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Battle of Panormus, 412 BC

Battle of Panormus, 412 BC


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Battle of Panormus, 412 BC

The battle of Panormus (412 BC) was a minor Athenian victory during the longer siege of Miletus, most notable for the death of the Spartan commander Chalcideus (Great Peloponnesian War).

In the aftermath of the Athenian disaster at Syracuse, the Spartans had decided to encourage revolts across the Athenian Empire. On the Ionian coast of Asia Minor the city of Miletus joined the revolt, with encouragement from the Athenian exile Alcibiades. The Spartans used the city as their main base in the area, and send a small fleet under Chalcideus to support the revolt.

The Athenians reacted quickly, and soon established a blockade of the city. A fleet of twenty ships took up a position on the nearby island of Lade, and waited for reinforcements.

Before these reinforcements arrived, the Athenians on Lade decided to carry out a raid on Milesian territory, and landed at Panormus, to the south of the city. Chalcideus led a small force out to oppose them, but was killed in the resulting battle. The Athenians must have been worried that a larger army was close behind, and so retreated without erected a trophy. They returned three days to do this, but then retreated once again, and the Milesians demolished the trophy on the grounds that it hadn't been erected while the Athenians held the ground after the battle.

The major reinforcements from Athens arrived before the end of the summer, and a larger battle was fought at Miletus. The Athenians and their allies were victorious, but a Peloponnesian fleet arrived just in time to prevent them from taking advantage, and the siege of Miletus had to be abandoned.


First Punic War

The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the early 3rd century BC. For 23 years, in the longest continuous conflict and greatest naval war of antiquity, the two powers struggled for supremacy. The war was fought primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters, and also in North Africa. After immense material and human losses on both sides, the Carthaginians were defeated.

The war began in 264 BC with the Romans gaining a foothold on Sicily at Messana (modern Messina). The Romans then pressed Syracuse, the only significant independent power on the island, into allying with them and laid siege to Carthage's main base at Akragas. A large Carthaginian army attempted to lift the siege in 262 BC, but was heavily defeated at the Battle of Akragas. The Romans then built a navy to challenge the Carthaginians', and using novel tactics inflicted several defeats. A Carthaginian base on Corsica was seized, but an attack on Sardinia was repulsed the base on Corsica was then lost. Taking advantage of their naval victories the Romans launched an invasion of North Africa, which the Carthaginians intercepted. At the Battle of Cape Ecnomus the Carthaginians were again beaten this was possibly the largest naval battle in history by the number of combatants involved. The invasion initially went well and in 255 BC the Carthaginians sued for peace the proposed terms were so harsh they fought on, defeating the invaders. The Romans sent a fleet to evacuate their survivors and the Carthaginians opposed it at the Battle of Cape Hermaeum off Africa the Carthaginians were heavily defeated. The Roman fleet, in turn, was devastated by a storm while returning to Italy, losing most of its ships and over 100,000 men.

The war continued, with neither side able to gain a decisive advantage. The Carthaginians attacked and recaptured Akragas in 255 BC, but not believing they could hold the city, they razed and abandoned it. The Romans rapidly rebuilt their fleet, adding 220 new ships, and captured Panormus (modern Palermo) in 254 BC. The next year they lost 150 ships to a storm. In 251 BC the Carthaginians attempted to recapture Panormus, but were defeated in a battle outside the walls. Slowly the Romans had occupied most of Sicily in 249 BC they besieged the last two Carthaginian strongholds – in the extreme west. They also launched a surprise attack on the Carthaginian fleet, but were defeated at the Battle of Drepana. The Carthaginians followed up their victory and most of the remaining Roman warships were lost at the Battle of Phintias. After several years of stalemate, the Romans rebuilt their fleet again in 243 BC and effectively blockaded the Carthaginian garrisons. Carthage assembled a fleet which attempted to relieve them, but it was destroyed at the Battle of the Aegates Islands in 241 BC, forcing the cut-off Carthaginian troops on Sicily to negotiate for peace.

A treaty was agreed. By its terms Carthage paid large reparations and Sicily was annexed as a Roman province. Henceforth Rome was the leading military power in the western Mediterranean, and increasingly the Mediterranean region as a whole. The immense effort of building 1,000 galleys during the war laid the foundation for Rome's maritime dominance for 600 years. The end of the war sparked a major but unsuccessful revolt within the Carthaginian Empire. The unresolved strategic competition between Rome and Carthage led to the eruption of the Second Punic War in 218 BC.


