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Battle of Magnesia

Battle of Magnesia

Talk:Battle of Magnesia

Even according to the External link provided the Romans only had 35,000. Is there a better breakdown somewhere, perhaps Livy, of the amount of troops from each side? Something more accurate that can be referenced and looked up? The way I would understand it there would have been something like 20,000 Roman and Italian infantry and professional for the league 15,000 military (total 35,000). I can NOT find any sources for this 50,000 number. How many Galatians were there for the Romans? Would it be right to say Hannibal, in 190 BC in Turkey, had 25,000 men and also 1,000 of steppe-nomad horse-archers and 6,000 of cavalry of cataphract armour? (talk) 13:43, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Do you mean Antiochos instead of Hannibal? --Kryston (talk) 15:48, 27 November 2009 (UTC) Article says Antiochus was accompanied by Africanus's old enemy Hannibal so I believe Hannibal had some portion of Antiochos' army or perhaps control of all the army of some 25K - 26K. Does Livy have a better breakdown as to cavalry and troops on each side? (talk) 16:49, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Look up Appianus. The source is given. Hannibal may have been given some kind of control, but according to the sources he had none at all, so this is the mainstream theory. Livy does not offer a better breakdown of the forces. GK1973 (talk) 21:01, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Livy gives an excellent breakdown of the forces, which I have provided the references for. I have updated and corrected the figures.-- (talk) 18:56, 28 November 2009 (UTC) Good. Regarding the 50.000 I also know no source suggesting something like that, so you were absolutely correct to change it.GK1973 (talk) 19:19, 28 November 2009 (UTC) Grainger is as far as I know, the expert for the Roman-Syrian War. He claims, that Romans and Seleucids both had about 50.000 soldiers at the battle. Grainger comes to this conclusion - at least for the roman side - by adding the numbers of roman military units that Livius tells about in some earlier chapters of his book. --Kryston (talk) 21:37, 28 November 2009 (UTC) Grainger references most of his sources in the footnotes of each page mostly to Livy. So if Livy is his source, I'll just go straight to Livy and look it up myself. In Livy XXXVII 37 it says 60,000 infantry and 12,000 or more cavalry for king Antiochus. In Livy XXXVII 39 it give four legions of 5000 each, plus 3000 men, plus 3000 cavalry, 800 of which were furnished by Eumenes, plus the Trallian and Cretan horse, each body numbering 500 troopers, plus a mixed force of Macedonians and Thracians, 2000 in all, who had followed as volunteers. 20,000 ( 4 X 5000) + 3,000 + 3,000 + 1,000 + 2,000 = 29,000. Looks close to about 30,000 to me - nowhere close to 50,000. I would trust Livy over Grainger, especially since Grainger uses Livy for his source.-- (talk) 22:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC) Appian in History of Rome: The Syrian Wars also gives it as . about 30,000 strong. He gives Antiochus as 70,000. -- (talk) 23:05, 28 November 2009 (UTC) Just to make it sure: Grainger doubts the numbers that Livius gives in the chapter of the battle. At Thermopylae the Romans outnumbered the Seleucids, what is always a wise strategy. Livius tells about the different Roman units, that are transferred later on to Greece. By adding those, so Grainger claims, it would be possible to form an army of much more that 30.000. It wouldn't be very wise of the Romans to leave soldiers back in Greece, when the are awaiting a big battle in Asia. As far as I know, Livius mostly uses Polybios as his source. The different units Livius is telling about seem to be very exact and beliveable. The final numbers of the battle strength aren't. Livius as an author isn't the most neutral. He is a bit POV, in Wikipedia-speech. --Kryston (talk) 14:44, 29 November 2009 (UTC) One more thing: You said, you "go straight to Livy and look it up myself". This will mess up with Wikipedia:No original research. We are forced to use secondary sources like Grainger and others and aren't allowed to use the the primary sources. An expert on the theme should tell, if a primary source is believable or not. This is not my idea, but policy of Wikipedia. --Kryston (talk) 14:50, 29 November 2009 (UTC) Obviously you know a lot more about this kind of stuff than I do, as I am new at this. Go ahead and put whatever number you feel is most appropriate for the Roman side and I will agree with it. I did notice that Livy's viewpoint is a bit slanted towards the Romans. Thanks for your input. -- (talk) 15:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Citing Livy and Arrian is the rational thing to do here. Citing any other numbers which are not supported by the sources, most historians do agree with the numbers given by the ancients, should be done correctly. In the Battle of the Hydaspes article for example, we mentioned Green's hypothesis, but did not promote it as mainstream as is the case here too. Modern scholars mostly rely on the numbers given by the ancients and then only disagree when there are obvious exaggerations, as is the case with the Persian host of Xerxes in Greece or Darius in Gaugamela and even then things are not clear. Here, there is no such exaggeration, although there have been suggestions that Antiochus' army was in fact smaller. I admit to not having read Grainger, but I have read enough on the era to know that this is not the prevalent theory. I suggest we use Grainger's numbers as an extreme maximum of the Roman forces inside the text and not in the table.

