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View Poll Results: Who was the greater overall leader, Philip of Macedon or Sulla?
Philip II of Macedon 33 70.21%
Sulla 14 29.79%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Duke Valentino View Post
I'll begin by mentioning or going over one or two things you've written before going into my "pro-Philip" opening discourse.

Firstly, I doubt that the 8+ personal legions Sulla had under his own command could be considered a "paltry force". Nor was the 30,000 strong force he moved into Greece with [plus the legion of reinforcements he received].
Sulla brought 5 legions to Greece, remember? That's 25,000. Plutarch indicates he may not have even used all of this force in the first battle, as you know from our discussion of it (Sulla is indicated to have 16,500 men in the initial battle against 120,000). There were some residual soldiers in Greece, but not many, and it's not clear they were with Sulla during the battles either. His entire force (including soldiers recruited from Greece, etc) is described by Appian as being 40,000 when he leaves to go back to Italy (of which 25,000 are Roman infantry), but there's no reason to believe he had recruited these forces off the bat when arriving in Greece, or used them all. It's also a very paltry force when the opposing army has 120,000 and 90,000 well armed soldiers respectively. I realise you think every source about Phillip is 100% accurate, and every source about Sulla is full of lies, but I don't agree for the reasons we went into in depth. The size of Mithridates armies is broadly consistent across a number of sources, including ones you yourself originally invoked, and is plausible for the reasons gone into. We could equally dismiss the numbers of Phillip's foes using the logic you invoke.

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This was not the first recorded use of field palisades or field artillery in battle. We see the Thebans erecting palisades against Alexander. And we see Onomarchus use field artillery against Philip, plus Alexander use it offensively against the Scythians.
"one of".

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For the Colline Gate, do we have any indication of the size of Sulla's army and that of his opponent's? And wasn't it just another infantry slugfest where his right wing won but he left wing lost? Not really indicative of great generalship, even for him.
I have no idea why a slugfest is indicative of bad generalship. If both sides are well led, and there is no room no maneuverer or do something fancy, then sometimes a battle will come down to a slugfest; because there is no scope to exploit your opponent. That's a true test for a general in some ways; can you win when there is no "trick" to pull, because your foe is too strong and smart for it. Generalship is very important in these circumstances, you need to know the caliber of your men to be sure they can win, how to deploy the fronts/wings, with which forces/commanders, you need to know how to inspire them to victory, how to stop them from breaking. Sulla was in the front lines with his men, doing just that. No tactical innovation was possible, they were pinned against the walls of Rome (intentionally) to defend it, and the opposing armies were competently led. They had also just arrived via a forced night march, and had no time to do anything else.

As for the numbers, you need to work a little bit off inference based on the forces as they were moving around, but (from memory) Sulla had 8 legions with him, and all the other forces he had were deployed far away at that point. He then gets news that a combined army of 70,000 has joined another army, and has to force march to Rome to defend it. He wouldn't have had time to get any further men, and it's fairly clear from Appian that he'd have been outnumbered 2 to 1 or more (depending on how many men from the final army that joined the other 70,000 men survived the battle they lost, prior to combining). For clarity, the final force that combines is described as 30,000 strong, plus 2 legions, plus "others". This force is defeated in battle by Pompey and loses 20,000 men, then the remnants of the 30,000 go to earth, while the other forces of 2 legions plus "others" go with the 3 generals mentioned to join the 70,000. So we're talking about a force well over 80,000 as against Sulla's 40,000.

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You're factually incorrect about Philip as having being born a king. He was the third brother, and probably not expecting in anyway to actually take the throne. Even during the crisis of 359 BC after the death of his brother, historians are unsure whether he was announced king or acted as regent for his nephew. Regardless, Philip didn't have much money or influence for a king either. The picture you're trying to paint is one of a leader who assumes command of a centralised and stable state with an army, plenty of money in the treasury and loyal servants, when it was the complete opposite.

Anyway, I'll make my case for Philip tomorrow morning, too tired. Just wanted to bring up those points for questioning.
He was born to the royal family, as someone pointed out, and was in line to be King depending on circumstances. Sulla was born to nothing and ended up the greatest and most powerful man in the world at the time.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
And Sulla was born to a consular noble family.

Macedonia was a tiny and highly fractured kingdom at the time Philip was born. As the third son, with one older brother having a son and successor, in a dynastic family that favored sons over brothers, it meant Philip's chances to rule was about as high as Sulla's. Both rose through ability and ruthlessness.