Contents

  • Primary sources
  • Armies
  • Background
  • Start of the war
  • Invasion of Africa
  • Prelude
  • Battle
  • Aftermath
  • Notes, citations and sources
  • Notes
  • Citations
  • Sources
  • Further reading

The war had commenced in 264 BC with Carthage in control of much of Sicily, where most of the fighting took place. In 256� BC the Romans attempted to strike at the city of Carthage in North Africa, but suffered a heavy defeat by a Carthaginian army strong in cavalry and elephants. When the focus of the war returned to Sicily, the Romans captured the large and important city of Panormus in 254 BC. Thereafter they avoided battle for fear of the war elephants which the Carthaginians had shipped to Sicily. In late summer 250 BC Hasdrubal led out his army to devastate the crops of the cities of Rome's allies. The Romans withdrew to Panormus and Hasdrubal pressed on to the city walls.

Once he arrived in Panormus, Metellus turned to fight, countering the elephants with a hail of javelins from earthworks dug near the walls. Under this missile fire the elephants panicked and fled through the Carthaginian infantry. The Roman heavy infantry then charged the Carthaginian left flank, which broke, along with the rest of the Carthaginians. The elephants were captured and later slaughtered in the Circus Maximus. This was the last significant land battle of the war, which ended nine years later in a Roman victory.


The Ten Longest Wars in History

Historians often disagree on whether certain wars should be considered one continuing conflict or a series of separate wars. But that doesn&rsquot stop them from compiling lists of the longest wars ever fought. Here is the most popular version.

10. THE VIETNAM WAR

Length: 19 years (1955&ndash1975)

Details: Although there was no official declaration of war, the Vietnam War began on November 1, 1955, when the United States began providing military support to the newly created nation of South Vietnam in their war against communist-controlled &mdashand Soviet- and Chinese-supported&mdash North Vietnam. Major fighting didn&rsquot really begin until 1963 (total number of U.S. troops killed in Vietnam prior to 1962: fewer than 100), when the war was escalated, first by President John F. Kennedy and then by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The war officially ended on April 30, 1975, when the last American forces left Saigon and North Vietnam took control of the entire country, reunifying the North and South into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Estimated deaths: 2.4 million

9. THE GREAT NORTHERN WAR

Length: 21 years (1700&ndash1721)

Details: This war&rsquos two main adversaries were Russia, under Peter the Great, and the Swedish Empire, under Charles XII, with various allies fighting on either side at different points&mdash including Denmark-Norway, Poland-Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire, and Great Britain (which actually fought on both sides at different times over the course of the war). Winner: Russia. The outcome drastically reshaped the power structure of Europe, reducing what was then a very powerful Swedish Empire to a minor player in European affairs. Russia, in turn, was officially renamed the Russian Empire, with Peter the Great as its first emperor. The victory marked Russia&rsquos emergence as a major world power.

Estimated deaths: Historians believe the number of battle deaths, along with deaths due to disease and famine brought on by the war, was more than 300,000.

8. FIRST PUNIC WAR

Length: 23 years (264&ndash241 BC)

Details: This was the first of three wars between the powerful North African city-state of Carthage (now Tunisia), and the Roman Republic over control of the lucrative trade routes in and around the Mediterranean Sea. The First Punic War was the longest of the three and was fought primarily over control of the island of Sicily, where much of the fighting took place. In one notable battle near the city of Panormus (now Palermo), the Romans not only killed an estimated 20,000 Carthaginian soldiers in one day but also captured 100 elephants, which the Carthaginians famously used in battle. The elephants were sent back to Rome, where they are believed to have been killed in the games in the Coliseum. The First Punic War ended in 241 BC, with the Romans emerging as victors, gaining control of most of Sicily. (Rome won the Second Punic War as well, when Roman general Scipio defeated Carthaginian general Hannibal in 201 BC. By the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC, the Romans had demolished the Carthaginian army destroyed the city of Carthage enslaved, sold, or killed all its inhabitants and annexed every last inch of Carthaginian territory.)

Estimated deaths: Around 250,000

7. THE ACHINESE WAR

Length: 31 years (1873&ndash1904)

Details: This war was the result of an effort by the Dutch to consolidate their rule in the Dutch East Indies, the former colony that is the nation of Indonesia today. In 1873 the Dutch attacked the Sultanate of Aceh (pronounced ah-che), an independent kingdom on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in order to take control of the region&rsquos lucrative black pepper industry. The Dutch captured the capital of Kutaraja in 1874 and declared victory. But they badly underestimated the Acehnese, who took to using guerrilla tactics, and the war dragged on for a total of 31 years, with territory changing hands several times over that period. In the late 1890s, the frustrated Dutch began a scorched-earth campaign that led to the destruction of Aceh villages and the slaughter of thousands of civilians, including women and children. By 1903 the war was basically won (by the Dutch), but fighting continued in some pockets of the region until 1914. Today Aceh is a province of Indonesia, which gained its independence from the Netherlands in 1949.

