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Ancient History Facts  Facts from the ancient Roman empire/republic and various other related cultures throughout the Era of Antiquity, Bronze-age, and Dark-ages.

Taking a break from the series, if you’re into computer games, and sandbox-type city building games, please check out the link in my bio.
Ancient Cities is a game that has been worked on for over a year and continues to improve. I hope you all want to see this game out as much as I do. If you go on Kickstarter and donate at least $30, you can get access to this game. You can also donate $50 and $60 if you’re feeling generous and get plenty of more access to betas and expansions if all goes well.
This game is set in the Neolithic age and is set to end at the Bronze Age. However, the game may continue, or there could be expansions, of this game going as far as the time of the Romans and even the medieval ages. None of that will be possible though unless they get the money needed to complete this base game and hire another developer.
The game also includes the possibility to raid and defend from raids, so there are combat aspects of it.

At this point, being virtually unopposed in eastern Sicily, the two Roman legions commanded by Appius Claudius Caudex headed south from Messana—towards Syracuse.
However, there were two major problems at play here. The Romans were marching on their stomachs! Being the first major war outside of the Italian peninsula, Rome had not properly equipped her armies with baggage trains and other foraging equipment like it should have. So, the first problem was that Roman armies would need to have food and equipment transported to them; either from Rome or her allies. The second problem was the fact that Carthage, though being unable to match the Romans on land, clearly had them beat at sea. The Carthaginians used their large navy to encircle the eastern part of Sicily and blockade major Roman-siding ports on the boot of Italy and the coast of Sicily.
Appius Claudius, knowing his one year term as consul would soon come to an end, hopes to quickly end this conflict in eastern Sicily. So, he and his armies continue deep into Syracusian territory and siege Syracuse! Syracuse, however, was extremely fortified. For the past centuries, it was supposedly the goal of each tyrant to make the walls of Syracuse even more impenetrable.
The Romans were faced with two choices: attempt to starve the city and, in the process, starve themselves; or take the city by force at once and lose many soldiers. The Romans chose to besiege the city and starve it.
Hiero II, the king of Syracuse, saw that there clearly was going to be no help from the Carthaginians as they were off preparing for the Roman invasion west. Hiero II then decided to open the gates and give in to Roman demands. He offered to supply their armies, in exchange for independence and a military alliance.
These terms were agreed upon and Hiero II was officially made a friend and ally of Rome, an official title. Now, Roman armies are free to penetrate further into Sicily, fully supplied by Syracuse.

(Post redone due to many errors being in the original)
Following the seizure of Messana by the Roman expeditionary force, the commander of the Carthaginian garrison at Massana, which routed after being faced with an attacking Roman army, fled back to Carthage. He was crucified by the Carthaginians in Sicily for his failures here.
However, the Romans had still partially lost, at least morally. During the transportation of the Roman expeditionary force, a multitude of Roman naval ships were captured by the Carthaginian navy along with their crews. But, Carthage returned the ships, and the captured prisoners, purely out of a show of might.
After Rome takes Messana and receives her navy back, Syracuse and Carthage march in retribution on Messana to defeat the Romans and Mamertines.
The Romans make their move. When the Carthaginians and Syracusians set their camp on the hill overlooking Messana, Rome immediately decided to assault. The Carthaginians and their allies immediately grouped and formed in formation in front of the camp. The Carthaginian cavalry were easily able to beat back the less-skilled Roman cavalry. But, the legionary infantry could hold their own and are able to seize victory that day. Later, the Romans assault another Carthaginian camp, perched on a hill overlooking the port. The Romans however are initially driven back completely, but due to the Carthaginians losing cohesion and ranks, the Romans reform and are able to push them back as well.
The engagements were largely skirmishes but effectively end the siege of Messana. Consul Claudius takes the initiative after this siege and pushes into Syracusian territory, burning and raiding along the way. The year is now 263 BC, and Roman is one year into war with Carthage, sending 40,000 soldiers deep into foreign territory.

