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The Valkyrier

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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.

Prologue:
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

rome_1.jpg

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!



rome_2.jpg

With the skillful use of boats (no you didn't misread :rofl: ) 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.



rome_16.jpg

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.



rome_9.jpg

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.




rome_25.jpg

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.
 
Last edited:

comagoosie

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:rofl:

You are a genius!!!

Welcome to AAR writing, I hope you find it enjoyable :)

If you need anything just ask.
 

The Valkyrier

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comagoosie said:
:rofl:

You are a genius!!!

Welcome to AAR writing, I hope you find it enjoyable :)

If you need anything just ask.

Well technically it wasn't me, it was Philocaris :rolleyes:
 
Aug 3, 2008
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Ah, a first VV-AAR! Good to see some life here in Roman AARland. I wish you luck with your AAR, and with your gameplay. You are off to a good start with both, but pulling Magna Graecia off successfully in the face of Rome should be hard.
 

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Chapter 1: 677 - 500. On the second and third war & the sacking of Roma. On the power struggle between Peithid and Phorbas.

rome_44.jpg

With it's fleet in ruins and it's legions in Sicily reduced from 26 to 6 by attrition Rome had no choise but to give Epirus a huge amount of gold for the return of it's lands. The roman spirit was broken, and with it Rome's stability decreased. During the following years several barbaric invasions weakened the state. An invasion by Carthage added to the chaos, even though Rome didn't lose any land. In 679 a populist politician of Rome's only ally, Massilia, revolted against his roman-friendly superiors, leaving the legitimate Massilian government crippled with only it's capital left. Apulia and Lucania were conquered by Tarentum in the short and decisive second Pyrrhic war (684-688) and a few years later an agressive gallic tribe by the name of Leuci claimed the north western part of Roman territory.

In the Tarentean council all the parties co-existed peacfully, for the good of the republic. The period between 476 and 490 is hence known as "the silent years". All of the Archons during this time belonged to either the religious or merchantile party and historicans think that might have had something to do with it.

Out-of-character: A council with weak military and populistic factions is hard to convince to kill a fly not to mention start wars or assassinate someone. Very hard.



rome_41.jpg

While the second Pyrrhic war was taking place in Italia, the Epirean pirates somehow overthrew the king of Pontus. Sadly Tarentean historicans were too busy writing about the fall of Roma so that no one knows what actually happened.



rome_49.jpg

491 was the year when the third Pyrrhic war started. It lasted for 4 years and resulted in great conquest. In November 492 Roma was sacked and a total of 500 gold was looted, letting Archon Peithid, who ruled in Tarentum at the time, be remembered as "the architect Archon", since he enacted a law where every governor needed to build aqueducts and forums in his cities to qualify for a seat in the council.

Tarentum's economy and culture flourished under Peithid's rule. Even though he managed to hold the council together during his regin there were quite a few power struggles. During the third war there was the one between him and Phorbas, the leader of the populistic party and Strategos of the 1st Stratos whom was feared not only for his rhetorics and coercive diplomacy but also for being the main source for the victories against Rome in the second and third war. When Phorbas decided to run for the Archon office Peithid ordered one of his best men to kill Phorbas. Luckily the murder was successful and civil war avoided, Phorbas was believed to have been captured and killed by the Romans.



rome_51.jpg

495, the last year of the third war, was the defenitive end of the Roman imperialism. A total of 5 provinces were ceded and the senate was forced to renounce their claims on the lands conquered by Tarentum in the previous war. Rome was once again a city-state.
On May 16th, 500 AVC the city of Roma was taken and annexed by Tarentums Stratos. A few months earlier the greedy roman senate had foolishly decided to stop sending tribute to Tarentum, a tribute which had been part of the peace agreement from the third war.


Chapter 2 later today. I'm so exited :rofl:
 
Last edited:

Hastu Neon

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Fantastic! One of the first VV AARs and furthermore, the first ever seen about Tarentum. Good choice! I'll follow this...
 

Christian V

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Wow. The End of the roman Empire before it started. :eek:
You're really kicking some bad*** here. Next stop Sicily and those pesky carthaginians!
 

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I might have to change the layout of this AAR, since it's going far too well for Tarentum for such a detailed AAR. I was expecting a quite fast game and getting killed by Rome. We'll have to see how things turn out, I hope you enjoy reading, cus I sure enjoy writing :rofl:

Chapter 2: 500 - 525. On the times of troubles & Peithid's majority. On Epirus illegal war & it's consequences.

After the last parts of Roma was annexed, in the year of 500, Tarentum entered an era known as "the times of troubles". With barbarians to the north, and roman nationalists around every corner, the Tarentean republic had a hard time keeping the peace. The situation was worsened when the regular army was smashed to pieces by the constant fighting and the council was forced to hire mercenaries to patrol the streets. Two hole generations of Italia greeks had been killed during the wars, and according to the laws of the republic romans were not allowed in the ranks.
The populists grew in strength and their leader, Timolid, held enraging speeches against what he saw as corrupt officials. In 506 an Archon of the merchantile faction, backed by Peithid, rose to power and started restoring order. The council was now devided between supporters of Peithid, who would be able to run for the Archon seat in 508, and Timolid.

rome_5.jpg


Peithid was, just as expected, re-elected in 508. At the peak of his power he controlled no less than 69 of the 99 seats in the Council. He immediately started the construction of a big war fleet and he started trading exstensively with the islands of Rhodes and Crete to build up a cash reserve.

In August 509 Peithid suddenly got ill and died just after 2 weeks. Many modern historicans question that his death was accidental but no proof has been found. When he passed away he left the best family reputation in all of Greece behind him, he left huge riches for his son and he also left Tarentum with a goal, which had been missing since the enslavement of Rome.
Peithid also holds the record of longest serving Archon: he held the seat no less than 3 times. 480-482, 494-496 and 508-509.