I have now read Grainger's analysis and I have many objections to it but this does not matter here. What matters is that he himself admits that his theory is not supported by the rest of the academic community (p.321, . accepted without discussion by Bar Kotchva and by other moderns. ). Yet the very proposal that a consular army of the 2nd century BC could be as large as a combined consular army is very radical. Moreover, he also brings the number of the Seleucid forces to 50.000 total, a number I have seen supported multiple times, claiming that it was the Romans who actually had numerical superiority, at least in quality troops.

GK1973 (talk) 17:29, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

However you wish to change the wording or numbers I will agree with, since it is pretty obvious you know much more on this stuff than I do.-- (talk) 22:05, 29 November 2009 (UTC) Very good improvement to "The two Armies".-- (talk) 13:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I see argyraspides were used in this battle. Apparently Livy refers to them as the "royal cohort" in the army of Antiochus. What portion would you guess they were in this battle? Do you know any etymology on this word? -- (talk) 14:25, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

They are not the well known infantry argyraspides, an elite corpse of Alexander and the Successors, but a cavalry unit Appian calls in Greek "ippeis argyraspides", in the translation of Livy above, they are also named. We don't know their number although they might account for the difference of 1.000 between Appian's account and that of Livy's regarding the horse archers next to them. Maybe Livy somehow got the numbers wrong and there were 1.000 silvershields and 200 horse archers. On the other hand, Appian also does not mention their number, so maybe they were not numbered in the primary sources either. Who knows. GK1973 (talk) 14:38, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Just now came across this of Grainger on page 318 which speaks of full-time Seleukid argyraspides 10,000 strong.-- (talk) 18:00, 30 November 2009 (UTC) Based on Grainger page 320 would this sentence be correct, even if NOT real good English: Administration of the legion 20,000 Italian infantry with recruitments for the legion 15,000 Italian infantry, volunteer 5,000, with the legion historically 10,000. Apparently he based this on Livy 37.39 and others.-- (talk) 21:16, 30 November 2009 (UTC) Humor me on this, for there is a definite reason I am asking of the NOT so perfect English sentences. Based on Grainger page 319 would the following sentences be accurace. Grammer and sentence structure aside, does it at least look accurace. Also for Antiocho, which was writing history about the same time with Marcus Baebius Tamphilus as some think, 25,000 (10,000 Seleukid argyraspides plus about 15,000 citizen phalanx) and also 1000 royal horse guards and 6,000 of cavalry for armour, 3,000 on the life of Galatians and other light works of the soldiers. Not looking for it to be reworded, thanks anyway. Lets just say for argument's sake I may have found this in an allegory that is very old - centuries before Grainger. Entertain me: is it accurace on the numbers?-- (talk) 22:54, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I am sorry.. are you writing some kind of paper in another language based on Grainger's numbers?

1. Administration of the legion 20,000. If you mean "Manpower of a single legion" this is incorrect. If you mean "Manpower of a consular army (2 legions)" this is a good approxmation. Bear in mind that a single Roman legion's strength, at the time in qustion, in numbers was 1.200 hatati, 1.200 principes, 600 triarii (that is 3000 heavy infantry), 1.200 velites and 300 cavalry, in all 4.500. An allied legion had double that cavalry, so 4.800. In time of duress, the Romans reinforced thir legions with 600 more men, making a full stength, reinforced Roman, non-allied legion 5.100 men strong. Each Roman legion was accompannied by an allied legion, so a "double legion" Romans + Allies would be 9.300 or 9.900 men. To such legions constituted a cnsular army, the greatest force to be entrusted to a single consul. In times of great turmoil and then only within Italian soil, the two consuls would be able to form a combined army of 4 legions. More than that only fought in Cannae against Hannibal.

As for the rest, do you only speak about the Italian forces in Magnesia only? Grainger insists that most Italians who set foot on Greece were at Magnesia, but, Romans were very strict with the organization of their forces. In my opinion, the legions were reinforced legions and most other recruits-volunteers etc would have been left as garisons, operating in some minor front, manning warships (huge numbers were demanded for that) or simply sent back home or away on leave. In barren numbers, Grainger adds 23.000 men to the 20,000 of the legions, but what amazes me is that he is certain that these men are all heavy infantry, which is also kind of absurd. The 15.000 he numbers is the supposed initial strength of the two allied legions and not reinforcements. See the numbers again.

