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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #1
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Romans v Vikings


Both had advanced equipment and were the most feared warriors of their time.
Vikings: chainmail and helmet, Dane Axe, long sword, round shield
Romans: Lorica Segmentata armor and helmet, pilum, gladius, scutum shield
Who would win if they met in battle?

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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #2

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Re: Romans v Vikings


Discipline wins over brute force and numbers almost 9 out of 10 times, i read once, The vikings where brutal and vicious, feared warriors, but the Romans where trained killing machines who took orders, and formations. The romans would Thrash the vikings sadly to say in my opinion. unless, is there specifics for where this battle is being held?
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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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Re: Romans v Vikings


It is my belief that if a battle was fought between ten thousand Romans and ten thousand Vikings on an open grassy plain then the Romans really wouldnt have much trouble with defeating the Vikings. It would be a fight that would require massive amounts of endurance and that is what the Romans had plenty of.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #4

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Re: Romans v Vikings


Well, an allmighty charge with Viking berserkers weilding danish axes, and spears might break the roman lines and scatter them an then the Huscarls and viking regulars could move in to pick them off and it would all be over, this of course if it was like 500 vs 500 on a league of 10,000 ferocity might overwhelm endurance.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:56 AM   #5
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Re: Romans v Vikings


The Vikings as far as I am aware fought in a Shield Wall type of formation. This may have been the best way at the time to get large amounts of people into a battle but I do not believe it would have been able to stand against the abilities of a a Roman army.

In my mind this is how the battle would go on an open plain. Both armies would form up, the Romans would stand their ground as the Vikings advanced on their location. The Vikings would have the initial advantage being both physically bigger and wielding axes as well as other quite formidable weapons.

Once both of the front lines were fully engaged the advantage would swing to the Romans using their short swords. To use a weapon like an axe or anything as substantial as that required a lot of room, the short sword that the Romans used on the other hand was a lot more effective in the sort of fight I believe such a battle would turn into.


Add in the damage caused to the Viking line by the Pilum and the ability to throw fresh reserves into the battle would in my mind throw the battle quite heavily into the Romans favour.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #6

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Re: Romans v Vikings


Well Vikings actually used shortswords alot of the time. The danish axe, or hand axe would actually have an advantage over some roman weapons because its not really blockable, and it can parry a gladius easily. The viking shortsword would match the roman gladius, then brute strength would come in, and I'm pretty sure that we know who has the upper hand there. Vikings used some tactics as well, they would have a calvary line off to the side with the cheiftans best huscarls then when the romans would break off fromt he viking charge to regroup they would swoop in and crush them.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #7
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Re: Romans v Vikings


I think the Romans would Thrash (note the capital 't') too.

Vikings were strong raiders against disorganised, tactically poor medieval kingdom armies. They were opportunists looking for easy spoils.

The Romans had one of the largest empires on earth in their time, and had conquered almost every square inch of it by force. They were empire builders.

I don't even put them in the same league.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:47 AM   #8

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Re: Romans v Vikings


Harald Hardrada is estimated to have brought an army of 7,500 to the battle of Stamford Bridge, and that was an army intended to conquer a kingdom. Yet is was considerably smaller than one late-Republic or early-Empire legion with its auxiliaries. Thanks to their superior organization and logistics, the Romans would probably always enter the battlefield with a numerical advantage.

On the battlefield, Roman professionalism would probably have been decisive. Man for man the Vikings may have been about equal, but a Roman commander would have had far more control. That means far more ability to move units around once the fighting has started, and to commit reserves at the critical point and the critical time. The Romans were also organized as a well-rounded force with heavy infantry, light infantry, cavalry, artillery, and engineers, which gave them an important advantage in their flexibility.

In reality, if 1st century Romans and 10th century Vikings had co-existed, then pitched battles would have been unlikely. The real problem for the Romans would have been small raids along the coastline, and this would have been an interesting naval problem. The Viking longship was considerably smaller than a trireme or liburnian , and not designed to actually fight at sea. On the other hand, the longship could be used for long-distance blue-water sailing, and a Roman galley could not -- even if it didn't perish in the first storm, the crew would die of thirst.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #9

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Re: Romans v Vikings


Vikings had logistics to xD. Ok first what would be the romans first line of defence?
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Old May 12th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #10
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Re: Romans v Vikings


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel Gustin View Post
In reality, if 1st century Romans and 10th century Vikings had co-existed, then pitched battles would have been unlikely. The real problem for the Romans would have been small raids along the coastline, and this would have been an interesting naval problem. The Viking longship was considerably smaller than a trireme or liburnian , and not designed to actually fight at sea. On the other hand, the longship could be used for long-distance blue-water sailing, and a Roman galley could not -- even if it didn't perish in the first storm, the crew would die of thirst.
Yup. That's a good point. A battle is just a battle...a war is something different.
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