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Old November 12th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locke View Post
Hmm, I was unaware of this: if it's okay with you may I ask for a citation?
Do you mean while we are waiting for some Classical sources on the purported unimaginative tactical deficiencies of the contemporary Romans and the Punic siege warfare?

But of course...

In fact, it's an excellent opportunity for opening a brand new thread in our beloved Ancient History Forum.

Just to begin with (unsurprisingly from the first year of war, i.e.:
- the 3rd year of the 140 th Olympiad/
- DXXXII AUC /
- 218 BC) ...here comes this pearl from Titus Livius Patavinus on the naval deeds of the Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus:
Quote:
Sempronio consule et ante aduentum eius terra marique res gestae.
Viginti quinqueremes cum mille armatis ad depopulandam oram Italiae a Carthaginiensibus missae; nouem Liparas, octo ad insulam Volcani tenuerunt, tres in fretum auertit aestus.
Ad eas conspectas a Messana duodecim naues ab Hierone rege Syracusanorum missae, qui tum forte Messanae erat consulem Romanum opperiens, nullo repugnante captas naues Messanam in portum deduxerunt. Cognitum ex captiuis praeter uiginti naues, cuius ipsi classis essent, in Italiam missas, quinque et triginta alias quinqueremes Siciliam petere ad sollicitandos ueteres socios; Lilybaei occupandi praecipuam curam esse; credere eadem tempestate qua ipsi disiecti forent eam quoque classem ad Aegates insulas deiectam.
Haec, sicut audita erant, rex M. Aemilio praetori, cuius Sicilia prouincia erat, perscribit monetque [et] Lilybaeum firmo teneret praesidio.
Extemplo et circa a praetore ad ciuitates missi legati tribunique suos ad curam custodiae intendere, et ante omnia Lilybaeum tueri apparatu belli, edicto proposito ut socii nauales decem dierum cocta cibaria ad naues deferrent et ubi signum datum esset ne quis moram conscendendi faceret, perque omnem oram qui ex speculis prospicerent aduentantem hostium classem missis.
Itaque quamquam de industria morati cursum nauium erant Carthaginienses ut ante lucem accederent Lilybaeum, praesensum tamen est quia et luna pernox erat et sublatis armamentis ueniebant.
Extemplo datum signum ex speculis et in oppido ad arma conclamatum est et in naues conscensum; pars militum in muris portarumque in stationibus, pars in nauibus erant.
Et Carthaginienses, quia rem fore haud cum imparatis cernebant, usque ad lucem portu se abstinuerunt, demendis armamentis eo tempore aptandaque ad pugnam classe absumpto.
Vbi inluxit, recepere classem in altum ut spatium pugnae esset exitumque liberum e portu naues hostium haberent.
Nec Romani detractauere pugnam et memoria circa ea ipsa loca gestarum rerum freti et militum multitudine ac uirtute.

Vbi in altum euecti sunt, Romanus conserere pugnam et ex propinquo uires conferre uelle; contra eludere Poenus et arte non ui rem gerere nauiumque quam uirorum aut armorum malle certamen facere.
Nam ut sociis naualibus adfatim instructam classem, ita inopem milite habebant et, sicubi conserta nauis esset, haudquaquam par numerus armatorum ex ea pugnabat.
Quod ubi animaduersum est, et Romanis multitudo sua auxit animum et paucitas illis minuit.
Extemplo septem naues Punicae circumuentae: fugam ceterae ceperunt. Mille et septingenti fuere in nauibus captis milites nautaeque, in his tres nobiles Carthaginiensium.
Classis Romana incolumis, una tantum perforata naui sed ea quoque ipsa reduce, in portum rediit. Secundum hanc pugnam, nondum gnaris eius qui Messanae erant Ti. Sempronius consul Messanam uenit.
Ei fretum intranti rex Hiero classem ornatam obuiam duxit, transgressusque ex regia in praetoriam nauem, gratulatus sospitem cum exercitu et nauibus aduenisse precatusque prosperum ac felicem in Siciliam transitum, statum deinde insulae et Carthaginiensium conata exposuit pollicitusque est, quo animo priore bello populum Romanum iuuenis adiuuisset, eo senem adiuturum; frumentum uestimentaque sese legionibus consulis sociisque naualibus gratis praebiturum; grande periculum Lilybaeo maritimisque ciuitatibus esse et quibusdam uolentibus nouas res fore.
Ob haec consuli nihil cunctandum uisum quin Lilybaeum classe peteret.
Et rex regiaque classis una profecti.
Nauigantes inde pugnatum ad Lilybaeum fusasque et captas hostium naues accepere.

