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Re:Hadrian and Antoninus Pius - Wasted Reigns?

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  • postumusagrippa
    Hello Brent, I didn t actually think that Trajan and Hadrian were co-rulers, and did not mean to imply that they were (if anyone thinks I did so). The problem
    Message 1 of 22 , 1 Apr 02:15
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      Hello Brent,

      I didn't actually think that Trajan and Hadrian were co-rulers, and
      did not mean to imply that they were (if anyone thinks I did so).

      The problem with the campaigns of Verus and Severus were that they
      were not followed up effectively - with the right ruler, the Romans
      could have surely occupied a large stretch of the Parthian Empire.
      Unfortunately, it just so happened that at the very time that the
      Parthian Empire was at its weakest, the Roman Principate was at a low
      ebb (the flow of Princepes in the 3rd ce. CE).

      Unfortunately for Rome, as you say, the result was the replacement of
      the Parthians by the more dangerous Sassanids. Nonetheless, I believe
      that the Constantian Princepes were largely effective against the
      Sassanids (I think some commentators exaggerate the effectiveness of
      Shapur II's attack later in the reign of Constantius II - after all
      Constantius II was more or less holding off the Sassanids with (?less
      than) half the Roman army), and were able to keep Roman losses on that
      border to a minimum. Simply put, there was a balance between the
      Romans and the Sassanids - neither could launch a campaign of conquest
      against either because the armies within the borders of each state was
      too powerful for an invading force to defeat.

      It was only the rather arrogant invasion of Julian that tipped the
      balance overly much toward the Sassanids. This balance in favour of
      the Sassanids appears to have lasted until just before their Empire
      was defeated by the Arabs (who I also believe were lucky - had they
      attacked the Byzantine or Sassanid Empires 10 years earlier or 10
      years later, I don't think they would have been as effective).


      As for Alexander, I think there were a lot of greedy, opportunistic
      traitors around him, but then such figures always attract a certain
      number of people who want to improve their own fortunes via their
      leader. Of course, I don't think that all those around Alexander could
      be described as such.

      There were roughly three groups that surrounded Alexander: those who
      were loyal to the Argead royal line and those who were loyal to
      Alexander's vision of fusion between the Macedonians and the Persian.
      This was probably the smallest group, especially amongst the
      Macedonians, to my mind it consisted of Hephaestion, Perdiccas,
      Eumenes, Peucestas and probably Nearchus.

      Then there was the group that was loyal to the Argead line, but not to
      Alexander's vision. This group was fairly large and consisted of
      people like Craterus, Antipater, Seleucus (who, despite remaining
      married to Apame, did little to encourage local populations),
      Leonnatus, Lysimachus and Polyperchon.

      Finally, there was the aforementioned "greedy, opportunistic
      traitors", who loyal to not loyal to the Argead line or Alexander's
      vision. This group consisted of figures like Ptolemy, Peithon,
      Cassander and Antigonus.

      You may disagree with my groupings, so feel free to give an opinion on
      them.

      In retrospect, perhaps I over-estimated exactly how many of
      Alexander's generals were greedy, opportunistic traitors. Nonetheless,
      very few of them remained loyal to Alexander's vision, and had the
      local populations subservient to a small population of Macedonians.


      Finally, I think Alexander was challenged, and many others would have
      failed where he succeeded. I think it is just the fact that he
      succeeded so well and much is so improbable to people that they assume
      that none of it was a challenge.

      Simply put, if you roll a pair of dice, there is the theoretical
      possibility that you will always roll a twelve - Alexander just
      happened to be the person who achieved that theoretical possibility.

      Barry
    • snortiesmith
      ... But there were territorial gains by those men--at Dura c 165; as for Severus he created the new province of Mesopotamia. ... The Parthians had already been
      Message 2 of 22 , 1 Apr 09:01
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        --- In imperialrome2@..., postumusagrippa
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >

        > The problem with the campaigns of Verus and Severus were that they
        > were not followed up effectively - with the right ruler, the Romans
        > could have surely occupied a large stretch of the Parthian Empire.

        But there were territorial gains by those men--at Dura c 165; as for
        Severus he created the new province of Mesopotamia.


        > Unfortunately, it just so happened that at the very time that the
        > Parthian Empire was at its weakest, the Roman Principate was at a
        >low
        > ebb (the flow of Princepes in the 3rd ce. CE).

