Back in a time in our history ruled an army of legions under supreme dictatorship and gladiatorial battles drawn in coliseums and perilous landscapes that painted the brush strokes of the Roman Empire. With blood-soaked ground on battlefields and villages set on fire, the Republic instilled fear in anyone who opposed them.Aether
Many armies either tried stopping them from advancing into their lands or took the initiative to attack the mighty foe. Even top religious authorities fell to the blade of Roman authority and its mighty legions that marched and fought in specialized patterns and groups of foot soldiers; however, it didn’t stop armies from attacking them.
Those who did like Hannibal often became too weak to pursue their attack on Rome but some such as Cannae pushed the Empire to the brink of destruction with just one day of battle, the Romans lost seven times the amount of soldiers that were later killed during the war of Gettysburg.
ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY
When humans say all roads lead to Rome, nothing could be truer as all things evil permeated from the cobblestone streets leading into the impressive city of Rome. With that said, Rome wasn’t built in a day as each stone laid was placed one at a time, constructing an Empire and trained killers from the age of Roman conception.
Life in those times was divided by the family you were born into whether it be a royal family or a lowly peasant farmer. Those born to the Republic attended grammar school at the age of 12 or 13 where they learned to be effective speakers and those who shined went on to rhetoric school and excelled at literature, grammar, Latin, and Greek.
THE VALUE OF LIFE AND GOLD
But on the flip side of the golden aureus was the poor children from the hunter/gatherer communities that dotted the fields outside of Rome with parents that were originally forced to leave their children to die or picked up by another family and turned into a slave due to the oppressive stronghold by the Romans, they couldn’t afford to feed them.
THE COST OF LIFE AND DEATH
Moreover, the Romans gave them another option, to sell them for shiny pieces of gold. Wedged between the sand and stone of the Republic’s dominance and fear they instilled in anyone who opposed them, some parents took the money and others left them to die or be killed themselves and fled to the hills, making the unwanted child a part of the legion.
Since Rome is famous for its indulgent and lavish way of life, the most epic blood wars were fought to ensure the survival of the Empire and Republic. These bloody and gruesome wars often led to changes in Emperors and shifted the development of Roman history and culture throughout the vast expansion of Roman territories.
TOP 7 MOST EPIC BLOOD WARS IN ROME
The mistake that most opponents of Rome made, especially during the Principate of Rome starting with the age of Augustus to the Diocletian reformation during the third century was even if they won the battle for the time being the Romans had one objective in mind, they allowed their victors to believe they won and then surprised them with an outrageous amount of legions and pursued them relentlessly until they won.
Here are the seven most epic blood wars in Rome:
1. CAESAR’S CIVIL WAR
Caesar’s Civil War was fought between 49 BC to 45 BC and was also called the Great Roman Civil War. It was waged between the Roman Senate and Julius Caesar as he became a legend already among the Roman people, especially after he won the Gallic War and implemented several reforms for the citizens of Rome.
Before the bloody war of Caesar’s Civil War, wars had already painted the landscape red with bloodshed in Africa, Greece, Italy, and other European countries as Rome battled for political supremacy. However, under the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius, this politico-military development eventually arrived in the face of Rome itself.
Caesar’s Civil War established the Roman Empire and Julius Caesar joined forces with Mark Antony and the two ruled Rome with an iron fist. In Hindsight, Julius Caesar was assassinated by his own people, and Mark Antony who also was in love with Cleopatra committed suicide after she died.
2. GALLIC WAR
The Gallic War and its fighters were known as the Gauls and part of the Latin Empire. The Romans and the Gauls fought many battles where heads were severed and impaled on spikes driven by the Roman soldiers but the Gauls were not a weak enemy as they often taunted the Romans with their own heads on public display close to their front lines and doorsteps.
They fought on the battlefields between 58 BC to 50 BC and thousands on both sides suffered gruesome fatalities. Legend says that the Gallic Wars were a direct result of Julius Caesar’s financial obligations and debts and to boost his political career. The Gauls had money and were trading assets with Roman merchants.
Several blood wars were deployed against the Gallic tribes; however, they were eventually absorbed and subdued into Caesar’s Empire. One thing is certainly true, the Romans strive for power and nobility and didn’t take no for an answer, and used their military power to win at all costs.
3. ROMAN-LATIN WAR
During the seventh century BC, the Roman-Latin War was initiated by the Latins when they entered Roman territories and tore them apart with their swords and spears. Moreover, the Latins got betrayed by Ancus Marcius, the Roman King. As a result, Ancus declared a blood war on them, leaving the Latins to take refuge in the city of Rome.
