Wars and Battles of Ancient Rome

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Light Blue for Battles.
Based on Harbottle's Dictionary of Battles, 1904.

Printable version HERE.

Wars of the Roman Republic (Dates BC)
Rise of Rome 753-391     Battles      
Gallic Invasion of Italy 389-121     Battles      
Samnite Wars 342-298     Battles      
Pyrrhic Wars in Italy 282-275     Battles      
Punic Wars 260-146     Battles      
Wars of Antiochus the Great 191-190     Battles      
Roman Macedonian Wars 198-168     Battles      
Roman Conquest of Hispania 215-28     Battles      
Cimbrian War 112-101     Battles      
Jugurthine War 108-106     Battles      
Roman Social War 90-89     Battles      
Mithridatic Wars 87-66     Battles      
Civil War of Marius and Sulla 83-82     Battles      
Servile Wars 71-70     Battles      
Roman Conquest of Gaul 58-52     Battles      
Caesarean Civil War 49-31     Battles      
Wars of Imperial Rome (Dates AD)
Roman Germanic Wars 11-16     Battles      
Roman Conquest of Britain 55-84     Battles      
Roman Jewish Wars 66-135     Battles      
Year of the Four Emperors 69-70     Battles      
Roman Conquest of Dacia 87-105     Battles      
Parthian Wars53 BC-222    Battles      
Civil Wars of the Roman Empire 194-398     Battles      
Roman Persian Wars 243-627     Battles      
Alemanni Wars 268-378     Battles      
Visigoth Wars 251-711     Battles      
Vandal Wars in Africa 420-533     Battles      
Fall of the Western Empire 402-476     Battles      
Ostrogoth Wars in Italy 489-568     Battles      
Moslem Conquests623-838     Battles      

Rise of Rome — 753 to 391 B.C.     to top

The rise of Rome from a small Latin city to the dominant power in Italy.

750 BC  
Battle of Sabines (Kingdom Wars ) drawn battle victory
According to legend, a year after the Romans kidnapped their wives from the neighboring Sabines, the tribes returned to take vengeance. The fighting however, was stopped by the young wives who ran in between the warring parties and begged that their fathers, brothers and husbands cease making war upon each other. The Sabine and Roman tribes were henceforth united.
650 BC  
Siege of Alba Longa (Oscii Wars ) Romans victory
After a long siege, Alba was finally taken by stratagem. With the fall of Alba, its father-city, Rome was the undisputed leading city of the Latins. The inhabitants of Alba were resettled in Rome on the caelian Hill.
509 BC  
Battle of Sublican Bridge (Tarquinii Wars ) Romans victory
Lars Porsenna, king of Clusium was marching toward Rome, planning to restore the exiled Tarquins to the Roman throne. As his army descended on Rome from the opposite side of the Tiber, roman soldiers worked furiously to destroy the wooden bridge. Horatius and two other soldiers single-handedly fended off Porsenna's army until the bridge could be destroyed.
497 BC  
Battle of Lake Regillus (First Roman Invasion of Britain ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 497, the first authentic date in the history of Rome. The details handed down, however, belong to the domain of legend rather than to that of history. According to the chroniclers, this was the last attempt of the Tarquinian family to recover the throne of Rome. They were, however, totally routed by the Romans, under Aulus Postumius, and all the sons of Tarquinius, and his son-in-law, Mamilius, were slain in the battle. The legend avers that the Romans, when victory was trembling in the balance, found at their head two young men on white horses, whom they claimed to be Castor and Pollux.
493 BC  
Siege of Corioli (Oscii Wars ) Romans victory
The Volscian city of Corioli was besieged and taken by the Roman hero Coriolanus. Afterward, he was denied the consulship and insulted. He left Rome, joined the Volscians and marched on Rome, only to be turned away by pleas from his mother.
477 BC  
Battle of Cremera (Etruscan Wars ) Veii victory
Fought between the city of Veii, and the Fabian clan, representing Rome. The Fabians built a fort on the Cremera river, between Rome and Veii to prevent raids into Roman territory. The Veientes laid a trap for the Fabii, and the entire clan was destroyed.
458 BC  
Battle of Mons Algridus (Oscii Wars ) Romans victory
Fought after a Roman army was trapped and ambushed in mountain defile by the Aequii. Cincinnatus was elected dictator. He rose an army immediately, marched to and surrounded the Aequian camp during the night, and signaled to the trapped army that help had arrived. The Aequians were completely defeated. Cincinnatus surrendered the dictatorship and returned to his farm after sixteen days.
446 BC  
Battle of Corbione (Tarquinii Wars ) Romans victory
The Romans won a victory over the combined forces of the Volscians and Aequiians.
392 BC  
Siege of Veii (Etruscan Wars ) Romans victory
This city was besieged B.C. 400 by the Romans, the siege being carried on in a desultory fashion for seven years. At the end of this period the citizens of Capua and Valerii made an attack upon the Roman camp, and inflicted a signal defeat upon the besiegers. M. Furius Camillus was then appointed dictator, and a determined attempt was made to end the siege, with the result that Veii fell B.C. 393. Rome's greatest rival in Italy was thus destroyed.
391 BC  
Siege of Falerii (Kingdom Wars ) Romans victory
The siege of Falerii by the Romans is famous mainly because of the story of Camillus (the Roman General) who returned a traitorous schoolmaster from the besieged town instead of accepting his child hostages. Seeing this honorable act, the town surrendered peacefully.

Gallic Invasion of Italy — 389 to 121 B.C.     to top

Early Gallic invasions into Northern Italy

389 BC  
Battle of the Allia (First ) Gauls victory
Fought July 16, 389 B.C., between the Romans, 40,000 strong, under Quintus Sulpicius, and the Gauls, about equal in numbers, under Brennus. The Romans took post on the Allia to check the advance of the Gauls on Rome. Here they were attacked by Brennus, who routed the right wing, where the younger soldiers were posted, and then broke the Roman centre and left, putting them to flight with enormous loss.
389 BC  
Siege of Rome (Second ) Gauls victory
The first siege of Rome by the Gauls, under Brennus, took place B.C. 389. No attempt was made to defend the city, which was seized and burnt by the barbarians, the greater part of the population fleeing to Veii and other neighbouring cities. The Capitol, however, was held by the leading Patrician families, and it is said withstood a siege of six months, when Brennus accepted a heavy ransom and withdrew his army.
283 BC  
Battle of Arretium (Etruscan War ) Etruscans and Gauls victory
Fought B.C. 283, when the consular army of L. Caecilius Metellus, marching to the relief of Arretium, which the Etruscans were besieging, met with a disastrous defeat. Thirteen thousand, including Metellus, were slain, and the rest made prisoners.
283 BC  
Battle of Lake Vadimon (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 283, between the Romans, under P. Cornelius Dolabella, and the Gauls and their Etruscan allies. Dolabella attacked the Etruscans as they were crossing the Tiber close to the lake, and destroyed the flower of their army. He then fell upon the Gauls, whom he also defeated with heavy loss, with the result that in the following year they made peace and withdrew from Italy.
499 BC  
Battle of Ephesus (Ionian Revolt ) Persians victory
Fought 499 B.C., between the Athenians and Ionians, under Aristagorus, and the Persians, under Artaphernes. The Greeks who were retreating to the coast after burning Sardis, were overtaken by the pursuing Persians, under the walls of Ephesus, and signally defeated. The Athenians thereupon withdrew their fleet, and took no further part in the war.
225 BC  
Battle of Clusium (Etruscan War ) Gauls victory
Fought B.C. 225, when the Gauls utterly routed a Roman army with a loss said to have amounted to 50,000 men.
225 BC  
Battle of Telamon (Conquest of Cisalpine Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 225, when the Gauls led by Aneorestus, marched upon Rome, they found themselves caught between two Roman consular armies, and though fighting desperately, were cut to pieces.
222 BC  
Battle of Clastidium (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 222, between the Romans under Claudius Marcellus, and the Gauls under Viridomarus. Marcellus slew the commander of the Gauls in single combat, and the Romans won the victory.
198 BC  
Battle of Cremona (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 198, when the Romans defeated with heavy slaughter an invading army of Gauls under Hamilcar, a Carthaginian. Hamilcar was slain.
194 BC  
Battle of Mutina (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 194, near Modena. The Romans defeated the Gauls. This was the last encounter between the Romans and Gauls in Italian territory.
121 BC  
Battle of The Isara (Third ) Romans victory
Fought August 8, 121 B.C.. between the Arverni and Allobroges, under Betuitdus, and the Romans, under Q. Fabius Maximus. The Gauls were totally defeated, and a bridge breaking down under the press of the fugitives, they suffered enormous loss.
121 BC  
Battle of Vindalium (China ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 121, between the Romans, under Q. Fabius Maximus, and the Arverni. The Arverni were completely defeated, and compelled to sue for peace.

Samnite Wars — 342 to 298 B.C.     to top

Rome vies with Samnites for control of Italy

342 BC  
Battle of Mount Gaurus (Latin Rebellion ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 342, between the Romans, under Valerius Corvus, and the Samnites. The Romans won a signal victory.
339 BC  
Battle of Vesuvius (Second ) Romans victory
Fought near Mount Vesuvius, B.C. 339, between the Romans, under Manlius Torquatus and Decius Mus, and the Latin army. The Roman left was repulsed, but Decius Mus, sacrificing himself for the army, sprang into the midst of the enemy and was slain, and his soldiers following him, renewed the conflict. Manlius now brought up his veteran reserve, and the Romans breaking the Latin line, slew or captured nearly three-fourths of their opponents. The Roman loss, however, was so heavy, that they were unable to pursue.
322 BC  
Battle of Caudine Forks (Second ) Samnites victory
Fought B.C. 322, when four Roman legions, under T. Veturius Calvinus and Spurius Postumus were entrapped by the Sabines under Pontius, in the narrow pass of Caudium. The Romans fought till nightfall, suffering heavy loss, and next day, finding every exit from the pass barred, the survivors surrendered.
316 BC  
Battle of Lautulae (Second ) Samnites victory
Fought B.C. 316, between the Samnites, under Pontius, and the Romans, under Q. Fabius Maximus. The Romans were defeated with great slaughter.
315 BC  
Battle of Ciuna (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 315, between the Romans under Caius Maenius and the Samnites under Pontius. The Romans gained a signal victory.
307 BC  
Battle of Bovianum (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 307 between the Romans under Titus Minucius, and the Samnites under Statius Gellius. Gellius attempted to relieve Bovianum, which the Romans were besieging, and was totally defeated, though Minucius fell in the battle. This defeat broke the Samnite power, and they sued for peace in the following year, leaving Rome without dispute the first power in Italy.
298 BC  
Battle of Camerinum (Third ) Samnites victory
Fought B.C. 298, between two Roman legions under Lucius Scipio, and the Samnites under Gellius Equatius, aided by a force of Gauls. Scipio, who had been stationed near Camerinum to watch the pass through which the Gauls were expected to cross the Apennines, was unable to prevent the junction of the two armies, and was totally defeated, one of his legions being cut to pieces.
298 BC  
Battle of Sentinum (Rise of Kent ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 298, between five Roman legions, under Q. Fabius Maximus and Publius Decius, and the Samnites and Gauls, under Gellius Equatius. The Roman left was disordered by the war-chariots of the Gauls, but was rallied by Decius, who restored the battle, but at the cost of his life. On the right the Samnites were routed, and Fabius then fell upon the Gauls in flank, and broke them. Meanwhile the Samnite camp was attacked, and Equatius slain, the Romans gaining a signal victory. The losses of the victors amounted to 8,200, while the Gauls and Samnites lost 25,000 killed and 8, 000 prisoners.

Pyrrhic Wars in Italy — 282 to 275 B.C.     to top

The Greek colonies in southern Italy resist Roman domination.

