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This is an abbreviated version of the Ancient Rome "Wars and Battles" file.
The complete file lists the details of over thirty conflicts.

Wars and Battles of Ancient Rome

Click on red links to see detailed descriptions of Roman wars.
Click on light blue links for lists of battles. Key battles are indicated in blue.
Most of the battle summaries listed below are taken from
Harbottle's Dictionary of Battles published by Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1904.
 
Wars of the Roman Republic (Dates BC) Wars of Imperial Rome (Dates AD)
Rise of Rome753-391 Battles Roman Germanic Wars 11-16 Battles
Gallic Invasion of Italy 389-121     Battles       Roman Conquest of Britain 55-84 Battles
Samnite Wars 342-298 Battles Roman Jewish Wars 66-135 Battles
Pyrrhic Wars in Italy 282-275     Battles       Year of the Four Emperors 69-70 Battles
Punic Wars 260-146 Battles Roman Conquest of Dacia 87-105 Battles
Wars of Antiochus 191-190 Battles Parthian Wars 53 BC-222 Battles
Roman Macedonian Wars 198-168     Battles       Civil Wars of the Empire 194-398 Battles
Roman Conquest of Hispania 215-28 Battles Roman Persian Wars 243-627 Battles
Cimbrian War 112-101     Battles       Alemanni Wars 268-378 Battles
Jugurthine Wars 108-106 Battles Visigoth Wars 251-711 Battles
Roman Social War 90-89 Battles Vandal Wars in Africa 420-533 Battles
Mithridatic Wars 87-66 Battles Fall of the Western Empire 402-476 Battles
Civil Wars of Marius and Sulla 83-82 Battles Ostrogoth Wars in Italy 489-568 Battles
Servile Wars 71-70 Battles  
Roman Conquest of Gaul 58-52 Battles    
Caesarean Civil War 49-31     Battles          

Gallic Invasion of Italy —389 to 121 B.C.

Early Gallic invasions into Northern Italy


389 BC  
Battle of the Allia (First ) Gauls victory
Fought July 16, 389 B.C., between the Romans, 40,000 strong, under Quintus Sulpicius, and the Gauls, about equal in numbers, under Brennus. The Romans took post on the Allia to check the advance of the Gauls on Rome. Here they were attacked by Brennus, who routed the right wing, where the younger soldiers were posted, and then broke the Roman centre and left, putting them to flight with enormous loss.
  
389 BC  
Siege of Rome (Second ) Gauls victory
The first siege of Rome by the Gauls, under Brennus, took place B.C. 389. No attempt was made to defend the city, which was seized and burnt by the barbarians, the greater part of the population fleeing to Veii and other neighbouring cities. The Capitol, however, was held by the leading Patrician families, and it is said withstood a siege of six months, when Brennus accepted a heavy ransom and withdrew his army.
  
283 BC  
Battle of Arretium (Etruscan War ) Etruscans and Gauls victory
Fought B.C. 283, when the consular army of L. Caecilius Metellus, marching to the relief of Arretium, which the Etruscans were besieging, met with a disastrous defeat. Thirteen thousand, including Metellus, were slain, and the rest made prisoners.
  
283 BC  
Battle of Lake Vadimon (First ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 283, between the Romans, under P. Cornelius Dolabella, and the Gauls and their Etruscan allies. Dolabella attacked the Etruscans as they were crossing the Tiber close to the lake, and destroyed the flower of their army. He then fell upon the Gauls, whom he also defeated with heavy loss, with the result that in the following year they made peace and withdrew from Italy.
  
499 BC  
Battle of Ephesus (Ionian Revolt ) Persians victory
Fought 499 B.C., between the Athenians and Ionians, under Aristagorus, and the Persians, under Artaphernes. The Greeks who were retreating to the coast after burning Sardis, were overtaken by the pursuing Persians, under the walls of Ephesus, and signally defeated. The Athenians thereupon withdrew their fleet, and took no further part in the war.
  
225 BC  
Battle of Clusium (Etruscan War ) Gauls victory
Fought B.C. 225, when the Gauls utterly routed a Roman army with a loss said to have amounted to 50,000 men.
  
225 BC  
Battle of Telamon (Conquest of Cisalpine Gaul ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 225, when the Gauls led by Aneorestus, marched upon Rome, they found themselves caught between two Roman consular armies, and though fighting desperately, were cut to pieces.
  
222 BC  
Battle of Clastidium (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 222, between the Romans under Claudius Marcellus, and the Gauls under Viridomarus. Marcellus slew the commander of the Gauls in single combat, and the Romans won the victory.
  
