Slaget ved Lugdunum: Det største slag i romersk historie

Slaget ved Lugdunum: Det største slag i romersk historie

Den enorme kamp, ​​der fandt sted i det moderne Frankrig i år 197, er lidt kendt. Dette er dels på grund af hvor længe siden det var, og dels på grund af hvor lidt vi ved om de faktiske kampe. Dog kan vi være nogenlunde sikre på én ting - på trods af de store borgerkrige mellem Cæsar og Pompejus og Augustus og Anthony var Lugdunum det største og blodigste sammenstød mellem to romerske hære i historien.

'Fra et kongerige af guld til et af jern og rust'

En sådan kamp mellem to hære, der skulle være på samme side, tyder på et imperium i tilbagegang og et politisk og militært system, der simpelthen ikke fungerede. Ironisk nok fandt Lugdunum imidlertid sted i slutningen af ​​det største og fredeligste århundrede i Roms lange historie.

Kejserne fra Nerva til Marcus Aurelius (97-180 e.Kr.) var alle erfarne dygtige og populære administratorer og ledere-og-afgørende-hver af dem havde et klart og afgørende indtryk på, hvem deres efterfølger ville være.

Som et resultat af denne forsigtighed og god administration nød Romerriget en guldalder med fred, velstand og stabilitet. Den berømte historiker Edward Gibbon, der skrev i slutningen af ​​1700-tallet, besluttede, at dette var det bedste tidspunkt i hele historien at blive født som en fri mand. Så hvad gik så galt galt?

En anden stor tænker, Nicholo Machiavelli, besluttede, at da Aurelius gik imod traditionen med at adoptere en værdig efterfølger og i stedet gjorde sin søn Commodus til hans arving, begyndte Roms problemer.

En marmorbuste af Commodus, en af ​​Roms værste kejsere, der var sikker på, at han var Hercules reinkarneret. Han skildrede sig selv som sådan i skulptur, klædt på som helten og beordrede folk til at kalde ham Hercules.

Ustabilitet

Det er svært at være uenig. Commodus (filmens skurk Gladiator) var en katastrofal kejser, berømt for sine vanvittige lidenskaber og tilfældige grusomheder, og i sin regeringstid lykkedes det at fortryde næsten et århundrede med god styre.

I 192 havde folket fået nok. Præfekten for Commodus ’egen livvagt-Praetorian Guard-fik ham kvalt i sit bad, da han forberedte sig på at komme ind på arenaen som gladiator, og derefter erklærede han en tidligere lærer og søn af en frigivet slave-Pertinax-som kejser.

De fleste historikere er enige om, at den ydmygtfødte Pertinax intentioner var gode, men et fornuftigt, hvis urealistisk ønske om at disciplinere praetorianerne fører til hans egen død efter kun fem måneders styre. Nu var han gal med magt Prefekt Laetus tog det ekstraordinære skridt med at bortauktionere den kejserlige trone - som blev købt af en velhavende senator ved navn Didius Julianus.

Befolkningen i Rom var rasende over denne fornærmelse mod hundredvis af års historie og begyndte at pille Julianus med snavs og sten, hver gang han optrådte offentligt. Ikke overraskende afspejlede dette kaos i Rom sig i provinserne, hvor de legioner, der bevogtede grænserne, blev lige så rasende over den seneste udvikling, og deres ambitiøse generaler duftede mulighed.

Indtast Severus….

Dan taler med Simon Elliott om Septimius Severus, om hans nordlige kampagner og den sande historie om denne vilde invasion af Skotland fra det 3. århundrede.

Hør nu

Den første af disse var Septimius Severus, den dygtige og hensynsløse nordafrikanskfødte guvernør i provinsen Pannonia.

Da han hørte om Pertinax 'død, begyndte han at rejse hære fra de rastløse legioner i nærheden og marcherede mod Rom. Der var ikke noget i vejen for ham, og han lod Julianus aflive - til stor tilfredshed for befolkningen.

Volden var dog lige startet. Guvernøren i Syrien - Pescennius Niger - så den lethed, hvormed Severus havde taget magten og erklærede sig selv som kejser, lige efter at hans rival i Rom havde gjort det. Der var ingen måde, hvorpå Severus kunne klare en så tidlig udfordring af hans styre, men han måtte også overveje sikkerheden ved det vestlige imperium, som han var ved at fjerne tropper.

... og Albinus

Hans løsning var at tilbyde en anden magtfuld rival, Clodius Albinus, guvernøren i Storbritannien, fuldstændig kontrol over den vestlige del af imperiet og kejsers rang, hvis han lovede at beholde kontrollen i Severus 'fravær. Albinus var enig, men nu var han ansvarlig for Storbritannien Frankrig og Spanien, sammen med alle deres legioner, han var af lige stor størrelse med Severus.

Da kejseren endelig besejrede Niger i 194, blev et sammenstød mellem de to meget sandsynligt.

En marmorbuste af Clodius Albinus i Capitoline -museerne i Rom. Kredit: Sailko / Commons.

Venner blev fjender

Severus blev i øst et stykke tid efter sin sejr, men kæmpede mod Roms parthiske fjender og konsoliderede hans position. I en periode holdt den urolige våbenhvile mellem ham og Albinus-som kan sammenlignes med Hitler og Stalins pagt i 1939, indtil Albinus pludselig blev erstattet af Severus 'søn som medcæsar og erklærede en fjende af Rom.

Herskeren i Storbritannien erklærede sig derefter den eneste kejser og tog 40.000 mand fra de britiske legioner til Gallien (Frankrig), hvor han blev tilsluttet mine mange flere mænd fra Spanien og de lokale hære. Derefter oprettede han en stor lejr ved Lugdunum (moderne Lyons) og planlagde sit næste skridt.

Da han vidste, at legionerne i Tyskland sandsynligvis ville sidde med Severus, besluttede han at slå mod dem, før hans fjende vendte tilbage fra øst. Selvom han sejrede, var det ikke afgørende, og han havde ikke gjort nok for at forbedre oddsene, da Severus kom efter ham.

Kejseren var i mellemtiden på Donau og samlede flere mænd i sin gamle provins for at slutte sig til sine soldater fra de østlige provinser. Da de to hære begge var i Gallien i de første uger af 198, kæmpede over to tredjedele af alle soldaterne i imperiet for en af ​​de to sider. Det var krig i en skala, der først ville ses igen - uden tvivl - det 20. århundrede.

I oktober 42 f.Kr. begik den romerske republik selvmord. I nærheden af ​​byen Philippi i det nordlige Grækenland stod Brutus og Cassius 'styrker, de berømte snigmordere for Julius Cæsar og de sidste overlevende cheerleaders i den romerske republik, i kamp mod Marc Antony og den unge Octavians hære. To separate kampe blev udkæmpet, hvis resultater besluttede Roms fremtidige retning.

Hør nu

Beslutningsdag på Lugdunum

Efter et par træfninger jagtede Severus ’mænd Albinus tilbage til sin lejr ved Lugdunum, hvor kampen endelig blev slået sammen. Vi ved lidt om kampene, kun at det var jævnt matchet, bittert anfægtet og varede over et døgn, hvilket var ekstraordinært i denne æra med tæt kampkrig.

Mængden af ​​moralsk og fysisk udholdenhed, der kræves for en sådan konkurrence, trodser troen. Til sidst svingede en lille kant i kavaleriet imidlertid slaget til Severus 'fordel, og Albinus døde et sted i Lugdunum by. Hans krop blev halshugget og kørt over af sejrherrens hest i en offentlig ceremoni.

