Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 88

Thread: Spartans vs Romans

  1. #1
    SpartansDon'tDie's Avatar Ashigaru
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amsterdam
    Posts
    93
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Spartans vs Romans

    Maybe a noob question, but I would like to know if Spartans and Romans had any great battles in the past.

    Just curious, wonder what the result of a clash between such armies would be..

    Any of you guys know?
    Thanks.
    Kill a few men and you're a murderer,
    kill a million and you're a conquerer.

  2. #2
    Dr. Acculla's Avatar Aoba
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    The astral realm of Sarkmanadesh!
    Posts
    47
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    I think the Spartans as a nation were to weak to defeat the Romans at the time they were expanding, i'm not entirely sure so don't take me seriosly I believe they became little more than a vassel state that was swallowed up by the Roman empire. After the pelopensian war things went grim for Sparta even though they won it.
    One coconut, two coconuts , three coconuts moo ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  3. #3
    Zenith Darksea's Avatar Ορθοδοξία ή θάνατος!
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,685
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    By the time the Romans got to Greece, Sparta was very much on the decline. As it happens, the Romans did conduct a campaign in Lakonike (the area of the Peloponnese in which Sparta is located) as a punishment raid against the Spartans (who wanted to try and retrieve her old power over Greece). Unfortunately for Sparta, the Roman raid was a lightning success, and Sparta never rose to glory ever again.

    To be fair though, Sparta could never have taken on the Romans at that point in history. The Romans had extremely well-drilled veteran legions from all of Italy at their disposal, while the Spartans had hardly any proper citizens left (due to their suicidal social policies), and had lost most of their land, and their system of slavery, after being subdued by Macedon.

  4. #4
    SpartansDon'tDie's Avatar Ashigaru
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amsterdam
    Posts
    93
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    Do you think Spartans in their prime could take Romans?
    Kill a few men and you're a murderer,
    kill a million and you're a conquerer.

  5. #5
    scym1234's Avatar Murakawa
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    12
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    No, it is not possible. Although at their height, the Spartans probably had the strongest army in the world, but that is because they enslaved the people from the north and use them as slaves, and the men would train for war the entire time. So it was possible for the Spartans to defeat the Romans on the battlefield, but the Spartans wouldn't have been able to couquer Rome because the slaves back in Sparta would revolt.

  6. #6
    Azog 150's Avatar Civitate
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    10,024
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    The Spartans were Politically quite unstable, due to what Scym pointed out, extensive use of slaves. This made revolt quite likely on major conquests such as that of Italy.
    Under the Patronage of Jom!

  7. #7
    Arceus's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    772
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    one on one, the spartan might win, but as a whole nation, roman can easily crush them

  8. #8
    hacon's Avatar Vexillifer
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    davao city
    Posts
    166
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    Actually Sparta was one of the most politically stable city states in Greece from the reforms of Lycourgos to well beyond the classical period. It never suffered from stasis or tyrants unlike others such as Athens, Argos, Corinth and Thebes. It was these states that were inherently unstable due to the persistent struggle for power between the oligarchic and democratic factions.

    The helots and Perioikik communities were for the most part kept under control except after Leuctra were several communities went over to the Thebans but most Perioikik towns and Laconian helots remained loyal, 6000 helots are said to have volunteered for service in exchange for freedom when Epameinondas invaded Laconia.

    It was not until the Spartan revolution in the reigns of Agis IV and Kleomenes III and later under the so called tyrants of Machanidas and Nabis that violent changes of ruler were the order of the day.

  9. #9
    Zenith Darksea's Avatar Ορθοδοξία ή θάνατος!
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,685
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    True, they had a politically stable state, but they only achieved this by methods of brutal repression, killing Spartan culture and art in the process (Spartan art had once been great, but now had no expression in their militaristic society). In so doing, the Spartans were just storing up trouble for themselves. After their defeat by Thebes (and its worth noting that a Theban army of 'ordinary' soldiers thrashed the Spartiatai twice in battle long before the Romans ever came on the scene, at a time when Sparta had recently gained Hegemony over Hellas)), their entire social base was exploded, and with the eventual liberation of the Helots, Sparta could never rise to prominence. On the other hand, it was only the cities that had political instability (as hacon mentions) that ever achieved anything truly 'great' in the Greek world; their instability led to innovation and entrepreneurship, whereas Spartan stability could only be achieved by suffocating conservatism.