282 BC  
Siege of Thurii   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 282, when a Roman consular army, under Caius Fabricius, routed the Lucanians and Bruttians, who were besieging Thurii. The siege was raised, and the Tarentine coalition temporarily broken up.
280 BC  
Battle of Heraclea (almohads ) Italian Greeks victory
Fought B.C. 280, between the Epirots, 30,000 strong, under Pyrrhus, and about 35,000 Romans, under P. Laverius Lavinus. The Romans crossed the Sirisin the face of the enemy, when they were attacked by Pyrrhus, and after a furious conflict, were at last broken by his elephants, and fled in disorder, losing about 7,000 men. The Epirots lost 4,000.
279 BC  
Siege of Asculum   Italian Greeks victory
Fought B.C. 279, between 45,000 Romans under Sulpicius Saverrio and P. Decius Mus, and the Epirots, with their Italian allies, in about equal force. The Romans fought to raise the siege of Asculum, but were finally routed by the Epirot cavalry and elephants, and driven back to their camp with a loss of 6,000. The Epirots lost 3,000.
275 BC  
Battle of Beneventum   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 275, when Pyrrhus with a strong force of Epirots and Italians made a night attack upon the consular army of M. Carius Dentatus, encamped in a strong position near Beneventum. Pyrrhus was repulsed with considerable loss, including eight elephants. Encouraged by this success, the Romans shortly afterwards advanced to meet Pyrrhus in the open plain, and were at first driven back by the elephants, but rallying, they drove these back through Pyrrhus' lines, and disordered the Epirot phalanx, and a charge of the legionaries completed the rout. This was Pyrrhus' last serious attack against the Roman power, and he soon afterwards left Italy.

Punic Wars — 260 to 152 B.C.     to top

Wars between Carthage and Rome for control of the Western Mediterranean.

260 BC  
Battle of Mylae (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 260, when the Roman fleet, under Caius Duilius, defeated the Carthaginians, under Hannibal, with loss of 50 ships, 3,000 killed and 7,000 prisoners. Duilius had introduced the boarding bridge, which was lowered on to the deck of the opposing galley, and this gave full scope to the superior powers of the Romans in hand-to-hand fighting.
257 BC  
Battle of Liparaean Islands (First ) Romans victory
The scene of a naval battle, B.C. 257, in which the Roman fleet, under the Consul, C.Attilius, completely defeated the Carthaginians.
256 BC  
Battle of Ecnomus (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 256, between 330 Roman galleys, with crews of 100,000 men, under I.. Manlius Valso, and M. Attilius Regulus, and 350 Carthaginian ships under Hanno. After a hard-fought battle, in which the Romans lost 24 vessels, they defeated the Carthaginians, with a loss of 30 ships sunk and 64 captured, and drove the rest of the fleet to Carthage.
255 BC  
Battle of Adys (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 255 between 15,000 Romans under Regulus, and over 5000 Carthaginian mercenaries. In an attempt to bring the war to a close, a large Roman army landed in Africa about 40 east of Carthage. In this first major land battle in Africa, the Romans routed the Carthage army, causing great consternation within the city.
255 BC  
Battle of Tunis (First ) Carthagians victory
Fought B.C. 255 between 15,000 Romans, under Regulus, and 16,000 Carthaginians, of whom 4,000 were cavalry, with two elephants, under Xanthippus, the Spartan. The Romans were broken by a cavalry charge, and their rout was completed by the elephants, and all but 2,500 fell on the field. Regulus was captured, and Tunis at once occupied by the Carthaginians.
250 BC  
Siege of Lilybaeum (First ) drawn battle victory
This fortress was besieged B.C. 250, by the Romans, under C. Attilius and L. Manlius, and was defended by a Carthaginian garrison, 10,000 strong, under Himilcon. The Romans invested the place both by sea and land, but the superior seamanship of the Carthaginians enabled them from time to time to throw succour into the place. The first line of the defenses was soon carried but the Romans were then confronted with a second rampart, equally strong, and the siege was begun anew. In 249 P. Claudius took over the command, but a defeat of the Roman fleet at Drepanum gave the Carthaginians complete command of the sea, and though the Romans continued to blockade the fortress on the land side, it held out till 241. After the naval battle of Aegusae Carthage sued for peace.
250 BC  
Battle of Panormus (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 250, between 25,000 Romans, under L. Caecilius Metellus, and the Carthaginian army in Sicily, under Hasdrubal. Hasdrubal offered battle in front of Panormus, and Metellus sent out his light troops to engage him. They ran back into the town before a charge of the elephants, which, following closely, were driven into the ditch surrounding the place, where many were killed. Meanwhile Metellus sallied out with his legionaries, and taking Hasdrubal in flank completely routed him. The whole of the Carthaginian elephants in Sicily were killed or captured in this battle.
249 BC  
Battle of Drepanum (First ) Carthagians victory
Fought B.C. 249, during the siege of Lilybaeum, between the Roman fleet of 123 galleys under Publius Claudius, and the Carthaginians under Adherbal. Claudius was defeated, losing 93 ships, 8,000 killed and 20,000 prisoners, while the victors did not lose a ship.
241 BC  
Battle of Aegusa (Second ) Romans victory
Fought March 10, B.C. 241, between the Roman fleet of 200 quinqueremes under C. Lutatius Catulus, and a Carthaginian fleet under Hanno dispatched to relieve the town. The action was fought in heavy weather, and the Roman sailors, being far better trained than their opponents, Catulus gained a signal victory, capturing 70 and sinking 50 of the enemy's ships. The victory ended the First Punic War.
219 BC  
Siege of Saguntum (Second-Iberia ) Carthagians victory
Besieged B.C. 219, by the Carthagians, under Hannibal, and taken before a relieving force could be sent to the area. Saguntum was an ally of Rome, so attacking it provoked hostilities between the two rivals. Although there was a party in Cathage that favored peace with Rome, Hannibal's military triumphs, once accomplished were too popular to renounce, and the senate accepted that war was inevitable.
218 BC  
Battle of Trebbia (Second ) Carthagians victory
Fought December B.C. 218, between 26,000 Cathaginians, 6,000 being cavalry, under Hannibal, and 40,000 Romans under the Consul Sempronins. Sempronius' colleague, Scipio, had been wounded a few days before in a skirmish, and Sempronius, contrary to his advice, being in sole command, crossed the Trebbia to attack the Carthaginians. The Romans fought with determination, and the issue was for some time in doubt, but finally a charge of the Carthaginian horse, under Mago, against their left flank, threw the legionaries into confusion, and they were routed with enormous loss.
218 BC  
Battle of Cissna (Second-Iberia ) Romans victory
Fouth B.C. 218 between 22,000 Romans under Gnaeus Scipio, and 10,000 Carthagians under Hanno. Scipio landed a force north of the Elbro river in order to prevent Carthage from sending reinforcements from Spain over the Alps. Hanno gave battle, and was routed, losing most of his army.
218 BC  
Battle of Ticinus (Second ) Carthagians victory
Fought B.C. 218, between 26,000 Carthaginians, under Hannibal, and 25,000 Romans, under P. Cornelius Scipio (the Elder). The Romans were defeated with heavy loss, Scipio being severely wounded.
217 BC  
Battle of Lake Trasimene (Second ) Carthagians victory
Fought June 24, B.C. 217 between 25,000 Romans, under Flaminius, and about an equal number of Cathagians under Hannibal. This battle, like Trebbia River, was won by stratagem. First by out marching the Romans, and then by guiding them into an ambush on a road between a mountain and a lake, Hannibal was able to nearly annihilate the legion with very little loss.
217 BC  
Battle of Ebro River (Second-Iberia ) Romans victory
This naval battle was fought in B.C. 217 at the mouth of the Ebro River between a Carthage fleet of 40 quinqueremes under Himilco, and a Roman fleet of 55 under Gnaeus Scipio. The Romans won a decisive victory.
216 BC  
Battle of Cannae (Second ) Carthagians victory
Fought August 2, B.C. 216, between 90,000 Romans under Varro, and about 50,000 Carthaginians under Hannibal. Hannibal, though outnumbered in infantry, was much superior in cavalry. The Romans were drawn up with the sea in their rear, and were attacked and broken by the Carthaginian horse. The infantry followed up the attack, and, flight being impossible, the Romans were slaughtered where they stood, 80,000 falling, including the Consul Aemilius, 25 superior officers, and 80 senators. The Carthaginians lost 6,000.
215 BC  
Battle of Dertosa (Second-Iberia ) Romans victory
Fought in the spring of B.C. 215 between 33,000 Romans under Gnaeus Scipio, and 29,000 Carthagians under Hasdrubal Barca. After a pitched battle with heavy losses on both sides, Scipio drove Hasdrubal out of the region south of the Ebro.
214 BC  
Battle of Beneventum (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 214, between 18,000 Carthaginians under Hanno, and 20,000 Romans under Tiberius Gracchus. Hanno's troops were routed, his infantry being cut to pieces, and he himself escaping with difficulty, with a portion of his cavalry.
213 BC  
Siege of Syracuse (Second-Sicily ) Romans victory
In 213 B.C. Syracuse, then in the hands of the pro-Carthaginian faction, was besieged by the Romans, 25,000 strong, under M. Marcellus, and a fleet under Appius Claudius. The city was defended by a garrison under Hippocrates. The siege is specially notable for the presence in the city of Archimedes, whose military engines played an important part in the defense, especially against the fleet. During the winter, the revolt of other Sicilian towns drew off a portion of the besiegers, and during the spring and early summer of 212, only a partial blockade could be maintained. Then however, taking advantage of a festival in the city, Marcellus stormed and captured the upper portion of the town. An attempt to force the Roman lines by a Carthaginian relieving force, under Himilco, was repulsed, and shortly afterwards the rest of the city was captured by assault.
212 BC  
Battle of Beneventum (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 212, when a Roman consular army under Cn. Fulvius, stormed Hanno's camp, three miles from Beneventum, at daybreak, and surprising the Carthaginians, routed them with heavy loss and captured all the corn and supplies intended for the revictualling of Capua.
212 BC  
Siege of Capua (Second-Africa ) Romans victory
This place was besieged in the autumn of B.C. 212, by 60,000 Romans under Q. Fulvius and Appius Claudius. The Romans formed a double wall of circumvallation round the city, and, early in the winter, their defenses were attacked by the garrison from within and Hannibal from without, but with no success. Hannibal then attempted to draw the besiegers from their position by marching upon Rome, but only a small portion of the besieging force followed him. It being thus found impossible to relieve the city, it shortly afterwards surrendered.
211 BC  
Siege of Leontini (Third ) Romans victory
This city, the stronghold of the National party in Sicily, held by a garrison of Syracusans and Roman deserters, was stormed and sacked, B.C. 211, by three Roman legions under M. Marcellus. Two thousand Roman deserters captured in the place were put to the sword. Hippocrates succeeded in escaping.
211 BC  
Battle of Upper Baetis (Second-Iberia ) Carthagians victory
In the years leading up to this battle, Rome, lead by the Scipio brothers, Gnaeus and Publius, had secured a strong front in the Ebro valley, but Carthage, under Hasdrubal still held sway in the south. The Scipios hired 20,000 Celt-Iberian mercenaries and went to meet Hasdrubal at his stronghold near the Baetis River. The Scipios split their armies and fought two battles. The Romans under Publius Scipio met the Spaniards under Indibilius at the Battle of Castulo, and held the advantage until the arrival of Masanissa and his Numedian horsemen put the Romans to rout, and Publius was killed. A few days later, the Celt-Iberian mercenaries deserted Gnaeus and he was overwhelmed and killed at the Battle of Llorca.
210 BC  
Battle of Herdonea (Second ) Carthagians victory
Fought B.C. 210, when the Carthaginians, under Hannibal, defeated, and practically destroyed an army of 25,000 Romans, under Cnaeus Fulvius. Fulvius was among the slain.
209 BC  
Siege of Nova Carthago (Second-Iberia ) Romans victory
This city, defended by a small Carthaginian garrison, under Mago, was stormed by 27,500 Romans, under Scipio, B.C. 209.
208 BC  
Battle of Baecula (Second-Iberia ) Romans victory
Fought 208 B.C. between 35,000 Romans under Scipio Africanus, and 25,000 Carthagians and Spaniards under Hasdrubal Barca. In his first engagement in a pitched battle after taking possession of Novo Carthago, Scipio Africanus routed the Carthagians, killing 6,000 and taking 10,000 captive. Hasdrubal, however, escaped.
207 BC  
Battle of Metauras (Second ) Romans victory
Fought 207 B.C., between 50,000 Romans, under Claudius Nero and Marcus Livius, and the Carthaginians, in rather smaller force, under Hasdrubal. The Carthaginians were surprised at early dawn as they were endeavoring to find a ford in the Metaurus, and being vigorously attacked, were totally routed, Hasdrubal being slain. The completeness of the victory was due to Nero, who being in command of the right wing, where the ground prevented his getting to close quarters, and seeing the Roman left hard pressed by Hasdrubal's best troops, led the major part of his force round the Roman rear, and fell upon Hasdrubal's right, routing him utterly.
206 BC  
Battle of Elinga (Second-Sicily ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 206, between 74,000 Carthaginians, under Hanno, and 48,000 Romans under Scipio Africanus. The battle was fought on the open plain in front of Hanno's camp, and resulted in a complete victory for the Romans. This battle, which is also known as the battle of Silpia, ended the Carthaginian domination in Spain.
203 BC  
Battle of the Great Plains (Second-Africa ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 203 between the Romans under Scipio Africanus, and his Western Numidian allies under Masinissa, and 30,000 Carthagians and Eastern Numidians under Hasdrubal and his ally Syphax. The entire Carthagian army was routed, and Syphax fled the scene with his enemy Masinissa in hot pursuit.
202 BC  
Battle of Zama (Second-Iberia ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 202, between the Carthaginians, under Hannibal, and the Romans, under Scipio Africanus. The Carthaginians began to attack with their elephants, 80 in number, but some of these became unmanageable, and fell back upon the cavalry, throwing them into disorder, while the legionaries opened out and allowed the others to pass down the lanes between their ranks. The infantry then closed, and after severe fighting, the Romans gained a complete victory, 20,000 Carthaginians falling, while as many more were made prisoners. Hannibal escaped from the field at the end of the day.
152 BC  
Siege of Carthage   Romans victory
In B.C. 152 siege was laid to this city by a Roman consular army under Manius Manilius, aided by a fleet under L. Censorinus. The Carthaginian army under Hasdrubal was encamped outside the walls, and greatly hindered the operations of the Romans, who would have made little progress but for the efforts of Scipio Aemilianus, then a military tribune. In B.C. 148, Scipio was made consul, and appointed to the command, and he succeeded in completely blockading the city, which, after an obstinate resistance lasting six years, was captured B.C. 146 and razed to the ground.

