The roman legionnaires who defended China: the cruel fate of the army lost of Crass

Nor murders, nor sex, nor rupture: the truth about the fall of the roman Republic L in Ancient Rome gave way for centuries to one of the killing machines, mo

The roman legionnaires who defended China: the cruel fate of the army lost of Crass
Nor murders, nor sex, nor rupture: the truth about the fall of the roman Republic

L in Ancient Rome gave way for centuries to one of the killing machines, more effective story through their disciplined legions. Towards the end of the Republic, the elements and virtues that have seen the film in relation to this infantry were already fully distingibles and can beat any strength in Europe, Africa or Asia . One of its few weak points are showing, however, in places narrow as the forest of Teutoburg, and, above all, in the battles held in plains lf, where they were vulnerable to cavalry light playing cat and mouse. And that is precisely what happened when the Framework Crass led his legions against the parthian Empire, which now occupies Iran and the entire region. A disaster with long echo and puzzles which still endure in the time.

The order in Asia of the triumvirate

The first triumvirate in the history of Rome, that in reality he had no policy but that was a secret alliance, worked with the charm of Julius Caesar, the auctoritas of Gnaeus Pompeius and money Frame Licinius Crassus , one of the most cruel and greedy romans of the period end of the republic. Crassus and Pompey were tolerated for more than half a decade, despite the hostility latent that I had between the two, but it was the pop-up figure of a victorious and a young Julius Caesar what definitely broken the balance between the three.

Bust of Crassus in the Louvre Museum, Paris

The enmity between Pompey and Crassus had been cemented in the famous rebellion of the slaves starring Spartacus in the year 73.C, where the first stole the merit to Crass when it held that encircled the rebels. Crassus, known in Rome for his huge fortune, he could only hold a standing ovation for his role in the rebellion –because the Senate wanted to downplay the importance of the campaign, to avoid turning into a martyr to Spartacus, and denied the win, while Pompey included the campaign against the slaves in the celebrations of his second win, awarded for his merits in an earlier campaign in Hispania .

despite this, Pompey supposedly bargained with Crassus shared power in Rome, alliance, later joined by the young Julius Caesar. Intimidated by the prestige of the one and the vigour of the other, Crassus decided to start a military campaign in Syria to remind the Republic that he was also a good commander. is Your choice was to conquer Parthia , a great kingdom that stretched beyond Armenia, which earned him numerous critiques of the drive to Rome for an unnecessary war only subject to their particular interests. And it certainly was not the best enemy to gain fame fast, as I was to discover with his life.

At 60 years and after 16 years without taking active service, Crassus went to Syria, where he entertained himself for most of the year raising taxes to fund his expedition. In the spring of 53.C. the roman commander went to the front of seven legions full of trust to the bowels of Parthia. However, the births –that crushing defeat years later, also to Marco Antonio – knew very well his opponent. Despite the cavalry, ally, and the light infantry, the great deficiency of the roman army was still by then its slowness and vulnerability in the great plains. The fast troops set out, in contrast, is based on two types of horses: l I catafractos , heavy cavalry armed with lances, and fast horse archers with powerful composite bows.

When that same night the men of Crassus is licked their wounds, spread all of a sudden the panic between them, and their mood was shattered without, that the old commander had forces to remedy the situation

all in all, the first confrontation between the roman army and the parthians in Carras (modern Harran) ended in a draw, although the superiority of the cavalry split and their mounted archers resulted in a higher number of casualties among the romans. According to Plutarch, the army of the roman were formed by the seven legions (some 28,000 legionaries) heavy infantry, 4,000 american soldiers, light and 4,000 riders of cavalry. When that same night the men of Crassus is licked their wounds, spread all of a sudden the panic between them, and their mood was shattered without, that the old commander had forces to remedy the situation. The romans began a disorderly escape on foot pursued by the cavalry split, which caused the death or disappearance of 20,000 combatants .

The riddle about the fate of the captives

While trying to negotiate a truce, Crassus was killed and his head and hands sent to the king delivery. Between the myth and the reality, Dión Casio argues that the parthians introduced him liquid gold by the throat to end his life, knowing of his thirst for wealth. In Rome, his death opened a breach irreparable between Julio César and Gnaeus Pompeius , which resulted in a civil war where he was the first and youngest. In Asia, what that led to was the scatter in a hundred directions, and the enslavement of thousands of roman soldiers.

A small part of the survivors managed to return to roman territory, but about 10,000 were made prisoners. Again according to the historian Plutarch , the captives were taken to Seleucia on the Tigris , near the capital, grim reaper, where they would be forced to take part in a parody pathetic parade of triumph. Following a common practice in this empire, most of the prisoners were moved to the borders further east in order to avoid his escape and, in addition, employ these veterans in the defense of their territory. Were obliged for this purpose to walk 2,500 miles to Alexandria of Margiana (the current Merv).

central Panel of the Sarcophagus Ludovisi

In Rome it was speculated for years about the fate of the soldiers, captives and missing people, although without giving a clear answer. Almost two millennia later, an american researcher named Homer H. Dubs believed to have found in 1950 signs in chinese fonts that a group of these captives ended their days in the asian giant. According to the chronicles of the Han dynasty, when a chinese army from the year 36 to.C. attacked the xiongnu, nomadic people of the region of the river Talas threatened the Silk road , the chroniclers were aware of the presence of a contingent of a hundred soldiers who defended their position with a formation similar to the "fish scales", which can be understood as the famous strategy of the testudo.

in Addition, the chroniclers reflect the use by these soldiers of a double stockade defensive wood on the outside of the city. The construction of this type of camps were something essential for any fighter roman. Given the proximity of this region in central Asia with the border part, it was quite plausible that they were the survivors of the expedition of Crassus.

The same name of the town, Liqian, you could make reference to Li Qian, the way in which the chinese called the roman Empire

The chroniclers chinese account that this strange detachment fought with ferocity and, after the attack, the enemy carried them captive for use in the defense of their own borders. With this object, they moved to these warriors to the settlement of Liqian, near the present Zhelaizhai , in Gansu province . In the opinion of those who argue that they were roman soldiers, H. Dubs and other specialists in the period argue that the same name of the town, Liqian, you could make reference to the Li, Qian , the way in which the chinese called the roman Empire.

The tería not account, however, with a majority support among the academic ranks of today. For many, a lack of evidence to spare and indirect clues and circumstantial. Genetic studies have refuted also the myth spread that in the region there is a number outside of what is common of people with features of western, and specifically latinos, such as noses aguileñas, curly hairs or abundance of blue and green eyes. Liqian was destroyed by the tibetans in the EIGHTH century.

Updated Date: 18 September 2019, 04:01

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