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.
Death of Caesar in 44 BCE divided the country of Rome. Republic supporters found themselves under the command of Cassius and Brutus and took control of the empire's eastern lands. Opposing Caesar's murderers were Octavian, Mark Antony, and Lepidus, who ruled the west. The battle of Philippi was a place where the fate of the Republic was decided.
The Battle of Ruspina and Thapsus were the next stages of the civil war, having a key impact on the further history of the Roman Republic. The Battle of Ruspina almost did not end with Caesar's undoing, and the battle of Thapsus ultimately brought doom to many Pompeian officers and leaders (including Cato the Younger).
The Battle of Alesia was further evidence that Julius Caesar was an outstanding commander. In Alesia, he had to face the simultaneous attacks of the besieged troops of Vercingetorix and the army of Gauls, coming to their rescue. The actions of the legions near Alesia constitute the largest siege operation in antiquity.
The Battle of Thermopylae (191 BCE) was the victory of the Romans over the army of the Selucid king Antioch III. The clash took place in the legendary Thermopylae Gorge, where the Spartans defended themselves three centuries earlier.
IMPERIUM ROMANUM is in process of translation over 3300 Polish articles about history of ancient Rome. If you have the opportunity to financially support the further translations – even with smaller amount – I will be very grateful.