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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:09 AM   #21

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I was always amazed how people like Caesar so much, and how they like to speculate. I am also one of those who like to speculate, but now, even after extensive thinking about this, I'm not sure I've resolved the dilemma.

Alexander was great general, no doubt. Maybe the best general that stood on this planet. His phalanxes were deadly in right conditions and circumstances. He used cavalry, persian army and other human resources, so in kind of way he reformed classical macedonian phalanx into complete army, which no longer relied only on phalanx but also on other parts of army; archers, cavalry, etc..
He was great motivator, able commander, fellow soldier, and everything else that needs for conquest and successful campaigning.

On the other side we have Romans. People that lost many battles, but never lost a single war(now I'm talking about "real" Romans). They were stubborn and innovative. They have learned to sail and to construct triremes in three months during the war with Carthaginians. More important, they defeated the best sailors and navigators of the world by that very same fleet. They were ready for adoption, adopted navy from Carthaginians(with addition of so called deadly "raven", which was their innovation), adopted short sword from Spain, invented trenches and turtle formation, and many other military stuffs. They were in every kind of war; in woods,deserts, seas, plains, hills, etc...They fought war on knees almost 16 years against the best commander of the time, and were able to adopt very quickly(as showed battle of Zama where they imposed special tactic against elephants, although it was not the first time they use it. At Sicily they digged trenches and velites threw javelins on elephants).

Decision was tough, but eventually, Romans would win. And Alexander would end at the cross, or as a triumph.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:18 AM   #22

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If we're talking about the Roman Empire vs Alexander, then we're talking in terms similar to Nazi Germany vs. Napoleon. Alexander is no competition for the Roman Empire.

Contemporaries?

Alexander's army had 48,000 Greek infantry and 6100 cavalry. A much more powerful force than anyone in his time.

Rome's army had two legions each with 3000 heavy infantry, 1200 light infantry, and 300 cavalry.

It's just simple math.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:30 AM   #23

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodoric View Post
If we're talking about the Roman Empire vs Alexander, then we're talking in terms similar to Nazi Germany vs. Napoleon. Alexander is no competition for the Roman Empire.

Contemporaries?

Alexander's army had 48,000 Greek infantry and 6100 cavalry. A much more powerful force than anyone in his time.

Rome's army had two legions each with 3000 heavy infantry, 1200 light infantry, and 300 cavalry.

It's just simple math.
Exactly. And the Napoleon vs Nazi Germany is a very good analogy to compare their military and capabilities.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:45 AM   #24

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodoric View Post
If we're talking about the Roman Empire vs Alexander, then we're talking in terms similar to Nazi Germany vs. Napoleon. Alexander is no competition for the Roman Empire.

Contemporaries?

Alexander's army had 48,000 Greek infantry and 6100 cavalry. A much more powerful force than anyone in his time.

Rome's army had two legions each with 3000 heavy infantry, 1200 light infantry, and 300 cavalry.

It's just simple math.
According to Polybius when Gauls(Celts) invaded Italy, app. near time of Alexander, Romans and the allies brought up more than 600.000 soldiers.

Polybius, II, 24:

But in order that we may learn from actual facts how
The Roman resources.

..[I]great the power was which Hannibal subsequently ventured to attack, and what a mighty empire he faced when he succeeded in inflicting upon the Roman people the most severe disasters, I must now state the amount of the forces they could at that time bring into the field. The two Consuls had marched out with four legions, each consisting of five thousand two hundred infantry and three hundred cavalry. Besides this there were with each Consul allies to the number of thirty thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry. Of Sabines and Etruscans too, there had come to Rome, for that special occasion, four thousand horse and more than fifty thousand foot. These were formed into an army and sent in advance into Etruria, under the command of one of the Praetors. Moreover, the Umbrians and Sarsinatae, hill tribes of the Apennine district, were collected to the number of twenty thousand; and with them were twenty thousand Venĕti and Cenomani. These were stationed on the frontier of the Gallic territory, that they might divert the attention of the invaders, by making an incursion into the territory of the Boii. These were the forces guarding the frontier. In Rome itself, ready as a reserve in case of the accidents of war, there remained twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse of citizens, and thirty thousand foot and two thousand horse of the allies. Lists of men for service had also been returned, of Latins eighty thousand foot and five thousand horse; of Samnites seventy thousand foot and seven thousand horse; of Iapygians and Messapians together fifty thousand foot and sixteen thousand horse; and of Lucanians thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse; of Marsi, and Marrucini, and Ferentani, and Vestini, twenty thousand foot and four thousand horse. And besides these, there were in reserve in Sicily and Tarentum two legions, each of which consisted of about four thousand two hundred foot, and two hundred horse. Of the Romans and Campanians the total of those put on the roll was two hundred and fifty thousand foot and twentythree thousand horse; so that the grand total of the forces actually defending Rome was over 150,000 foot, 6000 cavalry:1 and of the men able to bear arms, Romans and allies, over 700,000 foot and 70,000 horse; while Hannibal, when he invaded Italy, had less than twenty thousand to put against this immense force..