Roman Macedonian Wars — 198 to 168 B.C.     to top

Roman conquest of Greece and Macedonia

198 BC  
Battle of Avus (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 198, between 20,000 Macedonians under Philip, and two Roman legions under T. Quinctius Flamininus. A force of 4,000 legionaries penetrated to the rear of Philip's camp, and when Flamininus attacked in front, they fell upon the Macedonian rear, and completely routed them, with a loss of 2,000.
197 BC  
Battle of Cynoscephalae (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 197, between the Romans, 26,000 strong, under Flamininus, and the Macedonians, in about equal force under Philip. The Roman vanguard, coming unexpectedly upon the enemy, was repulsed, but Flamininus bringing up the legionaries, the battle became more equal. On the right Philip, with half his phalanx, drove back the Romans, but his left wing was utterly routed, and the victorious Roman right then turned and attacked the Macedonian right in flank and rear, and won a complete victory. The Macedonians lost 13,000 killed and wounded The Roman losses were small.
171 BC  
Battle of Larissa (Third ) Macedonians victory
Fought 171 B.C., between the Romans, 40,000 strong, under P. Licinius Crassus, and 43,000 Macedonians, under Perseus. The Romans were defeated with a loss of 2,200 killed and 600 prisoners.
168 BC  
Battle of Pydna (Amenian vs. Sassanid ) Romans victory
Fought June 22, 168 B.C., between the Romans, under Aemilius Paulus, and the Macedonians, under Perseus. The Macedonian phalanx attacked the Roman line, and drove them back on their camp, but becoming disordered by the uneven ground, was broken by the legionaries and cut to pieces. The result was a total defeat of the Macedonians, with a loss of 20,000 killed and 11,000 prisoners. The phalanx here fought its last fight and perished to a man.

Wars of the Achaean League — 226 to 146 B.C.     to top

Last independent coalition of Greeks fights domination by Sparta, Macedonia and Rome

195 BC  
Battle of Argos (Wars of Philopoemen ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 195, between Nabis of Sparta, with 15,000 men, and 50,000 Romans and Macedonians under Flaminius. Nabis was totally defeated, and though allowed to retain Sparta, was compelled to restore to the Achaean league all his foreign possessions.
146 BC  
Battle of Leucopetra (Wars against Rome ) Romans victory
Fought 146 B.C., between a Roman Consular Army, under Lucius Mummius, and the forces of the Achaean League, under Diacus. The Greeks, who were only half as strong as their opponents, were routed, and all resistance came to an end, the Greek cities, one after another, opening their gates to the Romans.
146 BC  
Battle of Scarpheia (Wars against Rome ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 146, between the Romans, under Matellus, and the Acheans, under Critolaus. The Greeks were totally defeated with heavy loss, Critolaus being killed.

Roman Conquest of Hispania — 215 to 28 B.C.     to top

Roman wars of conquest in Hispania

195 BC  
Battle of Emporia (Armagnac War ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 195 between 40,000 coastal tribes in rebellion, and a much smaller Roman force under Marcus Cato. Cato dismissed his ships, telling his troops that if they failed in battle, there would be no safety in defeat. After a hard fought battle, the Romans prevailed, and slaughter many of the rebels. Cato then sent a message to all of the towns in the region telling them to tear down their walls, which they did.
179 BC  
Siege of Caravis (Celtiberian Wars ) Romans victory
This city was besieged in B.C. 179 by 20,000 Celtiberians. A roman army, led by Tiberius Gracchus (the elder) arrived to its relief, having first sent a scout through the enemy's camp to inform the town that relief was on its way.
153 BC  
Battle of Segeda (Celtiberian Wars ) drawn battle victory
When the Belli began fortifications of the city of Segeda, an army of 30,000 Romans, under Quitus Fulvius Nobilior was sent against it. A force of 20,000 Belli and their Aravaci allies, under Carus set and ambush and fell upon the Romans, killing 6,000. The Roman horsemen however, recovered and killed Carus, also killing 6,000 Spaniards.
142 BC  
Siege of Numantia (Sertorian War ) Romans victory
This city, defended by the inhabitants under Megaravicus, was besieged B.C. 142 by a Roman consular army. In the course of 141 the Romans were twice defeated under the walls, and though negotiations for a surrender were entered into in the following year, they were not concluded, and in 139 the new Roman commander, Popilius Laenas, refused to ratify the terms. Shortly afterwards he was again defeated by the Numantians, as was his successor Mancius in 137. It was not till the arrival of Scipio Aemilianus in 134 that the lengthy resistance of the inhabitants was at last overcome, and fifteen months after he took command the city fell, in the autumn of 133 B.C.
80 BC  
Battle of Baetis River (Sertorian War ) Sertorius victory
Fought B.C. 80, between the rebels, under Sertorius, and the Roman army under Lucius Fulfidas. The rebels were victorious.
75 BC  
Battle of the Suero (Turdetani Uprising ) Sertorius victory
Fought B.C. 75, between the rebels, under Sertorius, and the Roman army, under Pompey. The Roman right, under Pompey, was broken and defeated, but Afranius turned defeat into victory, capturing the Sertorian camp, and routing and dispersing the rebel army.

Wars of Antiochus the Great — 191 to 190 B.C.     to top

Romans repel Antiochus the Great in Asia Minor

191 BC  
Battle of Aspendus   Rhodes victory
Fought B.C. 191, between the Syrian fleet of Antiochus the Great, under Hannibal, and a Rhodian squadron under Eudamus. Though Hannibal was in superior force, he suffered a severe defeat.
191 BC  
Battle of Cyssus   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 191 between the Roman fleet of 105 triremes under Caius Livius, and the fleet of Antiochus, numbering 70 sail, under Polyxenides. Polyxenides sailed out of Cyssus to encounter the Romans, but was defeated with a loss of 23 ships, and forced to seek refuge at Ephesus.
191 BC  
Battle of Thermopylae   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 191, between 40,000 Romans, under Glabrio, and the army of Antiochus the Great, King of Asia, Antiochus was entrenched at Thermopylae, where he was attacked by the Romans, and a post held by 2,000 Aetolians being surprised, his flank was turned, and he was disastrously defeated. Antiochus escaped from the field with barely 500 men.
190 BC  
Battle of Magnesia   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 190, between Antiochus the Great, with 80,000 troops, and the Romans, 40,000 strong, under Cnaeus Domitius. Antiochus, leading the right wing, drove back the Roman left and penetrated to their camp, which he nearly succeeded in capturing. His left wing, however, was routed, and his elephants becoming unmanageable, broke the ranks of the phalanx, whereupon his whole army fled in confusion, with a loss, it is said, of 50,000 killed. The Romans lost 300 only.
190 BC  
Battle of Myonnesus   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 190, between the Roman fleet, under Caius Livius, and the fleet of Antiochus, under Polyxenides, who had an advantage of nine ships. He was, however, defeated by the superior seamanship of the Romans, with a loss of 42 vessels.

Cimbrian War — 112 to 101 B.C.     to top

Romans repel two Germanic tribe that were invading northern Italy

112 BC  
Battle of Noreia   Cimbri-Teutones victory
Fought B.C. 112 a Roman legion under Carbo, and a tribe of migrating Teutones and Cimbri. The teutones were retreating from the Roman territory of the Taurisci on the Danube border when they were informed of an ambushed and turned unexpectedly on, and routed the Romans, whom they far out-numbered. The victorious Teutones then headed towards Gaul rather than pressing on toward Rome.
105 BC  
Battle of Arausio   Cimbri-Teutones victory
Fought B.C. 105, when the Cimbri under Boiorix, and Teutones under Teutobod totally routed two consular armies under Caepio and Cn. Mallius Maximus. It is said that 80,000 Romans fell.
102 BC  
Battle of Aquae Sextiae   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 102, when the Teutones under the king, Teutobod, were totally routed by the Romans under Marius.
101 BC  
Battle of Vercellae   Romans victory
Fought July 30, 101 B.C., between 50,000 Romans, under Marius, and the Cimbri, under Boiorix. The Cimbri were almost annihilated, and their king slain.

Jugurthine War — 108 to 106 B.C.     to top

Rome opposes a notorious tyrant in Northern Africa

108 BC  
Battle of the Muthal   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 108, between the Numidians, under Jugurtha, and the Romans, under Metellus Numidicus. The Numidians were strongly posted on the heights above the river, but were driven out by the legionaries with heavy loss, Jugurtha did not again face the Romans in the field, contenting himself with a guerilla warfare.
106 BC  
Battle of Cirta   Romans victory
Marius defeated Jugurtha and Bocchus in a battle near Cirta, while on his way to winter quarters.

Roman Social War — 90 to 89 B.C.     to top

Civil War between Rome and its Italian allies for rights of Roman citizenship.

90 BC  
Battle of Tolenus   Italians victory
Fought B.C. 90, between the Romans, under Lupus, and the revolted Marsians. Lupus was attacked while crossing the Tolenus, and totally routed with a loss of 8,000 men.
89 BC  
Battle of Asculum   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 89, between 75,000 Romans under Strabo, who was besieging the town, and 60,000 Italians under Judacilius, who had marched to its relief. The Romans were victorious, but Judacilius succeeded in throwing a considerable portion of his army into the beleaguered city.

