Siege of Plistica, 316-315 and 315 BC

Siege of Plistica, 316-315 and 315 BC

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Siege of Plistica, 316-315 and 315 BC

The two sieges of Plistica of 316-315 and 315 BC saw a Samnite army make two attempts to capture the city, which was allied with Rome, eventually taking it by assault.

The first siege was begun in an attempt to draw the Romans away from the besieged city of Saticula. Saticula was allied with the Samnites, and the Roman attack on it marked the end of a period of truce between the two powers. A Samnite army attempted to lift the siege, but was defeated in a battle outside the walls by the Dictator L. Aemilius.

In the aftermath of this siege the Samnites began a siege of Plistica, a Roman ally (the location of Plistica is uncertain, but it must have been close to the border between Samnium and Campania). This siege would appear to have lasted over the winter of 316-315 BC, but ended in failure. In 315 a new Dictator, Q. Fabius, took over at Saticula. The Samnites, who had been reinforced, abandoned the attack on Plistica, and returned to Saticula, where they made a second unsuccessful attempt to lift the siege.

After the failure of this second relief attempt the Samnites returned to Plistica. A few days after this Saticula fell to the Romans, but at about the same time the Samnites mounted an assault on Plistica, and captured the city. The Romans and Samnites then moved north-west towards Sora, before winning a major victory over the Romans at Lautulae.

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Siege of Plistica, 316-315 and 315 BC - History

The Third Romano-Samnite War - Phase 1: 316 – 312 BC
By Gordon Davis

In 316 BC war broke out once again between Rome and the Samnite tribes of the central Apennines – the third such conflict between the Italian belligerents since their initial clash in 343 BC. This new conflagration was to become the longest period of sustained warfare between the two powers, eventually, during its course widening its scope of contestants to include the Sabellians of the Abruzzi and the cities of the Etruscan League. The initial five years of this new war, however, only concerned the forces of the Romans and the Samnites and it is this phase of the third war’s operations which is covered in this study. The next and final phase of this war (311 – 304 BC) will be analysed in a later document. During the fighting in these years Rome’s military endeavors gained in scope and scale, as it punched and counter-punched with its Samnite foe. The standard compliment of the army had by now very likely increased from two to four legions, as necessity demanded and as new manpower resources came online from the maturing sections of Rome’s expanding hegemony. The evolution of the manipular legion and its attendant battle tactics would have continued apace during these years, driven by the realities of fighting war against the rustic but martial mountain tribes of the central Apennines, although it is impossible to trace any details of this metamorphosis from the extant sources. The planting of new colonies once again makes an appearance, along with, significantly, the commencement of Rome’s first military road-building project. Against this growing Roman menace, the Samnites tribes waged war as best they could, against a foe which continued to grow stronger.

The reason why republican Rome decided to return to war against the Samnites is not related by the existent accounts, other than a rather confusing statement by Livy [1] that that a Roman attack gave the Samnites an excuse to renew the war. But in light of Roman actions between 321 and 317 BC, their renewal of hostilities should not come as a surprise. While honouring the imposed terms of the Caudine peace and not attacking the Samnites directly, Rome had warred elsewhere, particularly in Apulia. Rebellions in Apulia and the Liris/Trerus valley were ruthlessly crushed and gains made in the eastern littoral. Following this interlude, at the first opportunity the Romans renewed the conflict with Samnium, intending to further neutralize and subdue the dangerous mountain foe. Some main reasons for such a course of action, while greatly obscured to the modern reader and no doubt complex, may be ventured. The remote upland valleys of the Apennine Samnites, while not serving as a particularly enticing economic prospect in the vein of Apulia or Campania, remained the home of a strong, dangerous and un-bowed people whom Rome had so recently lost a war to. Hard-headed strategic logic and the drivers to external conquest inherent in Roman society demanded action be taken against the Samnites, whatever the price. The tribally confederated Samnites, whatever the thinking of its leading voices at the time, had no choice but to accept the challenge, which they did with their characteristic determination and martial prowess.

The resumption of hostilities between the Romans and Samnites took place in 316 BC in the Volturnus valley, which is the inland valley of the Campanian region of Italy. This was Samnite Campania, overlooked on all sides by fortified communities of that people and in particular the Caudine tribe of Samnites. Among these communities ringing the valley lay the fortress of Saticula at its southern end. Saticula lay within a zone of combat that had been rather of a disaster area for Roman armies in previous conflicts of the 4th century BC. A consular army under the command of A. Cornelius Cossus had been savaged nearby in 343 BC, while attempting to thread its way up into the pass to the valley of the Isclero. More recently, the men of Saticula had no doubt taken part in the defeat, entrapment and surrender of the full Roman field army of 321 BC, leading to Samnite victory in that war. That the Romans chose to test their enemy at this place in 316 BC is not surprising. Strategic success in this area would further protect Roman Campania and allow for the opening of a potential route of invasion into the large upland plateau of the Samnite homeland to the east. For the Samnites, holding onto this strategic area was equally important for the opposite reason – protecting their homeland and allowing them to continue to threaten Roman Campania and keep communications open to allies such as Nola and the Alfaterni.

Confusingly, Livy [2] reports that the Romans marched on and besieged Saticula in both 316 BC and again in the following year 315 BC, while the Samnites in the same years besieged the nearby town of Plistica in both years. This is obviously a duplication of the same event. Diodorus [3] , records the same sieges only once, but condenses the years 316-315 BC into one notice, which is not helpful in pinpointing the year. Plistica is an unknown town, which Livy describes as an ally of Rome and Diodorus says contained a Roman garrison. It lay somewhere on the border between Rome and Samnium, and is most likely to be looked for somewhere on the Mons Tifata, the range of hills that separates outer Campania from inner-Campania, not far from Saticula.[4] Having a community on the Tifata declare for Rome, inside which was otherwise Samnite-dominated territory would not have sat well with the mountain people, so it is not surprising that it became a target for Samnite aggression. Because of the widespread events of the following year, it makes more sense to ascribe the outcome of the sieges to 315 BC [5] , so in the first year of the war (316 BC), it appears that there was a Roman invasion of the Volturnus valley touching off the conflict, which did not lead to any immediate accomplishments. By the end of the year though, the Samnite tribes were clearly mobilizing against the Roman aggression, setting the stage for momentous events of the next year.

