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Roman legion vs medieval army

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posted on May, 15 2010 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by Fingon
Ever since watching kingdom of heaven Ive been wondering how the Roman legion will fare up against a medieval army. Now it would seem that this will be a no contest but I would think the Roman legion would develop tactics against the medieval knights and their calvary considering how the Roman legion were resourceful and more maneuverable.



Well, it says all.
After reading some of these posts I see that people posting here have vague understanding of what Roman military system was and base their opinion on some crappy Hollywood movies instead on historical facts facts.
\First of all, read originals and works of ancient and contemporary serious historians. Read for God sake Caesar's memoirs about his wars in Gaul and elsewhere where you can get pretty good understanding on what Roman legion and generally how Romans fought. Siting some 4-5 th A/D century is not good as it was time when Roman military system was dead. Try to look at the system as it was since 1 st century B.C to the beginning of the 3-d century A.D when the system started going apart.
Roman system was about adaptability and aggressive approach to deciding strategical and tactical problems. Improvements in iron works would not help medieval army of knights against Roman forces as it is well known fact that Romans used to introduce whatever they saw as being better from their enemies into their system. Their swords were of Spanish origin, their helmets of imperial period were of Gaulish origin and no doubt they would being in whatever improvements in iron working that happened. Medieval army was a mess while Roman army was the army on which all modern military is based. Caesar mentioned in his memoirs and it was shown later when Swiss fought Burgundians that properly trained disciplined and motivated infantry will always beat cavalry. Roman discipline, incredible adaptiveness and aggression and capability for heavy long labor would break anything Medieval army could bring. Medieval army was never able to make any kind of total warfare Roman army was capable of. Just read ancient sources and especially Caesar's original works and see what Roman army could do. While Medieval army of knights was not even able to hold Palestine.




posted on May, 15 2010 @ 08:53 PM
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Longbows. Longbows, longbows, longbows.

The Romans wouldn't even get within eyesight of the Medieval army before the arrows started raining down on their front lines, piercing right through their squishy bronze armor and generally wreaking havoc on morale.

The draw strength on some of these things was enough to penetrate steel plate at short range. The Romans would have no choice but to turtle up, halt their advance, and hang around until somebody invented gunpowder.



posted on May, 2 2011 @ 03:57 AM
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Seriously I think some of you people in here spend to many nights playing dungeons and dragons and world of warcraft. I am sorry to say but the medieval period was far less romantic than is depicted in any fantasy novel or HollyWood crafted movie. The medieval period was definatelynot an improvement over the Roman era. Infact if you really look into that time period it was more like an extension of the dark ages. People during that time were unsanitary and under nourished and disease ran rampant to the lack of emphasis of santitation and personal hygiene. Most people could not read and write and there was no emphasis on either one except what was taught with in the confinements of the church. Relgion and science were constantly at odds and therefore most scientific advancements were dismissed as heresy. There was a constant need for a central government. Kings and noble constantly fought each other and the commoners were caught in the middle. The armies of the middle ages? Well they left allot of be desired. They were undisciplined, lacking in structure,no real tactics other than let the strongest swordsmen win, and were basically a rabble of thugs and peasants in chainmail and sheet metal. The Roman era produced advances in science , government structure, engineering, philosophy, basic sanitation, military tactics, and architecture that was not seen for atleast 1000 years after the Roman empire collapsed. The Roman military was a well oiled and professional army. By the hieght of the Roman empire they had a few centuries of warfare under thier belts. They had faced and crushed enemies of all sorts which were armed with weapons of all sorts. That includes pole weapons, broad swords and weapons similar to the medieval morning star. The Romans adopted gladius and the tower sheild becuz it was the ultimate advantage over such heavy weapons. They could get in at close range and stab down their enemies. They would get so close that the heavy weapons would get to point of almost useless. The medieval knights had plate armor. Yeah whatever so what. it has been tested that roman gladius can go through even the heaviest of plate armor. Sorry to say but that is that truth. By the way weapons during the medieval times were not steel they were iron. Steel was no invented until 1854. Yes the medieval soldiers(for lack of a better term) had longer heavier weapons and more armor but that doesn't give them the advantage people might think. The romans didn't use so much armor becuz if was deemed unecessary and bogged down mobility. Not becuz they were less advanced in weaponology. Becuz the medieval knights and soldier wore so much amor they would become tired and disorietned, They already lack in discipline so they would find them themselves being cut down by terrifylingly larger force that has mobility and hardcore training. A knights charge? Well anyone can roll a 50 gallon drum down a hill and hope it hits something but the Romans wouldn't be stupid enough to hit them head on.Their cavalry with less armor would out manuever them. They would get in between them or on their flanks where they would be close enough that the lance and long sword would be wothless. They would be in stabbing range where yes the gladius is effective against all types of armor except magical armor with a plus ten dexterity save. lol Make no mistake the Romans were a trained ARMY that meant business. When ever they would meet an enemy with some type of weaponry they never encountered they would adapt fast. This is what made them the greates killing force prior to the invetion of the gun.



