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Roman Legionaries Vs. Medieval Heavy infantry
#1
was a question that occured to me the other day, If the romans were to have fought later in history againist full armoured Knights etc. what would have been the outcome? in terms of their weapons, armor and tactics, sure the romans were heavily armored in their day but would they have been able to withstand an army of men who are fully armored?

Just a point for discussion, not sure if this has been discussed or thought about before Smile
Lucius Duccius Rufinus Aka Kevin Rhynas.

"Fortes fortuna adiuvat".
[url:10c24pem]http://www.ninthlegion.co.uk[/url]
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#2
Quote:was a question that occured to me the other day, If the romans were to have fought later in history againist full armoured Knights etc. what would have been the outcome? in terms of their weapons, armor and tactics, sure the romans were heavily armored in their day but would they have been able to withstand an army of men who are fully armored?

To throw cold water onto the idea. Smile

Like a lot of these "what if" questions (which I'm sure are elsewhere on the site)they can't give a straight answer.If the Empire had remained it would of adopted new tec advances and would be armed as well if not better than a middle age army. But if they had remained there wouldn't of been a middle ages!

But the point should be made that by the Late Roman period planted the seeds for later war styles.
Fasta Ambrosius Longus
John

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

[Image: Peditum3.jpg]
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#3
Yeh it is very much a what if question i guess, but the late empire as it was, was a weak thing military wise, I mean why was it that the arms of the past were able to conquer so much againist rediculious odds, but the later empire couldnt keep what it had!...

guess it was a silly question, i just think about things too much i think! haha
Lucius Duccius Rufinus Aka Kevin Rhynas.

"Fortes fortuna adiuvat".
[url:10c24pem]http://www.ninthlegion.co.uk[/url]
[size=75:10c24pem](work in progress...)[/size]
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#4
this actually should be in the off-topic area IMHO ...
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#5
Quote:Yeh it is very much a what if question i guess, but the late empire as it was, was a weak thing military wise, I mean why was it that the arms of the past were able to conquer so much againist rediculious odds, but the later empire couldnt keep what it had!...

guess it was a silly question, i just think about things too much i think! haha

As pointed out an off topic subject but I'm sure you would find a lot of people on the site that would have a problem saying the Late Roman Army was weaker than that of the Late Republic/Early Empire.

It wasn't war alone that brought down the Empire and I understand larger numbers were against the Later armies. :wink:

A move of topic may be in order. Smile
Fasta Ambrosius Longus
John

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

[Image: Peditum3.jpg]
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#6
Quote:
Lucius valerinus:2gy2pxta Wrote:Yeh it is very much a what if question i guess, but the late empire as it was, was a weak thing military wise, I mean why was it that the arms of the past were able to conquer so much againist rediculious odds, but the later empire couldnt keep what it had!...

guess it was a silly question, i just think about things too much i think! haha

As pointed out an off topic subject but I'm sure you would find a lot of people on the site that would have a problem saying the Late Roman Army was weaker than that of the Late Republic/Early Empire.

It wasn't war alone that brought down the Empire and I understand larger numbers were against the Later armies. :wink:

A move of topic may be in order. Smile

haha i realised that comment might not be approved by many people, but its just my opinion about the later roman period, not even just military wise, but more the values of the empire were just messed up, I blame Constantine, never should have moved from the old gods Wink

I would move this topic if i knew how! :S
Lucius Duccius Rufinus Aka Kevin Rhynas.

"Fortes fortuna adiuvat".
[url:10c24pem]http://www.ninthlegion.co.uk[/url]
[size=75:10c24pem](work in progress...)[/size]
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#7
Quote:was a question that occured to me the other day, If the romans were to have fought later in history againist full armoured Knights etc. what would have been the outcome? in terms of their weapons, armor and tactics, sure the romans were heavily armored in their day but would they have been able to withstand an army of men who are fully armored?

Just a point for discussion, not sure if this has been discussed or thought about before Smile

I would think the Roman balista and scorpions, if deployed properly, would make short work of the Medieval Knights. In the end, it always comes down to generalship. A good general, knowing he would face heavy cavalry, would prepare for them by chosing good ground, bringing plenty of field artillary, and training his infantry how to receive charges, etc. Didn't Arrian have something to say about how to deal with heavy cav?
L. Cornelius Scaeva (Jim Miller)
Legio VI VPF

"[The Romans understood] it is not walls that protect men but men that protect walls" - Strabo
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#8
*boink*
Moved to Off-Topic
No offense intended, but it's not Roman History, it's speculation, which is off topic, but allowed.
*we now return you to your forum* :wink:
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#9
Once again there is a lot more to war than just what category of soldier. Hell, it would be hard to pen it down if you were talking about personal individual combat let alone all the variables of war. What country? Troop numbers? Deployments? Terrain? About a hundred other questions just to even begin to get an accurate guess.

