60. and gathering support from neighbouring tribes as he went. giving around 3. built about every The siege of Numantia By calculating the size of Numantia. who supplied several war elephants with 'turret crews' of slingers and archers. discouraging them from aiding the Numantines. we can make an educated estimate of an effective Numantine garrison of around 2. However. Significantly. Finally. Scipio began his march in the direction of Numantia.

and the Roman positions walls was 500m. Once the construction Numantines Numantines these sorties and preparations Scipio settled down to starve the out. This scene shows one of the desperate attacks on the Roman walls of circumvallation carried our late In the final siege of Numantia by the starving defenders. the 'no man's land' were unable reasonable to engage desperate rather to encircle them and starve them into scale. as Scipio spent until November ditches and artillery stages.managed wall by means of a rope ladder. did not consider it Since the Numantines between Numantia to harass were not archers. Stark starvation now faced the townspeople.. appealing for help. says of the Numantine Only the fierceness of his race could give such vigour of mind. He toured the whole pen meter daily. The 3. Receiving to demand surrendered morning the surrender the intelligence of the warnors. sentries and .. were accused of treacherously dealing with the Romans for their own personal bread. demanded unconditional surrender and the confiscation This last demand was enough to bring talks to a halt. men. attempt a noted to summon as supplies Numantine assistance. of walls. dams. the Nnmantines surrender . THE NUMANTINES who was an eyewitness. Scipio marched Since they had immediately left. When the embassy returned Celtiberian arrogance reached its paroxysm. camps. sent word for Lutia Lutians taken against the advice of the council of elders who. killed the to seize horses and ride for help.. to avert Roman to Scipio's camp. youths.with five companions returning to the city. since the Hispanic regarded the giving up of his weapons the city and repeated messengers Scipio's terms. The surrender of the Numantines With this collapse of the last desperate Numantines effort to bring help to the besieged city. the already 400 innocent who suffered the amputation of their right hands. and all became exhausted citizen named Retogenes Caraunios made a last desperate One dark night. Theogenes: Valerius classical accounts writing in the first century AD. of the Numantines. with five friends and five servants. as the ultimate shame. the starving of five men.. refused to nse to the bait. but spearmen and stingers. first of the dead. dignity and wealth. He rode to a number repnsals he was refused of Vacceian by all except fear of Roman the citizens of Lutia There some 400 young warriors agreed to come to the aid of Numantia. prisoners. ' This encirclement overseeing the construction an enormous the Roman without of the walls of the city. They also attempted to lure the Romans into open battle. he climbed the Roman . and were butchered on the spot. then of the ill.000 or so launched with repeated attacks attacks on different sectors of the circumvallation. but with their limited covering these diversionary numbers attempts must have stretched their manpower to the utmost. (Painting by Angus Mcbride © Osprey Publishing Ltd) and the survivors were passing from eating cannibalism. benefit. when the cause of the 6 11~ . the boiled hides of animals to outright of the weak. booby-traps. against the urging of hrs officers. but preferred wason writes that Scipio ' . There are numerous Maximus. who was well aware of the state of the garrison questioning weapons. but Scipio. but Jor (Cantalucia).i\TE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC to be taken lightlyPolybius. The only result of these attacks was to wear down the strength With the situation hope of outside help inside the city deteriorating. to keep his men alert. led by one Avaro. the others towns. was abandoned. Being superior to all others in honours. to negotiate from of all warrior to The in spring 133BC sent an embassy terms with Scipio. meaning leaving the protection were complete. at 2pm. and finally of the last days of Numantia. elsewhere. Their decision was reprisals. Next Scipio was back on the walls before Numantia. meat and animal forage had all been exhausted. The Roman general.

smile. day they surrendered themselves emaciated. tangled filthy. horsemanship. all over the which were stile-Leon. The Numantines. being thrown.literally 'sardonic' . in Rome in 132BC. climax of desperation. Most Celtiberians against hair and beards and nails like talons. small receptacle containing Unusually. did. we learn that it was common poison extracted for warnors a quick-acting from the roots Ranunculus sardonia. combats ranged from They to fights to the death to settle various hunting and ambushes between warriors. when they began intensive training One of the first toys they were given was a sling. as in the cases of used by the Iberians. where he was honoured with the additional to this terrible death-law he threw himself into to The fall of Numantia was not the end of Iberian resistance. Scipio chose 50 of them to be set aside for his triumphal was demolished. these warriors being famous weapons. war. Artists have been pired by this desperate scene centuries. before hold out for many years. A cavalry unit was permanently fell at the end of houses. better-armed of the cult up. The next and on the third day the last of the survivors as they staggered from the gates: gave of being the finest mercenary making something. having. It took until after the campaigns in the Iberian peninsula the last focus of resistance This attitude seems to have been general. giving the victim the terrifying to the of a sinister . Their appearance of a trim their weapons watched fierce but fit men. any activity which would to carry a of the plant qualify them as warriors. (© R Sheridan! . Then he appeared and forced them in the area to prevent the reoccupation of August of the ruins. to fight each into the fires. This poison appearance also produced a contraction of the lower jaw. as Florus wrote in the second century AD: was snuffed out. It is easy to 8 11' . in 19BC. which were the most beautiful his fellow citizens. and for the survivors day. poison courage their leaders and their homeland and the fires that they set everywhere. In time of deliberations. [he] placed firewood everywhere and set fire to his before THE NUMANTINES Carthage garnsoned and Corinth. determined to take by Numantine troops The Celtiberian warrior Celtiberian authority social organisation is difficult to discover. who was responsible full support from the tribe. broad belts. metal helmets and cuirasses. to eat it until they had knocked it to the ground. The Celtiberians fnendly contests also practised where speed and agility were crucial. which led to of them. Strabo claimed with it.indeed. When the Numantines a spot on the following single rnihtary leader. Numantia and. its reconstruction was forbidden. rage. infantry as they available. Celtiberian employed for the conduct and who received warriors were feared by their enemies. after the necessary Scipio ordered of the holocaust them to deposit their weapons to congregate at another in an agreed place. at the waist by the wearing of tight. fought as asked for one more day it was granted. Numantia in hand. The Romans with long. did [the survivors] Only when all human was exhausted decide to surrender. the rest were sold into slavery. but at an advantage in the type of guerrilla Rome. many other cities continued of Augustus. destroying iron. reaching them also being reputation as mercenaries by many suicide rather than endure the fall of their city. but with a piercing procession in which led to them being at a distinct and armoured infantry. naked sword in the city. accentuated light infantry. other in pairs: the vanquished When all others had submitted the flames. after a nine-month siege. who thought that the dead man was defying them from beyond the grave. the was that of physique.ATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC Numantines was lost. a piece of bread was placed that when and the they began to show familiarity trainees were not allowed on a stake. This wall of tiles m Soria shows the ich-portrayed suicide of rmantians in the face of the man siege. This was apparently Roman legionaries. possessed of the most furious themselves. Broadly it seems that ultimate was wielded by the council of elders led by the eldest man of the tribe. hatred committed and in this interval many more of them. the command of the fighting men was entrusted of operations to a their own lives. which they used to swallow to give themselves a quick death if all hope was lost. enjoyed gymnastic exercises. Balearic slingers e Celtiberian city of Numantia s near what is now Soria in Balearic slingers were used by Celtiberian ancient world for their skill in handling and of crushing armies. after decapitation. disadvantage armies of many warfare in their eyes. as they did. July. or the beginning tnumph 133BC. and 'gladiatorial' differences .A Collection Ltd) their simple but terrible capable of great accuracy. ragged. Their skill with the at the hands of from childhood. and Scipio received his title 'Numantinus'. sling was developed their fathers.

in many Roman size. while being of moderate ridden by two men over long distances. peripheral role of light cavalry as a force to distract the enemy. It was made of black rush.the famous double-edged caetra shield (see p122) for personal the sling was cheap secondary weapon Considering curved. in the Carthaginian more than around The Celtiberians IOta 14 per cent cavalry. ranged from 20 to 25 armies counted no per cent of the total force. Their mounts had some kind of picket pin attached The armament of the cavalry comprising reins. it may have been used as a more in Chapter three . . and warriors throwing spears with blazing bundles of grass tied infantry formations. as a hair-band. banded together. and influenced considerably increased potential of armies: in Iberian armies the proportion manner. iis depiction of the surrender does not spears and appear understand methods. to allow the rider to tether them in battle. was rich in wild horses. use of the cavalry 111 all their campaigns of Hannibal. examples of horseshoes come from This the girth. man's most valuable with the Romans possessions were his weapons. linen or hide. or animal sinews size were made of lead or ceramic material. The cavalry The horse Iberians. detail is that each man used three slings of different to have differed significantly from that of the foot soldiers. and trained horses and riders with care. apparently to protect these valuable to the from injury. They not only fulfilled the traditional. but also proved Spain capable of defeating in battle the best Roman described cavalry when led by able commanders. not at buildings but in order to break up the close-order conventional spear seems to have been used by foot and mounted in a public demonstration of the affection and respect in which they held these warriors 121 . presumably fight on foot alongside they formed creatures their hard-pressed On other occasions a ring with the horses in the centre.ATE REPUBLIC 150BC27BC THE NUMANTINES animals. The riders used saddle pads of wool. of horsemen by Celtiberians. Strabo praised texts as being very fast and of great their stamina. Common sense suggests that slingers must also have carried protection at hand-to-hand warnors. Some of the earliest and they may well have the military been invented of cavalry. alike. Several vase paintings from the time also clearly show the use of spears and javelins.and sword-armed to carry. armour and equipment Weapons A Celtiberian negotiations weapons. 15-1894. The sling was carried around the brow. was honoured were dedicated in the hands of their highly skilled owners. as they were usually beauty. off due to Roman warriors and on many occasions attempts to confiscate or The missiles of small and medium heavier ones we may presume that any suitable stone picked up on the battlefield were broken have been used. signal. deadly Both were widely admired and feared as examples of highly skilled craftsmanship. infantry in an emergency. The there are references to Celtiberian to the heads. Presumably enjoyed The horse great importance in the social and military as a divinity.a good whose army of their effectiveness large contingents is provided by the campaigns of Spanish horsemen. with bells and ornaments The Iberians example mcluded rather made widespread in bright colours. for the would Arms. a sword and that The swords used by the Celtiberian type was the style adopted discussed are of two simple types: straight . animal hair. (© Prisma! lA Collection Ltd) and the caetra was the favoured shield. secured by a broad leather central invention organisation Spanish burials. the high degree of mastery A little-known shown in adulthood by slingers trained by such sizes and wound swords. ranges. even exaggerated manner. lengths. One exercise was to train the horse to kneel and remain still and silent on the appropriate pursued. knowledge while Roman had an advanced of horsemanship. the few surviving Numantians Scipio Aemilianus is by derico de Madrazo. a useful skill in the context sometimes of the guerrilla warfare which they often dismounting to In battle the horsemen played the role of 'dragoons'. The straight gladius Hispaniensis by the Romans and easy to make and handy by spear. medium and long range. to throw missiles to short. Iberian riders decorated their horse furniture 111 a liberal. being hung on the side of the horse when not in use. and sanctuaries activities of the ancient to it.and the curved was the falcata.

the Celtiberians methods usually encountered by the Republican chanting After a great deal of preparatory attack and ritual dancing. that when they reach adulthood and daring provide those men who stand out through with weapons. horns made regions. The combination the most favoured of the caetra buckler and the falcata sabre was apparently among Iberian including warriors. Body armour seems to have woven battle equipment materials. of the second century BC. thickly grass. might be and the warriors repeated retreat. An army's and among the Romans as concursare. This sequence over and over again during several days. and each withdrawal while maintaining their formations. (© R Kawka/AAA Collection Ltd) made a clear distinction two types of Iberian infantry: the sculati or heavy and the caetrati or light. The sculati carried and the caetrati carried the caetra. Ancient of some kind. a Latin corruption round buckler. varying construction or entirely The typical short sword of the Iberian cavalryman is shown in this denarius coin. been made from various panels of esparto simple fabric such as linen. producing enemy. through themselves There they form large bands. and there they look for refuge. and broke would quickly to pursue mounting the retreating a counterattack the Iberians and frequently and armoured. and meet in the their courage mountains. For them the harshness and the hard life they lead there are like their own home. of being incapable victory of forming large confederations. happened that the Romans warriors. world. At this point decimating or their nerve. after several attacks 12~ . to ride across Iberia gaining riches and they do this with the most complete of the mountains disdain towards robbery. scale and mail. kind. known were less agile in individual and always referred accuses the Iberians to them simply as bandits. Strabo the Romans any colour of honour to their who. However. it sometimes formation These wandering bands rarely were attacked unwilling members to grant of their own tribes. obliged the Romans of this to mount a pursuit. being to two types of shield. and metal plate. surprise materials been found by archaeologists in Celtiberian In set-piece produced ground which the Romans differed Roman and some believe that they may have been used to transmit signals in battle. Finally.Armour The body protection of the ancient helmet mixed between reference origin. by Iberian considerably army. has been described some as a simple absence of tactics. but particularly of the Lusitans. heavily equipped armies. hardened leather. to allow these sudden battle. being more heavily equipped This sort of fighting. without of ceramic advances and retreats there had to be some kind of co-ordination to occur simultaneously in the confusion Rounded of there was a general might be maintained dispersed intangible unpleasant hoplitic failure to exploit after success in battle. but in the case of defeat the warriors among the Romans battles on open tactics the sensation of fighting against also suffered from an the the leaving groups of warriors have frequently isolated and outnumbered. Diodorus there is a custom characteristic of the Iberians. giving an appearance of defeat. cohesion for some time after a victory. At a pre-arranged signal the attack was halted. from a simple leather of metal. the the classic long scutum of Celtic of a local name for a small. but regroup. the legionaries in detail combat. being impregnable to large. by understandably activities. used by Iberian warriors was basically similar to that of other peoples The head was simply protected cap to more historians elaborate examples. all. by a of but with local characteristics. very quickly. lost their discipline. would en masse and in apparent would disorder. Fighting style The kind of guerrilla warfare honourable practised by the Celtiberians tells us that: was considered entirely legal and among some tribes.

the whole of southern and could destabilise to protect which were to cross Gaul as tribes chose whether to join the Helvetii directly in the path of the migrants. which suggests that they were killed in war. Perhaps hoping to cut the Romans off from their supplies. In the spring of 58BC the Helvetii burned their towns. they had pressure of space.TE REPUBLIC lS0l)C27BC 'THE GAULS. the Roman borders and the preparations for the migrations of war in Rome. and the consul of 59BC. of The movement of several thousand Julius Caesar. Caesar Rome's allies. the kind of practice that fuelled Roman prejudice of the 'barbarian' Gauls. head. 125 . GERMANICS AND BRITONS Gallic campaigns against Rome typical patterned trousers Gallic Celts can be seen 1 this small Roman bronze prisoner from Gaul. Although the Helvetii were now no longer a direct ambassadors to Gallic tribes in an attempt migration them from threat to Rome. Tulingi. the Raurici. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) Background On 28 March 58BC the Celtic tribe of the Helvetii left their homes in Helvetia and Boii. (Switzerland) and. Rome did not want led to thoughts upheavals Germans were take over in western Gaul. Some tribes would have looked towards Rome for assistance. Caesar. the Gallic lands west of the Rhone. In 61BC. neighbours than Gauls. the Helvetii decided to give battle and attacked the Roman rearguard. abandoning towards province. and with thousands of on her northern of wagons started west. was duty bound huge damage to the lands they passed through. the Helvetii started building up three years' supply of grain for the journey and for sowing the new lands they planned to Narbonensis less desirable (Provence) with its desirable fertile lands. and towards The migration of the Helvetii A Roman war in Gaul was becoming inevitable by the late 60s. Provence. Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul. GERMANICS AND BnJTONS Chapter 7 THE GAULS. trespassing The Helvetii asked Caesar for permission they turned north to continue in a bid for land. The purpose women. Latobrigi began a migration of this mass movement of tribes.dlic cults. as the new governor his provinces. including children and livestock. (© R 'idan/AAA Collection Ltd) ie The porch from a Gallic shrine at Roquepertuse. as extensive did not come as a surprise began in the late 60s BC. Hemmed in by the mountains little opportunity population to expand their territory to cater for a growing and to display their military prowess by occupying enemy land. so to possess an enemy's head was to possess his soul. Gauls migration. along with their neighbours. to the to settle after lands of other defeating the inhabitants of the Helvetii planning and forcing them to move on. The migration to anyone. men. was eager to make his mark militarily. or to oppose them. including the Aedui and the Allobroges. was to move to western Gallic tribes on which they intended Gaul. Roman without territory. The skulls are of fit. The proposed the security of as well as Gallia attack on the Helvetii at Bibracte (Autun). In Roman thought. The niches allowed the display of human skulls. and in 60BC the Senate to discourage threatened had sent and when he refused their migration on Roman land. The Celts believed that the dwelling place of the immortal soul was the.. and the alleged brutality of :G. west. and Romans were concerned by the prospect people would of this cause villages and surplus grain to rule out the possibility the migration. as the Helvetii were feeling the of Helvetia. and made an unprovoked joining the Helvetii. Caesar followed them swiftly into free Gaul. healthy men.



tribes were persuaded protection
to form




with Rome because

of the

and influence that such a relationship

would bring within to remain Caesar's their influence to fight

Gaul. The Aedui in central Gaul were encouraged staunchest ally by his willingness

to let them expand

over defeated

tribes. The Remi in northern

Gaul preferred

with Rome than against her, providing the campaign. growing power However, the majority

Caesar with intelligence during of Belgic tribes feared Rome's to resist, soliciting help

in the region and prepared

from the Germans. warriors.