In 315 BC the war continued in Campania and burst forth onto several other new fronts. The Romans assembled their standard consular armies on the Campus Martius and placed them for this year under two notable generals: L. Papirius Cursor and Q. Publilius Philo. Papirius marched east from Rome into the Apennines heading for Apulia, while Publilius moved south into Campania to renew the previous years fighting there. This disposition of Roman forces, while harbouring concrete strategic goals, was not fortuitous as for the second year on a row the frontier in the Liris-Trerus valley was left exposed. This zone had been a key battleground during the Second Romano-Samnite War of 327-321 BC and it lay on the frontier of the large and powerful tribe of the Pentrian Samnites. It was here, apparently unknown to the Romans, that the mountain tribes chose in 315 BC to concentrate their main field army. Having reach Apulia Papirius marched against Luceria, a strategic fortress overlooking the Apulian plain that had fallen into the hands of the Samnites at the end of the last war. Livy’s notices for 320 BC concerning Papirius’ siege of the same town should probably be ascribed to this year .[6] As the siege drew on, both Romans and the Samnite garrison suffered from food shortages and starvation, with Samnite forces in the area harassing the besiegers and their supply columns from nearby friendly towns, but not being able to break the encirclement or deliver succours to their encircled comrades. Livy reports that a Greek delegation arrived at this time from the city-state of Taras, attempting to convince the both sides to enter into negotiations, but these entreaties were firmly rebuffed by old general.[7] Pressing the siege Papirius managed to capture Luceria before the end of the season, according to the annals by a direct assault. This was a significant victory for the Romans, adding a strong defensive point to their hegemony in Apulia, while further hemming in the Samnites to their upland plateaus and valleys.[8] In the Volturnus valley, Publilius Philo successfully approached and set about besieging the Samnite fortress of Saticula. Despite sallies from the town and attacks from outside forces, efforts to break the Roman cordon failed and Publilius was successful in forcing Saticula to capitulate by the end of 315 BC. The Samnites were able to salvage some military success in this zone by assaulting and capturing Roman-held Plistica somewhere nearby, but the capture of Saticula from the Caudini was both a significant strategic and morale victory for the Romans.

While the Consuls conducted the above successfully operations in Apulia and Campania, the main Samnite field army concentrated and marched forth from fortresses in the Liris-Trerus valley, throwing the Roman war effort into great confusion. The strategic fortress of Sora fell to the Samnites for the first time and local Roman forces were routed or penned within the walls of their strongholds. Riding on this success the un-named Samnite commander has several choices for further courses of action. He could march directly on Rome up the Trerus valley, or head south to attempt to aid the Caudini at Saticula. Instead he decided to move west towards the coast and then north against Rome’s home territory in Latium. Nothing stopped the Samnites from making this march, including the Roman colony at Cales, but without a field army operating in the area there was not much the Romans could hope to do. When reports of this incursion reached Rome, there was understandable consternation and fear. The patrician Q. Fabius Rullianus was immediately made Dictator, with Q. Aulius Cerratanus as his Master of Horse and a new army was hastily organized. Marching from Rome Fabius headed south to meet this new threat. In the meantime the Samnite army moved north along the coast through former Auruncian and Volscian territory, gathering local contingents from those communities eager to throw off the Roman yoke.[9]

Fabius managed to reach the hills at the south end of Latium and moved up into them. He encountered the Samnites at the pass of Lautulae just inland from Terracina, where his army likely could not deploy for maximum effect and a large battle was fight there. The result was a shattering defeat for the Roman army. It appears that the wing held by Aulius Cerratanus crumbled first. The Master of Horse attempted in vain to rally his men but was surrounded by enemies and cut down. Q. Fabius, unable to restore order was able to reach safety and thereafter began organizing the remnants of his army as best he could. But he could no longer challenge the Samnites in the field. The defeat, being total, left Roman territory effectively cut in half, with its possessions in Campania exposed to confusion and insurrection. While it is not possible to ascribe any particular tactical stroke that won the Samnites the victory, one can posit that fighting on uneven ground, perhaps within the confined space of the pass gave the advantage in this battle to the Samnites, who were considered by the Romans to be second only to the Celts in the ferocity and impetuosity of their charge. Fabius Rullianus, one of the outstanding commanders of Rome’s Samnite wars, was also likely hampered by his hastily thrown together legions, but a tactical mistake on his part may possibly be ascertained given the undue haste with which his new levies were thrown into a set piece battle – something a good military commander would normally avoid. These thoughts, admittedly, can be little more than speculation, given the paucity of our sources.

Exploiting its victory, the Samnite array now marched across the intervening hills and onto the plain of Latium. Towns and colonies shut their gates to the invaders and watched helplessly as their fields and homesteads were ravaged by fire and sword. Strabo [10] reports that Samnite depredations reached as far as Ardea, and it is quite possible that detachments laid their eyes on the walls of Rome itself - although the city, held in force and protected by its strong walls, was not besieged. Papirius and Publilius, having garrisoned their newly captured towns, were now moving back upon Rome to protect the home city, but the campaign season ended without any further actions. Having pillaged the Latin plain and with no enemy army in sight, the Samnite army made its way back south and wintered somewhere along the coast, likely within the Volscian and Auruncian territories south of Latium. There they would have continued to gather adherents to their cause as well as reinforcements from home, while preparing for further operations in the spring. Diodorus [11] reports that most of Campania, including Capua, rose up in revolt at this time against Rome.

It is not hard to imagine that the Romans, despite their capture of Saticula and Luceria, would have been confounded by the successful Samnite invasion of Latium. This was the second great military disaster at the hands of the Samnites within a period of six years and news of this defeat must have been the talk of Italy. But their characteristic determination and will-power did not fail at this juncture. Indeed they had little choice. One more major defeat and the Roman state would have been in the gravest danger. Angry and frustrated, the republic resolved to mobilize its full resources and press on with the war on all fronts. Fabio’s’ shattered army was brought home and cashiered and new legions were enrolled in 314 BC. They were placed under the command of two veteran consuls: C. Sulpicius Longus and M. Poetelius Libo. To face the imminent threat to Latium, the two commanders apparently combined the now standard compliment of four legions and gathered their allies into a huge host, possibly comprising as many as 40,000 spears - something not seen since the crisis of the dual Greek/Celtic incursion of Latium in 349 BC. Sulpicius evidently took precedence of command in this large array. Marching south as soon as the campaign season opened or possibly even before given the gravity of the situation, Diodorus [12] reports that they encountered the Samnites besieging Terracina [13] and compelled them to raise the siege and concentrate their forces.

