Hadrian's Consolidation - reboot

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Hecatee, May 16, 2016.

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  1. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Well one reason why I did not send Marcus Aurelius to the front is because he had something of a genocidal tendency, so I did not want him on the frontline. For the rest... to be defined in a later episode ;)
     
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  2. EmperorOfTheNorthSea Sovereign of all Scandinavia and the Rus

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    well this Marcus Aurelius was born after the POD so he could very well be slightly different due to butterflies and all. Also in regards to the Situation at hand Genocide might seem like the best and sustainable option for the Romans as it achieves both the immediate goals of reducing the pressures on the borders as well as a sign to everyone North of the Danube. And if M. Aurelius is dead set on genocide he can order whoever in charge to perform exterminations and it's not like they could refuse or even have a problem with the idea.
     
  3. Donald Reaver Still alive Donor

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    I would think as long as slaves can be taken for sale for the benefit of the commander and troops, it would be no issue. Horrible, but very Roman.
     
  4. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    why are we all assuming the goth are going to get clobbered these are the goth we are talking about not to be trifled
     
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  5. TheCataphract Well-Known Member

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    They are nowhere close to anything resembling a match for a Roman Empire at the top of its game. They may win a battle or two, but then the Empire will do what the empire has always done when it is healthy, raise new armies, adapt to the enemy before them, and crush them under the iron studded boots of the professional legions. No tribal confederacy is a long term match for a healthy Roman Empire.
     
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  6. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    we don't know how many soliders will have and just because they will be defeated doeans't win it will be deveasted and I would aruge the roman empire is over extened right now so this coudl be reialty kicking in and a readjustemnt period for the empire chanign it defensive systles exc
     
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  7. TheCataphract Well-Known Member

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    I haven't gotten the impression that they are from the timeline. They seem to be filling into their borders quite nicely. Nowhere near as stretched to the limit as the Eastern Roman army they annihilated at Adrianople is at least certain. On the whole the Empire is doing exceptionally well and this will likely reflect in their military. The Romans also were not ones to surrender or seek terms. As far as I know, outside of truly critical points of near collapse on the part of the Empire itself, they were never satisfied until they had won unless they were fighting the Persian dynasty at whatever given time, which had the notably distinction of being (as far as I know) the only foreign power that Imperial Rome ever recognized as an equal.

    The factors that enabled the Goth's great success in the real world simply do not exist as far as I can tell in this timeline. Then again though, I got the impression that the Goths were bearing down on the Bosphoran kingdom, which is in comparison a softer target and the question then will likely be how much the Romans are willing to defend their client. My gut says the Goths will be bloodily repulsed, but I suppose that is up to Hacatee to decide!
     
  8. EmperorOfTheNorthSea Sovereign of all Scandinavia and the Rus

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    There is a certain point were you get so many slaves introduced into the market that it becomes unprofitable to transport and feed them.
     
  9. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    The Goths don't have to be defeated - if they go head to head with the Romans then they will be defeated as their erstwhile "protectors" the Marcomanni were.

    They themselves acknowledge the option of drifting South and East and biding their time.

    The engagement of the Goths with the Romans is a tad early compared to OTL (unsurprisingly given the results of M. Aurelius' German wars) They may not have an effective cavalry force yet which will make it easier for the Romans
     
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  10. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    I'm surprised no one has noticed that I've ruined the ethnogenese myth of the Huns as related by Jordanes...

    According to this early byzantine authors the gothic king expelled the witches and sorceresses who took refuge among the people leaving east in the marches who became the huns...
     
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  11. TheCataphract Well-Known Member

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    I actually didn't know that. I just knew the accepted idea that they were related to the Alans. Obviously this probably doesn't actually get rid of the threat of the migrating steppe peoples, but hey you learn something new everyday!
     