Severus ville vise sig at være en ganske vellykket, hvis ekstremt hensynsløs kejser, men hans sønner ville fortsætte den nylige kejserlige tradition for inkompetence og farlig sindssyge og igen kaste imperiet i kaos.

Dette kombineret med det store antal gode mænd, der døde på Lugdunum -feltet, understreger den måde, hvorpå historiens største imperium var årsag til dets eget undergang.

Top Image Credit: Rabax63 / Commons.


Slaget ved Lugdunum: Det største slag i romersk historie - historie

Bardic Circle - War Stories & amp AAR forum
Modereret af Terikel Grayhair

Hej. Jeg er relativt ny på dette forum (og tydeligvis flere år forsinket), men jeg har skrevet et par korte historier her. Jeg synes ikke, at mine skrivefærdigheder er særlig gode (bestemt ikke noget i forhold til nogle af giganterne i dette forum, som Terikel Grayhair), men jeg nyder dette forum og Rom Total War, så jeg skriver lidt nu og da. Den, jeg er ved at skrive, er baseret på en kamp, ​​jeg havde for nylig. Hvis det er godt modtaget, vil jeg måske fortsætte med at skrive historier her i fremtiden, måske endda længere end om et enkelt slag.

General Marcus Julius sad i sit telt. Han forsøgte ikke at lade støjen fra de vædder, der blev konstrueret udenfor, distrahere ham, da han gennemgik sin kampplan. Han og hans hær blev lejret uden for murene i den britisk-styrede by Lugdunum i det østlige Gallien, som de belejrede. Inde i byen var den britiske konge, en gammel krigsherre, der havde erobret en stor del af den kendte verden. Selvom hans styrke inde i byen ikke var stor (hovedparten af ​​hans styrker var koncentreret i Germania og det nordlige Gallien), var han ikke til at undervurdere. Marcus Julius fortsatte løbende med at revidere sin plan for det kommende slag, til ophidselse af hans officerer. Da han endelig besluttede, at han ikke kunne tænke mere på grund af ketsjeren udenfor og sin egen mangel på søvn, sad han tilbage for at hvile øjnene. Han tænkte tilbage på det møde, der havde ført ham til denne dag.

Måneder tidligere havde Marcus været i Massilia, hvor han tjente som guvernør. Han overtog, da hans bedstefar, den store Flavius, var gået bort der. Marcus var arving til ledelsen af ​​House of Julius, en af ​​de mest magtfulde familier i Rom, og søgte at gøre sig værdig til stillingen ved at lede en vellykket militær kampagne. Men han havde været uheldig. Mens hans bror og fætre kæmpede i Makedonien og Grækenland, var han blevet anbragt i den mest stille grænse i den romerske verden, Massilia, og vogtede grænsen til Gallien. Det havde været mange år siden Julii sidst var i krig med Gallien, og han så ikke behovet for at blive begrænset der og ende med at blive glemt i Rom, mens hans slægtninge vandt al den herlighed, han søgte for sig selv. Så en dag ankom hans mulighed.

Marcus sad på sit kontor i guvernørens villa og gennemgik sin korrespondance, da der bankede på døren og hans assistent kom ind.

"Sir. En udsending fra Gallien er her for at se dig."

Marcus kiggede overrasket op. Han havde haft lidt kontakt med gallerne i de flere år, han havde tjent som guvernør her. Selvom Massilia fungerede som et handelscentrum med Gallien, var gallerne stadig bitre over deres knusende nederlag ved Flavius ​​og foretrak at holde de politiske forbindelser med romerne til et minimum. Sjældent sendte kongen af ​​Gallien en budbringer til ham. Dette må være noget vigtigt.

En sølvhåret, tykskæg mand kom ind i lokalet. Marcus genkendte ham som Senaculus af Sabis, en diplomat, der havde tjent den galliske konge siden Flavius ​​'tid. Marcus havde kun mødt ham en gang før.

De to mænd udvekslede hilsener og Marcus bad Gallien om at sidde.

"Jeg er kommet for at bringe et forslag fra min konge til dig. Jeg forstår, at du i øjeblikket ikke er øverste leder i Rom, men jeg indsamler, at du som guvernør i Massilia og arving til Julii's ledelse er i stand til at udføre vigtige diplomatiske forhandlinger og træffe vigtige beslutninger vedrørende forholdet mellem Rom og Gallien. "

Nå, i det mindste nogen genkender min status, Tænkte Marcus.

"Hvilket forslag sender kongen af ​​Gallien til mig?"

Marcus løftede øjenbrynene og gad ikke skjule sin overraskelse. Dette var det sidste, han forventede af gallerne.

"En alliance? Hvilken slags alliance?"

"Som jeg er sikker på, at du ved, har Gallien været i krig med Spanien i de sidste to år, og vi blev for nylig invaderet af Britannia. Britannia breder sig som en pest over de nordlige lande, ustoppelig. Nu hvor de har knust tyskerne, de har vendt sig imod os. Det er kun et spørgsmål om tid, indtil de også vender sig mod dig, du, der har de rigeste lande inden for rækkevidde. Gallien kan ikke besejre briterne alene, men vores konge mener, at det ville være i Galliens gensidige interesser og Rom for at danne en alliance mod Britannia og tvinge dem sammen igen. Jeg ved, at vores to lande har vores uoverensstemmelser, men jeg er sikker på, at Rom ikke ønsker at se et stort britisk imperium skubbe mod sine grænser og erstatte ikke kun Germania, men også Gallien og Dacia på én gang. Det er ikke for sent at forhindre det i at ske. Hvis vi arbejder sammen, kan vi stoppe briterne og skubbe dem tilbage til deres ø. "

Marcus sad tilbage og tænkte. Han kendte til farerne ved Britannia og havde taget det op i senatet sidste gang, han besøgte. Briterne syntes at være en ustoppelig kraft, og det virkede faktisk uundgåeligt, at de i sidste ende ville komme sydpå til Italiens varme og rige lande. Han havde opfordret senatet til at reducere krigene i øst og forberede sig på at klare den truende fare mod nord. Marcus forventede krig, men han forventede ikke en alliance med Gallien i denne krig. Faktisk havde han været bekymret for, at Gallien kunne alliere sig med Britannia mod Rom. Senaculus havde imidlertid ret, uanset hvilke spørgsmål Rom havde med Gallien, og at erstatte Gallien med et stort, ekspansionsorienteret britisk imperium var ikke i Roms interesser. En alliance kunne redde Gallien og samtidig binde Gallien til Rom og samtidig sikre den nordlige grænse fra Britannia og dermed sikre en langsigtet fred i Roms nord. Han var overbevist om, at Senatet ville støtte ham, hvis han accepterede den galliske alliance.

"Jeg kan se. I det store og hele er jeg enig med dig, og jeg forventer, at min far og senatet også vil være det. Så lad os diskutere arten af ​​denne alliance. Hvilke vilkår foreslår din konge?"

"For det første vil han have en fri hånd i Spanien, ikke forstyrret af romerne, hvis han beslutter sig for og er i stand til at erobre hele halvøen. Med undtagelse af den tidligere kartaginske by Corduba, som du allerede regerer ... For det andet en garanti for ikke yderligere romersk ekspansion på Galliens bekostning. Og måske romersk tilfredshed med at gallisk erobring af øen Storbritannien, hvis vi skulle vinde krigen. "

"Og hvad får Rom ud af denne alliance?"

"Udover en sikker nordlig grænse og en rentabel, langsigtet fred med Gallien?" Senaculus smilede, næsten ikke synlig under sit massive overskæg. "Hvilke vilkår ville være acceptable for Rom?"