Next the numbers of the Seleucids. this 25.000 is not correct. The phalanx at Magnesia was 16.000, NOT 25.000. You might be mixed up with Antiochus' phalanx at Raphia against Ptolemy (217 BC). The royal guard at Magnesia was 2.000 men strong (agema), the cataphracts indeed 6.000, the Galatian INFANTRY 3000, there was also some Galatian cavalry and as the ancients say at least part of the cataphracts were also Galatians (which is admitedly strange. ).

I do not know whether I have helped you with what you need, if you have some more specific questions, I will be happy to answer them. GK1973 (talk) 13:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Looking at Grainger on page 360 it says Pulcher had a small force of 2,000 infantry. Looking at the reference of Livy 36.10.13-14 provided it shows Pulcher saving the city of Larisa (at that time then not involved in the Battle of Magnesia) from the larger Aetolian force of 3000 infantry and 200 cavalry by displaying a ruse. Can the city or territory he saved be referrred to as a periphery? Based on about 30,000 for the Romans and 70,000 for the Seleucid Empire then there was about 100,000 involved and some 50,000 killed men of Antiochus. Then hypothetically speaking would this statement be correct, even if NOT real good English? There has been taught some explanations on one hundred thousand and fifty thousand killed with some others captured. I assume you are from Europe someplace? -- (talk) 21:52, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

The idea of 50,000 killed comes from Livy 37.44 however I do not plan on changing anything. I certainly will agree with whatever you wish to update as I can see you are far more knowledable on this stuff than myself. This is just for my curiosity if you think the above sentence is correct, based on Livy only.-- (talk) 23:54, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

No, "periphery" cannot be used in connection with any ancient region. Unfortunately I do not understand the sentence There has been taught some explanations on one hundred thousand and fifty thousand killed with some others captured.. Do you maybe want to say sth like "According to the sources and modern calculations about 100.000 men participated in this battle. "? GK1973 (talk) 11:03, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Your sentence certainly makes much more sense. -- (talk) 12:12, 30 November 2009 (UTC) While your correctly structured sentence does make sense, you will have to agree that according to Livy there were 50,000 killed and also many others killed. Not that I want to change anything along these lines, its just the way I see it based on what Livy alone said.-- (talk) 13:03, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I do not doubt the 50.000 killed, thus the . I just restructured your "first" sentence. GK1973 (talk) 13:53, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Since you updated and did an excellent improvement to The Two Armies there was lost the references I had originally to Livy. Should there be replacement references as footnotes, perhaps to Granger (or Livy), to show where the information came from. Perhaps also the wording of In all, both writers agree. might be better worded along the lines of Livy and Appian agree. with two footnotes of them saying this at the end of the sentence. The next sentence of Grainger should probably have a footnote also. Its not that I am disagreeing with you on these, its just that I feel important (potentially controversial) facts like this should be backed up with footnotes to quench any future agruments. Can the 35,000 in the Box be changed to 30,000 to match the Roman army was about 30.000 strong.-- (talk) 13:03, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Changed the 35.000 Roman force. Will add references in the near future. Appian and Livy have been called by name within the text so I do not think that we should repet their names again GK1973 (talk) 14:06, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Great, thanks. -- (talk) 18:04, 1 December 2009 (UTC) I went ahead and put in the references, since it looked like you had stopped editing the article - for your approval.-- (talk) 19:47, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

only 350 romans vs 50,000 Seleucids casualties ? obviously these figures comes from exaggerated primary sources and are unrealistic, do we have any modern estimated for the casualties ? الله أكبر Mohammad Adil 15:37, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, these are not far fetched casualties for such battles. Most casualties by far were made during the flight of armies and not during the fight itself. Of course you should also keep in mind that only half of the Roman army were Romans and so some casualties are not reported regarding the non Roman allies (apart from the Pergamenese horse), maybe a hundred or more. The battle itself was a relatively short one and the only reason why the Romans actually had so many casualties was that the phalanx and cataphracts pushed them at first. GK1973 (talk) 15:48, 23 January 2010 (UTC) I have updated info box using [1] this sources, its already cited in the references but its estimated were misquoted i hv corrected them. also this book gives some estimates regarding casualties i hv also updated them. الله أكبر Mohammad Adil 16:43, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't use Grainger's numbers. His estimations are considered extreme and he lacks any arguments for how he arrives at them, apart from the fact that he cannot believe them. His work is not accepted as "modern estimates" but is considered worth reading. As you might already have seen, we have used his work as an alternative theory and I suggest you add his casualty proposal in the same manner instead of fully incorporating them in the table. We can discuss casualties in ancient battles if you like and look through Grainger's arguments but I think that putting them in the article as an alternative (extreme) theory will suffice and make you happy. GK1973 (talk) 17:02, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I hv searched a bit and found tht John D. Grainger hv wrote 16 books, which are printed by reputed publishers, this makes him reliable enough, more over as u may know we cant judge scholars here, he gave his estimates and tht are up till now only available modern estimates, if u think his theories are extreme etc, then u can help by providing some other modern sources that gives modern estimates. It will be good to have a whole range of modern estimates. like Battle of Yarmouk As for casualties in ancient battles, then there is one general rule, which is universal, and its that their figures are always exaggerated in primary sources and we all know why. wikipedia history article are therefore suggested to use modern scholarly works.