Mithridatic Wars — 87 to 66 B.C.     to top

Roman suppression of Mithridates in Greece and Asia Minor

87 BC  
Siege of Athens (First ) Romans victory
This city was occupied by a garrison sympathetic to Mithridates, under Archelaus, the Pontus general, and Aniston, an Athenian in service to Mithridates. It besieged by Sulla, in B.C. in 87 B.C. and fell the following year, but Archelaus and many of his followers escaped.
86 BC  
Battle of Chaeronea (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 86, between the Romans under Sulla, 30,000 strong, and the troops of Pontus, 90,000 in number, under Archelaus. The Romans were completely victorious.
86 BC  
Battle of Miletopolis (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 86, between the Romans, under Flavius Fimbria, and the Pontic troops, under Mithridates. The Romans gained a complete victory.
85 BC  
Battle of Orchomenus (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 85, between the Pontic army, under Archelaus, and the Romans, under Sulla. The Asiatic cavalry attacked and drove back the Roman line, but Sulla himself rallied his troops, and led them in a charge which totally routed the enemy with heavy loss.
74 BC  
Battle of Chalcedon (Third ) Mithridates victory
Fought B.C. 74, between the Roman fleet, under Rutilius Nudo, and that of Pontus. The Romans sallied out of the harbour, but were driven back, and the Pontic fleet then broke the chain protecting the entrance and destroyed the whole of the Roman ships, 70 in number.
74 BC  
Battle of Cyzicus (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 74, when the army of Mithridates, who was besieging Cyzicus, was hemmed by the Romans under Lucullus, and though the latter, with inferior forces, did not venture on a pitched battle, he fought a series of minor engagements, in which he eventually destroyed the Pontic army, their losses amounting in the end to over 200,000 men.
72 BC  
Battle of Cabria (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 72, between three Roman legions under Lucullus, and the Pontic army under Diophantus and Taxiles. The Pontic cavalry, on which Mithridates chiefly relied, was overwhelmed by Fabius Hadrianus, and the king was driven out of Pontus, which was erected into a Roman province.
69 BC  
Battle of Tigranocerta (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 69, when the Romans, 10,000 strong, under Lucullus, who was besieging the city, were attacked by 200,000 Pontic and Armenian troops, under Tigranes. ''Tigranes had failed to occupy some high ground which commanded the position of his cavalry. This Lucullus seized, and attacking the Pontic cavalry in rear, broke it, He then attacked and routed the infantry, with a loss according to the Roman account of 100,000. The Romans lost 5 men only.
68 BC  
Battle of Artaxata (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 68, between the Romans, under Lucullus, and the Armenians, led by Tigranes II, a nephew of Mithridates VI. The Armenians were defeated.
67 BC  
Battle of Ziela (Third ) Mithridates victory
Fought B.C. 67, between the Romans, under Triarius, and the Pontic army, under Mithridates. The King attacked the Roman camp, and practically annihilated them, though himself dangerously wounded in the assault.
66 BC  
Battle of Nicopolis (Akbar ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 66, between the Romans, under Pompey, and the army of Mithridates. The Romans had occupied the heights in front of the retreating Asiatics, and Mithridates encamped under their position. In the night the Romans attacked him in his camp, and utterly routed him. This was the last battle fought by Mithdridates against the legions of Rome.

Civil War of Marius and Sulla — 83 to 82 B.C.     to top

Civil war between the parties of Marius and Sulla

83 BC  
Battle of Mount Tifata   Optimates victory
Fought B.C. 83, when the legions of Sulla defeated the army of the Consul, Norbanus, with heavy loss, and drove them to take refuge in Capua.
82 BC  
Battle of Colline Gate   Optimates victory
Fought B.C. 82 between the adherents of Sulla, and the Roman democrats and Samnites under Pontius, outside the walls of Rome. The battle was obstinately contested, but, after a fight lasting throughout the night, the insurgents were routed, and 4,000 prisoners taken. This victory of the aristocratic party ended the civil war.
82 BC  
Battle of Faventia   Optimates victory
Fought B.C. 82, between the consular army of Norbanus, and the Sullans under Metellus. Norbanus attacked with his army wearied by a long march, and his force was totally broken up, only 1,000 remaining with the eagles after the battle.
82 BC  
Battle of Praeneste (Burgundian Wars ) Optimates victory
Fought B.C. 82, between the legions of Sulla and the army of the younger Marius, 40,000 strong. Sulla's veterans were too steady for the newer levies of Marius, and the latter was routed, with the loss of more than half his army killed or captured. After this victory Sulla occupied Rome.

Servile Wars — 71 to 70 B.C.     to top

Slave rebellions in Roman Italy

71 BC  
Battle of Silarus River (Austrians vs. Prussians ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 71 between two Roman legions under Crassus and the remainder of the slave army under Spartacus, who had escaped to Brundisium. The rebels were surrounded and captured at the Silarus river, and over 6,000 were crucified. The Romans then discovered 3000 Roman captives unharmed in the rebel camp.

Roman Conquest of Gaul — 58 to 52 B.C.     to top

Caesar's conquest of Gaul

61 BC  
Battle of Admagetobriga (Eastern Gaul ) Sequani victory
Fought B.C. 61 between the Sequani under Ariovistus, and the Haedui under Eporedorix. The Haedui were defeated, with the loss of the flower of their chivalry, and were compelled to give hostages and pay tribute to Ariovistus.
58 BC  
Battle of Arar (Eastern Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 58 between the Romans under Caesar and the Helvetti, who were crossing the Arar river, against the orders of Rome. The rear-guard was left alone on the near side of the river and attacked by the Romans, with great loss.
58 BC  
Battle of Bibracte (Eastern Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 58, between the Romans under Caesar and a largely superior force of Helvetii. The battle was a momentous one, for a defeat to Caesar meant destruction. He therefore sent away all his officers' horses, giving them to understand that they must stand their ground to the last. In the event, the Helvetii were totally routed, and compelled to submit to the domination of Rome.
58 BC  
Battle of Vosges (Eastern Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 58, between the Romans, 36,000 strong, under Julius Caesar, and the Sequani, under Ariovistus. The Romans occupied two camps, one of which was held successfully by two legions against a determined attack of the Gauls. The attack having been repulsed, Caesar united his forces, and led them against the Sequani, whom he totally routed with enormous loss.
57 BC  
Battle of Sabis River (Eastern Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 57 between the Romans, 50,000 strong, under Caesar, and a large force of Gauls, drawn from the Nervii, Viromandui, Atrebates and other tribes. The Gauls attacked as the Romans were pitching their camp on the banks of the Sambre, but, although surprised, the legionaries stood their ground, and utterly routed their assailants. The Nervii, in particular, were practically annihilated.
57 BC  
Battle of Axona (Northern Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought 57 B.C., between 50,000 Romans, under Caesar, and the Suevi, 300,000 strong, under Galba. The Suevi attacked the Roman entrenched camp, but were repulsed with very heavy loss and their army dispersed.
56 BC  
Battle of Action off Brittany (Northern Gaul ) Romans victory
This, the first sea fight in the Atlantic, was fought B.C. 56, between the Roman fleet under Brutus, and the fleet of the Veneti, consisting of 220 galleys. The Romans were victorious, and the surrender of the Veneti and the whole of Brittany quickly followed.
55 BC  
Battle of Britain (Northern Gaul ) Romans victory
The Romans under Caesar landed in July B.C. 55 off the coast of Briton with 10,000 men, expecting an easy victory. They were met with a significant, but disorganized resistance, and made a difficult landing under fire. After taking hostages, they withdrew, due largely to bad weather.
55 BC  
Battle of Treveri (Northern Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 55, between the Romans, 50,000 strong, under Julius Caesar, and 300,000 Asipetes, a German tribe, who had made a raid into Gall. The Germans were routed with enormous loss; indeed, the action was less a battle than a massacre, and very few succeeded in recrossing the Rhine.
54 BC  
Battle of Britain (Vercingetorix Rebellion ) Romans victory
The Romans under Caesar landed in August B.C. 54 off Britain with 800 ships, 2000 Cavalry, and five legions. The Briton tribes were now united under Cassivellaunus. Instead of opposing the landing the Britons retreated inland, but Caesar pursued, engaging the united Britons at Thames, and then laying siege to the fortress of Cassivellaunus. After winning all engagements, the Romans took hostages and withdrew.
53 BC  
Battle of Adnatuca (Vercingetorix Rebellion ) Gauls victory
Fought B.C. 53, when a Roman force of 9,000 men under Titurius Sabinus was attacked in its camps by the Eburones under Ambiorix. The assault failed, but an offer by Ambiorix of a safe passage to the nearest Roman station was accepted. On the march the Romans were treacherously attacked by the Eburones and cut to pieces, Sabinius being among the slain.
53 BC  
Siege of Avaricum (Vercingetorix Rebellion ) Romans victory
This place was made the headquarters of the revolted Gauls under Vercingetorix, B.C. 53, and was besieged by Caesar, with 50,000 Romans. The place was strongly defended, but supplies ran short, and Vercingetorix attempted to withdraw his troops. In this he was unsuccessful, and the Romans, delivering a vigorous assault, took possession of the town, and massacred the garrison and inhabitants.
52 BC  
Siege of Alesia (Vercingetorix Rebellion ) Romans victory
Siege was laid to the town by the Romans under Caesar, B.C. 52, and it was defended by the Gauls, numbering 80,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry under Vercingetorix, the Romans being about 50,000 strong. An attempt was made by the Belgi, with an army of 260,000 warriors, to relieve the town, but they were met and routed by Labienus with terrific slaughter. This disaster so discouraged the garrison that the town immediately surrendered, Vercingetorix being sent a prisoner to Rome, where five years later he was beheaded as a rebellious subject of Rome.
52 BC  
Battle of Gergovia (Vercingetorix Rebellion ) Gauls victory
Fought B.C. 52, between the Romans under Julius Caesar, and the Gauls under Vercingetorix. Caesar was besieging the town, but was compelled to retreat. Before retiring, however, he delivered an assault which was repulsed by the Gauls, the Romans leaving over 700 legionaries, and 46 centurions dead on the field.
52 BC  
Battle of Agedincum (Conquest of Cisalpine Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 52, between the Romans under Labienus, and the Celts under Camalogenus. Labienus was endeavoring to effect a junction with Caesar, which the Celts were opposing, and Labienus, crossing the Marne in face of their army, inflicted upon them a severe defeat, in which Camalogenus fell.

Caesarean Civil War — 49 to 31 B.C.     to top

Civil war between triggered by Caesar's return to Rome; continuing through the early reign of Augustus Caesar

