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Thread: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

  1. #141
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    Chapter XXVII - The Greek War (113 - 112 BC)

    A. Greece and Asia Minor 191 - 114 BC

    When the remnants of the Tylic realm were destroyed in 191 BC, most parts of the Hellenic world were still in turmoil. The Seleucid Empire recovered rather slowly from decades of war, civil war and secessionist movements. The Kingdom of Macedonia experienced a major societal shift and was transformed into a Republic with political institutions similar to Rome in the early 180s BC.

    The winner of this situation was the Ptolemaic Egypt, the most stable of the successor states. So, when the Seleucid Empire regained strength in the 170s and managed to subdue Galatia and parts of Osroene, Egypt had expanded its influence along the today Turkish coast from Xanthos(124) to Antioch(125).

    In mainland Greece, the uproar in Macedonia lead to the secession of the Aetolian cities, who tried to establish an Independant League, but were soon seized by the Achaean League to the south.


    Fig. 32: Greece and Asia Minor in 114 BC


    In the 160s and 150s BC, the remaining independent countries in the eastern Mediterranean formed several Alliances. When Egypt and Seleucia settled a stable peace and finally signed a Treaty, the smaller powers desperately searched Allies in order to not become the victim of a stronger coalition. In the 40 years prior to the Greek War, no major conflict in the area is known(126).

    B. Cause of the conflict

    In 116 BC, Marcus Cornelius Rufinus, one of the greatest politicians in roman history, died. His rival Aulus Postumius Albinus immediately took advantage on this political vacuum and gathered more support for his expansionist plans, that focused toward Greece in general and the Achaean League in particular.

    The following events are an example of how roman politics worked. In 114 BC, he presented the so-called "Agrigentum Letter"(127) to the Senate and constructed a Cretan menace, calling their attempt to gain a foothold on Sicily in 167 BC to mind.

    The result was, that the Senate approved a military expedition to "punish" Crete. But the real intention was to provoke the Achaean League, that was the only Ally of Crete at that time. Since Rome had rather friendly relations toward the League and thus could not declare war on them without losing its face, Aulus Postumius pursued an indirect approach to drag the League into a war by attacking its Ally.

    C. Crete

    The Cretan campaign was significantly short. The XIII. Legion disembarked on the island, destroyed the small Cretan force and after a siege of five months, Gortyn, the Crete capital, surrendered in summer 113 BC.

    Since the official reason of the war was to defeat Crete, the war was over. But during these months, the Achaean League had, as planned, declared war on Rome, so the peace negotiations on Crete were deliberately stalled to gain advantage of the situation on the mainland.

    D. Lafissiai and Perachorae

    For reasons still unknown, the campaign in Greece started not before Crete was seized. Probably in August 113 BC, Rome send two Legions (VI. and XV.) under the command of Tiberius Julius Libo, what rendered to be a poor decision.

    Tiberius decided to split his force, although he knew about the strength and capability of the Greek force. In a first encounter, the XV. Legion had to leave the battlefield at considerably high cost. Tiberius, who commanded the other Legion, marched north into Aetolia to unite his troops. This happened in early autumn near the village of Lafissiai. A few days later, the pursuing Greek Army appeared and on the next day the two forces engaged.

    When the day was over, Rome had suffered one of the major defeats in its history. The two roman Legions, already not at full strength, suffered probably losses of about 50%(128). Tiberius` sole achievement was to retreat in order to the east.

    Since it was already late in the year, the Greek commander Agathocles did not pursue the remaining force and set up winter camps. In the next months, Rome deployed the most massive troop concentration in the history of the Republic. The two defeated Legions retreated into the Argolis, while the VII., X. and XIII. Legions were directed to Thessaly(129).

    During spring 112 BC, Tiberius Julius, who remained in command, marched with the whole force to Aetolia. Agathocles, being outnumbered, retreated south into Achaea, while Aetolia was quickly seized. Tiberius marched south. Agathocles, realizing that he had to defend the homeland, chose to engage Tiberius at the eastern end of the Gulf of Corinth near Perachorae.

    The battle of Perachorae is one of the largest battles in the ancient world(130) and one of the most uninspiring. The size of the Armies was, according to several descriptions, only outmatched by the lack of originality of their commanders. Both of them chose to simply attack with all available forces, so the battle quickly degenerated into a simple butchery. That Rome finally won the Battle was to a lesser extent result of Tiberius` superior skills than of the simple fact, that he had more men he could sacrifice. At the end of the day, probably up to 30.000 soldiers were dead(131) and Agathocles forced to retreat.