waiting for ur other sources, i will also trying finding some. الله أكبر Mohammad Adil 18:24, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, he himself disappointedly states that his views are not shared by other modern scholars. His analysis of Magnesia is extreme. He first proposes that the Romans were actually more than the Seleucids and then he ascribes only 10.000 casualties to the Seleucid side (far to few by any standards.. just the phalanx was 16.000 and according to the sources there was a slaughter) and then he ascribes 5.000. to the Roman side. 5.000 men is a huge number to ascribe to the victors of a relatively short battle in which the right Roman wing (the Greek allies) swiftly beat their opponents after the flight of the chariots and the comeback of the legions in the center and left. Actually there is no other modern (or older) historian who accepts Grainger's theories and as I already said he disappointedly admits it so. I still do not know of any other historians accepting Grainger's numbers both regarding the forces and the casualties (p.321, . accepted without discussion by Bar Kotchva and by other moderns. ). He is extreme with his numbers. Nevertheless, I have no trouble putting his numbers within the text but not in the table unless you can bring forward at least one other historian who has adopted Grainger's numbers. It's not too much to ask, is it? The same discussion was made regarding Grainger's numbers concerning the forces of the combatants and we agreed to treat the issue as suggested. As for other sources. any book mentioning the battle offers the numbers proposed by the sources, some with reluctancy. GK1973 (talk) 20:16, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

i will try finding some, meanwhile if u hv any modern estimates on this battle thn u can add them at least thy would be better then misleading primary sources.

I will, although the numbers given by the ancients are not irrational. 500 dead for a victor in such battles are even thought of as many while 70% casualties in a battle that ended up with half of the force being pursued by fresh cavalry and half being surrounded in a great plain with not many safe routs of escape is normal. GK1973 (talk) 20:53, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

so far after a little search, [2] i found this, the author of it also hv a critical view of the numbers given by primary source livy.

will do more search tomorrow, الله أكبر Mohammad Adil 21:24, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

My favorite (over Livy) Appian (Syriaca.XXXVI) gives 50.000 dead and captured which is also my proposal and what most historians, among which Bar Kotchva (The Jewish Struggle Against the Seleucids, p.38) agree upon.

N. Rosenstein in his Rome at War (p.111, 2004) argues that the number of 324 Romans mentioned by both Livy and Appian as casualties is correct disparaging Klotz, who supports that the number should only apply to the Roman citizens and not to the allied legions.

Hobbes (Essential Militaria, Facts,Legends and Curiosities about Warfare through the Ages, p.71) sticks to Livy's numbers in his short account of the battle (350-50.000 dead)

I would stick to this numbers saying Roman casualties - at least 324 Roman and 15 Pergamenese dead / Seleucid casualties 50.000 dead and captured.

5.000 on the Roman side and 10.000 on the Seleucid are truly extreme. GK1973 (talk) 21:43, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Yep , your source is also Kotchva who agrees with Appian (my view also). GK1973 (talk) 21:46, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

So I read in the first paragraph of the 2 armies that Hannibal was with Antiochus at Magnesia. I do not see Hannibal as one of the commanders, nevertheless this is false. Hannibal was with the Seleucid fleet at Eurymedon and after suffering a defeat at the hans of the Rhodians and Romans he quickly fled to Crete and therefore was not at Magnesia for several reasons as follows: -He was with the fleet and then after retreating landed in Crete. -He did not trust Antiochus and foresaw that he would be defeated. -Antiochus did not value him and he figurd he would be placed in a weak command as Antiochus had done when he placed Hannibal as commander of the fleet but made him share command with another. The other instance is when Antiochus disregarded HAnnibal's plan to invade Italy because he knew that if Antiochus invaded Greece he would surely lose. -Hannibal believed that Antiochus would have no problems with handing Hannibal over to the Romans

and in conclusion I will change the part where it says that Hannibal was at Magnesia. Cauca50 (talk) 18:34, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Regards "Behind them, Scipio held his 16 elephants in reserve, fully aware that the African elephants could not face the larger Indian stock on equal terms."