Some details of the battle are recorded in Livy [14] and these notices may have come from actual accounts of the battle recorded in a family history, monuments or elsewhere. Both armies were initially divided by a pass between two plains, neither wanting to disadvantage themselves by moving into it. Finally the Samnites found a track and were able to thread across and make their way down onto the plain near to the Romans, where they encamped nearby. There was some inconclusive skirmishing at first, mostly between cavalry, until the Samnites decided to force the action and drew up their full army to fight. The Romans followed suit, with Poetelius taking his station on the left and Sulpicius on the right. It was a standard battle line with infantry in the centre and cavalry on the wings, but taking the Roman battle reserves, the consuls reinforced the left wing while the right wing along with the Samnite forces opposite was elongated and thinly spread. Poetelius gave the signal for an advance on the left to begin the battle. Here the Romans soon made progress, throwing the Samnite ranks into disarray. The Samnite cavalry attempted to charge the Roman flank to take pressure off their infantry but the Roman cavalry counter-charged and drove them off. The Samnite right-wing then began to collapse. Sulpicius, who was not engaged in the early stages of the battle, had temporarily ridden over to see what was happening with the other consul. When he returned his line was being hard pressed by a Samnite assault and was itself beginning to crumble. He was however able to get his line under control and averted the danger. Eventually this wing of the Samnites line also collapsed into retreat, pursued closely by the Romans. The resulting slaughter was very great, Livy giving the number of 30,000 Samnites killed, while Dionysius gives a more believable number of 10,000 dead.[15]

With this victory Rome’s fortunes were restored, while the power of the Samnites and in particular their strongest tribe of the Pentri, was correspondingly diminished. Following up its great restorative success, the Roman army next moved south into Auruncian territory. A large number of this people had rebelled and joined the Samnites and as recent members of the Roman hegemony they now lay open and exposed to Roman vengeance, their towns too fearful to even shut their gates. The token gesture did not avail them and Auruncia was laid waste. The towns of Ausona, Minturnae and Vescia were plundered into ruin and their inhabitants slaughtered. So thorough were the revenge operations of the Romans that Livy [16] tells us that the Aurunci were effectively wiped out and ceased to exist as a separate people – their depopulated lands being opened up to colonization in the following years. Next the Romans moved into Campania, which also did not put up a fight. Capua opened its gates to the consuls, as the pro-Roman faction there regained control of the city. Only Calatia, a satellite town of Capua, is reported to have shut its gates to the Romans. A Dictator, C. Maenius Antiaticus, was appointed at Rome and arrived in Capua after its capitulation, to investigate those within the city who had chosen to rebel. To avoid a more ignominious death of whips and the executioner’s axe, the accused committed suicide before being brought to trial.[17] By the end of 314 BC therefore, the Samnite success of the previous year in Latium had been rolled back and Roman fortunes restored. But a realization on both sides must have manifested itself at the end of these two tumultuous years. The fortunes of war are always doubtful went the ancient maxim and before the struggle would be completed one could only expect further swings of cruel fate. The smouldering funeral pyres, dismal trophy monuments and burned out settlements across the land would have provided a fitting exclamation point to this realization.

The following year the Romans dispatched settlers to no less than four new colonies: Luceria, Saticula, Suessa Aurunca, and Pontia, while voting for a fourth to be planned for the following year at Interamna Lirenas.[18] Luceria was to be a linchpin of Roman hegemony over Apulia. Saticula secured the lower Volturnus valley and guarded the southern portion of Roman Campania, while Cales watched over the north. Suessa Aurunca occupied for former lands of the Auruncian people and helped to secure the coastal communication between Latium and Campania. Pontia, lastly, guarded Roman sea lanes between Latium and Campania. Luceria and Saticula in particular also served to confine further the Samnites into their mountain plateaus and valleys, while serving as bases and supply depots for armies invading further into the Apennines. In addition to setting down colonies in 313 BC, Rome sent forth its legions as well, determined to exploit the success of the preceding year. There was fighting in Campania and in the Liris-Trerus valley, where the Samnites and their allies continued to hold many important towns.

In the Liris-Trerus valley a Roman army, possibly commanded by the consul L. Papirius Cursor, marched on and besieged Fregellae, the former Roman colony whose establishment had been a major cassus belli between the Romans and Samnites in 327 BC, and which had fallen into Samnite hands at the end of the Second Romano-Samnite War.[19] Likely it was the fortress, or Arx, of Fregellae[20] that was held by the Samnites and besieged. This bastion reportedly lay on a spur of the Apennines back from the Liris River, where the former Roman colony previously lay. From this perch the Arx dominated the valley below and the routes up and down the inland route of the later via Latina. The Romans pressed the siege of this place and the Samnites in the communities nearby were either unwilling or unable to thwart them. These Pentrian Samnite communities had no doubt lost a great deal of men in the defeat at Terracina the year before, impeding their ability to contend with the Romans in the field. Fregellae was captured and received a Roman garrison, while its leading men were sent to Rome and executed in the Forum. Pressing their advantage in this zone, the Romans are also reported to have captured Atina, a Samnite community a day’s march to the south-east, in the Val de Comino.[21] They are not reported to have garrisoned this town, perhaps considering it too risky to try to hold such an isolated community.

To the south, another Roman army commanded by C. Junius Bubulcus Brutus marched into Campania and made for the city of Nola at the southern end of the plain. If one may speculate, targeting Nola from a strategic standpoint served two different but related purposes. Firstly, it can be seen as a continuation of the successful Roman offensive in the nearby Volturnus valley, working to further secure Roman Campania at the south end of the coastal plain. Secondly, it is quite possible that Nola had played a role in the uprisings in Campania that had followed the Roman defeat at Lautulae in 315 BC, perhaps even sending a contingent of soldiers to join the Samnite army, as it did in when it moved to garrison Neapolis at the beginning of the last war with Rome. Un-challenged on the open plain, Junius approached the town, set his lines of circumvallation, cleared the outbuildings from around the walls pressed the siege. With no Samnite field army making an attempt to relieve the Nolans, the city and its citadel succumbed at last to the siege. The Romans reportedly gathered a large amount of spoils from this rich Campanian town, and it was also mulcted of some of its fertile territory. That same campaign season, Junius Bubulcus was also able to capture or compel nearby Calatia to surrender. This town was part of the former Capuan League and had probably switched over to the Samnites following the Roman disaster at Lautulae. Southern Campania would continue to be a focus of Roman interest in the years to come, studded as it was prosperous communities, good farmland and access to the sea.

