- Jan 2010
A whole bunch which most sources won't tell you:My knowledge of Agrippa's campaigns against Sextus Pompey and later Antony is minimal. What is it about the context of Actium that you're referring to?
Germanicus is okay but I find him a bit overrated. His father Drusus was certainly more accomplished, as was his uncle Tiberius. In fact I think Tiberius is one of the most overlooked military commanders in history, and a fairly capable ruler. It is a shame that the only successor still alive happened to be Germanicus' brat Caligula.Incidentally, what are people's thoughts on Germanicus, Corbulo and Agricola? They receive considerable praise in the sources, but to what degree is this exaggerated? All three appear to serve as literary foils for 'bad' emperors: Tiberius, Nero and Domitian. Germanicus' life is also regarded like a tragedy of sorts, with Germanicus a victim of Tiberius and/or Livia, and the good emperor that could have been. Agricola was the father-in-law of Tacitus, so he naturally gets a good wrap. I don't know much about their campaigns, so what do other people think about their military capabilities?
He is criminally underrated as a general. He was clearly the best general Augustus had, even when Drusus and Germanicus were alive. People always Trajan in high regard (militarily) because of his Dacian wars, but Tiberius conquered Dalmatia, Pannonia and Rhaetia, as well as his campaigns in subduing the Germans, when he had that opportunity. Pannonia were especially very dangerous enemies to the Romans because they were trained in the Roman style of warfare, and the terrain they occupied was treacherous.Germanicus is okay but I find him a bit overrated. His father Drusus was certainly more accomplished, as was his uncle Tiberius. In fact I think Tiberius is one of the most overlooked military commanders in history, and a fairly capable ruler. It is a shame that the only successor still alive happened to be Germanicus' brat Caligula.
Almost everything you just typed is false, and has been addressed in depth on this board as being so by me (among others). Carthage was far from one of the few truly equal enemies Rome had, Caesar's military campaign in Gaul is rightly regarded for being incredibly impressive, and the Gauls were far from powerless. Caesar was also hideously outnumbered in most of his campaigns, which mitigates the military advantages he enjoyed to a great degree. Pompey was the overrated general, who was lucky not to be defeated at Dyrachium, and who massively outnumbered Caesar throughout the war. Pompey was fleeing to Egypt, the opposite way to the other Pompeians, and was probably bowing out of the war altogether. He had been thoroughly embarrassed by Caesar from the Rubicon onwards, it's unlikely he'd have had more luck in Africa or Spain (where Caesar again overcame gargantuan odds to win). You're either not being objective or need to go do some more reading.Scipio Africanus is the best, really. Carthage was one of the few truly equal enemies that Rome had. Julius Caesar, on his turn, is massively overrated. His invasion of Gaul wasn't really a military campaign, it was a campaign of extermination against a largely defenceless and powerless population. He can be praised for defeating Ariovistus and later Pompey, but he defeated Ariovistus more because of higher resources than because he was the better general (hell, Caesar's troops were almost routed by him, and it was only the timely intervention of Caesar's reserve force that saved him), and I have my doubts if Caesar could have defeated Pompey decisively anyway had Pompey not gotten executed by Ptolemy.
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