  12. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    "Jordanes (XXIV:121) also relates that Filimer expelled the witches, who were called haliurunnas. These witches were condemned to seek refuge far away and were said to have given birth to the first Huns." (Wiki's version of the story, actually the French Wiki gives some more details)
     
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  13. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Special Ides of March updates coming in...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  14. Threadmarks: Troesmis, Moesia Inferior, mid April 180

    Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Troesmis, Moesia Inferior, mid April 180


    It had taken 23 days for Gaius Aurelius Verus Avidius Cassius, Caesar of the Empire, and his entourage to reach Troesmis, an incredibly fast journey made possible by good weather and the labor of the rowers deep in the bowels of the heavy quinquereme that carried the heir of Rome and his staff. Making only the briefest stops in places such as Rhodes, Ephesus, Byzantium and Appolonia Pontica, they had soon come to Tomis where they all mounted horses from the cursus publicus which they rode hard to the legionary base of Troesmis, headquarter of the V Macedonica legion.

    Despite the fatigue from the journey Avidius Cassius immediately assembled the officers of the legion to take stock of the situation. The Gothii were walking between the Tyras and Hypanis rivers, fighting the Bastarnae on their way to the Euxine sea. Their goal seemed to be Olbia or maybe the smaller town of Tyras.

    The Bastarnae were a large tribe of old origin. Soldiers from Gauls said there were words of the old celtic tongue in their speech, although those from Germania also said they could understand part of what the tribesmen said although other words were clearly from the Sarmatian and Scythian languages. What differenced them most from the horses tribes however was their more sedentary way of living which was now perturbated by the invasion from the northern Gothii.

    Already refugees were coming to the head of the bridge over the Porata river although strong patrols made sure none crossed the river. The legate had ordered tents to be set up on both sides of the bridge head so as to leave a passage for the legion should the order be given, and his legionaries had also set up latrinae and other basic amenities to prevent the apparition of sicknesses. He’d even had potters make a clay aqueduc alimented by water coming from the river to make sure people had fresh water, and he’d asked the local civilian authorities for grain to feed the few hundred people already congregating to fall under the umbrella of the Romans’ protection.

    At first surprised by the thoughts and efforts put into the work, the Caesar approved of them for it would cause a lot of good feelings from the Bastarnae who might become precious allies given their knowledge of the lay of the land.

    Other preparations had been made for war. Units had been ordered to make sure they were ready to move and auxiliary cohorts had been ordered to concentrate around the three legionary bases of Arx Anconem, Transmontes and Troesmis.

    Aggressive patrolling was also pursued and some clashes with Gothii raiders had already happened, usually to Rome’s advantage. The Gothii were ferocious but still barbarians, courageous but lacking organization, equipment and techniques. On the other hand they were numerous, at least fifty thousand warriors and the strength of three legions with their associate auxiliary units would be insufficient. The XIII Gemina from Apulum and the I Italica from Novae would be required, as well as a vexillation from the I Adiutrix from Brigetio, the II Adiutrix from Aquincum and the IV Flavia Felix from Arx Cubitus.

    A plan soon emerged. The Bastarnae would not be good in a siege but could be useful in a more manoeuvring campaign, and they would be defending their land. Emissaries would be sent to their chiefs to propose an alliance and inform them that Rome intended to walk armies through their lands, with or without their cooperation. The forces from Arx Anconem, Apulum, Transmontes and two of the western vexilations, all with their auxiliaries, would move to the Tyras river north of the Gothii and unite in a force some fifty thousand men strong. Avidius Cassius would personally take command of this force, the main roman strength.

    Meanwhile the forces of the I Italica would go, without its auxiliaries, to Olbia to strengthen its garrison and allow them to defend the strong modern walls there. The infantry part of the auxiliary units usually attached to the legion would form an ad-hoc force to reinforce Tyras but were ordered to leave if the main Gothii army went toward the city, a fleet being dispatched to carry them back to safety if needed.