Taken together the fighting of 313 BC represents some incremental success for the Romans. Absent a willingness by the Samnites to field an army and contest the valleys, the initiative would continue to lay with Rome and its generals. Livy [22] states confidently that at this point the war with Samnium was all but won, but this notice it more literary in nature than factual, as the annalist is pivoting his audience towards a new phase of the contest that was to begin in 311 BC. This new phase represented an expansion of the war to include new combatants within its maelstrom, all facing off against the surging Roman tide. Diodorus captures this sense of the expanding scale of the conflict in his opening comments for 313 BC:

“…in Italy the Romans continued their war with the Samnites, and there were repeated raids through the country, sieges of cities, and encampments of armies in the field, for the two most war-like of the peoples of Italy were struggling as rivals for the supremacy and meeting in conflicts of every sort.” [23]

Events in Wider Italy

It is perhaps worthwhile to take a quick survey of other notable conflicts that were taking place in Italy and Sicily at this time. In Magna Graecia to the south Acrotatus, a King of Sparta, had sailed into Taras in 315 BC, fresh from warring in Illyricum. He did not tarry long but no doubt the Lucani and Samnites had cast a wary glance that year toward a city that was known to hire foreign generals and dispatch powerful armies into the interior. Acrotatus had been invited by the city of Acragas [24] into Sicily to war against the tyrant Agathocles of Syracuse. Agathocles, an enigmatic figure, was the bane of both Greeks and Carthaginians in the latter half of the 4th century BC. In addition to campaigning in Sicily and North Africa during this period, he also fought throughout the toe of Italy, just beyond the frontiers of the Romano-Samnite conflict. At the north end of the Italian peninsula the dominant powers were the Celtic tribes of the Po Valley. Their wars against other peoples in the region: Veneti, Ligurians, Picentes, Umbrians, Etruscans and even amongst themselves are largely lost to history but were no doubt epic and ferocious. Over the past century the Celts had driven the Etruscans out of the Po valley and back across the Apennines, capturing their towns and even sacking Rome in 390 BC.[25] For the next 40 years hosts of adventuring Celts had pillaged and plundered throughout central Italy and both Romans and Samnites knew them well and feared them. But while Romans and Samnites were prudent to keep an eye on these events to the south and north, they did not impinge directly upon their mutual struggle during the years of the Second and Third Romano-Samnite Wars. Central Italy was its own zone of conflict for the time being, and its scope contained enough centrifugal force to draw within its orbit nations and tribes in the coming years who had hitherto managed to avoid the storm going on just outside their borders.

According to Livy [26] the Etruscans in these times were still respected and feared by the Romans. Despite their gradual decline the Etruscan city-states remained rich, populous and fully outside Roman hegemony, with their frontiers laying only a day’s march from the walls of Rome itself. In 312 BC Livy reports of rumours that the Etruscans were preparing to declare war on Rome. Although it is unsurprising that the Etruscans would have wanted to break Rome’s growing might, why they chose to prepare for war in 312 BC and not three years earlier following Rome’s defeat in Latium is an open question. Politically Etruria comprised a rather anarchic league and not a federal state, so it may have taken time for the war factions to organize in the various cities for action. Another factor may have been religious in nature, as Livy [27] makes mention of a 40-year treaty between Tarquinii and the Faliscans and Rome which was set to expire in 311 BC. Despite the urging of Samnite embassies who certainly visited their courts during these years, it is not surprising that the Etruscan cities took time to deliberate and decide to join the hazardous undertaking. On hearing this alarming news the Romans reportedly appointed a Dictator [28] and took some measures to prepare, but as yet no enemy materialized on the northern frontier. Very significantly it is reported this year that the censor Appius Claudius Caecus began the construction of the via Appia, the military road that was to link Rome to Capua and eventually beyond. This was the beginning of road-building on a massive scale by the Romans and in addition to the obvious economic and cultural benefits, a road such as the via Appia could greatly increase the speed at which Roman armies could move and concentrate their power.

Elsewhere in 312 BC the Romano-Samnite war continued and a new theater of operations also opened along the Adriatic coast, to the north of Rome’s possessions in Apulia. In the Liris-Trerus valley M. Valerius Maximus continued where Junius Bubulcus had left off, campaigning with a consular army against the Pentrian communities holding out in the valley. The Fasti Triumphales attribute to him the capture of Sora in this year, the strategic fortress that had fallen to the Samnites in 315 BC.[29] Southwards down the Liris valley, the Romans established a colony in this year at Interamna Lirenas, to hold that that section of the valley and hem the Pentri into their mountain communities to the east, including Casinum only five miles (8 km) way. To the east of these affairs Diodorus Siculus reports for 312 BC that a strong Roman army [30] marched across the Apennines and invaded the territory of the Marrucini, a Sabellian tribe who occupied the Adriatic coast roughly between the Aterno and Foro Rivers and whose main community was the town of Teate.[31] The reported result of this fighting was the capture of the unknown town of Pollitium [32] and the garrisoning of the nearby town of Cluviae. If Cluviae is the modern Casoli as has been widely suggested, it becomes clear that the Romans were exploring a new avenue of approach into Samnium from the east. Cluviae-Casoli stood near the entrance to the valley of the Sagrus [33] River, the homeland of this Samnite tribe of the Caraceni. There are several possibilities as to why the Romans targeted this area. The Caraceni and Marrucini may have been staging raids out of the Sagrus valley against Roman territories along the coast, perhaps even cutting off communication to Apulia. The Romans may have decided that this entrant into the Samnite heartland was worth attacking and exploiting, while entrants to the west proved tougher nuts to crack. Advocates at Rome for exploiting Apulia as a jump-off point for invasion into Samnium may have been at work here, and these voices no doubt included the patrician C. Junius Bubulcus Brutus, who had recently seen at first hand the stiff barrier that the Apennines presented Roman armies along the western littoral. Most intriguingly, with the Etruscans arming for war to the north-west, Rome may have been trying to bottle up the Samnites and prevent the possibility of a link-up of Etruscan and Samnite armies.[34] In any case, this fighting represents the advent of a widened Central Italian War, drawing in the Sabellian tribes of the Abruzzi along with the Etruscans on the western coast. Resistance to Rome was increasing and Samnium in a dark hour was gaining allies to its side. It is a testament to the growing power and resources of Rome that the Latin state would go on an offensive along the Adriatic coast when both the Samnites and Etruscans threatened in Tyrrhenian Italy.

In conclusion, the five year period comprising 316 – 312 BC clearly displays the determination of the Romans to continue their expansion and reduce their primary enemy, the Samnite tribes, to a client status within their hegemony. The policy of expansion can be seen not only in the continued yearly campaigning, but also in the enlarging of the consular armies, the planting of colonies and a beginning of the construction of military roads to connect the strategic outposts of Rome`s growing territory. On the part of the Samnite tribes, war with Rome at this point was an inevitable fact and they met the challenge with their characteristic fortitude. Their great attack in 315 BC, whether planned or simply the result of a seized opportunity for the second time in a decade threw the Latin power into confusion and consternation, but ultimately ended in a decisive battlefield defeat and a clear diminution in their fortunes. For the next several years while unable to muster the strength necessary to counter a Roman offensive and prevent some incremental territorial losses on their frontiers, the Samnites did show to the Romans that their subjugation was going to be a long and difficult process, as the Samnite heartland remained protected behind mountain ranges and fortresses, inviolate and beyond the reach of Roman generals. However, with the widening of the war to come, bringing into the field other serious adversaries against Rome, the Samnites could breathe a little, take heart and experience a resurgence of sorts in the final bloody stage of their third war with Rome.