I'm not sure of the source of this, or other plausible explanations for the deployment so I don't want to WP:Be bold. However, the articles on the African and Indian elephants state that the African elephant is approximately 0.5m taller and a ton heavier than the Indian elephant. Doug (talk) 18:42, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

As far as I know, in the classical age is was common to believe, that the Asian elephants were bigger than the Africans. Why? Just guessing: Perhaps in that time "African elephant" meant the African forest elephant. --Kryston (talk) 14:29, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

The Blog With No Name

Most of what I need to paint will be quite quick though the dreaded phalanx's will be a slightly different story.

31 units won't take you long in 6mm Ian, I reckon a man with your skills will have them done in a couple of weekends. I do like the gaming mats, not sure if you'll get one the same size as your Waterloo game and gawd knows what it'd cost?

Cost will be a factor but space is another that has to be taken into consideration. Another is that if we use mats then we can do the show in a car rather than a van

mats are a good idea. there are lots of good options out there

At least we don't need hexes printed on them, yep trying to make use of all possible positives.

Support for battle of magnesia as historical battle?

Hey guys, i'm writing this here for wanting to see how much support this should have

This battle could represent some exotic units and it had a serious influence on both factions (seleucids and Rome)

it would be even a nice battle for carthage fans since some believe that Hannibal was present at this battle (speculative and not sure,but ca never goes 100% historical so)

It would make many of us fans from Arche Seleukia happy since they didn't got included (no offense to anyone)

First of all several exotic units got used by the seleucids and i'll show you a couple of those units

Armored cataphract elephants (syrian style, those were bigger then the ones who saw in nile gameplay and better armored)

The romans togheter with their pergamese allies had

Classic roman legionaries.

Historical this battle was a big triumph for the Romans and led to expansion for pergamon while The seleucids had to pay the romans 3000 talents and had to give up all regions at asia minor except for Tarsus, also they weren't allowed anymore for keeping their syrian elephants.

Battle of Thermopylae (191 BC)

Antiochus III was King of Syria (223-187 BC), son of Seleucid II. He invaded Egypt (212-202 BC), seizing land from Ptolemy V. He recaptured Palestine, Asia Minor and the Thracian Cheronese.

The Romans overwhelmed him at Thermopylae in 191 BC. The battle of Thermopylae ended the Greek phase of the war between Rome and the Seleucid emperor Antiochus III.

In this war, Antiochus III was defeated in a battle against the consul Marcus Acilius and Cato, a general in that army. He was forced to flee back to Asia and his own territories were then invaded by the Romans, and the battle of Magnesia was finally brought to a close by the two Scipios.

The treaty of Apamea of 188 BC, took place after Roman victories in the battle of Thermopylae (191 BC), in the Battle of Magnesia (190) and after Roman and Rhodian naval victories over the Seleucid navy.

In this treaty Antiochus III had to abandon Europe altogether and all of Asia west of the Taurus. He was allowed to retain only twelves ships of war and required to pay a 15,000 talent indemnity, 500 immediately, 2,500 when the Romans government ratified the agreement, and thereafter 1,000 annually for 12 years.
Battle of Thermopylae (191 BC)

Syrian Wars of Antiochus

From the time he assumed the Seleucid throne in 223 BC, Antiochus the great began consolidating power, and won considerable territory in Syria from the Ptolemies of Egypt. In 196 BC he began warring in Asia minor at the same time Rome was consolidating its victories in the Second Macedonian War. Under the influence of Hannibal Barca, who had taken refuge at his court after his exile from Carthage, and Philip V, the Macedonian king, Antiochus resolved to challenge Rome's territories in Greece. In 192 BC, after making alliances with several Greek states, he invaded Greece with an army of 10,000. He was defeated at Thermopylae by a Roman army, led by Lucius Cornelius Scipio, brother of the famous Scipio Africanus.

There followed three naval battles against Rome, all victories for Rome. One of these naval battles, Eurymedon, was led by Hannibal, who there met the Romans for the last time, but upon his defeat, was forced to flee the court of Antiochus. The Romans pursued the Seleucid army into Asia Minor, and with the aid of the Eumenes II of Pergamum, drove Antiochus from the region. Scipio Africanus, hero of Zama, served under his brother at the final battle of Magnesia, after which, Rome ceded the provinces of Phrygia and Lydia to their ally Eumenes II. The war against Antiochus marked the Romans first foray into Asia Minor, a territory, which they would later claim as a Roman province.