Estimated deaths: 90,000

6. THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR

Length: 27 years (431&ndash404 BC)

Details: Remember the Greek city-states that banded together and beat the mighty Persians in the Greco-Persian War? Well, once that was settled, the Greeks got back to what they did best&mdash fighting each other. In this war, Athens, which had grown into a powerful empire, fought the Peloponnesian League, a coalition of allied city-states led by Athens&rsquo archrivals, the Spartans. (Sparta is located on the Peloponnese Peninsula, a large landmass that makes up much of southern Greece.) Fighting raged throughout southern Greece and as far away as western Turkey and southern Italy. This included massive sea battles, the last of which, the Battle of Aegospotami, off Turkey&rsquos Mediterranean coast, saw the Spartans decimate the mighty Athenian fleet, sinking approximately 150 ships and executing more than 3,000 sailors. Athens surrendered some months later, and by 404 BC, the war&mdash and Athens&rsquos superiority over the region&mdash was history.

Estimated deaths: Unknown

5. THE WARS OF THE ROSES

Length: 30 years (1455&ndash1485)

Details: This war for the right to the English throne was fought by supporters of two royal houses: the House of Lancaster, whose heraldic symbol was a red rose, and the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose&mdash hence this war&rsquos name. Over the course of the war, the throne changed hands three times. One king was killed in battle another king was executed after being captured two more kings died of natural causes and scores of lords, dukes, earls, and other royal figures lost their lives&mdash after which many had their heads put on pikes for public display. When it was all over, the House of Lancaster had won: Henry Tudor, the Lancastrian claimant to the throne, defeated the Yorkist claimant, Richard III, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and became King Henry VII. The following year, he strengthened his position by marrying Elizabeth of York and started a new house, the House of Tudor, which ruled England for the next century.

Estimated deaths: Around 100,000

4. THE THIRTY YEARS&rsquo WAR

Length: 30 years (1618&ndash1648)

Details: On May 23, 1618, a crowd of angry Protestants stormed the royal castle in the city of Prague, in the Kingdom of Bohemia, and threw three members of the newly appointed Catholic government out of a castle window. (All three somehow survived the 70-foot plunge.) That event, known as the Defenestration of Prague, ignited Protestant rebellions all across the region. That eventually escalated into an all-out&mdash and incredibly destructive&mdash war between the great powers of Europe. The main belligerents: the powerful Holy Roman Empire, comprising all of the German states and several neighboring regions, allied with the Spanish Empire against France, Sweden, and Denmark. The losers: the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, both of which lost huge amounts of territory and influence. The big winners: France and Sweden, which emerged as major powers, although Sweden was unable to sustain that position for very long. (See entry number 9.)

Estimated deaths: 8 million

3. THE GUATEMALAN CIVIL WAR

Length: 36 years (1960&ndash1996)

Details: In 1954 a right-wing army colonel, Carlos Castillo Armas, led a successful coup d&rsquoétat against the democratically elected leftist government of Guatemala. The coup was engineered by the U.S. State Department and the CIA. In 1960 a group of left-wing army officers led a coup of their own&mdash but failed to take power. What followed was 36 years of war between the Guatemalan military, which eventually took control of the country, and various leftist guerrilla groups. Fighting didn&rsquot stop until 1996, with the signing of a peace treaty between the rebel groups and the government concessions were made on both sides, but it was largely deemed a win for the rebel groups. The conflict is one of the first in which a terror tactic known as forced disappearance was used: the Guatemalan army and National Police forces kidnapped, tortured, and murdered between 40,000 and 50,000 people, primarily civilian activists. Most were native people, especially Mayans, and their bodies were dumped into mass graves or dropped into the sea from helicopters. (The fate of most of those victims remains unknown today.)

Estimated deaths: 200,000

2. THE GRECO-PERSIAN WARS

Length: 38 years (between 499&ndash449 BC)

Details: This was actually three conflicts, fought over a period of 50 years, that historians bundle into one major war. The fighting was between a coalition of several ancient Greek city-states led primarily by Athens and Sparta, and the Persian Empire&mdash at the time the largest and most powerful empire on Earth. (Think that&rsquos an exaggeration? At its peak&mdash including the period during which this war was fought&mdash the Persian Empire encompassed approximately 50 million people, or about 44 percent of the world&rsquos population.) The war began with a series of revolts by Greeks in territories that the Persians had conquered decades earlier, followed by full-scale invasion attempts by the Persians, and counterattacks by the Greeks&mdash all with varying degrees of success and failure. Finally, after 50 years, the winner: the Greeks, who successfully repelled the Persians and won back their territories.

