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Battles of ancient Rome

Ancient Rome, a highly expansionistic empire, was involved in many wars. Led by brilliant generals, highly trained and superbly equipped Roman forces could win against an enemy army twice as strong in numbers. There were, of course, some defeats, like the battles of Cannae or Teutoburg Forest. The Roman armies have already confirmed their imperial status at the beginning of 2nd century BCE, by massacring the Macedonian army at Cynoscephalae in Thessaly, in 197 BCE Seven years later Roman legions defeated, at Magnesia in Asia Minor, armies of the Seleucid, considered the prime power of the Hellenic world. Thus the legions proved themselves the finest army in the region. The decline of legions’ power became apparent in the 3rd century of the Common Era. Eventually, the ‘Germanisation’ of the Roman army and consequential loss of fighting prowess resulted in the fall of both army and the Roman state.

Battle of Telamon

(225 BCE)

The Battle of Telamon took place in Etruria. It was a defeat of the Celtic troops, which were crushed by the army of two consuls.

Celts

Battle of Aspis

(255 BCE)

Battle of Aspis (255 BCE) was the victorious land battle of the Carthaginian troops over the Roman forces in the First Punic War.

Battle of Aspis

Battle of Agrigentum

(261 BCE)

The Battle of Agrigentum (261 BCE) was a victorious clash of Roman troops over Carthage in the First Punic War. If Polybius is to be believed, the victory prompted the republic on the Tiber to completely remove the enemy from Sicily.

Sicily during the First Punic War

Battle of Metaurus River

(22 June 207 BCE)

The Battle of the Metaurus River (207 BCE) was a turning point in the Second Punic War in Italy. After the pogrom of Hasdrubal's army, Hannibal had to give up further fighting in the Apennine Peninsula.

Hannibal's battle elephant charge

Occupation of Anata

(363 CE)

In 363 CE the troops of Emperor Julian I captured Anata. The occupation of Anata was the first armed clash during the Persian campaign of great Julian.

Map showing Julian's army movements

Battle of Tigranocerta

(6 October 69 BCE)

Battle of Tigranocerta (69 BCE) was a clash between the Roman army led by Lucullus and the Armenians led by Tigranes II.

Mitrydates VI Eupator

Siege of Brundisium

(49 BCE)

In 49 BCE Julius Caesar besieged the armies of Pompey and himself at Brundisium, in the south of Italy. Gnaeus Pompey needed his ships to be able to evacuate to the Balkan Peninsula.

Portrait of Caesar of Tusculum

Battle of Vercellae

(30 July 101 BCE)

The Battle of Vercellae was an armed clash between the legions led by Gaius Marius and the forces of the Germanic Cimbri tribe.

Battle of Vercellae

Battle of Ad Decimum

(13 September 533 CE)

The Battle of Ad Decimum was the first battle fought in the Roman campaign in Africa in 533-534. It was of great importance for the efforts to regain the African provinces. The Vandal Army was significantly depleted with negligible losses.

Belisarius on the mosaic

Battle of Munda

(45 BCE)

The Battle of Munda (45 BCE) was the last episode of the war between the Romans. Eventually, Caesar's absolute domination in Roman politics was established and the anti-Caesarian opposition virtually disappeared.

Battle of Munda

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