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Thread: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

  1. #41
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    presume this means your mercantile faction are on the rise?

    nice to see a period of limited activity - was it by choice (ie there was nothing you particularly wanted to attack) or were you constrained by domestic politics etc?

  2. #42
    Natalia Poklonskaya fanboy Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    presume this means your mercantile faction are on the rise?

    nice to see a period of limited activity - was it by choice (ie there was nothing you particularly wanted to attack) or were you constrained by domestic politics etc?
    This break was intentional, for I wanted to build some Forae / Irrigation / Stockades first. With this being done and backed by 10 years of population growth, I`m ready for new adventures.

    EDIT:

    The Senate is fine. Religious and Mercantilists both somewhere in the low 30s. Populists from 35(!) down to 9 or so. I wish I could boost the Civics a bit, but with a Char-2-leader it isn`t easy.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 01-02-2011 at 08:04.

  3. #43
    Great updates!

    So now a war with a civilised nation?
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  4. #44
    AARficionado & Storyteller Demi Moderator Eber's Avatar
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    I just wanted to say I'm really enjoying this. Keep up the good work!
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  5. #45
    Natalia Poklonskaya fanboy Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Chapter X - The Sequanian Campaign (218 BC)

    A. Causes

    In the years 220/219 BC northern Italy became the scene of several battles between Rome and the Tribe of Henoichi(33), that had crossed the Alps. The Senate decided, that there should be taken measures in order to secure North Italy.

    The first step in this strategy was the foundation of the colony of Vindelicia in 219 BC. The second step was to secure the territory to the west of it, that belonged to the tribe of the Sequani.

    The Sequani were a Celtic Tribe, that originally settled along the Seine River, but then moved to the east and established the city of Vesontio(34). Only shortly before Rome expanded north, the Sequani had subdued the Helvetii, their eastern neighbors.


    Fig. 8: The Alps in late 219 BC


    Rome continued with its preparations for the campaign, probably without trying to negotiate with the Sequani King, a man called Galan.

    B. Progress

    Little is known about this campaign. And maybe nobody had deemed it worth a notice, if the Consul Publius Junius Bubulcus hadn`t decided to personally lead it.

    As far as we know, he split the Legio II and deployed one half in Vindelicia and the other in Allobroges. The campaign started in January 218 BC and by May all Sequanian settlements were captured. There is a note about a small field battle in the vicinity of the Sequanian capital, but the source reveals nothing besides the fact, that Rome won(35).

    C. Result

    "At some point, Rome became victim of both its imperialistic impetus and its paranoia. The result was, that they started to hunt a Chimera: The illusion of a safe border."(36)

    As little as is known about the campaign of 218 BC, it is part of the basic position for Fritsche`s theory, that is widely accepted within the academia today. Rome began to search for a boundary between Republic and Non-Republic (or, in other terms, civilization/barbarity respectively resident/nomadic population)(37). But throughout its history Rome had to learn, that no mountain was high, no river wide and no building stable enough to keep a determined opponent from crossing it.

    In its desperation, Rome began to advance and search for more safe borders, when the old ones proved to be not satisfactory. But considering, that there is always the "other side" of a border, this strategy could have been successful only, if they had reached the end of the world.


    (33) After intense research, modern historiography is not able to verify this Tribe. There are several theories about their origin, ranging from today`s Austria to Poland. Some historians even state, that this migration and the consequential battles never happened and were invented to justify the following events a posteriori.
    (34) Today Besancon
    (35) This lack of reports leads historians to the conclusion, that Rome could execute its plan without any serious resistance and that their casualties were small.
    (36) E.W. Fritsche; "The imperial paradox"; Pg. 117
    (37) It is a strange, but interesting coincidence, that Qin Shi Huang, First Emperor of China, simultaneously began to build his Great Wall from 220 - 206 BC for the very same reasons.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 01-02-2011 at 22:54.

  6. #46
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    aye, empires are notoriously paranoid, both about threats (real or imagined) and the ongoing conviction that in some way those conquered are still having more fun than their conquerors do

    I really like the way you're doing this, you've hidden the actual game behind the narrative in a very clever way

  7. #47
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    Little known? 'I dowed, I attacked, I won, I annexed'?