    The cavalry of those units would remain with the forces of the legate of the V Macedonica which would be tasked with preventing the Gothii from crossing the Tyras toward the south and protecting as much of the Bastarnae land as possible while also serving as reserve force.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Senate house, Rome, april 180

    Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Senate house, Rome, april 180


    The session of the senate had been quiet, with some debates on a proposed reform of the rules for donations of a building or statue to a city, which would now require that 10% of the building cost also be given in cash to cover future costs of maintenance. It would make evergetism more costly, but city management easier and, more importantly, such acts of generosity less frequent and thus more exceptional in every sense of the word…

    Senators were now leaving the curia, chatting as they took the direction of their homes, their slaves and closest collaborators walking alongside their masters. The new barbarian threat was discussed, most being of the opinion that it would be a short affair. Avidius Cassius was an experienced general, veteran of the Marcomannic wars, he’d conduct the conflict in a much more dynamic way than Marcus Aurelius, blessed be his name, could ever hope given his growing age. After all the emperor was going on 60 while his heir was ten years younger…

    Other wondered if the next in line, young Marcus Petillius Cerialis, was ready to take the mantle of the Empire if anything catastrophic happened. Petillius Cerialis, the second son of a most distinguished family risen to prominence during the rule of the divine Vespasianus, had been adopted as a child fifteen years earlier by Avidius Cassius . A peculiarity of the imperial constitution meant that the adopted children of the Augusti and Caesari did not take the name of their adopter’s family, a way to show that it was not a dynastic succession.

    Petillius Cerialis had received the best education available and spent five years in the legions, two in Britannia and three in Mesopotamia, before being sent in missions by his elders in a number of trouble spots that did require authority but not an emperor’s presence. Now 28, the man was less than half the age of Marcus Aurelius and was a bit hot headed, as were many in his original family and as was his blood ancestor if Tacitus was to be believed…

    The young man had arrived in Rome a few weeks ago, coming back from a mission in Gaul, probably to ensure that the imperial family was seen in the capital during this war while both the Emperor and his heir were far away.
     
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  16. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Do I hear a civil war calling
     
  17. alltheuntold Well-Known Member

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    Great chapters!

    You missed a threadmark though
     
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  18. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    ??
    Google. Ah. More usually 'euergetism' in English. Eu=good, erg=work, the doing of good works.

    Once I saw the 'u' version, I recognized the roots and hence the meaning, but it's not a word I'm familiar with.

    Learn something every day, eh?

    Learning English vocabulary from a Francophone. ! :)
     
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  19. Threadmarks: The sea of Grass, somewhere between the Tyras and the Hispalis, June 180

    Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    The sea of Grass, somewhere between the Tyras and the Hispalis, June 180


    Had any man been able to see them from above, he’d have been amazed by the display of sheer power put by the Roman army. They seemed to cover the horizon and made a great plume of dust rise in the air behind them.

    Four legions of 6500 men, one made of two vexilations, each legion with 4 auxiliary units of some 1500 men each, and the personal guard of the Caesar made for a strong force of some 50000 men of which some ten thousand were mounted, including 2000 heavy cataphractii on the sarmatian pattern. To that a larger than usual number of mules and their drivers had to be added, carrying food for the troops in a region were foraging for anything else than the horses’ feed was impossible.

    The cavalry was mainly in the vanguard and on the flanks, with about a thousand horsemen to close the march. In the center the legions did not walk in a single column but as four parallel units, with the infantry of the auxiliary units in a diamond pattern around the legion. The auxiliary units changed position every day so that none would walk more than twice a week into the excrement of the units preceding them...

    The wide spacing meant that the men did not walk through too much dust from the previous ranks, but it also made their approach more visible as a larger column of dust rose in the blue sky, making their progress evident to all and appearing as a act of the gods rather than one of men.

    Yet this was not something never seen in the region : the larger scythian tribes, with their massive horse herds and the heavy chariots of their families, often made similar dust plumes when they travelled the sea of grass.

