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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Stuckenschmidt

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Probably turned out better in the end! :D

I am not sure. If you have ever been to Trier (and one definitely should), then one can see how Roman influence makes for very scenic sites.

EDIT:

War. War never ends. :D
 
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Nikolai

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Half the population slaves. Is that Spartacus I spot? ;)
 

HistoryDude

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That is not a good demographic figure.

Social War coming soon?
 

Idhrendur

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Those roads will be helpful come any slave revolts.
 

Stuckenschmidt

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Half the population slaves.

LIES!! It is just 42%. :D:p

Okay. I have enough material for the next 6 - 7 chapters. Now I just need the time to actually write them :D
 

Stuckenschmidt

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29 - The Cavian Campaign (261 - 260)

After the end of the Abrian Campaign, Rome controlled a narrow stretch of land in southern Illyria. Immediately afterward it began a Campaign versus another small Illyrian tribe called Cavii. The Cavii settled at the eastern bank of Lake Skadar and the valley of the Drin River further to the east.

Little is known about this Campaign, that seemed to have lasted until late 261 / early 260, besides a notice, that a place called Labeiaton got besieged. That location has not been verified yet and it is possible, that it is a reference to the name of another Illyric tribe, the Labeates.

The Campaign secured the mountain passes and thus the access to the still vulnerable Roman flank in Illyria, which was necessary for further operations in the near future.
 

Nikolai

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Rome is ever hungry...
 

Stuckenschmidt

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30 - The Ligurian War (260 - 259)

During the two Decades since the end of the Third Etrurian War in 280, the Republic had made no efforts to increase its influence further into Cisalpine Gaul. But without any doubt, it had monitored the events in the area between Apennines and Alps.

The largest territories were under control of the Celtic people of the Insubri and Cenomani. Further to the east, the Veneti had recovered from their defeat versus the Cenomani and had successfully engaged the Eravisci, giving them access to northern Illyria and minor territories further northward. Eventually, in the area now known as Liguria, there were a group of people with more Latin than Celtic descent. The Genuati, Ingauni and Ilvates controlled the coast between Pisae and the Maritime Alps as well as a small part of the respective hinterland.

1617352249538.png

The Republic had decided, to move its borders further along the coast, which resulted in the Ligurian War versus the Genuati and Ingauni. The Campaign began probably in spring 260 and according to estimations, Rome deployed a total of up to 20.000 soldiers.

It is widely assumed, that this large amount of troops was not necessary to defeat the enemy forces on the battlefield. There are reports about minor skirmishes and Livius describes, that Consul Camillus Claudius abstained from pursuing the survivors.

It is believed, that Livius` description is rather an euphemism to hide Claudius` ineptitude in military matters. Claudius had already served as Second Consul from 269 to 264, so during the struggle for Sicily versus Carthage. But he did not appear as military commander during that time and seems to have overseen construction works in Latium and Campania. That he became First Consul was rather an accident, since the initial Consul Quintus Fabius Gurges had suddenly died in 262 and Claudius had a leading role in his faction in the Senate.

Nevertheless he tried to gain a military reputation by personally leading the Roman forces in battle. But in the skirmishes at Rubra and Savo, where the Romans had multiple times the soldiers than their opponents, he was not able to win a decisive victory, with the opposing force being able to retreat from the battlefield after inflicting considerably high casualties.

It was probably only due to the weakness of the Ligurian forces, that Claudius` lack of skill had no lasting negative consequences. The Campaign proved to be a series of three sieges. Portus Veneris (Porto Venere) surrendered in September 260 already, while the last fortress Album Intemelium was able to hold out until summer 259.

The motivation for Rome`s Campaign is not quite clear, but some authors point out that, similar to the Republic`s Campaigns in Illyria, the idea of securing coastal areas and thus the merchant shipping in the Tyrrhenian Sea may have been an important factor. The predominantly Latin / Etruscan culture of the local people may have further contributed to that.
 

DensleyBlair

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Those north Italians probably thought they were safe for a bit when Rome turned her gaze towards Illyria. But not for long!
 

HistoryDude

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Rome is now expanding into Cisalpine Gaul...
 

Idhrendur

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There are rich lands to the north, and the mountains should secure Rome's borders
 

Stuckenschmidt

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31 - The Daorsian Campaign (259 - 258)

In the early 250s, Rome controlled a part of the southern Illyrian coast and, after the Cavian Campaign, also the access through the mountains in the southern part. Probably in an attempt to broaden the thin coastal line belonging to the Republic, it strived to push its borders further inland further in the north too.

These territories were inhabited by the Pieri and Daorsi, which had fought versus Rome already in the Campaign of 264/263. According to Livius and Appian, these people were still united in their struggle against Rome and allegedly also received help from the Issa to the north. Although both authors point out, that the Issa experienced "internal quarrels" for some years already. If that refers to a sort of Civil War, then one may assume, that the Issa probably did not contribute a lot to the efforts of their Allies and they are not mentioned afterward.

1617436254574.png

As with many Tribal societies, the Illyrians were not able to raise an army, that would have been able to threaten the Romans on the battlefield. Instead they relied on fortified places to wear down their opponents. But with Rome`s ability to begin and maintain extensive siege works, the defeat of the Illyrians was a matter of time.

The Campaign began in late 259 and resulted in the sieges of Salthoua, Dilenton and Delminion. These places surrendered during spring and summer of 258. With all fortifications overcome, the Illyrians were defeated and Rome had achieved its goal to secure the eastern access routes to its territory.
 

Nikolai

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With all fortifications overcome, the Illyrians were defeated and Rome had achieved its goal to secure the eastern access routes to its territory.
But no direct land line over there still, right?
 

Stuckenschmidt

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But no direct land line over there still, right?

Not even close. And that is something for the more distant future in my plans.
 

HistoryDude

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Illyria must be fully subjugated, as must Cisalpine Gaul. A contiguous Rome!
 

Stuckenschmidt

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32 - The Taulantian Campaign (258 - 257)

"...and so they [the Greek cities] called for an end of the Tyranny that had befallen them and asked them [the Romans] to help them restore justice."

In the mid of the 3rd Century the world of the Greek Poleis had been in an existencial crisis for a long time already. The struggle for a Hegemony over Greece in the wake of the Persian Invasion forced most cities to balance their will for independence with the need for allegiance to one of the contemporary power blocs, be it Athens, Sparta, Thebes or later Macedonia.

This development also included the edges of the Greek World. The Greek respectively Italiote city states in southern Italy and Sicily had vanished during the first half of the 3rd Century. In southern Illyria (today Albania), the cities of Epidamnos (later Dyrrachium, today Durres) and Apollonia had fallen under the rule of the Taulantii respectively the realm of Epirus.

1617530119895.png

Around 260 southern Illyria was in turmoil. Epirus and the Taulantii were stuck in an undecided war and the city of Apollonia started a revolt versus Epirus, that had seized control of the city around 290. Cassius Dio reports, that at that time envoys from Apollonia and Epidamnos travelled to Rome to ask for support. This may sound unlikely, since the Republic had already absorbed many Greek cities with only very limited autonomy on a municipal level. But it is at least not impossible, that they deemed the Republic to be the better choice over their current situation, since Rome guaranteed peace within its borders and was the rising power in the region.

Anyway, Rome decided to act and began a Campaign of roughly one year in late 258 in order to gain control over the rest of southern Illyria. There are no reports concerning battles, indicating that the Taulantii had already exhausted its resources during the war with Epirus. Hence the Republic had only to overcome local Garrisons, especially the one in Epidamnos.

In late 257, the Taulantii surrendered and their territory was seized. The city of Apollonia and the area occupied by it also became part of the Republic. Rome deemed this a valuable asset as evidenced by sending Latin colonists into the area to improve cultural assimilation. Additionally, with the entrance of the Adriatic Sea under Roman control, the ports of Bari and Dyrrachium would become the most important shipping lane for the transportation of goods and troops between Italy and the East.
 

Stuckenschmidt

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Always convenient when troubled neighbours ask for your intervention… :D

From a Roman point of view, civil wars are basically a silent cry for help. And the Republic has always one or two thousand voluntary social workers to spare to cure these societal traumata.
 
  • 2Haha
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