Estimated deaths: Unknown

1. THE HUNDRED YEARS&rsquo WAR

Length: 116 years (1337&ndash 1453)

Details: Fought primarily between England and France, the Hundred Years&rsquo War is usually divided into three main component wars&mdash one of which raged for 38 years: the Lancastrian War (1415&ndash 1453). The fight was over English-controlled territory in France and control of the French throne. (The rulers of England and France had been related for centuries, so the English claim to the French throne actually had some merit.) The war ended with the surrender of the English in 1453, after more than a century of bloodshed. The winners: the French, who took back almost all of England&rsquos holdings in France, beginning a long era during which England was left mostly isolated from European affairs. And within two years, the English were engulfed in yet another long conflagration. (See #5.)

Estimated deaths: Possibly as high as 3.5 million

Bonus: Several of William Shakespeare&rsquos best-known plays center on events that occurred during the Hundred Years&rsquo War, including Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, all of which detail the lives of English kings who ruled during the war. Another famous character from the Hundred Years&rsquo War: Joan of Arc, who, at the age of 18, led the French to several victories before being captured by the English and burned at the stake in 1431.

The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John&rsquos Factastic Bathroom Reader. The 28th volume of the series is chock-full of fascinating stories and facts, and comes in both the Kindle version and paper with a classy cloth cover.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!


Second Punic War—Early Battles : 218 to 216 B.C.

"W E ARE BEATEN , O R OMANS , IN A GREAT BATTLE , OUR ARMY IS DESTROYED ."
The Second Punic War, from first to last, was driven by one man, Hannibal Barca. Soon after gaining command of his fathers army in Spain, Hannibal began planning for an invasion of Italy by crossing the Alps. His plan was to ally himself with the Gauls and other enemies of Rome in the north and then descend upon Rome itself. The government of Carthage did not support these plans and when he instigated the war by attacking the Saguntum, a Roman Ally in Spain, they ordered him to desist. He avoided the ambassador, and continued with his activities until Rome declared war on Carthage, at which point he was given leave to defend Carthage's interests. He did so by raising a large army and in quick succession, crossed the Ebro, the Pyrenees, the Rhone and finally the Alps. The story of his march is an adventure in itself, but shortly after reaching Italian soil he fought his first battle against Rome, after meeting up with a scouting force led by an elder Scipio, at Ticinus River. This was followed by a much larger and more disastrous engagement at Trebia. Hannibal, as was his custom, laid an ambuscade and betting on the impetuosity of the Roman General, routed the Roman army with tremendous loss. He then spent the winter in Gallic territory, resting his troops and planning his next move.

Rome was in an uproar over this wretched turn of events. Politically, it was divided between a "cautious" faction, exemplified by Scipio, and an "urgent" faction, exemplified by Sempronious, the consul who had run his army into Hannibal's trap at Trebia. The Roman habit of choosing two consuls, one from each faction, worked to disastrous effect in this case, since Hannibal could easily discern which consul to lure into a trap. In the case of Lake Trasimene, the stooge was Flaminius, and the cost was 30,000 men killed or captured to Hannibal's loss of 1,500. At this point, Rome appointed Fabius, as dictator of the "cautious" persuasion and thereby gained a year reprieve from devastating attacks, and was able to hold together most of their Italian allies. Hannibal spent the time consolidating support among the Gallic tribes and establishing himself in Southern Italy. The only bright spot for Rome, other than a temporary succession of the slaughter of their legions, was a few victories in Spain by the elder Scipio brothers, which prevented Hannibal from receiving reinforcements from that area.

A full year after Trasimene however, Hannibal was still in Italy, Fabian's term as dictator was up, and Rome elected two more consuls and raised several legions to drive Hannibal out of Italy. The result was the debacle of Cannae, where Hannial once more, used his wiles to draw the less patient of the Consuls into battle. This time Rome lost at least 60,000 men killed and captured (including 80 senators), the most crushing defeat ever suffered by the city.


Carthaginian War Elephant

Carthaginians first encountered war elephants in Sicily while battling Greek general Pyrrhus of Epirus in 278–276 BC. Daunted and impressed by the pugnacious pachyderms, they soon began importing North African forest elephants for their army, using Indian mahouts hired through Egypt, as well as riders from Syria, Numidia and other states. Tactical acumen in their use, on the other hand, took years and heavy casualties to perfect.