5. The Battle of Chaeronea (86 BC)

Mithridates VI of Pontus, the Hellenistic king of Pontus.

King Mithridates VI of Pontus was the last great Hellenistic opponent of Rome in the east. In response to a Roman-backed invasion of Pontus by the neighbouring king of Bithynia, Mithridates had invaded the Roman province of Asia in 88 BC.

By 87 BC, the Pontic king had forced the Romans out of Asia in one devastating campaign. In its midst, Mithridates had initiated the Asian Vespers – the order for the massacre of all Roman and Italian citizens in Asia Minor.

He subsequently launched an expedition to Greece at Athens’ request, declaring that he would liberate the Greek cities from the Roman yolk.

But he soon suffered setbacks. The Romans dispatched 5 legions, under the command of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, to contest the Pontic presence in mainland Greece.

Following a brutal (and successful) siege of Athens, Sulla’s army faced down the Pontic army of Archelaus (Mithridates’ chief subordinate) at Chaeronea.

Sulla won a crushing victory, successfully-countering all the manoeuvres Archaelaus attempted to throw at him during the battle with his combined army of phalangites, chariots and mercenaries.

Only 10,000 Pontic troops escaped the battlefield – Roman sources claim (disputably) 110,000 soldiers were killed, Sulla’s army losing only 12 men…

Twinned with Sulla’s subsequent, second victory over Archaelaus at Orchomenos a year later, Chaeronea marked a key turning point in the Mithridatic Wars.

Battle of Magnesia - History

Written by Ed Whalen, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom

The ancient Greek world reached its apex in the Hellenistic era (323-146 BC). Dating from the death of Alexander to the rise of Rome, the period marked the decline of the city-state, the rise of empires, and great achievements in science, art and philosophy.

The Early Years of the Hellenistic Age

The death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) left his vast empire, which stretched from India to central Europe, in chaos. He left no heir, so the empire was partitioned between his generals and commanders. They were called the Diadochi (successors), and for some fifty years they fought each other for control of the Macedonian Empire. Antigonus nearly succeeded in uniting the empire but was defeated at the battle of Ipsus (301 BC), ending the Diadochi Wars.

Three large states arose out of the Diadochi Wars: in Asia, Seleucus established the Seleucid, in Egypt, Ptolemy ruled, and Macedonia and Greece were ruled by the Antigonids. These states fought each other constantly and were ruled by monarchs. Meanwhile, many Macedonians and Greeks settled in the new areas, populating the cities founded by Alexander.

The Seleucid Empire experienced periods of prosperity and power, especially under Antiochus I and Antiochus III, but was constantly battling rebels and invaders. The Greeks in Bactria broke away from the Seleucids and established a great state in what is now Afghanistan and Central Asia.

The Ptolemaic Empire was beset by Egyptian mutinies and court-intrigue. The Ptolemies adopted many Egyptian religious practices but remained a separate caste from that of the native population.

Macedonia was relatively weak, and its hold over much of Greece was never absolute. However, despite wars and instability, the Hellenistic states managed to rule much of Alexander’s empire. Indeed, the Bactrian Greeks even expanded into India and created a powerful empire, something Alexander the Great failed to accomplish.

Greece in the Hellenistic Age

The old city-states of Greece, including great cities such as Athens, began to decline during the Hellenistic period. While Sparta remained independent, it became a political backwater. The city-states simply could not compete militarily with the successor states. However, some Greeks remained independent, forming political and military groups such as the Aetolian League.

A mosaic of the Lighthouse of Alexandria (labeled Ο ΦΑΡΟϹ), Olbia, Libya c. 4th c. AD

The Hellenistic World was very interconnected, and trade flourished. Hellenistic monarchs such as the Ptolemies supported trade by projects like the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. This brought great prosperity to Greece in particular.

Technology and Farming in the Hellenistic Age

The exchange between the Greeks and other societies inspired many technological innovations. New architectural and shipbuilding techniques were developed. Scientific instruments such as water-clocks were invented. Heron of Alexandria developed the world’s first steam engine, known as the aeolipile. New agricultural practices were also pioneered, particularly in Ptolemaic Egypt.

Heron of Alexandria’s aeolipile

The Hellenistic world encompassed a vast geographical area, allowing for a diverse exchange of products. For example, at this time the writing parchment papyrus became ubiquitous in the Greek world. Mathematics and science also flourished. Indeed, in Alexandria, scientists argued that the world was round and rotated around the sun, over 1500 years before Copernicus.

Cultural Achievements in the Hellenistic Age

While the Hellenistic world was politically divided, the region was unified culturally and very cosmopolitan. A Greek dialect known as Koine became the lingua franca of much of the known world. Sculpture and painting became more human-focused, a phenomenon that resurfaced later in the Renaissance. The period saw the creation of many artistic masterpieces, such as the famous statue Nike of Samothrace. Such works later greatly influenced Roman art.