Caesar claims they could raise an army of 200,000

Caesar raised two more legions, bringing the total to eight men, plus auxiliaries), and at the start of the of the




(32,000--40,000 campaigning

season, headed for northern

Gaul. The resistance

Belgae was overcome, into tribal groups,

their chronic disunity causing them to break up piecemeal. A later alliance

which were defeated

Phase 2

between the Nervii, Atrebates

and Viromandui

saw Caesar survive a which allowed him to themselves. This




battle by his coolness in command,

turn the fearless impetuosity successful extent Caesar engagement broke

of the Celts against the power beyond

of the Belgae to such an the Rhine sent envoys to

that even German offering submission. Crassus


In the same year Caesar's Amorica (present-day

lieutenant Normandy that an

Publius Licinius and Brittany). Gaul was at


At the end of the second year, Caesar reported peace I.i-day and the Senate in Rome voted hun

unprecedented his political

public thanksgiving, reputation.

which greatly


and military

He returned

again to northern in northern Gaul,

Italy to spend the winter; his legions were quartered

the tribes there being forced to provide for the soldiers. In 55BC the tireless Caesar wiped out the Germanic
paigns of 58 and 57BC.

Phase 3

Tencteri and Usipete, who had winter. He bridged the Rhine

deployed defeat vacated

on a slope under cover of a cavalry heavy losses. Concerned that


and the Romans tribes might


a sound

crossed the lower Rhine the previous



move into the lands

near Koblenz and raided on the German bank; and in the same season he led a small expeditionary force to Britain.

by the Helvetii,

Caesar ordered

the survivors returned.

home - he claims that of the 368 ,000

who set out on the migration,

only 110,000

Germanic and Belgic tribes
In 58BC Caesar turned on the German tribes who occupied land on the left bank of the Rhine under their king Ariovistus. 'Friend Aeduan Caesar needed a good reason for attacking People', and claimed that the Germans a king who was a were raiding allied

The British expedition
It should be remembered Channel) frontier contact was between probably that to the Gauls, Oceanus Britannicus just a particularly Belgic peoples. marked (the geographical

iii •

closely related

There was constant by this to follow conquests, by

and Ally of the Roman territory

across it, and Rome was already profiting of 'softening up' potential quarrels.

and other Gallic tribes had asked for help. After a pitched of the Roman with reported army of cohorts losses of 80,000 ensured Germans. victory

battle in Belgica

her usual method interfering he crossed British


(Alsace), the flexibility Suevi led by Ariovistus,

over the Germanic

in tribal and dynastic Oceanus Britannicus

Caesar writes that before

By early 57BC, if he had

he had received envoys from some to Rome, and that they were
The battle against the Helvetii, 58BC.

not already resolved to do so, Caesar had decided to conquer the whole of Gaul. Some Gallic











Before Caesar's campaigns, Roman confined denarius suited waters halted naval actions illustrated had been on this to the Mediterranean. from 49BC was ill to working in the tidal seaboard conditions of the Atlantic until suitable

The trireme

and campaigns

had to be

or vessels were available. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd)

The last uprising of Vercingetorix
The disunity of the Galhc Celts had allowed Caesar to pick off the tribes one by one, of forces, and had even enabled him to campaigns. These years had, and in the winter despite the fact he enjoyed no great superiority
ampaigns of 56 and SSBC.


on their return to Britain by one Commius, supported by Caesar as the chief of Commius was ordered to urge other tribal expeditions not planned into as

enlist the very effective Gallic cavalry as allies in various nevertheless, of 53/52BC seen very determined attempts

a powerful southern British tribe, the Atrebates.

to resist Roman expansion,

leaders to trust Rome, and to warn them of Caesar's coming. Caesar's southern Britain in 55BC and again the following year were certainly

the great revolt which had been threatening

erupted, perhaps because the tribes and

finally realised that co-ordinated

resistance could prove effective against the Romans,

invasions; he lacked the resources for occupation,

and the most important military reason for

possibly because a tribal council that Caesar had held the previous year indicated that Gaul was now bemg treated as a province of Rome. Vercingetorix, the charismatic young son of Celtillus of the royal house of the Arverni,

making the crossings was probably to discourage support for the Britons' rebellious cousins in northern Gaul. The second expedition was more successful then the first, resulting, as it

did, in the capitulation

of various tribes, the seizing of hostages and spoils, and the paying of was publicity. of the Roman public

was fanatically anti-Roman,

and a leader of real ability; and he was willing to use any means of Gallic tribes around his own leadership, and urged a

annual tributes to Rome, but the main purpose of both expeditions The crossings of Oceanus Britannicus caught the imagination

to his end. He built a coalition

'scorched earth' policy, so as to avoid pitched battles and sieges while cutting the Romans off from supplies. Villages were burned to the ground, wells poisoned, roads destroyed, and the countryside stripped of crops and livestock. Caesar's troops were subjected to ambush and being destroyed.

more sharply than even the bridging thanksgiving

of the Rhine. Caesar became a hero, and a public trumping any popularity

of 20 days was decreed in Rome, very satisfactorily

that Crassus and Pompey had been able to achieve in the capital.

attack from all sides, and their supply lines and stores were constantly



Knowmg Vercingetorix a strong position





to be in the vicinity, Caesar besieged Gergovia near Clernont-Ferrand, perimeter walls built on the crest of a

easily defended from behind ten-foot



range of hills. The garrison repulsed an attempted launch an overwhelming


and the Gallic army was able to

An ambitious young noble of the Arvernian tribe whose father had been executed for attempting to make himself king, Vercingetorix was ejected from the tribe by his uncle and other tnbal leaders. They opposed his attempt to raise rebellion, but he was nonetheless able to raise a forte and take control of the Arveni, then succeed where no other Gallic leader had, by forging an army under sirigle leadership to resist Rome. His authority Was so great that he was able to mamtain Gallic morale even after a couple of reverses; Plutarch wrote. this account of the surrender of the proud Gallic chieftain: The leader Vercingetorix put on his finest armour and equipped his horse

attack from outside the walls on the troops occupied with the siege, -

By the time Caesar retired from the field that night he had lost 700 men and 36 centurions his first outright A major followers, by Caesar defeat in Gaul. followed, but Vercingetorix was unable to control his hot-headed column


and what had been intended from its baggage anything train

as a feint attack

to separate

a Roman

led the

turned their

into a fatal reality. path,

In their battle-madness slaughtered

Gallic Celts charged customary manner

and were methodically legions. Vercingetorix

in the
The reconstructed siege-works Archaeological defences extensive claimed. attack Roman investigations that these near as as Caesar they were a joint in Alesia arm)'. (© Ltd) at

by the superbly


retired with his own by Caesar with Vercingetorix made use of

magnificently, then sailed out of the gate; After riding several times around Caesar who was sitting on a dais, he then dismounted, him away and keep him for his triumph. took off Ius armour, and set himself at Caesar's feet where he remained in silence until Caesar ordered the guard t6 take

forces to Alesia on the Seine (modern about 3,000 infantry


He was followed cavalry. While

of Alcsia.

and a force of mercenary and figurehead


Alesia have shown

stayed inside Alesia, the centre every resource of Roman

of Gallic resistance, the containing


were nowhere or complete Nonetheless, by those

military skill in preparing

defences - a complicated to fill a moat; and large

series of dry ditches were dug; a tributary areas were sewn with caltrops both inwards towards

of the Seine was diverted

highly effective

in repelling besieged

and 'lilies' (sharp stakes sunk in pits). Walls were built facing towards any would-be relieving army of Gauls;

and the Gallic relieving M Andrews/AAA

Alesia and outwards


coin of Vercingetorix

who made tribe

nself king of the Arverni

J was

able to unite the Callie opposition Ltd) to

res under his sale leadership, create serious : Romans. ,A Collection (© R Sheridan/




Over the next two years Gaul was brought there were to be no further national The utmost ruthlessness yield amounted under Caesar's

control so completely that



risings, even during the Roman civil wars of 49-31BC. any sign of resistance. The new province's tax

was shown towards

to four million sesterces; a Gallic legion was raised, and some Gallic leaders staff. Many Gauls fled to Germany, Switzerland, Eastern Europe

were placed on Caesar's and Britain. Vercingetorix

was kept in chains reserved for Caesar's eventual triumphal


for and

long years. In 46BC his shrunken

frame was dressed once more in his best armour;

after being paraded in Caesar's triumph Vercingetorix,

a prince of Gaul, was ritually strangled.

Gallic troops
A warrior's appearance and status
The appearance to southern European eyes of Celtic warriors must have been unforgettable hair was left - their height, white skin, muscularity, uncut by most warriors. forehead. fair hair and blue eyes. Their abundant

In some cases it was plaited so as to hang on either side of the
Diodorus describes how some Celts smeared to produce their hair with a weird effect, like the and there are also

The Sicilian-Greek

thick lime wash and drew it back from the forehead flying white depictions mane of a horse. warriors. of wearing trousers Drooping moustaches

were popular,

of bearded

The Celtic fashion writers,

was particularly patterns


by Greek and Roman trousers were

and the colourful


and striped

of the Gauls'



made of wool or linen. Tunics with long or short sleeves were worn with a waist and fringes were attached separately.

/" ("

belt or girdle; over this was worn a cloak. Braiding Leather shoes completed Neck rings, known electrum, numbers the turnout.

as tares, were worn by chieftains examples

and many warriors,

made of gold, Large

silver and bronze. Most surviving

are of exquisite

workmanship. Roman

of these tares must have fallen into the hands of victorious more significant is the Romans' Bronze

forces in their

wars with the Gauls; perhaps
ie siege of Alesia.

copying brooches,

of this and other often embellished graves singly

the outer rampart the town, defended After a month's from the town Romans, afterwards subjected

was all of 15 miles long. Caesar's front and rear. siege the defenders

besiegers thus occupied

a ring around



their deadly

but impressive


with studs mounted of Alesia expelled the women, They were not allowed in the no-man's outside Roman children, old and sic.:

with coral or exquisitely


are found in warrior

in pairs, in the region of the chest where they had held a cloak in place. One of the best insights into the character of the Celtic warrior was written by Strabo,

to save useless mouths. gradually

to leave the site by the

and presumably


land between the armies. Soon lines, and Caesar's one furious army was Caesar

a Greek geographer

who lived around

the beginning

of the first century

AD. He wrote:

a Gallic relief army to attacks from both

appeared inside

and outside.



The whole race, which is now called Celtic or Galatic, high spirited evil character. for battie, handled whatever and quick to battle, but otherwise

is madly fond of war, and not of in their bands they are easily

himself finally took the Gallic attackers

in the rear with four cohorts

and part of the Roman


cavalry. The Gauls broke off their attempt were taken prisoner. following garrison's Disheartened,

on the wall, and those who were not cut down

And so when they are stirred up they assemble and without forethought; so that

the Gallic relief army began to melt away, and on the up to the Romans, and the

quite openly

day Vercingetorix weapons handed

and his tribal chiefs were delivered

by those who desire to outwit pretext

them. For any time or place, and on

over, while the general sat before his inner fortifications.

you stir them up, you will have them ready to face danger,


. infantry infantry. with the accompaniment warrior he would support and drinking. a whole series of these attacks by short rest periods. Tribes might form alliances with the Germans. were those with wide influence and many with neighbours or even. The mass of warriors coming was the most formidable into direct contact part of a Gallic army. raiding neighbours wealth and position. have acquired © Osprey the sword Publishing The bravest tribes. note the and the thrQiW spear be In most Gallic tribes.gamene copy of an statue erected forming at I. These riders would I'Iflqrl3l1y tues commemorated nor (the Galatae) 'The Dying Gaul'. was primarily a swordsman.with Rome some 01 the poorer items of captured equipment at close quarters. and Didorus. and may have included farmers with enemy troops. weapons pouring abuse on the enemy.. wave and began a screaming their to break javelins.-1'iIlSi or bo~Y' armour. or just stood their ground into defeat.1\Il. In this way many young men all remark that opposing ranks. As a fully fledged the tall an incoming run towards within seconds lines.I~. the Gauls became exhausted in defiance. caste progressed feasting through the martial arts of the Celt.. following their chieftain in Gaul who on raiding. andIinally McBride thrusting might Ltd) is superb piece is now known c. To the frankness on their side but their own strength and courage must be and high-spiritedness boastfulness of their temperament by Attalos added the traits of childish and love of decoration. Ve'nsed (Painting ritual destruction. Gallic'cavi\lrymco. s -njgj. separated The charges would last until the enemy was battered and retired.the heavier .~ny Celtichorsemen 'alllL it seems most Roman likely that that escaped their javelms would drawn. Strabo and Athenaeus were accepted among Celtic warriors. rhythmically on their shields and tossing their standards swordsmen enemy rolled forward like to the harsh braying of war trumpets. they fought as 'heavy' bands consisted and concentrating were probably would to an elite class. the moustache. of groups in order to increase of warriors belonging their own military The infantry The Gaul. The Attalos' even if they have nothing .LUE REPUl)UC 150[)C27BC THE GAULS. would be mounted. and tribes sought was the warrior's principal means of acquiring foughtWithout during their w"rrr9'1'. or who had been with him throughout developed homo-erotic a strong man-to-man practices his training for manhood. Sheridan/ . and therefore dependent Sequani. At about warriors 30 metres they began to discharge physique individual were using their powerful and be supported in battle by a close age group of his own peers. If this first assault failed. bond. in the case of the prowess. perhaps re-washed? (© R. the dependent less common. larger-scale armies of the kind faced by the Romans peasants.mau marble ginal bronze rt of a group . whether on foot or mounted. up the Training From early puberty the young man of the warrior of hunting. tory over the Celts of Asia in 240BC. of the first-century helmets [ife-or-dearh BG.A Collection Ltd) tribes. the most secure. 4 13 . immediately by Angus before '~0ri'!~Q. Gallic war ky effect of the hair. After some time spent slashing banging their not normally have been involved in regular warfare. GERMANICS AND gRlTONS . the air with their long swords. to extend their influence over smaller neighbours.

and carried s . was particularly scored significant victories against Caesar's mo . which we hear little a out in any sources..ish c. The warriors have animal motifs on When Caesar engaged with the Celtic tribes in Britam. in the first If" re numerous auxiliary cavalry coup e 0 campalgnmg seasons.and indicative of at least some training. spears and swords G 11' I pya charge using effective and _. Wit a sword. The lack of stirrups was no b t . something that had gone out of fashion on the Continent. that most wore metal helmets. manned by the wealthiest warnors. The chariots served as battlefield 'taxis' for the wealthiest nobles. dropping them off at the fighting.harioteer's body is painted with designs in woad . thrust with a spear or I . LATE R_EPUBUC 150BC27BC GERMANICS AN[ The Brir. I pears and javelins. and generally the terror inspired by the horses and the noise of the chariot wheels is sufficient to throw their opponents' class warriors riding in the chariots] The cavalry Gallic nobles and their immediate following filled the ranks of the cavalry W. _ and place the 136 .his passellger is a Belgic nobleman. (Painting by Angus Meli © Osprey Publishing Ltd) Use of chariots Celtic infantry and cavalry on the Gundestrup Cauldron. his memoirs of the Gallic Wars written in the mid-first century BC: In chariot fighting... pomme provided h' rider with a secure mount from which to thr ItS _' slash lOW spears. after making their way between the squadrons of their own cavalry.. but would dismount to fight on foot against The cbarioteer would stand off. . The Celtic chariot was by all accounts an extremely' fast and manoeuvrable vehicle. and followed u b . the Celts delighted in performing stunning tricks of daring and skill at high speed. their helmets. ready to swoop in aJ1(~ his nobleman ill an emergency.awith I on each corner ofarthe seat unit o~owerful . Then. sword and 'infantry' shield. Caesar leaves us this impression of Celtic chariot tactics from De Bello Gallico. In the meantime the charioteers retire a short distance . Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) ranks into disorder. Cavalry tactics were a y simp e: a shower of javelins were thrown.. The warrior was able to fight against horsemen from the ciT platform. and Implement shock tactics.THE GAULS. (© R. The horsemanship of the cavalrymen and t reir co-operation with the light infantry who regularly worked alongside the German cabvalr~was clearly ImpreSSIVe. which would have made them stand out on the battlefield. and collecting them up agam if they were injured or needed to withdraw from the battle. the design of the Celtic saddle . a IC cava ry. a long trumpet-like instrument made of bronze. the Britons drive all over the field hurling javelins. . and they are accompanied into battle by the carnyx. and their speed and agility caused the Roman infantry serious difficulties. e may suppose norm Il . fully armed with a set of javelins. he found they were still using chariots. _. cavalry. they [the high jump down and engage the enemy on foot.

