Campaign History of The Roman Military - Empire - Early To Middle (30 BC – 180 AD) - Imperial Expansion (40 BC – 117)

Imperial Expansion (40 BC – 117)

Roman invasion and
occupation of Britain
Roman invasion and
occupation of Britain
  • Medway
  • Caer Caradoc
  • Menai
  • Boudica's uprising
    • Massacre of the Ninth Legion
    • Londinium
    • Watling Street
  • Scotch Corner
  • Mons Graupius
  • Caledonia (208-210)
  • Carausian Revolt
  • Great Conspiracy
Roman–Germanic Wars

Cimbrian War

  • Noreia
  • Arausio
  • Aquae Sextiae
  • Vercellae

Early Imperial Campaigns in Germania

  • Lupia River
  • Teutoburg Forest
  • Weser River

Marcomannic Wars

Roman–Alemannic Wars

  • Mediolanum
  • Lake Benacus
  • Placentia
  • Fano
  • Pavia
  • Lingones
  • Vindonissa
  • Durocortorum
  • Argentoratum
  • Solicinium

Gothic War

  • Ad Salices
  • Adrianople
  • Thessalonica

Visigothic Wars

  • Pollentia
  • Verona
  • Faesulae
  • Rome
  • Narbonne
  • Châlons
  • Arelate
  • Vouillé

Vandalic Wars

  • Rome
  • Cartagena
  • Ad Decimum
  • Tricamarum

Anglo-Saxon Wars

  • Groans of the Britons
  • Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
  • Night of the Long Knives
  • Wippedesfleot
  • Mercredesburne
  • Mons Badonicus
  • Dyrham
  • Woden's Burg
  • Raith

Ostrogothic Wars

  • Rome
  • Faventia
  • Rome
  • Rome
  • Sena Gallica
  • Taginae
  • Mons Lactarius
Domitian's and Trajan's Dacian Wars
  • Domitian's Dacian War
  • Second Battle of Tapae
  • Adamclisi
  • Sarmisegetusa
Armenian War of 58–63
  • Volandum
  • Artaxata
  • 1st Tigranocerta
  • 2nd Tigranocerta
  • Rhandeia

Under emperors secure from interior enemies, such as Augustus and Trajan, the military achieved great territorial gains in both the East and the West. In the West, following humiliating defeats at the hands of the Sugambri, Tencteri and Usipetes tribes in 16 BC, Roman armies pushed north and east out of Gaul to subdue much of Germania. The Pannonian revolt in AD 6 forced the Romans to cancel their plan to cement their conquest of Germania by invading Bohemia for the moment. Despite the loss of a large army almost to the man in Varus' famous defeat at the hands of the Germanic leader Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, Rome recovered and continued its expansion up to and beyond the borders of the known world. Roman armies under Germanicus pursued several more campaigns against the Germanic tribes of the Marcomanni, Hermunduri, Chatti, Cherusci, Bructeri, and Marsi. Overcoming several mutinies in the armies along the Rhine, Germanicus defeated the Germanic tribes of Arminius in a series of battles culminating in the Battle of the Weser River.

After preliminary low-scale invasions of Britain, the Romans invaded Britain in force in 43 AD, forcing their way inland through several battles against British tribes, including the Battle of the Medway, the Battle of the Thames, the Battle of Caer Caradoc and the Battle of Mona. Following a general uprising in which the Britons sacked Colchester, St Albans and London, the Romans suppressed the rebellion in the Battle of Watling Street and went on to push as far north as central Scotland in the Battle of Mons Graupius. Tribes in modern-day Scotland and Northern England repeatedly rebelled against Roman rule and two military bases were established in Britannia to protect against rebellion and incursions from the north, from which Roman troops built and manned Hadrian's Wall.

On the continent, the extension of the Empire's borders beyond the Rhine hung in the balance for some time, with the emperor Caligula apparently poised to invade Germania in AD 39, and Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo crossing the Rhine in AD 47 and marching into the territory of the Frisii and Chauci before his successor Claudius ordered the suspension of further attacks across the Rhine, setting what was to become the permanent limit of the Empire's expansion in this direction.

"Never was there slaughter more cruel than took place there in the marshes and woods, never were more intolerable insults inflicted by barbarians, especially those directed against the legal pleaders. They put out the eyes of some of them and cut off the hands of others; they sewed up the mouth of one of them after first cutting out his tongue, which one of the barbarians held in his hand, exclaiming At last, you viper, you have ceased to hiss!."
Florus on the loss of Varus' force

Further east, Trajan turned his attention to Dacia, an area north of Macedon and Greece and east of the Danube that had been on the Roman agenda since before the days of Caesar when they had beaten a Roman army at the Battle of Histria. In AD 85, the Dacians had swarmed over the Danube and pillaged Moesia and initially defeated an army the Emperor Domitian sent against them, but the Romans were victorious in the Battle of Tapae in AD 88 and a truce was drawn up.

Emperor Trajan recommenced hostilities against Dacia and, following an uncertain number of battles, defeated the Dacian general Decebalus in the Second Battle of Tapae in 101. With Trajan's troops pressing towards the Dacian capital Sarmizegethusa, Decebalus once more sought terms. Decebalus rebuilt his power over the following years and attacked Roman garrisons again in 105. In response Trajan again marched into Dacia, besieging the Dacian capital in the Siege of Sarmizethusa, and razing it to the ground. With Dacia quelled, Trajan subsequently invaded the Parthian empire to the east, his conquests taking the Roman Empire to its greatest extent. Rome's borders in the east were indirectly governed through a system of client states for some time, leading to less direct campaigning than in the west in this period.

The Armenian Kingdom between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea became a focus of contention between Rome and the Parthian Empire, and control of the region was repeatedly gained and lost. The Parthians forced Armenia into submission from AD 37 but in AD 47 the Romans retook control of the kingdom and offered it client kingdom status. Under Nero, the Romans fought a campaign between AD 55 and 63 against the Parthian Empire, which had again invaded Armenia. After gaining Armenia once more in AD 60 and subsequently losing it again in AD 62, the Romans sent Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo in AD 63 into the territories of Vologases I of Parthia. Corbulo succeeded in returning Armenia to Roman client status, where it remained for the next century.

Read more about this topic:  Campaign History Of The Roman Military, Empire, Early To Middle (30 BC – 180 AD)

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