The era also signaled changes in religion. Mystery religions such as Orphism became popular. There was a great deal of religious syncretism, especially in Ptolemaic Egypt, as many of the Hellenistic monarchs were curious and open-minded. The Greeks in Bactria even became Buddhists, greatly influencing the development of classic Buddhist art.

Perhaps due to the turbulence of the era, many turned inward, focusing more on personal salvation and peace of mind. Some important philosophical schools also arose at this time. The Cynics believed that civilization was a fraud and people should live as close to nature as possible. The Stoics believed in self-control, arguing that a rational life brings peace of mind and is in accordance with divine law. Epicureans held that the meaning of life was to enjoy rational and moderate pleasure.

The Romans were deeply influenced by the Hellenistic culture. Many members of the Roman elite wrote and spoke Greek. Indeed, after 146 BC, a Graeco-Roman culture came to dominate the Mediterranean World.

The End of the Hellenistic Age

The rise of Rome was the death-knell of the Hellenistic era. The Seleucid Empire was in decline due to constant Parthian incursions. While Antiochus II the Great was able to restore the empire to its former glory, he threatened Roman influence in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the Battle of Magnesia, Antigonus was decisively defeated.

This was the beginning of the end of the Seleucid Empire. Within a few decades, Rome was appointing its kings and much of its territory was annexed by the Parthians. The Romans fought the Macedonians in Three Wars (214-148 BC). In 148 BC, the Romans triumphed and the kingdom of Alexander the Great became a vassal state of Rome. In the fourth and final Macedonian War, the Romans were again victorious. Corinth was sacked and this marked the start of Rome’s domination of Greece. By 146 BC, only the Greeks in Bactria and India retained power.

The Hellenistic Age was decisive. It saw the end of the city-state system and mainland Greece was politically marginalized. Hellenic civilization dominated, influencing peoples from the Western Mediterranean to India. The era saw stunning achievements in the arts, philosophy, and technology. Cosmopolitan societies arose — very reminiscent of the current age. While Rome ended the Hellenistic Age, they were also its heirs.

Boardman, John The Oxford History of Greece & the Hellenistic World 2nd Edition Oxford University Press, 1988.

What was the main battle in which the Romans won Greece

To be honest, I don't know if it was impressive. Pyrrhos did much to undermine his own cause and still the Romans did not completely defeat him on the battlefield.

However, I think it was a very important event indeed. Maybe Greece would have survived if the Romans had not been able to unify the entire italian peninsula. This war greatly increased Rome's power.

Gaius valerius

To follow in Sylla's footsteps of clarification: my argument is only aimed at the Hellas and to an extend the wider Hellenistic world east of it.

I'd agree with Cynoscephalae as it decisively knocked Macedon, the governing protector of Hellas out of the game and Rome promoted herself to new overlord in the region, from then onward Rome would ceaselessly meddle in the internal affairs of the Hellenistic world until 31 BCE.

Pyrrhus and his wars to me would form a particularly bad example, when it happened the Hellenistic world was in her prime and some of Alexander's greatest underlings were still getting it on. Only by the end of the 3rd century had they sufficiently battered each other to be so easily overwhelmed by Roman intervention.

As a second battle I'd nominated Magnesia (190 BCE) as the final straw which once and for all destroyed the power of all Successor-states when Rome dealt the lethal blow to the Seleucid empire and Antiochus III, the last vigorous Successor sovereign with ambition and the balls and talent to back it up. After Magnesia there was no longer a single Successor state left that could challenge Rome and as for mainland Hellas, there was nobody left to intervene on their behalf from then onward.

Battle of Magnesia - History

I am broadly interested in imperialism, state power and military institutions in both the Roman Republic and Hellenistic World.

My first book, Soldiers and Silver: Mobilizing Resources in the Age of Roman Conquest (Texas, 2020), explores the intersection of taxation and manpower in the Ancient Mediterranean. It is a comparative study of how the great powers of the 3rd and 2nd century BC (Rome, Carthage, Antigonid Macedonia, Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucid Near East) recruited and financed their imperial programs. My hope is that it develops a better understanding of resource mobilization and imperial dynamics in the ancient Mediterranean.

I have also published various articles on the Roman army, state finance in the ancient world, and military commemoration.