But the fact remains that Caesarmagnus didn't know that. He literally didn't have a clue that Philip was the third son and had no direct claim and usurped the position. He thought he was born a prince destined to be king. Because Caesarmagnus likes to argue about things he clearly isn't well read on.
You're clearly not well read on Sulla if you describe his family thusly. Who was the last member of his family to be consul? Who was the last member of Sulla's immediately family to even be in the Senate? He came from nothing, he had a bloodline and that was it.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 12:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Caesarmagnus View Post
You're clearly not well read on Sulla if you describe his family thusly. Who was the last member of his family to be consul? Who was the last member of Sulla's immediately family to even be in the Senate? He came from nothing, he had a bloodline and that was it.
LOL, proving once again how well read you are:

"Igitur Sulla gentis patriciae nobilis fuit, familia iam prope extincta maiorum ignavia"

Sulla was noble, which in the context of Republic Rome meant an ancestor had held the highest level of magistry, the Consulship. And he was Patrician, his bloodline spoke for itself. He was a Cornelii, one of the oldest families of Rome.

You're just being defensive because you goofed and kicked yourself in your own butt writing a nonsensical line that utterly proved that you're arguing about a subject you have no clue about. Seriously, who the heck argues about Philip II's history as king when they don't even know the circumstances of how he became king?

Well, I guess you do.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 12:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
And Sulla was born to a consular noble family.

Macedonia was a tiny and highly fractured kingdom at the time Philip was born. As the third son, with one older brother having a son and successor, in a dynastic family that favored sons over brothers, it meant Philip's chances to rule was about as high as Sulla's. Both rose through ability and ruthlessness.

But the fact remains that Caesarmagnus didn't know that. He literally didn't have a clue that Philip was the third son and had no direct claim and usurped the position. He thought he was born a prince destined to be king. Because Caesarmagnus likes to argue about things he clearly isn't well read on.
Eh, Sulla great-great-great-great-grandfather Publius Cornelius Rufinus was consul, but that man was not a Sulla, so I am not too sure if we can say Sulla came from a consular noble family. I mean, a lot of people were born in to 'consular noble' familly if we traces 7 generations of patrician families.

I think Sulla grow up improvised. So the 'noble' bit is only on the Cornelius bit, and that's about it. He received 2 inheritance, one from his step-mother, the other from a low-born but wealthy woman, maybe. So it wasn't like Sulla came with a golden spoon.

As for Phillip, I believe there is no such thing as 'primogeniture' for the Macedonians, so as the legitimate son of Amyntas III, he could very well have inherit the throne, so there is no such thing as 1) he usurp the throne or 2) he wasn't expected to rule. This was the reason why we see many claimants to the throne. There were numerous civil wars fought between legitimate candidate/claimants to the throne for the Temenids in the few hundred years they ruled. So it is perfectly reasonable to not only expect that Philip received a proper education as a legitimate prince and heir to the throne, but he probably have these ambition as did all his ancestors.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 12:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
LOL, proving once again how well read you are:

"Igitur Sulla gentis patriciae nobilis fuit, familia iam prope extincta maiorum ignavia"

Sulla was noble, which in the context of Republic Rome meant an ancestor had held the highest level of magistry, the Consulship. And he was Patrician, his bloodline spoke for itself. He was a Cornelii, one of the oldest families of Rome.

You're just being defensive because you goofed and kicked yourself in your own butt writing a nonsensical line that utterly proved that you're arguing about a subject you have no clue about. Seriously, who the heck argues about Philip II's history as king when they don't even know the circumstances of how he became king?

Well, I guess you do.

There were countless patricians in Rome at that point in history. The divide between Patricians and Plebians have long cease to exist at this point about your bloodline, think about it man, ever since the Punic Wars, when did Rome actually think to itself, 'oh gee a Patrician, let's shower him with office and power and all that because his ancestors' ancestors' ancestors **** with Romulus.'

During Sulla's time, the rich and powerful form a new oligarchy that govern Rome and all of her possessions. Sulla came from a patrician family, true, but it was neither rich nor powerful, and thus he was not a member of that oligarchy. Anthony's family were more powerful than Sulla at that point. Anyone that mattered in Rome was more powerful than Sulla. Sulla's own dad weren't recorded to have receive any office, and his own grandfather's highest job was a praetor. By the time we hit Sulla, guy was hanging out with the lowest tier of people, entertainers.

