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Daniel asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Greatest roman general?

Question says it all. Who was the greatest roman general.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    If you are going to assess the military worth of a Roman General you have to consider the scope of his victories and the calibre of his opponents. This is very brief assessment with lots of gaps!

    Pompey was recognised as rome's wonderkid-general in the years before the first triumvirate, bearing in mind his thrashing of the pirates and victories in Africa against jugurtha (I think). But during the Sulla v Marian conflict several attempts were made to defeat Sertorius in Spain, by vastly larger armies commanded by a couple of Roman Generals, one of which was Pompey?

    Plus, he had one eye. I think that deserves mention.

    Pompey was a great organiser, but not tactically sound. His victories were great at the time, but his opponents were never remembered in history for their greatness and the resources at his disposal were vast.

    Caesar conquered Gaul & Britainnia, but he did this by a combination of politics and warfare against an enemy who thought war should be conducted either nude or certainly armourless, and that combat should be 1 on 1 with slashing weapons. Against Roman military technology there was only ever one outcome. You can slash armour all you want, but when someone jabs a few inches of a pointed short sword in your face from behind a big shield, you're going to lose, irrespective of how much battlefury you have. Anyway, Caesar would have been one of the worst generals in history had he failed to conquer Gaul with the resources at his disposal. I concede that the barbarian Vercingetorix was a challenge, but if you actually analyse the battle Ceaser was outmanourvered badly by the Gaul! I think Ceasar can be better measured by his victories during the Civil war and over the aged Pompey. However, even there he had a battle hardened army and he fought a vastly more inexperienced force, with some terrible tactical decisions being made by Caesar's enemies.

    Crassus lost in Parthia, but was it not he who crushed spartacus? Of course, the escaped army of gladiators and slaves is no fit comparison, but its worth rememering that he was not that bad a general.

    Scipio Africanus was the general who defeated Hannibal. Arguably, Hannibal was, along with Phyruss of Epirus, mithrodates and possibly Jugurtha, one of the greatest generals since Alexander. You cant argue with that pedigree but my knowledge of the Punic Wars is limited.

    Vespasian was effective in the invasion of Britain, although his enemies were the disorganised British tribes.

    To end, I have always thought Sertorius was the greatest Roman General but the one least interested in politics and therefore the one least mentioned in history. However, like Memnon vs Alexander, his contemporary's obviously repsected him enough to rarely have a bad word said against him, and it is not often that you have a man so unknown by the public who, and I'm going from memory here, plutarch felt could have, and should have, been the greatest Roman General of his time.....

    If you're talking of greatest general of all time, i'd have to go with either Ghengis Khan, Alexander, Patton or TJ Jackson. Whoops, TJ and Patton were of a later time....

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Scipio Africanus. The man helped form the Roman military juggernaut which dominated the Mediterranean world by defeating Carthage after it had ravaged Italy. He landed in Africa and routed the Carthaginians destroying their empire. Not bad I think.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I say it's between Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompey Magnus (the Great) & Marcus Agrippa who led the battles for Augustus.

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  • Tyler
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Pompey the Great (Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus)

    But it is as relevant to the glory of the Roman Empire as of one man to mention at this point all the names and triumphs of Pompey the Great, for they equalled in brilliance the exploits of Alexander the Great and virtually of Hercules. ~Pliny, Natural History

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  • 1 decade ago

    i gots to say Julius Caesar...greatest general of all time would fall between Sun Tzu and Hannibal they were amazing

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  • 1 decade ago

    Julius Caesar for actual tactics and strategy or Octavian/Augustus for the ability to get the right people in the right positions to win for him.

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  • 1 decade ago

    ceaser... he was charasmatic and could realy rallie people... kind of like Kennedy

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  • 1 decade ago

    cincinatus

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  • 4 years ago

    congratulations.

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