Topic: Military history/Roman and Byzantine military history
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Battle of Alesia
The Battle of Alesia or Siege of Alesia was a military engagement in the Gallic Wars that took place in September, 52 BC, around the Gallic oppidum (fortified settlement) of Alesia, a major centre of the Mandubii tribe. It was fought by the army of Julius Caesar against a confederation of Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix of the Arverni. It was the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans, and is considered one of Caesar's greatest military achievements and a classic example of siege warfare and investment. The battle of Alesia marked the end of Gallic independence in France and Belgium.
The battle site was probably atop Mont Auxois, above modern Alise-Sainte-Reine in France, but this location, some have argued, does not fit Caesar's description of the battle. A number of alternatives have been proposed over time, among which only Chaux-des-Crotenay (in Jura in modern France) remains a challenger today.
At one point in the battle the Romans were outnumbered by the Gauls by four to one. The event is described by several contemporary authors, including Caesar himself in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico. After the Roman victory, Gaul (very roughly modern France) was subdued and became a Roman province. The Roman Senate granted a thanksgiving of 20 days for his victory in the Gallic War.
- "Battle of Alesia" | 2020-01-08 | 77 Upvotes 91 Comments
Strategikon of Maurice
The Strategikon or Strategicon (Greek: Στρατηγικόν) is a manual of war traditionally regarded as written in the late 6th century and usually attributed to the Byzantine Emperor Maurice. It is moreover a practical manual, "a rather modest elementary handbook" in the words of its introduction, "for those devoting themselves to generalship". This book gives a general guide, handbook, of the Byzantine military's strategies. In his introduction to his 1984 translation of the text, George T. Dennis noted "The Strategikon is written in a very straightforward and generally uncomplicated Greek."
The Strategikon may have been written in an effort to codify the military reforms brought about by the soldier-emperor Maurice. There is debate in academic circles as to the true author of the Strategikon. Maurice may have only commissioned it; perhaps his brother Peter, or another general of his court, was the true author. The dating is also debated. If it was written in the 6th century, the Strategikon may have been produced to codify the experience of the Balkan and Persian campaigns, or the campaigns may have been carried out in compliance with the manual. However, starting in the late 19th century, some historians have argued for a later date in the eighth or ninth century, on philological or technological grounds. In any case, it is considered one of the most important military texts of the medieval years, along with the 10th century military treatises attributed to the Byzantine emperors Leo VI (Tactica) and Nicephorus Phocas (De velitatione and Praecepta Militaria); Leo's Tactica in particular drew heavily from the Strategikon.
The text consists of 12 chapters, or "books", on various aspects of the tactics employed by the Byzantine military of the 6th and 7th century A.D. It is primarily focused on cavalry tactics and formations, yet it also elaborates on matters of infantry, sieges, baggage trains, drilling and marching. The author was familiar with classical military treatises, especially Onasander and Aelian, which he used as conceptional models rather than sources of content. Each book has a general topic to be discussed, and each book goes into great detail even separating each book further into subsections and including maps. These maps are not large and extravagant but more symbols to show positions and a standard design of the formations the Byzantine military used at this time. Books seven and eight contain practical advice to the General in the form of instructions and maxims. The eleventh book has ethnographic interest, with its portrayal of various Byzantine enemies (Franks, Lombards, Avars, Turks, and Slavs). The Strategikon also belongs to Byzantine legal literature, since it contains a list of military infractions and their suitable penalties.
- "Strategikon of Maurice" | 2017-08-22 | 19 Upvotes 1 Comments
The Great Illyrian Revolt
The Bellum Batonianum (Latin for 'War of the Batos') was a military conflict fought in the Roman province of Illyricum in the 1st century AD, in which an alliance of native peoples of the two regions of Illyricum, Dalmatia and Pannonia, revolted against the Romans. The rebellion began among native peoples who had been recruited as auxiliary troops for the Roman army. They were led by Bato the Daesitiate, a chieftain of the Daesitiatae in the central part of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, and were later joined by the Breuci, a tribe in Pannonia led by Bato the Breucian. Many other tribes in Illyria also joined the revolt.
The Romans referred to the conflict as Bellum Batonianum ("Batonian War") after these two leaders with the same name; Velleius Paterculus called it the Pannonian and Dalmatian War because it involved both regions of Illyricum, and in English it has also been called the Great Illyrian Revolt, Pannonian–Dalmatian uprising, and Bato uprising.
The four-year war lasted from AD 6 to AD 9 and witnessed a large deployment of Roman forces in the province, with whole armies operating across the western Balkans and fighting on more than one front. In AD 8, the Breuci of the Sava valley surrendered, but it took a winter blockade and another season of fighting before the surrender in Dalmatia in AD 9. The Roman historian Suetonius described the uprising as the most difficult conflict faced by Rome since the Punic Wars two centuries earlier.
- "The Great Illyrian Revolt" | 2023-03-13 | 81 Upvotes 61 Comments