  8. #48
    NOP-field present Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    The Rhine was a decent border for a long time, until the Romans began the infighting in earnest and focused more on the eastern part of their empire then the west.


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  9. #49
    Natalia Poklonskaya fanboy Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qorten View Post
    The Rhine was a decent border for a long time, until the Romans began the infighting in earnest and focused more on the eastern part of their empire then the west.
    Correct, but I guess you get my point. Of course rivers / mountains are decent borders

    a. If one can defend them
    b. There is no massive migration of desperate / combative tribes pushing against it.

    That leads to a lot of "what if"-Scenarios such as "What if the Huns had arrived three centuries earlier and a f***load of Tribes had pushed across Rhine and Danube?". I don`t like such scenarios, since they are highly speculative. But I also don`t like to take the course of history as an unavoidable path instead of a result of certain decisions / events that could have easily had a different outcome.

    The long and the short of it: These natural borders are an improvisation and their practical effect results out of other factors than their sheer existence.

  10. #50
    Natalia Poklonskaya fanboy Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Chapter XI - The Republic during the 3rd Century (280 - 200 BC)

    A. Territorial and economical developments in the late 3rd Century (218 - 200 BC)

    After the Campaign versus the Sequani, Rome returned to a policy of expansion via colonization. The last years of the Century saw a considerable amount of new colonies being founded in Gaul (Lingones 217, Ruteni 215), Dalmatia (Histri 215, Liburni 215, Maezaei 206, Breuci 204) and along the coast of the Black Sea (Tomis 212, Piephigi 204).

    These new colonies made sure, that the Roman territory, that was divided into three separate pieces until then, was now a unified landmass. Thus, it was possible to travel within the Republic without having to rely on sea transport or passing tribal areas.

    This had several beneficial effects. The most important of them being the fact, that the Republic had become a coherent economic zone, that enabled a steady flow of goods and an increased income from taxes for the state(38).

    A consequence of this development were increased investments into economical infrastructure. Especially the exploitation of mineral deposits within the Republic experienced a significant boost during this period.

    B. The structure of the Roman Legion

    We have little knowledge about the structure of the Roman Legion prior to 280 BC. The few available sources draw a picture of a little standardized unit consisting of a varying amount of light and heavy Infantry, supported by some Archers.

    This changed after the Pyrrhic War with the so-called "Cornelian Reforms"(39). They gave the Legion a uniform structure, that was maintained during the whole Century for all Roman units. Further Army reforms in the late Century were a provisional ending to a series of standardizations concerning drill, equipment, rules of engagement and other issues.

    We know, that a "Cornelian Legion" consisted of 20 Cohorts. 12 of them were Principes, heavy infantry armed with a spear(40) and armored with a shield and usually a chainmail including a helmet. The Principes were the offensive part of the Legion.

    The more defensive parts were the Archers, that were organized into 5 Cohorts (cohors sagittariorum), and the 3 Cohorts of Cavalry (Equites), who had to protect the own or threaten the enemy flanks.

    In 200 BC, the Roman Republic fielded seven Legions.


    Fig. 9: The Roman Republic in 200 BC
    (I - VII: Legionary Camps)


    There are just few sources concerning the roman Navy. Most of these reports address pirate activities in the Strait of Otranto, that flared up throughout the Century. Although the data base is very sparse, it is assumed, that the roman Navy didn`t exceed 50 Triremes at any point of time.

    C. The structure of the Roman society

    Rome had a three-class society, with the citizens being the highest class. Being a citizen (Civis) was connected with several rights like the right to vote, getting elected, concluding contracts or having a trial when being prosecuted.

    Beneath the citizen came the freemen. They had a considerably worse legal status than the citizens and had to pay higher taxes.

    The lowest class consisted of the Slaves. A slave (Servus) was not considered to be a human, but a thing. Thus, he had no rights at all and was part of his owner`s property. Originally, there were two ways to become a Slave. Firstly as a kind of debt bondage. The second and more important source for slaves were prisoners of war in the course of the ongoing roman conquests. Although even children of slaves became slaves themselves, there were several ways to be released.

