Italia Graecia - The rise & fall of the republic of Tarentum
I'm a long-time paradox player, this is my first AAR though so please drop me a line and say what you think. Mainly play Victoria and EU3 otherwise. I'm running Rome: Vae Victus, no mods.
The Pyrrhic wars are one of the most well known conflicts in history. The first war, where the heroic Tarentean Archon-Strategos Philocaris elegantly outmanouvered the Roman army and saved the republic is of course legend, but there are a few other events where the republic of Tarentum was involved that are interesting too.... If you forgot how it happened let me refresh your memory. Let's start from the beginning.
Chapter 1: 674-676. On the first Pyrrhic war. On Philocaris & the Sicilian trap
New year, 474. Archon Philocaris recieves the long awaited message that Rome has openly attacked Tarentum and it's allies. The Epirus ambassador hastly leaves to room to get the news to his king. Philocarsis cries out: Fetch the Admiral!
With the skillful use of boats (no you didn't misread ) the Archon managed to ship 3 regiments to Samnium, forcing the whole Roman army, consisting of 26 cohorts, to turn back in pursuit. The Tarentean regiments started moving toward Roma, in hope of taking the city before the much slower Roman army could reach them. Alas the city's defences were proven to be too well organized and Tarentum was once again being marched on by the Romans.
Philocaris sent the last army to Lucania to face the enemy. He knew that he could not win, so instead of sending all his 12 regements he disbanded 8 and only sent 4. When Rome attacked the battle was so short and bloody that The Roman generals thought Tarentum was defeated, and decided to march on to Syracusae to take on the Epiruans whom so far only had terrorised the romans at sea.
Syracusae was no match for an army the size of Rome's but there was a crucial tactical failure involved in the invasion of Sicily: The roman fleet wasn't big enough to keep the Strait of Messina open and so they were cut off by the Epiruan and Tarentean fleets.
With 26 of romes cohorts trapped in Syracusae Roman lands were up for grabs, and Epiruan pirates were quick to claim the southern parts. Philocarsis however was not interested in the Roman lands but instead used the advantage to force the Roman senate to renounce their claims on what rightfully belonged to Tarentum and to force them to pay a high tribute until the end of the truce. This way, if Rome would attack again, which both he and the council was sure about, it would damage the stability and reputation of the Roman republic greatly and that would be a far better advantage than any amount of land this peace could offer.
Chapter 2 (or continuation of chapter 1, depends on how the game turns out) tomorrow.