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Text version: https://www.toptenz.net/10-epic-enemies-of-ancient-rome.php
10. King Pyrrhus
6. Queen Boudica
5. King Shapur I
3. Attila the Hun
2. King Alaric
1. Hannibal Barca
I think Mithradates should have been ranked higher than Boudicca and Vercengeterix. He fought Rome over 20 years and it took 3 of the greatest generals, Sulla, Lucius Lucinus, snd Pompey to defeat him. Also, Chrondomarius should have been given an honorable mention.
Forget Boudicca. Bring on Zenobia of the Palmyrene Empire, which encompassed Syria, the Levant, parts of Anatolia and Egypt, for an impressive enemy to Rome. Or, Queen Mavia of the Tanukhids, who set the terms for an eventual truce between her and the Romans after a succesful attack on Phoenicia and Palestine.
Boudicca was a loser. He rabble was destroyed. Tomyris destroyed Cyrus the Great. Now she was a real warrior queen.
Alaric respected Stilicho. When Stilicho was murdered, Alaric went on a ride around the Empire. He is the man who ended Sparta.
Rome never got taken over like China did. Mongolia bullied China way too much. Rome on the other hand, won lost, got back up and shook it all off. Rome was supposed to last 1000 years. Yes China is powerful now a days too. But I don't believe in the ancient world when it comes to being in power, were as powerful as Rome.
Major error on Hannibal. After Carthage lost the 2nd Punic was Hannibal fled east. Where he would command a fleet for Antiochus the Great of the Seleucid Empire in their unsuccessful war against Rome.... so he doesn’t just kill himself like this videos says...
Just to be fair, Scipio was also one of greatest general that the Roman ever had. Barca's defeat against him is justified. Scipio even respected Barca for his strategy and courageousness. After Barca's death, the Roman use his strategy to strengthen their legions.
I think that Quintus Sertorius also belongs on this kind of list.
After fleeing Italia just prior to Lucius Cornelius Sulla's victory at the Battle of the Colline Gate outside of Rome during the civil war following the death of Gaius Marius, he went first to Sicilia, then to North Africa, and finally to Hispanic, where he set up his own government, took almost all of Hispanic Interior (nearer Spain) and kept the Roman governor Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius confined to a section of the Hispanic Ulterior province (further Spain) for close to three years. It took both Metellus and Gnaeus Pompeius "Magnus" (Pompey the "Great") another three years to finally bring Sertorius down.
Note: Seems to me that during the Late Republic, Rome's greatest threats almost always seem to be Roman-born and/or related. I suspect that Spartacus may actually have been a Roman officer reduced to gladiatorial slavery due to some major military infraction or other. Of course, Roman historians and chroniclers wouldn't want THAT to be known, if it is actually so.
After all, in that period of Roman History, they already had plenty of renegade Roman military lights to list, what with Sulla leading an army on Rome while Consul; Marius doing the same while Sulla was off fighting Mithridates VI in Greece and Anatolia. Sulla doing it again and becoming Dictator; and Sertorius rampaging all about Hispanic.
What about Arminius? He would be the only one on this list who actually defeated the Romans in the long term. He united many germanic tribes under his banner and lured the Roman legions in a trap. In one battle, he annihilated 1/8 of the whole roman army, driving them out of Germania forever.
Pyrrhus should have been way higher, since he was such a formidable general and even inspired Hannibal, who deemed him and his cousin Alexander to be the greatest military minds the world had ever seen.
What? No Arminius? No Augustus banging his head against the wall and screaming "Quintili Vare, legiones redde!" ("Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!")?
He was the reason only half of "Germania" became a Roman province because unlike Vercengetorix in Gallia he actually *won*.
And also he has a gigantic memorial here in Germany, second largest copper statue in the world behind the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Indeed, he put Rome and August in quite some trouble, unlike Boudicca, who, despite her army vastly outnumbered that of the Romans locally, couldn't even remotely put a dent in the Roman power. Boudicca is vastly overrated. Of course it's cool to see a woman take a stance, but that's all there is to her. I mean, what about Orodes II, king of the Parthians, who defeated a rather large army led by Crassus? That was a really major blow, essentially paving the way for Caesar to seize power and cause the downfall of the republic! Hell, even Julius Civilis caused the Romans more trouble than Boudicca. I guess it has to do with British nationalism.
I'd appreciate it if he actually explained the rules. It's called "Top Tenz", but I don't know if there's a ranking system between #10 and #1. Like is #10 the worst of best? I'd like to play the game already, Simon.
Seriously?!?! You've included Boudicca, Pyrrhus of Epirus and Archimedes in here...but not Gaiseric, King of the Vandals and Alans?! Gaiseric's life and reign would make a great movie.
Boudicca was a localized revolt against the Romans and even then she couldn't overpower a vastly smaller force. Several hundred thousand versus ten thousand, they lose eighty thousand and the Romans lose four hundred? What made her that much of a dangerous enemy? That she looted and burned settlements and drove off badly organized Roman forces? Boudicca is mostly used as an example because it was the last gasp of the druids and because she was one of the earliest examples of British nationalism.
And Pyrrhus was never going to defeat the Romans because he VASTLY underestimated campaigning logistics in a foreign country. And Archimedes was more of a localized threat than an over-arching enemy.
