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Thread: What were the Roman general's mistakes in the Cimbrian wars?

  1. #1

    Default What were the Roman general's mistakes in the Cimbrian wars?

    The generals who were before Marius:
    What wrong decisions or plans did they make?

  2. #2
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: What were the Roman general's mistakes in the Cimbrian wars?

    Until Marius. I think general disunity of command and just not the best commanders who could have been their at Arausio. Otherwise earlier, just overconfidence and forces that were not really up to the task - that is too small. Also as far as the data allows the Cimbri seem to have been good at picking allies. So they were not slashing burning everything as such they thus were able to replace losses and living of the land was apparently generating not massive local resistance.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What were the Roman general's mistakes in the Cimbrian wars?

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Until Marius. I think general disunity of command and just not the best commanders who could have been their at Arausio. Otherwise earlier, just overconfidence and forces that were not really up to the task - that is too small. Also as far as the data allows the Cimbri seem to have been good at picking allies. So they were not slashing burning everything as such they thus were able to replace losses and living of the land was apparently generating not massive local resistance.
    I see. Maybe both generals wanted personal glory on their own.

  4. #4
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: What were the Roman general's mistakes in the Cimbrian wars?

    I see. Maybe both generals wanted personal glory on their own.
    Always a potential problem with classical republics and democracies since the risk of that glory translating into a loyal army and seizing power ran high in the minds the the other elites and the hoi polloi (although if either though they be in the in group thay could swing to be on board with it). One reason why the normal form of Roman dictatorship was so limited in reality and had checks... Marius and Sulla twisted it and more or less started the death march of the Republic.
    Last edited by conon394; May 31, 2022 at 12:44 PM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What were the Roman general's mistakes in the Cimbrian wars?

    What i can see is that those two incompetent generals didn't work together. Each one did things on their own. Instead of overwhelming the enemy with numbers advantage.

    Do you think the roman units classification ( that came form Marcus Camillus' reforms ) was already obselete in that time? I mean: velites, hastatis, princeps, triari
    Last edited by twgamer20197; June 12, 2022 at 08:30 PM.

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: What were the Roman general's mistakes in the Cimbrian wars?

    No not really. There was no great change in the enemy just bad leadership and force allocation by Rome. The Roman divisions were based on how the army was raised and the resources the soldiers had. Marius need more manpower and thus was looking to the population that could not otherwise arm itself. Once the state was going to pay to arm them why not make everyone heavy infantry. The Republics empire was big enough that is could fill out the need for alternative troops with the auxiliaries anyway. So really the obsolete part if there was one was not using all its potential citizen manpower.

    Theoretically it could make the Legions better if they trained all the time and were long term professionals. But the Republic also tossed out a sketchy quickly raised and poorly lead legions post Marius as well and into the civil wars that were nothing special.

    Also in the long run the fact that Rome failed deal the tendency for the new legions to drift to loyalty to General not state was a sorta downgrade. It something say Athens avoided. Its navy was similarly a state directed method to get manpower traditionally outside of the self funding class of soldiers and it kept that loyalty to the democracy not to its generals.
    Last edited by conon394; June 14, 2022 at 11:22 AM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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