In 255 BC the Spartan mercenary general Xanthippus opened the Battle of Bagradas with a charge of some 100 elephants in the Carthaginian stomp of Consul Marcus Atilius Regulus’ Roman army. From then on both the Carthaginians and Romans overestimated the animal’s martial abilities. Four years later at Panormus (present-day Palermo), Sicily, Roman Consul Lucius Caecilus Metellus directed his entrenched light troops to harass the Carthaginian elephants with a rain of arrows and javelins, which caused the beasts to panic and turn on the Carthaginian troops, resulting in a rout that restored Roman confidence about facing elephants.

While Carthage ultimately raised a force of 300 war elephants, Hannibal took just 37 of them on his legendary 218 BC traverse of the Alps. Though most survived the arduous trek, they only figured significantly at the Battle of the Trebbia in December, when they panicked the Roman horses and auxiliaries. Many died in battle, and a subsequent cold snap killed all the rest but one.

When he returned to Carthage in 202 BC to face Consul Publius Cornelius Scipio at Zama, Hannibal gathered 80 elephants, though neither they nor their mahouts were experienced. Scipio sought to eliminate them as a factor by leaving lanes between his maniples, through which the beasts, lured by skirmishers, might charge without breaking up the Roman line. Scipio succeeded in his ploy and won the battle. MH


Results of the First Punic War

While the Roman "victory" was achieved at a terrible cost, they did receive complete control of Sicily through Carthaginian withdrawal, and the assurance that Syracuse would be unmolested in the future. Carthage was forced to pay 3,200 gold talents in total over a period of 10 years while also paying heavy ransoms for its prisoners. As a direct result of this compensation, Carthage found itself unable to pay her mercenary army leading directly to a devastating revolt. Sicily was organized into Rome's first province soon after the end of the war, and a veritable gold mine in grain wealth was secured.

Casualties for both sides must have been devastating. Polybius suggested that the war was the most destructive in the history of warfare. Rome lost at least 50,000 actual citizens, with Latin rights, allied and auxilia numbers higher exponentially. In the end, Rome lost over 600 ships while Carthage at least 500. Rome never having been a sea power only used the navy as needed in warfare and not as a permanent institution, so its vessel losses were less significant. Carthage, however, by virtue of losing its sea advantage had to find other means to regain its strength and position.

In another direct result of the war, Rome was able to secure both Sardinia and Corsica as a second Roman province. While Carthage, under the leadership of Hamilcar, was busy fighting off its own 'mercenary war', Rome was able to snatch Sardinia away and secure its position on Corsica by 238 BC. Carthage protested, but in its current state, could do nothing more than that, and in fact, was forced to pay more tribute. An additional 1200 talents were sent to Rome while it also took control of the 3 major western Mediterranean Islands. Carthage would be forced to seek ways to expand and pay Rome though other means than the navy, and led to the eventual colonization of Hispania. Lingering animosity wouldn't take long to resurface, and the emergence of the Barca (Hamilcar, Hasdrubal and Hannibal) family in Carthage would have a lasting and horrific impact on the new masters of the Mediterranean.

The Romans were able to shift attention to the North and the troublesome Gauls and Illyrians while Carthage dealt with its own internal affairs. They learned some important lessons in this war including the use of the sea in strategic warfare. While never becoming great sailors themselves, they used technology, the corvus, to their advantage and included more sea adept Greek officers and crews whenever possible. More importantly, Rome learned how to conduct war on a massive scale and to survive the turmoil it could cause. The Senate became masters of financing these expansionist activities, while the areas of legion recruiting, logistics, political espionage and fleet building all were part of the invaluable knowledge and experience gained. This already lengthy and costly war, while greatly beneficial to Rome was only the beginning of a longer and bloodier conflict by far, and both sides knew it.