Gaiseric became King of both the Vandals and Alans in 428AD and right from the outset proved his leadership. While building his fleet to cross into Africa the Vandals were attacked in Lusitania by the Suebi under their king Heremigarius, who he defeated and in the rout, Heremigarius drowned in the nearby lake. In 429AD he led 80,000 from Spain into Africa (possibly at the request of the Count of Africa, Bonifatius). When they arrived there they turned on the Romans, defeated a combined Eastern and Western Roman army and laid siege to the city of Hippo Regius for fourteen months between 430 and 431AD which led to the death of the Christian writer and theologian Saint Augustine of Hippo. In 435AD the Romans concluded peace with Gaiseric which secured them control of Mauretania and part of Numidia. In 439 they attacked and took Carthage, one of the largest cities in the entirety of the Roman Empire.
By 442AD he had secured the entirety of the Roman Africa province, including the Balearic Islands, Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia in a treaty which made them an independent kingdom. In 455AD the Western Emperor Valentinian III was murdered and Gaiseric believed this voided his peace agreement. He sailed with his fleet to Italy and sacked Rome.
In response to the new threat the Vandals posed, in 461AD the Emperor Majorian tried to launch an invasion of Africa from the province of Carthaginiensis. Before the fleet could leave it was attacked by a Vandal pre-emptive raid and by saboteurs which decimated the Roman efforts and led to the Emperor's assassination.
In 468AD the Eastern and Western Roman Empires sent a combined fleet and army to attack the Vandals after having retaken Sicily, Sardinia and Libya from the Vandals. This expedition numbered around about 50,000 men and around 1,100 ships. The Vandal King Gaiseric asked for time to formulate a peace treaty and the Eastern Commander Basilliscus (brother-in-law to the Eastern Roman Emperor Leo) agreed, mooring his fleet off the coast at Cape Bon. The Vandals then launched a surprise attack on the Byzantines, sending a fleet of ships filled with flammable materials into the Byzantine armada and then attacking when they were panicked. The result was a decisive victory for the Vandals, with the number of ships burned, sunk or captured being somewhere around 500-600 and the casualties being around about 10,000. Basiliscus fled and returned to the East where he hid in the Hagia Sophia. These expeditions had crippled the Western Empire and signalled the end of any attempts of the West to recapture Africa. The cost also dealt a severe financial blow to the Eastern Empire
Gaiseric and the Vandals were the first Germanic peoples to build a naval fleet and they used this to pillage and plunder across the the Mediterranean, disrupting trade in this area for nearly a century. Between 468 and 475AD the Vandals embarked on attacks as far as the Peloponnesus in Greece capturing the town of Nicopolis before being driven back at Zakynthus. They also raided Alexandria in Egypt.
There is also a theory that one of the reasons Atilla was actually swayed by gifts and diplomacy to change his sights from attacking the Eastern to the Western Empire. The Gothic historian Jordanes even noted that "he was far-sighted in inducing foreign peoples to act in his interests, and resourceful in sowing seeds of discord and stirring up hatred".
And perhaps the most impressive aspect? He ruled the Vandals and Alans for 50 years as King, Roman treaties recognizing him as 'Rex Wandalorum et Alanorum".
And unlike Attila, he carved out a lasting kingdom from the collapsing Western Roman Empire as his legacy.
Correction: The Roman Empire was the greatest *that we know of*. We basically know next to nothing about anything before Ancient Mesopotamia but there is evidence of a civilisation in the southern Ukraine from around 12,000BCE that appears to be the basis for several Asian, European and potentially the Americas too. This may have been the result of diaspora or a huge empire. The point is we just don't know.
Re: Mithradates . You've done a huge disservice to the great Roman senator and general Luculus who actually did the lion's share of the effort to defeat Mithradates . Luculus and his Fimbrianii legions devasted the eastern Greek/Persian kingdoms but was undone by a mutiny . Pompey simply mopped up all of the gains won by Luculus and was not "sent" in by the senate as you imply until after year of success by Luculus .
The parthian general Surena is think he was called defeated 7 legions of Rome and killed marcus crasus the riches man in Rome. The parthian general has 9000 horse archers and 1000 knights. The Romans I believe had 45 thousand legionaries and the other troops from the son of crasus.
what about the insurgencies Rome could not win there was endless rebellion in Gaul from the Vercingetorix revolt until the triumph of the bagaudae Rome never completely Romanized the rural areas especially Armorica and all roman sources who were willing to talk about these military and cultural embarrassments made it plain that in Armorica they never penetrated the forests unless they were pursuing bands of bagaudae and Britain was even more of an embarrassment the mountains, uplands, forests and marsh's might have as well been ignored since they were basically either completely unromanized in everything from mode of life to language and even religion or the inhabitants were simply picking and choosing what they would follow or not follow making the romans think they had more control than they actually did this becomes painfully clear when Zosimus stated that the Britons eventually evicted most if not all roman magistrates and set up home rule in 409 AD and the only part that could be reliably claimed to have been mostly or completely Romanized was the southeast corner of Britain which was completely reliant on roman arms for defense. In Gaul just before the romans lost complete control over the east, south, south west, north east and center due to invasions from over the Rhine they gave Armorica self rule and a place as foederati for Armorican archers after Attila came because bagaudae archers were the hun archers only match successfully beating them during the battle of cataluanian fields beating the hun night attack
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