indeed. have an easy they attain such proficiency the horses at full gallop. of high-quality and archaeological evidence shows that many Gallic swords weapons. the latter around 90cm long. armour and equipment Warriors equipped themselves according to their so that wealth and status: the braver and more decorated mail coats. However. although these men were of the warrior class. but such aristocrats with the mail armour could have been equipped providing reasonably THE CAULS. to wield but more often in the defence of 52BC. the more likely they were to be able to adorn themselves with beautifully and high quality equipment. The Greek historian had a tendency writing than stabbing. they were probably ds of wea pons from the man siege at Alesia. the Gauls became dangerously Organisation and strategy Very little is known about the organisation of Gallic armies and their workings in pitched 139 . . Helmets. claimed archers of Gaul. thereafter they are blunt and bent the ground and Arms. like mail coats. Gauls of the lower classes.the simplest for accuracy missile weapons. Only the wealthiest warriors would have possessed Polybius' claims are unfounded. to a fighting technique plenty of room for the individual in the second century In preparation for the general revolt Vercingetorix up all the his long weapon. these long swords BC. sword and shield. courage from which of pila were able to pierce several antiquity may have Given may for use in battle.. they are effective only at the first blow. When their shields were put out of action exposed to the Roman attack. considerably for slashing rather longer Slingers were sometimes column in 54BC). were made Iron and they were extremely effective The sword was usually suspended on the right hip from a sword belt of leather or a chain of linked iron rings. (such as the Gallic ambush of hill forts.. The effectiveness Large 'cobblestones' soldiers protected hurled by metal never be underestimated. pila. shield was a vital piece of protective by the Roman equipment. called along with gladius. GERMANICS in a way very similar to a Roman legionary. stand on the yoke. long practice . and could inflict fatal crushing many hits must have produced The Gallic the Roman may explain them elongated major limb fractures. Spears and javelins evidently of bronze and iron took various forms and sizes. and great of the dumps of sling ammunition sling stone should have been found on some Celtic sites. like rectangular scutum. The site s explored by Napoleon III in 19th century and many of se iron spearheads.. been that have the for decorative the majority chosen or ceremonial of warriors without purposes and not body their probably armour lacked to stress to fight military prowess.. and get back into the chariot but stylistically evolved they were very similar to some Roman into one of the main elements helmets.. Some shields may not have been particularly why Caesar reports that the Roman that the bronze shields survive actually armour. AND BRITONS means of retreat . pole. if hard pressed . as this form of warfare involved in open warfare was not really regarded originally a Gallic design. long Celtic swords. were probably very rare and worn only by the wealthiest They can run along the chariot as quick as lightning. the coolus imperial army was helmet which of the Roman Slingers and archers Firepower probably as 'heroic' of a Roman archers... warriors. straighten the warrior has not time to wedge it against it with his foot. was available not members in the form of slmgers and archers. They were designed primarily that required Polybius. but one demanding The sling . and bows were and cheapest of all used in some areas by some warriors. were primarily thought of as swordsmen in the ancient world.was also used.TE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC chariots in such a position that their masters. pilum fts and catapult bolrs were nd at Monte Rea where the 'cest fighting took place. and and indeed some simultaneously. but were vital to the success to break on impact: of the strategy of the revolt. By daily training and practice good protection from the slashing blows of the that even on a steep slope they are able to control and check and turn them in a moment. and Celtic warriors Gallic Celts carried than the Roman and pointed spears and swords. injuries even upon at great speed helmets. successful. the second blow is quite ineffective. a bronze or iron helmet. shield was probably made of hide or wood thick or strong.

Tb.the3dght thiiIg" Tbe-it tminiJ.y Weith the. they could to fight as a unit as the Roman maintain ranks soldiers did.0'£ S7B.xpos'ed. as Vercingetorix Vii:omanau1. two of whieh were still maxchi·ng.Nervii . decorated armour.0J:\!l turned tire ticl~ ofb. of the ~attle line e.~J ptayew and theexPet:i~l1ce o{his army l\s. BATTLE AGAINST THE NBRVII" 6(J. and he showed off his him to have a fair properly.ter 'captllriJ}~ theenemy rookie admiration for the way they fought.and 'tav~1ry fotce] mauling-the the J. although they seem to have relied heavily on the effectiveness of infantry and d~valry THE GAULS.ftlle reaq. when Caesar began his and Gauls had been fighting each other on and off for centuries. whlchlia'd encamprnent.e two engaged. .1:terf!nk~ aU sitl~s. antithesis of each other. of Gaul was or that under the leadership completed remarkably of such an effective leader as Caesar. 1~fP. experience could a slashing and in the hands of a tall Gallic warrior against shorter though opposition training of tactics.n)ls. and especially and commands they did The battle against the Nervii.C Phase . provided one of the best opportunities to display military prowess and so was an important way of making war. the conquest 'S.lg and discipline kicked in.d the left wing repulsed the Atrebates.1cedwith a sudden. CERMAN1CS AND P. For both or soldier. a.ers0)i. was forced to Romans.w'a. and unless a decisive because of lack . TI~eRQm!(n c~ntre Was ~uccessfUlan.llee-ess left the ha1FlJiiilt R1P1nan.to QPel:. Roman Phase 2 quickly.ll h:e(B tbe: 1111«1· arip with.d turned it Into a significant viclo()f. such an army would usually have to disband many different w~te aLi<¢'itg. In their literature sneaking Romans the Romans as§lsr 'ilf. When in good order. rakll~g up position and the rankshad become too packed. dissipate quickly occurred.td the camp. Meanwhile. others like the tribes of Aquitania the invaders' . not possess the same degree of training forced to retreat. blade.[JC 150[)C27BC battle. tggeth~r·.Caesa:i:'s. Romans By the mid-first century BC.rdused rosuuender-or-withdxaw. 'the &6inl1. The rheNervii. and a .the tigh~ wing.heJd the Belgic€ast The professional warrior advantages .tJd the G-. The Celtic with a short long sword required in order to operate him on the battlefield weapon.I'll the form of thf[X L.created a line of battle. The combined tPii<2e()'i (they are portrayed were generally as being of almost giant stature a little taller than the average in some accounts). t. over the armies of the Gallic hel.i:y While some stronger in pitched hit-and-run like the Nervii were eager to meet the Romans in south-western Gaul relied more on planned to do infanJi(y and cavalry. Despite the battle line. the. This societies and it was not surprising that several tribes quickly went over to Rome.div~ly:the' situation On foot with the front rank ~Q1di¢rs. but not all Gallic tribes were so keen on meeting the enemy in the open. ·CI1. even on a small scale. either . and was in pitched chieftains accolade for a warrior Nei'Vii.c.had at 'least waniors tactics and attacking supply lines.pursuing them across.1t legions.e:££e.. swords. Auebates and battle. Pitched battle. His ~~ived OWD liIpeue9 lip and the tW01~gji!)ns also for tribal expected.and they all~omaticalL5'.ate.tbmal1 legiollarie's did e~actly during the revolt of 52BC.€Sa'r(0)~d?. Eve. betrayed both a fear of their barbarian Gauls were perceived neighbours.d wat had fii. conquest To show courage on the battlefield to form a ·~:q.aptJll. 57BC must have provided them with some understanding on the battlefield through could have been communicated musical instruments. and Roman victory fighting styles were the complete battle was the ultimate and Roman generals. of space around to display himself on the battlefield. as much larger than certainly and the legions Ci. 141 . .oi'lsial!lgi.IDd .egi0n. Fi. PhaSE! 3 The Gallic fighting style allowed through valour amount fighting naked or by wearing by fighting as an individual.oyet~cPn1idelice' had led to a 'aa)lgetQt)s situation. of Gaul. not always and withdraw something that required considerable training and absolute trust in one's fellow soldiers. especially when that enemy was as powerful tribes and coalitions as Rome.attask. Large Gallic armies could not remain engagement of supplies.t. so the strategies of the tribes varied. sword was essentially long reach.lally ~aii'jyed.u~Uie they could defend rhemsel yes from attack on S!'i presence helped to sti ffen . being cutup for this reason when a decisive engagement Roman army had many with Caesar was not forthcoming. but hJ!!p.resisraace 11 n~1 help been-sent backto and the CWo to die in battle was glorious.the Sambre.lgGrQw~. Gallic cavalry by the The Belgic army in 57BC.f1n1:1 an 'lrQkbc)\ivliOUl~lberliiLi'uxiha. r'ight wing was ourflanked by the Fighting style Gallic cultures.I\TE REPU P. seem to have been rather defensive about being shorter the warrior elaborately The warrior's than their adversaries.I Caesar employed dgl. . which combined tribes. grabbed arms.bnlpi.600 . eSc-veral 6£· the Qffic~i. with be a deadly warriors particularly But the Gallic fought as individuals.RITONS charges at the start of battle to break the enemy lines. Italian legionary.s had been killed was critical. in existence for very long.[Hd.ittle and obliterated the they probably Romans NerviiiwLl{).

through at this point the Forum. system. tection purposes. and this made them vulnerable to an enemy who could operate at very close Chapter 8 quarters with deadly efficiency. in all but name. When forced together. tum. but it is The as the wooden sions used in battle.TE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC This made them vulnerable and to cavalry attacks to outflanking manoeuvres Lack of LEGION AGAINST LEGION on retreating warriors. space to swing their swords could also cause havoc in the Gallic ranks. His success effectively tolled the death knell of the political world. LEGION AGAINST LEGION The civil wars of Rome Background In 49BC Julius Caesar. Gallic warriors could not use their swords properly. provided good like the Roman (© Ltd) to the infantryman. Ltd) This the returned Rome of civil war. Sheridan/ AAA Collection . invaded Italy. was followed processions generals. found This in nze shield may just have been ceremonial same design tic shield.. which only when Caesar's nephew and adopted Octavian. faced with the choice between being forced out of politics altogether or starting Republican the Roman assassination a civil war. by the honouring (© Dr S. stability to Rome and its empire at the cost of a loss of political freedom. returning to create the regime known as the Principate. at London. ended and his The Via Sacra ran through heart passing route triumphal successful Coyne/AAA of Rome. Battersea Thames Shield. Collection . for after his victory he established Caesar was murdered to another son Octavian because period his power himself as sole ruler of was too blatant. It was left to a later given the name Augustus. monarchy defeated his last rival in 31BC.

He was eager to move against Pompey. Caesar. and the Romans and virtually annihilated. panic. Even so. on what he believed was a small be the on false intelligence.000 cavalry which had been assembled Brundisium. or maybe feeling that he had to claim publicly that by the enemy's at this stage. for Mark Antony. In Africa. Curio was surrounded with the remnants of hIS The Italian peninsula and Caesar's advance. but Caesar refused the offer. by most of the magistrates. Caesar and Pompey's armies went badly for Pompey. much follow. a tn une who supported Caesar. Publius Attius Varus. Caesar sent to set and were ambushed Curio with two legions to secure Sardinia out for Spain overland through a mixture and defeat and then Africa. of army moved quickly. In fact. dictator . launched was a great gamble. declaring just as he Pompey left Rome in the second half of January. had escaped. did offer to leave for Spain once Caesar not trusting had laid down his command. Messages went back and forth as he suggested Pompey and his allies replied troops on Italian Pompey by saying that they could not negotiate to Cisalpine while Caesar commanded could be U4up. The to fear. and were for a negotiated only thwarted advance surprised and unnerved his opponents. and many leading senators. the legions to behave in no even as some modern claim. The advance his army was not accompanied under strict orders not to loot. had suffered a lesser defeat in Illyricum.N SEiA IIC soil. in past civil wars. compromise. for Caesar 145 4 . in which he was voted to of boldness and skilful manoeuvre. the bulk of the king's forces was there. Many Romans that it could not who left just how weakness He was followed including the consuls.IA. against Curio encountered the governor. whether between for Caesar and this open admission of military TYRRHENIAN 4( o o Caesar's route SEA 100 miles )00 km made many wonder The early clashes were opportunities now-notorious conflict normal Pompey Pompey could really be relied on to defend the Republic. of Caesar's the Senate.none and near the end of the year went at sometimes command Acting had little military brilliant but unreliable an attack at all of high to join his army of some 12 legions along with 1.and was considered Curio by most of his contemporaries. who commanded experience . and garner support adhere and to gain more troops. about . Curio by the Numidian King Juba. both sides continued settlement. of Rome was filled with dread about the bloodshed precedent that they believed would of every civil war fought in the last 40 years gave them good reason and often with extreme Gaul. his soldiers by saying that this next campaign The crossing of the Adriatic would . perhaps gone too far to withdraw they still hoped intransigence. Pompey's In a matter' hilltop and died fighting Only a small fraction of the army escaped to Italy. He was supported unreliable army. and that he must return Gaul before anything discussed. by massacre Caesar or atrocity. a policy to which he would who employed Caesar in marked contrast to his opponents In less than the more methods in Italy. many expected less harsh a manner wondered Caesar's whether now that they had burst into Italy. having been appointed and held the post for 11 days. and he seized towns largely unopposed. himself decided of months. be defended. however. with the best of his soldiers. In brutality. two months had seized control of Juba's army. and his soldiers were to was trying to show that he was still willing various compromises.LEGION LATE REPUBUC 150[)c-27BC AGAINST UGION Caesar seizes control Once Caesar made the decision to cross the Rubicon into Roman territory in 49BC. The suddenness had intended. culmmation Caesar exhorted of their labours. if Caesar spent a short time in Rome. before he arrived. in Italy for his throughout brutal the detachment clemency (clementia). Caesar legions there. and Cicero on one occasion Caesar would not prove more like Hannibal than a Roman general. troops on a I' ib This was not the only bad news reaching Caesar in late 49BC. Caesar and his legions had fought very aggressively some sources Perhaps. who had declared a large. claiming that over a million commentators people had been killed in less than a decade. ( in such haste that it suggested firmly committed were still uncertain each side was to fighting. Caesar had overrun Spain at minimal loss to himself. using his powers to hold elections the consulship.

..'cayaif\y p . on 10 April.["ATE REPUBLIC 15QBC-27BC LEGION AGAINST LEGION RII< er: Enip(J!! I l5eg'loft"¢. Finally. and his army experienced some defeats in skirmishes against the Pompeian enemy.Jpn>'& Spani:S"li Cohorts gi1r~hm I IAFRANIUS I -'----~-------05Yda'tl Eegl€HiJ. Mark Antony managed to bring the remaining legions across the Adriatic . I SCIPIO I CAESAR . phase 2. His personal belief was that they ought to shadow Caesar's army. C~e'sar cor:nlt.-1. However.our. and his men had to make do with the little they had brought with them and whatever could be gathered from local communities. and Caesar landed without opposition at Paeleste in Epirus. now largely unprotected.:e~ghi) ur Legio-] IpOMPEYI IPOMPEY I ISULLAI II II . but this would still mean that Caesar had to be defeated at some future date. 1--f cJt Iii IJ 'L:6:"g:i <£ X I I I I II I j~ . commander of the Pompeian fleet.U rth Iin e enu nte ratrae ks. III III III :a)It --------------~ IAFRANIUS L€'g. " .i\(eri' off. F0.'$ vtH&SIiX ANTONY] ---::--=---- DOMITIUS CALVINUS ICAESAR I _____ . intercepted some of Caesar's transport ships.. isolating Caesar from the remainder of his army under Mark Antony. The battle of Pharsalus.~Ji's dllf'[i r'Y i'@'UUld.I- IAHENOBARBUS ILABIENusl I IAHENOBARBUS I '{!II ~ '{!II{!II a ~.. I. ~~ . yet the enemy did not expect Caesar to move in winter when the weather was poor..Pompey reacted too slowly and failed to prevent the union of the two forces. 46 147 . but avoid open confrontation. One would have been to use his fleet to cross to Italy. 2. with few supplies. had no significant naval force with which to oppose the vast Pompeian fleet...lihean'd heh'iy collapses' ' continued to hamper his progress. and leaving him severely outnumbered by the enemy. Gaes"r'~.. I1 .y flank Pe RlR. Caesar was isolated. phase 1.. F. 0 .U . Bibulus.. DOMITIUS CALVINUS I SCIPIO I -'1-'. III III . Pompey now had several options. .--. Caesar's supply problems ~ ]." Jt' he battle of Pharsalus. 1< Wibier:ms and l!:avalry ilttad<.11'ts th!r.. and might be seen as running from his opponent.th line aUack-s~iAfaljltr.. ----- II I II •• I I .


150nC-27BC hoping to wear him down by depriving him of supplies. This was a well-known Roman strategy, often known by the nickname of 'kicking the enemy in the belly'. However, there was massive pressure from the senators with the army to bring matters to a swift conclusion by bringing the enemy to battle. In early August the two armies camped near each other on the plains of Pharsalus. Several days were spent in the manoeuvring and formal challenges to battle that so often preceded the battles of this period. The pressure on Pompey to fight grew stronger and stronger. Finally the two armies clashed again at the battle of Pharsalus, a defeat for Pompey despite his superior numbers. This was a deeply humiliating defeat, and saw Pompey leave for the coast directly afterwards.