A Lilybaeo consul, Hierone cum classe regia dimisso relictoque praetore ad tuendam Siciliae oram, ipse in insulam Melitam, quae a Carthaginiensibus tenebatur, traiecit.
Aduenienti Hamilcar Gisgonis filius, praefectus praesidii, cum paulo minus duobus milibus militum oppidumque cum insula traditur.
Inde post paucos dies reditum Lilybaeum captiuique et a consule et a praetore, praeter insignes nobilitate uiros, sub corona uenierunt.
Postquam ab ea parte satis tutam Siciliam censebat consul, ad insulas Volcani, quia fama erat stare ibi Punicam classem, traiecit; nec quisquam hostium circa eas insulas inuentus; iam forte transmiserant ad uastandam Italiae oram depopulatoque Vibonensi agro urbem etiam terrebant.
Repetenti Siciliam consuli escensio hostium in agrum Vibonensem facta nuntiatur, litteraeque ab senatu de transitu in Italiam Hannibalis et ut primo quoque tempore collegae ferret auxilium missae traduntur.
Multis simul anxius curis exercitum extemplo in naues impositum Ariminum mari supero misit, Sex. Pomponio legato cum uiginti quinque longis nauibus Vibonensem agrum maritimamque oram Italiae tuendam attribuit, M. Aemilio praetori quinquaginta nauium classem expleuit.
Ipse compositis Siciliae rebus decem nauibus oram Italiae legens Ariminum peruenit.
Quote:
... military and naval actions were taking place around Sicily and the islands fringing Italy, both under the conduct of Sempronius and also before his arrival.
Twenty quinqueremes with a thousand soldiers on board had been despatched by the Carthaginians to Italy, nine of them to Liparae, eight to the island of Vulcanus, and three had been carried by the currents into the Straits of Messana.
These were sighted from Messana, and Hiero, the King of Syracuse, who happened to be there at the time waiting for the consul, despatched twelve ships against them, and they were taken without any opposition and brought into the harbour of Messana.
It was ascertained from the prisoners, that besides the fleet of twenty ships to which they belonged which had sailed for Italy thirty-five quinqueremes were also on the way to Sicily with the object of stirring up the old allies of Carthage.
Their main anxiety was to secure Lilybaeum, and the prisoners were of opinion that the storm which had separated them from the rest had also driven that fleet up to the Aegates.
The king communicated this information just as he had received it to M. Aemilius, the praetor, whose province Sicily was, and advised him to throw a strong garrison into Lilybaeum.
The praetor at once sent envoys and military tribunes to the neighbouring states to urge them to take measures for self-defence.
Lilybaeum especially was engrossed in preparations for war; orders were issued for the seamen to carry ten days' rations on board that there might be no delay in setting sail when the signal was given; and men were despatched along the coast to look out for the approach of the hostile fleet.
So it came to pass that although the Carthaginians had purposely lessened the speed of their vessels, so that they might approach Lilybaeum before daylight, they were descried in the offing owing to there being a moon all night, and also because they were coming with their sails set. Instantly the signal was given by the look-out men; in the town there was the cry, "To arms," and the ships were manned.
Some of the soldiers were on the walls and guarding the gates, others were on board the ships.
As the Carthaginians saw that they would have to deal with people who were anything but unprepared, they stood out from the harbour till daylight, and spent the time in lowering their masts and preparing for action.
When it grew light they put out to sea that they might have sufficient room for fighting, and that the enemy's ships might be free to issue from the harbour.
The Romans did not decline battle, encouraged as they were by the recollection of their former conflicts in this very place, and full of confidence in the numbers and courage of their men.