"Vi vil have Lugdunum. Da din konge ikke allerede regerer det, tror jeg, at en sådan anmodning ikke er i strid med dine betingelser om ikke yderligere romersk ekspansion mod Gallien. Vi vil også have de tidligere tyske jorder, der er blevet opslugt af briterne . Til gengæld kan du have Spanien med undtagelse af Corduba og øen Storbritannien. "

"Så dig har tænkte over dette. Jeg tror, ​​at dine vilkår er acceptable for min konge. Så er vi enige? "

"Ja, vi er enige. Lad os indgå en formel allianceaftale. Jeg vil forelægge den for det romerske senat, og jeg er overbevist om, at de vil acceptere det. Vores hære vil være parate til at marchere mod Britannia inden for en måned eller to . "

Det var for to måneder siden. Nu sad Marcus ved portene til Lugdunum og forberedte sig på at kæmpe med den britiske konge. Til sidst stoppede lyden udenfor, og en centurion trådte ind i teltet og hilste.

"Sir! Konstruktionen af ​​vædderne er fuldført. Vi er klar til at angribe væggene, når du giver ordren."

"Godt. Saml betjentene i dette telt. Vi vil gå over planerne en sidste gang, lad mændene sove og få udhvilet til kampen og angribe om morgenen."

Kort tid senere blev betjentene samlet rundt om bordet i Marcus telt.

"Tiden er kommet, mænd. Dette bliver ikke en let kamp. Den britiske styrke er mindre end vores, men ledet af kongen selv, en gammel krigsleder, der nyder legendarisk status i Britannia og i høj grad inspirerer sine tropper. Men hvis vi kan besejre og dræbe denne konge her, kan det få den samlede krig mod Britannia til at gå lettere ved at kaste fjenden i forvirring.

Den vigtigste romerske styrke vil angribe i tre punkter langs den sydlige mur. De galliske lejesoldater vil angribe den østlige port, og vi vil låne de romerske bueskytter til at støtte dem, da vi vil have størstedelen af ​​kavaleriet i syd. Briterne har mange sværdmænd, nogle af deres hårdeste tropper, og vi vil dele dem på to fronter og sprede dem ud for at svække dem, vi ikke ønsker at skulle kæmpe dem frontalt på ét sted. Der er også vogne at overveje. Vores spion i byen fortæller os, at der er hele 90 vogne. Nu, i kampens første fase, begynder vi med. "

Næste morgen, efter at Marcus havde holdt den sædvanlige tale før krigen til tropperne, stillede de romerske styrker op til kamp og ventede på ordren.

Væddervædderne rullede op til byens sydlige og østlige mure og porte. Tropperne kunne fjernt høre den britiske konge på den anden side holde sin egen tale før krigen til sine egne tropper på deres uforståelige tunge.

Da vædderne langsomt nedbrød væggene, beordrede Marcus missiltropperne at begynde at skyde for at drive briterne tilbage. Men det modsatte skete. Så snart de sydlige porte smadrede op, kom et band af britiske sværdmænd til at lade op.

Det er fint, Tænkte Marcus. Idioterne er kun et krigsband, der angriber lige midt i vores linjer, og åbner sig således op for omringning. Marcus havde aldrig kæmpet mod briterne før, men han vidste, at britiske sværdmænd havde ry for hensynsløs individuel handling, selv ladede uden ordre til selvmordstanker. Den britiske konge forbandede sandsynligvis en storm over dette. Selv hans indflydelse kunne ikke pålægge disse vilde stammefolk perfekt disciplin.

Marcus beordrede de to perifere århundreder til at skynde sig frem og angribe sværdmændene bagfra og omgive dem. Du skal aflevere det til dem, troede han, at briterne kæmpede til sidste mand. Hvilket spild af sådan tapperhed. Dette gør vores job lettere. Efter at den sidste sværdmand faldt, beordrede Marcus de romerske tropper til hullerne, der blev skabt af vædderne, og forberedte sig på at komme ind i byen.

I øst brød de galliske lejesoldater med deres ene vædder den østlige port ned og fandt et krigsband, der ventede på dem. De drev briterne tilbage fra porten med brandpile fra de romerske bueskytter, bragede et jordskælvende krigsopråb og anklagede.

Tropperne langs den sydlige mur mødte overraskende lidt modstand. Det så ud til, at den britiske konge bevarede hovedparten af ​​sine styrker til at kæmpe på den store bakke i centrum af byen, idet han erkendte, at han ville have en bedre chance der end ved at sprede sine styrker langs murene. Dette var både en velsignelse og en forbandelse for Marcus, der var i stand til at komme ind i byen med relativ lethed, men håbede at dele de britiske sværdmænd og vogne på mere end en front. Ikke desto mindre indsatte briterne SOM nogle styrker for at chikanere romerne, der forsøgte at komme ind mod syd, i form af vognbueskyttere. Da han vidste, at for at komme ind i den åbne by og direkte engagere vogne var selvmord, beordrede Marcus tropperne at kaste al den pila, de havde på vognene, inden de gik ind. Det virkede. Hovedparten af ​​vognene gik ned, og resten flygtede til byens centrum. Vejen var nu klar, og de romerske styrker kom ind gennem overtrædelserne og dannede sig i den sydlige del af byen.

De galliske lejesoldater havde ikke så let. Da de kom ind i byen, blev de sat på fra to retninger. Først fordoblede det britiske krigsband, der var trukket sig tilbage fra brandpilene, tilbage og angreb gallerne frontalt, mens de var midt i at komme ind gennem porten. For det andet angreb et andet warband, der havde sneget sig rundt fra siden, deres ubeskyttede højre flanke. Bueskytterne var ude af stand til at yde støtte på grund af risikoen for at ramme deres egne mænd. Lejesoldatstyrkerne var i alvorlig fare for sammenbrud. Gallisk kaptajn beordrede sin trompetist til at signalere Marcus, at assistance var nødvendig nu.

I syd hørte Marcus nødsignalet og forbandede. Han havde antaget, at gallerne ville være i stand til at klare sig selv, og ønskede ikke at skulle sætte sine kavaleristyrker i fare ved at krydse halvdelen af ​​byen ubeskyttet og støde på fjendtlige tropper, især vogne. Samtidig havde han ikke råd til at få gallerne til at tabe og flygte fra slaget, så briterne frit kunne koncentrere alle deres styrker om romerne i syd. Han besluttede, mod hans bedre dømmekraft, at opdele sine infanterikræfter. Han beordrede to århundreder til at marchere op ad den centrale bakke og danne op og holde mellem to bygninger, der vender ud mod torvet, og de andre tre århundreder til at marchere mod nordøst langs bunden af ​​den centrale bakke og beskytte kavaleriet, der ville rejse mod øst port langs indersiden af ​​væggene.

Sikkert nok løb de romerske styrker hurtigt i problemer på vej til at hjælpe gallerne. To bånd af sværdmænd sigtede mod det romerske infanteri fra den centrale bakke, mens vognbueskydere skød på både dem og de to andre romerske århundreder, der holdt i syd.

Ikke desto mindre forhindrede dette briterne i at opfange Marcus og hans kavaleri på vej til den østlige port. Da de nåede det, fulgte hårde kampe. Allerede var snesevis af galliske lejesoldater faldet, og resten holdt knapt deres grund. Marcus gjorde sit bedste for at samle og motivere dem, men briterne nægtede simpelthen at bryde.

I mellemtiden havde de tre romerske århundreder, der havde til opgave at forhindre briterne i at nå østporten, været angrebet af vogne foruden sværdmænd. Det var næsten umuligt at holde en god forsvarslinje, og mænd faldt som fluer, manglede under vognens pigge. Moralen var ved at nærme sig sammenbrudspunktet. Det begyndte at se ud som om hele kampen kan være tabt.