49 BC  
Battle of Llerda (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
In June of B.C.49, Caesar led his army into Spain to confront several legions loyal to the republicans, led by Afranius, and Varro. Instead of engaging in a pitched battled he surrounded the legions, and forced them to surrender.
49 BC  
Battle of Bagradas (Caesar vs Pompey ) Republicans victory
Fought B.C. 49, between the Caesareans under Curio and the Numidians under Juba and Saburra, who adhered to the fortunes of Pompey. The Roman cavalry was cut to pieces, before the legionaries could come to its assistance, and eventually the Romans were surrounded, and cut down to a man, Curio being amongst the slain. This victory left the Pompeians masters of Africa.
49 BC  
Battle of Curicta (Caesar vs Pompey ) Republicans victory
Fought B.C. 49, when the Caesarian fleet under Dolabella was totally destroyed by the Pompeian fleet under Marcus Octavius. This victory cut off the Caesarian army under Caius Antonius, which was quartered on the island of Curicta, and Antonius was forced to surrender.
49 BC  
Siege of Massilia (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
This city was besieged by Ceasarean army and navy in the summer of B.C. 49 when they refused to open their gates to the conqueror. Caesar left the siege to be conducted by his generals while he marched to Llerda. The town surrendered after a naval battle.
49 BC  
Battle of Utica (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
Fought B.C. 49 between the Pompeians, under Varus, and the Caesarians, under Curio. Varus sallied from his entrenchments to attack the Caesarians, but was signally defeated, his troops fleeing in disorder, and opening the way for the occupation of Utica by Varus.
48 BC  
Battle of Pharsalus (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
Fought August 9, B.C. 48, between the Pompeians, 60,000 strong, under Pompey, and Caesareans, 25,000 strong, under Caesar. The Pompeian cavalry drove back that of Caesar, but following in pursuit, were thrown into confusion by the legionaries, whereupon they turned and fled from the field; the infantry followed and the battle became a rout, in which 15,000 Pompeians, and only 200 Caesareans fell. After the battle, 20,000 Pompeians surrendered.
48 BC  
Battle of Alexandria (Alexandrian War ) Caesareans victory
Fought summer of B.C. 48 between a small force of Romans under Caesar on behalf of Cleopatra, against the Egyptian forces of Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra's cause prevailed and her brother and rival was drowned.
48 BC  
Battle of Dyrrachium (Caesar vs Pompey ) Republicans victory
Fought B.C. 48, between the Caesarians, under Julius Caesar, and the Pompeians, under Pompey. The latter having formed an entrenched camp some distance from Dyrrachium, Caesar interposed his army between the camp and the town. This interrupted Pompey's communications, and he, in consequence, attacked the Caesarian lines, which he forced, at the cost of 1,000 men, and obliged Caesar to retire.
47 BC  
Battle of Ziela (Bosporan Rebellion ) Caesareans victory
Fought August 2, B.C. 47, between 7 Roman legions, with some Asiatic auxiliaries, under Julius Caesar, and the Bosporans, under Pharnaces. Pharnaces attacked the Romans while they were pitching camp, but the legionaries quickly formed up, and utterly routed their assailants. This is the occasion of Caesar's famous despatch, "Veni, vidi, vici."
47 BC  
Battle of Nicopolis (Bosporan Rebellion ) Bosporus victory
Fought B.C. 47, when Domitius Calvinus, with one Roman legion and a contingent of Pontic and other Asiatic troops, encountered the Bosporans, under Pharnaces. Calvinus' Asiatic troops fled at the first onset, and he was completely defeated, only the steadiness of the Romans saving him from disaster.
47 BC  
Battle of Tauris (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
Fought B.C. 47, between the Pompeian fleet, under Marcus Octavius, and the Caesareans, under Publius Vatinius. The Caesarean fleet consisted of merchant vessels, temporarily equipped with beaks, but Vatinius, though his ships were inferior both in number and quality, boldly attacked the Pompeians, and after severe fighting, completely defeated them, compelling Octavius to abandon the Adriatic.
46 BC  
Battle of Ruspina (Caesar vs Republicans ) Republicans victory
Fought January 3, 46 B.C., between Julius Caesar, with three legions, and a force of Pompeians, composed entirely of cavalry and archers, under Labienus. Caesar's troops were surrounded, but behaving with extreme steadiness, were able to retire to Ruspina in good order, though with very heavy loss.
46 BC  
Battle of Thapsus (Caesar vs Republicans ) Caesareans victory
Fought April 6, B.C. 46, between the Caesareans, consisting of 10 legions, under Julius Caesar, and the Pompeians, 14 legions, in addition to cavalry, light troops, and 100 elephants, under Metellus Scipio and Juba. The Ceasareans were victorius, and by this victory took control of North Africa. Cato the Younger committed suicide after the loss of his army
45 BC  
Battle of Munda (Caesar vs Republicans ) Caesareans victory
Fought March 17, B.C. 45, between the Pompeians, under Cnaeus Pompeius, and the Caesareans, under Julius Caesar. The Pompeians were totally defeated, losing 30,000 men, including Labienus and Varro, while the Caesareans lost 1,000 only. Cnaeus Pompey was wounded. This defeat put an end to the resistance of the Pompeian faction in Spain, and the action is further notable as being Caesar's last battle.
43 BC  
Siege of Mutina (Second Triumvirate ) Octavius victory
Fought April 16, 43 B.C., between the adherents of Antony, and three Consular armies, under Hirtius, Octavius, and Vibius Pansa. Antony, who was besieging Mutina, was attacked simultaneously by the three armies. That of Pansa was routed, and Pansa slain but Octavius and Hirtius gained some small success. Antony, however, was undefeated, and continued the siege. On the 27th Octavius and Hirtius made a combined attack on his lines, and succeeded in forcing their way through into the town, though Hirtius fell in the action.
42 BC  
Battle of Philippi (Second Triumvirate ) Triumvirs victory
Fought B.C. 42, between the Republicans, under Brutus and Cassius, 100,000 strong, and the army of the Triumvirs, about equal in numbers, under Octavius and Mark Antony. Brutus on the right repulsed the legions of Octavius, and penetrated into his camp. Cassius, however, was overthrown by Antony, and would have been overwhelmed but for the arrival of aid from the successful right wing. The action was renewed on the second day, when the Triumvirs were completely victorious, and the Republican army dispersed. Brutus committed suicide on the field of battle.
41 BC  
Siege of Perusia (Second Triumvirate ) Octavius victory
This city was besieged in B.C. 41 by the forces of Octavius. It was the stronghold of Lucius Antonius, and Fulvia, the brother and wife of Mark Antony, who had tried to raise a rebellion against Octavius during Antony's absence in the east. The town was taken, and Fulvia died in exile, but Lucius was freed.
36 BC  
Battle of Naulachus (Sicilian Campaign ) Caesareans victory
Fought September 3, B.C. 36, between the Pompeian fleet of 300 ships, under Sextus Pornpeius, and the fleet of the Triumvirs, of equal strength, under Agrippa. The action was severely contested, but in the end Agrippa was victorious, and Pompeius fled with 17 vessels only.
36 BC  
Battle of Mylex (Sicilian Campaign ) Caesareans victory
Fought B.C. 36, between the Pompeian fleet, under Sextus Pompeius, and the fleet of the Triumvirs, under Agrippa. The Pompeians were defeated.
31 BC  
Battle of Actium (Second Triumvirate ) Octavius victory
Fought September 2, B.C. 31, between the fleet of Antony, 460 galleys, and that of Octavius, about 250 sail, but much lighter and less well manned than those of Antony. The battle was fiercely contested, with varying fortune; but at a critical moment Cleopatra ordered the Egyptian admiral to make sail, and with 60 galleys withdrew from the fight. She was followed by Antony, and his fleet, discouraged by his flight, surrendered after ten hours' fighting. The Octavians captured 300 galleys, and 5,000 Antonians fell in the action. A few days later Antony's land army of 120,000 men laid down their arms.

Roman Germanic Wars — 11 to 16     to top

Germans frustrate Rome's ambition to expand its territories beyond the Rhine.

11 BC  
Battle of Lippe   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 11 between the Romans, under Drusus, and the Sicambri, Suevi and Cherusii. The Romans were largely out-numbered and surrounded, and so certain were the Germans of victory, that they had already apportioned the spoil among the various tribes. Drusus, however, attacked the barbarians vigorously, and totally routed them with very heavy loss.
Battle of the Main   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 9, when the Romans, under Drusus, attacked and totally routed the Marcomanni, driving them to the eastward and occupying their territory.
Battle of Teutoburg Forest   Germans victory
The site of this famous battle is supposed to be between the rivers Ems and Lippe, not far from the modern Detmoldt. In A.D. 9 the Roman army, under Quintilius Varus, was attacked while on the march and encumbered by a heavy baggage-train, by the Germans, under Arminius or Hermann. The country was thickly wooded and marshy, and the Romans could make but little defense, with the result that they were almost annihilated. Varus committed suicide on the field to avoid falling into the hands of the victors.
Battle of Idistavisus   Romans victory
Fought 16, between 8 Roman legions, under Germanicus, and the Germans, under Arminius. The Germans attacked the Romans in the open plain, but failed against the superior discipline of the legionaries, and were routed with enormous loss. Arminius with difficulty cut his way out of the press and escaped.

Roman Conquest of Britain — 55 to 84     to top

Roman conquest of Britain

Battle of Medway   Romans victory
Fought A.D. 43, between the Romans under the Emperor Claudius, and the Britons under Caractacus. The Britons were routed, and Camelodunum, Caractacus' capital, taken.
Battle of Caer Caradoc   Romans victory
Fought A.D. 50, between the Romans under Ostorius, and the Britons under Caratacus. The Britons were strongly entrenched in a high position and showered the Romans with arrows, but the strong armor of the Romans protected them, and the Britons, who could not prevail in hand-to-hand combat, were routed. Caractacus escaped, but was later turned over the Romans in chains, by a Briton Queen who had already submitted.
Battle of the Ordovici   Romans victory
Fought A.D. 50, between the Romans, under Ostorius Scapula, and the Britons, under Caractacus. The Britons occupied the slope of a hill, where they were attacked by the Romans and totally routed. Caractacus fled to the Brigantes, by whom he was surrendered, and sent a captive to Rome.
Battle of Watling street   Romans victory
In the year 61 A.D., Suetonius, with 10,000 legionaries, totally routed an enormous host of Britons under Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, who had sacked Camelodunum, and taken Londinium and Verulamium. The Britons lost 80,000 killed, and Boadicea took poison on the battlefield.
Battle of the Grampians   Romans victory
Fought A.D. 84, probably on the Moor of Ardoch, between the Romans under Agricola, and the Caledonians, 30,000 strong, under Galgacus. The Caledonians attacked with great bravery, but were beaten by the superiority of the Roman discipline, and retired with a loss of 10,000 men. The Romans also lost heavily.

Roman Jewish Wars — 66 to 135     to top

Roman suppression of Jewish Rebellion

Battle of Bezetha   Jews victory
Fought October, 66, when the Romans under Cestius Gallus were attacked by the populace of Jerusalem, and driven out of their camp, with a loss of 6,000 men and all their baggage and siege train.
Siege of Jotapata   Romans victory
This place was besieged by Vespasian, with 60,000 Romans, December, 67, and was defended by the Jewish army under Josephus. The fortress held out for 47 days, when it was stormed and sacked. Josephus gave himself up to Vespasian.
Siege of Jerusalem (Second ) Romans victory
This city was besieged by Titus, with 60,000 Romans, in March, 70 A.D. It was defended with the utmost heroism by the Jews, who were led by the Zealot faction. At the end of six weeks Titus gained possession of the suburb of Dezetha, and then by hard fighting, captured position after position, until on September 8, the resistance of the defenders was finally overcome. Josephus says that 1,100,000 persons perished in the siege, but this is doubtless an exaggeration. The Romans after the capture sold 97,000 into slavery.

Year of the Four Emperors — 69 to 70     to top

Civil wars following the death of Nero for control of the Roman Empire.

Battle of Bedriacum (Revolt of Vitellius ) Vitellians victory
Fought April 14, 69, between the legions of the Emperor Otho and the Vitellians under Valens. The Imperial troops were utterly routed, and driven back to their camp, which they surrendered to the Vitellians on the following day.
Battle of Cremona (Afrikaner-Zulu Wars ) Flavians victory
Fought December 69, between the Vitellians, and the Flavians under Antonius Primus, 40,000 strong. The Vitellians, who were without a leader, having deposed their general, Caecina, were attacked in their camp, and after a hard fight, which lasted throughout the night, were totally routed. The victors sacked and burnt Cremona.
Battle of Campus Castorum (Revolt of Viteltius ) Vitellians victory
Fought in 69 between the revolted legionaries, 70,000 strong, under Valens and Caecina, and the army of the Emperor Otho under Suetonius Paulinus. The Imperial troops gained some advantage, but Suetonius did not consider himself strong enough to follow it up, and was relieved of his command by Otho.
Battle of Bingen (Revolt of Vitellius ) Romans victory
In the year 70, Petilius Cerialis, who, with four Roman legions, had crossed the Alps from Switzerland, surprised the revolted Gauls under Tutor, in their camp at Bingen. The Gallic legionaries in Tutor's army deserted to the Romans, and Tutor was totally defeated.

Roman Conquest of Dacia — 87 to 105     to top

Roman conquest of Dacia

Battle of Tapae   Romans victory
Two battles Fought 87/88 between a Roman army under Fuscus and Julianus, and the Dacians under Decebaulus. In the earlier campaign the Romans were ambushed and beaten. In the following campaign they were more successful, but concluded a peace with Dacia before completely subduing the region.
Battle of Tapae   Romans victory
Fought 101, between the Dacians, under Decebalus, and the Romans, under Trajan. The Dacians were utterly routed, and driven across the river with heavy loss.
Battle of Sarmizegethusa   drawn battle victory
Fought winter 102, between the Dacians under Decbalus and the Romans under Trajan. Both sides suffered heavy casualties and there was no decisive victory. Decebalus however, sued for a truce, and Rome gained tolerably favorable terms.
Siege of Sarmizegethusa (Defeat of Varus ) Romans victory
The capital of Dacia was besieged in 105. After cutting off their water supplies, most of the garrison fled the city, leaving all of Dacia in the hands of the Romans.

Parthian Wars—53 BC to 222 AD

Wars between Rome and the Parthian Empire.