Now, the start of the First Punic War was a rather peculiar one. Carthage and Rome had never shown much hostility towards each other in the past except when it came to trade.
During the Third Sicilian War in the 310’s-290’s BC, the Syracusians had hired a group of Italian mercenaries called the Mamertines. The Mamertines had proven their worth in this war and fought well, but they were driven by money. Upon the death of Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse during this war, who had previous employed the Mamertines, the Mamertines found themselves unemployed and idle.
The Mamertines, being desperate for plunder and conquest, set out for a colony known as Messana. The influence in this region was constantly switching between Carthage and Syracuse; in fact, many of the Sicilian Wars started because of Syracusian aggression towards the “Messanians”. Ironically, the Syracusians, who had previously employed the Mamertines, decided to wage war with them and take back Messana. Upon being beaten in battle, the Mamertines retreated back to Messana and, desperate for help, pleaded with the Carthaginians for protection from Syracuse. Now, strangely enough, the Mamertines felt frightened from Carthage too and believed they would also attack Messana once finishing off Syracuse. The Mamertines immediately pleaded with Rome.
The Roman senate was faced with a difficult decision. Messana, they believed, was now a Carthaginian possession and they (the Romans) ought to stay out of the matters of Greeks and Carthaginians as it had only brought war for them in the past. However, this war now involved Italians. Not only this, but with Carthaginian control being very strong in Sicily, it was completely possible that the Carthaginians might win in a war with Syracuse. And, if they won the war with the Greeks and Italians in Sicily, Carthaginian power would be unchecked, giving Carthage both the edge in trade and the possibility to attack Rome and her allies. The Roman senate had to make the choice between appeasement or glory in battle. They chose to conduct their first grand-scale war beyond the gates of the Italian peninsula.

There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from at least 3000 BC, however, the traditional date of the founding of Rome is April 21st, 753 BC, with Romulus first building and settling the city supposedly.
Rome grew from a collection of pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill and surrounding hills (all around 20 miles from the sea to the west). The Quirinal Hill was probably an outpost for the Sabines, another Italic-speaking people. At the time and location, the Tiber forms a Z-shaped curve that contains an island where the river can be forded. Because of the river and the ford, Rome was at a crossroads of traffic following the river valley and of traders traveling north and south on the west side of Italy.
After 650 BC, the Etruscans became dominant in Italy and expanded into north-central Italy. Roman tradition claimed that Rome had been under the control of seven kings from 753-509 BC. Expanding further south, the Etruscans came into direct contact with the Greeks and initially had success in conflicts with the Greek colonists; after which, Etruria declined. The Etruscans would always remain powerful though, just not strong enough to exert their power of Rome.
Eventually Rome threw off the shackles of their Etruscan overlords. In 509 BC, Rome was now a republic. However, they were a republic much different than the one seen in the United States today; the Romans had a system akin to a Parliament, with a senate making most of the electoral decisions with the nation’s leaders.
Rome soon became strong too, but not before being raided by Gallic neighbors to the north and many battles with other Italic tribes that, at the time, would’ve made the idea of a large Roman Empire seem impossible to accomplish.
After being raided by the Senones, a Celtic people, the Romans quickly rebuilt Rome and began a vicious offensive against the Etruscans and Senones. The Romans conquered the Etruscans and defeated the Senones who attack Rome earlier.
Then, Rome set its sights on the South. The Roman war machine would wage a war with the Samnites that lasted for nearly 30 years. (Continued in the comments)

The Carthaginians were remnants of Phoenician settlers who settled colonies on the north of Africa as soon as 600 years prior to the Punic Wars. The main cause for Phoenicians leaving Phoenicia, a region on the coast of north Israel/Judea, was the fact that the Neo-Assyrians were quickly expanding their third empire. The Assyrians were a violent people and would demand those they conquered to either assimilate, leave, or be decimated. The Phoenicians chose wisely to leave and join the Greeks in the colonization of the Mediterranean. The Greeks established colonies in the following places: the eastern half of Sicily; southern Italy; lower France; eastern Spain; and even in Sardinia and Corsica...however the fierce and belligerent locals would force Greek settlers to retreat to other Greek colonies. The Punics, or Phoenicians, decided to settle in a more undesirable part of the Mediterranean; a place where the locals were intimidating and quite foreign. These places included: Libya; Tunisia; Algeria; Morocco; much of south-eastern Spain; Sardinia; and much of western Sicily.
Much later, in the 420’s BC, amidst the warring city-states in Greece, there too was fighting in Sicily between the Athenian-Syracusians and the Carthaginians. This wouldn’t be the first time or the last time that the Greeks and Carthaginians would have a quarrel but this would be a major turning point. The Carthaginians were mastering the art of diplomacy, hiring extraordinary mercenaries to fill the ranks of their armies, making up where their own citizen soldiers couldn’t. However, the Carthaginians also had an extremely powerful navy at their disposal, one that could’ve perhaps rivaled the Athenian fleet at Salamis. These factors combined would be major reasons why Carthage was nearly invulnerable to major defeat in Sicily when it came to this quarrel between them and the Greek world.
In the 290’s-280’s BC, the Greek world would truly test Carthage, and Rome too, in a series of battles known as the Pyrrhic War. Carthage and Rome hardly cooperated in this war but were sympathetic towards each other’s cause. (Continued in comments)

Let’s start something new! From now on, all posts will have titles so you may all easily navigate my page. Treat this post as a divider from the older page and the new one. I’ll relaunch the last two series I covered after I complete the next few series on the Punic Wars and the early Roman Republic. Part 1 will be up soon.