Så endelig, og på bekostning af en stor del af kavaleriet, kollapsede de britiske styrker ved østporten endelig i en rute, på hvilket tidspunkt de blev massakreret af Marcus kavaleri. Marcus beordrede derefter de udmattede galliske lejesoldater til centrum af byen mod pladsen, mens han selv og det, der var tilbage af equites, gik for at hjælpe de belejrede romere i bunden af ​​bakken. Sværdmændene begyndte at rutte, så snart kavaleriet styrtede i ryggen, og vognene gik tilbage til byens torv.

Marcus talte til tropperne. "Mænd! Jeg ved, at du er udmattet og allerede har mistet mange af dine venner, men kampen er næsten vundet. Det eneste, der er tilbage nu, er at tage torvet, og Lugdunum vil være i vores hænder. På hvilket tidspunkt er byen dit at gøre med, hvad du vil! Deres hjem, deres varer og skatte, deres koner og døtre, alle vil være dine! Hvem vil nu følge mig til centrum af byen og hjælpe mig med at dræbe den bastardkonge. "Den trætte og blodige mænd udbrød en entusiastisk jubel og begyndte at marchere op ad bakken mod byens centrum.

Vi er næsten der, Tænkte Marcus, da de romerske og galliske lejesoldater indtog deres positioner omkring bymidten, men han vidste, at sejren stadig ikke var en forudgående konklusion. Han havde mistet mange mænd, og resten var trætte. Briterne havde stadig et par krigsbånd tilbage og ville sandsynligvis kæmpe hårdt nu, da de ikke havde nogen steder tilbage at trække sig tilbage. Marcus vidste, at han heller ikke kunne trække sig tilbage. Hans politiske karriere var afhængig af det. Hvis han led et knusende nederlag på dette tidlige tidspunkt, lige i begyndelsen af ​​sin første krig, mens hans slægtninge erobrede Grækenland og det østlige Middelhav, vidste han, at han ville blive arvet, og det ville være hans bror, der ville blive leder for Julii. Han ville ikke kunne leve med skammen. Ingen, tænkte Marcus, Jeg vinder her, eller jeg dør her, og hævede sin gladius.

"Charge.", Skreg Marcus, og de romerske tropper løb frem for at engagere briterne. Briterne anklagede også, og vognene rullede ud for at angribe de romerske flanker. Marcus havde holdt de galliske lejesoldater i reserve denne gang og beordrede dem nu til at gå rundt og angribe vognene bagfra og efterlade dem ingen åben plads til at operere længere. Det virkede, at vognene var fanget og ude af stand til at bevæge sig i knusningen mellem hære og blev hurtigt ødelagt. Marcus og hans kavaleri angreb briterne bagfra gentagne gange, ladede og trak sig tilbage og ladede igen. Til sidst kollapsede de britiske linjer endelig, og slaget sluttede. Kongen blev fundet død nogle timer senere ved kanten af ​​pladsen.

Dette var den kamp, ​​der gjorde Marcus Julius politiske karriere. Han fortsatte med at føre sejr efter sejr over Britannias hære, skubbe dem ud af Germania og i sidste ende erobre øen Storbritannien selv, som gallerne ikke havde nået. Marcus far, Lucius Julius, døde to år inde i krigen, hvilket gjorde ham til leder af Julii. Nogle år efter, jaloux og bange for sin magt, forbød det romerske senat Marcus og erklærede krig mod Julius 'hus. Marcus overvandt derefter de andre romerske fraktioner, styrtede senatet og blev kejser i Rom.

[Denne meddelelse er redigeret af Kawada Shogo (redigeret 10-23-2015 @ 05:47).]


1 Svar 1

Ifølge wikipedia vil jeg sige, at Adrianopel er det største slag, ikke kun fordi det var en kamp mellem romerne (så det har kilder fra begge sider), men også fordi kun østlige dele af imperiet og Italien var i stand til at støtte så store tal i en hær. Selvom andre kampe også kunne se godt ud, var de alle imod barbarer, hvis antal ikke kan være så store og kun tæller krigere.

Men jeg vil også lægge en anden kamp, ​​der muligvis kan være større, slaget ved Phillipi, under borgerkrigen efter Cæsars død. Hvor 36 legioner var i kamp, ​​og det kunne have tal over 300.000, hvis disse legioner havde hjælpestyrker.


Lugdunum: Det største slag i romersk historie?

I 197 e.Kr. mødtes hærene til Septimius Severus og Clodius Albinus på Lugdunum, på stedet i dag Lyon. Hvis vi tror på tallene i Cassius Dio, var dette det største og blodigste sammenstød mellem to romerske hære i historien. 300.000 soldater var til stede i alt ifølge Dio. Tallene diskuteres, men ikke desto mindre er det tydeligt at se den titaniske skala for dette sammenstød i oldtidens historie. I denne episode taler Tristan til dr Jonathan Eaton om forløbet til slaget, hvordan Severus og Albinus gik fra venner til fjender, og om vi virkelig kan kalde dette det største slag i romersk historie. Jonathan er akademisk registrator ved Teeside University og forfatter til 'Leading The Roman Army: Soldiers and Emperors 31 BC - 235 AD'.

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Episoder og oacutedios

Berenike og Rødehavets krydderirute

Beliggende på den Røde Havs vestkyst i antikken var en række blomstrende havne, der bragte handel fra så langt som Sir Lanka. Nøglehandelscentre, hvor varer fremstillet i Iberia teoretisk set kunne have været solgt sammen med varer fremstillet tusinder af miles mod øst i Sydøstasien. Af disse havne må en af ​​de mest bemærkelsesværdige være Berenike, et blomstrende kosmopolitisk handelscenter, først for det hellenistiske ptolemaiske rige og senere for kejserlige Rom.

For at tale om stedets ekstraordinære arkæologi blev vi glade for at få selskab af professor Steven Sidebotham fra University of Deleware. Steve har ledet udgravninger på stedet i flere år, og i denne podcast fremhæver han, hvorfor Berenike er et af de mest spændende arkæologiske steder overalt i verden.

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Nero: På vej til scenen

I populærkulturen betragtes Nero som kejseren, der spillede fiolen, da Rom brændte til jorden. Selvom dette måske ikke er strengt faktuelt, tyder det på en anden side af denne berygtede karakter. I denne episode vender Dr Shushma Malik tilbage til The Ancients for at diskutere Neros interesse og talenter inden for kunsten: i poesi, på scenen og ved at spille kithara. Shushma deler beviserne fra Tacitus, Suetonius og Cassius Dio for at undersøge, hvor almindelige disse hobbyer var, hvordan Neros præstationer blev modtaget, og om de kan give os en dybere forståelse af Neros matricidale adfærd. Shushma er underviser ved University of Roehampton og forfatter til 'The Nero-Antichrist: Founding and Fashioning a Paradigm'.

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Jernalder britiske og romerske væddeløbsvogne

Hvor sandfærdige er moderne skildringer af gamle vogne? I dette andet afsnit udforsker Mike Loades virkeligheden bag den skårede vogn vist i Boudicas Westminster -statue. Derefter trækker han på sin eksperimentelle arkæologi for at diskutere sandheden om racervogne i det gamle Rom. Hvor mange heste brugte de, og hvor store var de? Ville rytterne virkelig have stået? Mike er forfatter, tv -præsentant, direktør og militærhistoriker, der personligt har testet mange replika vogne, herunder på Londons gader.