53 BC  
Battle of Carrhae (Parthian War ) Parthians victory
Fought B.C. 53, between the Romans, 52,000 strong, under Publius Crassus, and the Parthians under Sillaces. The Parthians, who were entirely cavalry, adopted their usual tactics of retiring and drawing their foes in pursuit. As the heavily armed legionaries became strung out across the plain, they turned upon them and cut them down in detail. Of the division, 6,000 strong, which actually came into action, 500 were made prisoners, and the rest, including Crassus, slain.
53 BC  
Battle of Sinnaca (Parthian War ) Parthians victory
At this place the remnants of the army of Crassus, after the battle of Carrhae, B.C. 53, surrendered to the Parthians. Only 5,000 men were with the eagles.
36 BC  
Battle of Phraaspa (Parthian War ) drawn battle victory
Fought B.C. 36 between Roman forces under Antony and a Parthian army under Phraates IV. Artavasdes, the king of Armenia had allied himself with Antony in order to revenge himself upon his enemy, the Medes, but he deserted before the battle, leaving the Romans exposed. The battle was drawn, but Antony's army suffered heavy casualties on the retreat
Siege of Ctesiphon (Parthian War ) Romans victory
This city was taken in 116 by a Roman army under Trajan. However, it was returned the following year, when Hadrian needed to withdraw from the territories conquered by his predecessor.
Siege of Hatra (Parthian War ) Parthians victory
This city was besieged in 117 by a Roman army under Trajan. Although he had conquered much of the surrounding territory, he did not take the city. He suffered a heat-stroke and had to return immediately to Rome, in failing health. His successor withdrew from the territory.
Siege of Ctesiphon (Parthian War ) Romans victory
This city was besieged and taken in 164 by a Roman army under Avidius Cassius, but later abandoned.
Siege of Ctesiphon (Parthian War ) Romans victory
This city was taken and sacked in 197 by a Roman army under Septimius Severus. He carried of over 100,000 inhabitants, many of whom were sold into slavery.
Battle of Nisibis (Roman vs. Sassanid ) Parthians victory
The Romans under Macrinus met the Parthians under Artabatus V near Nisibis, but were defeated. The Parthains had over-run Roman controlled territory in Mesopotamia. Macrinus, who had other border troubles to contend with, was forced to pay a large indemnity to keep peace in the region.

Civil Wars of the Roman Empire — 194 to 398     to top

Civil wars during the Imperial Era of Rome.

Battle of Issus (Wars of Severans ) Severus victory
Fought in 194, after a previous engagement at Nicaea between the Imperial forces of Septimus Severus and his rival, Pescennius Niger, who was acclaimed emperor by his legions in Syria. Severus won decisively, and Niger was later killed while attempting to flee to Parthia.
Battle of Lugdunum (Wars of Severans ) Severus victory
Fought 197 between the legions of Britain, under Clodius Albinus, and the legions of Pannonia, under Severus, both generals having been proclaimed Emperor by their respective troops on the death of Pertinax. Albinus was defeated and slain.
Battle of Antioch (Wars of Severans ) Elagabalus victory
Fought June 7, 218, between the Syrian legions, under Elagabalus, and the Imperial troops and Pretorians, under the Emperor Macrinus. The Pretorians, by their superior valour and discipline, broke the legions opposed, and the victory would have been theirs, but at the crisis of the fight, Macrinus fled, and this so discouraged his troops, that in the end they were totally defeated.
Battle of Châlons (Military Anarchy ) Aurelian victory
Fought 271, between the troops of the Emperor Aurelian, and the revolted legions under Tetricus. Tetricus, who was only a puppet in the hands of his soldiers, concerted measures with Aurelian for their destruction, and so posted his forces as to give the Emperor the advantage, after which he deserted, with a few followers. The revolted legionaries fought desperately, but were cut to pieces.
Battle of Antioch (Expedition to Palmyra ) Romans victory
Fought 272, between the Palmyrenians under Zenobia, and the Romans under the Emperor Aurelian. Zenobia's heavy cavalry defeated and drove from the field the Roman horse, but her infantry was unable to withstand the charge of the legionaries, and she was totally defeated.
Battle of Emesa (Expedition to Palmyra ) Romans victory
Fought 272, between the Romans under Aurelian, and the Palmyrenians under Zenobia. Zenobia was completely defeated, and forced to retire within the walls of Palmyra, to which Aurelian at once laid siege.
Siege of Palmyra (Expedition to Palmyra ) Romans victory
This city was besieged by the Romans, under Aurelian, after the defeat of Zenobia at Emesa in 272. An obstinate defense was made by the Queen, but Aurelian being reinforced by Probus early in 273, Zenobia fled from the city and the place was captured. Zenobia failed to escape, and was brought into Aurelian's camp. During his return march, Aurelian learned that the citizens had risen, and massacred the Governor and the garrison he had left in the place. He thereupon retraced his steps, and destroyed the city, sparing neither young nor old.
Battle of Margus (Military Anarchy ) Diocletian victory
Fought May, 285, between the legions of the Emperor Carinus and those of Diocletian, who had been raised to the purple by his soldiers. The troops of Diocletian, wasted by the Persian War, were all but overpowered by the fresher legions of Carinus, but the defection during the battle of one of his generals turned the scale, and Carinus himself being killed by an officer whom he had wronged, Diocletian gained a complete victory.
Battle of Mulvian Bridge (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
Fought October 28, 312, between the Imperial troops, under Constantine, and the legions of Italy, under Maxentius. The Italian cavalry, posted on the wings, was routed by Constantine's horse; the infantry, thus left unsupported, fled from the field, only the Pretorians making a brave resistance, and dying where they stood. Maxentius escaped, but crossing the Tiber into Rome by the Milvian Bridge, was forced by the crowd of fugitives into the river and drowned.
Battle of Turin (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
Fought 312, between the legions of Gaul, 40,000 strong, under Constantine, and the troops of Maxentius, considerably superior in number. The charge of Maxentius' heavy cavalry failed, and he was driven back into Turin with enormous loss.
Siege of Verona (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
This place was besieged 312 by Constantine, with the legions of Gaul, and was defended by a body of rebels, under Pompeianus. After a sortie had been repulsed, Pompeianus escaped through Constantine's lines, and raised a force for the relief of the city. He was, however, met and defeated by Constantine, many thousands of the Italians, including their leader, falling, and Verona at once surrendered.
Battle of Tzirallum (Wars of Constantine ) Licinius victory
Fought 313, between the Illyrians, under Licinius, afterwards Emperor of the East, and the troops of the reigning Emperor Maximinus. Licinius was marching with 30,000 men to the relief of Heraclea, when he was attacked by Maximinus, with 70,000. Licinius was at first driven back by weight of numbers, but his skill, and the steadiness of his troops, enabled him to rally, and eventually Maximinus was defeated with heavy loss.
Battle of Cibalis (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
Fought October 8, 315, between Constantine the Great, with 20,000 men, and Licinius, Emperor of the East, with 35,000. Constantine was posted in a defile, where he was attacked by Licinius. The attack was repulsed, and Constantine followed the enemy into the open plain, where Licinius rallied his troops, and resumed the offensive. The day seemed lost, when a charge of the right wing, under Constantine in person, once more broke the Illyrians, and Licinius having lost 20,000 of his best troops, abandoned his camp during the night and retreated to Sirmium.
Battle of Mardis (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
Fought 315, shortly after the battle of Cibalis, between Constantine, Emperor of the West, and Licinius, Emperor of the East. Constantine moved a body of 5,000 men round his opponent's flank, and attacked him simultaneously in front and rear. The Illyrian veterans formed a double front, and held their ground, though with heavy loss, till nightfall, when Licinius, having lost thousands of his best troops, drew off his army towards the mountains of Macedonia. The consequence of this defeat was the acquisition by Constantine of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Dacia, Macedonia and Greece.
Battle of Hadrianople (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
Fought July 3, 323, between Constantine, Emperor of the West, with 120,000 troops, and Licinius, Emperor of the East, with 165,000. Licinius, by the skilful maneuvering of Constantine, was enticed from his entrenched camp into the open plain, and his raw levies being powerless against the Western veterans, he was totally defeated, It is said that 34,000 perished in the battle.
Battle of Hellespont (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
Fought 323, between the fleet of Constantine the Great, consisting of 200 small galleys, under Crispus, and that of Licinius, numbering 350 sail, under Amandus. After two days' hard fighting, Crispus forced the passage of the Hellespont, and totally routed the Eastern fleet, with a loss of 130 ships and 5,000 men.
Battle of Chrysopolis (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
Fought 323 between 60,000 troops under Licinius, Emperor of the East, and a force detached by Constantine from the siege of Byzantium. Licinius was totally defeated, with a loss of 25,000, and surrendered. The result of this victory was the reunion of the whole of the Roman Empire under one head.
Siege of Byzantium (Wars of Constantine ) Constantine victory
In 323 the city was besieged by Constantine the Great after his victory over Licinius at Hadrianopolis. Licinius, finding the place difficult of defense, crossed into Asia and collected an army to raise the siege. He was, however, defeated at Chrysopolis, and Byzantium surrendered in 324. Constantine was proclaimed Emperor of the united Empire, and Byzantium, under its modern name of Constantinople, was made the capital.
Battle of Mursa (Wars of Constantine's Sons ) Constantius victory
Fought September 28, 351, between the usurper Magnentius, with 100,000 troops, and the Emperor Constantius, with 80,000. The battle was severely contested, but finally the legions of Magnentius were driven from the field with a loss of 24,000; that of the victors amounting to 30,000.
Battle of Mount Seleucus (Wars of Constantine's Sons ) Constantius victory
Fought August 10, 353, between the rebels, under Magnentius, and the Imperial legions, under Constantius. Constantius forced the passage of the Cottian Alps, and defeated Magnentius in a sanguinary battle, which dispersed his army and finally broke his power, Gaul and Italy being thus again brought under the Imperial sway.
Battle of Save (Wars of Valentinians ) Theodosius victory
Fought in 388 between the forces of Roman usurper Magnus Maximus and the Eastern Roman Empire. Emperor Theodosius I defeated Magnus Maximus in battle. Later Maximus was captured and executed.
Battle of Frigidus (Wars of Valentinians ) Theodosius victory
Fought September 6 and 7, 394, between Theodosius, Emperor of the East, and Eugenius, the usurping Emperor of the West, whose army was commanded by Arbogastes. The first day's fighting went against Theodosius, who was only saved by darkness from a severe reverse, but during the night a force sent by Arbogastes to secure the passes in Theodosius' rear, deserted to his standard, and thus reinforced and aided by a dust storm which blew in the faces of his antagonists and disordered their ranks, he on the following day gained a signal victory.
Battle of Tabraca (Wars of Valentinians ) Romans victory
Fought 398, between 5,000 picked Roman legionaries, under Mascazel, and the revolted Africans, 70,000 strong, under Gildo. At the first onslaught of the legionaries, all the Roman soldiers serving under Gildo deserted, and the Africans taking to flight, Mascazel gained an almost bloodless victory. Gildo was captured and committed suicide in prison.

Roman Sassanid Empire Wars—243 to 627 AD

Wars between Rome and the Sassanid Empire for control of Mesopotamia.