[3]. Diodorus Siculus (DS), 19.72

[4]. The ruins above Castel Morrone on the Tifata have been posited as the ancient Plistica, but there is little to back up this claim other than local legend, which speaks of a bloody sack by the Samnites

[5]. See Oakley, Commentary on Livy Books 6-10, 2004.

[6]. See Salmon, 1967, pg. 229, Nissen, 1870, pg. 18-33), contra Oakley, Commentary on Livy Books 6-10, 2004.

[7]. In the previous Romano-Samnite War, the Tarentines had offered Neapolis the service of their fleet against Rome and had also thwarted Roman diplomacy in Lucania. It is not surprising that the Romans rebuffed Taras at this point.

[8]. Like the events in Apulia recorded by Livy for 319 BC, The Triumph for Papirius Cursor reported in the Fasti for that year over the Samnites should properly belong to this year

[9]. No doubt the hope of bringing in new allies was a major factor in Samnite thinking for this advance

[13]. The is no certainty that the locale Diodorus relates, ‘Kinna’ or ‘Kina’ in separate manuscripts, is actually Terracina, but the Roman town at the bottom of Latium is posited by various scholars and its site makes sense for the battle given surrounding events. If this is the case the battles of Lautulae and Terracina were fought nearby to one another. See Oakley, 2004.

[15]. For this feat Sulpicius Longus was awarded a well-deserved Triumph (Tr. Fasti, 314/13 BC over the Samnites)

[16]. Livy (9.25) calls them Ausonians

[17]. Diodorus (19.76) reports that Maenus arrived at the head of an army separate from the consuls, prepared for war and that Capua shut its gates to him and prepared to fight until they heard of the Samnite defeat at Terracina. This is possible if he operated independently and took the inland route through the Liris-Trerus valley to reach Campania. A later investigation of Maenus’ at Rome put Q. Publilius Philo on trial and evidently ended his career. Publilius may have been blamed for his operations allowing the Samnites to invade Latium in 314 BC.

[18]. For Saticula see Velleius Paterculus 1.14, for Luceria see Livy 9.26, for Suessa Auruncia and Pontia see Livy 9.28. Diodorus’ (19.72) report of Luceria being colonized in 315 BC is a year early if the fortress was captured in that year, but the Romans would have voted for the colony at the end of 315 BC.

[20]. The modern Rocca d'Arce.

[21]. Some scholars posit Atella in Campania instead of Atina. This is possible but there is no good reason to reject Atina, which was within the campaigning zone of a Roman army this year.

[25]. The Servian Walls at Rome had been built during the 370’s-360’s BC with great effort, as a direct result of the Gallic sack.

[28]. C. Junius Bubulcus, according to Livy (9.29). He was obviously one of Rome’s most highly regarded generals at this time, along with Q. Fabius Rullianus

[29]. Livy (9.24) reports that Sora was taken by the consuls in 314 BC and this is possible, but in 314 BC Sulpicius and Poetelius were busy further west along the coast. Most scholars agree with the Tr. Fasti in this case. See Oakley, 2004 for a more detailed discussion.

[30]. The likely candidates for commander are the consul P. Decius Mus, although Livy (9.29) has him sick in Rome, or D. Junius Brutus, who campaigned here the following year but who Livy places at Rome. As usual for this period the confusion around magistracies and army commands is impossible to sort out.

[32]. Torrevecchia Teatina has been posited as the ancient Pollitium, with apparently little to back it up except its existence on Marrucinan territory

[33]. Now called the Sangro River

[34]. See Salmon, 1967, pg. 241

Written by Gordon Davis. The author retains the copyright to this piece bearing his name. No reproduction, copying or other forms of retrieval without permission.

About the author:
Gordon Davis is an amateur military historian, residing in Toronto, Canada. He is especially interested in the Early Roman Republic and Napoleonic History.

Texas State Highway 315

SH 315 begins at a junction with US 259 in Mount Enterprise. [2] The route travels to the northeast through eastern Rusk County, intersecting FM 95 and FM 840. [3] Continuing to the northeast, the highway enters Panola County, in which it has junctions with FM 348, FM 1971, and FM 1970 in the community of Clayton. SH 315 then enters Carthage, where it intersects SH 149. The route travels through the western portion of Carthage before reaching its eastern terminus at Bus. US 79. [4]

This route was not built, and was removed from the state highway system by 1939. SH 315 was designated on April 1, 1939 on its current route. [5] When originally constructed, the route between Mount Enterprise and the former community of Shiloh, approximately 5.8 miles to the east, was the first road in the state's Farm to Market system the extension of this road in April caused the cancellation of SH 215, a highway that followed a similar routing to the current route. [6] [7] This route became part of SH 315 during the 1939 redescription of the state highway system. [1]

IDS 312 Integrative Perspectives on Change

Death and Dying: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Instructor: Judy Grace

This course asks you to read and reflect on death and dying from several perspectives: psychological (death work internally): cultural/anthropologically (customs of a group of people) economically (the costs of end-of-life care and burial) religious (how the world religions view death and the afterlife) sociologically (your family and friends).

You will be able to pursue your own interests in addition to doing various assignments such as writing your own obituary.

Debt: Philosophy, Society, History
Instructor: Eric Oberle

Debt, once considered a kind of sin, has now become more universal than sin itself. Debt is literally (and metaphorically) everywhere. It defines the globe in its social relations. But is an interconnected world of mutual obligations a more peaceful, productive, or happier world? This interdisciplinary course studies the role of debt creation in the making of society, the reasons why debt has been reviled and praised, as well as the personal effect that debt has on individuals, families and nations who labor against its horizon. We will study the relation between debt and labor in contemporary America, the politics of international and national debt, the illusions and necessities of debt economies, and the wonderful world of predatory lending and its forms of precarity. Course readings consist of philosophical, anthropological, literary, political and journalistic texts from the ancient world to the present, with a focus on the emergence of a social theory centered on getting and spending, lending and borrowing.

Predators, Pets, and Pests
Instructor: Jada Ach

This course examines the topic of animals—both wild and domestic, human and nonhuman – from a range of disciplinary and cultural perspectives. Organized around three subtopics – predators, pets, and pests – this section of IDS 316 calls on students to consider the complicated and often intimate ways that human and animal lives intersect with one another. Throughout the semester, students will analyze human-animal relations in a variety of texts, including documentaries, scientific log books, natural histories, memoirs, novels, poetry, photography, regional park interpretive materials, journalistic narratives, and federal animal law. This course will introduce students to emerging theories and methodologies in the environmental humanities, animal studies, environmental justice studies, and desert humanities so that they may gain a more holistic, interdisciplinary view of the other than-human world. In their final “animal narrative” project, students will integrate knowledge and insights from some of these interdisciplinary (sub)fields in order to tell the story of a single animal or species.