posted on May, 2 2011 @ 04:01 AM
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reply to post by The Parallelogram
 


Holly wood is waiting to get you on the phone.



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 06:21 AM
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Originally posted by Londontower96
Seriously I think some of you people in here spend to many nights playing dungeons and dragons and world of warcraft. I am sorry to say but the medieval period was far less romantic than is depicted in any fantasy novel or HollyWood crafted movie.


Sorry, but you´re a bit guilty of the same errors you lament in others. The image we have today of the the classical period is just as romantically tinted - incidentally by the same renaissance writers and thinkers that painted the middle ages with an equally unrealistic dark and dirty brush. In reality, many of the advances of the Roman empire were available only to a small elite group of persons, and were only possible because of the rampant slavery system during greek and roman times. The common people were mere subjects with even less of a standing than during formative periods of the middle ages. The unbelievable splendor of the antique and classical ruling classes has never been repeated, because it happened on the subjugated backs of the commoners.


People during that time were unsanitary and under nourished and disease ran rampant to the lack of emphasis of santitation and personal hygiene. Most people could not read and write and there was no emphasis on either one except what was taught with in the confinements of the church.


Just the same as with the Romans. Really, there is not a big difference other than the thorough sanitation in Rome has been largely overestimated while the middle ages just had a different concept of sanitation. Both situations are largely founded on the obliviousness to the existence of germs. Thats a problem of knowledge, not a cultural problem.


Relgion and science were constantly at odds and therefore most scientific advancements were dismissed as heresy.


That is just completely untrue. In fact, church schools and monasteries were powerhouses of scientific advance. Whats more, the inclusion of commoners in the church and the relative freedom of urban artificers and traders enabled much more people to be active in shaping society and scientific advance. Lets not forget that the "dark ages" were not simply a time of stupidity and ignorance. During these times there was laid the groundwork of a social upheaval that dumped thousands of years of society structure and created something completely new.


There was a constant need for a central government.


I can only believe you mistyped here. The feudalistic period with its permeating vassal system and the free cities was pretty much the antithesis to centralized government.


Their cavalry with less armor would out manuever them. They would get in between them or on their flanks where they would be close enough that the lance and long sword would be wothless. They would be in stabbing range where yes the gladius is effective against all types of armor except magical armor with a plus ten dexterity save. lol


While on horseback, longer reaching weapons like spears, lances or longswords will have an advantage over short stabbing gladii every time.
edit on 3/5/2011 by Lonestar24 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by Lonestar24
 

Hi there
You are 100% right. Its typical till today to take the image of medieval reality straight from the Protestant (mostly Catholics heaters) writers like sir Walter Scott. Or from post french revolution antichristian propaganda...

Only one question: if the Medieval culture, engineering etc were so primitive why then that "inventive", "tolerant" and "openminded" (all that disputable
)Romans yelded under atacks of the"primitives"- mostly protophlasts of the medieval nations?
If they were so primitive why then we all in Europe (well most of us
) still are not carying aroud that small carpets the mahometans carry? Because, against all propaganda the Crusades ( in reality necessary defensive action of Christians) won for us that several centuries of relative security from islamic expansion.

For the people like him cliches of long faded propaganda are the "real Medieval Age"(still living well in the epigonian movies like "Kingdom of Heven" from the OP but thats topic for new tread...something like: "The askhenazian overrepresentation in the Holywood and its impact on the popular vision of our reality"

In short -no real opponent.







posted on May, 12 2011 @ 08:20 AM
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Indeed it would be a no contest.The Legion wouldn't out maneuver the cavalry and wouldn't be able to do the desired damage due to the armor the cavalry would have.The only way to make an argument is by assuming that the Roman Legion would outnumber the Medieval cavalry but that wouldn't give us an honest answer.
In the end it'd come down to how long the Legion would last before breaking their formation and losing the battle.They wouldn't even have the option to flee.

This would be a massacre.




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