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Polynesisk mytologi

Fra skabelseshistorier til voyager -rejser er mytologi og mundtlig historie ofte nøglen til vores identitet. I denne episode skinner Christina Thompson lys over nogle fascinerende fortællinger fra polynesisk mytologi og forklarer, hvordan disse historier er blevet modtaget i nyere historie. Christina er forfatter til Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia.

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Vognes guldalder

Taxaer til frontlinjen eller gamle tanke? Gennem arkæologiske rester og gamle skildringer har vi en ide om, hvordan de gamle militære køretøjer i den antikke verden så ud, men hvordan blev de redet og hvad skulle de bruges til? I denne første af to samtaler diskuterer Mike Loades og Tristan vogne i Egypten, Anatolien, Troy og Kina. Mike er forfatter, tv -præsentant, direktør og militærhistoriker, der personligt har testet mange replika vogne.

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Alexander den Store 's første persiske sejr

Hvis der havde været et andet resultat af slaget ved Granicus, havde vi måske aldrig hørt om Alexander den Store. Dette fandt sted i 334 f.Kr. og var hans første store sejr mod det persiske imperium. I denne episode får Tristan selskab af Adrian Goldsworthy for at diskutere Alexander og hans taktik lige i begyndelsen af ​​sin kampagne, før han havde opbygget sit formidable ry. Adrian er en historiker og romanforfatter, der har specialiseret sig i oldtidens romerske historie.

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Gamle Polynesien: Pionererne i Stillehavet

På trods af sporadiske fødekilder og farerne ved dybhavet har de fjerntliggende øer i Stillehavet været hjemsted for polynesiere i mere end et årtusinde. Men hvordan var livet for de første mennesker, der begav sig mellem Hawaii, New Zealand og påskeøen, for at nævne nogle få? I denne episode udforsker Christina Thompson de nye beviser, der kan fortælle os mere om, hvad de gamle polynesiere spiste, og hvordan de levede. Fra gamle rotters DNA til den søde kartoffels mysterium er dette en spændende lytning. Christina er forfatter til 'Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia'.

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Sandheden om kong Arthur

Legenden om kong Arthur er blevet omarbejdet mange gange, men er der nogen historisk sandhed bag historierne? Dr Miles Russell believes there is and in this podcast he highlights how elements of King Arthur’s story derive from five key ancient figures. From British warlords that opposed the arrival of Julius Caesar to Roman emperors of Later Antiquity, Miles explores these individuals in ‘Arthur and the Kings of Britain: The Historical Truth Behind the Myths’.

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Olympia: The Golden Age

For hundreds of years in antiquity, the sanctuary at Olympia was one of the most important religious sites in the Greek World, home to stunning art and architecture commissioned by tyrants and city-states situated across the length and breadth of the Mediterranean. And it was during the 5th and 4th centuries BC, that this sanctuary arguably entered its golden age.

In this third and final episode of our mini-series on ancient Olympia, Professor Judy Barringer from the University of Edinburgh talks in detail about some of the most striking art and architecture that survives from Classical Olympia. From the pediments of the Temple of Zeus to the Winged Nike of Paionios. Judy is the author of Olympia: A Cultural History.

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Ancient Afghanistan: The Land of a Thousand Cities

Situated north of the Hindu Kush and south of the Oxus (Amu Darya) River, the history of the ancient region of Bactria is rich and diverse. From the Oxus Civilisation that flourished in the Bronze Age to the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great, the Greco-Bactrians and the Kushans.

In this podcast Tristan chats to David Adams, Australian photo journalist and documentary film maker, who has been fortunate enough to explore many of the archaeological sites of Bactria. From the 'City of Lady Moon' to the whereabouts of Bactra, 'Mother of All Cities', join David and Tristan as they discuss some of the most extraordinary ancient sites in the world.

Arcadia Expeditions: https://www.arcadiaexpeditions.com/

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The Rise of Olympia

Forget the Games, ancient Olympia’s importance stretched much further than simply being the birthplace of its namesake sporting festival. Boasting hundreds of years of history, at its height this critical sanctuary was home to some of the most stunning art and architecture in the ancient world. Its cultural history is astonishing, known about by scholars thanks to both an extraordinary amount of archaeology surviving and several vital ancient literary accounts.

In this second episode of our mini-series on ancient Olympia, Professor Judy Barringer from the University of Edinburgh shines a light on Olympia’s early history and how the site rose to become one of the most important religious centres in the ancient Greek World. Judy is the author of Olympia: A Cultural History.

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How the Romans Treated Eye Infections

Traditionally believed to be ‘windows to the soul’, the health of eyes in the Roman Empire could be compromised by lamentable hygiene practices, unclean public baths and dusty roads. But without modern medical remedies, how did the Romans look after their sight? Dr Nick Summerton is a practicing doctor and author of ‘Greco-Roman Medicine and What it Can Teach Us Today’, published by Pen & Sword. He came back on the show to discuss eye care in Ancient Rome: the tools, practitioners and processes.

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How Corinth Became Christian

Occupied since around 3000 BC, the Ancient city of Corinth is not unique in its transition from a Pagan, Greco-Roman state to a Christian one. What makes it stand out, however, is the incredible evidence that allows us to track this city’s journey throughout this time period, in literature, architecture and art. In this episode, Dr. Amelia Brown outlines Corinth’s administration and its move towards Christianity. She also highlights the incredible evidence of Pausanias, a Greek travel writer and geographer of the second century AD who lived in the time of the Roman emperors. Amelia is a Senior Lecturer in Greek History & Language at the University of Queensland, Australia.

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The Truth About The Huns

The Huns! The name of this ancient people triggers a multiplicity of responses and evokes a number of images (nearly all of them negative). They have been portrayed as a savage people, who contributed little to world history. But is this really the case? In this podcast, Tristan was joined by Professor Hyun Jin Kim to talk about the emergence of the Huns in the west in the late 4th century, and the striking geopolitical changes that their rapid expansion brought about. Hyun Jin dismantles the portrayal that all the Huns did was destroy and plunder and highlights the remarkable structure of this ancient empire. The first unified empire in Europe beyond Rome’s borders.

Hyun Jin is a Professor in Classics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of The Huns, published by Routledge in 2016.

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The Olympic Games

Ancient history legend Robin Waterfield came on the podcast to talk about the Olympic Games in antiquity. The first of a small miniseries on the ancient site of Olympia. Robin is the author of ‘Olympia: The Story of the Ancient Olympic Games’.

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Cicero&rsquos Fight for the Roman Republic

Caesar Octavian, Mark Antony, Decimus Brutus and Cicero: the Battle of Mutina, April 43 BC, was a clash of giants. It also became the beginning of the end for one of Ancient Rome’s greatest orators, Cicero. For this episode, Steele Brand came back to take Tristan through the battle, and to explain how this event featured in Cicero's fall and represents the renowned orator's last great gamble. Steele is Assistant Professor of History at The King’s College in New York City. He has written about the Battle of Mutina in his book, ‘Killing for the Republic: Citizen-Soldiers and the Roman Way of War’.

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Roman Prisoners of War

We know all about the battles of the Roman Empire: the opposing sides, their weapons and incentives. But if history is written by the winners, what happened if you lost? In this episode, Dr Jo Ball, battlefield archaeologist at the University of Liverpool, helps to fill in this gap. Jo takes us through the options of the victorious army to release, kill or capture and then discusses the treatment of those who fell into this last category. Listen as Tristan and Jo explore the experiences of prisoners of war in Ancient Rome, how this might differ if those taken were also Roman, and how we know anything about them at all.