(Summer 2021)

Predators, Pets, and Pests
Instructor: Jada Ach

This course examines the topic of animals—both wild and domestic, human and nonhuman – from a range of disciplinary and cultural perspectives. Organized around three subtopics – predators, pets, and pests – this section of IDS 316 calls on students to consider the complicated and often intimate ways that human and animal lives intersect with one another. Throughout the semester, students will analyze human-animal relations in a variety of texts, including documentaries, scientific log books, natural histories, memoirs, novels, poetry, photography, regional park interpretive materials, journalistic narratives, and federal animal law. This course will introduce students to emerging theories and methodologies in the environmental humanities, animal studies, environmental justice studies, and desert humanities so that they may gain a more holistic, interdisciplinary view of the other than-human world. In their final “animal narrative” project, students will integrate knowledge and insights from some of these interdisciplinary (sub)fields in order to tell the story of a single animal or species.

(Spring 2021)

Death and Dying: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Instructor: Judy Grace

This course asks you to read and reflect on death and dying from several perspectives: psychological (death work internally): cultural/anthropologically (customs of a group of people) economically (the costs of end-of-life care and burial) religious (how the world religions view death and the afterlife) sociologically (your family and friends).

You will be able to pursue your own interests in addition to doing various assignments such as writing your own obituary.

Predators, Pets, and Pests
Instructor: Jada Ach

This course examines the topic of animals—both wild and domestic, human and nonhuman – from a range of disciplinary and cultural perspectives. Organized around three subtopics – predators, pets, and pests – this section of IDS 316 calls on students to consider the complicated and often intimate ways that human and animal lives intersect with one another. Throughout the semester, students will analyze human-animal relations in a variety of texts, including documentaries, scientific log books, natural histories, memoirs, novels, poetry, photography, regional park interpretive materials, journalistic narratives, and federal animal law. This course will introduce students to emerging theories and methodologies in the environmental humanities, animal studies, environmental justice studies, and desert humanities so that they may gain a more holistic, interdisciplinary view of the other than-human world. In their final “animal narrative” project, students will integrate knowledge and insights from some of these interdisciplinary (sub)fields in order to tell the story of a single animal or species.

Thessaloniki was founded in 316/315 BC and in a short period of time it managed to grow and prosper as the safest port of the Kingdom of Macedonia located on the trade paths between the West and the East. Today, Thessaloniki is a modern city of the Hellenic Republic and the European Union, with more than 1 million citizens in its metropolitan area. It is the second-largest city in Greece after Athens and the largest one in the geographical and historical region of Macedonia. Nationwide, Thessaloniki is considered the most lively, romantic, and beloved city in the country, with its new generations being rather open-minded and outgoing, as they are breaking away from a more or less insular and conservative past.

The general shift of Thessaloniki towards a more extrovert city became more prominent after 2010 and it resulted in a significant growth in the number of foreign visitors. More and more people started seeing the city not only as a stop-over destination between their flights via Airport “Makedonia” (SKG) but also as a main travel destination. The proximity of Chalkidiki, one of the most popular areas for summer vacations in Greece, the intense nightlife, the extensive shopping streets and malls, and the exceptional cuisine, combined with the centuries-old, rich and diverse cultural heritage of the city (Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Jewish), had already shaped an attractive and truly unique destination after all.

Thessaloniki is also known as a major educational center with several Universities, Technical Schools and other learning institutes within its limits. The central location of the most prominent one, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) – the largest Academic Institute in Greece and the Balkans – together with the vast number of students that reside around it, have transformed the center of the city in one of the most lively urban areas in Europe.

A glimpse at the past

The genuine character of Thessaloniki is defined by its history, found even in the name of the city which is that of a Macedonian princess. Thessaloniki (or Thessalonike) was the daughter of King Philip II and half-sister of Alexander the Great. The city was named after the princess by its founder, Cassander (one of the rival successors of Alexander the Great and ruler of Macedonia), to whom she was married. Her name meant “Thessalian Victory” and it was conceived by her father to commemorate the victory of the united Macedonian and Thessalian armies at the Battle of Crocus Field (353/352 BC) against the Phocians. It was the battle that established the dominance of the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia under the rule of King Philip II.

For the foundation of Thessaloniki, Cassander chose the preexisting port city of Therma and ordered the residents of 26 adjacent settlements to move in the area, expanding his new city towards the north. In this early years, during the Hellenistic era, Thessaloniki soon managed to become the most important port of the Kingdom replacing the one at the capital, Pella, that was starting to silt up by the sediments of rivers that ran through the area. Today the ancient ruins of Pella lie 28km far from the sea of Thermaikos gulf.

The physical advantages of Thessaloniki’s port and its safe and strategic position made it suitable for the docking of the Macedonian warships and at the same time it favored the trade through the Aegean. Even after the fall of the Kingdom of Macedonia, in 168 BC, and the dominance of the Roman Republic, Thessaloniki continued to develop as a major trade hub on the axis of Via Egnatia, and in 148 BC it was proclaimed as the capital of the Roman Province of Macedonia establishing its importance for the years that followed.

Two centuries later, in 50/51 AD, Paul the Apostle visited the city during his second missionary journey and Thessaloniki became one of the first places where Christianity was preached – a religion that in the future would play a main role in the lives and the culture of the Thessalonians. In the meantime however, the pagan and the imperial Roman Period of the city were far from ending.

Roman Thessaloniki reached its peak at the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 4th century AD, when the most important Roman edifices of the city were built (the Galerius Palace, the Hippodrome, the Galerius Triumphal Arch and the Rotunda). It was a period marked by the divisions of the Roman Empire during which Thessaloniki became an administrative center of one of the empire’s autonomous sections under the rule of Galerius.

Less than a century later, in 390 AD, 7,000 civilians, mostly pagans, would be murdered in the Hippodrome, under the orders of Emperor Theodosius I. The atrocious act, known as the Massacre of Thessaloniki, was executed by the soldiers of a Germanic garrison of the Roman Army, following a rebellion against them that resulted in the death of their commander.

After the Fall of Rome in the 5th century AD, the spread of Christianity, and the rise of the Byzantine Empire (then referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire that mostly included the Greek-speaking Orthodox areas of the Roman World) Thessaloniki, being part of the realm, retained its prosperity and at the same time became an artistic and religious center of the Greek Orthodox Christians, coming second in importance, wealth and population only to the capital, Constantinople.

Thessaloniki, remained at that status, (although it went through several sieges, sackings, and temporary conquests) until it was definitively conquered by the Ottomans in 1430 AD, a year marking the end of the prosperous Byzantine Period of the city, that lasted for more than a 1,000 years. During this long historical span, some of the most important monuments of the city were created, which are nowadays inscribed in the World Heritage List of UNESCO as genuinely representative and unique examples of the Byzantine Culture.