    After 280, the conquest of the Greek and Illyrian cities initiated an upheaval within the roman societal structure. The inhabitants of these provinces had no citizenship but a large slave population themselves. Thus, the percentage of citizens of the overall population dropped significantly. Since the citizens were the most productive class due to their legal status, measures had to be taken to counter this development. So, in 263 BC, the Senate passed the Lex Gellia et Cornelia, that entitled the Governors to grant citizenship to those "deemed worthy".

    This law made immediate impact and slowly increased the share of citizens again. The drawback was, that the share of freemen decreased, while the share of slaves rapidly increased. This was a threat to social peace, since the freemen were the recruitment pool for Rome`s legions, while an increasing share of Slaves meant higher risk of slave rebellions. Thus, the Senate passed the Lex Sempronia Agraria, that banned debt bondage, eased release of slaves and granted small properties for farming to freemen and freed slaves.

    The success of these laws is still debated(41), but in fact they changed roman society and opened new possibilities even for naturalized foreigners(42).


    (38) Again, there are no solid figures available concerning the annual tax revenues, but most estimations amount to approximately 1.800 attic Talents.
    (39) Named after Publius Cornelius Rufinus, Consul during the term 275 - 273 BC.
    (40) The hastae, that had a length of about 1,8 meters (6 feet).
    (41) The problem to validate the effect of these laws is, that due to the further expansion of the Roman Republic into Hellenic territories with their large slave population plus the weak available data base all estimations are very inaccurate, although some reports seem to indicate, that the share of citizens continuously increased.
    (42) In 232 BC Tertius Boazus Peregrinus was appointed Governor of Magna Graecia. His father, Yair Boazid, came as refugee to Rome in 253 BC after the collapse of the short-living Kingdom of Judea.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 04-02-2011 at 22:59.

  11. #51
    NOP-field present Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    Carthage conquered Epirus? You are going to have to do something about them sooner rather then later. How did they do in Iberia?


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  12. #52
    Natalia Poklonskaya fanboy Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qorten View Post
    Carthage conquered Epirus? You are going to have to do something about them sooner rather then later. How did they do in Iberia?
    You`ll get a hint in the next update. And I know you`ll love it.

  13. #53
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    Citizens are not drafted into army?
    Why not?

  14. #54
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    nice update about hte army and soiciety .. but that is one scary green blob to your south (& west ... & east?)

  15. #55
    Natalia Poklonskaya fanboy Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Chapter XII - The 2nd Tylic War (199 BC)

    A. Causes

    In the late 3rd Century Rome monitored suspiciously the developments in the east, especially in Asia Minor. Already in the 270`s BC, Pontus had conquered Bythinia and Pergamon and thus established a dominant position in northern Asia Minor.

    Another disturbing fact was the continuing domestic crisis within the Seleucid Empire after the last Seleucid-Egyptian War of 248 - 233 BC. A succession conflict got out of control and destabilized the whole Empire. While the successors fought each other in the Seleucid heartland, some governors along the periphery of the Empire took the opportunity to declare their independence and established their own countries and thrones.

    Fig. 10: Greece and Asia Minor in 200 BC


    Thus, Pontus` position within Asia Minor improved even more to an almost hegemonic status. Rome observed this closely and finally realized, that the Bosporus was an essential strategic position, that had to be secured in order to hinder Pontus to gain a stronger position on European soil(43).

    Another reason for Rome to advance toward the Propontis was the desolate state of Tylis. The Kingdom didn`t recover from its defeat in the first Tylic War. Reports from roman Diplomats draw a picture of an underdeveloped, economically struggling country ruled by an incompetent and lethargic King.

    Finally it was an advantageous moment to strike. Although Pontus was the dominant local power, it was still involved in its long-time feud with Carthage(44). Thus, Rome began to advance in early 199 BC without officially declaring war.

    B. Progress

    Tylis was still completely defenseless. Nevertheless Rome deployed two Legions along the Tylic border. The V. in Suci and the VII. in Taulanti.

    Fig. 11: Tylis in 200 BC


    While the only contribution of the V. Legion was to occupy Triballi and then return to its original position(45), the VII. Legion under the command of Caelus Fabius Licinus marched from Taulanti eastward. In early Autumn 199 BC it reached Tylis, the capital in Thracia. Shortly after the Tylic King surrendered.

    The War was over, yet Rome didn`t annex the whole country, but only reduced it to the province of Thracia, while Paeonia, Maedi and Triballi were incorporated into the Republic.