When they had sailed out to sea the Romans were eager to come to close quarters and make a hand-to-hand fight of it; the Carthaginians, on the other hand, sought to avoid this and to succeed by maneuvering and not by direct attack; they preferred to make it a battle of ships rather than of soldiers.
For their fleet was amply provided with seamen, but only scantily manned by soldiers, and whenever a ship was laid alongside one of the enemy's they were very unequally matched in fighting men.
When this became generally known, the spirits of the Romans rose as they realised how many of their military were on board, whilst the Carthaginians lost heart when they remembered how few they had.
Seven of their ships were captured in a very short time, the rest took to flight.
In the seven ships there were 1700 soldiers and sailors, amongst them three members of the Carthaginian nobility.
The Roman fleet returned undamaged into port, with the exception of one which had been rammed, but even that was brought in.
Immediately after this battle Tiberius Sempronius, the consul, arrived at Messana before those in the town had heard of it.
King Hiero went to meet him at the entrance of the Straits with his fleet fully equipped and manned, and went on board the consul's vessel to congratulate him on having safely arrived with his fleet and his army, and to wish him a prosperous and successful passage to Sicily.
He then described the condition of the island and the movements of the Carthaginians, and promised to assist the Romans now in his old age with the same readiness which he had shown as a young man in the former war; he should supply the seamen and soldiers with corn and clothing gratis. He also told the consul that Lilybaeum and the cities on the coast were in great danger, some were anxious to effect a revolution.
The consul saw that there must be no delay in his sailing for Lilybaeum; he started at once and the king accompanied him with his fleet.

At Lilybaeum Hiero and his fleet bade him farewell, and the consul, after leaving the praetor to see to the defence of the coast of Sicily, crossed over to Malta which was held by the Carthaginians.
Hamilcar, the son of Gisgo, who was in command of the garrison, surrendered the island and his men, a little under 2000 in number. A few days later he returned to Lilybaeum, and the prisoners, with the exception of the three nobles, were sold by auction. After satisfying himself as to the security of that part of Sicily, the consul sailed to the Insulae Vulcani, as he heard that the Carthaginian fleet was anchored there.
No enemy, however, was found in the neighbourhood, for they had left for Italy to ravage the coastal districts, and after laying waste the territory of Vibo they were threatening the city.
Whilst he was returning to Sicily the news of these depredations reached the consul, and at the same time a despatch was handed to him from the senate informing him of Hannibal's presence in Italy and ordering him to come to his colleague's assistance as soon as possible.
With all these causes for anxiety weighing upon him, the consul at once embarked his army and despatched it up the Adriatic to Ariminum.
He furnished Sex. Pomponius, his legate, with twenty-five ships of war, and entrusted to him the protection of the Italian coast and the territory of Vibo, and made up the fleet of M. Aemilius, the praetor, to fifty vessels.
After making these arrangements for Sicily, he started for Italy with ten ships, and cruising along the coast reached Ariminum.
(Ab Vrbe Condita, XXI. XLIX-LI)

Fascinating, isn't it?

Last edited by sylla1; November 12th, 2012 at 07:16 PM.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 06:56 AM   #142

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Quote:
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I am not aware of any Major Carthaginian naval victory in the second punic war. The Romans took control of the sea in the first punic war, and did not relinquish it in the subsequent wars against Carthage, bearing in mind, their own allies in the Rhodians, were very adept at naval warfare.
Victories were in short supply for the Carthaginian navy (I do know they beat off a Roman raiding fleet early during the war, but I can't remember or locate the citation for that one, please bear with me!) - though there weren't many large naval battles in the war (the largest being fought on the coasts of Africa in 208/207 BC, in which the Carthaginians came off worse. Livy, 27.29, 28.4) - but there were likely a number of smaller engagements. They surrendered the coasts of Spain in 217 BC (Polybius 3.95, Livy 22.19-20) and never challenged for naval supremacy there again despite outnumbering the Roman ships (being supported by their Massilian allies) at the battle of the Ebro (of which we have a tantalizing glimpse from a surviving fragment from Sosylus (Arrianus, Sosylus, Phlegon and other Greek historians) The Carthaginian navy did show the Roman navy was vulnerable, launching attacks on Sicily and doing serious damage (Livy 22.56) and Sardinia, and dropping off troops in those locations, reinforcing Spain, northern and southern Italy during the war, (Livy 23.32, 28.46) yet when it came down to it, they came off worse in actual naval battles (despite some where the Roman vessels were encumbered by loot gained from Africa!) As you mentioned, the Romans also had quite capable naval allies, and more importantly, held onto the important islands Carthage needed to hold or win to maintain stronger naval presence in Italy.

Last edited by markdienekes; November 13th, 2012 at 07:15 AM.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 07:07 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangekyou

I am not aware of any Major Carthaginian naval victory in the second punic war. The Romans took control of the sea in the first punic war, and did not relinquish it in the subsequent wars against Carthage, bearing in mind, their own allies in the Rhodians, were very adept at naval warfare.
Classical sources might indeed surprise us when reviewed in detail.