198 BC  
Battle of Cremona (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 198, when the Romans defeated with heavy slaughter an invading army of Gauls under Hamilcar, a Carthaginian. Hamilcar was slain.
  
194 BC  
Battle of Mutina (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 194, near Modena. The Romans defeated the Gauls. This was the last encounter between the Romans and Gauls in Italian territory.
  
121 BC  
Battle of The Isara (Third ) Romans victory
Fought August 8, 121 B.C.. between the Arverni and Allobroges, under Betuitdus, and the Romans, under Q. Fabius Maximus. The Gauls were totally defeated, and a bridge breaking down under the press of the fugitives, they suffered enormous loss.
  
121 BC  
Battle of Vindalium (China ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 121, between the Romans, under Q. Fabius Maximus, and the Arverni. The Arverni were completely defeated, and compelled to sue for peace.
  

Pyrrhic Wars in Italy —282 to 275 B.C.

The Greek colonies in southern Italy resist Roman domination.


282 BC  
Siege of Thurii   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 282, when a Roman consular army, under Caius Fabricius, routed the Lucanians and Bruttians, who were besieging Thurii. The siege was raised, and the Tarentine coalition temporarily broken up.
  
280 BC  
Battle of Heraclea (almohads ) Italian Greeks victory
Fought B.C. 280, between the Epirots, 30,000 strong, under Pyrrhus, and about 35,000 Romans, under P. Laverius Lavinus. The Romans crossed the Sirisin the face of the enemy, when they were attacked by Pyrrhus, and after a furious conflict, were at last broken by his elephants, and fled in disorder, losing about 7,000 men. The Epirots lost 4,000.
  
279 BC  
Siege of Asculum   Italian Greeks victory
Fought B.C. 279, between 45,000 Romans under Sulpicius Saverrio and P. Decius Mus, and the Epirots, with their Italian allies, in about equal force. The Romans fought to raise the siege of Asculum, but were finally routed by the Epirot cavalry and elephants, and driven back to their camp with a loss of 6,000. The Epirots lost 3,000.
  
275 BC  
Battle of Beneventum   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 275, when Pyrrhus with a strong force of Epirots and Italians made a night attack upon the consular army of M. Carius Dentatus, encamped in a strong position near Beneventum. Pyrrhus was repulsed with considerable loss, including eight elephants. Encouraged by this success, the Romans shortly afterwards advanced to meet Pyrrhus in the open plain, and were at first driven back by the elephants, but rallying, they drove these back through Pyrrhus' lines, and disordered the Epirot phalanx, and a charge of the legionaries completed the rout. This was Pyrrhus' last serious attack against the Roman power, and he soon afterwards left Italy.
  

Roman Macedonian Wars —198 to 168 B.C.

Roman conquest of Greece and Macedonia


198 BC  
Battle of Avus (Second ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 198, between 20,000 Macedonians under Philip, and two Roman legions under T. Quinctius Flamininus. A force of 4,000 legionaries penetrated to the rear of Philip's camp, and when Flamininus attacked in front, they fell upon the Macedonian rear, and completely routed them, with a loss of 2,000.
  
197 BC  
Battle of Cynoscephalae (Third ) Romans victory
Fought B.C. 197, between the Romans, 26,000 strong, under Flamininus, and the Macedonians, in about equal force under Philip. The Roman vanguard, coming unexpectedly upon the enemy, was repulsed, but Flamininus bringing up the legionaries, the battle became more equal. On the right Philip, with half his phalanx, drove back the Romans, but his left wing was utterly routed, and the victorious Roman right then turned and attacked the Macedonian right in flank and rear, and won a complete victory. The Macedonians lost 13,000 killed and wounded The Roman losses were small.
  
171 BC  
Battle of Larissa (Third ) Macedonians victory
Fought 171 B.C., between the Romans, 40,000 strong, under P. Licinius Crassus, and 43,000 Macedonians, under Perseus. The Romans were defeated with a loss of 2,200 killed and 600 prisoners.
  
168 BC  
Battle of Pydna (Amenian vs. Sassanid ) Romans victory
Fought June 22, 168 B.C., between the Romans, under Aemilius Paulus, and the Macedonians, under Perseus. The Macedonian phalanx attacked the Roman line, and drove them back on their camp, but becoming disordered by the uneven ground, was broken by the legionaries and cut to pieces. The result was a total defeat of the Macedonians, with a loss of 20,000 killed and 11,000 prisoners. The phalanx here fought its last fight and perished to a man.
  

Cimbrian War —112 to 101 B.C.