Following the conquest of Thessaloniki by the Ottomans in 1430 (seven years after the Byzantine authorities had ceded the city to the Venetians in 1423, hoping that they would defend it effectively from the looming Ottoman threat), many of the Greeks who had survived, abandoned the city, while many others had already left before the siege leaving an almost empty city. Subsequently, Sultan Murad II, the conqueror of Thessaloniki, aimed at growing again the population of his new acquisition by ordering several Muslims of different origin (Turkish, Bulgarian and Albanian) to move in. This policy was continued for decades and Thessaloniki was also migrated by Ashkenazim Jews from Central Europe and mostly by Serphadim Jews from Spain and other countries after 1492.

As a result, the multicultural character of Thessaloniki became more prominent than ever and its overall physiognomy changed drastically. Most of the Byzantine churches were converted into mosques while minarets, hammams, and other Ottoman buildings were erected all over the city together with new fortifications or additions to the existing ones (the White Tower, the Alysseos Tower, the Vardaris Fort and the additions to the Acropolis Fortress, also known as Heptapyrgion or Yedi Kule).

At the same time, the Jewish population of Thessaloniki kept growing and at the beginning of the 16th century, it had risen to 15,715, more than half of the city’s population (54%) and one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. Thessaloniki became the only city in the continent where the Jews were a majority and for that reason, it was given the name “Mother of Israel” and “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. A city that before the immigration of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim, was also home to the Romaniote Jews, a Greek-speaking and one the oldest communities of the Jewish diaspora since the Hellenistic years (it was in their synagogue that in 50/51 AD, Paul the Apostle preached about Christianity).

During the five centuries that Thessaloniki was under Ottoman rule, Christians, Jews, and Muslims of various origins, together with other smaller minorities and foreigners from Europe, were living in their own neighborhoods, without any serious rivalries among them. Most of the Muslims were living in Ano Poli (Upper Town), the Christians close to the Galerian complex and around their remaining churches, and the Jews below Egnatia Avenue, close to the sea wall and the port. Today, on Apostolou Pavlou Street, south-east of Ano Poli, there is the museum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, who was born in 1881 and lived in Thessaloniki and in its wider area during his early life.

The Ottoman ruling of Thessaloniki ended on October 26, 1912, when Tahsin Pasha surrendered the city to the Greek Army, which was led by the Crown Prince Constantine during the First Balkan War. A year later Thessaloniki was officially incorporated into the Greek State. At that time, it was inhabited by 61,439 Jews (39%), 45,889 Muslims (29%), 39,956 Greeks (25%), 6,263 Bulgarians (4%), 2,721 Roma (2%) and 1,621 (1%) citizens of other origins (Greek Government Census of 1913).

Tragically, a few years later, in 1917, the biggest part of the city’s historic center was destroyed by the Great Fire of Thessaloniki, leaving homeless more than 72,500 people, of which approximately 50,000 were Jews. After the fire, the Greek government decided to implement a new plan for Thessaloniki, according to the European standards of the time – a decision that signified a vast revitalization and modernization of the old urban structures, marking a new era for the city. The task was given to the French architect, urban planner, and archaeologist Ernest Hébrard.

His plan aimed at the creation of a modern city center with commercial functions, designed with boulevards and contemporary roads, big squares, and parks. At the same time, the new plan would give prominence to the Byzantine and the Roman monuments without trying to reconstruct the oriental features of the city that had been built during the Ottoman period. Although the new plan wasn’t implemented in full, the former residential neighborhoods of the city center had to be relocated, and those who had lost their homes in the fire would have to move to other, less central areas of the city, facing an additional misfortune. As a result, many of the city’s Jews, although financially compensated, chose to migrate.

The next challenge that Thessaloniki had to face, related again with human suffering, was the population exchange between Greece and Turkey that took place in 1923 and 1924 after the Greek Army was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) and the migration that had already started before the official exchange. The Muslims of Thessaloniki had to migrate to Turkey and approximately 160,000 Greek refugees and migrants mainly from Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, Pontus and Caucasus, moved in the city, most of them in new, shanty settlements, living for many years in conditions of extreme poverty.

However, the tragic events in the recent history of Thessaloniki hadn’t come to an end yet. In March 1943, after two years of German occupation during World War II, and after the Jews of the city were forced to live in a ghetto by the Railway Station, approximately 45,000-50,000 people, up to 95% of the city’s Jewish population, were put into trains by the Nazis and were deported to the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz II-Birkenau and other camps in Poland and Germany. Most of them were murdered in the gas chambers as soon as they arrived. It is estimated that only 4% of the deported Jews from Thessaloniki survived and even fewer returned. Nowadays, in the city there are approximately 1,000 Jews.

After World War II, despite the tragic human losses and the disasters that the city faced at the first half of the 20th century, Thessaloniki managed to grow and to be modernized, although sometimes in a rushed, disconnected with the past, and inconsistent manner, becoming in the decades that followed a contemporary city of the European Union, that is constantly struggling to evolve.

Siege of Plistica, 316-315 and 315 BC - History

*P95 Serial Numbers rollmarked with P89 Pistols beginning in 1998

The above chart shows the approximate first serial number shipped for the indicated year. This number should be used as a point of reference only. It is not necessarily the very first serial number shipped, but it can be used to determine the approximate year your Ruger firearm was shipped.

Ruger does not necessarily produce firearms in serial number order. There are occasions when blocks of serial numbers have been manufactured out of sequence, sometimes years later. Also, within a model family the same serial number prefix may be used to produce a variety of different models, all in the same block of serial numbers. And in some cases, firearms may be stored for a length of time before they are shipped.

For details on your specific serial number you may contact our Service Department: 336-949-5200

For serial numbers manufactured prior to our electronic records, or for an official letter confirming the details on your firearm please download and mail in the Request for Letter of Authenticity form.

Transition to the Roman Republic

The transition of Rome from a monarchy to a republic led to severe internal social tensions. This lack of control over the city led neighboring tribes to siege the city and reduce its power. This is why Rome had to ratify its identity in numerous occasions during the first seventy years of the Republic.

The early years of the Republic are of political turmoil. The population was divided, certain wanted a monarchy, others a republic, others favored the king of Clusium, Lars Porsenna, and others wanted to form part of the Latin civilization. The nobles who had overthrown the king and his family had not come to an agreement regarding the type of government that would replace the monarchy.

The consuls, which would later replace the leadership of the Roman kings, was not put in place immediately, but many years later.

Many historians believe that in the first stages of the Roman Republic, a praetor maximus was appointed for one year only. Later his duties would be split in two by choosing two consuls at a time to govern Rome. This form of government went on until 449 BC, with the Valeria Horaria law.

