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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 the 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 Caudine Forks

(321 BCE)

Battle of Caudine Forks (321 BCE) was the defeat of the Romans during the Second Samnite War in the years 327-304 BCE.

Fresco depicting the battle of Caudine Forks

Battle of Drepanum

(249 BCE)

Battle of Drepanum (249 BCE) was a battle at sea between Carthage and Rome in the First Punic War. It was the only case of a Roman pogrom at sea during the Punic Wars.

Ancient ships

Battle of Tricamerum

(533 CE)

Battle of Tricamerum (533 CE) was another victory for Belisarius - the leader of Byzantium over the Vandal armies. With the loss of about 50 people, more than 800 were laid dead. Many prisoners and enormous loot were taken, and in fact the fate of the campaign was decided.

A mosaic showing Belisarius

Battle of Magnesia

(December or January 190 BCE)

Battle of Magnesia (190 BCE) was the decisive armed clash in the war between Rome and the Seleucid Empire of Antiochus III the Great.

Battle of Magnesia (190 BCE)

Battle of Telamon

(225 BCE)

Battle of Telamon (225 BCE) took place in Etruria. It was a defeat of the Celtic troops, which were crushed by the army of two consuls.


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)

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)

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

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