Many epic battles involving burning bodies followed during the reign of the mighty Lucius Tarquinius Priscus in 588 BC. Key Latin cities were overtaken by the power of Rome and a peace treaty was established; however, in 508 BC, another epic blood war with painted red landscapes broke out with similar results.
Lars Porsens, the Etruscan King was defeated and another peace settlement was agreed upon by the Latins and Romans but once again in 389 BC, it was broken when Rome’s primary aggressor, the city of Praenste attacked the Romans but like before, they fell to the sword of Rome and they ended up surrendering to be Rome’s ally.
4. MACEDONIAN WAR
The Macedonian War is a bloody war fought by the Romans and their Greek allies in the Mediterranean lands between them against different Greek Kingdoms. Severed heads in burlap bags were a common delivery to the opposing side and featured six conflicts and four wars in Macedonia.
The battles included the Seleucid Empire but they later would get annihilated by the Achaean League and started in 214 BC and lasted until 148 BC. In 214 BC, the first Macedonian War against Philip V. of Macedon resulted in the year 205 BC in a stalemate. However, the second battle occurred a decade after the first was and came to an end in 196 BC.
The third blood war happened from 171 BC to 168 BC between Philip’s son Perseus and Rome with Perseus suffering defeat, causing the Macedon Kingdom to be divided into four kingdoms, all ruled by Rome. Lastly, the fourth blood war occurred in 150 BC and was an uprising by Andriscus against Rome who impersonated to be Persues’s son.
Andriscus was defeated by Rome in 148 BC and the Achaean League was formed as a direct result of the Macedonian Wars.
5. PYRRHIC WAR
The Pyrrhic War debuted on the blood war scene in Roman territories with earth permeated by red blades of grass between the years of 280 BC to 275 BC. It was fought between the Roman Republic, the King of Epirus, and Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus summoned the Roman Republic for aid to defeat the city of Tarentum in Greece.
Both sides saw heavy casualties with piles of rotten corpses and fields littered with dead fighters but in the end, Rome was too overbearing and crushed them by showing other Empires and even other countries they stooped at nothing to win a battle. Despite the best counter-attacks and military intelligence, the Romans always persevered, albeit endured heavy losses.
6. CAPE ECNOMUS WAR
This epic blood war turned the ocean waters red in Cape Ecnomus by means of a tactical naval battle in 256 BC. This war was an implementation between the Carthaginians and the Romans. Despite the experienced maritime warfare of the Carthaginians, many got captured and tortured with medieval devices for information.
This wasn’t the first time the two giant whales danced in the Mediterranean but beyond any sunken warships, this was touted as the most robust naval battle in history. The Carthaginians were highly skilled and came with expertise and still fell to the overpowering effect of Rome’s skilled squadrons grouped by four.
One of the biggest mistakes the heavily favored naval war generals made was assuming the Romans were attacking from the east, when in fact, the opposite happened as they attacked from the west surprising their enemy and buried their campaign in the deep blue Mediterranean sea.
7. CANNAE WAR
The blood war of Cannae was a gruesome battle that saw a significant loss of human life and scattered the wayside with dead corpses, crucifixions, and impaled heads on stakes that often lined the shoulders of the main roads and passageways. It occurred during the Second Punic War from 218 BC to 201 BC.
It goes down as the largest blood and conflict war of the Roman Empire’s history and was between Hannibal of Carthage and the consuls of Rome. Historical records indicate that it was the most violent battle ever fought. Varying ingenious and heinous war tactics were deployed on both sides including raping women, children, and even captured men from the opposing side as a sign of denigration and dominance.
Both sides of the Cannae blood war suffered many fatalities with the Romans losing between 11,000 to 16,000 soldiers. Simultaneously, the Carthaginians also endured heavy casualties in terms of equipment, weapons, and soldiers. Hannibal gave the Romans all he was worth but fell to his demise while Cannae pushed on to Rome they also fell to the Golden Eagle.
THE FINAL IMPACTS: MOST EPIC BLOOD WARS IN ROME
A good look under the illustration microscope into the lens of the late Republican endeavors against the Hellenistic world reveals that the Hellenistic armies of the Seleucid and Macedon Empires often engaged in fatal blood wars with an unseen sleeping giant, the Roman Empire, and fought wars they couldn’t win.
The final impact is realizing that during certain phases of the battles they may have bitten off more of the apple than they could chew, could have lost the war, and tried to surrender but the Romans in their quest for supreme power and dominance did anything but allow their enemies to surrender, they killed them instead.
To end, the Romans wanted total obedience to their movements and didn’t take no for an answer. Simply put, if you beat the Romans, they always came back with more soldiers, and if you beat them in the second blood war, they still came back.