—Part 14 of 14, the death of two titans—
Following the sequence of battles at Idistavisus, Germanicus was ordered back from the front by Tiberius. These reasons are somewhat unknown for Tiberius recalling Germanicus; however, many historians at the time speculated this was so because Tiberius feared Germanicus’ victories in Germania and saw him as a possible threat to the throne.
Germanicus thus returned to Rome to receive his Triumph, but not before reclaiming the third and final standard lost in the Varus Disaster. It is purely speculation, but if Germanicus remained in the Rhine, leading the 8 legions, it is possible that Germanicus could’ve finally subdued the German tribes once and for all and end any possible invasion from the Germans in Rome’s later years.
Germanicus died in the 19 AD at his post in Antioch, and his fierce wife Agrippina demanded answers, sailing to Rome with his ashes. Cnaeus Piso, a neighboring provincial governor of Seleucia, had a violent quarrel with Germanicus and ironically, Germanicus suspected many times that Piso was attempting to poison him. This time however, Germanicus was likely dying from a sickness. Germanicus was quite young, dying at 33 years old.
Piso, unwisely resisting detectives sent by the Senate and Emperor, was demanded to return to Rome. He was accused of murdering Germanicus. Piso would commit suicide here.
As for Hermann, or Arminius, the German king of the Cherusci, he would retreat to his kingship and never again pose a serious threat to Rome. Just like Germanicus, Arminius too would die of a suspected assassination by his rivals. It is unknown if Germanicus would’ve risen to power in Rome, but his military victories in Germania would be unrivaled for over a century; surely an impressive feat for a young commander quickly pulled from another conflict (the uprisings in Pannonia).
This concludes the series in Germany! The name of the next series will be up tonight along with its first part.

—Part 13 of 14, the Battle of Angrivarian Wall—
The next morning after the battle at Weser River, Germanicus advanced his army out of their camp and proceeded to make his way to meet the Germans some distance from their camp. The German tribes manned a wall that was once constructed to divide the lands of the Cherusci from the Angrivarii. However now, these two tribes were working together to halt the Roman invasion that they caused 7 years ago at the Varus Disaster.
The bulk of the German horde was manning the wall as mentioned earlier, with thousands of spearmen at the ready to rain down upon any advancing legionaries. Arminius, like his previous battle encounters with the Roman Army, decided to stage yet another ambush. He hoped Germanicus would have all his troops focused on the wall and the Angrivarii forces so that he may flank and encircle the Roman forces. He (Arminius) thus hid in a forest to the side of the wall with his cavalry.
Germanicus, having called the bluff of a friendly German ‘vowing to lead them safely to German forces’, was fully apprised of the Germans’ tactical disposition. Germanicus responded by dividing his forces. Germanicus ordered one part of his infantry to attack the walls with auxiliary cohorts supporting them. Germanicus on the other hand would personally lead his Praetorian cohorts, some cavalry units, and a few legionary cohorts, to deal with Arminius in the forest.
As the battle began to unfold, the legionaries were faced with more resistance attacking the walls than they’d hoped. So, they sent auxiliaries ahead to harass the armor-less spearmen atop the wall. The Angrivarii were weakened and the Legionaries scaled the wall. Now, with half his forces locked in battle, it was up to Germanicus to lead his men and find Arminius.
Germanicus and his two Praetorian cohorts made it to the edge of the forest with little difficulty. However it had begun to rain thus making the marsh in the forest even more difficult to traverse. Soon Arminius showed himself with his large bodyguard and they engaged Germanicus and the Roman bodyguard. This fighting was the most intense in the battle. (Continued in comments)