Battle of Resaena (Roman vs. Sassanid ) Romans victory
Fought 243, between the Romans under Timesitheus, and the Persians under Shapur I. The Romans were victorious in regaining much of the territory lost during their civil wars.
Battle of Edessa (Roman vs. Sassanid ) Persians victory
Fought 259, between the Romans under Valerian, and the Persians under Sapor I. The Romans were totally defeated, and Valerian taken prisoner.
Battle of Carrhae2 (Roman vs. Sassanid ) Persians victory
In 296, the Persians under Narses won a victory over Romans under Galerius.
Battle of Armenia (Roman vs. Sassanid ) Romans victory
In 297, the Romans under Galerius won a victory over the Persians under Narses. Galerius won a great deal of booty from the Persians, including the Harem of Harses.
Battle of Ctesiphon   Romans victory
This city was taken in 297 by the Romans when Galerius won a major victory outside of its walls. It was returned to the Persian king Narses in exchange for Armenia in a negotiated peace settlement.
Siege of Nisibis (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Romans victory
This fortress, known as the Bulwark of the East, was thrice besieged in 338, 346 and 350 by Sapor II, King of Persia. In the two former years he was compelled to retire after a siege of 60 and 80 days respectively, In 350 the city was defended by a garrison under Lucilianus, and Sapor, finding the ordinary methods unavailing, diverted the course of the Mygdonius, and by building dams formed a large lake, upon which he placed a fleet of armed vessels, and attacked the city almost from the level of the ramparts. Under pressure of the water a portion of the wall gave way, and the Persians at once delivered an assault, but were repulsed; and by the following day the garrison had rebuilt the wall. At the end of about three months, Sapor, having lost 20,000 men, raised the siege.
Battle of Singara (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Persians victory
Fought 348, between the Romans, under Constantius, and the Persians, in largely superior force, under Sapor II. The Persian king, having posted the major part of his army on the heights overlooking Singara, engaged the Romans with a comparatively small force of light-armed troops, who were easily routed by the legionaries. The pursuit, however, was carried too far, and when night fell, the Romans, exhausted by their efforts, bivouacked under the heights. During the night, Sapor led his best troops to the attack, and routed the weary Romans, with terrible slaughter.
Siege of Amida (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Persians victory
This fortress, defended by a Roman garrison, was besieged, and after a vigorous defense taken by storm by the Persians under Sapor II in 359. The garrison and inhabitants were put to the sword. The siege, which lasted 73 days, cost the Persians 30,000 men, and so weakened Sapor that he was compelled to relinquish his designs upon the Eastern Empire.
Siege of Singara (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Persians victory
This fortress, held by a Roman garrison, was captured, after a brief siege, by the Persians, under Sapor II, in 360. The garrison was sent into captivity and the fortress dismantled.
Battle of Ctesiphon (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Persians victory
Fought June 28, 363, between the Romans, under Julian, and the Persians, under Sapor II. Julian had advanced against Ctesiphon, the Persian capital, but finding himself too weak to attack it, was retreating along the left bank of the Tigris. In the course of the retreat he was attacked by the Persians, and worsted in an action unimportant in itself, but resulting in the death of Julian, who was mortally wounded in the skirmish. The election of Jovian as Emperor was followed by a peace which restored to Sapor almost all the Roman conquests in Persia.
Siege of Perisabor (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Romans victory
This fortress, defended by an Assyrian and Persian garrison, was captured, May, 363, by the Romans, under Julian. The fortress was dismantled and the town destroyed.
Siege of Maogamalcha (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Romans victory
This fortress, defended by a Persian garrison, and considered impregnable, was besieged by the Romans under the Emperor Julian in 363. A mine was carried from the trenches under the ramparts, and three cohorts broke through into the streets, whereupon the garrison deserted the ramparts and the besiegers entered. The place was sacked, and afterwards razed to the ground.
Battle of Tigris (Parthian War ) Romans victory
Fought 363, when the Romans under Julian, crossed the Tigris in the face of a large Persian army, strongly entrenched on the opposite bank. At the first assault, though an attempt at a surprise failed, the Romans stormed the Persian lines, and after 12 hours' fighting, drove them from the field. The Romans only admitted a loss of 75 men, while they claimed that the Persians lost 6,000 killed.
Battle of Avarayr (Bahram's Revolt ) Persians victory
Fought May 26, 451 between 66,000 Armenians, under Saint Vartan, and 200,000 Sassanids under Yazdegerd. The Armenians were Christians and the battle came about when Yazdegerd II, the Sassanid king declared that the Armenians would have to adopt Zorastrianism, the state religion of the Sassanid Empire. The Armenians applied to the Byzantine Empire for help but aid did not arrive in time, and the Sassanids won a commanding victory against the rebels. Nevertheless, the Armenian cause was ultimately won, and the Christians were allowed to continue to practice their religion. Saint Vartan and many of the other Armenian leaders were killed in the conflict.
Siege of Amida (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Persians victory
The fortress was again besieged by the Persians under Kobad in 503, being defended as before by a Roman garrison. After a defense of three months, which cost the besiegers 50,000 men, a weakly defended tower was surprised at night, and on the following day the Persians, headed by their King, scaled the walls, and massacred 80,000 of the garrison and inhabitants.
Battle of Daras (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Byzantines victory
Fought 530, between 25,000 Byzantines, Heruli and Huns under Belisarius, and about 40,000 Persians under Baresmanes. The fighting on the first day was inconclusive, and 10,000 more Persians arrived during the next day. Belisarius hid part of his cavalry and split the Persians in two, trapping half of them. He won a decisive victory, but most of the Persians escaped from the field.
Battle of Callinicum (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Persians victory
Fought April 19, 531 between 25,000 Byzantines and Arabs under Belisarius, and 15,000 Persians under Sepahbod Azarethes. The Persians broke through the Roman flank but were too weak to follow up their victory, and withdrew.
Siege of Petra (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Byzantines victory
This strong fortress, garrisoned by 1,500 Persians, was besieged by the Romans, 8,000 strong, under Dagisteus, in 549. After a series of unsuccessful assaults the Romans succeeded in bringing down a large portion of the outer wall by mining. By this time the garrison was reduced to 400, but Dagisteus, delaying to storm the fortress, the Persians succeeded in throwing in reinforcements, which brought the garrison up to 3,000. Meanwhile all the breaches had been repaired, and the Romans had to undertake a second siege. At last a breach was effected, and after very severe fighting the besiegers effected a lodgment. Of the defenders 700 fell in the second siege, and 1,070 in the storm, while of 700 prisoners, only 18 were unwounded. Five hundred retreated to the citadel, and held out to the last, perishing in the flames when it was fired by the Romans.
Battle of Melitene (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Byzantines victory
Fought 578, between the Imperial troops, under Tiberius, and the Persians, under Chosroes. After a somewhat indecisive battle, at the end of which each side had held its ground, Chosroes, owing to his heavy losses, found it necessary to retire during the night. The battle was, however, signalized by an exploit of a Scythian chief, in command of the Roman left wing, who at the head of his cavalry charged through the Persian ranks, plundered the royal tent, and then cut his way out through the opposing hosts.
Battle of Solachon (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Byzantines victory
Fought 586, near Dara, Syria, between the Byzantines, led by Philippicus (brother-in-law of Emperor Maurice), and the Persians. The Persians were defeated.
Battle of the Zab (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Byzantines victory
Fought 590, between the troops of the Persian usurper Bahram, and the army of the Emperor Maurice, under Narses. The usurper's forces were totally routed, and Chosroes II restored to the throne of Persia.
Siege of Jerusalem (Byzantine vs. Sassinid ) Persians victory
The Jews of Palestine, who had been banned from Jerusalem since the end of the Roman-Jewish Wars, resolved to joined Persia in its bid to conquer the city. They Byzantine garrison fell after a 20 day siege to a combined force of Persians and Jews. The Jews were given autonomy to run the city for five years, but then, anticipating a reconquest by Byzantines, offered to give up the city in return for amnesty.
Battle of Nineveh (East Empire vs. Sassinid ) Byzantines victory
Fought December 1, 627, between the Imperial troops, under the Emperor Heraclius, and the Persians, under Rhazates, the general of Chosroes II. The Persians stood their ground manfully throughout the day and far into the night, and were almost annihilated before the surviving remnant retreated in good order to their camp. The Romans also lost heavily, but the victory opened the way to the royal city of Destigerd, which fell into the hands of Heraclius, and peace was made the following year.

Alemanni Wars — 268 to 378     to top

Romans repel invasion of Alemanni

Battle of Lake Benacus   Romans victory
Fought November 268 between 35,000 Romans under Claudius II, and 100,000 Alemanni. The Alamanni had broken through the Roman frontier at Brenner pass while the Romans were fighting the Goths at Naissus. Claudius routed the Alemmani, killing over half, and driving the reminder back over the Alps.
Battle of Pavia   Romans victory
Fought 271, between the Romans under Aurelian and the German invaders. Aurelian gained a signal victory and the Alemanni recrossed the frontier.
Battle of Placentia   Alemanni victory
Fought 271, between the Romans, under Aurelian, and the invading Alemanni. The barbarians attacked the Romans in the dusk of evening, after a long and fatiguing march, and threw them into disorder, but they were rallied by the Emperor, and after severe fighting, succeeded in beating off their assailants, but with great loss.
Battle of Argentoratum   Romans victory
Fought August, 357, between 13,000 Romans under Julian, and a vastly superior army of Alemanni under Chnodomar. The Romans attacked the German lines shortly before nightfall, after a long march, and though the right wing, under Julian, was at first driven in, they were rallied by their general, and the left and centre pressing on, the Alemanni were totally routed, with a loss of 6,000, in addition to those who fell in the flight. The Romans lost 4 tribunes and 243 soldiers; only Chnodomar was taken prisoner.
Battle of Châlons   Romans victory
Fought July 366 between the Romans under Jovinus, and the Alemanni under Vadomair. After an obstinate engagement, lasting throughout the day, the Alemanni were routed with a loss of 6,000 killed and 4,000 prisoners. The Romans lost 1,200.
Battle of Argentaria   Romans victory
Fought May, 378, between the Romans under Gratianus and the Alemanni under Priarius. The Alemanni were overwhelmed by the Roman legionaries, though they stood their ground bravely, and only 5,000 escaped from the field. Priarius was slain.

Visigoth Wars — 251 to 711     to top

Wars of the Visigoths in the Balkans, Italy, and Spain

Siege of Philippopolis (Invasion of Dacia ) Goths victory
This city was besieged, 251, by the Goths, under Cniva, and after a gallant defense, and the defeat of an attempt by Decius to relieve it, was stormed and sacked. It is said that 100,000 of the garrison and inhabitants perished in the siege and subsequent massacre.
Siege of Forum Terebronii (Invasion of Dacia ) Goths victory
Fought 251, between the Romans under Decius, and the Goths under Cuiva. The Gothic army was drawn up in three lines, and the legionaries overthrew the first two, but, in attacking the third, they became entangled in a morass, and were utterly routed. Decius and his son were slain.
Battle of Naissus   Romans victory
Fought 269 between the Imperial troops, under the Emperor Claudius Gothicus, and the invading Goths. The Romans were hard pressed, when the Gothic lines were attacked in the rear by a force of 5,000 men, which Claudius had concealed for this purpose in the neighboring mountains, and being thrown into confusion, were totally routed. Fifty thousand men are said to have fallen in the battle.
Battle of Marcianopolis (Fritigern ) Goths victory
Fought 376, between the Romans, under Lupicinus, and the Goths, under Fritigern. The Romans were totally defeated, but stood their ground to the last, and were cut to pieces almost to a man. Lupicinus fled as soon as the ultimate success of the Goths became apparent.
Battle of Hadrianople (Invasion of Dacia ) Goths victory
Fought August 9, 378, between the Romans, under the Emperor Valens, and the Goths, under Fritigern. The Roman cavalry fled from the field, and the legionaries were surrounded and ridden down by the overwhelming masses of the Gothic horse. Two thirds of the legionaries, and 9 great officers and tribunes perished. Valens was carried off the field wounded, but the hut in which he was lying was fired, and he perished in the flames.
Battle of Verona (Alaric ) Romans victory
Fought June of 402 by Visigoths, under Alaric, and a Roman force led by Stilicho. Alaric was defeated and withdrew from Italy.
Battle of Pollentia (Alaric ) Romans victory
Fought March 29, 403, between the Goths, under Alaric, and the Romans, under Stilicho. Stilicho attacked the Gothic camp while they were celebrating the festival of Easter, and owing to the surprise, the charge of the Roman cavalry threw them into confusion. They were, however, soon rallied by Alaric, and the Romans driven off with heavy loss, but Stilicho advancing at the head of the legionaries, forced his way into the camp, and drove out the Goths with enormous slaughter. Alaric's wife was among the captives.
Siege of Florence (Alaric ) Romans victory
This city was besieged in 406, by the German invaders under Radagaisus, and was almost on the verge of starvation, when the approach of Stilicho at the head of a large Roman army, encouraged the defenders to further resistance. The besiegers, in fact, now became the besieged, for Stilicho surrounded their camp, and starved the Germans into surrender.
Siege of Rome (Fritigern ) Goths victory
The city was besieged in 408 by the Goths, under Alaric, and after being brought to the verge of starvation and losing many thousands from famine, the Romans capitulated, but retained their freedom on payment of a heavy ransom, whereupon Alaric retired northward in 409. In the course of the year, however, Alaric seized Ostia, the port of Rome, and summoned the city to surrender. In the absence of the Emperor Honorius, the populace forced the authorities to yield; and Alaric, after deposing Honorius, and bestowing the purple on Attains, withdrew his troops. In 410, during the month of August, Alaric for the third time appeared before the walls, and on the night of the 24th the Salarian gate was opened to the besiegers by some sympathisers within the city, and Rome was given over to pillage and massacre, in which thousands perished.
Siege of Narbonne (Champlain ) Romans victory
The walls of Narbonne had been shaken by the battering engines, and the inhabitants had endured the last extremities of famine, when Count Litorius, directing each horseman to carry behind him two sacks of flour, cut his way through the entrenchments of the besiegers. The siege was immediately raised; and the more decisive victory, which is ascribed to Aetius himself, was marked with the blood of eight thousand Goths.

