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Old 31st July 2009, 04:18 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

Rome vs. Macedon

Let's consider a few factors

  • Organization: Both armies were extremely organized with a variety of different types of infantry, cavalry, siege engines, ect.

  • Diversity: Macedon probably beats Rome here only because it controlled an area of territory with more distinct cultures that used different military tactics and technology

  • Technology: Obviously the answer to this is simple: Rome. The Romans came later so of course they had better technology, but was better enough to make that big of a difference?

  • Training: While the Macedonian military was well trained, Rome probably slightly beats them out here. The reason for this is because much more of the Roman Army had been trained in the same manner and therefore fought more cohesively. The reason for this is because while Macedon employed Greek Warfare training throughout western Asia, it was not as effective as the training in the Italic states under Roman control.

  • Patriotism: The Romans probably beat out the Macedonians in this situation. If you read up on the history of Alexander's conquests, you'll notice that many of his soldiers did not want to continue the campaign into the greater section of India. The Roman Legions, who swore allegiance, fought gallantly not only for their state but also for the many riches

  • Size: The size seems to very equal between that of the Macedonian Army and the Roman Army, at least in engagements. Therefore, this would probably not be a major factor.

  • Generalship: While the Romans had extremely good control over their army, Macedon wins this for one and only one reason only: their generals were able to control their military as well as the Romans even though it was much more diverse.

  • Fighting Experience: This is an even draw. Both armies were extremely experienced.
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Old 2nd August 2009, 10:48 PM   #137 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

Rome came up with their legion specifically to beat the phalanx system of the Spartans, and at the Battle of Cynoscephalae, destroyed the Greek power structure forever.
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Old 3rd August 2009, 12:06 AM   #138 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

You have to keep in mind though that the Macedonian Army wasn't only mad up of hoplites. It was probably the most diverse, well trained military force in the classical world.

Legions were not created for the sole purpose of beating greek military forces as well. While they did fight the Greeks first in the Pyrrhic War, the Legion had been developed much before then in order to defeat other Italic peoples.

This is not to say that structurally the Legion was better suited for warfare than the Phalanx. The key difference between the Legion and Phalanx was that the Legion was more flexible than the Phalanx. In all other aspects, the two fighting styles were generally equal.
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Old 3rd August 2009, 02:19 AM   #139 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

Sorry, I made a spelling error.

*made
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Old 19th August 2009, 11:48 AM   #140 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

all of you guys are WRONG! i'l give you guys the best satisfying answer.

1. if the romans fought the spartans as a whole. meaning an army for an army, surely the spratans would lose. no need to say it. why? romans had numerous types of infantry. auxila, hastati, legionaries, archers, cavalry. and of course superior maneuverability. they are flexible where as the spartan were trained more to fight forwardly against a target in the front. the phalanx formation. the focus of the phalanx, the power is all based in the front. the romans could see this flaw easily and surround the spartans. phalanx formation are the weakest at the sides and back. they do not have enough flexibility to turn to the sides and use the phalanx formation, as the phalanx purpose is to smash against the enemy's front line and come in close grip with the front and push, block, stab. again... etc


2. if we're talking about single man fighting. one spartan vs one roman. one on one. mannnn the legionary would have his ass kicked anyday. spartans are trained at the age of seven, alot of you might say "so what? the romans are diciplined". sure they are but spartans are trained to fight at close quarters, there training were far more cruel and harder than the roman legionary. dont forget people that spartans aren't just good at using the spear, the REAL SLAUGHTER begins when the spartan draws his sword and chop you down. they are the champion at close quarter combat with swords. im sure everyone has seen the movie '300" no need to say how fiercm they fight. roman legions on the other hand are more superior as a whole. they fight together in formation as a team. you never see a roman legionary walks up alone to the enemy and starts chopping away. but a spartan would and can.


3. so the answer would be. army vs army. romans win due to flexibility and various different types of troops.


4. one on one. spartan would win hands down.


5.also the reason the romans took over greece was because romans were at their prime and greeks weren't. sparta is a small state and they barely have more than 10.000 hoplites at any given time. also during the time when rome took over. greece was degrating. spartans were'nt as strong as they were during thermopoly. they just can't produce enough men to fight.


