- Oct 2018
Against Hannibal and Attila, sure, but despite their initial performance at Carrhae, the Parthians lost against the Romans more often than they won. While the Sasanian Persians won some notable successes against the Romans, they too suffered their fair share of defeats. At Singara in 344 the Roman infantry defeated a Persian cataphract attack with maces, and we know that Palestinian troops under Aurelian used the same tactic against the cataphracts of Zenobia at Emesa in 272, which were either Persian units or Roman units. In the third century AD you get 'ethnic' cavalry units - specifically the Dalmatian and Moorish cavalry - that were highly competent against fellow Romans, Goths, and, again, Zenobia's cataphracts, but by this time these cavalrymen would have been Roman citizens. But certainly the Romans did make use of foreign cavalry units.It seems to me that the romans never did really did have good cavalry... this lead to hiring various cavalry savy "nationalities" (e.g. numidians) to try and address that weakness.... Still every time they faced a force heavy in good cavalry throughout their history (Hannibal, Parthians, Attila just to name a few) they suffered....