Rome's Greatest Victories and Defeats.(my opinion)

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,636
USA
#1
Here are Rome's Greatest victories and defeats in my opinion. In terms of best and worse would be terms of battles based on battles and causalties(Roman defeats) and army strengths.

Worse defeats:

10. Battle of Allia-Early Roman army defeated by the Gauls, Gauls sack Rome.
9. Teutoburg Forest- 15,000(3 Legions) 6 Auxilia cohorts, and two Roman Ala cavalry killed by Arminus and the Germans.
8. Adianople-20,000 or 15,000 Romans killed by the Goths including the Emperor Valens.
7. Trebia- 16,000 Romans and 20,000 Italian allies slaughter by Hannibal.
6. Lake Trasamine-30,000 Roman troops slaughter by Hannibal.
5. Cahrae- 35,000 Romans(7 Legions) 4,000 Gallic/Roman Auxilia cavalry killed by the Parthians.
4. Cannae-40,000 Romans(8 Legions), 40,000 Italians killed by Hannibal's army.
3. Barbalissos-60,000 Roman army killed by the Persians leaving the East wide open to attack.
2. Edessa- 70,000 Roman Army entire force killed or captured including the emperor.
1. Arausio-80,000 Romans(up to 10/12 Legions) plus 40,000 Allies slaughtered by a massive German army.

Greatest victories
11. Actium- Agrippa's fleet defeats Mark Antony. Beginning the Roman Empire.
10. Medionlum-Gallienus defeats the invading Germanic Alamanni warriors(over 100,000)
9. Phasphalus-Caesar army of 20,000 defeats Pompey of 40,000.
8.Vercelle- 50,000 Roman army under Marius defeat a massive German army invading them that beat them at Arausio.
7. Zama- Scipio's army beats Hannibal. Ending the 2nd Punic War.
7. Metarus-an army under Nero defeats Hasdrabal's army ending Hannibal's chance of reinforcement.
6. Emessa- Aurelian defeats Zenobia with an army of 65,000 vs. Zenobia's army of 70,000(mostly Cataphracts). One of the battles that ended 3rd Century Crisis.
5. Charonea- Sulla defeats Mithradates outnumbered 3-1 ending his invasion and treats of the 1st Mithradatic War.
4. Munda- Caesar's army of 40,000 defeats a massive Roman army of 80,000 ending the Civil War.
3. Magnesia- Asiaticus defeats Antiocus' massive 70,000 Selucid army permateley making Rome the world power of the medieternean. Antichos III brought one of the most fearsome and terrifying armies fielding phalanxes, chariots, elephants and Cataphracts.
2. Alesia- 60,000 Roman army( 6 Legions) under Caesar win a decisive
victory over a 100,000 Gallic army. Pretty much entire force routed and besieged forced captured and killed and enslaved. Victory of entire war hangs on this war.
1.. Adrianople(324)-Constantine defeats Licicus' massive Roman army(over 100,000) ending the Tetcharchy. Feel free to judge. Constantine was outnumbered, show good river crossing, postion of infantry and archers, and used the cavalry to knock the decisive blows. Could be rivaled by Alexander's Hydapses River and tatics of Alexander himself. One of the most tactical Roman battles and most grand.

Those are my opinion. What about you? Comments on my list.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2007
9,098
Canada
#2
Teutoburg was an important defeat historically because of how it impacted Roman expansion, even though the losses were rather slight. Arausio was a huge defeat but the long-term impact was not that signifigant. I guess it depends on how you're rating these things - is it about the historical impact and consequences? Outcomes that are vastly different from what might be expected, given the forces, terrain, weather, etc? Or just the actual size of the defeats and victories?
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,636
USA
#3
Teutoburg was an important defeat historically because of how it impacted Roman expansion, even though the losses were rather slight. Arausio was a huge defeat but the long-term impact was not that signifigant. I guess it depends on how you're rating these things - is it about the historical impact and consequences? Outcomes that are vastly different from what might be expected, given the forces, terrain, weather, etc? Or just the actual size of the defeats and victories?
Arausio not significant? It shook the Roman political system, and let Generals take power rather the noble senators who had no military experience and made Rome a professional army. Almost all historians rate Arausio the Worse Roman defeat ever surpassing Cannae. Romans were so afraid of that date they would not fight battles on it.

Both historical signifance and epicness in military strength is accounted, plus tactics of the commanders. it just equals out.

The Germans were not even a full scale Roman army Teutoburg. The initial Germanic invasion was 12 Legions. Almost troops were withdrawn from Germania to the fight in the Great Illyrian revolt. The Illyrian revolt had much more impact.
Teutoburg is heavily hyped by German nationalists. It had to do more guerilla attacks after the battle too. Tiberius decided to withdraw to the Rhine because it was a more practical border. Marcus Aurelius planned a German invasion but his death ended it.

As for Arausio, a Roman army stronger than ever was COMPLETLEY killed. You would seriously put Teutoburg number 1?
 
Last edited:
Jul 2007
9,098
Canada
#5
Arausio not significant? It shook the Roman political system, and let Generals take power rather the noble senators who had no military experience and made Rome a professional army.
You've got a point there.

I was thinking that it didn't slow them down much. The positive effects never crossed my mind.
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,636
USA
#8
Adrianople was probably its most humiliating defeat. Most of an army and an Emperor wiped out by 'barbarians'.
Probally not. It hurts even more when Rome is trying really hard to defeat the enemy. Most of Rome's Troops were on the Persian border at the time of Adrianople. 1/3 of Rome's force survived the battle.

Cannae and Arausio is way worse in terms of humiliation. Entire setpiece Roman armies annihilated completely.
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,822
#9
Battle of Cape Bon, 468 A.D.

Basiliscus led perhaps the most massive fleet in Roman history, 1113 ships and 110,000 men, against Geiseric, 70,000 Romans perished.

This was after Geiseric had previously invaded Italy and sacked Rome.
 
Sep 2013
31
Mountania
#10
2. Alesia- 60,000 Roman army( 6 Legions) under Caesar win a decisive
victory over a 100,000 Gallic army. Pretty much entire force routed and besieged forced captured and killed and enslaved. Victory of
 

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