C3i03 Panormus (250 BC)

Historical Background
Following the disaster at Bagradas only a few hundred of Regulus’ men ever made it back to Rome. But they were enough to spread the horrible stories of being trampled by elephants, and cut down by cavalry. Despite his defeat at Adys, Hasdrubal Hanno was placed in the command of the main Carthaginian and from 254-252 was occupied suppressing a Libyan revolt. In 251, Hasdrubal took his veteran army to Sicily and massed 25,000 men and 140 elephants. The Romans now avoided pitched battles, for fear of elephants and cavalry. In June of 250 Hasdrubal advanced against the consular army of Caecilius Metellus at Panormus. Metellus set a trap for the elephants. He built a trench before the city, stocked with a large supply of missiles. Metellus sent out his velites to goad Hasdrubal’s elephants, and then retreat with apparent panic to the trench. The Punic army pursued in disorder, sensing an easy victory. As the elephants approached the trench, Metellus launched a massive missile barrage against them. The war elephants recoiled in terror, and rampaged through Hasdrubal’s Army. Metellus’ Legionnaires sallied out from the city, and routed the shaken Punic army. Nearly all the elephants were captured and later slaughtered in tthe circus to entertain the crowds in Rome. The battle of Panormus was the last major land battle of the war. Seven years later, the Romans won the battle of the Aegates and ended the 24-year war.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?

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Carthaginian Army
Leader: Hasdrubal Hanno
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Leader: Metellus
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1st Century BCE

98 BCE – Marius leaves Rome for Asia. Revolt in Lusitania

96 BCE – Ptolemy Aion bequeaths Cyrene to Rome by testament

95 BCE – Mithridates ordered out of Paphlagonia and Cappadocia.

91-89 BCE – Social War between Rome and its Italian allies

90 BCE – Roman setbacks in Social War. Lex Julia: Latins, Etruscans, and Umbrians remaining loyal to Rome are given Roman citizenship.

89-85 BCE – Fisrt Mithridatic War. – War with Mithridates VI of Pontus over his territorial ambitions.

89 BCE – Victories of Strabo and Sulla. Lex Plautia Papiria: Roman citizenship conceded to all allies south of the Po.

88 BCE – Proposal to transfer command in Asia from Sulla to Marius by tribune Sulpicius Rufus. Sulla seizes Rome. Mithridates overruns Asia Minor.

87 BCE – Cinna and Marius in control of Rome, massacre Sulla’s supporters. Sulla lands in Greece and besieges Athens.

87-84 BCE – Consulships of Cinna

86 BCE – Marius consul seventh time, dies. Sulla conquers Athens, defeat Mithridates armies at Chaeronea and Orchomenus.

85 BCE – Treaty of Dardanus with Mithridates.

84 BCE – Cinna killed. Carbo sole consul.

83-82 BCE – Second Mithridatic War

83 BCE – Sulla lands in Italy. Murena begins Second Mithridatic War

82 BCE – Civil War in Italy. Sulla victorious. Proscribtions in Rome. Sertorius leaves for Spain. Pompeu crushes Sulla’s opponents in Sicily.

81 BCE – Sulla dictator. Constiturional reforms. Pompey defeats Marians in Africa. Sertorius driven out of Spain.

80 BCE – Sertorius lands in Spain again.

79 BCE – Sulla resigns dictatorship. Sertorius defeats Metellus Pius

78 BCE – Death of Sulla. P.Servilis starts three year campaign against pirates

77 BCE – Pompey oppointed against Sertorius

76 BCE -Sertorius victorious against Metellus and Pompey

75/74 BCE – Death of Nicomededs who bequeaths Bithynia to Rome

74-64 BCE – Third Mithradatic War

74 BCE – Cyrene made Roman province. M. Antonius given commmand against the pirates. Mithridates invades Bithynia Lucullus sent against him.

73-71 BCE – Third Slave War

73 BCE – Rising of Spartacus at Capua. Lucullus relievesCyzicus, defeats Mithridates.

72 BCE – Successes of Spartacus. Assassination of Sertorius. Pompey victorious in Spain. Lucullus campaigns against Mithridates in Pontus. M.Antonius defeated by pirates of Crete.

71 BCE – Crassus defeats Spartacus. Lucullus defeats Mithridates, who flees to king Tigranes of Armenia.

69 BCE – Lucullus invades Armenia, captures its capital Tigranocerta

68 BCE – Mithridates returns to Pontus. Discontent in Lucullus army.

67 BCE – Pompey handed command against pirates. Pompey clears pirates from the Mediterranean.

66 BCE – Pompey given command against Mithridates, who is finally defeated. Pompey campaigns in Caucasus. Birth of Horace.

64 BCE – Pompey annexes Syria

63 BCE – Cicero consul. Caesar elected pontifex maximus. Seizure of Jerusalem by Pompey. Cataline Conspiracy. Death of Mithridates. Birth of Octavian.

62 BCE – Defeat and death of Catalina. Pompey settles matters in the east, returns to Italy and disbands his army.

61 BCE – Caesar governor of Further Spain. Revolt of the Allobroges. Aedui appeal to Rome.

60 BCE – Caesar returns from Spain, first triumvirate between Casesar, Crassus and Pompey.

59 BCE – Caesar consul. Pompey marries Caesar’s daughter Julia. Caesar given proconsulship of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum senate adds Transalpine Gaul to this.

