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Rome's most dangerous enemy

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    Posted: 27 Nov 2011 at 02:32
Which nation/group/general do you consider to epitomise the greatest danger the Romans ever faced.

Why do you think so and what examples do you have to show this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2011 at 03:17
Which Rome? Roman empire, Roman Republic, eastern or Western Rome?
If you mean Romans in general then I have three choices.

1- Hannibal, Carthaginians.
2- Sassanids, Persians.
3- Attila, Huns.
.
.
.
4- Germanic tribes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2011 at 08:56
Rome's most dangerous enemies?
 
Technically, it would have to be themselves...Romans fought for control of Rome more among themselves than any external enemy, and such is rather obvious within the greater panorama.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2011 at 11:15

Is not the enemy that beat You or fataly weaken You the more dangerous? How dangerous he is depends after all upon You own strength and weaknesses. Rome got victorious out of confrontation with Carthage, and stronger than ever, so from that angle it seems Carthage could not be its most dangerous adversary.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2011 at 13:16
The Christians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2011 at 23:52
Amerindian Atlantians!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2011 at 10:15
Tough choice.  I would probably vote Carthage and Huns.  I wouldn't count the Iranian empires as mortal enemies since they rarely posed existential threats to each other, just very serious rivals and pains in the butt to each others ambitions.






Edited by Zagros - 28 Nov 2011 at 10:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2011 at 21:26
Apparently, Carthage. It was the only time when Rome was very close to the total collapse. I am not comparing to the late years when the empire was slowly dying. Hannibal was the only one being able to deliver death blows to the Romans when they were still in full force.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2011 at 06:22

Carthage. It was the only power that could threaten the Italian Peninsula at moments notice and control Rome's vital territories such as mineral rich Spain for an extended period of time.



Edited by Darius of Parsa - 30 Nov 2011 at 06:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2011 at 06:12
I would generally agree with the choice of the Carthaginians for the reasons mentioned above. Zagros has dissuaded me from citing Parthia. Depending on the time period, do the Celts deserve a mention?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2011 at 17:47
I agree with DrG but also with everyone else who picked Carthage. In a way Hannibal's defeat was what made Rome stronger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2012 at 08:28
Carthage could never hope to defeat Rome, it could inflict a Cannae, but it could not withstand one. The Persians very nearly ended the Roman story on several occassions and the could always return after a defeat and did.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2012 at 19:28
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Carthage could never hope to defeat Rome, it could inflict a Cannae, but it could not withstand one. The Persians very nearly ended the Roman story on several occassions and the could always return after a defeat and did.


I'm a little rusty here, so help me out a little mate, but didn't Hannibal opt not to sack Rome?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fusong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2012 at 21:39
I sort of agree with Drgon
As with all cultures... THEIR OWN ARISTOCRACY the wealth always make sure their own nation implodes without even realizing it half of the time
Every ideology has a kernel of truth and sea of whitewash.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2012 at 22:20
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Carthage could never hope to defeat Rome, it could inflict a Cannae, but it could not withstand one. The Persians very nearly ended the Roman story on several occassions and the could always return after a defeat and did.
 
Carthage could have ended Rome. It was simply too split internally to do so. Everyone in Italy hated Rome but also feared its wrath and didn't forget what the Romans did to all those who sided with the Gauls over 150 years before. With a Carthage that has a segment of its politicians and people overtly siding with Rome no one joined the hopeless Hannibal in his quest to destroy Rome for good.
 
 
As for the Persians, they were never an existential threat to Rome (Byzantium is a different matter). On the other hand the attirition that Rome suffered from its wars with the Persians was far greater than that it suffered from Germanic wars. Indeed it was the Sassanid victories in the 3rd and 4th centuries that hastened Rome's end and not the civil wars or Germanic rebellions.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2012 at 06:20
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Carthage could never hope to defeat Rome, it could inflict a Cannae, but it could not withstand one. The Persians very nearly ended the Roman story on several occassions and the could always return after a defeat and did.


I'm a little rusty here, so help me out a little mate, but didn't Hannibal opt not to sack Rome?
True, mainly because he did not have the ability to undertake a siege. And while Hannible and his men could destroy any Army Rome sent against them, the rest of the forces could easily be dealt with by the Romans who also spent a lot of that time fighting against Macedonia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2012 at 07:39
Hannibal was probably not able to take Rome immediately after the Battle of Cannae (which would have been the most opportune time during the entire war). Rome still had 5,000 troops in the capital, plus thousands of slaves they could (and did) arm and make into citizens. Combined with the city's formidable defences and Hannibal's lack of siege weaponry, a march on Rome followed by a siege would have been very unlikely to succeed. Through the entire war Hannibal took virtually no large towns through siege, and Rome was far larger and better defended than any other.

Hannibal could have won the war but he needed the full support of Carthage itself. Hannibal intelligently decided to instead detach virtually all of southern Italy from Rome. The rest could follow when Carthage itself threw its weight behind the war effort. Carthage, stupidly, failed to do so.

Carthage could have defeated the Romans once and for all by joining in Hannibal's successes. But they didn't.

As for the Sassanids (and I refer here to Rome and not Byzantium), they never penetrated into more than a tenth of Rome's over territory, and never threatened the imperial capital. The Sassanids were not an existential threat, but they were a costly drain on Rome's manpower and resources.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Salah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 20:41

From about 235 CE or so - themselves.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bagrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2013 at 09:08
Without any doubt, the greatest danger that the Roman Empire, in whatever incarnation, ever faced, were the Germanic tribes that,in their various incarnations, threatened it on the northern borders stretching from the North to the Black Sea.
Not even counting the earlier invasions by the Teutones and Cimbri in 105 BC, or the “Clades Variana”" in 9AD, no other people constituted such a continuous and mortal danger to the existence of the Empire as the Germanics.
At least from the late 2nd century onwards, the Roman Empire conducted an almost permanent and mostly defensive war against the ever shifting Germanic alliances (from the Franks in the West to the Goths in the East), employing the majority of its manpower and resources on its Rhine and Danube borders. Most of the internal political, social and economic problems of the late Roman Empire are directly linked to strategic imperatives of the Northern war, be it the rampant inflation that befell the Empire ,the establishment of the Foederati system or the Germanisation of the Roman legions.
The two latter attempts to integrate the Germanics into the Empire, ironically contributed largely to the demise of the Western half.
One could even argue that the medieval successor states of the Germanic alliances, the Holy Romans, the French and English Kingdoms decisively damaged the Eastern Roman Empire during the Crusades, especially in 1204, rendering it eventually defenseless against the Ottomans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2013 at 07:22
I cannot help but think that the armed crusaders which eventually showed up on Alexios I Komnenos' doorstep could have turned into a formidable enemy if it was not for the emperor's rhetorical skill and the fear instilled by his Pecheneg bodyguards.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crazysharktank Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2014 at 10:00
I think it's Carthaginians

Rome was in war with Carthaginians. The conflict between Rome and Carthage result the First and Second Punic War.  

First Punic war is fought by the Hannibal Father - Hamilcar Barca. 
The second Punic war was fought by the Hannibal. His tactics were invincible You can read more about Hannibal Here

Beside Carthage other greatest enemy or Rome were: Sassanids, Persians, Attila, Hun

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2014 at 20:45
Whatever caused it's fall in the end.  Same with Chinese dynasties, it's always the barbarians.
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm
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