Romans repel two Germanic tribe that were invading northern Italy


112 BC  
Battle of Noreia   Cimbri-Teutones victory
Fought B.C. 112 a Roman legion under Carbo, and a tribe of migrating Teutones and Cimbri. The teutones were retreating from the Roman territory of the Taurisci on the Danube border when they were informed of an ambushed and turned unexpectedly on, and routed the Romans, whom they far out-numbered. The victorious Teutones then headed towards Gaul rather than pressing on toward Rome.
  
105 BC  
Battle of Arausio   Cimbri-Teutones victory
Fought B.C. 105, when the Cimbri under Boiorix, and Teutones under Teutobod totally routed two consular armies under Caepio and Cn. Mallius Maximus. It is said that 80,000 Romans fell.
  
102 BC  
Battle of Aquae Sextiae   Romans victory
Fought B.C. 102, when the Teutones under the king, Teutobod, were totally routed by the Romans under Marius.
  
101 BC  
Battle of Vercellae   Romans victory
Fought July 30, 101 B.C., between 50,000 Romans, under Marius, and the Cimbri, under Boiorix. The Cimbri were almost annihilated, and their king slain.
  

Caesarean Civil War —49 to 31 B.C.

Civil war between triggered by Caesar's return to Rome; continuing through the early reign of Augustus Caesar


49 BC  
Battle of Llerda (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
In June of B.C.49, Caesar led his army into Spain to confront several legions loyal to the republicans, led by Afranius, and Varro. Instead of engaging in a pitched battled he surrounded the legions, and forced them to surrender.
  
49 BC  
Battle of Bagradas (Caesar vs Pompey ) Republicans victory
Fought B.C. 49, between the Caesareans under Curio and the Numidians under Juba and Saburra, who adhered to the fortunes of Pompey. The Roman cavalry was cut to pieces, before the legionaries could come to its assistance, and eventually the Romans were surrounded, and cut down to a man, Curio being amongst the slain. This victory left the Pompeians masters of Africa.
  
49 BC  
Battle of Curicta (Caesar vs Pompey ) Republicans victory
Fought B.C. 49, when the Caesarian fleet under Dolabella was totally destroyed by the Pompeian fleet under Marcus Octavius. This victory cut off the Caesarian army under Caius Antonius, which was quartered on the island of Curicta, and Antonius was forced to surrender.
  
49 BC  
Siege of Massilia (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
This city was besieged by Ceasarean army and navy in the summer of B.C. 49 when they refused to open their gates to the conqueror. Caesar left the siege to be conducted by his generals while he marched to Llerda. The town surrendered after a naval battle.
  
49 BC  
Battle of Utica (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
Fought B.C. 49 between the Pompeians, under Varus, and the Caesarians, under Curio. Varus sallied from his entrenchments to attack the Caesarians, but was signally defeated, his troops fleeing in disorder, and opening the way for the occupation of Utica by Varus.
  
48 BC  
Battle of Pharsalus (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
Fought August 9, B.C. 48, between the Pompeians, 60,000 strong, under Pompey, and Caesareans, 25,000 strong, under Caesar. The Pompeian cavalry drove back that of Caesar, but following in pursuit, were thrown into confusion by the legionaries, whereupon they turned and fled from the field; the infantry followed and the battle became a rout, in which 15,000 Pompeians, and only 200 Caesareans fell. After the battle, 20,000 Pompeians surrendered.
  
48 BC  
Battle of Alexandria (Alexandrian War ) Caesareans victory
Fought summer of B.C. 48 between a small force of Romans under Caesar on behalf of Cleopatra, against the Egyptian forces of Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra's cause prevailed and her brother and rival was drowned.
  
48 BC  
Battle of Dyrrachium (Caesar vs Pompey ) Republicans victory
Fought B.C. 48, between the Caesarians, under Julius Caesar, and the Pompeians, under Pompey. The latter having formed an entrenched camp some distance from Dyrrachium, Caesar interposed his army between the camp and the town. This interrupted Pompey's communications, and he, in consequence, attacked the Caesarian lines, which he forced, at the cost of 1,000 men, and obliged Caesar to retire.
  
47 BC  
Battle of Ziela (Bosporan Rebellion ) Caesareans victory
Fought August 2, B.C. 47, between 7 Roman legions, with some Asiatic auxiliaries, under Julius Caesar, and the Bosporans, under Pharnaces. Pharnaces attacked the Romans while they were pitching camp, but the legionaries quickly formed up, and utterly routed their assailants. This is the occasion of Caesar's famous despatch, "Veni, vidi, vici."
  
47 BC  
Battle of Nicopolis (Bosporan Rebellion ) Bosporus victory
Fought B.C. 47, when Domitius Calvinus, with one Roman legion and a contingent of Pontic and other Asiatic troops, encountered the Bosporans, under Pharnaces. Calvinus' Asiatic troops fled at the first onset, and he was completely defeated, only the steadiness of the Romans saving him from disaster.
  