    C. Results

    The Second Tylic campaign was, just like the first one, rather unspectacular from a tactical point of view. The only reason, why historians still pay attention to it, is the question: Why didn`t Rome liquidate the whole country?

    The obvious reason was, of course, the simultaneous and dramatic events to the west (see Chapter XIII). From a certain point of view it may have been logical for the Senate to not completely advance toward the Bosporus and thus stand face-to-face with Pontus, while a serious threat in the west of the Republic wasn`t repelled yet.

    Nevertheless it was one of the few strategic mistakes in roman history, since the Senate abandoned to achieve the strategic goal for which the war had been started in the first place.


    (43) Pontus already controlled the southern Peloponnese since its war with the Achaean League 263 - 249 BC.
    (44) The so-called "Centennial War", that started in 250 BC, when Carthage attacked Macedonia from its position in Epirus. Pontus supported Macedonia and after two years Epirus and all Carthaginian Isles in the Mediterranean were occupied by Pontus. But for reasons, that can`t be validated until now, there had still been no peace treaty negotiated in 200 BC.
    (45) This marginal role was probably intentional. Even the Name of the Commander is unknown.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 05-02-2011 at 16:55.

  16. #56
    Black Hound of Han Enewald's Avatar
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    Let me guess, ahistorical game mechanics?
    Buffer between Pontus?

  17. #57
    Natalia Poklonskaya fanboy Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Let me guess, ahistorical game mechanics?
    Good guess.

  18. #58
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    Chapter XIII - The Gaul War (199 - 197 BC)

    A. Gaul history (280 - 200 BC)

    In the beginning of the 3rd Century BC, a large part of today`s France showed a considerable low level of population density and societal structure. On the other hand, about a dozen tribes had managed to organize themselves into an early civilization with hierarchical structures and first cities.

    During the next decades, a concentration process took place similar to the one in Italy in the 5th / 4th Century BC, when these Tribes strived to gain a dominant position and to subdue their neighbors. Around 250 BC, three major Tribes were left.

    To the north, in today`s Belgium, the Eburones. Their southern neighbors, dominating the Paris Basin, were the Parisii(46). Further to the south, in the Massif Central and to the southwest of it, lived the Arverni.

    The next decades were shaped by the massive struggle between the Parisii and the Arverni. At the end of the Century, around 220 BC, the Parisii had conquered all settlements of the Arverni and ruled over most parts of northern and central Gaul.

    Fig. 12: Gaul in 200 BC


    In the course of the Sequani-Campaign, the Parisii came in touch with Rome, and this neighbourship seems to have been tense from the start. There are reports about small border incidents during the first Tylic War, but the situation escalated during the Second Tylic War, when a massive Parisian force entered roman territory(47).

    B. The early conflict

    During the year 199 BC, Rome seemed to have taken no offensive steps and had their focus on defending the roman territory. Sutonius, the most believable Annalist for this campaign, reports about two large battles in central and southern Gaul, that were won by Rome, although probably at great cost.

    In early 198, after the end of the Second Tylic War, Rome decided to take the initiative. The Legio II. and Legio IV. advanced into enemy territory.

    C. Midar

    "...Phyleus Zoticid advanced along the Midar with a mountain range to his right. After a week he reached a ford, that was defended by a small Gaul troop. Zoticid decided to push across the ford with the 3rd and 4th Cohort...(battle description with the roman Cohorts defeating the Gauls)...against the advice of his Tribunes and the primus pilus Tertius Secundus he decided to pursue the enemy. He dissolved the marching order and let the vanguard depart too far ahead...(the vanguard and the baggage train are ambushed, the terrain and bad weather hinder effective countermeasures and the Cohorts begin to disband)...the remnants of the Legion in order to make their way back to the friendly territory, but the Gaul Leader pursued them and they faced repeated attacks and ambush while retreating...(the Legion is completely wiped out, the few survivors arrive in Ruteni, the Legate among them)...and so the infamy of the Gauls and the wrath of the Gods destroyed the bloom of roman youth and the Republic suffered its most dreadful catastrophe."(48)