There is no way you can compare Sulla's situation, a dude who hangs with prostitutes and singers and dancers, to Phillip, a legitimate prince and one of the heir to the throne. I mean Philip's situation was far from perfect, but claiming Sulla was MORE fortunate in his birth is fully false.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mariusj View Post
There were countless patricians in Rome at that point in history. The divide between Patricians and Plebians have long cease to exist at this point about your bloodline, think about it man, ever since the Punic Wars, when did Rome actually think to itself, 'oh gee a Patrician, let's shower him with office and power and all that because his ancestors' ancestors' ancestors **** with Romulus.'

During Sulla's time, the rich and powerful form a new oligarchy that govern Rome and all of her possessions. Sulla came from a patrician family, true, but it was neither rich nor powerful, and thus he was not a member of that oligarchy. Anthony's family were more powerful than Sulla at that point. Anyone that mattered in Rome was more powerful than Sulla. Sulla's own dad weren't recorded to have receive any office, and his own grandfather's highest job was a praetor. By the time we hit Sulla, guy was hanging out with the lowest tier of people, entertainers.

There is no way you can compare Sulla's situation, a dude who hangs with prostitutes and singers and dancers, to Phillip, a legitimate prince and one of the heir to the throne. I mean Philip's situation was far from perfect, but claiming Sulla was MORE fortunate in his birth is fully false.
Look, I have no idea what you're trying to argue. Arguing who had it better, Sulla or Philip is ridiculous. Neither was born with any birthright to rule alone, both had to overcome serious odds to succeed. That's about all they have in common. Despite his family situation being in poverty for his youth and early adulthood, Sulla was noble, they produced consuls. His family were Patrician, which in the Roman Republic at the time really meant a lot and is the reason that as soon as he had the money from inheritance he pretty much immediately became a Senator, because of his ancestors. But Rome was a Republic, Macedonia a kingdom. So beyond, this Historum absurd notion that everything can be compared directly and placed in lists is nearly as ridiculous as Caesarmagnus spending tens of thousands of words in numerous threads discussing Philip while not even knowing the circumstances of how he became King.

Point and fact is that, contrary to what Caesarmagnus wrote, Philip was not born destined to be king. By all rights, he should never have become a king. He usurped the crown as regent. So again, this statement, "Phillip had the happy fortune of being born a King." isn't just wrong its a ridiculous comment made by someone who should not be taken seriously in any discussion on this subject.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:14 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mariusj View Post
Eh, Sulla great-great-great-great-grandfather Publius Cornelius Rufinus was consul, but that man was not a Sulla, so I am not too sure if we can say Sulla came from a consular noble family. I mean, a lot of people were born in to 'consular noble' familly if we traces 7 generations of patrician families.
So was Sulla noble or not? Was he a Patrician or not? Did being a Patrician in the Late Republic of Rome come with benefits?

Yes, Yes, Yes

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I think Sulla grow up improvised. So the 'noble' bit is only on the Cornelius bit, and that's about it. He received 2 inheritance, one from his step-mother, the other from a low-born but wealthy woman, maybe. So it wasn't like Sulla came with a golden spoon.
Noble bit? Look, if he's the direct male descendant of one of the original paters of Romulus' Senatus, and a dire male descendant was a consul, then he's Nobilis and he's Patrician. Period, end of story. It doesn't matter how he made himself rich to qualify by the Census to become a Senator, neither does it matter how Caesar pulled it off either, or any other impoverished Patrician Roman. What matters in the context of this discussion is that by blood Sulla was benefited in his climb up the cursus honorum.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #18
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The fact remains that your comparison between the two situations was utterly dishonest. Phillip was a potential heir to the throne, born to royalty, with the associated benefits that came from that in terms of means, legitimacy and supporters. With minimal conflict he promptly secured his claim to the throne. Sulla was in a totally different (and infinitely worse) position. He had a bloodline, which meant something, but not that much. He had no current political allies or networks or supporters, he had no wealth, and was living among the lowest tier of society. His fortune, such as it was, only came to him after the timely death of several women (his stepmother among them), and afterwards it was rumoured he had a hand in their demise. Sulla had to work from the ground up, there were countless Romans of noble bloodlines who never amounted to anything and died in obscurity, because your great, great, great, great, great grandfather having held office was little guarantee of anything without wealth and current political power. It took Sulla many years of gritting it out before he could rise.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:54 PM   #19
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Nice strawman aggienation.