You may be interested in exploring the fascinating and rich naval aspects of Punic War II in this (not-so-much) related thread http://www.historum.com/ancient-hist...ml#post1255645.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 07:20 AM   #144

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I'm surprised to see talented commanders Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba, Stephen III of Moldavia, Oda Nobunaga, Heinz Guderian, Turenne, Eugene of Savoy...pretty much ignored
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Old November 13th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #145

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There is to much genius commanders to choose only one.

Mainstein
Zhukov.
Vő Nguyęn Giáp
Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba
Subotai

a infinite number,
i must point a group os commanders
Antonio José de Sucre
José de San Martín
much of the South america independence come from this guys
and
Toussaint Louverture
Jean-Jacques Dessalines
this two guys are mybe the most underrated commanders.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:17 AM   #146

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Another commnder I would put forward is Tran Hung Dao. A hero in Vietnam and he was responsible for repelling three Mongolian invasions of his country. A very talented Tactican and Strategist.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markdienekes View Post
Victories were in short supply for the Carthaginian navy (I do know they beat off a Roman raiding fleet early during the war, but I can't remember or locate the citation for that one, please bear with me!) - though there weren't many large naval battles in the war (the largest being fought on the coasts of Africa in 208/207 BC, in which the Carthaginians came off worse. Livy, 27.29, 28.4) - but there were likely a number of smaller engagements. They surrendered the coasts of Spain in 217 BC (Polybius 3.95, Livy 22.19-20) and never challenged for naval supremacy there again despite outnumbering the Roman ships (being supported by their Massilian allies) at the battle of the Ebro (of which we have a tantalizing glimpse from a surviving fragment from Sosylus (Arrianus, Sosylus, Phlegon and other Greek historians) The Carthaginian navy did show the Roman navy was vulnerable, launching attacks on Sicily and doing serious damage (Livy 22.56) and Sardinia, and dropping off troops in those locations, reinforcing Spain, northern and southern Italy during the war, (Livy 23.32, 28.46) yet when it came down to it, they came off worse in actual naval battles (despite some where the Roman vessels were encumbered by loot gained from Africa!) As you mentioned, the Romans also had quite capable naval allies, and more importantly, held onto the important islands Carthage needed to hold or win to maintain stronger naval presence in Italy.
Yep, good points mate, can't disagree. I was just to demonstrate that supplies/action via the sea in order to open another front for Hannibal's sake was unrealistic, given the tight Roman control over the med.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Classical sources might indeed surprise us when reviewed in detail.

You may be interested in exploring the fascinating and rich naval aspects of Punic War II in this (not-so-much) related thread http://www.historum.com/ancient-hist...l#post1255645.
Indeed so. I will visit that thread when I have time to dig some of my own sources up on the issue.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tairusiano View Post
There is to much genius commanders to choose only one.

Mainstein
Zhukov.
Vő Nguyęn Giáp
Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba
Subotai

a infinite number,
i must point a group os commanders
Antonio José de Sucre
José de San Martín
much of the South america independence come from this guys
and
Toussaint Louverture
Jean-Jacques Dessalines
this two guys are mybe the most underrated commanders.
I agree with the mention of Zhukov.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #148

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Erwin Rommel, the fact that he respected even the corpses of his enemies.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #149

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My way of ranking generals, in all honesty, is through tiers. In text order, they are listed chronologically.

Tier 1; Alexander the Great, Hannibal Barca, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Duke of Marlborough, and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Tier 2: Cyrus the Great, Scipio Africanus, Belisarius, Heraclius, Subutai, Tamerlane, Gustavus Adolphus, Eugene of Savoy, Nader Shah, Frederick the Great, Duke of Wellington, and Ulysses S. Grant

This is just a beginning list, I'm sure I could think up of a lot more later.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 04:01 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Do you mean while we are waiting for some Classical sources on the purported unimaginative tactical deficiencies of the contemporary Romans and the Punic siege warfare?

But of course...

In fact, it's an excellent opportunity for opening a brand new thread in our beloved Ancient History Forum.

Just to begin with (unsurprisingly from the first year of war, i.e.:
- the 3rd year of the 140 th Olympiad/
- DXXXII AUC /
- 218 BC) ...here comes this pearl from Titus Livius Patavinus on the naval deeds of the Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus: (Ab Vrbe Condita, XXI. XLIX-LI)

Fascinating, isn't it?
Very fascinating indeed.
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