    Fig. 33: The Achaean League during the Greek War


    Tiberius advanced to Patras, the League`s capital, and took it by storm without showing mercy toward the civil population. Outnumbered, defeated and faced with roman brutality, the League surrendered to Rome and was conquered, just like Crete before.

    E. Results

    The Greek War is source for a multitude of unanswered questions, such as the incomprehensible inactivity in the Hellenic world. The inability of the Hellenic states to counter this obvious roman advance into their cultural homeland as well as Macedonia`s support to this cause will remain a mystery and are considered to be the writing on the wall by many historians.

    Fact is, that Rome gained a strong position in mainland Greece and the eastern Mediterranean as base for further operations in the future.


    (124) The city was abandoned in the 7th Century AD, but an impressive ruined city, that is a World Heritage Site since 1988, still remains
    (125) Today Antakya.
    (126) In his famous and still readable book "Political Stalemates in ancient Greece" published in 1952, Hopkins established the Theory, that this was rather a period of paranoid fear than harmonic coexistence. The urge to form tight political networks lead to a system of Alliances, where one major conflict between two even small countries had probably lead to an "Hellenic World War" in the whole region.
    (127) A rather harmless message from a leading person at Crete`s court to the Greeks on Sicily, where he advises them to maintain Greek culture instead of completely assimilate themselves.
    (128) Probably up to 20.000 soldiers.
    (129) This implicates an agreement between Rome and Macedonia concerning free passage and residence. According to roman sources, the Legions were even supplied by Macedonia. A lot of historians have debated about why Macedonia supported Rome in this case and allowed it to gain a strong position in Greece, but there is no evidence for a precise answer.
    (130) Rome fielded between 80.000 to 90.000 soldiers, while Agathocles is considered to have between 40.000 to 50.000 under his command.
    (131) Although there are no exact numbers, Rome`s casualties were probably higher than those of the League.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 08-03-2011 at 12:12.
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  2. #142
    So its like in real life then?

    The romans win because they can (and are willing to) suffer bigger casualties.
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  3. #143
    Lt. General Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Kind of. Rome is by far "too big to fail" already. Let`s take a look at the numbers.



    If Egypt and Carthage would gang up on me, it would be an epic war. Otherwise these guys are goner.
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  4. #144
    Now i remember, didnt you say that it would become messy? This update isn't messy at all. I mean loosing 20k troops isn't that bad for Rome is it?
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    yes, I mean messy is when you get arrested by a group of shepherds when you arrive in the country having tried to be too clever with your invasion plan ... its not just turning up and massacring everyone, thats more .... well a bit yucky.

    so all your manouvres in the west have really paid off, if Rome is in a position to start chewing its way into the east, with only one potential alliance as a major threat ... very impressive
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  6. #146
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    By ancient standards though, isn't losing 30k people in one battle fairly messy? Interesting update - there doesn't seem to be anything that cause the fall of the Roman Republic at the moment...
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  7. #147
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    How long did the butcherings last?
    Months?

  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middelkerke View Post
    Now i remember, didnt you say that it would become messy? This update isn't messy at all. I mean loosing 20k troops isn't that bad for Rome is it?
    We are a little bit bloodthirsty, are we? Total casualties about 3k on Crete + 20k in 113 + 15k in 112 = 38.000 (plus an unknown amount due to attrition). Plus 5 ships in a not-that-glorious sea battle (forgot to assign a commander to the fleet ). But their combined fleet of 23 ships did not survive long.

    there doesn't seem to be anything that cause the fall of the Roman Republic at the moment...
    The inevitable fall will come at the end of the game, when the Republic is turned into an Empire. But "Rise of the Roman Republic and its Transition into something else a few years prior to first Christmas" would have been too long a thread title.

    How long did the butcherings last? Months?
    You mean the whole campaign? The battles were between August-Oktober in 113 and in May 112. I needed some months break, so the two Legions could receive reinforcements and the other three Legions could reach their base in Thessaly.