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Introducing 'Leonardo: The Official Podcast'

Here on The Ancients, we think that you will love Leonardo, the official podcast accompanying the murder-mystery period drama starring Aidan Turner. Leonardo takes a deep dive behind the scenes with the cast and crew, as well as discovering more about Da Vinci’s art and life from the curators and historians who know him best.

This new podcast, hosted by television presenter and Leonardo enthusiast Angellica Bell, can be found here http://smarturl.it/leonardopodcast or wherever you get your podcasts.

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The Legacy of Thermopylae

Ever since its occurence in 480 BC, the Battle of Thermopylae has been the stuff of legend. Echoes of this battle, reportedly fought between a seven thousand strong Greek army and a Persian force of anywhere between 100 thousand and one million, can be found dotted across the literature and history of Ancient Greece and Rome. Professor Chris Carey from University College London has written a book on Thermopylae and, in this episode, he tells us how its shadow continues to the present day, where the battle and its heroes are referenced by those fighting for freedom, as well as in films and video games.

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Edges of Empire: Chesters Roman Fort

Described as one of the most complete cavalry forts that survives in Britain, Chesters Roman Fort is also home to the best preserved military baths on the island. In this episode, English Heritage Curator Dr Frances McIntosh takes Tristan around the site, and explains how it can tell us more about everyday life on this far flung frontier.


10 Bloodiest Roman Battles From History

The Roman Empire was one of the greatest Empires in history, and it took hundreds of epic roman battles to get there. Rome was so powerful it didn’t have many rivals who could stand up to them, but when they found someone who could the battles were not easily won. This list includes the 10 greatest Roman battles in history, including their greatest victories, and defeats. Rome had some of the greatest battle tactics of it’s time, and some of the brutal generals.

The Battle of the Trebia

This was one of the bloodiest Roman battles against the military genius Hannibal Barca. Hannibal came from a family strategists and knew exactly how to win a battle. His opponent Tiberius Sempronius Longus on the other hand was impetuous and short sighted. Tiberius underestimated his enemy and fell directly into his trap. Hannibal was waiting ready at the opposite side of the Trebia river. Through his spies Hannibal was aware of his opponents impetuous nature, and goaded him into marching across the frozen river. The Romans could barely fight because of the cold, and Hannibal’s brother had set an ambush to cut off their escape. The Roman’s lost up to 32,000 men, and Hannibal only lost 4,000, it was a complete and utter defeat for the Romans.

The Battle of Lake Trasimene

This was the largest ambush in military history. Again Roman forces suffered a terrible defeat against Hannibal. The Roman army marched along the edge of Lake Trasimene. The Roman vanguard was cleverly drawn away by a small skirmish force of Hannibal’s. Hannibal had lured the Roman army into the right spot and marched his hidden army towards the enemy. Hidden by trees and fog, the Romans never saw him coming. The Roman’s had no chance, and with no way to escape, many Romans ran into the Lake behind them and drowned to death. The Romans lost half it’s army, with 15,000 casualties. Hannibal lost a tiny portion of his army, only 2,500 men.

The Battle of Cannae

This Roman battle was the greatest Roman defeat in history. The Romans, sick of losing to Hannibal, mustered a giant army, 86,000 strong. They completely outnumbered Hannibal and yet still oat in what is considered one of the greatest tactical feats in military history. The Romans were confident they couldn’t lose, and decided to fight Hannibal at Cannae. The Romans massed their heavy infantry into a deeper formation than usual and Hannibal used the double-envelopment tactic. The Romans pushed forward and Hannibal lowly retreated his men from the middle, it have appeared Hannibal was losing but he was actually encircling the larger force. After his cavalry and reserve infantry attacked Rome from the back they were completely slaughtered.

The Battle of Ilipa

This was a much needed victory for the Romans. This was probably Scipio Africanus’s greatest victory. Scipio had always used the same formation and so when he took the Carthage forces by surprise they didn’t have much time to think and assumed he would still be using the same formation. The Carthaginian arranged their troops to combat the normal formation but were taken by surprise to see his formation had been reversed. The Carthaginians were completely outsmarted, they were fighting a losing battle, they hadn’t eaten which made it harder to fight, and were being trampled by their own elephants. Even though Rome started off with a minority of men, Rome lost 7,000 where as Carthage lost 48,500 troops.

The Battle of Utica

Scipio attacked the city of Utica and planned to make it into a base of operations. His first attack was repulsed and his next one failed completely. His opponents had the advantage in numbers, and Scipio was forced to retreat. Scipio then entered Peace negotiations with the city but it amounted to nothing. He then decided to place troops in an area that would make enemy army thing he was preparing fro another siege when in actuality he was preparing a surprise attack on the enemy camps. He burned down their camps, and secured victory. This Roman Battle was a decisive victory for Scipio.

The Battle of Zama

The Battle of Zama was a crushing defeat for Hannibal and finally put an end to the 17 year war they had fought. Hannibal had a larger army but Scipio had discovered a way to the Carthaginian war elephants to his advantage. Hannibal sent his elephants forward to try ad break the enemy lines. Scipio ordered his cavalry to blow horns loudly to scare the elephants and cause them to panic. This worked and sent the elephants charging back the other way and completely destroyed the Carthaginian left wing. Scipio steadily routed the enemy army until they were completely defeated. This was the final Roman battle with Carthage. Carthage sued for peace, which they were given but under humiliating terms.

The Battle of Pydna

The battle of Pydna is the battle that put an end to the legacy of Alexander the Great. The antigonid King Perseus of Macedon was a descendent of Alexander the great. Rome was outnumbered, and had trouble going up against the enemy Phalanx. The romans used a planned retreat to force the enemy Phalanx on different ground. The enemy phalanx had to disrupt their formation on the ground, and were defeated. Perseus lost half his men and was taken as a prisoner of war.

The Siege of Alesia

The Roman battle of Alesia was a decisive victory for Julius Caesar. Caesar commanded an army of 60,000 and defeated an army of Gallic tribes that could have been as large as 330,000 men. The Gallic tribes were led by Vercingetorix commius of the Arverni. It was the last major battle between the Gauls and the Romans. This battle marked the end of Gallic independence in France and Belgium. The location isn’t known exactly, the best guess is Mont Auxois, in France, but this strangely doesn’t match Caesars description of the battle. Caesar was completely surrounded and it looked as he was about to be defeated. He then quickly ordered the bulk of his cavalry to attack the enemy relief cavalry, after succeeding in this Vercingetorix surrendered to Rome.

The Battle of Pharsalus

This Roman battle was an important victory for Caesar in his civil war against the Roman Republic. Caesar fought against Pompey the Great, who had a much larger force, and a dangerous advantage against Caesar. The battle went on for months, which Caesar’s position only getting worse. Pompey wanted the fight to go on for as long as possible knowing Caesar would eventually run out of food supplies and surrender. Pompey however caved into the pressure of senators who wanted him to go into battle, and was completely defeated by Caesar. Caesar routed the enemies cavalry with a hidden detachment throwing javelins. When his cavalry was destroyed Pompey was forced to surrender.

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest

At Teutoberg forest three Roman legions were attacked and defeated by an alliance of Germanic tribes utilising guerrilla warfare. This was one of the major battles during the history of the Roman-Germanic wars. The alliance was led by Publius Quinctilius Varus. Publius was a roman citizen and had Roman education. Due to his knowledge of Roman military tactics it was easier for him to trick them, and anticipate their responses. Of all the Roman battles this may have been their greatest defeat, and many historians describe it as one of the most decisive battles in history.


