Open main menu

Portal:Military of ancient Rome

Introduction

The military of ancient Rome, according to Titus Livius, one of the more illustrious historians of Rome over the centuries, was a key element in the rise of Rome over “above seven hundred years” from a small settlement in Latium to the capital of an empire governing a wide region around the shores of the Mediterranean, or, as the Romans themselves said, ‘’mare nostrum’’, “our sea.” Livy asserts

”... if any people ought to be allowed to consecrate their origins and refer them to a divine source, so great is the military glory of the Roman People that when they profess that their Father and the Father of their Founder was none other than Mars, the nations of the earth may well submit to this also with as good a grace as they submit to Rome's dominion.”

Titus Flavius Josephus, a contemporary historian, sometime high-ranking officer in the Roman army, and commander of the rebels in the Jewish revolt, describes the Roman people as if they were "born ready armed." At the time of the two historians, Roman society had already evolved an effective military and had used it to defend itself against the Etruscans, the Italics, the Greeks, the Gauls, the maritime empire of Carthage, and the Macedonian kingdoms. In each war it acquired more territory until, when civil war ended the Roman Republic, nothing was left for the first emperor, Augustus, to do except declare it an empire and defend it.

Selected article

A map of the southern Peloponnese
The Battle of Gythium was fought in 195 BC between Sparta and the coalition of Rome, Rhodes, the Achaean League and Pergamum. As the port of Gythium was an important Spartan base the allies decided to capture it before they advanced inland to Sparta. The Romans and the Achaeans were joined outside the city by the Pergamese and Rhodian fleets. The Spartans held out but one of the joint commanders, Dexagoridas, decided to surrender the city to the Roman legate. When Gorgopas, the other commander, found out he killed Dexagoridas and took solo command of the city. After Dexagoridas' murder the Spartans held out more vigorously. However, Flaminius of the allied forces arrived with 4,000 more men and the Spartans decided to surrender the city on the condition that the garrison could leave unharmed. The result of this battle forced Nabis, the tyrant of Sparta, to abandon the surrounding land and withdraw to the city of Sparta. Later that year, Sparta capitulated to the allies. The Macedonians had been defeated in the Second Macedonian War in 197 BC which left the Spartans in control of Argos. This Spartan gain was a setback for the Achaean League who had been trying to incorporate Sparta into their league for many years.


Selected biography

Statue picturing Emperor Trajan.
Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus, commonly called Trajan, lived from September 18, AD 53 to August 9, 117. He was a Roman Emperor from AD 98117. He was the second of the "Five Good Emperors of the Roman Empire". From 101-102, and then from 105-106 he launched the Dacian Wars, ending with Dacia being added to the Roman Empire as yet another province. From 113-116, he led the successful invasions of Armenia, Persia, and Mesopotamia, bringing the Empire to its greatest territorial extent. He died soon after the invasions in 117, and his adopted son Hadrian took the throne. Soon after Hadrian took the throne, he lost most of the eastern territory, yet Dacia remained a Roman province.

Did you know...

Did you know...

  • that there was a Roman saying 'It has come to the triarii' which described a desperate situation?
  • that the Colosseum's construction was funded by treasure taken from the temple of Jerusalem after the Romans sacked the city in AD 70?
  • that Hannibal Barca swore as a young child that he would never be an ally to Rome, and he upheld that oath until he committed suicide in 183 BC?
  • that the word "palace" came from the Palatine Hill in Rome? On that hill was built the palace of the Roman Emperors.
  • that the year AD 69 was a year in which Rome had four emperors, ending with Vespasian who then ruled for ten years?
  • that on the night July 18 to July 19, 64, the city of Rome suffered from a great fire? The emperor Nero blamed Christians for the fire, but some suspect that it was he who was the arsonist.
  • The Romans sufferred one of their greatest defeats in the Battle of Cannae.

Subcategories

Quotes

  • Roman, remember that you shall rule the nations by your authority, for this is to be your skill, to make peace the custom, to spare the conquered, and to wage war until the haughty are brought low., Virgil, Aeneid
  • Alea iacta est (The die is cast), reportedly said by Gaius Julius Caesar before crossing the Rubicon
  • Silent enim leges inter arma (Laws are silent in times of war), Cicero
  • War gives the right of the conquerors to impose any conditions they please upon the vanquished. , Gaius Julius Caesar
  • The outcome corresponds less to expectations in war than in any other case whatsoever, Livy
  • A bad peace is even worse than war. , Tacitus
  • Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered), Gaius Julius Caesar
  • I found Rome made of brick, I leave her clad in marble., Caesar Augustus

Related Portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database