LEGION Egypt was wracked by its own civil war at this time, for the old King Ptolemy XI Auletes (or 'flute-player') had left the throne jointly to his son Ptolemy XII - a boy of about 14 - and his eldest daughter Cleopatra. The boy king was dominated by his advisers, Pothinus the eunuch and Achillas the commander of his army, a force that effectively included two Roman legions which had been



the province since 55BC and had largely 'gone native' Pompey's ship arrived on

the coast near Ptolemy's camp and he appealed to the young king for support. Since the king was unwilling to support a loser and eager to win favour with the victor, Pompey was lured ashore and murdered, the first blow being struck by a centurion who had served under him in his Asian campaigns. Caesar landed at Alexandria on 2 October 48BC, and was met by a deputation from Ptolemy that presented him with Pompey's head and signet ring. Caesar is supposed to have wept, distraught at the loss of his former friend and missing the opportunity of pardoning him. This emotion may have been genuine, as indeed may his alleged desire to spare Pompey, but it is equally possible that he simply wished to distance himself from the cruelty of an act from which he derived political benefit. Nevertheless, he gave honourable burial to Pompey's remains, then marched in pomp to the palace. This display enraged the volatile Alexandrians and provoked some rioting. Caesar's soldiers responded with force and, since the late king had recommended his children to Rome, declared that both sides in the Egyptian Civil War should disarm and submit to his arbitration. Some time in the next few days Cleopatra visited Caesar. The most famous story is that she was wrapped up in a carpet or blanket and carried secretly into the palace by a faithful Greek attendant, before being unrolled in front of a mesmerised Caesar. Cleopatra was 21 - more than 30 years younger than Caesar - exceptionally attractive, if not quite flawlessly beautiful, highly educated, intelligent, and with a fascinating personality. This began one of the most famous romances in history. .Ir was not long before Ptolemy's advisers felt that their cause could not compete with his sister's for Caesar's favour. Leading their army to support the mob of Alexandria, they besieged the palace, blockading Caesar's men for six months. His soldiers were close to panic when the water supply was cut off, but new wells were dug mside the compound and the crisis averted. Reinforced by legio XXXVII, composed of former Pompeians, Caesar became bolder and attempted to seize the whole of the Pharos Island, on which the great lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was built. After a near-disastrous naval engagement which caused confusion and panic among Caesar's troops, almost leadmg to his drowning, Caesar regained control and his army was reinforced by that of King Mithridates of Pergamum, who had marched overland from Asia Minor to Egypt. In the next engagement, Ptolemy fled but drowned when the boat carrying him to safety capsized. Caesar returned to relieve Alexandria. The war in Egypt was over, but for more than half a year Caesar had been out of contact with the rest of the world. The surviving Pompeians had had time to regroup, and the Civil War would drag on. Caesar remained in Egypt for two months, allegedly feasting with

Defeat of Pompey and war with Egypt
Caesar rested only a very short time after the victory, before rushing in pursuit of Pompey; until he had been taken or killed there could be no end to the war. News arrived that Pompey had gone to Rhodes and then taken ship for Egypt, hoping to receive aid in rebuilding an army.

16th-century plate showing e battle of Pharsalus. If
ntemporary accounts are at curate, Pompey's command

.arsalus was remarkably iritless, and his behaviour, ing the first rather than the ,t to despair and leave the ttlefield, utterly inappropriate . a Roman general. Caesar also is that his men were astounded the luxuries that they covered in the Pompei an np, items more suitable for ete Orientals thau true mans, although this could 11be propaganda. (© R. eridan/AAA Collection Ltd)







From Alexandria, this is the only known representation of the Pharos lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. According to the Arab :raveller Abou-Haggag <l.l-Andaloussi who visited the ighthouse in 1166, it was 117m iigh (384ft), and hollow, with he internal core being used as a .haft to lift the fuel needed for he fire. There was a huge mirror .r the top which reflected unlight during the day. luring the night, fire was used s the warning light. (© R. heridanl AAA Collection Ltd)

Although Cleopatra was famed as the most beautiful woman in the world, it seems this was probably exaggerated. Plutarch says this: Her actual beauty was not in itself so remarkable; it was the impact of her spirit that was irresistible. The
attraction of her person,

joining with the charm of her conversation and the characteristic qualities of all she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a delight merely to hear the sound of her voice.
(© R. Sheridan/AAA

Collection Ltd)

Cleopatra. At one stage the queen is supposed to have taken him on a luxurious cruise down the Nile. Militarily and politically, Caesar's inaction for this long period makes no sense. Perhaps he had never had a clear plan for what he should do once he had won the Civil War , or perhaps he was exhausted and could not resist a time of rest in fascinating company.

territory 'lost' to Rome. Caesar met Pharnaces at Zela, and won a hard-fought battle, which decided the war within days of the beginning of the campaign. Caesar is said to have commented on how lucky Pompey had been to make his reputation as a commander fighting such opponents. Later, when he celebrated hIS triumph over Pontus, the procession included placards bearing just three Latin words: 'Veni, vidi, vici' - 'I came, I saw, I conquered'. Although the eastern Mediterranean was now settled, many problems had developed elsewhere during Caesar's absence. Cassius' behaviour in Spain had provoked rebellion, while in Africa, Scipio, Africanus, Labienus, Cato and many other die-hard senators had raised an enormous army supported by King Juba. There were difficulties in Italy, too, made worse by the lack of communication from Caesar while he was

Veni, vidi, vici - the Zela campaign
It was not until late Mayor

early June 47BC that Caesar finally stirred himself to move.

There was bad news from Syria, and he sailed there with legio VI, leaving the rest of his army to garrison Egypt. Caesar marched against Pharnaces, son of King Mithridates, and cause of his father's suicide, having led a rebellion against him. Seeing the disorder caused within the empire by the Civil War, Pharnaces decided to invade the heartland of Pontus , a

Egypt. There was

also another mutiny among Caesar's veterans, news made all the more bitter because the


ringleaders wanted promised came.' this tim e from C aesar ' s own favourite, and others complained the legio X. The old~r soldiers the rewards but



to be discharged once their

that they had not received


Were at an end . Th ese were t h err public . . the outbreak,

, gnevances

De.(;jtiliH0ll w:a,s;

, b ore .d om may have p Iaye d as bi a part m provoking h b ig
armies iu t : have

for throughout

' history


thl!_!'l1l.os. sei!1ci4k'P\\t1i~hments ch-at ~((uld be meted out to the

een more prone to mutin Y w h en t h ey are mactrve. Caesar arrived back in Italy ' , '

~0tt1a1\ :;trm;y,:Tt l!'\',Vp)<t

ti the

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ecimate them and take them back into his service. ncan campaign and spent the b '. Caesar was impatient t o em b ar k on teA fri h of time in Rome b f h . ,are mmimum e ore urrymg across to Sicily, then on to Africa . A diff ICUt campaign I . . S.., I against , hands ofcipio s army, reinforced by that of King Juba ' s aw C'aesar s troops suffenng at the N ., triumphed at Tha psus, specra IIy t ' h urnidian cavalry, but Caesar eventually ramnlin: t e enemy elephants with his slingers and archers, panicking the animals who fled tramp mg their own troops. Cato committed suicide, as did Juba. Scipio fled b b' drowned when hi hi k Y sea, ut IS s Ip san . Africanus was captured and executed. and Pompey's two d to Snai However, Labienus sons escape to Spain to continue the struggle. to h

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It is said of Cato that even from lis infancy, in his speech, his .ountenancc, and all his childish iasrimes, he discovered an

The Spanish campaign
Cassius had proved both incompetent troops and the local population. and corrupt as governor of Spain, alienating his own the By the time he was replaced and the new governor and was rapidly by Caius Trebonius was expelled acclaimed including SItuation was almost beyond soldiers. Pompey's redemption by mutinous of

nflexible temper, unmoved by ny passion, and firm in very thing ,., to go through lith what he undertook. He was ough and ungentle toward rose that flattered him, and still iore unyielding to those who ireatened him. It was difficult I excite him to laughter, his iuntenance seldom relaxed even to a smile; he was not quickly , easily provoked to anger, but once incensed, he was no less fficult to pacify.' (Plutarch) (© Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd)

elder son Cnaeus


as commander his brother

the rebellious and Labienus.

legions. He was soon joined by other Pompeians,

Sextus the

A huge army of 13 legions and many auxiliaries

was raised, although

quality of most of the new units was highly questionable. Caesar travelled rapidly, as was his wont, covering away the trip by composing the 1,500 miles to Corduba The Journey. in just 27 days, and whiling a poem, He had eight

legions, the old soldiers of legio X, and 8,000 cavalry. The early stages of fighting included 15

Brutus. though was he had betrayed portrayed was cautious by nature and unlikely to act of his own accord. Octavian's propagandists eastern as the hoped to peace clearly and stability the greatest and were broadly threat to peace. Eventually he came and the Senate rose to greet him. formally took the name Caesar's Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus and returned self-confident. with which for a return Antony Lepidus. joined by two more were nominally army of some 60 legions. On 15 February A month 44BC. Rome's after the child Caesarion the adopted eye. Octavian. Unfortunately. Antony left for Cisalpine position to threaten taking of an obsession with Cleopatra was growing army. presenting son of Caesar charge him to live out the rest of his life in comfortable most senior priest. consulship each year and there was resentment. Caesar's dictatorship and other powers were extended for life. As a result. away from Antony. The need to avenge Caesar figured heavily in their propaganda. given the scale of his planned campaigns. Country was made to seem less monarchic. and committed Octavian and rallied legions heir. and from now on Octavian as the son of a god. There was a final irony about his death. but now it remained to be seen whether he could win the peace. he was ma Rome. 43 legions. Caesar died of multiple stab wounds.chair. but his from the failures dissolving of both. that included men who had served him for years. for Caesar's own Senate House had not been completed. rather brought counter enlarged who than saw him as a rival for the loyalty about of Caesar's as a useful ally. To those sympathetic for Caesar's senators to the other even disastrous war with the Parthians. her assistance in his ultimately Antony's heir. but this evolved gradually and there were more for he held the not all were present than a few false starts along the way. topping decided that they must act.they seized Rome. Octavian Yet was seen by the Senate as a useful figurehead Octavian was building up his power. and the old curia still lay in ruins from its destruction by Clodius' men. An abortive by Octavian. the two joined nearly 43BC Rome in 29BC he formally laid down his powers. trickle of deserters. from Octavian the triumvir. Militarily actions soon showed he was more secure than either Caesar or Sulla.ATE REPUBLIC lSOBC-27BC a number of fierce skirmishes. and for his cult. It was round into the public soon this time that Antony an actual Gaul. of March. would not be given the time to find out. seized on this opportunity seductress champion in Antony's that to depict Antony his Roman as a man so dominated origins. of all Italy against the eastern menace. They were a disparate group. would be most unlikely more than 60 other conspirators to at Munda.altogether . Munda grimly fixing the severed heads of Pompeians to spikes return for several years. On the morning of 15 March (a date known as the Ides) there was some dismay when Caesar did not arrive-at the Senate on time. but Cnaeus Pompey was reluctant to risk a battle. When he returned the triumvirate.Casca striking the first blow ftom behind. later he was stabbed to death by a group of senators Pompeians. using the excuse of pleading for the recall of Publius Climber. master of the Roman world. subordinate. Augustus and the Father was a monarch. in 44BC was proclaimed murder. commanding an enormous He and Cleopatra both escaped to Egypt. and on 27 November powers created the system known as the Principate. of his for his the state for five years. public position himself a name especially whenever had a tribune pass a law by which they became triumvirs with consular to restore and he left the city. In The Pompeians a continual stating that they thought the middle determined. the legionaries despite the fact that his army was fighting uphill. Caesar would win were arrested. as well as pardoned Becoming an empire The Second Triumvirate Directly after Caesar's murder. the Senate had assembled in a temple attached to Pompey's theatre complex. the dead dictator was formally deified and a temple constructed time Octavian's effort instead. At first his power was still too blatant. (pater patriae). The mopping-up took several months. but Octavian displayed rising by Lepidus in Italy was swiftly defeated veterans. but incredibly and anyway take him seriously. and Cleopatra to his father's clemency by sparing Lepidus and allowing retirement as Pontifex Maximus. but when Caesar stood to leave and tried to shake them off. though and Octavian's armies in Cisalpine Gaul. their rampart. and culminated defeat at the naval battle of Actium. For a while War. He was just 19. Men accused of publicly or imprisoned. The fight was fierce and but Caesar prevailed. as a clear sign that Caesar was regarded had ascended with deeply traditional and purposes associations. Octavian by a sinister himself conspirators. and together at the head of a huge army . In the meantime. the charade went on. Caesar had won the Civil he but had preserved 'their secret for several months. It was LEGION AGAINST LEGION already proving the most brutalcampaign were suffering of the entire conflict. Eventually to he but answered the call of Caesar's Antony that he had learned After clashes between forces along with Lepidus. To all intents 4 15 . to Italy to rally a few of Mark Antony failed to supporters Octavian emerges as champion The success of the triumvirate could not last long. adopted son and heir of Caesar. the conspirators drew their knives. and was soon command. Cassius and the was blockaded. he had command of the legions in Transalpine to draw Gaul and Nearer support Spain. Caesar met Cnaeus Pompey and executed THE IDES OF MARCH Caesar planned to leave Rome on 18 March 44BC and.. When Caesar fell. The conspirators clustered round his . his body lay at the foot of astatue of Pompey. a force of veterans that from legio VII and under Antony's was now unrivalled VIII. A comet seen to heaven after his to disassociate Augustus. War finally came in 31BC. as each member became more concerned about their own realm of power. but in He made considerable eventually he became. suicide shortly afterwards.

units with a paper strength of about 5. than in any other civil war . but during the civil wars many non-citizens to bolster numbers. King Juba of Numidia after the Roman Deiotarus included four legions in his large army.that the organisation. but it gives a good idea of classic fighting stance of the unary . nature of the enemy armies. service.ATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC power could not be opposed by any constitutional means. Sheridan/AAA lection Ltd) These Roman swords are from the first century AD. with his left leg anced and sword thrust erarm. and equipment XXII Deiotariana as a fully fledged part of the Roman The legion The main strength of the Roman army lay in the legions.000. (© R. Since there were no . ideological armies was virtually between the rival sides it was inevitable tactical doctrine as a reward for distinguished of the Roman military system. but its servant. and lus continued like all the other the heterogeneous services to the state. Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) 15 . a legion consisted entirely of heavy infantry. In this period. were greater. Caesar frequently emphasised were enlisted AGAINST LEGION illusion that he was not the master of the state. yet he managed a magistrate to maint~in the LEGION recruited only from Roman citizens. while and formed into Legio of Galatia formed two that would later be amalgamated army. legio V Alaudae. In his Commentaries. or social differences identical. and show the popular gladius. but he had himself formed from Gauls. and the army with it. (© R.crouching slightly to l the maximum protection n his shield.even more of their ethnic. magistrates save that his authority. Given their armies The Roman armies Rome's civil wars split the state into factions. only later giving them the franchise the dominance an entire legion. In theory the legions were s frieze from the headquarters ding of the legionary fortress /lainz in Germany dates to r a century after the Civil :. some allied kings had remodelled style.

8 159 . all Roman male citizens between the ages of 17 and 46 were liable for military service.A.TE REPUBLIC 150BC--27BC LEGION The basic tactical unit of the legion was the cohort of some 480 men. There were ten of these in each legion. wearing armour and helmets. carrying swords and shields. ({:) R. Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) . and the cohort in turn was subdivided into six centuries of 80. Most recruits to the legion were between 17 and 23. with the peak age of enlistment A first century BC relief of two Roman legionaries. Mail armour can clearly be seen worn by the legionary on the right. AGAINST LEGION Recruitment Traditionally.

and not necessarily educated to any The levy of such recruits was necessitated by the huge scale of the civil wars. javelins and shields made of wood and were used against 1. and the with were had been the backbone the favoured were source preferred of the citizen militia of the Republic. combat.this might prove useful in combat. Some parts of the Empire were particularly granted at enlistment devoid of urbanisation with Roman many cases origins were simply spurious. to swim so that a campaigning instruction advance the be impeded They were also given cursory of all arms.8m (6ft) wicker but twice the weight of the real thing. in the late fourth century AD. in archery. the hollow could march in manoeuvres were time and follow the commands practised endlessly. unacquainted with bathhouses. so that they had knowledge 160 161 . alone could and the weight of his arms and armour of the ranks was enforced during drill. the centurions officers using their staffs to beat any laggards. enduring the sun. if not the majonty. for this caused deeper wounds training might occur twice a day. The recruit was also taught to spring out of the line . and writing remained of recruits for their Recruits they agricultural unaffected backgrounds by the sleazier endurance because distractions of city life. great standard. under the open sky in a life of work. Peasant country farmers citizenship. with limbs toughened whom wielding to endure every kind of toil. but recruits as young as 13 and 14. be far greater. said of rural recruits: They are nurtured careless of shade. Training began with practising step. content simple-souled.a mobile formation in overcoming entirely protected in charging by a roof and wall and breaking off They were obstacles. until the late Empire. Vegetius. relayed by the trumpets formations: Once the recruits and standards. would not recruits were also taught by rivers. Weapons training was conducted with swords. If possible. wedge. . loaded with a pack about 20. Training Legionary the military recruits trained daily for four gruelling were required months. digging a ditch and carrying used to from the country. were conscripts. but few actually trade and had substantial of LEGION AGAINST LEGION came from urban rural territories and in Most cities were centres of agricultural to them. Strict maintenance training (45Ib) in weight. Recnuts to march 29km in five hours at the regular and 35km in five hours at the faster step. and the testudo of shields). Many legionaries. These weapons practice posts. in changing lines and relieving engaged units. and for a burden is what they are iron. circle. with a little. The instructors emphasised covering the body effectively with the shield and was while using the sword point instead Weapons of the edge.5kg This burden was merely for acclimatisation.LATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC being 20. steps. and as old as 36 are known. They practised ('the tortoise' trained different square. sling and riding. attached claimed origin (origio) in a town or city. The majority legionaries centres. army's more efficient than slashing.