Honestly if you want to ask a more intellectual question debate equipment, strategies, strength and weaknesses etc. individually and then compare, however battle has a lot more to it than just numbers and tactical accessments. Honestly just talking about the French or English medieval armies could be a lengthy endeavor. Learn more and make your own judgement. If you're talking time warp and two armies face each other relegate it to fantasy and Off Topic. You may as well be talking about Star Wars vs. Stargate for all the useful info we'll get out of such a question.

Heres a better question- What if Fabrizzio (Machievelli's Art of War) was able to create his more Roman system military institution in Italy? Its still a what if, but it encorporates the medieval time period in a specific region and the Roman system in an issue that was brought up and relevant for the time instead of being a samurai vs. ninja type question.
Derek D. Estabrook
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#10
Quote:If the romans were to have fought later in history againist full armoured Knights etc. what would have been the outcome?

Here's another technique known to the Romans that would have worked with Knights on horseback:

[from good old wikipedia]
The late Roman writer Vegetius, referring in his work De Re Militari to scythed chariots, wrote:

The armed chariots used in war by Antiochus and Mithridates at first terrified the Romans, but they afterwards made a jest of them. As a chariot of this sort does not always meet with plain and level ground, the least obstruction stops it. And if one of the horses be either killed or wounded, it falls into the enemy's hands. The Roman soldiers rendered them useless chiefly by the following contrivance: at the instant the engagement began, they strewed the field of battle with caltrops, and the horses that drew the chariots, running full speed on them, were infallibly destroyed. A caltrop is a device composed of four spikes or points arranged so that in whatever manner it is thrown on the ground, it rests on three and presents the fourth upright.
L. Cornelius Scaeva (Jim Miller)
Legio VI VPF

"[The Romans understood] it is not walls that protect men but men that protect walls" - Strabo
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#11
Caltrops also work well against cavalry, for the same reason, a suddenly lamed horse will probably throw its rider, but in any case is useless for continued riding.

Infantry are not improved by having an iron spike coming up into the foot, through the shoe sole. Slows them down considerably.
Cry
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#12
A caltrop is even known in the middle ages...
Nothing the knight does not know to handle.

Even almost the same were used in the WWI.
And if you read modern military handbooks and compare it with Maurice, the way to blockade streets and roads is the same, the different is, in former time it makes “autschâ€
............../\\Sascha../\\..Klauss/\\..............
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#13
this is actually similar to what i'm reading now - Jack Whyte's Camulod chronicles - if no ones read it then a short shabby summary is... Rome has fallen and the British colonies are having to deal with it as best as they can still using Roman military tactics and their own cavalry(((which is based off Alexander the Great's mounted charges)))) -
so far there was only one mention of "Roman" infantry meeting with armed cavalry but the scene never played out because they were on the same side but didnt know it at the time.. does that make sense? in otherwords it would have been friendly fire if they were using guns... and the cavalry was lying in wait for a different army when that particular infantry showed up,
oh hell just read the book... (Eagles Brood) and you'll see what i mean. i'm making it sound stupid and confusing :roll:

still this question isnt totally absurd and i only say that because of the book i just read. sure its fiction but based on history. my thoughts would be the same...... sure the Roman infantry would have laid traps on the field for their enemies horses but what if it was a surprise attack like the one in the book?
The Romans, while conquering the world, didnt know what was lying in wait for them out there. IF they had met a heavily armed cavalry, IF such a thing already existed at the time, how would they fair?

i'm still getting caught up in my Roman military history so of course there's a LOT i dont know.... :oops: ...... but wouldnt the Romans be prepared for anything if they were venturing into uncharted territory? or would they send out their explorers and take advice from the few survivors?



my own opinion is .. if Medieval Cavalry met a Roman Legion it would be a stand off.... Romans are better at close quarter combat right? heavy cavalry just plows into their enemies but a grounded knight would have a hard time fighting with all the weight of the armor... :?:
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#14
Howcome the title of this thread says "Medieval Heavy Infantry" but all the replies are about legionaries vs. mounted knights? Just wondering.
Pecunia non olet
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#15
good question lol on my part when i imagine medieval knights they come with horses :lol:
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