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The Characteristics of siege warfare by the time period of the Roman Republic

Bae Eun Suk 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study attempts to study the frequency of siege tactics and direct attacks in a total of 167 battles carried out by Roman army during the Republican period. Of the 13 battles in the 6th-5th centuries BC, none of the encirclement battles were conducted alone. Out of 10 battles, 5 battles were conducted by encirclement, the rest ones, 5 battles were in the form of direct attack immediately. There were a total of 17 battles that took place in the 4th century BC. Only 2 battles of them had built an encircling net. After establishing a siege, After establishing a siege network, it also entered the offensive battle. There was not a single battle that was just an encircling battle. Out of a total of 36 battles in the 3rd century BC, 8 battles used the encircling tactics. In the 2nd century BC, there were a total of 43 battles. Among them, 14 battles were carried out using the encircling tactics. There were only 2(4.7%) battles that built the encircling net. What stands out in siege wars of the 1st century BC is that the number of cases in which the siege network was established was 31(53.5%) out of 58 battles. Of these, 19(32.8%) battles formed only an encircling net, and 12(20.7%) battles attacked after establishing the siege network. Overall, however, aggressive tactics remained the same. After establishing the siege, the attack battles and the immediate attack battles amounted to 34(58.6%) battles. What is notable in the siege of the 1st century BC is that 31(53.5%) battles of the 58 battles were launched. Among them, 19(32.8%) battles were made a formation just for the encircling net, and 12(20.7%) battles were engaged in offensive battles after establishing siege networks. After establishing the siege network, 34(58.6%) battles were immediately launched. Analyzing a total of 167 battles fought by the Romans until the 6th-1st century BC, the Romans continued to favor aggressive tactics. Since the 3rd century BC, as siege equipment developed, more active siege wars were carried out. Siege warfare increased in the first century BC, but the overall rate was more offensive warfare. Therefore, in the battles of Numantia, Alesia, and Perusia, the sophistication of constructing the siege network by mobilizing a large number of troops and the technique of constructing the encircling net were advanced, but the encircling tactics was not a typical tactics of the Roman army.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.