6. IF the romans agree to fight only forwardly against the spartans. meaning no maneuvering, no surrounding, no archers, no cavalry. just men against men attacking only the front. the spartans would also win. because nothing can beat 'the forest of spears' PHALANX are at the strongest when fighting off FRONTAL opponents. and spartans physics are also much much more fit. the romans will be push back by the heavy spartan shield and the phalanx formation that will eventually break the roman line. phalanx tactics are to push against the enemy and stab, push and stab. romans would be block, stab, block stab. roman formastion is that the front line fights and the rest holds the front person's back to keep the line in place. whereas phalanx. the hoplites at the back would push together against the men at the front, to produce a more powerful push. so yeah there you go.
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Old 20th August 2009, 05:51 AM   #141 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

I like your modesty, manqingbaqi. You do make a good point, however. A Roman army would undoubtedly defeat a Spartan army and since that was the question I think you have answered it. I do think you underestimate the fighting quality of the average Roman soldier, but the post was not about one-on-one combat. If it was then the Romans should be allowed to use their gladiators; professionals, who I suspect, would have given even the best Spartan warrior a run for his money.
Your last point does overlook the fact that the Spartans were defeated at the battles of Leutra and Mantinea by opponents using essentially the same tactics as the Spartans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mantinea_(362_BC)
Battle of Leuctra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 20th August 2009, 11:40 AM   #142 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

I thought Leuctra and Mantinea were where Epaminondas invented the oblique order, and that's why he won?

The Spartans won the war in the end, I think.
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Old 21st August 2009, 03:37 AM   #143 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

At Leutra it was pretty much the usual shoving match, but the Thebans reversed the usual order, placing their elite troops opposite the Spartan elite troops and increasing the thickness of the phalanx five-fold.

And you are right. With fewer troops elsewhere the Thebans were forced to march their troops at an angle against the Spartans in order to completely occupy all of the Spartan front line. It was a tactic based on the fact that the Spartans always used the same battle formation.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 02:14 PM   #144 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

You all do state great points here. I think that Rome would probably defeat Sparta (even if both were in there prime) when fighting in a battle with the same numbers. However, if Rome were to take its Legionaries and send them solely against Sparta, they would probably lose in a close contest. Both are formidable forces and hard to compare because of differences of time periods.
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Old 20th September 2009, 07:06 PM   #145 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

Sorry for the double reply.

Is this thread dead?!?!

Keep the Rome vs. Sparta thread alive and the debate continuing.
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Old 21st September 2009, 12:00 AM   #146 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

Surely there's a Q.E.D logic in the fact everyone used the phalanx and then gave it up? If both systems were of equal worth they'd be contemporary with each other right up until the fall of Rome. Rome's later enemies would have adopted the Phalanx system as a viable reply, rather than ignore it as the outdated system it so obviously had become in the face of the legion.

1- Throw javelins at phalanx and weaken it.
2-Use big shields to soak up Phalanx's attack.
3-Use short swords to cut down spear heads.
4-Get in close and stab a bunch of guys now holding long sticks.

With a few exceptions, this seems to be what happened. War evolved.
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Old 21st September 2009, 12:07 AM   #147 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

Quote:
Originally Posted by manqingbaqi View Post
1. if the romans fought the spartans as a whole. meaning an army for an army, surely the spratans would lose.
Army for army, nobody thought the Americans would defeat the Brits.
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Old 21st September 2009, 12:35 AM   #148 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

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Originally Posted by dustinzgirl View Post
Army for army, nobody thought the Americans would defeat the Brits.
Ah, we let 'em have it. Wasn't worth the time and trouble.
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Old 10th November 2009, 08:06 PM   #149 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

The Americans and the British are a different story. There were different factors involved that led to the American victory. I would like to hear someone's opinion who thinks that the Spartans would defeat the Romans and what their reasoning behind this is.
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Old 11th November 2009, 05:01 AM   #150 (permalink)
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Re: Rome vs Sparta

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinzgirl View Post
Army for army, nobody thought the Americans would defeat the Brits.
Never forget that the battle that turned the tide in the US Revoutionary War was fought was Yorktown, which was won with French support. More than anything else the entry of France into the war on the side of the rebels convinced the British that the war was no longer winnable. And there is also the fact that many members of the British Parliament had argued against forcing the American colonies to remain in the British Empire. These members steadily gained support as the war progressed. Even so, the war was a near thing for the victorious Americans. Largely ignored by many American historians is the fact that a very large part of the colonial population supported the British, not the rebel cause. At the very most support for opposing the British was probably never higher than about 60%, a fact that was conveniently ignored by historians who were attempting to create the myth of American unity aganst the British oppressor.
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