etiei. Caesar promoted and lavishly rewarded any soldiers who charisma that was in other respects an extremely healthy and active man. FightiJ.Y..! other . Pompey just over a boasted that he had only to stamp his foot in Italy for more legions to appear.Pdiiri:l. Caesar commanded own and their commander's German cavalry. Most of the senators who flocked to his cause had more prestige than ability.g!lfler~1.~ated then th~'W~wdul. Now in his early 50s.i~dLteotly. w t1i0~eQ:f th\!.oweY. C:. had shown.rneant .Ji1u:q rtQw tQ'~.\O more-to iri. and a large semi-cylindrical to give it both flexibility and strength.. war t.pltitfG\'l. by these troops were seasoned veterans. Romans the allSW<JI as.oned. and had not served on campaign since 62BC.of ten legions.ll(:y"~ls0. His strategy during the Civil War.airectiy C6mmentaties.ebvious.def. but it is possible that the transition 62 16. had always decade before. whose followers were was unchallenged. a properly Roman of a conflict to claun the credit largely won by someone else. consisting cuirass (usually of a bronze mail but of Montefortino ensured that his soldiers were devoted to him. Jhe him foJ>:i:sc. However.Jl.ay·y. In the long term.l~ Spanish provinces. ()jJvlous1.'tllibute .scre. Unlike Caesar.e0uld'suffel' defeat bulk: vession of even'ts. His military record was extremely good. but it would take time to mobilise these into field armies.: l'i~va~t t . even if he had made something of a habit of arriving in the laststages recently. body shield constructed from three layers but all of our sources claim that there were no The latter seem most often to have been to a more rectangular shape was already oval in shape..o: PJ:¢t('. but as both had recently served under Caesar their loyalty appeared questionable. and on more than a few occasions proved a positive hindrance.~J!ljeqti\!e. and was In Gaul.mpey .J.l£. :rlis ··atier defea t ~·nd still prolong the. In support OF I his . he was still very much at the peak of his ability.te$3fl<111 qe§.yeGl the othersside: Y e~ it also .at he·V{iisdi. he travel. in way.Q:ae&!:Ifwas killed. as wellas.1g a. Throughout forces were common. H~ was certainly a brilliant orgaruser.rh"ether.slii:uggle..J!ii1i'mg. that such boldness was characteristically preparation it is important to emphasise Roman.d. b.e said.'J.etter.n.. and should not conceal that much underlay these enterprises.<. In his youth he had been a been based on sound preparation.. sometimes inthe often criticised for recklessness by modern commentators. but his aggression. the war. There were also two legions that had not yet left for the east and were still in Italy.W!l-s :df:.OnlX so l~eavlly th. gear.:ptovlde eyI9\lQ:eJO'that I16Ws th~ew:l~dom. as his campaign against pirates. [he e~tl th.(}lit gen~:al for wa$: rJ\:It 11f:. won his w~rs) Ca~sa'~ d!ileElt!"'d '. utterly devoted to Caesar and confident in their were bands of excellent Gallic and against this Pompey had seven legiohsgarrisomng lwv:e been Qvu. To match ability.hi~·(:)w[]actions ill a fav~mrt'lb~e>t~ht. His performance of so many distinguished undistinguished during the Civil War would suggest that he was past his best as a general. He was not helped by the presence senators in his camp.LATE REPUBUC 150BC27BC r I I LEGION AGAINST LEGION I I I POMPEY VS CAESAR . whire disItijs'sJilg.'l~eY>i1. .oh(?Ole t a Q£ G:tesaJ~:~ ~ilJ'dsiQns.nt.'l0.e~lorra.c.jl· e:cidt.l:r.tliat ·it wi1~. unity.EFFECTIVENESS ARMIES AND GENERALS By the end of the Gallic campaigns.'fb.¢£!!··\vils . although these had little actual combat experience.defections . from 8tre.at~~ . was based or rapid offensives.of a gC.s".tfelr .0):Ili~~J:lny.hi tal. desertions from the sometimes of plywood of scale).direction. Caesar faded to attract any distinguished fresh from a decade of successful fighting supporters from the-senior members of the Senate.more on several occasions leading charges in person.'o'bviollsly 0f . Pompey was almost: 58. It is. The majority of pm:). . Pompey had spent the last decade in Rome. In 49BC.alt~d" rilfr'licJU1petans. but even more than this it WaS his remarkable Weapons and armour All legionaries helmet (most were equipped often with the same basic defensive or Coolus patterns).t his henour _ani:! status. However. although he was six years older than Caesar. Pompey could probably claim greater resources than C'l!esar''1a~ the~~. and others marvelled at the energy he showed in joining the training exercises of his soldiers.'~e. Pompey was always under and whose authority pressure to alter his plans. and was also sure of the loyalty of the eastern provinces which he had reorganised Caesar.sar'sowll present . Although subject to occasional epileptic fits. Though in Gaul.rl be qll~s~j.ea~~Ei. ¥et3or the t the: mose imp6'iitan~". but remained an extremely fit and active man.. capable of massive effort and rapid long-distance distinguished Pompeian themselves.IIDse not di!!fJll1. as face of great odds..ILt'iffediveb+ war . bissupervisiori bold commander.. of Rome's corn supply.ar and.q·tpJ.

The cohort is traditionally viewed as the primary tactical unit of the legion. sometimes a dagger. The legion was a very flexible force. but only one on the day of battle itself. Allies and auxiliaries The legions were the mainstay of any army. a legion most often formed in three lines. and had the reach to wound the man behind. Campaign attrition reduced one of Caesar's legions to less than 1. sword in hand. Its structure and size made it an important subunit within the battle line. the legion was perfectly capable of fighting effectively in other formations. Such troops were especially useful in providing cavalry and light infantry. In most cases they were locally recruited and led by their own native chieftains. When thrown. it has been suggested that the cohort could not function as a tactical unit because it had no commander or obvious standard of its own. the slim iron shank would slide easily through the hole made by the point. four cohorts in the first line and three in the second and third. The doctrine of the period was to deliver a massed volley at very short range .LATE REPUBLIC 150BC-27BC underway. especially decisive in pitched battles. giving it formidable penetrative power. the famed gladius. since all cohorts were armed uniformly. We are told that one of Caesar's soldiers. Intervals were maintained between each unit and the cohorts from the next line stationed to cover these gaps. LEGION traditional style. troops were recruited wherever possible and the pattern became more complex.and follow this up with a charge.reconstructed examples weighing in at J Okg (22Ibs) . leaving the century as the primary tactical unit. theoretical unit sizes were rarely reflected in the field. At first Caesar's auxilianes came primarily from the Gallic and German tribes. Organisation and deployment In battle.000 men during the Egyptian campaign. and Pompey's from his provinces III AGAINST LEGION Spain and his many clients in the east. although a single line was considered too brittle to be employed save in dire need. but as the war progressed. This is certainly the impression given by Caesar and Tacitus. fighting in their own 16: . When Caesar and Tacitus speak of cohorts moving in a battle we should view them as groupings of centuries fighting in support of each other. The pilum consisted of a wooden shaft just over a metre long (four feet). all of its great weight was concentrated behind this small tip. and the pilum or heavy throwing javelin. It was designed so that once it punched through an enemy's shield. At Pharsalus in 48BC the cohorts of Pompey's legions averaged around 400 men apiece. while Caesar's force was little more than half that size. As with all armies throughout history. However. Soldiers may have carried two pila on campaign. was able to clear the deck of enemies by knocking them down with his shield during the fighting off Massila. but both sides supplemented their numbers with allied soldiers or auxiliaries. Such shields were heavy . creating something resembling a chequerboard formation. topped by a narrow iron shank about half a metre in length (two feet) and ending in a pyramid-shaped point. who tell of formations and tactics based around the cohort. However. They could also be used offensively. but one or several cohorts could as easily be detached for smaller operations. and we also hear of armies in four or two lines. in spite of having his right hand chopped off almost as soon as he had boarded a warship. A soldier's other offensive equipment consisted of a short sword.some 135m or so . the soldier punching forward with all his bodyweight behind the shield's bronze boss.but offered good protection.

• EARLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 marked by threats to the security of the empire.. and internal struggles as the The early imperial period of Rome's history was now-immense city tried to reconcile the monarchic powers of an emperor with the republican ideals of its forebears . Chapter 9 THE ROMANS page 170 Chapter 10 THE BRITISH CELTS page 186 Chapter 11 THE GERMANICS AND DACIANS page 202 Chapter 12 THE PARTHIANS page 215 ..

'..."n'l'"> me fC'l . Maximinus proclaimed emperor.. 16' r I 1 __ ...J.. Reign of Claudius Conquest accession of Tiberius as emperor Reign of Caligula as emperor of parts of Britain Reign of Nero as emperor Calba becomes emperor Year of the four emperors: Otho succeeds Calba..I . and is first Roman emperor to fight in battle N I __ t ____J NORTH AFRICA 250 miles 1:'h/r..... Vitellius succeeds Otho.. '.l.~ .rf...... Alexander succeeds as emperor Severus Alexander murdered.....IA~T.-o.J[....-..adtian ~-. "I...·~ .. :l-~-. r::::J The r==l RomanErnQJ~ in time of Augustus c::::::::J'Adaiti®hal territory added to the Roman Empire by the time of H.... first emperor Death of Augustus.T...r.. taking the Empire to its greatest extent Reign of Hadrian Reign of Antoninus as emperor Pius as emperor to GAUL l 117-138 138-161 161-180 167 Reign of Marcus Aurelius as emperor Commodus becomes co-emperor Marcus Aurelius Reign of Caracalla Caracalla murders Caracalla murdered. Vespasian succeeds Vitellius Reign of Vespasian as emperor Reign of Titus as emperor Reign of Domitian as emperor Reign of Nerva as emperor Reign of Trajan as emperor..' I-I· . proclaimed emperor ( 193-208 208-111 212 217 218 Reign of Septimius Severus as emperor and Cera as co-emperors Gcta and Opellius Macrinus Severus $PAJN 235 Macrinus defeated by Elagabalus..CHRONOLOGY 27BC AD14 37-41 41-54 54-68 68 69 69-79 79-8 81-96 96-98 98-117 Octavian of Rome becomes Augustus.

had his powers to take on the role. corruption of emperors existing ones from attack. and so the vast majority and emperor taking their armies on hard-fought campaigns and stability. elevated to Heaven. the Senate as simply another to member. and their governments was often personal and survival.\RLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 THE ROMANS Chapter 9 THE ROMANS Background An emperor's power relied on his military force and strength. Catuvellaunian king Cunobelinus. one. the Roman forces won a major victory outside Camulodunum and the emperor entered the tribal capital in triumph on an elephant. and leaving Plautius behind as governor of Britain. Needing military success to consolidate Britain in AD43. meant the prionty Inside Rome. under voted to him by the Senate and at first feigned reluctance and auxiliary the command this time scarcely anyone could conceive of. Tiberius. a comet appeared about an hour before sunset and shone for several days running. the priority adding new lands to the Empire. come from the aristocratic of the provinces. now Augustus force to push the Empire borders was wiped back beyond the Rhine. This relief from 161 AD shows the apotheosis of Caesar. This was held to be Caesar's soul. (© R. reign Augustus began to groom politely ignoring although the obvious reality. originally by his predecessor. and encouraged Augustus may have bringing I the members genuinely debate to freely and to vote with his troops back behind the Rhine. SheridanfAAA Collection Ltd) 171 . life without Advancing rapidly. if a highly distinguished their conscience. his successor. By an emperor. the gain. From early in his high mortality rate Claudius' invasion of Britain Claudius unexpectedly became emperor in AD41 when his nephew Caligula was assassinated. or became client kingdoms. When Augustus then aged 56. the appallingly within the imperial family meant that quite a few individuals finally died in AD14 at the age of 76. but an entire Roman forest. shifted from time were attempts After Trajan expanded the Empire to its largest geographical to protecting size. Augustus and the Senate Military power lay behind the Augustan regime. and suggesting stability to Tiberius not to attempt concern. if only because. to desired them do this. the complete submission of Britain to Rome was to take much more time and effort. More families were included. convinced the city as a whole. Julius Caesar. (Colchester) quickly Claudius Foreign fighting The wars fought with foreign enemies during this period were not as aggressively and expansionist immediate did attempt of three as those of earlier years. accepted the surrender of 11 tribal kings. Cartimandua. an enterprise composed of four legions a successor. son of the of this apotheosis. formally filled this role. but attention was rarely drawn and reduced to this. One by one. or remember. his position. in size Most of the Republic's to remove favours senators attended institutions persisted. but leader of legions out in AD9 in the Temoburg in Augustus was eventually captured after being betrayed by another tribal leader. The Senate was reformed many of the less suitable men who had been enrolled Italians of many in reward for dubious and in time Augustus to the various would sides in the civil wars. since there remained regions that had not already been consumed little of the Mediterranean by the Roman Empire. Both the senators wished publicly to pretend Rome had not become a monarchy. on the first day of the Games given by his successor Augustus in honor them to say. Every senator knew that said what they that push th~ boundaries saw the emperors further. Caractacus. but in practice on the emperor's this was a sham. each of the native British Celtic tribes were either crushed. hence the star. Threats to the Empire's caused constant for security and his future career depended felt he wanted favour. or protect and many foreign wars at this weaknesses from exploitation. he embarked planned forces on the conquest of southern The invasion force was of Aulus Plautius. either to prove this strength. Suetonius says this about Caesar becoming a god: He was 55 years old when he died and his immediate deification. resulting attempted to lead a revolt among a number of tribes. Although the conquest had begun well. formally decreed by the loyalists in the Senate. before returning to Rome. placed above the forehead of his divine image.

had risen to power as his father's avenger. although in other respects he learned from the dictator's mistakes and did things very differently. only Africa. The cumulative frontier pressure nature of the unable to is evident. Sheridan/ AAA Collection Ltd) frontier to attempt to defend it from the Goths. and by supervising which Roman . and attempts were Ide to suggest that the political . The consequences for imperial prestige 2 173 .frontier: substantial the ultimate Danube frontier. Iberian and. to a lesser extent. of Goths naturally displaced against tribes as fighters. Of Roman relief showing senators.vitably different. Balkans. In AD122. led to major campaigns century. the Romano-Britons started to 50 years of instability. but the reality was . Anglesey. a period of as much protection which marks the transition These problems to the later Empire. when the barbarian early second experienced After the murder in 235 the Roman Roman lands in Europe saw the withdrawal Europe. Colchester. In AD77. tribes steeled themselves the Romans. in AD410 the were compounded removed the whole of the Roman garrison in Britain back to the Rhine to Britain. the new governor Scotland under his command. e Senate was reformed by gustus. largely. by events on the Danube. A symbiotic to relations on the frontier relationship could emerge. grouping. Here change of Gothic Gothic peoples from northern of the gradual movement the Principate. In the absence of some of the troops in Britain to help in central from Rome. until around 300AD. commonly the Third-century Crisis. were spared invasion. He was leaders whose expanding when these became excessive. Beyond the Rhine were numerous tribal groups whose relationship On the upper breached increased the and on the upper Rhine the Alamanni to the extent that they twice invaded their Italy in the came that 260s. Eventually. and there this frontier This great movement peoples who might other the of for commanded by an emperor in the 90s (Domitian). the authority of compliant can be seen: the Romans following generated greater He oversaw a dreadful massacre of the Druids on the island of further and further north until he reached Perthshire. the result Poland. thereafter conflict ensued between Rome and a major tribal unable to subdue the tribes north of there. campaigns Stability along need to migrate to cope with their mounting required active defence. across the river under the Emperor of Severus Alexander termed Trajan (98-117) of centuries of relative peace. In the first century AD a process of consolidation got under way. its northern frontier with the lands of and Dacian tribes had always been vulnerable. On the lower Rhine the Franks gradually to dominate another large federation during threatened frontier defences the latter half of the century. Hadrian's on Roman territory. along the Danube. Wall. to attempt Britain. and a cyclical pattern bolstered demands. a partial squadrons 170s (Marcus find themselves squeezed 230s (Severus Alexander). the Britain.. but not before the sacking of many major Roman towns. river frontier. in 60AD was eventually suppressed. to keep the northern province tribes from making enjoyed threat a to on the Rhine Danube tribes of the lower in the Empire now the Roman of Britannia. Hadrian line. Roman garrisons had while considerable the Romans to spend on slaves. when they sacked Istria near a decade later they swept across the Decius was killed and back Wars with the Germanics and Dacians Throughout Germanic the history of the Roman Empire. due. the Roman could control The Rhine provided through naval barrier to tribal movement. and copied some of Caesar's innovations to create decided to set the British boundary 17 years he oversaw the The second major European frontier at the Tyne-Solway for the next by linear defences. THE ROMANS Romans was not always hostile: tribesmen wealth (by local standards) served in Roman armies. Marcomanni crossing-points.tem of Republican Rome had r changed since she became an ipire. and their constant problems. queen of the Iceni tribe. furs or basic foodstuffs. including . was joined to the Rhine similar to that Augustus was Caesar's adopted heir. eridan/AAA Collection Ltd) the Roman peninsula world. had been slow. decided to bring the tribes of Wales and were a source of luxury goods such as wine or spices. and Emperor his army annihilated across the Danube while trying to force the Goths in 251. to face a new enemy. The first attested where the Romans had receive more attacks from the neighbouring Emperor Constantine British Picts and Celts. (© R. and campaigned of Britain. (© R. strength the this process could trigger the formation as different of attacking Quadi and recognised with the federations challenge Vandals. and the need to dominate the Dacian of a wall.~ \RLY EMPIRE 27BCAD235 the Brigantes. St Albans and London. Agricola. The Romans never returned incursion came in 238. Another serious uprising under Boudicca. and they remained rule for the duration of Roman construction incursions couple lands of the Empire. to the ferocity of these population were Aurelius) major and the Danube north-eastern mouth. and free from the yoke of Roman the cycle would begin again. with emperors divert troops from one sector to another constrained to confront invaders and instead that in conditions led to defeat.