58-51 BCE – Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul

58 BCE – Tribunate of Clodius – corn law. Cicero exiled. Cyprus annexed. Caesar defeats Helvetii and Ariovistos

57 BCE – Clodius and Milo riot in Rome. Return of Cicero. Caesar defeats Nervii and other Belgae

56 BCE – Conference of the triumvirs at Luca.

55 BCE – Second consulship of Crassus and Pompey. First stone theatre of Rome, built by Pompey on the Campus Martius. Caesar bridges the Rhine, invades Germany, then Britain.

54 BCE – Pompey, near Rome, governs Spain through legates. Death of Julia. Caesar’s second expedition to Britain. revolt in north eastern Gaul. Crassus prepares for Parthian campaign.

53 BCE – Rioting in Rome. Battle of Carrhae: Roman army defeated by the Parthians, Crassus killed, the Roman army standards taken as booty

52 BCE – Milo kills Clodius. Trial of Milo. Pompey sole consul. Revolt of Vercingetorix in Gaul. Siege of Alesia, Caesar victorious.

51 BCE – Parthian invasion of Syria

49-45 BCE -Civil War – Julius Caesar fighting the Pompeians

49 BCE – On January 10 Caesar crosses the Rubicon and marches on Rome in defiance of the Senate. Pompey leaves for Greece. Caesar dictator fir first time, for eleven days, passes emergency legislation. Caesar in Spain, defeats Pompeians.

48-47 BCE – Caesar becomes involved in Egyptian dynastic struggles

48 BCE – Caesar consul for second time.Caesar crosses to Greece, defeats Pompey at Pharsalus. Pompey flees to Egypt where he is stabbed to death on landing. Caesar in Egypt. Alexandrine War. Caesar makes Cleopatra queen of Egypt.

47 BCE – Caesar dictator for second time in his absence. Caesar defeats King Pharnaces II of Pontus. Caesar returns to Rome, then leaves for Africa.

46 BCE – Caesar crushes surviving Pompeian forces under Scipio and Cato at Thapsus. Caesar dictator second time, consul third time. Cato commits suicide. Caesar returns to Rome, reforms calendar. Caesar leaves for Spain.

45 BCE – Caesar dictator third time, consul fourth time. In battle at Munda in Spain the last Roman Republican resistance is crushed

44 BCE – Caesar dictator fourth time (for life), consul fifth time. March 15, Caesar murdered by Brutus, Cassius, and their co-conspirators acting for the Republicans. Octavian returns from Greece.

43 BCE – Second Triumvirate: Anthony, Octavian, Lepidus. Proscriptions. Cicero is murdered

42 BCE – Julius Caesar deified. Sextus Pompeius controls Sicily. Battle of Philippi: the Triumvirate defeat Brutus and Cassius, both of whom take their own lives

41 BCE – Antony visits Asia Minor, then Alexandria.

40 BCE – Agreement at Brunidisum divides the Roman empire. Antony marries Octavia. Parthian invasion of Syria.

39 BCE – Agreement at misenum between Antony, Octavian and Sextus Pompeius. Parthian defeated at Mt Amanus.

38 BCE – Naval successes of Sextus Pompeius. Defeat of Parthians at Gindarus. Antony captures Samosata.

37 BCE – Pact of Tarentum triumvirate renewed. Antony marries Cleopatra at Antioch.

36 BCE – Octavian granted tribunician immunity. Sextus Pompeius defeated at Naulochus. Lepidus ceases to be triumvir. Antony retreats through Armenia.

35 BCE – Octavian in Illyria. Death of Sextus Pompeius.

34 BCE – Antony celebrates triumph in Alexandria

33 BCE – Octavian consul for second time. Antony in Armenia. Antony and Cleapatra winter at Ephesus.

32 BCE – Octavia divorced by Antony. Octavian publishes Antony’s will in Rome. Antony and Cleopatra in Greece.

31 BCE – Octavian consul third time. (and hereon successivly until 23 BC). September 2, Octavian defeats Antony in naval battle off Actium

30 BCE – Tribunician powers granted to Octavian. In August, Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide in Alexandria

29 BCE – Octavian celebrates his Triumph in Rome, the doors of Temple of Janus are closed, the war officially ended, many legions disbanded, and land distributed to veterans. Dedication of Temple of Divus Julius.