47 BC  
Battle of Tauris (Caesar vs Pompey ) Caesareans victory
Fought B.C. 47, between the Pompeian fleet, under Marcus Octavius, and the Caesareans, under Publius Vatinius. The Caesarean fleet consisted of merchant vessels, temporarily equipped with beaks, but Vatinius, though his ships were inferior both in number and quality, boldly attacked the Pompeians, and after severe fighting, completely defeated them, compelling Octavius to abandon the Adriatic.
  
46 BC  
Battle of Ruspina (Caesar vs Republicans ) Republicans victory
Fought January 3, 46 B.C., between Julius Caesar, with three legions, and a force of Pompeians, composed entirely of cavalry and archers, under Labienus. Caesar's troops were surrounded, but behaving with extreme steadiness, were able to retire to Ruspina in good order, though with very heavy loss.
  
46 BC  
Battle of Thapsus (Caesar vs Republicans ) Caesareans victory
Fought April 6, B.C. 46, between the Caesareans, consisting of 10 legions, under Julius Caesar, and the Pompeians, 14 legions, in addition to cavalry, light troops, and 100 elephants, under Metellus Scipio and Juba. The Ceasareans were victorius, and by this victory took control of North Africa. Cato the Younger committed suicide after the loss of his army
  
45 BC  
Battle of Munda (Caesar vs Republicans ) Caesareans victory
Fought March 17, B.C. 45, between the Pompeians, under Cnaeus Pompeius, and the Caesareans, under Julius Caesar. The Pompeians were totally defeated, losing 30,000 men, including Labienus and Varro, while the Caesareans lost 1,000 only. Cnaeus Pompey was wounded. This defeat put an end to the resistance of the Pompeian faction in Spain, and the action is further notable as being Caesar's last battle.
  
43 BC  
Siege of Mutina (Second Triumvirate ) Octavius victory
Fought April 16, 43 B.C., between the adherents of Antony, and three Consular armies, under Hirtius, Octavius, and Vibius Pansa. Antony, who was besieging Mutina, was attacked simultaneously by the three armies. That of Pansa was routed, and Pansa slain but Octavius and Hirtius gained some small success. Antony, however, was undefeated, and continued the siege. On the 27th Octavius and Hirtius made a combined attack on his lines, and succeeded in forcing their way through into the town, though Hirtius fell in the action.
  
42 BC  
Battle of Philippi (Second Triumvirate ) Triumvirs victory
Fought B.C. 42, between the Republicans, under Brutus and Cassius, 100,000 strong, and the army of the Triumvirs, about equal in numbers, under Octavius and Mark Antony. Brutus on the right repulsed the legions of Octavius, and penetrated into his camp. Cassius, however, was overthrown by Antony, and would have been overwhelmed but for the arrival of aid from the successful right wing. The action was renewed on the second day, when the Triumvirs were completely victorious, and the Republican army dispersed. Brutus committed suicide on the field of battle.
  
41 BC  
Siege of Perusia (Second Triumvirate ) Octavius victory
This city was besieged in B.C. 41 by the forces of Octavius. It was the stronghold of Lucius Antonius, and Fulvia, the brother and wife of Mark Antony, who had tried to raise a rebellion against Octavius during Antony's absence in the east. The town was taken, and Fulvia died in exile, but Lucius was freed.
  
36 BC  
Battle of Naulachus (Sicilian Campaign ) Caesareans victory
Fought September 3, B.C. 36, between the Pompeian fleet of 300 ships, under Sextus Pornpeius, and the fleet of the Triumvirs, of equal strength, under Agrippa. The action was severely contested, but in the end Agrippa was victorious, and Pompeius fled with 17 vessels only.
  
36 BC  
Battle of Mylex (Sicilian Campaign ) Caesareans victory
Fought B.C. 36, between the Pompeian fleet, under Sextus Pompeius, and the fleet of the Triumvirs, under Agrippa. The Pompeians were defeated.
  
31 BC  
Battle of Actium (Second Triumvirate ) Octavius victory
Fought September 2, B.C. 31, between the fleet of Antony, 460 galleys, and that of Octavius, about 250 sail, but much lighter and less well manned than those of Antony. The battle was fiercely contested, with varying fortune; but at a critical moment Cleopatra ordered the Egyptian admiral to make sail, and with 60 galleys withdrew from the fight. She was followed by Antony, and his fleet, discouraged by his flight, surrendered after ten hours' fighting. The Octavians captured 300 galleys, and 5,000 Antonians fell in the action. A few days later Antony's land army of 120,000 men laid down their arms.