When Barbario and Julian were supposed to move against the tribes together Constantius II planned a large double pincerlike movement.Fair enough re. Belisarius. You evidently place a lot of value on military leaders who played a strong defensive game, specifically Constantius II vis-a-vis the Persians and Diocletian in general. It's refreshing to see, because I find the defensive element is sometimes underrated on this forum. Incidentally, which campaign does this refer to: "In the west he tried to use an ambitious encirclement but like Napoleon trying to set strategy for the Peninsular War Constantius was too far away."
Diocletian was indeed a great military organizer. I was thinking more in terms of active campaigning, but certainly as a military organizer Diocletian's inclusion makes sense. He enacted various important military measures, including the establishment of the comitatenses (so David Potter argues), the strengthening of existing fortifications in the frontier zones, the building of more fortifications to create increasingly densely fortified frontier zones, the establishment of garrisons at important locations in the rear of the frontier zones, the building of forts beyond the frontiers for offensive campaigns, the building of the Strata Diocletiana, the foundation of more legions than any emperor since Augustus, and the increased use of vexillations as permanently separated units.
As for whether he ever suffered a defeat, the one known possibility is the Battle of the Margus in 285. When the armies of Carinus and Diocletian faced one another, Carinus' army appears to have gained the upper hand. Sources vary, but either Carinus had already won the battle or was in the process of winning the battle when he was struck down by one of his tribunes. The hostile sources, influenced by Diocletianic propaganda, claim that Carinus was killed because he had defiled the wives of his officers. Perhaps this is true, but it is a literary trope often applied by Romans to rulers whom posterity has decided were tyrants. In any case, the tribune that slew Carinus was not necessarily the only person involved in the conspiracy. Aristobulus appears to have betrayed his emperor. After Diocletian won the civil war, he allowed Aristobulus to retain the offices of praetorian prefect and consul. To allow Aristobulus to retain an office as powerful as the praetorian prefecture is telling. Aurelius Victor reports that this was because of the services (officia) that he had rendered (Liber de Caesaribus 39.14). The future emperor Constantius I, as the governor of nearby Dalmatia, probably also made a timely switch in loyalty during this campaign, considering his future political career. Indeed, Constantius eventually named a son of his Dalmatius, seemingly in honour of the appointment he held around the time of this civil war. That political intrigue played such a prominent role in this victory speaks to Diocletian's political acumen.
Chnodomar‘s tribes in Gaul that are. While Constantius II seems to be blamed, it was Julian getting bogged down which ruined the campaign and left Barbatio dangerously exposed. (probably don’t know all the perspectives but that‘s the narrative that I got)When Barbario and Julian were supposed to move against the tribes together Constantius II planned a large double pincerlike movement.
Yeah that's the interpretation of Matthews in The Roman Empire of Ammianus. Ammianus himself blames Barbatio, but he naturally wouldn't want to blame Julian, the emperor under whom he served in the Persian campaign.Chnodomar‘s tribes in Gaul that are. While Constantius II seems to be blamed, it was Julian getting bogged down which ruined the campaign and left Barbatio dangerously exposed. (probably don’t know all the perspectives but that‘s the narrative that I got)
Chobin seems like a very good commander but one of the best of the entire era? Could you explain your choices of Sharbaraz and Bahram Chobin, I know but little on Sassanian history and would be interested to know what they did, I have some knowledge on Chobin but Sharbaraz I know only by name.In not particular order
-Theodosius the Elder
Any thoughts on Licinius as a military leader?He next assigned the task of retaking Italy to the emperor Licinius and withdrew from active campaigning as illness took hold. Licinius himself was too cautious against Maxentius, and Galerius was dead by the time Constantine defeated him.fl