I am currently working on a monograph examining the Roman citizen army of the Republican period.
Supervisors: Carlos Noreña, Erich Gruen, Nathan Rosenstein и Todd Hickey
Phone: 518-442-5300
Address: Department of History
145F Social Science
University at Albany, SUNY
Albany, NY 12222

From c. 400 B.C. to 167 BC, the cornerstone of Roman wartime finance was tributum, a war-tax expl. more From c. 400 B.C. to 167 BC, the cornerstone of Roman wartime finance was tributum, a war-tax explicitly designed to fund stipendium, regular pay for soldiers. While irregular income in the form of loot and indemnities funded the bulk of Roman military costs, tributum proved a regular and predictable source of cash to fund military operations. Between 200-167, tributum brought in roughly as much into the aerarium as did the loot displayed in Roman triumphs.

The talk concludes by pondering why refunds of tributum from captured spoils seems to have been rather rare, despite such refunds being potentially popular. It argues that the political system of the Republic instead rewarded more targeted distributions of spoils, such as donatives to veterans, which cultivated a particular constituency, rather than a mass refund thinly spread across the citizen body.

The Roman army underwent substantial transformations during the Late Republican period, in terms. more The Roman army underwent substantial transformations during the Late Republican period, in terms of recruitment, leadership and tactics. These changes are often referred to as the “Marian Reforms,” attributed to Gaius Marius, seven times consul between 107 and 87 BC. This talk argues that Marius’ contribution was in fact negligible, and that the transformation resulted more from the incorporation of Italian socii into the legions following the Social War (91-88 BC).

Talk given at Santa Clara University, 6 November 2017.

This paper examines discourses concerning male sexuality in the Roman Republic as epiphenomenal t. more This paper examines discourses concerning male sexuality in the Roman Republic as epiphenomenal to Roman expansionism in the third and second centuries BC. It finds that the Romans during this period sought to reassert traditional civic discourses advocating male sexual restraint, both at home and abroad. This emphasis on civic restraint is at odds with later discourses related to sexuality and empire manifest in the notorious statue from Aphrodisias representing the emperor Claudius as a heroic nude raping the female personification of Britannia (Whittaker 2004: 115-143). In this mature imperial ideology, conquest is rape and empire is eroticized, fundamentally equating sex with power (see also Vout 2007).

Yet the Romans of the Middle Republic, busy creating Rome’s Mediterranean empire, discourses of sexual restraint were the order of the day. Restraint in fact was seen as the appropriate model for imperial rule: the exemplar here was Scipio Africanus, who famously declined to rape an Iberian captive after the capture of New Carthage, a decision that ultimately had important diplomatic and military implications, given that she was the daughter of an important Iberian chieftain. While commentators from the early empire to the 18th century appropriated “the continence Scipio” as an exemplar of primitive Roman virtue, it better reflects a specific moment in Roman elite discourse about male sexuality and empire, concerned less with chastity than with pragmatic moderation.

Similar discourses about male restraint turn up repeatedly for the third and second century BC. We see attempts to regulate the sex lives of senators, for example Cato’s censure of a senator for kissing his wife in public in front of his daughter, as well as commons, most notably severe penalties for sexual misconduct in the Roman army. We also have a flurry of anecdotes about sexual misconduct with slaves, involving not only the philogunes Scipio, but even the morally uptight Cato the Elder. In the case of both men, the stories suggest that wives, children and in-law were expected to police the sexual behavior even of a consular paterfamilias.

This culture of sexual restraint was a traditional one, undergirding the civic politics of a republican state. The political class of the Middle Republic depended upon a delicate lattice of marriage alliances, which might be upended by a culture of male libertinism. Common citizens, worried least they might be victims of elite predation, also had a stake in enforcing a culture of elite restraint.

The advent of empire provided its agents new outlets for sexuality that were difficult to regulate, and these outlets overlapped with other horizons for abuse and aggrandizement facilitated by imperial resources. This in turn led to redoubled efforts to enforce traditional civic mores. Ultimately, sex was power for the Romans of the Middle Republic, just as it would be for later propagandists of the Imperial period. But as Rome’s imperial activities placed elite Romans in unprecedented positions of poorly supervised authority, discourses advocating sexual restraint contained blatant subtexts about political rectitude.

In some ways the political outcomes of the Late Republic suggest that the sexual anxieties of the Middle Republic were not simply the product of traditionalist prudery or conservative paranoia. The rampant adultery that makes late-Republican poetry so much fun (fecundum semen adulterio)--and which provoked the Julian laws--was the byproduct of the collapse of a stable aristocratic system. Nothing represented the implosion of Republican civic and sexual cultures as a result of imperial pressures than the Shakespearean drama of iterative Roman dynasts making love to the same Ptolemaic queen.

Watch the video: Υπερχείλισε ο Ξηριάς στον Αλμυρό - Μάχη από συνεργεία του Δήμου (January 2022).