    This is why the tribes of the steppe had designed tactics to deal with the telltale mark so as to achieve surprise against their foe, and they were about to spring such a trap. The Gothii had found many tribes on their way south, some attached to the concept of land, other not so much for all they cared was grass for their horses. Those tribes, known under the generic name of Scythia, divided themselves in clans and tribes, never very stable, often open to foreigners. Those Scythians living in the west of the Sea of Grass had seen a number of refugees in the last few decades, coming mainly from the Sarmatian noble families that Rome had defeated in the time of the divine Hadrian.

    The refugees had become more nomadic than in the past but had given their welcoming neighbors their hatred of Rome and all it represented. Thus while the Gothii had had to fight against the land working Bastarnae, they had found allies in the western Scythians who provided them with intelligence and, more importantly, a cavalry.

    Filimer had rejoiced at the news of the alliance, for it offered him opportunities to fight against the Romans on more equal terms. Some ten thousand horsemen, four thousand of which were armored, provided a strong weapon which he intended to use to the fullest, starting on this day…

    Now the king of the Gothii stood on a horse along one of his main allies, Gtalos. Neither man intended to fight in the battle, only a large ambush against the rear guard cavalry of the Romans, but it was expected of them to be there for the fight. They had brought five hundred light horsemen with plenty of arrows for their bows, and they expected to fight about two thousand Romans in this hit and run engagement. A second, larger group, camped further back from the Romans with a thousand men.

    Sneaking at night close to the Roman encampment, they had found a gully where to hide horse and men until the Romans started their day’s walk : they wanted the legions to raise their dust cloud so as to be able to use it to fall against the rear guard, appearing from the cloud like demons, firing a number of arrows before the Romans even saw their attack, falling back into the dust before they could retaliate : should the Romans come into the cloud they would then be ambushed by the second group…

    The Romans had now dismantled their night camp. Their officers made a small group on the side, some two hundred and fifty men with their bodyguards, while the units moved into position for the day : while they usually walked in front of the center right legion, Avidius Cassius thought it good that his men saw him every day. While Filimer did not know the reason, he knew the fact from having had spies study the departure of the legions on five previous days in the last two weeks. He hoped they would fall for his trap…

    The last unit had now left some fifteen minutes earlier, and the dust was tick. Of course the ground itself, trampled by so many feets and hoves, gave a clear indication of where the Romans were so visibility was not very important. They also knew from previous observation the depth of the formations on the rear guard, so they did not need to see their targets to lob arrows…

    On a sign from Gtalos the warriors mounted their horses with a smile on their face and a bow in their hands. Putting their horses at a rapid pace although not in a gallop, they flew toward their unsuspecting foe….

    The attack was perfect. Coming unseen, they unleashed a barrage of arrows : four per horsman, 2000 projectiles targeting close to a thousand men and their beasts. While the armors deflected a lot of the bone-headed arrows, many others found flesh, seeping poison into the wounds for they had been dipped into the terrible decoction of the steppe tribes, a mix of human excrement and serpents poisons and blood…

    The alarm was sounded, with the Roman units stopping in place almost a as single man, the legions making wide rectangles to protect the bagages, the auxiliaries making a first line of defense while the cavalry regrouped, ready to come to the help of the attacked forces.

    Avidius Cassius and his escort immediately wheeled their horses back toward the back of the formation, from where the signal was coming. Galloping toward the rear guard, they pressed their animals. Avidius Cassius horse took great pleasure in leading the charge, giving it all its energy, a wonder to see. Luckily the Caesar’s guards were almost as well mounted otherwise they would have been left behind. As it was they formed in a diamond formation, with their leader at its head.

    It is then that catastrophe happened. Running as hard as it could, the horse missed a somewhat deeper and wetter patch of grass where a century of auxiliaries had taken a piss. Stumbling, it crashed in the grass, its cavalier on his back… Unable to abandon the stirrups in time, the heir to the Empire was crushed by the weight of his animal. Unknown to Filimer, the Gothii had already had a large victory against their foe...
     
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  20. SuperZtar64 Lord Protector of the New Commonwealth

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    [​IMG]
     
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