    The destruction of the Legio IV Martia, an unit with a history of 50 years, in the south of France is one of the most debated and best-known events throughout roman history. The first problem was to locate the scene of the battle. Several rivers in southern France were identified as Midar, until a fortunate discovery revealed the probable location.(49)

    The second thing was to reconstruct the events. As far as we know today, Zoticid wanted to march toward Cadurques(50). It is still a debatable fact, if Sutonius was right, that Zoticid dissolved the marching order. But the findings of the last 20 years lead to the conclusion, that there was indeed a large battle with two focus areas around Arcambal. Further findings were made eastwards along the Lot, who seem to indicate, that the survivors of the Battle tried to retreat. A final large place of discoveries is near Cajarc. Probably the Legion disbanded there and the retreat turned to a rout, but most Legionaries didn`t made it back.(51)

    D. End of the conflict

    After the catastrophe at the Midar, Rome deployed the Legio I to Gaul in order to resume the Offensive(52).

    The new commander, Marcus Fabius Buteo, decided to slowly wear down the Gaul Leader(53). There were several battles, when the Gaul Leader tried to adopt a hit-and-run-tactic. Although he suffered no decisive defeat and caused casualties for the Roman troops, Marcus Fabius limited his room to move.

    A further unfortunate development for Gabinius was, that the tribe of the Senones(54) pushed into the Massif Central and seized former Parisian territory, while the Tribe of the Aulerci seized the opportunity to dissolve its union with the Parisii. Being outnumbered, Gabinius finally abandoned southern Gaul and retreated to the north, while the Roman troops occupied the area of the Arverni, Cadurci and the Lemovices.

    Fig. 13: Gaul in late 197 BC


    E. Result

    The "Celtic menace", always a trauma in Rome`s collective consciousness, was suddenly urgent with the defeat and destruction of the Legio IV. In the aftermath, Rome developed a concept for rationalizing such a catastrophe, that was further applied in the future.

    Although he probably had to be blamed for this, Phyleus Zoticid faced no serious penalty in order to not discredit the military leadership per se(55). Instead, topoi as weather, terrain, deceit of the enemy and lacking grace of the gods were listed as key reasons.

    Throughout the Republic, massive sacrificial rituals were held to appease the gods (and the population). A more this-worldly effect of the War was the immediate deployment of the new Legio VIII Gallica to southern Gaul.

    Finally, this War shattered the Parisian territory, the largest unified Gaul realm so far.


    (46) Their largest village was Lutetia, today`s Paris.
    (47) There is a theory, that Parisii and Tylis had contacts, since these coincidences of roman engagement in the southeast and Parisian aggression in Gaul are very conspicuous. LeClaire refuted it in his impressive study "Decline of pre-roman cultures in Gaul" and refers to the impossibility of coordinated actions due to lack of communication tools, cultural and language barriers and the complete absence of any evidence for such a link between Gaul and the Balkans. However, he admits, that it is possible that the Parisii tried to exploit the situation, since they could have learned that Rome was engaged in a distant part of their territory and thus maybe weak in Gaul.
    (48) Sutonius, "Annals", Vol. XXXI
    (49) Two hobby archaeologists discovered the today well known site of Arcambal near the Lot-River in 1991.
    (50) The capital of the Tribe of the Cadurci. Today Cahors.
    (51) Estimations amount to a maximum of 500 soldiers with Zoticid among them.
    (52) This was an act of desperation and a Vabanque-Game as well. With the Legio IV being destroyed and the Legio I in Gaul, the whole Iberian and Germanic border was more or less unguarded.
    (53) Sutonius calls him Gabinius, but his real name is unknown.
    (54) The Senones were originally a gaulish tribe in middle Italy, who were driven out of their territory by Rome in the early 3rd Century. A branch of them migrated to Gaul and settled down at the mouth of the Loire, before they invaded the Massif Central in 198/197 BC.
    (55) Zoticid was of greek/massilian descent and this campaign his first command. In the aftermath he was assigned to an insignificant post and he died two years later, maybe due to a suicide.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 06-02-2011 at 18:17.

  19. #59
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    What military skill did he have? And how was the enemy army? Larger?

  20. #60
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    A very good update. I've seen it myself that it's often highly risky to pursue a beaten army to another province, certainly if the army you're pursueing arrives in their own territory.


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