P.S. WHEN Rome had two legions? Do you have any reliable source for your claim?

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Lucius Vorenus; January 5th, 2013 at 04:52 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:48 AM   #25

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Originally Posted by The Imperial View Post
Exactly. And the Napoleon vs Nazi Germany is a very good analogy to compare their military and capabilities.
wrong post. sorry
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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:57 AM   #26

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People talk about how Alexander was not defeated but Rome had been defeated many times. This is a terrible terrible comparison, Alexander was one commander, Rome was a civilization that stood for over 1000 years.

There was also the comparison with Hannibal's battle of Cannae against Rome to compare how Alexander would have done; another bad comparison. This makes the assumption that Alexander was as great of a general as Hannibal =P

To take a Roman Commander, Scipio, like Alexander, he was undefeated. Though not only was he undefeated, but he defeated Hannibal AND the Macedonians. The Romans had many other undefeated Generals as well, some conquering greater territories than Alexander (such as Constantine).
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Old January 5th, 2013, 05:04 AM   #27

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodoric View Post
People talk about how Alexander was not defeated but Rome had been defeated many times. This is a terrible terrible comparison, Alexander was one commander, Rome was a civilization that stood for over 1000 years.

There was also the comparison with Hannibal's battle of Cannae against Rome to compare how Alexander would have done; another bad comparison. This makes the assumption that Alexander was as great of a general as Hannibal =P

To take a Roman Commander, Scipio, like Alexander, he was undefeated. Though not only was he undefeated, but he defeated Hannibal AND the Macedonians. The Romans had many other undefeated Generals as well, some conquering greater territories than Alexander (such as Constantine).
Well, lets see the facts:

Alexander's conquest:

Click the image to open in full size.

Consntantine's conquest:

Click the image to open in full size.

Alexander conquered new territories. Constantine conquered territories that were already Rome. That makes them same?
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Old January 5th, 2013, 05:05 AM   #28

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius Vorenus View Post
P.S. WHEN Rome had two legions? Do you have any reliable source for your claim?

Thanks in advance
The Beginnings of Rome, by Tim Cornell, pg 182
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Old January 5th, 2013, 05:17 AM   #29

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodoric View Post
The Beginnings of Rome, by Tim Cornell, pg 182
with all the respect that is not the source, and there is no way we can with utmost certainty said that Rome ever had two legions, simply because until the Marian reforms, army was militia, and raised in times of danger. that is pure assumption, based on semi - legendary stories of Livy, Cassius Dio. We can calculate army strength with centuriates reforms, but even that with caution.

Even if we accept Foccaro's claims(from Cornell's books), then that makes your post invalid and fallacious, because Romulus lived until around 700. B.C at the best case, and that period and even period of Servius Tullius is far before Alexander, and far from contemporary as you mentioned in your post, thus making your claim about strength of Romans fallacious. Your post follows:

Contemporaries?

Alexander's army had 48,000 Greek infantry and 6100 cavalry. A much more powerful force than anyone in his time.

Rome's army had two legions each with 3000 heavy infantry, 1200 light infantry, and 300 cavalry.

It's just simple math.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #30

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It would depend on the size of the Roman army, from which period army we are talking about, if we are talking about a single battle or a war and who's the commander of the Romans.
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