Fall of the Western Empire — 402 to 476     to top

Wars relating to the fall of the Western Empire

Also see Visigoth Wars, Vandal Wars in Africa, Ostrogoth Wars in Italy and Rise of France.

Battle of Utus (Hun Invasion ) Huns victory
This engagement was actually three battles: one on the banks of the Utus, another under the walls of Marcianopolis, and the third, near Chersonesus of Thrace; Although Attila suffered enormous losses, he annihilated the Eastern Army and acquired possession of the field. From the Hellespont to Thermopylae, and the suburbs of Constantinople, he ravaged, without resistance, and without mercy, the provinces of Thrace and Macedonia.
Battle of Châlons (Hun Invasion ) Romans-Goths victory
Fought 451 between the Romans and the Visigoths under Aetius and Theodoric respectively, and the Huns under Attila. The battle was fought on an open plain, and while the right and centre of the allies withstood Attila's onslaught, the Visigoths on the left made a furious charge, in which Theodoric fell, and totally routed the right of the Huns. Attila then withdrew to his camp, having suffered heavy loss, and prepared to resist the attack of the allies on the following day. Aetius, however, did not renew the conflict, and allowed Attila to retreat unmolested.
Battle of Nedao (Ricimer's Rebellion-Bergundians ) Germans victory
Fought 454 after the death of Attila the Hun, between the Germanic tribes previously subject to the Huns, under the Ostrogoth Theodemir, and Ardaric, and the Hunnic forces under King Ellac. The sons of Attila were themselves at war with each other, and were routed. The influence of the Huns over most of German territory collapsed immediately.
Battle of Rome (Rise of Vandal Kingdom ) Vandals victory
For two weeks, a Vandal army, invited to Rome by the dethroned Empress Eudoxia, sacked the city, carrying away all valuables, killing, pillaging, and carrying away captives to be sold as slaves.
Battle of Cape Bona (Genoese versus Venetians ) Vandals victory
Fought 468, between the Roman fleet of 1,100 galleys and transports under Basiliscus, and the fleet of the Vandals under Genseric. The Romans were lying at anchor, having landed their troops, and Genseric, taking advantage of a favorable wind, sent in a fleet of fire ships, following them up by a determined attack. More than half the Roman ships were destroyed, Basiliscus escaping with difficulty.
Siege of Rome (Flemish War ) Burgundians victory
The rebel Count Ricimer, with a large army of Burgundians, Suevi and other barbarians, laid siege to Rome in 472, and after a defense of three months the besiegers entered the city by storming the Bridge of Hadrian, and sacked it.

Ostrogoth Wars in Italy — 489 to 568     to top

The rise and fall of the Ostrogoth nation in Italy

Battle of Isonzo (Rise of Ostrogoths ) Ostrogoths victory
Fought Aug 28, 489 between and Italic-Germanic army under Odoacer and the Ostrogoths under Theodoric. The Ostrogoths were victorious.
Siege of Ravenna   Ostrogoths victory
The Italian king Odoacer was besieged in his capital for three years by Theodoric and his army of Ostrogoths. The siege ended on Feb 2, 493 when Theodoric and Odoacer signed a treaty to co-rule Italy. Odoacer was killed by Theodoric at a banquet shortly thereafter.
Siege of Rome (Fall of Ostrogoths ) Byzantines victory
In March, 537, the city was besieged by the Goths, under Vitiges, and defended by Belisarius. After a determined resistance, during which a vigorous assault was repulsed, and several successful sorties made, with heavy loss to the besiegers, Vitiges in March, 538, was compelled to raise the siege.
Siege of Ravenna (Fall of Ostrogoths ) Byzantines victory
This city, the Ostrogoth capital, was besieged by imperial forces under Belisarius. The Goths offered to make Belisarius the western emperor, but he refused, and eventually took the capital. Witigis, king of the Ostrogoths was taken captive to Constantinople.
Battle of Faenza (Fall of Ostrogoths ) Ostrogoths victory
Fought 541, between 20,000 Roman legionaries, and the Goths under Totila, King of Italy. The Romans made no attempt to resist the onslaught of the Goths, but throwing down their arms fled ignominiously, giving the Goths an easy victory.
Siege of Rome (Fall of Ostrogoths ) drawn battle victory
In May, 546, Totila, King of Italy, at the head of an army of Goths, laid siege to Rome, which was defended by a garrison of 3,000, under Bassas. An attempt to relieve it by Belisarius was on the point of success, but Bassas failed to co-operate with the relieving force, and Belisarius was forced to retire, whereupon the city surrendered, December 17, 546. It was recovered by Belisarius in the following February, but was again besieged by Totila in 549. On this occasion it was defended by a garrison of 3,000 troops, under Demetrius, who, aided by the inhabitants, made a gallant resistance, but the Gate of St. Paul was opened to the besiegers by some Isaurian sympathisers within the walls, and Totila thus made himself master of the last Italian city excepting Ravenna, which had resisted his victorious army. In 552, after the defeat of Totila at Tagina, Rome was invested by the Imperial army, under Narses, who, after a brief siege, stormed the defenses, and finally delivered the city from the Gothic domination.
Battle of Tagina (Fall of Ostrogoths ) Byzantines victory
Fought July, 552, between the Goths, under Totila, King of Italy, and 30,000 Imperial troops, under Narses. The Romans withstood the charge of the Goths, broke their cavalry, and then drove their infantry from the field, with a loss of about 6,000. Totila was overtaken and slain in the pursuit.
Battle of Mount Lactarius (Fall of Ostrogoths ) Byzantines victory
Fought March 553, between the troops of the Emperor Justinian, under Narses, and the Goths, under Teias, the last Gothic king of Italy. The Romans gained a signal victory, and Teias was slain, the Goths thereupon accepting the rule of Justinian.
Battle of Volturnus (Rise of Ostrogoths ) Byzantines victory
Fought 554, between 18,000 Imperial troops under Narses, and the Franks and Alemanni, 30,000 strong, under Buccelin. The Romans won a signal victory, and are said by the chroniclers to have exterminated the invading army with a loss to themselves of 80 only. Buccelin fell in the battle.
Battle of Melanthias (Sclavonian Invasion ) Byzantines victory
Fought 559, between the Imperial troops, under Belisarius, and the Sclavonians and Bulgarians, under Zabergan, Prince of Bulgaria. The barbarians assailed the Roman lines, but were easily repulsed, and so precipitate was their flight that only about 500 fell. This was Belisarius' last victory, and it was closely followed by his disgrace and death.

Moslem Conquests — 623 to 838     to top

Moslem conquests in Syria and Persia at the expense of the Byzantine Empire.

Battle of Muta (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Fought 629, between the Moslems, under Zaid, and the troops of the Emperor Heraclius. Zaid was slain, and so successively were Jaafar and Abdallah, who followed him in the command, but the banner of the prophet was then raised by Khaled, who succeeded in repulsing the onslaught of the Imperial troops, and on the following day led the Moslems undefeated from the field. This is the first battle between the Mohammedan Arabs and a foreign enemy.
Siege of Bosra (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
This strong fortress was besieged, 632, by 4,000 Moslems under Serjabil. A sortie of the garrison nearly caused their destruction, but they were rescued by the arrival of 1,500 horse under Khaled. After a brief interval, the whole of the garrison marched out of the city to give battle, but were defeated by Khaled with a loss to his troops of 250 men only, and the city was shortly afterwards betrayed by Romanus, the Governor.
Battle of Aiznadin (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Fought July 13, 633, between 45,000 Moslems under Khaled and 70,000 Imperial troops under Werdan. The Imperialists were routed with great slaughter, leaving Khaled to prosecute the siege of Damascus. The Moslems only admit a loss of 470.
Siege of Damascus (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
This city was besieged by the Moslems under Khaled in 633, and was defended by a large garrison of Greeks and Romans. The city made an obstinate defense, and the defenders succeeded in sending a demand for succour to Werdan, the general of Heraclius. Werdan's approach drew Khaled away from the place, and as he was retiring he was attacked by the garrison, whom he defeated with enormous loss. He then marched against Werdan, defeated him, and returned to prosecute the siege. After a gallant defense, the city, 70 days later, was taken by storm.
Battle of Yermuk (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Fought November, 636, between 140,000 Imperial troops, under Manuel, the General of Heraclius, and 50,000 Moslems, under Khaled. The Moslem attack was thrice repulsed, but they returned to the charge, and after a long and sanguinary engagement, drove their opponents from the field with enormous loss. The Moslems lost 4,030 killed.
Siege of Jerusalem (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Early in 637 Jerusalem was besieged by the Moslems, at first, under Abu Obeidah, and later by the Khalif Omar. After a defense of four months, during which scarcely a day passed without a sortie or an assault, the city was surrendered by the Patriarch Sophronius.
Siege of Aleppo (Mohammed's War with the Koreish ) Moslems victory
This place was besieged by the Moslems under Abu Obeidah and Khaled in 638, and the city almost immediately surrendered, but the garrison retired to the citadel, where under Youkinna it maintained a stubborn defense for five months, and caused heavy loss to the besiegers. At last the citadel was taken by surprise, and Youkinna became a convert to Mohammedanism. This was the last serious resistance offered in Syria to the invading Moslems.
Siege of Alexandria (Moslem Invasion of Europe ) Moslems victory
This city, the capital of Egypt, was besieged by the Moslems, under Amrou, in 638, and after a defense of fourteen months, in the course of which the besiegers lost 23,000 men, surrendered, leaving the victors undisputed masters of Egypt.
Siege of Memphis (Moslem Invasion of Egypt ) Moslems victory
In 638, Amron, lieutenant of the Caliph Omar, with 8,000 Moslems, invested the city, and after a siege of seven months, in the course of which the besiegers were nearly overwhelmed by the rising of the Nile, the place was taken by assault. On the site of the Moslem encampment were laid the foundations of Old Cairo.
Battle of Tripoli (Moslem Conquest of Africa ) Moslems victory
Fought 647, between the invading Moslems, under Abdallah, and 120,000 Imperial troops and African levies, under the Prefect, Gregory. The Moslems gained a signal victory, Gregory being among the slain.
Siege of Constantinople (Muslim Civil Wars ) Byzantines victory
This city was besieged in 668, by the Saracens under Sophian, the lieutenant of the Caliph Moawiyeh. The Moslem fleet passed the Hellespont unopposed, but their attack upon the city was met with a most determined resistance. After keeping the field from April to September, Sophian retired into winter quarters, but renewed active operations during the following and five succeeding summers, without success, until, in 675, he finally abandoned the siege, having lost in its progress over 30,000 men.
In 716, the Saracens again laid siege to the city, with 120,000 men under Moslemeh, brother of the Caliph Solyman. A fleet of 1,800 sail co-operated with the land forces, but was destroyed by the Greek fire ships, and thus obtaining the command of the sea, the citizens were relieved from all fear of famine, and repulsed all Moslemeh's assaults. After a siege of 13 months, the Saracens withdrew, after a defeat at the hands of a Bulgarian relieving army, in which they lost 22,000 men.
Battle of Utica (Moslem Conquest of Arabia ) Moslems victory
Fought 694 between 40,000 Moslems, under Hassan, and a large force of Greeks and Goths in the Imperial service. The Imperialists were defeated and driven out of Africa, and Hassan followed up his victory by the destruction of Carthage, which thenceforth ceased to exist, except as an obscure village.

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