28 BCE – The Senate, its numbers already somewhat reduced by Octavian, grants him the title of Princeps Senatus. Census held by Octavian and Agrippa. Mausoleum of Augustus begun.

27 BCE – January 13, Octavian makes the gesture of returning command of the state to the Senate and the people of Rome, receiving in return vast provinces and most of the army as his own. Three days later the Senate confers on him great powers, numerous honors, and the title of Augustus

27-25 BCE – Augustus directs the final subjugation of Spain and the administrative reorganization of Spain and Gaul

23 BCE – The Senate grants Augustus the titles and powers of Imperium proconsulare maius and tribunicia potestas for life, thereby turning over to him complete control of the State and ending the Roman Republic

23 BCE – The Senate grants Augustus the titles and powers of Imperium proconsulare maius and tribunicia potestas for life, thereby turning over to him complete control of the State and ending the Roman Republic

21-19 BCE – Without bloodshed Augustus wins back from King Phraates IV the Roman standards lost to the Parthians in 53

17 BCE – Secular Games (Ludi saeculares) celebrated as symbol of the new Golden Age brought in by Augustus

15 BCE – The territory of the Raeti and Celtic Vincelici (Tyrol,Bavaria,Switzerland) subdued, the new province of Raetia instituted

13 BCE – July 4, consecration ceremony of the Altar of Peace (ara Pacis) voted by the Senate to honor Augustus

12 BCE – Augustus takes title and position of Pontifex Maximus

13-9 BCE – Campaigns in Pannoia

12-9 BCE – Campaigns in Germany

9 BCE – 30 January, dedication of the completed Ara Pacis Augustae

5 BCE – Gaius Caesar, grandson of Augustus, named heir presumptive, princeps juventutis

4 BCE – most likely date for Birth of Jesus Christ

2 BCE – Augustus is awarded the honourific title of pater patriae. Lucius Caesar, brother of Gaius, likewise is name Princeps juventutis


Second Punic War—Early Battles : 218 to 216 B.C.

"W E ARE BEATEN , O R OMANS , IN A GREAT BATTLE , OUR ARMY IS DESTROYED ."
The Second Punic War, from first to last, was driven by one man, Hannibal Barca. Soon after gaining command of his fathers army in Spain, Hannibal began planning for an invasion of Italy by crossing the Alps. His plan was to ally himself with the Gauls and other enemies of Rome in the north and then descend upon Rome itself. The government of Carthage did not support these plans and when he instigated the war by attacking the Saguntum, a Roman Ally in Spain, they ordered him to desist. He avoided the ambassador, and continued with his activities until Rome declared war on Carthage, at which point he was given leave to defend Carthage's interests. He did so by raising a large army and in quick succession, crossed the Ebro, the Pyrenees, the Rhone and finally the Alps. The story of his march is an adventure in itself, but shortly after reaching Italian soil he fought his first battle against Rome, after meeting up with a scouting force led by an elder Scipio, at Ticinus River. This was followed by a much larger and more disastrous engagement at Trebia. Hannibal, as was his custom, laid an ambuscade and betting on the impetuosity of the Roman General, routed the Roman army with tremendous loss. He then spent the winter in Gallic territory, resting his troops and planning his next move.

Rome was in an uproar over this wretched turn of events. Politically, it was divided between a "cautious" faction, exemplified by Scipio, and an "urgent" faction, exemplified by Sempronious, the consul who had run his army into Hannibal's trap at Trebia. The Roman habit of choosing two consuls, one from each faction, worked to disastrous effect in this case, since Hannibal could easily discern which consul to lure into a trap. In the case of Lake Trasimene, the stooge was Flaminius, and the cost was 30,000 men killed or captured to Hannibal's loss of 1,500. At this point, Rome appointed Fabius, as dictator of the "cautious" persuasion and thereby gained a year reprieve from devastating attacks, and was able to hold together most of their Italian allies. Hannibal spent the time consolidating support among the Gallic tribes and establishing himself in Southern Italy. The only bright spot for Rome, other than a temporary succession of the slaughter of their legions, was a few victories in Spain by the elder Scipio brothers, which prevented Hannibal from receiving reinforcements from that area.

A full year after Trasimene however, Hannibal was still in Italy, Fabian's term as dictator was up, and Rome elected two more consuls and raised several legions to drive Hannibal out of Italy. The result was the debacle of Cannae, where Hannial once more, used his wiles to draw the less patient of the Consuls into battle. This time Rome lost at least 60,000 men killed and captured (including 80 senators), the most crushing defeat ever suffered by the city.


Watch the video: First Punic War #1: Pyrrhus u0026 Agathocles (July 2022).


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