2. The Battle of Leipzig, 1813

Belligerents: France vs Austria, Prussia and Russia
Casualties: French 30,000 Allies 54,000
I alt: 84,000
Resultat: Coalition victory

The battle of Leipzig represents the most decisive defeat suffered by Napoleon, and the largest battle fought on European soil prior to the outbreak of World War One. Facing attacks from all directions, the French army performed remarkably well, holding attackers at bay for more than nine hours before being overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers. With defeat imminent, Napoleon began an orderly withdrawal across the single bridge still standing. The bridge was blown too early, stranding 20,000 French soldiers, many of whom would drown whilst attempting to cross the river. The defeat opened the door for an Allied advance into France itself.


February 19th, 197 AD | The Battle of Lugdunum

Commodus became Emperor of Rome in 180 A.D., succeeding his father, Marcus Aurelius, the Philosopher King with blameless character and temperate way of life. Aurelius was a great emperor, and Commodus had big shoes to fill.

Commodus decided to fill them with all kinds of bat-shit crazy (he’s number 3 on the “top 5 Roman whack jobs”).

Dio Cassius commented that his accession marked the descent “from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust,” and while on the military front things were kinda quiet (his dad had – after all – pacified the shit out of anyone causing trouble), he really struggled in the political arena. Because, well, politics and administration bored the shit out of him.

But he’s the bloody emperor … you can’t just detach yourself like that without someone, somewhere getting right pissed off about it. Heck, just look at the outrage when Obama takes a quick vacation. And back then, “dissatisfaction” translated to scheming, plots, and daggers in the back. Things haven’t really changed much, have they?

And Commodus was no different. Just two years into his reign and the assassination attempts were kicking in, and each time he survived one, he’d withdraw even more from society. But not until he’d executed every mother fucker looking at him funny, looking suspicious, or possibly involved. Or not involved. In fact, he attempted to execute the entire fucking house of the Quinctilii on the pretext that, while they were not implicated in any plots, their wealth would make them unhappy with the current state of affairs.

“I’m going to kill you, because I think you’re going to be unhappy.”

The assassination attempts increased (of course!) and Commodus thought “fuck this for a lark, I’m off to my estates,” where he would promptly spend his time riding around in a chariot or participating private gladiatorial contests. Which – naturally – further exasperated the fact that he was not actually leading the empire.

Now he wasn’t an evil twat or anything, but he was guileless and a slave to his companions. As he retreated further and further from political society, he was at the whim of close companions and fell into lustful and cruel habits. For the next eight years, Commodus slipped into ever increasing megalomania.

And here’s where things got interesting for Rome.

(Fun fact: the real Commodus was left handed)

Being a big and powerful man, Commodus was extremely proud of his physical prowess. “Pride” turned into “fucking nuts,” as he ordered many statues to be made showing him dressed as Hercules, complete with lion’s hide and club.

“Well that’s not so crazy!” I hear you shout, to which I respond “and then he started referring to himself as a demi-god.”

And with a passion for gladiatorial combat, he’d enter the arena – yup, the Emperor of Rome, in the arena – and would fight naked gladiatorial contests. This appalled the citizenry, not because he was naked, but public displays and drawing attention to oneself like this was scandalous and disgraceful.

The real kicker? Every time he decided to make a public appearance, he charged the city a million sesterces. A MILLION.

“Still not crazy!” you scoff.

If he wasn’t fighting public or private gladiatorial contests, Commodus would bring wounded soldiers into the arena and would slay them with a sword, which – naturally – raised a few eye brows among military officials.

And if there wasn’t any wounded soldiers to butcher publicly, he’d gather up crippled Roman citizens, would tie them together, and would then CLUB THEM TO DEATH while pretending that they were giants.

He also loved fighting animals, often to the horror of the Roman people. I mean, seriously, this is a dude who just loved butchering shit in front of everyone else I can’t even fathom what was going on in his brain. He killed 100 lions in a day, three elephants on his own (which: kudos!), and a giraffe … which, frankly, everyone took to be a strange and helpless beast (so: boo!) Then he killed an ostrich, decapitated it, and took the bleeding head over the where the senators were sitting and started making “you next!” gestures.

“Well … I … um …” you quietly apologize as his insanity starts to sink in.

Commodus decided that – as Hercules – he was the son of Jupiter, the supreme god of the entire Roman Panetheon, and therefore, the Roman Empire should be re-cast in his own image. He declared himself as the new Romulus and re-founded Rome, renaming it “Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. ” Yup, he renamed Rome.

But that’s not all the months of the year were renamed to match his own name, and – conveniently – he added names to his own, so every month bore one of them: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius.

Yes, that was his official name at this point of insanity.

The legions were renamed Commodianae, the grain fleet was termed AlexandriaCommodiana Togata, and even the Senate did not escape … it was titled the Commodian.

The citizens of Rome? Now called Commodianus.

And the day he made such a decree? This was called Dies Commodianus.

And to round it all off, he announced that he would inaugurate the year 193 as both consul and gladiator, and then he proceeded to butcher every fucking noble in sight so he could become the sole consul of Rome … sorry … “Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana.”

It’s amazing really that he lasted so long.

A renewed effort to kill him was made by his lover, who poisoned his food, but the bugger just puked it up. So another effort was made with his wrestling partner strangling the fucker in bed … and that’s exactly how he went out.

The problem? The Empire was about to start punching itself in the face.

A bloke called Pertinax took over, but he only lasted 3 months before his own Praetorian Guard shoved a gladius into bits that really don’t need to be aerated.

Didius Julianus took over after buying the emperor position in an auction (I kid you not), which didn’t go over well with the senate, so they had him executed just twelve days later.

Septimius Severus declared himself emperor and got the senate’s backing, but immediately had a problem over in Syria when the governor there – Pescennius Niger – said “you know what, my people love me, I think I should have all the peoples!”

So Pertinax had to go off and fight him, thus leaving the governing of the empire to Albinus, who had turned down the emperor position, but negotiated control over Britain, Spain and the Gauls in exchange for ruling as Caesar while Severus dropped an elbow into Niger’s nutsack.

So we’re good here, right? A few years later, and Severus has demolished all opposition, has a fine boy, names him heir to the empire, and everyone is happy.

In 196 Albinus says “you know what, I kinda like this whole gig, I know I turned it down earlier, but I want to be emperor now …”

He scooped up his legions in Britain, crossed the channels, gathered up even more forces in Gaul, and started mad-dogging Severus, who – reportedly – face-palmed, muttered “what the living fuck?” and promptly headed up there with enough men to fuck over the gods themselves.

The two armies met at Tinurtium, with Severus getting the better of things, but not doing enough to stop Albinus. So on February 19 th they met once more, this time on a cold plain north of the River Rhône near Lungdunum … and here 150,000 men fought like rabid animals for TWO SOLID DAYS, which was pretty much unheard of back then. And – frankly – trying to imagine 150,000 dudes slamming the sharp end of a gladius into each other for two days just blows my mind.

The battle ebbed and flowed in one direction and then another, but after a vicious struggle, and one that goes down in history as the bloodiest Roman civil war battle, Severus emerged victorious. Albinus fled, and later died from a small splinter in the form of a gladius to the back of the neck. Severus had his head cut off, rode around with it in front of his troops, and then sent it back to Rome as a warning to others.

Oh, with the heads of Albinus’ family, ‘cos: fuck them.

Because of this wholesale mass slaughter of over a hundred thousand Roman troops, who – by all intents and purposes – should have been garrisoning the region, uprisings in the area caused all sorts of problems for the Empire over the forthcoming years. It was while putting down one of these revolts that Severus himself died. Which is all kinds of juicy delicious with irony.