        The Parthians had already been supplanted by the Sssanids c 226,
        during Alexander Severus's reign, well before the worst of the third
        century crises. The latter coincided with a strong Persia.



        > Romans and the Sassanids - neither could launch a campaign of
        conquest
        > against either because the armies within the borders of each state
        was
        > too powerful for an invading force to defeat.
        >
        > It was only the rather arrogant invasion of Julian that tipped the
        > balance overly much toward the Sassanids. This balance in favour of
        > the Sassanids appears to have lasted until just before their Empire
        > was defeated by the Arabs (who I also believe were lucky - had they
        > attacked the Byzantine or Sassanid Empires 10 years earlier or 10
        > years later, I don't think they would have been as effective).
        >
        >
        > As for Alexander, I think there were a lot of greedy, opportunistic
        > traitors around him, but then such figures always attract a certain
        > number of people who want to improve their own fortunes via their
        > leader. Of course, I don't think that all those around Alexander
        could
        > be described as such.
        >
        > There were roughly three groups that surrounded Alexander: those
        who
        > were loyal to the Argead royal line and those who were loyal to
        > Alexander's vision of fusion between the Macedonians and the
        Persian.
        > This was probably the smallest group, especially amongst the
        > Macedonians, to my mind it consisted of Hephaestion, Perdiccas,
        > Eumenes, Peucestas and probably Nearchus.
        >
        > Then there was the group that was loyal to the Argead line, but
        not to
        > Alexander's vision. This group was fairly large and consisted of
        > people like Craterus, Antipater, Seleucus (who, despite remaining
        > married to Apame, did little to encourage local populations),
        > Leonnatus, Lysimachus and Polyperchon.
        >
        > Finally, there was the aforementioned "greedy, opportunistic
        > traitors", who loyal to not loyal to the Argead line or Alexander's
        > vision. This group consisted of figures like Ptolemy, Peithon,
        > Cassander and Antigonus.
        >
        > You may disagree with my groupings, so feel free to give an
        opinion on
        > them.
        >
        > In retrospect, perhaps I over-estimated exactly how many of
        > Alexander's generals were greedy, opportunistic traitors.
        Nonetheless,
        > very few of them remained loyal to Alexander's vision, and had the
        > local populations subservient to a small population of Macedonians.
        >
        >
        > Finally, I think Alexander was challenged, and many others would
        have
        > failed where he succeeded. I think it is just the fact that he
        > succeeded so well and much is so improbable to people that they
        assume
        > that none of it was a challenge.
        >
        > Simply put, if you roll a pair of dice, there is the theoretical
        > possibility that you will always roll a twelve - Alexander just
        > happened to be the person who achieved that theoretical
        possibility.
        >
        > Barry
        >
      • postumusagrippa
        ... That s true, but there was and is doubt over the value of the province of Mesopotamia. As I recall, it was in a problematic position, making it easy to
        Message 3 of 22 , 2 Apr 01:47
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          --- In imperialrome2@..., "snortiesmith" <uwk@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In imperialrome2@..., postumusagrippa
          > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          >
          > > The problem with the campaigns of Verus and Severus were that they
          > > were not followed up effectively - with the right ruler, the Romans
          > > could have surely occupied a large stretch of the Parthian Empire.
          >
          > But there were territorial gains by those men--at Dura c 165; as for
          > Severus he created the new province of Mesopotamia.

          That's true, but there was and is doubt over the value of the province
          of Mesopotamia. As I recall, it was in a problematic position, making
          it easy to invade and hard and expensive to defend.

          > > Unfortunately, it just so happened that at the very time that the
          > > Parthian Empire was at its weakest, the Roman Principate was at a
          > >low
          > > ebb (the flow of Princepes in the 3rd ce. CE).
          >
          > The Parthians had already been supplanted by the Sssanids c 226,
          > during Alexander Severus's reign, well before the worst of the third
          > century crises. The latter coincided with a strong Persia.

          I actually consider those events subsequent to the murder of Caracalla
          as part of the aformentioned flow of Princepes in the 3rd ce. CE.
          After all, Caracalla was followed in quick succession by Macrinus,
          Elagabalus and Severus Alexander. That Severus Alexander ruled for 13
          years does not mean his reign was not characterised by the same
          problems that were so clear during the mid-3rd century CE (ie.
          numerous mutinies).


          Barry
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