Been born to a position of power is not the same as born to a patrician. However, been born as a LEGITIMATE prince, and thus heir to the throne, is the same as born to a position of power.

Arguing whether or not someone was born a patrician during the late republic period is literately pointless. Are you saying every patrician would be expected to have some office in their life just because they are patrician? Or was that time period long gone, and the new oligarchy of rich and powerful plebian and patrician families that hold the key to the city?

Saying been part of patrician gives benefit entirely circumvent the question of whether or not been born a royal prince doesn't give benefit, good argument. Are you going to claim again that the guy who hang with prostitute was born to more powerful position than the son of a king who was in line for the throne?
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Old November 13th, 2017, 02:17 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
Look, I have no idea what you're trying to argue. Arguing who had it better, Sulla or Philip is ridiculous. Neither was born with any birthright to rule alone, both had to overcome serious odds to succeed. That's about all they have in common. Despite his family situation being in poverty for his youth and early adulthood, Sulla was noble, they produced consuls. His family were Patrician, which in the Roman Republic at the time really meant a lot and is the reason that as soon as he had the money from inheritance he pretty much immediately became a Senator, because of his ancestors. But Rome was a Republic, Macedonia a kingdom. So beyond, this Historum absurd notion that everything can be compared directly and placed in lists is nearly as ridiculous as Caesarmagnus spending tens of thousands of words in numerous threads discussing Philip while not even knowing the circumstances of how he became King.

I am sorry, a royal son of a king has the right to rule alone.

This is not a scenario where the eldest gain the throne, as that tradition does not exist in Macedonia. So all three sons had right to rule. This is entirely different than if only the eldest son could rule, thus the youngest must over come NOT just his birth timing, but also tradition.

As for Sulla, first of all, Sulla's great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, 7 generation removed, was a consul, and we were reminded because that certain ancestor "although he was not so conspicuous for this honour as for the dishonour which he incurred. For he was found to be possessed of more than ten pounds of silver plate, contrary to the law, and was for this reason expelled from the senate." So saying it's a family that produces consuls is just not true. They produce one consul, who was remembered as the guy who was expelled for 10 lbs of silver plate.

Also, Sulla's family, those who carry the name Sulla, DID NOT product consuls. The highest that family produced was a praetor. The Gens Cornelia did, but how many Cornelia are there in Rome?

As for as soon as he had money he was appointed to the senate? He was a quaestor when he was 31 years old during Marius' first consulship. A patrician should receive this office when they are 28, and a plebian when they are 30. We have no way of knowing when he got his inheritance, and we have no way of knowing if he was appointed a quaestor once he got money, but it seems that he will always be asked questions such as 'How canst thou be an honest man, when thy father left thee nothing, and yet thou art so rich?' These questions will follow him even when he was most powerful.

As for comparing, it is incredibly unfair for you to accuse Caesarmagus anything when this thread was open by someone else. So what, people can't write about things anymore now?


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Point and fact is that, contrary to what Caesarmagnus wrote, Philip was not born destined to be king.
Much like his brothers were not born destined to be kings then. All three sons have equal rights to the throne.

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By all rights, he should never have become a king. He usurped the crown as regent.
In what law did it state that Macedonian kings were the eldest son? Should never implies that there are laws & tradition that are primogeniture. If you can show it, then I will concede that Phillip is a usurper. Otherwise, you need to rethink about Phillip have no right as king because he certain had rights & claims.



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So again, this statement, "Phillip had the happy fortune of being born a King." isn't just wrong its a ridiculous comment made by someone who should not be taken seriously in any discussion on this subject.
You seem to think Sulla was born a patrician and that he came with a golden spoon. Never mind the facts that we seen statements like
Quote:
Nor is it out of place to mention such testimonies in the case of a man said to have been by nature so fond of raillery, that when he was still young and obscure he spent much time with actors and buffoons and shared their dissolute life; and when he had made himself supreme master, he would daily assemble the most reckless stage and theatre folk to drink and bandy jests with them, although men thought that he disgraced his years, and although he not only dishonoured his high office, but neglected much that required attention.


or that
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When he was a youth, he lived in lodgings, at a low price, and this was afterwards thrust in his teeth when men thought him unduly prosperous.
Or

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His posterity became at once obscure, and continued so, nor did Sulla himself enjoy a wealthy parentage.
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