    And my judgement about the two commanders is absolutely correct. I`ve had no good commander and Tiberius was the best with Mil 6. But he still received a +0,5 modifier during the battle, so Agathocles must have been Mil 5.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 08-03-2011 at 15:27.
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  9. #149
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    Considering you apparently have about 400 manpower, 30-40k Roman losses aren't that bad, but in reality it would have been huge of course. Macedonia next?


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  10. #150
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    Chapter XXVIII - Last resistance in the west (103 BC)

    A. Situation

    "In the second year of the Consulate of Tiberius Sinatus, Marcus Sempronius was send to the King of the Senones to gain King Togodumnus as friend and ally of Rome. Marcus Sempronius traveled to Bibracte, the chief village of the Senones and was received by the King. When he heard the fair and just proposition, he reacted proud and stubborn, offended Marcus Sempronius and the Republic and let him run out of town."(132)

    In 104 BC, the 2nd Punic-Sesonic war was over for more than 20 years, but the situation hadn`t changed. The area surrounding Bibracte was the only independent Gaul territory left. This and a small region in northern Portugal, that still belonged to Carthage, were the only territories in west and southwest Europe not being part of the Republic.

    Obviously, Consul Tiberius Sinatus felt the need to finally solve the situation, although there are several theories concerning his motivation(133). But there can be no doubt, that Marcus Sempronius` mission was to face the King of the Senones with the choice to either join Rome freely or by force. Togodumnus refused, and so the last act of the Gaul Wars started.

    B. Progress

    Although the Senones were no serious threat, Rome had deployed two Legions along their border. Less than two months later, Bibracte was burned to the ground and the Sesonic Realm ceased to exist(134).

    At the same time, this war lead to another conflict with the Carthaginians. But considering the fact, that there was no hope for the Senones to survive the war, Carthage`s efforts must have been very limited, since there are no reports about combat operations beside a small skirmish at sea near the Strait of Gibraltar, when a large roman Fleet sunk eight Carthaginian vessels.

    At the end of the year, Carthage agreed to cede Lusitani to Rome.

    C. Result

    With the seizure of the Sesonic territory and the peace with Carthage, Iberia and Gaul were completely under Rome`s control(135).

    Although these two Provinces were of minor economic importance, their conquest had military effects. Rome had three Legions each stationed in Iberia and Gaul. Now, that there was no serious threat left for roman rule, one or maybe even two Legions became available for other duties.


    (132) Gnaeus Apuleius; "Ab urbe condita", Vol. IV
    (133) Tiberius Sinatus was the grandson of Lugotorix Sinatid. Lugotorix was Gaul himself and born as member of the Aulerci. When his home was conquered by the Parisii in the late 3rd Century, he and his family fled through half Europe until they settled down in Tylis. In 191 BC, when Thracia was seized by Rome, he stayed within the Republic. His son already latinized his family name and served as Praetor. Some people argue, that Tiberius Sinatus desperately tried to seize the rest of Gaul since he knew from the experiences of his own family, that Rome represented progress and a civilized lifestyle, but there can be no certainty in this point.
    (134) The village was destroyed, but not forgotten. Findings of Pottery and Coins in the early 18th Century focused the attention to Mont Beuvrey. Gabriel Bulliot`s work at this site since 1865 finally removed all doubts.
    (135) Beside today`s Galicia.
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  11. #151
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    so is it now time to stomp all over the East ... & end up importing foreign religions, vast wealth and new ideas that end up sapping the martial will of the Republic?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  12. #152
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    A somewhat foolish move by the Cathaginians!

    Maybe keeping their head below the parapet would have been more sensible?
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    Time to teach the Greeks that Jupiter is better then Zeus, Venus more beautiful then Aphrodite?


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  14. #154
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    Now it is up to Romans to ruin everything in western Europe.

  15. #155
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    Chapter XXIX - The Republic during the 2nd Century (200 - 100 BC)

    A. Territorial and Economic expansion

    The 2nd Century BC saw a significant expansion of roman territory. In the west, Iberia and some islands in the western Mediterranean were subdued, in the north Gaul and parts of Britannia and in the east the Balkans and central Greece. Finally Raetia and Pannonia in the northeast were conquered to secure the border along the Danube(136).

    To efficiently control this territory, it was divided into regions, that were administrated by a Governor(137). The authorities of a Governor were widespread. They were the head of the administration, thus controlled the tax collection, supervised all trade and even granted citizenship. Finally they were in command of all Legions stationed within their region.

    These authorities combined with the increasing trade and wealth within the provinces lead to several problems. The Governors had to go deep into debt in order to get enough support to be elected for this office. Arriving in their region, they immediately exploited the local resources in order to repay their debt and return to Rome as rich men as soon as they were retrieved from office.

    Obviously this practice brought forth negative impacts for the local economies, that were intolerable even for the Senate. In the year 180 BC it passed the Lex Acilia Repetundarum, that appointed several Equites(138) to be jurors in a court overseeing corruption in the regions. As it seems, this measure was not sufficient, since the Senate also passed the Lex Calpurniae in 128 BC. It established another court lead by the Praetor to oversee the Governors. But in fact, corruption remained a major problem within the roman administration.

    B. Military Reforms

    Although the roman Legion remained remarkably stable in terms of their structure, it increased in size due to the "Fabian Reform" 139 BC and the "Sempronian Reform" in 109 BC(139). Due to these reforms, the amount of Cohorts increased from 20 to 25, respectively 30 per Legion. But we may assume, that it took years to implement these reforms and that some Legions stationed in more quiet provinces were still "undermanned" for several years.

    Considering this increase of manpower per Legion and the extension of the number of Legions from 7 to 16 during the Century, we may assume, that the size of the Roman Army tripled between 200 and 100 BC.

    Fig. 34: The Roman Republic in 100 BC
    (I - XVI: Legionary camps)


    Again, there are merely estimations for the size and structure of the Roman Navy, but an amount of 200 vessels is widely accepted(140).

    C. Developments in roman Society

    The "political society" of Rome experienced two major shifts during this Century. First of all the Senate confirmed an "opening" of the Nobility, thus allowing new families to rise into Senatorial ranks. As has been shown already, this also included families of non-roman descent(141).

    On the other hand, the 2nd Century saw an obvious concentration of power in the hands of a decreasing amount of major families. Estimated 40 families shared the political power within the Senate around 250 BC. In 100 BC, this amount had decreased to about 20 families. This development continued in the 1st Century BC and was one of the reasons for the downfall of the Republican political system shortly before the turn of the eras.


    (136) The Roman Republic covered around 2 Million square kilometer. Estimations of the total population amount to 20 - 25 Million people.
    (137) Although the legal term for their office was "Rector Provinciae", they were more often addressed as "Dux", which means "Leader". Originally this was an unofficial military title for anyone who commanded troops. Later on, it was used to characterize the Governor as the highest civil and military official in a region. The title "Duke" derives from it.
    (138) From the Latin word Equus (Horse). The lower class of roman aristocracy in contrast to the patricians.
    (139) Named after Numerius Fabius Asina, Consul 139-137 BC, and Publius Sempronius Sophus, Consul 111-109 BC.
    (140) Henworth estimates a size of even 250 Triremes on the basis of some rather vague passages of various authors. But the same passages indicate a stable structure of 50 vessels forming a fleet under the command of a Naval Prefect. Long-term naval bases among others were Carthago Nova, Syracuse and Tarent.
    (141) The most prominent representatives of these Peregrini (Foreigners) were the Sinatii, that were probably of Germanic descent and maybe belonged to the tribe of the Suebi.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 15-03-2011 at 10:14.
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  16. #156
    Patron Saint of Suenik Iain Wilson's Avatar
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    I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I really like this format. A lot of AARs claim to be history books, but this one properly does the format justice!

    So the legions have increased threefold - this can only mean more expansion is on the cards - look out Carthage!
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    agree, you've done a brilliant job at catching the tone of a scholarly study of these events ... a sort of Gibbon on the rise and rise of the Roman Republic

    as to next target, go for the yellow blob, the France of Rome (so to speak)
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  18. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    as to next target, go for the yellow blob, the France of Rome (so to speak)
    First of all I think I should con...liberate the greek cities from Mecedonian rule. Boy, if there is one thing I hate, it`s oppressive Republics...ehm...wait.
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  19. #159
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    And in the end none of the patricians lived.

  20. #160
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    Wow, there was a break here, but I had no time to play last week (you know, spring and stuff). But a new war is coming up, so stay tuned.
    Earth Invasion : Los Angeles

    The Alien Invasion is here. Los Angeles is lost, unless a few good Paradoxians (and a bunch of Marines) throw them back in the ocean. Rules. Data. Map.

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