Until the mid-first century AD. a road north went to Worcester. Akeman Street. just south of Bicester where it forked.vbut with lateral was later the north. road arid there must permissions described a place as Colchester rising would soon-be TIJ~j Cdlll\ ~ by the time of Boudicca's and compulsory 17 years legislation. or rebuilt roads wereiburl! by the Romans only is not clear: (t seems had elapsed likely that routes from so important the invasion of planning tracks. The where another it was "tin. was. The Parthian Wars Only in the east did the Romans own. (Glevurri) was reached bya and joined Watling called Ermin Way. the capital of the province.where As today.Ieft it ran north-east cumulatively had a major impact on the strength events that led to the Empire's of the Empire. to and Anglesey (Mona) struck off north-west halfway (Corinium). and on north-west to Cirencester had succumbed proposition swiftly to Roman so a military between Reading and Basingsroke. To the . expeditions. a system point in. In the eastern BC. forts and towns were built in which troops could rest and acquire supplies. Aurelian was prepared On a west to east axis only one other route existed. 55~54BC. small client kingdoms (Harran) 4 175: .. 30 40 Km /\/\.This th~Foss'Way crossed Watling Street High near Lutterworrh. to Godmanchester. at Mancetter (Manduessedum).Silchester (Callcva). abandon which were helped by instability in Gaul. from Cirencester Towcester (Lactodorum). the road Watling Stane Street ran west from Colchester towards from which Cambridge to Peterborough many Chester roads thence IDm~lVioh) joined Eri1)jrieStte~t the centre Wroxeter and on to Lincoln. Also. London Street. Road Towns. experiencing at Carrhae face an enemy with a sophistication encountered the Parthians comparable to their Empire the Romans during the first century one of their worst defeats in 53BC when three legions were annihilated in Mesopotamia. might be had. roads that camps. while the major road The south-east running Cross the west ran by way 9£ .et()c~t\imr maybe not yet a fort. Swift matches could more easily be made along these routes as food and fresh horses. by sea at this time and that the roads were not yet fully engineered or Rornanised. of course. all the way down to Exeter but David Johnston A forward position at Gloucester has it that that town was supplied mainly spur from Cirencester are obvious. it went Movement to Prolonged emperors St Albans. for example. west was a tougher domination.RLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 THE ROMANS ROMAN ROADS IN BRITAIN 10 20 miles 20 . along an axis along . and were to play a key part in subsequent collapse. regular defeat and the rapid turnover of To the right. but ran east to Colchester. to Lincoln (Lin d um) movement developed it aided by the road known as the Foss Way. via Aylesbury. Street at Wall (I._ Rivers Land above 1OOm Land below 100m ~ I Apart Britain from began Julius where Caesar's possible. have been a limit to what purchase is thus unclear and even the Romans. radiated to (Virocoruum). across what is now Birmingham. The Empire was only reunited by Aurelian in a series of to Roman roads in Britain.. to the exposed province of Dacia. forls & camps the river Thames and fr611) there a road timeaddiuonal paved. warfare inside the frontiers. possible off the Roman roads but it was along these to Alchesrer energetic campaigns.at zone was created up from Cirencester (Venoms). at which making use of existing could IJiObridged trackways (Londinium) of military was a priority. could achieve. maybe later. and redeploy Roman troops along the lower Danube. and at some time. and in the late 260s the Empire was virtually split into three units. which attended separately to their own security. Presumably roads the Roman presenceiri London At what properly since free with their invasion was the lowest in AD43. Between Wall and High Cross there WaS at least a camp. state of the roads setoff and some may have been primitive to Great on and Dunmow..

lost at Carrhae. Valerian. into Before the the universal legions.ollection Ltd) constituted buffer states for Roman provided territory in Anatolia and the Levant. briefly establishing fought energetically swore an oath of loyalty to him. and Trajan success was decisive.lrhough the remains of the wall re only a few courses high. a province in loyalty was focused on him and no one else. of veterans looking to their commanders and Augustus could own he must approved and controlled The problem This arrangement dethroned worked for a while.ARLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 THE ROMANS A Roman mosaic from Carthage showing a Vandal horseman. before Augustus Carrhae. The men were paid by the any feat of gallantry. The support rested emperor on military emperor. entered citizens recruited Roman fortresses the auxiliary units. upset by the sight of the camels. Mesopotamia. by Augustus. Service conditions were the soldiers' legal status and rights.. All of these troops were kept directly under his personal control. and successively in AD212.though. was and often to provide being threatened. Severus (193-211) monarchy emperor again defeated which had always been In 226 the Parthian the Roman was overthrown by the Sassanid reduced- of a combination of citizenship traditionally of citizen non-citizen were troops. and. a suitable line on which to base legionary the Romans maintained positions in as along the Rhine and the Danube. in AD20. when a new Armenian He also took great care to ensure the loyalty of the army. depended on the power and of its arnues. and the Arabian Gulf. felt their power each soldier was entitled pay. and Trajan campaigned Mesopotamia. ideally for expansion. Thereafter the upper and middle Euphrates . as by the Parthian king Vologases I in the 60s. although Roman tribes who knew how to operate in this inhospitable lands to the west intermittently. Remarkably little is known about the 76 177 . This. totally refused to be urged against the enemy. describing their defeat by the Moors III North Africa: [They] were no good with javelin and bow. the riginal wall was 4. . However. the Romans Corbulo prince. Roman king Vologases III them with some form of livelihood that the legionaries' emperor. but that It was be either to a plot of land or a lump sum of money. Cnaeus Domitius have their invaded Armenia. while in 260 captured in Mesopotamia.8m (6ft) battlements n top of it. had his Praetorian and also formed a police force (the Urban Cohorts) Armenian returned appointed and Transcaucasian the Roman standards lands lost the year the Parthians ruler was was fire brigade (the Vigiles). (© G Tortoli/AAA . On honourable discharge were fixed. Between the river Euphrates a key interest Roman military reform Augustus and the army Before he became legions. For the first time Rome Guard. finally decided and their commander that the Parthians by Rome.5m (15ft) igh with 1. who in the to the head of the Persian 160s Lucius Verus Gulf. when they performed by him. was at long last averted. Octavian remodelled the army into a permanent force of 28 powers The and of the army was crucial to him because as emperor.. nor did they know how to fight on foot . For the Romans the east was the prestigious for conflict. (© AAA Collection Ltd) 'his section of Hadrian's Wall asses Houscsteads Fort near lexham in Northumberland . along with the soldiers' funded by a special Military subsidised. also took care an Armenian leader. Treasury iaerariurn militare) which was supervised. and annexed Persians. received Augustus' events beyond. luring successive western rulers with the renown to emulation: of Alexander the Great's achievements Caesar and regained the a permanent garrison. desert offered a reliable terrain troubled area buffer zone. and their horses. (161-69) in Lower the Parthians received medals awarded The Roman composed extension non-citizens Empire and in the 190s Septimius new territory. force. until 114 when the Parthian invaded Parthia. Procopius had this to say about the Vandals.

which was once dated to the early second century. impractical is a feature special form (equites) after about five years' service as infantry. a Roman did not become size and renowned ferocity. distinguished from them by wearing lion masks and pelts. who formed the emperor's by a special specific form Literary Praetorian standards imperial of boot (imagines) attached have had such Praetorian standards to them. otherwise Praetorian equipped along with military whilst . on occasion. over For the first century bodyguard period reliable of German emperors standard-bearers. the Julio-Claudian but they had their been identified on Trajan's decorations own riding instructor from their display of such portraits had a personal of crowns. ruthless regime. but there was also some element At times. whilst following a convention of distinguishing auxiliaries their use of mail shirts. enjoying shorter service and knee. Praetorians. similar to their contemporaries and to crush unrest. These appear in a famous relief now in the Louvre. however. palace ¥ost distinctive of all.but recent research suggests that the Praetorians in a manner male garment. perhaps often. Paris. Comfortable worn by soldiers and civilians alike. like legionary they carry the small round on the monuments. and other reliefs on discharge. army. but is now recognised combination as coming from the Arch of Claudius erected in ADS1. military especially in the and were always closely associated service as units drew on veteran settlements. There is nothing to suggest that the rest of the Praetorians' Column. Praetorians Recruitment the Germans (Germani Corporis Custodes) were in effect a private and Gaul. Indeed. and legionaries are armed identically with javehn and certain items of dress and insignia which were peculiar to the Organisation The great majority Guard cavalry did include of the Praetorian an attachment Guard were infantry but. known bodyguard. with manpowerneeds The Germans acted as infantry when on guard at the palace but as cavalry in the field. to discourage with their shaggy beards. Their origin lay in the as more the standard-bearers of the civil wars. the Praetorians were the envy of the legionaries for an elite fighting unit. A snapshot of the Praetorian Guard at the time of the Julio-Claudians The Praetorian Guard has become a byword for military force that is used to prop up a in the Roman Empire. unit under the separate At that point Augustus command appointed of two rank (i. two Dacian ascribing by yet when the Guard to have been well enough trained between Praetorian officered to acquit themselves well. There were.something of as imparting archaic look to the Praetorians akin to the red tunics and bearskins of the modern were simply equipped British Foot Guards . The tunica was the basic Roman soldiers wore it short above the red. and the oval shield. There is no doubt that they performed As the main body of troops plotting and rebellion this function in Rome they were the emperor's instrument to discourage line of the so-called 'Attic' helmet with bushy crest. and they received The strength and were commanded of the Principate. with the Praetorians. they proved efficient and to both. was intended '8 179 . as with the legions. troops operating honorific bronze imagines carried have therefore portrait-bearers Column (imaginiferi). arms and equipment differed at the frontiers. alongside mercenaries whose the Praetorians. by a centurio speculatorum. they could also. but the available defence. in the late first and second centuries. These form. the of cavalry. and inscriptions citizens. campaigned in person and took the Guard with them. All this might seem an unlikely background did take the field. seems to make no distinction segmented armour which depicts the story of Trajan's and legionary equipment. force. The use of Germans. although assumed that the soldier's and relatively safe in their barracks in Rome. and often involved in nothing more arduous stationed than sentry-duty at the palace. and evidence suggests that the normal colour was white or off-white.ARLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 process of recruitment: being apportioned of hereditary conscription was probably always a feature. It is frequently tunic was usually better pay and bonuses than any other unit in the Empire. Inscriptions suggest that men could become The Guard also had a special cavalry of Guard.mainly different types shield and are are nevertheless to bearskins. as opposed citizens Unlike their helmets and down their backs. of this body of men is uncertain. a situation which was to later highlight citizens were employed inherent Uniform and equipment The appearance of the Praetorians undoubtedly changed somewhat throughout the course of of the their history. in particular have always been regarded as characteristic the weaknesses in training your enemies to your fighting technique. the colour of undyed wool. They were the emperor's be his most deadly enemies. unknown diplomas as the speculatores Augusti. but some types of equipment Guard. when emperors frequently loyal. Trajan's wars. nevertheless. Praetorians a sword worn on the right side. most immediate in the legions. perhaps. rather than a genuine part of the Roman service offered a reasonably good and quite safe career for the young provincials. if they served close to home. when foreign than a guard of Roman seem to have been regarded loyalties might be divided. they appear from that of the legions. men the were apparently distinguished out-of-the-ordinary sources suggest elite cavalry section. was direct from Germany Roman show that the individuals immense Duties Until 2BC each Praetorian a tribune of equestrian cohort was an independent knight). The a conscious of Attic helmet and oval shield has been thought . was the civilian toga worn whilst on duty at the AD. The symbolism apparently of standard had and political unique used to the by the portraits and in the Capitol of this Less in the first two centuries form of dress is the that significance Praetorians. paramilitary THE ROMANS in line with census records of citizens. They were. More and more newly created Roman army.e. whereas the legions and auxiliaries separately by special seem for the most part to caliga speculatoria. assassins.

wielded enormous influence. After Burrus' death. (© R Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) so 181 . and a number of them. However. Caligula (37-41) Tiberius' successor was Gaius Caligula. all this changed following the death of Nero. the others were scattered round the towns of Italy. Tiberius (14-37) The Guard took the field in earnest for the first time in AD14. which included matricide. In the 'Year of Four Emperors' which followed. The Louvre relief. again provoked revulsion among the conservative officers of the Guard. as he was then. The German bodyguard went on the of rampage searching for the murderers. the Guard were not slow to transfer their allegiance and ensure the latter's accession. and raking the Praetorian cavalry on a farcical raid across the Rhine. According to Dio. The lower half of the right-hand figure. Caligula's follies supposedly included leading the Guard in triumph on a bridge of boats spanning the Bay of Naples. including one of Burrus' successors. The Senate were forced to accede to this coup: the Praetorians' at king-making first attempt but had succeeded. Sextus Afranius Burrus. who then led the legions and detachments of the Guard in an invasion of Germany which continued over the next two years. whilst the Senate deliberated on the restoration armies Who were with those of the generous bonus of five years' salary.wlucli led to Caligula's assassination a Republic. portions of the middle two. With his own Praetorians Nero (54-68) When Claudius was poisoned by his wife Agrippina and stepson Nero. they came across Caligula's uncle Claudius hiding behind a curtain. and these were not in a camp but billeted around the city. Octavian Praetorian his own force with those of his basis for a permanent of Julius Caesar's army. who came to the throne with the aid of the Praetorian Prefect Quintus Sutorius Marco. they took Claudius off to the Praetorian camp and proclaimed his accession. the Praetorians were engaged in major campaigning for the first time in a century of their existence.whom Caligula teased mercilessly about his squeaky voice . accompanied by two Praetorian Cohorts. auxiliaries were also granted the rights of married men (conuhium). The Pannonian forces were dealt with by Tiberius' young brother Drusus. Octavian amalgamated opponent in a symbolic reunification and those of Antony. already had the administrative Guard. Claudius rewarded the Guard with an unsurprising by officers of the Guard. We know from Suetonius that Augustus. and the heads of all three figures in the foreground are modern restorations.itself. Once again a Praetorian Prefect. however. Praetorian cavalry and the German bodyguard. The Attic-style helmets are almost certainly an artistic convention. this time to the good. was careful to have only three cohorts based in Rome .ARLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 THE ROMANS THE GUARD AND THE JULIO-CLAUDlAN EMPERORS Augustus (27BC-AD14) After his victory over Antony. Claudius (41-54) While the Pruetorians were looting the palace in the confusion after Caligula's death. now thought to be from the Arch of Claudius erected in ADSl. Under the Julio-Claudian emperors the Guard continued to develop Its political role in the most dangerous way possible. the mounting catalogue of Nero's crimes. It is clear that Augustus was extremely wary of flaunting too blatantly the basis of his power. as Augustus' successor Tiberius faced mutinies amongst both the Rhine and the Pannonian complaining about their conditions of service. The Rhine mutiny was put down by Tiberius' nephew and intended heir Gerrnanicus. and the Guard was rewarded with a bonus of 500 denarii per man. Inscriptions reveal that Claudius also took the Guard with him to witness the conclusion of his invasion of Britain in AD43. Another Praetorian Prefect took the lead in the suppression of the conspiracy. In 41 it was the sheer disgust and hostility that he had engendered in a tough Praetorian tribune by the name of Cassius Charea . In need of an emperor to justify their own existence. were involved in the dangerous Pisoruan conspiracy of AD65. has been the most influential of all images of the Praetorian Guard. but the eagle in the background may be a form of Praetorian standard. especially in comparison Praetorians. but saw little action in the field.