    To be honest, if a crack Polybian legion encountered a Spartan army (even one from the 5th century when it was at its best), it would probably win, though not without some difficulty, I'm sure. It's likely however that if a 5th century Spartan army encountered a 5th century Roman army, the Spartans would win. The difference between the Spartans and the Romans however was that the Romans knew how to move with the times.

  10. #10
    Azog 150's Avatar Civitate
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    10,024
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    But also tactics would play a part in it, while the Spartans would be fighting Phalanx style, they wouldnt be as mobile as the Romans.
    Under the Patronage of Jom!

  11. #11
    Gelgoog's Avatar Jū kihei
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    8,370
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    as shown by hannibal, no one could beat rome's huge population of ready to serve men, and willingness to not accept defeat. i do believe that even the spartans could not take the kind of punishing blows that hannibal delivered without surrendering. so no, i dont think even at their height the spartans could win. besides the two never really fought like eachother. you have the italian style of warefare even in their early days being heavily influenced by the samnites and etruscans, which had more flexibility then hoplite warefare.

    maybe we should be discussing early and pre-republic roman tactics vs spartan tactics.

  12. #12
    Zenith Darksea's Avatar Ορθοδοξία ή θάνατος!
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,685
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    Quote Originally Posted by scheuch13
    i do believe that even the spartans could not take the kind of punishing blows that hannibal delivered without surrendering.
    I think that they could, actually. To take the example of their war with Thebes, they suffered two crushing defeats in battle had had Sparta itself besieged, and yet they still managed to hold out. Likewise they could never be subjugated by either Macedon or Epirus, despite continued attempts.

  13. #13
    hacon's Avatar Vexillifer
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    davao city
    Posts
    166
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    While not condoning the Spartaite repression of the Messenian and Lakonian helots, in some senses their lot was a better if not happier one than the 100,000 chattel slaves that democratic Athenian citizens in 431 BC possessed. They were allowed to marry and some sort of family life was available to them. They could possess personal property if not own it. Despite having to contribute much of the fruits of their labours to their Spartan masters 6000 Lakonian helots were allegedly able to raise the 5 Attic minas to purchase their freedom in 223/222 BC because their maximum rent was fixed by law. They were also granted the right of as asylum at the temple of Poseidon in Taenarum.
    Another difference was that unlike chattel slaves they were not owned by individuals but by the Spartan state.
    Their lot can thus be described as more akin to serfdom than slavery.

  14. #14
    Zenith Darksea's Avatar Ορθοδοξία ή θάνατος!
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,685
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    Quote Originally Posted by hacon
    Another difference was that unlike chattel slaves they were not owned by individuals but by the Spartan state.
    And yet another difference is that they were subjected to annual ritual massacres and pillage by the Spartiate citizens, which Athenian chattels weren't. I suspect that Athenian slaves had much better lives, as we can see from the various literary texts that survive from 5th cent. Athens (particularly Aristophanes, among others), depicting slaves quite often having a friendly relationship (or at least some sort of relationship) with their masters, something that Spartan helots most certainly did not.

  15. #15
    Wimmer
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    140
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    I like to think - and there's no real historical basis for this - that an experienced 5th century Spartan warrior could take out an equivalent Polybian Roman legionary in single combat. I mean the Spartans were thoroughbred fighting machines, right?

    Having said that, I believe a veteran Polybian Roman army could defeat any Spartan army in battle (and I'm admitting this as someone who doesn't much care for the Romans, though I respect them). They had more advanced technology and tactics, and far greater manpower.

    Luckily, in my games, I always mod it so that my Spartans get to whoop the Roman dogs to oblivion!

