Aurelian - the Greatest Roman Army commander in its history?

Jul 2013
1,003
America
#1
How does his generalship on the tactical, strategical and operational level compare to the likes of Caesar, Scipio, Sertorius, and the like? He frequently gets mentioned on here, was he really all that great of a commander?
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
3,811
Slovenia
#2
Aurelian was probably one of the best but what do primary sources say? His tasks were very hard and he conquered all in only few years.

I admit I 've never read a book on him, I'm willing to learn from more learned.
 
Jul 2013
1,003
America
#3
Aurelian was probably one of the best but what do primary sources say? His tasks were very hard and he conquered all in only few years.

I admit I 've never read a book on him, I'm willing to learn from more learned.
How well regarded was he by troops of that period?
 
Sep 2013
608
Ontario, Canada
#8
He did so much in the four years and nine months that he was Emperor. I wonder what he could have accomplished if allotted the 20 years or 30 years that his eventual successors had.

Aurelian was a top notch General and managed to restore order to legions which had become extremely seditious. Especially after his string of victories, I believe that he came to be admired by his men, despite being a harsh disciplinarian. That's the sure mark of a great General when you inspire your men to want to die for you, or to at least avenge your death when they can't.

Caesar is really head-and-shoulders above almost every other Roman general, though. Aurelian found ways to win, but Caesar found new ways to win. Ironically they were both in power about the same length of time, and they both transformed the Roman World during their short terms.
 
Jul 2013
1,003
America
#10
That's another issue. The period of the soldier emperors is poorly preserved in the ancient literary record. Between Cassius Dio and Ammianus Marcellinus there is gap of 150 years in great historians and Aurelian falls squarely into it.
Well, how tactically proficient was Aurelian compared to soldier emperors like Constantine and Diocletian?
 

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