Other duties included escorting the emperor and other members of the imperial family and. In 27BC. and also from Spain and Macedonia in the first two centuries AD. a rather broader spread than for legionary recruitment. where they house the modern-day garrison of Rome.000 men or more may therefore not be fanciful. Augustus established the pay of Praetorians as double that of legionaries. larger discharge bonuses. After this. Even military displays were infrequent. This means the Guard was drawn from the most prosperous and Romanised parts of the Empire. about two-thirds the size of the average legionary fortress on the frontiers. instead It was mostly men from the less Romanised Danube region who served in the Guard. Praetorians signed up for 16 years' service. after four to nine years' service in the legions. Most Praetorian Guards were recruited from central and northern Italy. unlike legionaries. The remaining northern. This suggests a capacity of something like 4. Most emperors followed suit be decorated proportionally to a greater or lesser extent while at the same time the legions often got On retirement they received nothing. Again. After the construction of the Praetorian camp in AD23 there was a tribune on duty there. Service in the Praetorian cohorts Recruitment Service in the Praetorian Guard was in many ways an attractive proposition. Each afternoon. too. Italians were no longer recruited at all. compared to the 25 years demanded in the legions. and 23. at the eighth hour. becoming the first emperor to buy their loyalty in this way. Such slender evidence as exists also suggests that Praetorians were more likely to for courage in battle than legionaries. The huge discrepancy in the treatment of Praetorians and of legionaries was obviously the result of their constant presence in Rome. 5. the tribune of the cohort on duty would receive the watchword from the emperor in person. if necessary.000 denarii and. They enclose an area of just over 17 hectares. By AD 14 they were receiving 720 denarii per year. according to Suetonius. however. which would still make them conspicuous in a crowd but was a civilian garment and the mark of a Roman citizen. to avoid antagonising the population of Rome and in accordance with Republican custom. Whilst in Rome their principal duty was to mount guard at Augustus' home on the Palatine. together with the perks and advantages of Irving in Rome. and the troops appeared in armour in Rome only on very special occasions.{ EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 senior Roman knights to take overall command as Praetorian Prefects. they were presented with honorific diplomas on bronze which made legitimate their first marriages and the children born of them. offering a shorter period of service and better pay than the legions. and less frequent exposure to danger and discomfort. When Septimius Severus came to power. so a true capacity of 12. and their ability to create and destroy emperors.000 as opposed to 3. eastern and southern walls stand on the Viminal Hill. Claudius gave the Guard five years' salary at his accession. this differential is likely to have remained constant throughout the history of the Guard. the Praetorians did not wear armour when performing such duties within the city. We know from inscriptions that men were recruited between the ages of 15 and 32. they wore the rather formal toga. THE ROMANS The Praetorian camp (Castra Praetoria) The walls of the camp built for the Praetorians in AD23 can still be seen in Rome today. Instead. but the few internal buildings which can be traced include extra rooms ranged around the inside of the walls and traces of two-storey barracks. which was usually between 17 Remuneration From 5BC onwards. 183 . he dismissed the unruly Praetorians who had tried to buy and sell the Empire in 193. acting as a form of riot police. and replaced them with men from his own Danubian legions.000 men. three times the 225 of the legionaries.

di'll: Inev.*.p}<:lhrs J~11j"nl!'~. he would he After a few years.nlered the iemperor PtlrtbJj>x when be ·tried to. he might obtain a post as an free him all the patronage by obtaining letters as a headquarters clerk or a technician.ll4.m:c[.~iv.tatlre lln."-. whiQh led ·to one..r t-hbJi. He would also have to make use of of recommendation from any men of i I I -rH [ROMANS Importance be assigned he knew.o '!!oweras'l'Wib!e. and became probates. sinee.~h:6jo·e'oamnagst the l'il~e[bl1ja!\ Gv. place.t::d -niij.LY EMPIRE 27BC--AD235 Career path In order to be accepted physically into the Guard and reap these rewards.:a:~tI of w.suliap'q~waS:::t'r0da-rnied J s. The centurionate Roman knights was enormously prestigious gave up their equestrian status in order to obtain and well paid and we know that some a direct commission be the culmination to this rank.tnen JllHam!~. e-ven Etner they JiaX! se. and so extend This appointment Rome.tW hi:rg)itt!b ~ '. technical their careers.in the h)stpryo£ R0!pe. TH] AUCTION OF]'FJ.\e Hl:aetor'ian Gua.itably.gil.his l'ei~fl reache¢ an uncl'n1e1r end wlren -Uf_':NilS· beheaded dUti~g ~ept4w-u~S\Cverus' clw. discipline them~£dJlQj. as..the d1. t-ak~'S.!. An~pl'Oniphl ''ini¢t·iop.¥{\S the citi~ns l.etr"e_S"per ~!la:rd.O(i){J errlweElDr.t).:~ew.udtg-et .of The faQ1%l:-ill"law of~er+iha. of soldiers would achieve the grade of principalis evocati Augusti but those who by the emperor.. and WeIn t(!l the_wvajlsof the.s mudMlloney. on completion enabled of their service. A few more years' service might advance (tesserarius) him to principalis.n~t a. Anyone to a legion.. ~e~t. or. be appointed them to take up administrative. 185 . which was .a~ejni~h.tQ tty to Rersuad_e the guard to a~pept 'hj~i as sueeessor. .Fl:!)ljllil .if Ri.Flav1.:t t.c'J tepJaGe Pertirrax.eml?eror f(n::qll1y furo m(n~J~s.eamlP: ·6nce'tl):er)< hc.sho.2S. Di. J'Iew~s <'Itl .msctia.nliallq.§-. For the man who had risen to this position of his career.>antkq IIi return 16r ih€!' eflJj~erdfs1tiR. posts in some in the Only a small number did might. providing could gam the attention immunis.!?0_fl1.piGianlls..ac\ . and although probably transfer retire in it. 9f.!r that 1>idius the ot..:U<. of good character available.F!~e.asmall ~utinf" There was tiD fO[)l-laHy agreed.t was . and respectable family. perhaps of his officers by influence or merit.bque$t q{ ~ome. any of which would from normal fatigues. a man would need to be fit. he would would have to to climb further up the ladder and very few would be able to do this.Aus.isJalia.npst .(}v~fHual\y 'iVon 0)' DidlBs j.a rich serrator in th~ liliilsr. Su). or a centurionate principales might before the end of their service be advanced to the rank of centurion Guard. in charge of passing on the watchword (optio) or standard-bearer might be appointed (signifer) in the century.tmd ~0 .Yl·and 11e'>W.us . or instructor Alternatively.l?opul.SIJll?iCit~us.e]upjre was sold ana Di-i$i:ll.hat W~!.thC! GU<Il'd that he: WQlllq ~f£erthenil il.~ .rern:il. it would probably on the length there was no restriction who wished of service. but they "auld 11 ilotfind a suitable ~J.~J.:e amongst w :i price of . in a legion.ent {t c-amp' . gull:! acrid silver as they '\l.\Pll)sl.JUlii'\.l.E EMFIR] Ia f. if highly literate and numerate. was a pte feet of._a.lal events.eci the streets elf Rome felf con~endel'71.t d-r-inkiDw:ses~io)i"Jl.r4i. t. s.' began betweeHDidi'lls . If he passed the induction as a miles to one of the centuries procedure of a cohort. with or as a centurion's deputy he double pay.jrrie~who much £:or_ \lismoney.\D19.ing'. to the Prefect's staff.

against the Silures of the south-east . then returned of the miserable northern to Rome after a stay of only two weeks. in Gaul. and well before the onset winter. who swam their horses across On the northern bank the Romans built a fort. awaited the arrival of the emperor. and no significant interference crossing from their supply base with. of the central highlands a son of the 16 18 .the latter apparently led by Caractacus. as at the Medway. from the Rhine legions according to DIO Cassius. Tiberius Claudius Drusus . 50 miles 100 km THE BRITISH CELT~ The major tribes of mainland Britain in about AD44. and the army left in in the north-east. He rd a stammer and a limp. handicapped was advised that an exploit triumphal to provide honours would be in order. a pretext of the mutinous the new emperor for the award of nephew Caligula unexpectedly. apparently. N Chapter 10 t I THE BRITISH CELTS Celtic campaigns against Rome Background Nearly 90 years after the assassination Claudius of Julius Caesar. and a bridgehead. bringing with him a detachment reinforcements in the form of vexillations of the Praetorian Guard. forces Plautius. and other points on the Kent coast. hich would become extremely eful in his role as emperor.cridan/As A Collection Ltd) the Romans specialist Batavian troops first. Shy. Claudius read .the emperor of Rome and her Empire . This army was shipped across Oceanus Britannicus landing at Rutupiae establishing (Richborough) (the Channel). and as a very sickly child. king of the Claudius under assembled the command four legions of Aulus Hampshire.ARLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 o 0. committed under fire and established laudius was kept in seclusion as a . . During is time alone. Praetorian Guard. inland. and the Celts fell back before them to the Thames. Rome celebrated Claudius' triumph. the Celts. Britain set about crushing the inland Celtic tribes. Claudius and probably arrived in August. Camulodunum (Colchester) The army advanced on the Catuvellaunian capital of of a number Conquering the Celtic tribes By 47 Rome had a British province south-west intermittently Ordovices to the Humber and here Claudius received the formal submission up to a line running from the Bristol Channel in the of tribes.ild. was crossed against spirited opposition.raciously. elephants!). Moving Medway. The conquest of Britain offered to accept such honours an opportunity without undue risk. because he was thought to be entally and physically unfit. too.succeeded his and at the sword-points and stammering. they made a contested of the river This. Between 47 and 60 the Roman forces were and the but heavily engaged in Wales. powerful Atrebates and strong a convenient appeal for Roman help against the Catuvellauni of southern auxiliary tribe was received from Verica. Claudius invades Britain In AD43. equipping himself ith an extensive knowledge. (© R. (and.

. Roman soldiers in too. and gifted with a powerful voice. He swam his cavalry across the Menai Strait. but a title that she was given by her followers. the historian Dio Cassius in his history of Rome says challenge him. THE CELTIC FEAST AND TH£ RAID Celtic feasts were important regardjo precedence social gatherings. When the hindquarters stood up and fought in single combat to the death. terrible to look on. they sit in aifi. they would dare to challenge their elders too. When he. of their . Even the king's of events is was flogged and her daughters The exact sequence but soon afterwards the whole region boiled over into rebellion. Poscidonius agam: that often . the Romans plundered widow. the champion's was a moment when any other warrior had the right dispute his position portion of the thigh piece. Assembling in arms they engage in mock battle drill and mutual thrust and parry. and outrage. whichin turn would have higher expectations of success and loot to be gained. While the army paused in Wales. or wealth. and prowess. A flood of bright red hair ran down to her knees. tall. and often with ritual significance. a warrior might propose to lead a raid and would encourage others to join him. Strangers were allowed to join a meal before being asked their name and business. Small-scale raids on neighbouring clans to reive a few h~a9. Everyone had a joint of meat according to their status.rj:l\!= with the most influential man in the centre. robe. and slavery and preserving was soon succeeded by Prasutagus decided causing who renewed the treaty with Rome.. The more volunteers he could recruit. Wales. the tribal Boudicca. once they had experienced initial success. the bravest hero took the thigh piece. his personal wealth .patrons. the sanctuary resistance. Boudicca The Iceni were a Belgic tribe occupying the time of the Roman thus avoiding Antedios conquest invasion areas in Suffolk. It is possible that Boudieea was not her name at all.. whether he be the greatest in warlike skill. died in 60. she wore a golden necklet made up of ornate pieces. Also in attendance were bards who would celebrate the lineage. the greater chance he hadofasuecessful outcome. to annexe widespread the kingdom hardship raped. A strict ceremonial was observed with and hospitality. Poseidonius noted: . Sheridan/AAA Collection Ltd) 189 . On a future occasion he would be able to attract a larger following. accompanied by the infantry in and was there TH E [)RITISH CELTS flat-bottomed boats. Initially. and his work survives in that of Diodorus and Strabo. boasting and singing. if another man claimed it they QvMc longer dIStances. joining the lceni under Boudicca's with previously leadership. Traditionally. A raid that brought spoils for him to distribute among his retinue would enhance his status as a leader. allied the tribe to Rome. unknown. The number of warriors who agreed to follow was determined by the leader's status. Sometimes wounds are inflicted. nobility of family. Others sought to reinforce their status in a rough-and-tumble escalated into more serious violence.. Amidst the drinking. territory. usually wild and drunken. outright. greatest warrior received the choicest cut. and the irritation caused by tlus may even lead to the killing of the were opponent unless they are held back by their friends . In 59-60. led two legions into north-west on the island of Mona (Anglesey). It to pacified tribes such as the Trinovantes Writing a century that Boudicca was: after her death. younger warriors competed with each other but. Suetonius Paulinus.. In bloody fighting embittered of shrieking Druids whipping by the evidence of hideous atrocities up the Celtic warriors. a thick cloak held together with a The Celts sometimes engage in single combat at dinner. Seating was arranged to rank. The climax of the campaign a Druidic cult centre that was fiercely Boudieea's name was derived from British word baud meaning 'victory'. Norfolk diplomatically and Cambridgeshire.. (© R. to bring them victory. ready to crush any remaining came news of a disaster to the east. Their shield bearersstand behind them while their spearmen are seated on the opposite sideand common like their lords. Cunobelinus.of cattle would grow into inter-tribal conflicts and wider raiding She took up a long spear to canse dread in all who set eyes on her. the Roman military was of Britain. according sometimes even deadly.. There is also a Celtic goddess named Boudiga.Y EMPIRE 27BC--AD235 defended. and over it. tempting them with the prospect of loot and glory. Besidehim sits the host and feast on either side of them the others in or del' of distincriori. bravery and wealth the and by the presence wiped out. At their king Antedios for his people. a multi-coloured brooch. Poseidonius lived among the Gauls. served up. Catuvellaunian governor an attack king.

manner bellowing.ver. from the third tended. a new governor of Suetonius Paulinus merciless punitive campaign laid waste the tribal territories. Rome briefly occupied the more northerly Antonine 500 auxiliary troopers. The lay of the ground. arms pushed the frontier of the (a most able military of It was AD84 when Julius Agricola governor. in Scotland Agricola finally stood face to face with Britain's last Celtic army. without even town occupied largely by Roman built within what had inflicted on the Celts. and the Wall. their families camping in a huge arc of wagons behind them.000 Caledonian warriors Graupius' great stood at bay somewhere near THE BRITISH CELTS Camulodunum (Colchester).ction Ltd) in the later ire. feat of engineering which lies across the country from sea to sea just south of English-Scottish border. whose tenure had been extended to allow him to pursue a series of campaigns 191 . Boudicca's Britons arrived on the field in huge numbers. the forts were abandoned building available. that legionary fort. its defences had been neglected. After the usual display of clashing arms. Petronius Turpilianus replaced the terror campaign with a more flexible and diplomatic tribal anarchy towards policy. The fighting lasted for many hours. near Lichfield.000 men and some of the pacified province took place behind the barrier of Hadrian's defenders massacred. the Celts charged the waiting cohorts. from the Rhine legions were shipped to Britain to reinforce the weakened Vexillations garrison. most substantial probably the Archaeology Scottish Highlands. hurrying over open country. to somewhere just east of where the little river Anker is crossed by Watling Street. Sheridan/AAA Celts in a way that allowed the legions and the auxiliary cavalry to cut them to pieces. soon died herself . despite the onset of winter. the warriors grayestone Colchester of a cavalryman shows fairly which in an uncontrollable mass. many suffering atrocious torture. A Finally. was sent out. They ilete scale armour ighout estones d also have been worn the later Empire. in 61. Verulamium overwhelmed procurator of Colchester. Jut their armour. The and many of the richer citizens escaped to Gaul - those who could not escape (by far the majority) were massacred. to the emperor. and the northwards leadership Inverurie debate. the great red lady of the Iceni. (St Albans) and Londinium forces (London) were by Boudicca's and put to the sack.the exact site of 'Mons defeat is subject to much scholarly loss of life. in its leather tents. The last defenders took refuge in the partly built temple of Claudius. it was burned down and the A relief force of about 2. soldiers by two volleys of javelins followed by a legionary and the tribesmen were pushed backwards. was now a veterans and their been the wall of a . it was to be more than 20 years before Roman province into the far north. was wiped out somewhere north-east Next. with Although committing his legionary infantry.tLY IMPI RI 27BC-AD235 The combined host of rebel warnors swept south. Her rebellion in ruins. even gh cavalry armour became complete . and conquered Britain began to be eased from capital oligarchy. waving swords and deep-throated were met in the textbook counter-charge. to depict packed mass of non-combatants and wagons behind their position. suggests that at one time Rome intended whatever to occupy at least part of the uncompleted. trumpeting. Under the some 30. consolidation extraordinary the modern the reason.there are conflicting claims for natural causes and poison. and the slaughter was great. Boudicca. The army was kept in the field. former capital of Cunobelinus site of the Britons' formal surrender Romanised families. Agricola Even so. and the combined to trap the try onwards . (© R. expansion) of Calgacus. Forced marches eventually brought Suetonius Paulinus and his troops back from their Welsh campaign.

