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Old May 6th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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Worst massacres in ancient history?


What are some of the worst massacres in ancient history? In terms of the numbers of people killed.

According to Diodorus Siculus, Hannibal Mago killed 15,000 Greeks when he captured Selinus in Sicily. Also Thucydides wrote that the Athenians killed the entire male population of Melos and took the women and childern as slaves. I know that the Romans were supposed to have done some bad ones, Carthage maybe? Though I am not sure if they massacred anybody or simply enslaved the whole population.

I read somewhere that massacring civilians was quite common in ancient times. What other cities / places met similar fates?
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #2

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Hannibal killed over 50,000 Romans at the Battle of Canane. Also, the Germans destroyed 3 Roman legions in the Teutoberg Forest which equals up to about 18,000 men.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #3

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The Kitos War - a Jewish revolt that raged throughout the Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire 115-117 CE - allegedly saw the deaths of 240,000 Greeks and Romans, and untold thousands of Jews.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #4

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One must remember that pre-modern contemporary sources almost invariably exaggerate the numbers of soldiers in armies, enemies killed, etc. Accurate butcher's bills from ancient times are probably extremely rare, if not non-existent.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salah ad-Din View Post
The Kitos War - a Jewish revolt that raged throughout the Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire 115-117 CE - allegedly saw the deaths of 240,000 Greeks and Romans, and untold thousands of Jews.
Was that also called The Great Judean Revolt or something of the like? Where the Romans massacred nearly the whole population of Jerusalem and burned down the sacred temple?
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalGovnaWatts View Post
Was that also called The Great Judean Revolt or something of the like? Where the Romans massacred nearly the whole population of Jerusalem and burned down the sacred temple?
There were three official Jewish Revolts against Rome, you're thinking of the first.

The "Jewish War" (Bellum Iudaicum), 67-73 CE - the Jews of Judea revolt against the Roman procurator, winning some early victories against legionary forces but suffering from their own chronic infighting. Jerusalem is retaken and the Temple is destroyed in 70 by Titus, son of Vespasian. The last three years are spent mopping up resistance; the war officially ends with the mass suicide of the defenders of Masada in 73. Josephus left an excellent, first-hand account of this war.

The Kitos War, 115-117 CE - the most understudied of Rome's three Jewish wars, most of the fighting took place in urban areas of Egypt, Cyrene, and Cyprus though there were also outbreaks in Judea, Syria, and Mesopotamia. The apparently horrific level of destruction during this war encouraged Trajan to abandon the newly-formed province of Mesopotamia.

The Bar Kochva Revolt, 132 - 135 - the Jews of Judea revolted again, under the leadership of the alleged Maschiach, Shimon bar Kochva. Bar Kochva was initially greeted with resounding success, declaring a new Jewish Kingdom and minting coins. The Revolt was put down by the Roman general Sextus Iulius Severus. Emperor Hadrian subsequently issued laws harshly constricting the Jewish people; he forbade them from living in Judea and renamed the province Palestina, in honor of ancient Israel's most implacable foe, the Philistines.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #7

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Im sure the Navahoe massacared the original Indian population of Arizona when they migrated in. I think this rates as one of the worlds greatest genocides.

Its hard to study though as there is no written record, and genocide being commited by, native Americans goes against the popular view of them at the moment.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #8

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The sack of Carthage is certainly one of the worst, there were hundreds of thousands of people in Carthage, and only 50,000 survived to be enslaved and another 10,000 to refound Carthage ten miles from the sea.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #9

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My votes go to Bar Kochva revolt, the amount of destruction and mass killing has never been seen.

However it was a war. Individual massacres... without doubt the annihilation of Carthage in 146 BC. A mass killing of hundreds thousand people unarmed or triying to defend themselves fanatically with crude weapons, house by house against the legionnaries, thousands perished in the fires.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:46 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salah ad-Din View Post
There were three official Jewish Revolts against Rome, you're thinking of the first.

The "Jewish War" (Bellum Iudaicum), 67-73 CE - the Jews of Judea revolt against the Roman procurator, winning some early victories against legionary forces but suffering from their own chronic infighting. Jerusalem is retaken and the Temple is destroyed in 70 by Titus, son of Vespasian. The last three years are spent mopping up resistance; the war officially ends with the mass suicide of the defenders of Masada in 73. Josephus left an excellent, first-hand account of this war.

The Kitos War, 115-117 CE - the most understudied of Rome's three Jewish wars, most of the fighting took place in urban areas of Egypt, Cyrene, and Cyprus though there were also outbreaks in Judea, Syria, and Mesopotamia. The apparently horrific level of destruction during this war encouraged Trajan to abandon the newly-formed province of Mesopotamia.

The Bar Kochva Revolt, 132 - 135 - the Jews of Judea revolted again, under the leadership of the alleged Maschiach, Shimon bar Kochva. Bar Kochva was initially greeted with resounding success, declaring a new Jewish Kingdom and minting coins. The Revolt was put down by the Roman general Sextus Iulius Severus. Emperor Hadrian subsequently issued laws harshly constricting the Jewish people; he forbade them from living in Judea and renamed the province Palestina, in honor of ancient Israel's most implacable foe, the Philistines.
Ah yes I recall now, Titus and Vespasian's campaign. Didn't know much about the other 2 Jewish revolts. Thanks Salah.
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