The position of chief magistrate was not exclusively for the “patres”, who formed the Roman senate, and controlled the army and the priests since the time of Romulus, as there is evidence that shows plebeians, common civilians, becoming consuls up until 485 BC. The political instability led the strongest factions to form alliances between themselves.

From 485 BC, the patricians no longer allowed commoners to take part in the government and began to control all civil and religious matters.

Long Range Calibers Ballistics Comparison Chart

CaliberMuzzle VelocityBallistic Co.TRRE 500mRE 1000mRE 1500m
5.56mm/.223 Remington3100 fpsG7: 0.202800m @ 1128 fps470 ft-lbs165 ft-lbs108 ft-lbs
.224 Valkyrie2700 fps (90 grain) to 3400 fps (60 grain)G1: .563 G7: .2741000m @ 1114 fps660 ft-lbs248 ft-lbs162 ft-lbs
.243 Winchester3025 (105 grain) to 4058 fps (55 grain)G1: 0.515 G7: 0.2681200 @ 1104 fps1047 ft-lbs436 ft-lbs222 ft-lbs
6mm Creedmoor3100 fps (105 grain)G1: 0.517 G7: 0.2651250 @ 1091 fps1091 ft-lbs457 ft-lbs221 ft-lbs
6.5mm Grendel2500 fps (103 grain) to 2880 fps (90 grain)G1: 0.506 G7: 0.2551050 @ 1091 fps943 ft-lbs357 ft-lbs225 ft-lbs
6.5mm Creedmoor2750 fps (140gr ELD Match)G1: 0.646 G7: 0.3151300m @ 1104 fps1301 ft-lbs633 ft-lbs325 ft-lbs
6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge)2950 fps (143 grain ELD-X)G1: 0.625 G7: 0.3151350 @ 1105 fps1439 ft-lbs698 ft-lbs335 ft-lbs
6.5x47mm Lapua2700 fps (140 grain)G1: 0.593 G7: 0.3041200m @ 1102 fps1174 ft-lbs535 ft-lbs296 ft-lbs
.260 Remington2780 (140g hybrid target)G1: 0.607 G7: 0.3111250m @ 1104 fps1260 ft-lbs585 ft-lbs306 ft-lbs
.308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO2700 fps (175 sierra match king)G1: 0.474 G7: 0.243950m @1101 fps1212 ft-lbs437 ft-lbs295 ft-lbs
.30-06 Springfield2600 to 2900 fps (depending on grain)G1: 0.463 G7: 0.224900m @ 1099 fps1123 ft-lbs394 ft-lbs264 ft-lbs
.300 Winchester Short Magnum3200 fps (168 grain berger target hybrid)G1: 0.515 G7: 0.2641300m @ 1078 fps1866 ft-lbs786 ft-lbs362 ft-lbs
.300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge)2840 fps (225 grain)G1: 0.712 G7: 0.3651550m @ 1087 fps2364 ft-lbs1287 ft-lbs630 ft-lbs
.300 Winchester Magnum3150 fps (190 grain)G1: 0.539 G7: 0.2761300 @ 1116 fps2115 ft-lbs937 ft-lbs426 ft-lbs
.300 Norma Magnum2940 fps (US Military's XM1163)G1: 0.717 G7 0.3681600m @ 1106 fps2621 ft-lbs1451 ft-lbs722 ft-lbs
.338 Lapua Magnum3030 fps (250 grain Scenar projectile)G1: 0.603 G7: 0.3101400m @ 1109 fps2755 ft-lbs1345 ft-lbs610 ft-lbs
.338 Norma Magnum2650 fps (300 grain SMK, MV)G1: 0.747 G7: 0.3831450m @ 1109 fps2772 ft-lbs1523 ft-lbs776 ft-lbs

Cassander, Olympias & the 3rd Diadoch War: Early Chronology

Post by agesilaos » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:28 pm

That there is something wrong with this siege seems clear, or rather with our perception of it. We have two markers for its length in Diodoros it is news of the death of the King that spurs Kassandros to move north. This is six years and four months after Daisios 323 which is Dios 317, this ran 23 June to 22 July. The other marker is that Olympias surrendered when 'spring was coming on'. Diodoros places this under the archonship of Demokleides which ran 25-June-316 to 14- July 315. That Diodoros may have got the archon wrong is made less likely by the Marmor Parium agreeing with him. There was, of course, only one spring in Demokleides' archonship, that of 315. So we have a siege of over a year, it is just that Diodoros has reported it all under the year it ended.

This does not really alter the arguments about when the funeral was, other than pushing it a year later, but it does avoid the necessity of any apologia.

Re: Cassander, Olympias & the 3rd Diadoch War: Early Chrono

Post by Paralus » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:20 pm

I disagree. As I've shown, the fickleness of the Macedonians was illustrated by several episodes prior to this including the murder of the regent Perdiccas in Egypt. A need to apologise for Olympias' troops purported handing her over to Cassander because the Argyraspids' example was "as-yet-unknown" is not persuasive. In the previous year the Macedonian troops had handed over the king (Philip III) and his entire court to Olympias (Eurydice escaped to be captured later).

But, even if your view is accepted, why does Diodorus or his source feel compelled to apologia in this episode?

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

Re: Cassander, Olympias & the 3rd Diadoch War: Early Chron

Post by Xenophon » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:03 am ! Whilst that would solve many of the anomalies I have drawn attention to about the siege, it also reverts to Anson's 'low' chronology as set out in "Dating the deaths of Eumenes and Olympias" in AHB.

I was under the impression that there was general agreement here that the 'mixed' chronology of Boiy/Stylianou/Wheatley/Meeus/Lendering was to be preferred. indeed I am surprised Paralus hasn't commented on what could prove to be another lengthy digression.

Since there is general agreement that Eumenes and Olympias both died around the same time, you are going to have to shift the whole chronology ! Not to mention that the next year Cassander presides over the Nemean Games, and so that year can only realistically be 315 BC. ( Nemean Games being bi-annual)
Paralus wrote:

As I've shown, the fickleness of the Macedonians was illustrated by several episodes prior to this including the murder of the regent Perdiccas in Egypt. A need to apologise for Olympias' troops purported handing her over to Cassander because the Argyraspids' example was "as-yet-unknown" is not persuasive. In the previous year the Macedonian troops had handed over the king (Philip III) and his entire court to Olympias (Eurydice escaped to be captured later).

But, even if your view is accepted, why does Diodorus or his source feel compelled to apologia in this episode?

I think you over-read too much into what I wrote, as I have already said. I merely plucked the example of the Argyraspides out of the air, and added "as yet unknown" so as to anticipate someone pointing this out. You have kindly added other 'precedents', again as I said.

As to reasons why this particular act of treachery needed an 'apologia', I cannot say for certain - not being a mind-reader of D.S or his source.

Watch the video: The Battle of Salamis In Our Time


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