And this, boys and girls, is how you take the glorious reign of Marcus Aurelius and turn it into a joke within just two decades.


Lugdunum (Katwijk)

Lugdunum was a naval base and fortified military granary at the estuary of the river Rhine. It was probably the location of one of the strangest incidents from ancient history. In 40 CE, the Roman emperor Caligula arrived at the beach with many soldiers, probably belonging to the newly recruited Twenty-second Legion Primigenia. What happened next, is told by his biographer Suetonius.

/> Little jar

Finally, as if resolved to make war in earnest, he drew up a line of battle on the shore of the ocean, placed his ballistas and other artillery, and, no one knowing or able to imagine what he was going to do, he all of a sudden commanded they gather sea shells and fill their helmets and pockets with them [. ]. As a monument of this victory, he erected a lofty tower, from which lights were to shine at night to guide the course of ships, as from the lighthouse of Alexandria. note [Suetonius, Life of Caligula 46 tr. J. Gavorse.]

This farce must have taken place on the beach near modern Katwijk, because we know for certain that Caligula was present in 40. In the preceding winter, a military base was constructed at nearby Valkenburg. Den blev kaldt Praetorium Agrippinae the first element of this name means "headquarters", the second is a reference to the emperor's mother Agrippina. The presence of the emperor at the mouth of the Rhine is certain, because a barrel has been found that once contained wine from the emperor's personal vineyards. As late as the sixteenth century, fishermen from Katwijk called a group of underwater ruins "the tower of Kalla" or "Callo". Because there has been continuous human occupation at the mouth of the Rhine, it is tempting to think that the site of the lighthouse is still remembered.

/> Ortelius' drawing of the Brittenburg

Apart from these stories, Lugdunum is only known to us from drawings from the sixteenth and seventeenth century, when the ruins of the ancient settlement (not the lighthouse) became visible on the beach. The precise location of the Brittenburg, however, is still hotly debated.

The drawing by Abraham Ortelius, one of the most famous cartographers of all ages, shows a building that can probably be identified with a horreum or military granary. The heavy walls with round towers suggest a date in the fourth century.

Modern archaeologists have been unable to trace the ruins of the 'Brittenburg', which have become one of the most famous and romantic mysteries of Dutch archaeology. The violence of the sea has probably destroyed the remains of the castle beyond recovery.

The Renaissance expression "Lugdunum Batavorum" to describe the nearby town of Leiden is erroneous. In Antiquity, Leiden was called Matilo.


Lugdunum (Lyon)

Lugdunum: main Roman city in the "three Gauls", site of the imperial cult, modern Lyon.

Tidlig historie

In the area of what is now called Lyon, two Celtic settlements, probably inhabited by the tribe of the Segusiavi, have been identified, which date back to the La Tène period (e.g. after 450 BCE). The first of these was an oppidum on the west bank of the Saône on a hill called Fourvière. The other town was located between the Saône and the Rhône. This second town may have been called Lugudunon (“hill of Lugus” attested on a coin from 42 BCE), from which Latin Lugdunum was derived.

Situated near the confluence of two important rivers, one connecting the area with the Moselle and Rhine, the other leading in the general direction of the Upper Danube, we can imagine early Lyon as a trade center. This is confirmed by the presence of Italian amphoras and Greek pottery.

Roman Conquest

The Romans conquered the valley of the Rhône from the south, first subjecting the Allobroges in c.120 BCE. Having gained control of the area, the Romans founded the city of Vienna, modern Vienne. When an Allobrogian leader named Catugnatus revolted and expelled the Roman merchants, the latter went up north and took over Lugdunum. In this confused situation, the Helvetii announced that they would migrate downstream along the Rhône and proceed to Aquitania, which was sufficient for the Roman general Julius Caesar to intervene. In 58, he captured the hill of Fourvière, which was to remain one of his bases during the subsequent war in Gaul.

/> Coin with the altar of Lyon

The city was formally organized as a colonia after the death of Caesar by Lucius Munatius Plancus (43 BCE) the first inhabitants must have been veterans from Caesar's legions. For some time, Lyon had the privilege of minting silver coins, which made it necessary to garrison the town: the Cohors XIII urbana was to remain in Lyon for two centuries.

In the thirties of the first century BCE, the Romans organized the "three Gauls" conquered by Caesar, converting them into three provinces and creating a network of roads. General Agrippa, the right-hand man of Caesar's heir Octavian, built important roads: one from Lyon to Bordeaux in the west, one from Lyon to Geneva and Augst in the northeast, and one from Lyon to the north, bifurcating in a road to Reims in the northwest and a road to Trier and Cologne in the northnortheast.

In 12 BCE, the Romans dedicated an altar to Roma and Augustus on the Croix-Rousse Hill. note [Cassius Dio, Roman History 54.32.1.] Every year, Gallic leaders would gather here to discuss affairs. The conquest was over Lyon had become the capital of the Three Gauls.

Roman City

Although Lyon was an important center of Roman government, it never became a city like Carthage, Ephesus, Antioch or Alexandria. Still, it covered some 350 hectares and had more than 30,000 inhabitants (twice the size of Pompeii and about as many as Cologne), and was considered the largest city in Gaul after Narbo. note [Strabo, Geografi 4.3.2.] Lyon boasted a forum, a temple of Roma and Augustus, a sanctuary for Cybele, an aqueduct, a theater, an odeon, and an amphitheater for chariot races. Most importantly, it was a city where all kinds of traders and merchants met.

Several emperors and princes visited the city. When Drusus visited the city in 10 BCE, his wife Antonia gave birth to a son, Claudius, the future emperor). note [Suetonius, Claudius 2.1.] The emperor Caligula resided in Lyon during his northern tour. note [Suetonius, Caligula 17.] In 68 CE, the city was focus of the insurrection of Vindex, which was suppressed but led to the downfall of the emperor Nero. Trajan and Hadrian, who visited the city in 119, constructed monuments. In 185, the future emperor Caracalla was born in Lyon.

In an international city, there would be people from the east, including exiles (e.g., the Herodian tetrarch Antipas of Galilee) and Christians. In 177, they were cruelly persecuted the Acts of the Martyrs of Lyon is a terrible source to read. After this event, Irenaeus became bishop, one of the first Christian leaders to focus on orthodox faith.

/>Altar

After the unlucky reign of Publius Helvius Pertinax (in the first months of 193) and the coup of Didius Julianus, there was the countercoup of Lucius Septimius Severus, who had a rival in the west, Clodius Albinus. Severus defeated Albinus in a battle near Lyon. note [Cassius Dio, Roman History 76.6 Herodian, History of the Roman Empire 3.7.2.] Because the garrison of Lyon, the Cohors XIII urbana, had sided with the latter, Septimius Severus ordered subunits of two legions (VIII Augusta and XXII Primigenia) to serve as garrison of Lyon.

Late Antiquity

After the mid-third-century, the Rhine border was threatened and the seat of the Roman government was transferred to the northeast, where Cologne, Mainz, and Trier became increasingly important. For Lyon, this was the beginning of a slow decline. There were no funds to restore the aqueduct, so important for a large city, when it had fallen into disrepair. Still, the city was frequently visited by emperors (e.g., Constantine the Great) and usurpers (e.g., Magnentius, who committed suicide in Lyon).

Lyon remained an important Christian center, though, with an episcopal palace on the banks of the Saône, a baptistery and a church that was dedicated to John the Baptist (the present cathedral). On the ancient cemeteries outside the walls, several funerary basilicas were constructed.

In 460, Lyon became the residence of the Burgundians, who were eventually conquered by the Franks in 532.


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