Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Battle of Magnesia 190BC pt2

The Romans wished to fight this battle, before a new consul was sent out from Rome and winter would lead the campaign to a halt. Scipio had successfully crossed the river and set up a camp only about 3 miles from the camp of Antiochus. Scipio's further advance from his camp was made with the river protecting his left, where he would rest his arrayed legions. Except for 4 squadrons all the allied cavalry was on its right when the battle started.
As in almost all ancient battles, different reconstructions are possible. Appian has the battle start on the Seleucid left with a failed attack by the scythed chariots which disrupted the Seleucid cavalry on the left wing. At the same time, there was a charge on the right by the Seleucid cavalry wing commanded by the king himself, which broke their opposing infantry leading to a pursuit, where the Seleucid horse left the field to unsuccessfully attack the Roman camp.
   The Roman ally Eumenes, commanding all their cavalry on the right of the Roman-Allied army counterattacked the Seleucid left, which was already disrupted by the scythed chariots, and broke it. In the center of the battle line, the Seleucids had arrayed their pike phalanx with elephants in intervals between the taxeis. They seem to have been unable to really participate in the battle, having soon been encircled by the victorious enemy horsemen. Forming squares facing all sides, the pikemen tried to march off the battlefield but they broke when the elephants panicked. Eventually, after further fighting, the Seleucid camp fell.







After an armistice was arranged between Antiochus and Rome, the Roman army waged a campaign against the Galatians which politically undermined the Seleucid position in Asia Minor. The Romans had had a tremendous advantage throughout their campaign from their much more limited political objective. All the small powers could ally themselves to Rome because Rome sought no political annexations at this time. Conversely, Antiochus desired to conquer Asia Minor, as he saw himself in the vein of Alexander the Great. The Aegean Sea was a natural frontier for a state based in Babylonia, as Xerxes discovered long ago. If Antiochus had wanted to advance west into Greece, he needed to turn his state into the leading naval power in the Mediterranean, from nowhere, before sending his army west.

The treaty forced upon Antiochus III by the victorious Romans was crippling, in the Treaty of Apamea Antiochus was forced to pay a huge war indemnity of 15,000 Talents along with giving up significant territory in Asia Minor. The Taurus Mountains became the new frontier. The Seleucid navy was limited by treaty, and their squadrons of war elephants destroyed. It weakened the already fractious Seleucid Empire and halted all ambitions of Antiochus III in becoming a latter day Alexander in his own right.

 Polybius states the financial burden of war indemnity forced Antiochus III to loot temple treasuries. This alienated Seleucid subjects and further reduced the dynasty's prestige already sharply reduced by the decisive defeat suffered against the Romans.









 The game was fought using Warhammer ancient battles, yes we still play it long after its death...
at present the game is in the balance and all is to play for.
you need 2s to wound...