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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Ancient Era

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The Ancient Era Discuss Ancient Warfare! Romans, Carthaginians, Greeks, etc.

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  #1  
Old 10 Sep 17, 00:33
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  #2  
Old 10 Sep 17, 17:19
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Romans fleeing from Britons? Bah!
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  #3  
Old 11 Sep 17, 04:44
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Romans fleeing from Britons? Bah!
Possible - the only written histories we have of the period were written by Romans for Romans who may have been just a smidgen partial.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 04:23
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Old 12 Sep 17, 12:00
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Possible - the only written histories we have of the period were written by Romans for Romans who may have been just a smidgen partial.
I don't know. Tacitus struck me as pretty candid about the ferocity and martial prowess of the Brigantes, the Silures, not to mention the Iceni. They all gave the legions a fair bit of trouble.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 12:29
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I don't know. Tacitus struck me as pretty candid about the ferocity and martial prowess of the Brigantes, the Silures, not to mention the Iceni. They all gave the legions a fair bit of trouble.
Of course he wasn't going to say they were push overs - what he does makes the Romans look even better - but he doesn't report any Roman defeats of regular Roman forces. The Icene massacred lots of civilians but they were quickly finished off when the Legions got organised. There were two battles involving the Brigante and the Silures close to where I live. After the second one the Roman commander in chief died at the Roman camp at Worcester but Tacitus is somewhat unrevealing about what happed to him but DOW is likely. The Roman's lost their cavalry commander at the previous one and again Tacitus was very discrete about this. So I would be cautious about how completely his accounts are to be trusted.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 19:58
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Of course he wasn't going to say they were push overs - what he does makes the Romans look even better - but he doesn't report any Roman defeats of regular Roman forces. The Icene massacred lots of civilians but they were quickly finished off when the Legions got organised. There were two battles involving the Brigante and the Silures close to where I live. After the second one the Roman commander in chief died at the Roman camp at Worcester but Tacitus is somewhat unrevealing about what happed to him but DOW is likely. The Roman's lost their cavalry commander at the previous one and again Tacitus was very discrete about this. So I would be cautious about how completely his accounts are to be trusted.
Tacitus did claim that Suetonius slaughtered 80,000 Britons at Watling Street while suffering only 400 casualties himself. That doesn't paint the Britons as fierce opponents or even particularly clever.

As for defeats of regular Roman forces, he reported the rout of Legio IX Hispania at Camulodunum.
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Old 13 Sep 17, 05:33
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As for defeats of regular Roman forces, he reported the rout of Legio IX Hispania at Camulodunum.
Legio IX? Roman milksops. Tungrii women sent them crying back to their Roman mothers at the battle of Asterix.
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Old 14 Sep 17, 03:31
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Old 14 Sep 17, 05:17
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if the swords were damaged then abandoning them makes more sense but the harness fittings - copper alloy would be relatively expensive and one assumes that they could be reused. In modern times the military in general have had a reputation for being a bit prodigal with material and it would seem had also been so in Roman times. Harness strap broken trooper? Toss it into the heap and draw a new harness set from the quartermaster"
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Old 14 Sep 17, 05:26
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By 120 AD though it seems the "Romans" weren't the actual Romans of centuries before..

Quote:
The Garrison at Vindolanda at this time (cAD120) was made up of a combination of peoples including the 1st Cohort of Tungrians who heralded from modern day Belgium. They were joined by a detachment of Vardulli Cavalrymen from northern Spain. It is likely that the base held more than 1000 soldiers and probably many thousands more dependants including slaves and freedmen, representing one of the most multicultural and dynamic communities on the Frontier of the Roman Empire at the time.
Perhaps in a moment of crisis they dumped their Roman gear to make a getaway ?

Such a wealth of objects and nothing in the way of human remains would suggest the post was abandoned for some reason before it was overrun.

Roman practice was to destroy and burn a camp when they left, so perhaps the burned remains hid the objects now found ?
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Old 14 Sep 17, 06:01
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Using troops from parts of the empire to police other parts is a common practice in successful empires down the ages. Indian and African troops policed large areas of the British Empire outside of their own homelands. Indeed between the end of the South African war and the outbreak of WW1 all those outbreaks of trouble that had required military intervention had been handled by Indian and African units. The Germans after Mons ascribed the fighting qualities of the BEF to it containing a large number of veterans from colonial wars when in fact it contained few if any with such experience. Likewise the Roman part of the Roman army was largely there to protect Rome.
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Old 14 Sep 17, 08:24
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No doubt - but a couple of hundred "Tungrians" (The Belgian settlement Tongeren and others, derive their name from the same root ?) would easily melt into the local population if not dressed in Roman garments ?

IS riding around in US American HVs after the Iraqi army deserted them, comes to mind as a comparison.
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Old 14 Sep 17, 08:46
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No doubt - but a couple of hundred "Tungrians" (The Belgian settlement Tongeren and others, derive their name from the same root ?) would easily melt into the local population if not dressed in Roman garments ?
Doubtful. Tribal distinctions were quite obvious in those days and some of the tribes in Britain hated each other at least as much as the Romans.
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Old 14 Sep 17, 08:59
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(...) Tribal distinctions were quite obvious in those days .
Well I wonder -

I imagine it would be much the same as Sunni Iraqi trying to dress down as a Shiite Iraqi, or growing a beard and join IS.

Doable - as long as no one thoroughly questions your identity.

Certainly - if I had to take a company of "Belgians" down from the North of Britain under these circumstances - my first order would be to dump any piece of equipment that looks remotely Roman,

except usable swords.

Which seems to fit the evidence available.

Quote:
and some of the tribes in Britain hated each other at least as much as the Romans
That's a fact.
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