The following years the stability of the republic increased. The north was reinforced with mercenaries to fight off barbarians while regular armies kept the peace in middle and lower Italia.

rome_82.jpg


The attention of the council now turned toward the cause of the problem: The roman population, or rather the lack of a Greek population. Only every 10th person in the republic worshiped Zeus and less than 3/4ths of the population was ethnically Greek. 20 years of peace had brought the republic nothing but anarchy and heresy, the time had come to expand into already Greek territory. The stability it would bring was neccessary for the survival of Tarentum. Through a series of extensive espionage, bribes and blackmailing Syracusae was in February 518 peacefully (more or less) brought under Tarentean control. Epirus, the pirate kingdom, had a decade earlier moved it's capital from Epirus to Paphlagonia in Asia minor. The greeks in Sicily fellt betrayed by their king who taxed them heavily but gave them nothing back. The council recieved no word fom the king of Epirus on the overtaking of Syracusae and it was thought that the Epirean king didn't care about such a distant city.

rome_11.jpg


Six months later a dispatch arrived from the king, whom still was an ally of Tarentum, even though the relations between the countries had been chill at best the past months. The dispatch said that the ruler of Rhodes had insulted the superiority of Epirus and that mesures torestore the honor of the kingdom was going to be taken. Epirus knew that Rhodes since long had been an important trading partner of the republic and that this action would result in a full scale war. Moreover Epirus war was illegal since it wasn't ratified by the other Greek states. The council remembered how Epirus once had attacked and destroyed the Aetolian Leauge and a few years later overthrown the king of Sparta. The time to turn a blind eye toward the wrongdoings of Epirus was over. War was inevitable. The independence of Greece had to be protected.

rome_9-1.jpg


A giant fleet of Tarentean triremes was sighted along the western coast of Greece. A large Nautikon later put up a blockade in the sea of marmara, the passage between the mediterranean and the black sea, making sure no reinforcements would come from the pirates capital.

rome_14.jpg


The warriors of Sparta quickly rebelled against Epirus and reinstalled their own government before the republic was able to bring the city under it's protection. The regions of Epirus & Aetolia and the island of Rhodes were however integrated into the Tarentean republic. The severely weakened pirate kingdom was left to their provinces in the east. The council had now effectively given the republic a supply of troops for their armies and also made right what the pirates had made wrong. Epirus terror of the Greek cities had come to an end.

Chapter 3 later tonight, or maybe tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

comagoosie

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Aw man, I love VV, too bad I don't have it!

Poor romans, your simple yet cunning move have sent them spiraling downwards until annexation.

Oh! Go trading party :D
 

The Valkyrier

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Could use an imput, don't know what to do next... Macedonia would be a natural choise, but they are allied with the selucids and that is a too big task for me yet. I could attack the gallic tribes, but then I'd have to rely on mercenaries since my manpower gain is so low. Would be great if I could take more greek provinces to increase it. I could take the rest of Epirus (ex Pontus area) but then I'd end up bordering selucid empire + it would be quite far from the rest of my republic. Egypt and Carthage are still a little to powerful to take on and I think Carthage are after me anyway cus they keep sending spies and won't trade with me. Sparta got eaten by Macedonia so no luck there. Illyria is quite frankly not worth the effort since I'd only gain a few provinces and they aren't greek either.

All of these options seem bad to me, but I guess I gotta do something. I can only sit and farm money for so long without getting the urge to liberate something.
 
Last edited:

Qorten

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Your great man, you just changed history in a major way! But will they be just a replacement for the Romans, not changing much in the rest of the course of history, or will they meddle in Eastern affairs mostly and not care much about the West, like most Greeks did?
 

Olaus Petrus

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The wars against the Romans were very impressive. Carthagian islands (their half of Sicily, Malta, Sardinia, Corsica and the Baleares) would be logical targets for expansion.
 

Coinneach

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I suggest waiting for a while, building up your troops and navy, and hope the Macedonians leave their alliance sometime soon. Meantime, Sparta could be brought into your fold and give you some extra manpower. or maybe you could attack epirus some more, and get a foothold in Anatolia?

excellent AAR might I add, I was astounded by your defeat of rome :D
 

The Valkyrier

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Chapter 3: 525 - 545. On the civil war & the Wolves feast.

A minor conflict with Illyria in 534 resulted in Dalmatae being added to the republic. Up till that point the republic had been stable, but with barbarians comming in from the north, and the roman population not willing to accept their Greek superiors the situation deteriorated quickly. The years leading up to the civil war were full of smaller rebellions and instability in the council. To calm the country it was in 540 decided to go to war with Leuci, the gallic tribe in the west. However instead of giving the people of Tarentum a common enemy it instead created a even bigger gap. On May 8th, 540 Aratos Mithridatid, commander of the 1st Strategos, proclaimed a new republic, making himself Archon. The new republic effectively took control over northern Italia, the greek cities and Rhodes.

rome_5-1.jpg

At first the council managed to fight back, even retake Roma, but then...



rome_10.jpg


... "the wolves feast".
All of Tarentums enemies emerging from the shadows to lend the killing blow and to fight over the spoils, like vultures.
Tarentum, as the bastion of enlightenment it was, ceased to exist on August 18th 545, 50 years after the fall of the Roman republic. The world now fell into darkness for several hundred years as every ounce of freedom & democracy was washed away by barbarians, pirates and despots.

This, my pupils, was the rise & fall of the republic of Tarentum.
Until next time I want you to read about Gaul - page 240 and onward.

Class dismissed!

 
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