—Part 12 of 14, battle of Weser River Stages 1 and 2—
As mentioned in the previous post, Germanicus knew that an invasion through the dark forests of Germany, which had no roads, was likely suicide and his army would’ve taken severe casualties. However, Germanicus knew that the German barbarians had little seafaring skill and another route was completely plausible. He instead sailed his huge army around the Netherlands to the coast of North-western Germany where his fleet found a river and traveled up stream. Then, he had his army leave the ships behind and travel on foot to the Weser River
Germanicus with his estimated 55,000 soldiers (8 legions, numerous Gallic and Germanic auxiliaries, and numerous cavalry units). Germanicus had the Roman scouts move ahead and Arminius, his German ones. Both armies met in a clearing between the Weser River and the forest beyond the bank. The German barbarian horde numbered likely the same—55,000-75,000 troops— however these numbers are pure speculation and troops from the time period reported up to 200,000 tribesmen! Germanicus sent cavalry regiments from both wings of his army forward. The barbarian horde retreated into the forest upon seeing the Roman cavalry charge through the river water. The left wing returned back to the main Roman army however the right wing, auxiliary Batavian cavalrymen, stayed in pursuit of the German skirmishers, hoping to run them down.
Eventually, the Batavian auxiliaries had become completely cutoff from the Roman army and were encircled by German cavalry and spearmen. They were eventually rescued by Roman legionary cavalry but not before most of their unit was killed.
Germanicus, after ordering all his men to return to their position on the riverbank, pitched camp for the night.
According to the account of Tacitus, one German tribesmen (who knew Latin) approached the fort’s walls and yelled something along the lines of, “Romans, desert your leader! We have land and women for you in return”
This offer was declined as a Roman guardsmen yelled back, from behind the wall, “Soon enough WE will carry off your women and take your land.” (To be continued)

—part 11 of 14, Interception at Idistavisus—
It was the summer of AD 16, and Germanicus Caesar had used a fleet of a thousand newly built ships to return to the heart of Germany in search of Arminius and his German allies. At mid morning, the Roman army came marching down beside the Weser River from where it had camped the night.
This time, the Germans were not only ready for the legions, but their leader had chosen the location for a decisive battle, and had sent men posing as defectors to lure the Romans into a trap. At the site of the soon-to-be battleground, there lied 50,000 German tribesmen, situated on a grass field between a great forest and the Weser river.
In addition to Arminius and his Cherusci, there were also at least a half dozen more tribes that were represented; including the Cauchi who had captured one of Varus’ eagles.
As the Roman army rounded the River bend and met the sight of the waiting German horde, Germanicus, riding in the middle of his column, calmly gave orders for his units to deploy. To the 28,000 men of his eight under-strength legions he had added the 2,000 men two Praetorian Guard cohorts sent to him from Rome by Tiberius. It was unique for Praetorians to fight in a field battle, and so far from Rome, when the emperor was not present. Their presence had mor to do with Tiberius’ unfounded fear of his adopted son using his legions to topple him from the throne.
In addition, the Roman army of 74,000 men included 30,000 auxiliaries from Gaul, Raetia, Batavia, Spain and Syria, 6,000 men from allied German tribes, and 8,000 cavalry including 2,000 mounted horse archers. One of Germanicus’ German cohort commanders was none other than Flavus, brother of Arminius.
Germanicus was not concerned at seeing the Germans waiting for him - the tribesmen sent to lure him there had confessed that Arminius planned to entrap him, telling of the Germans’ locations and numbers.

--Part 10 of 14, Retreat from Long Bridges--
The battle ended with the Roman cavalry sweeping in through the gates of the fort that was now filled by German barbarians and Arminius with his guard. The legionaries filled the camp through the ramparts and split the attacking german force in two. The German forces outside the camp immediately fled as their king was now isolated in a camp, totally flanked by Roman soldiers and cavalrymen. But, Arminius was able to flee just in time while nearly the rest of his guard was cut to pieces. The Roman legions after, under Caecina’s orders, immediately departed and marched to the Rhine.
When Caecina's four legions finally reached the Rhine, bloodied, filthy, hungry and exhausted, they came without their baggage and carrying severely wounded comrades on hastily improvised litters. They found Agrippina waiting for them at Vetera's bridge of boats. Agrippina had forbidden the bridge's destruction when, with Caecina's army feared lost, the Roman commander at Vetera had wanted to dismantle it to prevent Arminius from using it. With her two year old son Caligula at her side, Agrippina handed out coins, clothing and medicine to the returning men.
Following the campaign, the 1st legion adopted the title 'Germanica'. It was the only one of the eight legions to do so. Without doubt, this was taken by the first, or bestowed on it by Germanicus, for repulsing Germans at Long Bridges, and most particularly for stoutly defending their general Aulus Caecina in that battle. But, the four legions who had just returned, did not know they'd have a chance at vengeance in an all out assault in the heart of Germania.

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