  16. #16
    Pontifexus Maximus's Avatar Yamabe
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    EU, Bulgaria, Sofia
    Posts
    244
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    Quote Originally Posted by SpartansDon'tDie View Post
    Do you think Spartans in their prime could take Romans?
    It is difficult to suppose, who the winner would be, because these two factions and times are incomparable. Although, if I imagine an illusiory battle between them the romans will definitely win. Sparta was only a polis and, in its height, it had the power over only Pelloponesus. Roman republic had 5-10 times greater human and economical potential. So it is obvious Nevertheless, we must mention that Rome also begun from a polis in its early ages, but in the Republic Period it governed whole Italia. You must make it more clear, about what period of Rome's history you are asking.

  17. #17
    Sparabara's Avatar Yoshihara
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    66
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    ROMA VICTOR !!!!!!!!

  18. #18
    hacon's Avatar Vexillifer
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    davao city
    Posts
    166
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    I dont think there is any evidence for annual ritual massacres, war was declared upon them annually by the ephors which gave the legal right to any Spartan citizen to do away with them. The one instance of massacre documented by Thucydides 4.80 describes the killing of 2000 helot volunteers. Plutarch in lis Life of Lykourgos 28.6 makes the Krypteia responsible.

    It is regrettable for the historian of ancient Sparta that she did not wash her dirty linen in public. There may well have been other instances brought on by 'necessity'.
    As for the relationship of Athenians to their slaves 20,000 took the opportunity of deserting when the Spartans established their fort at Decelea. Many Attic slaves were employed in the silver mines at Laurium where they worked under appalling conditions and the wastage must have been high. The other classes of slaves seem to have been reasonably well treated and manumission, though never as common as in Rome, was a not infrequent reward for faithful service.

    But I seem to have strayed from the original point of this discussion for which I ask for forgiveness. Since a Spartan army never faced a Roman army at any period it is too conjectural to predict an outcome. However a Spartan general Xanthippus did lead a Carthaginian army to victory over a Roman army in 255 BC.
    Last edited by hacon; February 16, 2007 at 04:31 PM.

  19. #19
    Sir Francis's Avatar Pretenciate Narcisistus
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    186
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default

    It's an interesting question, and one I've heard posed before. Unfortunately, it's somewhat unanswerable. However...

    Taking into account the respective cities' apogees, I think it would be safe to say that your average Spartan citizen was a more useful warrior than your average Roman.

    Your average Spartan army of equal size would likely have been superior to its Roman equivalent too.

    The best Roman army (Caesar's?) would probably have been better than the best Spartan army (Agesilaos'?) - due more to technology and tactics than morale and discipline. Also let's remember half or more of many Spartan armies were made up of allies who were typically average (excepting Tegea).

    The Helot vs chattels debate in interesting too.

    Which would I rather be? Well, a slave in Athens would have generally have a much easier life than a Helot, and safer too.
    However, it is also true that a Helot generally would have more freedom, as hacon points out.

    If you were lucky and had a decent master, as a slave in Athens you'd live in a well-run, wealthy city, take baths, wear decent clothes, etc. (I exclude slaves on farms).
    But as a Helot, you'd likely have your own family and work at least partially for yourself.
    I think I'd prefer the dangerous freedom of the Helot to the comfortable slavery of the chattel.
    Last edited by Agisilaos; April 28, 2009 at 05:14 PM. Reason: merged double post
    ___________________________

    Know Thyself! - The God Apollo
    ___________________________





  20. #20
    El Muerte's Avatar Aquilifer
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    311
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0

    Default Re: Spartans vs Romans

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Francis View Post
    The Helot vs chattels debate in interesting too.

    Which would I rather be? Well, a slave in Athens would have generally have a much easier life than a Helot, and safer too.
    However, it is also true that a Helot generally would have more freedom, as hacon points out.

    If you were lucky and had a decent master, as a slave in Athens you'd live in a well-run, wealthy city, take baths, wear decent clothes, etc. (I exclude slaves on farms).
    But as a Helot, you'd likely have your own family and work at least partially for yourself.
    I think I'd prefer the dangerous freedom of the Helot to the comfortable slavery of the chattel.
    You my friend, watched too much ROME Series..........
    [URL=http://imageshack.us]

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •