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"Roman legion in the new world." Topic


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1,776 hits since 9 Apr 2014
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tyler32609 Apr 2014 5:40 a.m. PST

Any one ever thought of this scenario? Have any books been written about it ( say an alternate history/ fantasy)?

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2014 7:15 a.m. PST

That would be an interesting series of battles, though the different fighting styles might lead to a kind of stalemate. The natives would be hard-pressed in close combat, but the Romans might be unable to catch their opponents fading into the forest.

In Meso-America the Romans would face opponents trying to take captives for sacrifice.

I do recall that even in North America there were a few Pre-Columbian groups that preferred to fight in close-order and wore wooden or bone armor. Fighting styles could vary greatly from region to region.

For example, about 1000 years after the Romans, but just as the New World was being opened up to exploration, Champlain (if I remember corrrectly) reported that the Iroquois were fighting in close order and advancing under a cloud of missiles. Champlain was travelling with Algonquin war parties that fought in a more open fashion.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2014 9:22 a.m. PST

The natives would be hard-pressed in close combat, but the Romans might be unable to catch their opponents fading into the forest.

Then the Romans would start chopping down the whole forest. Those guys were persistent.

Frank Sollitto09 Apr 2014 9:41 a.m. PST

There are three alternate history books in the "Procurator" series by Kirk Mitchell. I enjoyed the series, although the tech level is more in the "steam" era then ancient. I am pretty sure Amazon may carry them. Worth a look perhaps.

regards

Tacitus09 Apr 2014 9:45 a.m. PST

Don't forget what happened to Varus' legions in the thick forests of Germany…

mex10mm09 Apr 2014 12:37 p.m. PST

American cultures were still in the "Stone Age" by the time of the Romans.
The difference in weapon technology and tactics would have been as abysmal as when the "conquistadores" arrived to the "new world"; so I think this kind of scenarios would be best fought at the skirmish level.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2014 1:06 p.m. PST

They'd bring the same diseases, have metal weapons, be organized on a scale the native population would not be, have horses, 'artillery', etc.

Romans win.

Dan

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2014 2:39 p.m. PST

The real challenge for the Romans would be logistical. Even a single legion would find it very difficult, probably impossible, to forage and plunder enough to sustain itself in North America. They might have a chance around some of the Meso-American population centers.

Patrice09 Apr 2014 4:04 p.m. PST

I don't see why the Romans would want to fight in a place that could not be economically connected to the Empire by regular and efficient trade routes.

They were not more stupid than we are.

They would make contacts, spy, and send reports to Rome; who would say: yes, keep a look on these lands, and wait till the Senate votes money for conquest (are you still waiting?)

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse09 Apr 2014 6:36 p.m. PST

The Roman "advantage" was NOT due to any tactical advantage. It was pure bloody-mindedness. As often as not, some stupid consul would totally screw up and get his army massacred. Any rational nation would stop there.
The Romans would simply send another army under another consul.
Sooner or later, the new consul would have two brain cells to rub together and win. Then he would massacre the populace.

The New World was simply too far away for the Romans to get all that excited about losing a Legion or two, if they ever heard about it.
The usual moronic consul would get his legions lost through some standard blunder, and no one would ever know. So, no second wave commanded by a slightly more efficient consul.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse09 Apr 2014 6:38 p.m. PST

Yes, I am one of those gamers who hates the standard "+2 for being Roman" rules that infest us. grin

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