Artisans..lxpJ:et and. Thehnrain nobles from among whom kings and chieftains The Druids formed also included part of the privileged the warrior class known heroin . lakes and Qt 'oak t:r. ana frontier. was to wage war and in doing so increase his personal and rule-on -all reHgio.regulate.d.TI bjituno. lll'le.the grov¢s iu1P~)].£ . O. sj.rltr !1JllPeai·~.st. both before and after the Roman 'heroic'. giving him the opportunity to demonstrate his bravery hair and complexions.sb.tndanimal rOJ.<.us questions.exte. Ce. Birds and animals held special as revered were. rank.hom taking part iusncri£ice: Whenever war breaks out and their services are required . they all take the by their retainers number and dependants of whom each noble has and fortune. tile slghi. more used to darker Diodorus sought to demonstrate his Cattle-reiving.I!eI..O~g'h to def~ or disregard ftoll1 jllgiv.·~t is.fl:uds:el~jGl~CiI. a1:.peP1atu'tal - British Celtic troops The warrior's role and status To his Roman adversaries immensely armour.t'<1n:t "erel~lOliies.aud.e:£ p:eJ.:giltttdl. fastness of Scotland remained the last free refuge of the Celtic people THE CELTIC OTHERWORLD l$itui\J 3n'(1 spiri..leed. animal. who extolled song.as. Anyone foolharcly eE.the warnior hem who·sq. @11 'c.edall .mduQtam an31 :S8yiug was inrbued wlmits most O"lWl partieula» sp'ttiL Tree:s and watercourses were. a terrible barbarian: into huge in stature.had judges 'who.a.ex1stedthi:ougho.u¥' l:lCfween h~l'Iilan .b:1g -to Cacis'ar the 11e:aviest:pl\njshm!.dhigh. Celtic society was made up of extended grouped together to form territorially . and conflict blurred andIll defined. the Celtic warrior wealth and status in his appearance Romans.qre thfn likdy tfr~t 911 eqtiiv. TIle' 'GalaHans.Cfs. to wounds and wielding with which to take heads of his enemies..n" hogs acres Europe have revealed titual objects.theJ.\ejnfJ:kted oil a Qau.rrdea whole 'tribes. outlandish. took pI <\tie. a low-intensity point slave-raiding warfare that permeated Celtic society. weapons noel j'~we!lef)" to anin'laLan8J1ltman sacrifice'S. the highland of Britain.tI1espJ~jt M a:'pa:~ti't\ll¥ believed tlrat he would be granted 'fhe same qualities as the revered of the'gpcls arid the'~de"cl exiited WHS' oftel1 Celtic society.!liiU:pu ld !.soffiei~ role Was. which especially blacksmiths only in Britain and G~u1.Eor .i\<Y.~. ~11. based tribes. have reinforced elite whose including this image. he was the antithesis of the drilled and disciplined soldiers of the . were also regarded as men of art.. surrounded a greater possession or smaller according to his birth of such a following is the only criterion of influence and power that they recognise.U. public and pd xatj':. families or clans that were by a king Ne:itb.asp!.:l1tt.ullJlt . t mediators with the-gods.l'se'. the and armour. within sacred while rivers.lnfl.clllljnlstra[oli1i of ~ iba·1Jaw. bards.worn by the Celtic nobles to emphasise te at file'. in Ireland as 'men of art'. -onchanred beast ls a common theme in Welsh and Irish legend. 'TIl.whqsV'n"fu1: t-..~tatuS':ashe. £ol'ces' by means ofdivination.tb. 'The.allj [9 a Druid's tilling was in the eyes of his peers. These were usually governed were taken.Lth~r(tY' was bo(b ~Plrjtua] an:q civil. fgi( Silk.tlie Celtic worM.6'£ tlle ~"<irrrbJ. has often been described spent in an environment together as of by a warrior Rich grave goods.held to-be espechill~sacred.':V€lq.fica~\c~~00. The role of the Celtic warrior reputation Druid a\. d&bi!'f. strong impervious and the Celtic warrior bloodthirsty beyond was the archetypal description.e:¢S GiiUe. ..~ris oj trib:~L\t:r.: the raven and j!jic dql?' l:{y "do. Real power lay with a smaller council of leading were chosen.tir wf\s.sacrjRce. fair-haired To the and for the young warrior.ol!ld wh1l<.ut assjsted the trjbalJeadets.ptiirg thesyrllbol. .idt.n:lle. J)2. andas to. 1'J1e ElI W::lUi(H' w:aa 50a'l.reu. Such conflicts and by the quality of his dress and equipment.the cbi1.92 193 .worshjp 'of the Sods.m.W~te . Lnaking the two worlds or high chief.d'drunN{je. The su.)f w6rl~ 0.:i6)(:!i.l:td !)jVQ~<\J~g by .dividing one from 'the other and legends.s stpQd tiie Orhery. perpetual myths dominated conflict. later But TH E IHUTlSH CELTS made forays into Caledonia in response to pressure ou the northern in general.lIni!'lJ: fer specific quairties. battle without the Charging sword was 'aU av. Celts seemed strange skill at weapons-handling Siculus describes them at some length: . finery . Most decisions assembly by a popular the J. Appearance and dress Appearance and vendetta between clans and tribes formed provided the basis of a starting and Both on the field of battle and away from it. often in pairs.. ::J. ..)nl ias:.l..ing period. The others as unclean acco~G.:):djiion.(:iT i\)~lvi9 ua Is. warfare with later played an The evetyd)j.and theOtherworld side by side.llapmo'~!l'. J:angj:qgctrolll.'s life.)opgrratt!' wi tli the Q:ltjc\V{Q{i'l Known aefiniteJ.example. control s'wernatural The:pruitj.r.$u. lives were weapons Indeed. lie::ls.men .C stoq ~tnwittingly iaeo of At the lowest level.etl by field.9und h:iru:' eyet~ r~¢e 'and i·l.v ::lay ruJ.t111n.weapons who manufactured not only everyday tools but also much of the their wealth and and jewellery . Most C011llll0111y regarded nO. . feJ'oeky and iiclelit)f.i'j:aiii ctel}tures I~ei:e r(!\leted by ihew.tuaL bdi.n. essential part in the maintenance of the very structure of Celtic society itself.h as valour. Caesar wrote: Iixc0mmLlr1:i~ated. or at least endorsed.y class of all the free men of the tribe..AltLY EIVtPIRE 27BCAD235 Wall between emperors the Firths of Clyde and Forth during the second century AD. Roman cohort. 'Caesar wrote: and other metalworkers. nevertheless m. pursuing :l'p~e.

not only by nature but also because of their custom of accentuating it by artificial means. If the first horseman would a Celt would protected have desired or felt the need to do so. and his strength would be enhanced that should be it rider with one fall. use of both horse and rider. had a practical a degree the protection Lime-washing benefit as well. the Celtic and breeches.:ARLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 :hariot . believed to protect the sacred symbolism of the swirling forms on his face. these attendants was killed. they also wear striped cloaks [94 195· .. and heavy . by the time of Claudius' The Catuvellauni of most of south-east symbolism and such hair was probably thus invoking by force. others let it grow. This is a coin showing (© R. and stiffened disadvantage The cavalry Tacitus wrote that the main strength also experienced in rearing of the Celts lay in their infantry. well made and of wool or linen. remained application caused burning to the scalp and the hair to fall hair. Sheridan/ Ltd) this animal as their totem. It was almost certainly Despite their reputation average for being tall. and white of skin. They wash their hair in lime-water then pull it back so that it differs little from a horse's mane. The highest-status with gold thread. hair is interesting worn was several centimetres of the spiritual who had adopted horse goddess. control England leader were the most height for a man was 1. rings of great value.heridan/AAA From contemporary descriptions and from the fragments of textiles recovered from graves a fair idea may be gained of the clothes worn by the Celtic warrior. Of all the Celtic jewellery. The reference of the horse. Most items were nobles. dyes used.T: fastened by a brooch on the shoulder. However. The average shorter. AAA Collection the hair. the individual. Colours. believing the second attendant was injured. full benefit was still made of the or horse. Collection such of the (© R . their bodies with woad. ensuring other. with rippling muscles. and of various hues. bronze an indication or iron according to the in some wealth of the wearer. a plant from which a deep blue dye was extracted. skilled riders. archaeological remains seem to indicate that the however.7m (5ft 7ins). tall of body.JTISH CEL. Siculus again: They amass a great quantity of gold which is used for ornament not only by the women but also by the men. If the horse would bring the horseman a by his totem. The cavalry combination was of light-armed enough more in was. The clothing embroidered they wear in various is striking colours . dominant the tribe in seized the necklaces of solid gold. whose clothes were however bright when often embroidered also wore some silk. The tore could be of gold. new. with perhaps Caruvcllauni expedition Britain invasion. to lime-washed height for Romans. s this one from Somme-Bionne in which are set checks. once again.rovide tatus or cart burials an indication of the deceased. since the process of protection from blows coarsened The revered for their courage. To the Romans in the eyes of the Roman commentators although it Despite Caesar the fact that Julius did not mention tribe on his to Britain. colourful. one of the was injured. Each horseman as prestige animals had two attendants. Ltd) THE BP. skirmishing a common employed although for the Celts it was probably such as the ambush Dress Diodorus Siculus had this to say about how the Celts dressed: specific circumstances enemy rather of an unsuspecting than in open battle. Catuvellaunian the horsemotif.. Some of them shave their beard. When the horseman behind the ranks. although himself to be but if the horseman out. would' fade quickly because of the vegetable Celtic love of display warrior to announce and ornament was emphasised Diodorus by the jewellery worn by the his wealth and status. they were and also and using horses. would was engaged with the enemy. and even gold corselets. infantry practice. It was also difficult it is unlikely adequately British tattoomg for the warrior to wear a helmet with lime-washed attendants replace him.tunics which have been dyed and The chariot warrior Before the development of an effective cavalry arm. it characterised the Celtic warrior to the Celts. of rank. which were regarded speed and sexual vigour. the cases ritual or religious overtones. heavy for winter and light for summer. under their Cunobelinus. Their hair is fair. They wear bracelets on their wrists and arms. help him back to camp. an even stranger spectacle due to their habit of painting or ThIS by one of the attendants These made maximum Celts presented new mount. arms and torso. close together . providing was that repeated to the head. the most impressive was the neck-ring was not unique or 'tore'. The nobles shave their cheeks but let their moustache grow until it covers their mouth. in the light by warriors of Epona.

Caledonian warriors like theone in front are said to have shown skill and courage in knocking aside Roman missiles with their long swords and small shields. than helmets. armour and equipment The bearing of arms was the right and duty of every free man in Celtic society and served to differentiate equipment him. in which many warriors on the been unearthed several of the hill forts in southern a clear indication off' their use was a major factor in the defence of these sites. description: a helmet and possibly a mail shirt. within would be caused by chariots were trampled underfoot.. contradicting Polybius' became so bent that the warrior arose over the practice had to straighten 'killing' of ritually a sword it as part of a burial ceremony or sacrifice to the gods. of the Celtic warrior. Hertfordshire. To this he could add the sword and status permitted. the sword was the weapon status and prestige.RLY EMPIRE 2TBC-AD235 the chariot the constant withdrew ready to pick him up again. . worn only by those whose wealth and Helmets were a rare sight among Celtic warriors. and it is believed that it was first invented by Celtic blacksmiths Neither though the bow or the sling featured had fallen from use in continental of Britain were in Britain. and Dancbury. Arms. in others the foreparts of birds or beasts . gathered from beaches and rivers.. could still give vent to their aggressive spirit as javelineers. many and symbol of the common warrior. flexible and with a sharp.. (Painting by Angus McBride © Osprey Publishing Ltd) precious and stones. figures in bronze skilfully made not only for They wear bronze helmets with large figures. Young men. From the end of the third century Europe.. from the unfree majority. with To carry one was to display a symbol of and scabbards were elaborately of goldand swords Traditional has proved decorated ivory-hilted The slinger (back right) represents the defenders of hill forts among the western British tribes. which give the wearer the appearance attached. nor yet strong enough to trade sword blows in the ranks of the 'assault infantry'. His stone-bag would be full of 'pebbles'<. Some of them have iron breastplates or chainmail while others fight naked. who would step down to fight hand-to-hand after an exchange of missiles. They brandish spears which have iron heads a cubit or more in length and a little less than two palms in breadth. and. while did not often use the sling or bow because they were not considered 19. warrior chariots surprised would often fight from a chariot. immediately and clearly. This is a style of combat warfare between clans or tribes than the 'total better suited to war' struggles THE BRITISH CELTS low-intensity against the Romans. deliberately Confusion bending probably cutting edge. They were worn only by noble warriors of iron mail appear for the first time in graves dating from the early third century sometime before 300BC. others are twisted so that the blow does will lacerate the wound. Some are forged straight. Archaeological were of high comments it with by quality. so the Roman invaders BC onwards BC. like the one on the ground.actually cobble-sized and water-smoothed stones of uniform weight. In some cases horns are but also for protection. Panic greatly among the weapons Vast stockpiles Britain. prestige permitted battlefield Remnants them to flaunt their status. The basic of the Celtic warrior or as wealth was the spear and shield. Mail shirts were an even rarer sight on the of the very highest status. such as Maiden Castle. of sling stones have that to find that they were still a major component of Celtic warfare the Roman to 'drop both were used to some extent in Celtic warfare. evidence strong Irish tales speak that Celtic swords swords. using skills learned in their foster-fathers' homes. weapon warrior. They carry long swords held by a chain of bronze or iron hanging on their right side . that in battle the blade quickly his foot. Dorset. of enormous size. not merely cut the flesh but in withdrawing Whilst the spear was the primary of the high-status For this metals reason. for the nobility Diodorus Siculus provides a detailed Their arms include man-sized Some of these have projecting decoration shields decorated according to individual taste. The conclusion Celtic warrior has to be that the to be a battlefield. being driven at speed towards The chariot was also used line.

The Roman On the point of robbing had the last laugh. When line the armies of battle are drawn challenge up they are wont the bravest to advance in front of the and of their opponents in single combat . His goal on the battlefield and to measure was to engage the enemy at close quarters against that of his opponent in single . clans would deploy or perhaps traditional pecking in of mob'. combat. helmet before flying threateningly resistance The will of the gods had clearly been demonstrated. When first excavated in the mouth. century BC. THE BRJTISH CELl these standards Noise As the Celtic host deployed din. supported it faced the British awful shouting and.:ARLY EMPI RE 27BC-AD23S standards topped with carved or cast figures of their animal forms. was found at Deskford often that of a wild boar. hierarchy. of the gods is revealed land on the Roman's battle the extent of the warrior's faith in the power and favour to by the utter collapse of the Celt's morale when a raven appeared towards the warrior. Each mingled for battle and caught sight of the enemy they set up a dreadful gave full voice to his war cry or battle and obscenities the sound aimed at his opponent. they recite the heroic deeds and proclaim their own valour. and killed his tormentor. Darkness) (the goddess of battle) order. line. their opponent in an attempt with spear and sword. offended. The warriors' precluded any other sense of pride option. within the accepted points. an enemy of his fighting Fighting style Deployment Polybius' 'column description of the deployment of a Celtic army on the field of battle was no mere Within tribes. themselves insults To the cacophony The carnyx was of warriors was added of the carnyx (war horn). went against in that? Celtic principles where a Celtic warrior goaded a Roman into accepting his to know who had vanquished where was the honour by the simple expedient of poking his tongue out at him. according spirit. were religious symbols. The retinues the front probably operate would group themselves the highest status warriors which was easily standing themselves as a raven or crow. his prowess To stand off and shoot at him from a distance whom. chant. Deployment entities. As with eagles of Rome... tension champions fought and either conquered The warrior needed or died in full view of their no further encouragement. both manifested Badbh was useless and he was promptly and Morrigan (the queen of as separate to an acknowledged around despatched. in a similar confrontation. Single combat As the opposing armies faced each other. in the battle line and to into battle as act as rallying the guardian deities of tribe and clan were carried L98 . The rose to new heights.not Livy wrote challenge of an incident and belittling accepts the challenge. screaming curses while defending their Druids' of holies' Anglesey in AD59. and honour. at the same time abusing to rob him of his fighting spirit. tongue strident or clapper which the vibration sound. a long horn with a head and mouth particularly century. doubtless and every warrior with taunts. In Irish myth. carnyx increased fine example in bronze in the form of an animal. had to Even an exceptionally To identify each grouping gifted commander Battle frenzy and hand-to-hand combat As the respective armies. The fear and dread that these yells their enemy were also felt by Paulinus' by the Druids and 'banshee 'holy women' on and horn-noises army when were supposed to create within force. doubtless was by tribal contingents. prominent Diodorus Siculus says: warriors would step forward and throw down a challenge. however. A in Scotland in the early 19th the Deskford probably It has been dated to the mid-first was found to have a wooden of the braying. when someone of their ancestors warrior's weapons.

By its very nature. knowledge The convictions that led the warrior to fight on and. fragility of Celtic armies and their lack of cohesion made for a fine line between success and failure. though they had weapons according in their to his character. and swoop down on the enemy. desperation soon began to set in. fled before to certain hands. They would dash out in full force. Against other Celts the battle was quickly transformed combats. and no reserve to bolster them. in his account of the battle of Mons Graupius. Despite the mad rush of the warrior and his desire to close with his opponent. You would have thought that every hair was being driven into his head. to embrace death are In the end it comes to a question of personal between client and patron.RLY EMPIRE 27BC-AD235 Romano-British bat between ection Ltd) relief from and THE BRITISH tactics were less successful. while they themselves rained volleys on us. Then the frenzy of battle came upon him. charged inferior numbers. He closed one eye until it was no wider than the eye of a needle. tells us that: The fighting began with an exchange of missiles. punching with his shield. Against the disciplined close-order units of the armies of Rome. Tacitus' account of the battle of Mons Graupius noted: and even On the British side each man now behaved Whole groups. Celtic 201 . elsewhere unarmed men deliberately death . the frenzied assault lacked all control. however. Having hurled his javelin at close range. in part by the mutual obligation obsessive desire of the warrior to gain prestige and stand well with his fellows. and perhaps frenzy of battle was upon him. and even the vanquished courage. He bared his teeth from jaw to ear and opened his mouth until his gullet could be seen. that every hair was tipped with a spark of fire. it was all or nothing. he opened the other until it was as big as a wooden bowl. The ferocity of the Celtic charge was legendary. thrusting battered his way into the with his spear or slashing with his into a series of individual sword. For him. (© R. If the first mad rush failed to cause the enemy to fall or was unable to break his line. If one section of the battle-line began to waiver it could cause uncertainty panic to spread quickly. seemingly. and the difficult for us to understand honour. The Tdin (an epic Irish heroic tale from the eighth century) contains a graphic description of the battle frenzy of the hero Cuchulainn: also his foes. There was no way that hard-pressed the fight.. The warrior's troops could be withdrawn from CELTS second century shows Romans s. Tacitus. Sheridan/AAA code of honour made it impossible The for him to stand back and watch others gain glory. now and then recovered their fury and their by their When they reached the woods they rallied and profited of the terrain to ambush their pursuers. The Britons showed both steadiness and skill in parrying our spears with their huge swords or catching them on their little shields. the Celtic warrior enemy's ranks.. explicable and appreciate.

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