Hot answers tagged

29

Actually, the Romans used the same phalanx everyone else did for a very long time. Past Hannibal. The essence of winning a phalanx battle is to attack the flank of the phalanx. One may achieve that many ways, hence the many ways phalanxes were formed in particular battles - adapted to the width of the battlefield usually, though if one's enemy overdid that, ...


10

First of all, Carthage did not fall in the First or Second Punic Wars. The Carthaginians were defeated twice, and compelled to surrender to particularly harsh terms the second time, but the City of Carthage itself was not conquered. Keep in mind that Carthage was not some run of the mill city-state, but rather the capital of a far flung maritime empire. ...


9

The Romans were very good in copying tactics and equipment from other peoples. They learned the Phalanx from the Etruscans. The phalanx works like a wall: difficult to get through, but also almost impossible to maneuver. When the Romans met their new enemies the Samnites, a people from the mountains, they saw that the Samnites were armed with long shields ...


9

On very many statues from antiquity exserted parts are broken, in most cases hands, but noses are also very often. The purely mechanical reasons are evident. There are no reasons to conclude that this statue was defaced. Here is one example of the many: They say this is Cleopatra VII. I do not think anyone hated her so much as to break the nose on her ...


9

As I remember, the biggest problems of phalanx were slow pace and inability to operate on a rough terrain (consider the length of their spears). In the battle of Pydna the macedonians had early success yet the romans were able to regroup and won the battle in the later counter-attack. So the phalanx was pretty good for one-time onslaught but in an advanced ...


8

It is not necessarily be problematic if the censors disagreed. Scholars have generally thought that only one censor was chosen by lot to nominate the Princeps Senatus alone. If correct, then in the event of disagreements between the censors, the chosen one would have the final say. Much support for this theory is inferred from the 209 dispute (see below), ...


6

Referring to the documentary series "Conquest" of history channel may be a bit too much on the popular side of popular-science but I think they have a point (or rather some). From what I remember they said: shields grew in size allowing to push into rows of spears and lock them between the shields while staying unhurt and weight, compensating the ...


4

First of all, at the time Sallust had written his book, Fulvia Bambula was a quite famous person. I believe, it would be strange if he would have said "Fulvia" yet had omitted "Bambula". Moreover, his words give the impression that she had no personal political value (cf. his passage about Sempronia Tuditania), and yet had much financial difficulties: ...


3

The frontline was still quite long: a maniple typically consisted of 120 soldiers arrayed in 3 ranks of 40 men when engaged in battle. each line had about 10 maniples and neighbouring maniples had a space of a maniple between them. That makes the frontline 19×40 = 760 men wide. Lets say that each man had a "personal space" of 1,5 meter (which is not ...


3

Talking specifically about Syria after Crassus death, Cassius had to take care of the province for about next two years. The new proconsul - well-known Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus who was consul in 59 B.C. together with Ceasar - was sent only in 51 B.C. But this should be considered as an absolutely critical situation (e.g. in 52 B.C. Pompeus Magnus was consul ...


2

The Roman numeral system was "designed" for calculating using an abacus. One wrote out the number by the values of each channel (we picture an abacus as a wood frame with wires holding columns of beads for counters but the Romans would usually have used a table, a "TV-tray" if you will, covered with ample sand, running a finger down for the lines, and ...


2

Quaestors had neither lictors nor fasces. Originally quaestors, as the name shows, were a kind of "investigators". But the right to fasces signified a right of deciding life and death, which was only appliable to praetors (i.e. "judges") and higher magistrates, i.e. consuls and dictators. Also, on the matter of lictors, we perfectly know that even aediles ...


1

They did not appoint him sole consul. They offered him for election to the assembly. They appointed an interrex who then selected Pompey and put him forward as the sole candidate. The assembly therefore had the option of either rejecting him or electing just him.


1

Well, since Crassus died prematurely (at the Battle of Carrhae) during a rebellion that would seem to be unlikely. After all, if he were to have built a tomb it would have been in Italy, not Syria, and since he never got to retire to Rome because the Parthians unexpectedly killed him in battle, I think we can safely assume that whatever plans he had for his ...


1

Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, consul, censor, and Princeps Senatus in the late republic took over the management of the grain supply, essentially an Aedile's post. In Colleen McCulloch's semi-fiction books he did this when the man originally having the post was (falsely) accused of corruption, IIRC. The Wiki Quote goes way too far in claiming that this post ...


1

Because they had more metal. A phalanx was useful when metal was more rare and expensive, since the only metal you need is that for the tip of the spear. A phalanx is a relatively simple structure. You have the phalanx itself, then a cavalry to protect its weakspots. The Romans, due to advances in metallurgy and mining had much more metal to work with. They ...


1

I believe the rotation in battle is commonly accepted - most sources I've read reference it, although my research in Roman history is mostly secondary and tertiary sources, so I'm not an authority. With that as a preface/caveat: Wikipedia to the rescue wikipedia 1 describes using the intervals between troops to execute a refresh and support continuous ...


1

As you maybe noticed, the Wikipedia article has no references, and so it is difficult to determine what is actually meant by calling it a "legal collegium" In the Roman republic, a collegium was a social society with a common reference for its members such as a specific craft. Carpenters or soldiers e.g. It was a common obligation in the Collegium to secure ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible