FACTOID # 9: The bookmobile capital of America is Kentucky.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Battle of Carrhae
Battle of Carrhae
Part of the Roman-Persian Wars
Image:Augustus Carrhae standard.jpg
A Parthian returning Legio X standard captured at Carrhae, on a Roman coin struck in 19 BC
Date 53 BC
Location Near Carrhae (Harran)
Result Decisive Parthian victory
Combatants
Roman Republic Parthia
Commanders
Marcus Licinius Crassus †, Publius Crassus Surena
Strength
35,000 Roman legionaries,
4,000 cavalry,
4,000 light infantry
10,000 cavalry
Casualties
20,000 dead,
10,000 captured,
4,000 wounded
Reportedly very light

The Battle of Carrhae was a decisive battle fought in 53 BC near the town of Carrhae (now the present-day ruins of Harran, Turkey) between the Roman Republic under the Roman general Crassus and the Parthian Empire under the Parthian Spahbod Surena. The result of the battle was an overwhelming victory for the Parthian Empire. Combatants Roman Republic, succeeded by Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire later Persian Empire projected through Parthian and Sassanid dynasties Commanders Lucullus, Pompey, Crassus, Mark Antony, Trajan, Valerian I, Julian, Justinian I, Belisarius, Heraclius Surena, Shapur I, Shapur II, Kavadh I, Khosrau I, Khosrau II, Shahrbaraz, Rhahzadh The Roman-Persian... Image File history File links Caesar Augustus. ... Legio X was the name of several Roman legions. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC - 10s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s Years: 24 BC 23 BC 22 BC 21 BC 20 BC 19 BC 18 BC 17 BC 16 BC 15 BC 14 BC... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC - 50s BC - 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC Years: 58 BC 57 BC 56 BC 55 BC 54 BC 53 BC 52 BC 51 BC 50... Harran, also known as Carrhae, is an archeological site in present day southeastern Turkey, 24 miles (39 kilometers) southeast of Sanli Urfa. ... Harran, also known as Carrhae, is a district of Åžanlıurfa Province in the southeast of Turkey, near the border with Syria, 24 miles (44 kilometres) southeast of the city of Åžanlıurfa, at the end of a long straight road across the roasting hot plain of Harran. ... Parthia[1] (Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was a civilization situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ... Parthia[1] (Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was a civilization situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf... Marcus Licinius Crassus (Latin: M·LICINIVS·P·F·P·N·CRASSVS[1]) (c. ... Publius Crassus, name of various Romans: Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus Publius Licinius Crassus (consul 171 BC) son of Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives. ... Bronze Stature of General Surena, National Museum of Iran. ... Combatants Roman Republic, succeeded by Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire later Persian Empire projected through Parthian and Sassanid dynasties Commanders Lucullus, Pompey, Crassus, Mark Antony, Trajan, Valerian I, Julian, Justinian I, Belisarius, Heraclius Surena, Shapur I, Shapur II, Kavadh I, Khosrau I, Khosrau II, Shahrbaraz, Rhahzadh The Roman-Persian... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Battle of Resaena was fought in 243 between the forces of Gordian III and Persia. ... Combatants Sassanid Persians Roman Empire Commanders Shapur I Gordian III Strength Unknown Unknown Casualties Unknown Unknown The Battle of Misiche was fought between the Sassanid Persians and the Romans. ... Combatants Sassanid Persians Roman Empire Commanders Shapur I Unknown Strength Unknown 60,000-70,000 Casualties Unknown Unknown The Battle of Barbalissos was fought between the Sassanid Persians and Romans at Barbalissos. ... Combatants Sassanid Empire Roman Empire Commanders Shapur I Valerian Strength 40,000 70,000 including Praetorian Guard Casualties Minimal Heavy The Battle of Edessa took place between the armies of the Roman Empire under the command of Emperor Valerian and Sassanid forces under King Shapur I in 259. ... The Battle of Singara was fought in 344 between Roman and Sassanid Persian forces. ... Combatants Roman Empire Sassanid Empire Commanders Ursicinus Shapur II Grumbates Strength Casualties The Siege of Amida took place when Sassanids under King Shapur II besieged the Roman city of Amida in 359. ... Combatants Romans Persians Commanders Julian the Apostate Shapur II Strength 90,000 N/A Casualties low, but include Julian, and casualties from disease 2,500 dead The Battle of Ctesiphon took place in June 26, 363 AD between the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate and the Persian emperor Shapur II... Combatants Sassanid Persians Roman Empire Commanders Shapur II Julian the Apostate Strength Unknown; either equal or less than the Byzantine army 35,000 Casualties Unknown Very heavy The battle of Samarra took place in 363 after the invasion of Sassanid Persia (Iran) by the Romans. ... Combatants Eastern Roman Empire Iberia Persian Empire Commanders Belisarius Sittas Gregory Maurice Kavadh I Firouz Azarethes The Iberian War was fought from 526 to 532 between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persian Empire over the country of Iberia // Origin After the Anastasian War, a seven-year truce was agreed on... The Lazic War, or Egrisi Great War as it is known in Georgian historiography, refers to the twenty-year war between Byzantium and Iran Sassanid Empire for controlling the western Georgian Kingdom of Egrisi/ Lazica in 542-562. ... Combatants Byzantine Empire Sassanid Empire Commanders Philippicus Unknown The Battle of Solachon was fought in 586 between the Byzantines, led by General Philippicus (Emperor Maurice brother in law), and the Sassanids. ... Also known as the Third Battle of Issus, the battle was fought between the Eastern Roman Emperor (or Byzantine Emperor) Heraclius and the Sassanid Empire at the strategic ground near the small riverine town of Issus below the difficult inland mountains in 622, now in the Turkish Province of Hatay. ... Combatants Byzantine Empire Sassanid Empire Commanders Heraclius Rhahzadh† Strength  ?  ? Casualties  ?  ? The Battle of Nineveh was the climactic battle of the last of the Roman-Persian Wars between the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Empire, in 627. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC - 50s BC - 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC Years: 58 BC 57 BC 56 BC 55 BC 54 BC 53 BC 52 BC 51 BC 50... Harran, also known as Carrhae, is a district of Åžanlıurfa Province in the southeast of Turkey, near the border with Syria, 24 miles (44 kilometres) southeast of the city of Åžanlıurfa, at the end of a long straight road across the roasting hot plain of Harran. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ... Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives (c. ... Parthia[1] (Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was a civilization situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf... Spahbod or Spahbed (Persian: سپهبد, in new Persian Sepahbod, is derived from the words Spah سپه army bod بد master ) also alternatively Spah Salar (سپهسالار) and was a rank used in the Parthian empire and more widely in the Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran). ... Bronze Stature of General Surena, National Museum of Iran. ...

Contents

Background

In 55 BC, Marcus Licinius Crassus had just finished serving his joint-consul year with Pompey. At the time, Crassus, Pompey, and Julius Caesar formed a powerful and secret triumvirate that all but controlled Rome. As a part of this élite group, Crassus felt a great desire to add new glory to his name. He had seen no action since his defeat of Spartacus nearly 20 years earlier.[1] Crassus drew out the maps of the Roman Imperium looking for a target to attack, and decided that the most glorious one would be the Parthian Empire. Many members of the Roman Senate tried to dissuade him from this course of action, but Caesar and Pompey stood firmly behind him and the senate relented. Marcus Licinius Crassus (Latin: M·LICINIVS·P·F·P·N·CRASSVS[1]) (c. ... Consul (abbrev. ... Pompey, Pompey the Great or Pompey the Triumvir [1] (Classical Latin abbreviation: CN·POMPEIVS·CN·F·SEX·N·MAGNVS[2], Gnaeus or Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus) (September 29, 106 BC–September 29, 48 BC), was a distinguished military and political leader of the late Roman republic. ... Gaius Julius Caesar [1] (Latin pronunciation ; English pronunciation ; July 12 or July 13, 100 BC or 102 BC – March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men in world history. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Spartacus by Denis Foyatier, 1830 Spartacus (ca. ... Parthia[1] (Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was a civilization situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf...


Crassus arrived in Syria in late 55 BC. With the aid of Hellenic settlements in Syria and support from Artavasdes, the Armenian king, Crassus marched directly to the Parthian mainland instead of attacking from the mountains of Armenia. In response, the Parthian king Orodes II divided his army and sent half, which were infantry troops, to punish the Armenians and sent the other half, which were cavalry units, to combat Crassus. The enemy armies subsequently encountered each other near the town of Carrhae. Hellenic may refer to: the Hellenic Republic (the modern Greek state) the Hellenes, itself a term for either ancient or modern Greeks anything related to Greece in general or Ancient Greece in particular. ... Artavasdes II King Artavasdes II ruled Armenia from 53 to 34 BC. He succeeded his father, Tigranes the Great. ... Coin of Orodes II from the mint at Seleucia. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... French Republican Guard - May 8, 2005 celebrations Cavalry (from French cavalerie) were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat. ...

Eager to match the military achievements of his two illustrious rivals, Marcus Licinius Crassus led an army into Parthia. Instead of glory, all he found was death. [2]

The Battle

The Parthian army, under the leadership of General Surena, was outnumbered but used 1,000 heavily armed and armoured horsemen, called "cataphracts", in conjunction with 9,000 horse archers to defeat the Roman legions. The Roman legionaries eventually broke formation and were routed. A major factor in the Roman defeat can be attributed to their legionaries heavy armour. The horse archers fired repeated volleys of arrows into the densely packed formation of the Romans that caused major casualties to the legionaries. To sustain their barrage, the Parthians employed camels to carry additional arrow loads. The result was the complete annihilation of Crassus' legions, and his eventual capture and demise. Bronze Stature of General Surena, National Museum of Iran. ... A cataphract (from the Greek κατάφρακτος katafraktos, plural katafraktoi) was a form of heavy cavalry used by nomadic eastern Iranian tribes and dynasties and later Greeks and Latin-speaking peoples. ... A horse archer (or horsed archer, mounted archer) is a cavalryman armed with a bow. ... A reenactor dressed as a Roman soldier in lorica segmentata The lōrīca segmentāta was a type of armour primarily used in the Roman Empire, but the Latin name was first used in the 16th century (the ancient form is unknown). ... Roman legionaries, 1st century. ... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ...


Prior to battle, Crassus sent his cavalry to scout the area ahead, but they were ambushed and easily routed by the cataphracts, who had the element of surprise.[3] This allowed the Parthian horse archers to harass the Roman infantry freely. The Romans attempted to charge the horse archers, but the Parthians would feign retreat, while firing arrows at their pursuers. (a custom known as the "Parthian shot"). Appropriate to the situation, The Romans formed their ranks into the protective testudo. However, the Cataphracts then charged the formation while supported by suppressive fire, smashing into the Roman lines.[4] The legionaries were unable to fight effectively in their tight formation, despite the large scuta that gave them some measure of protection against the volleys of arrows. Many Roman soldiers eventually collapsed from thirst and heat exhaustion from the exertion of defending themselves from the seemingly endless barrages, in addition to the devastating Cataphract charge, despite being otherwise unwounded. "When Publius urged them to charge the enemy's mail-clad horsemen, they showed him that their hands were riveted to their shields and their feet nailed through and through to the ground, so that they were helpless either for flight or for self-defence."[5] Parthia employed the use of Perso-Parthian composite bows at this time, which were more powerful than traditional bows. Arrows fired from these bows were able to penetrate the legionnaires' thick armour, to the horror of the heavy Roman infantry. The cataphract was a type of heavy cavalryman used primarily in eastern and southeastern Europe, in Anatolia and Iran from late antiquity up through the High Middle Ages. ... The Parthian shot (or Parthian shaft) was a tactic employed by ancient Persian horse archers. ... A century of Roman legionaires in testudo formation, as portrayed in the Rome: Total War computer game, copyright 2004 Creative Assembly and Activision In Ancient Roman warfare, the testudo or tortoise formation was a formation utilized commonly by the Roman Legions during battles, particularly sieges. ... Praetorian Guardsmen with curved oval scuta. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Hyperthermia is an acute condition resulting from excessive exposure to heat, it is also known as heat stroke or sunstroke. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In the Christian monastic tradition, a lorica is an incantation recited for protection. ...


Aftermath

The result was one of the worst defeats suffered by the Roman Republic in its entire history. During the battle, Crassus' son Publius was slain and his head was put on a pike for the legionaries to see.[6] Crassus himself was killed and decapitated after the battle; legend has it that he was tortured by having molten gold poured down his throat (an ironic jest at his notorious wealth), though this is possibly a rumor spread by his many Roman enemies after the fact. His head was sent to the Parthian king,[7] Orodes II (who allegedly permitted its use as a stage prop). It is also mentioned by Plutarch that the Parthians found the Roman prisnor of war that resembled Crassus the most, dressed him as a woman and paraded him through Parthia for all to see. The other half of the Parthian army defeated the Armenians and captured their country. However, these victories made the Parthian king suspicious and jealous of Surena, and he ordered his execution. Following Surena's death, Orodes II himself took command of the Parthian army and led an unsuccessful military campaign into Syria. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Coin of Orodes II from the mint at Seleucia. ...


Gaius Cassius Longinus, a legatus under Crassus, led approximately 10,000 surviving soldiers from the battlefield back to Syria, where he governed as a proquaestor for two years, defending Syria from Orodes II's further attacks. He would eventually defeat the Parthians and receive praise from Cicero for his victory. Cassius later played a key role in the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. Caius Cassius Longinus featured on a denarius (42 BC). ... Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Marcus Tullius Cicero (IPA:Classical Latin pronunciation: , usually pronounced in American English or in British English; January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher, widely considered one of Romes greatest orators... Gaius Julius Caesar [1] (Latin pronunciation ; English pronunciation ; July 12 or July 13, 100 BC or 102 BC – March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men in world history. ...


Legacy

The capture of the golden Aquilae (legionary battle standards) by the Parthians was considered a grave moral defeat and evil omen for the Romans. It required a generation of diplomacy before the Parthians returned them. Denarius minted by Mark Antony to pay his legions. ...


An important and unexpected implication of this battle was that it opened up the European continent to a new and beautiful material: silk. The Romans who managed to survive the battle reported seeing brilliant, shimmering banners (apparently made of silk) used by the Parthians as they slaughtered the fleeing legions.[8] Subsequently, interest in Europe grew for this material and trade routes were extended from China to Western Europe. This effectively marked the beginnings of the Silk Road, one of the greatest and richest trade routes in history.[9] Silk dresses Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... The Silk Road Silk Route redirects here. ...


The battle is also believed to have eventually led to the first Sino-Roman relations. According to Pliny, in 53 BC, after losing at the battle of Carrhae, 10,000 Roman prisoners were sent by the Parthians to Margiana to help guard the eastern frontier of the Parthian Empire. The Han Chinese later captured this area and the Roman prisoners were likely among the first westerners to meet the Chinese directly.[10] Sino-Roman relations started first on an indirect basis during the 2nd century BCE. China and Rome progressively inched closer with the embassies of Zhang Qian in 130 BCE and the military expeditions of China to Central Asia, until general Ban Chao attempted to send an envoy to Rome around... Margu (Greek Margiana) was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, mentioned in the Behistun inscriptions of ca. ... Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220...


However, the most immediate effect of the battle was that Carrhae was an indirect cause for the fall of the Republic, and the rise of the Empire.[citation needed] At this point it is also worth noting that the Republic as an institution had really ceased functioning with Sulla's first march on Rome in 88 BC, though the loss of Crassus and his legions at Carrhae certainly sped the final collapse of the Republic.[11] Along with the death of Pompey's wife and Caesar's daughter Julia, Crassus' death left the relationship between Caesar and Pompey as distant and unstable; the first Triumvirate no longer existed. The triumvirate's balanced structure had helped to prevent a power struggle; but with only two of the generals still alive, conflict was now inevitable. As a result, civil war broke out, Caesar won, and the Republic was permanently tainted, quickly and uncontrollably becoming an empire. Julia Caesaris (Classical Latin: IVLIA•CAESARIS) was the daughter of Gaius Julius Caesar the dictator, by Cornelia Cinna, and his only child in marriage. ...


References

  1. ^ RedRampant - The Battle of Carrhae Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  2. ^ Roman-Persian Wars: Battle of Carrhae By Brian Dent
  3. ^ RedRampant - The Battle of Carrhae Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  4. ^ The Deadly Banners of Carrhae by Robert Collins. Silkroad Foundation. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  5. ^ Plutarch, Life of Crassus, XXV
  6. ^ The Deadly Banners of Carrhae by Robert Collins. Silkroad Foundation. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  7. ^ The Deadly Banners of Carrhae by Robert Collins. Silkroad Foundation. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  8. ^ The Deadly Banners of Carrhae by Robert Collins. Silkroad Foundation. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  9. ^ The Deadly Banners of Carrhae by Robert Collins. Silkroad Foundation. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  10. ^ UNRV Roman History - Battle of Carrhae Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  11. ^ The Romans: From Village to Empire By Mary T. Boatwright

External links

The only two ancient records of the battle:

An in-depth description: Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Plutarch in Greek Plutarchs Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings. ... Cassius Dio Cocceianus (ca. ... History - Ancient history - Ancient Rome This is a List of Ancient Rome-related topics, that aims to include aspects of both the Ancient Roman Republic and Roman Empire. ...

  • Battle of Carrhae

  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Carrhae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (933 words)
The Battle of Carrhae was a decisive battle fought in the year 53 BC near the town of Carrhae (now the present-day ruins of Harran, Turkey) between the Roman Republic under the Roman general Crassus and the Parthian Empire under the Parthian Iran Spahbod Surena.
During the battle, Crassus' son Publius was slain and his head was put on a pike for the legionaries to see.
According to Pliny, in 54 BC, after losing at the battle of Carrhae, 10,000 Roman prisoners were sent by the Parthians to Margiana to help guard the eastern frontier of the Parthian Empire.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m