Ramesses II, the most celebrated and most powerful Pharaoh of Egypt who made the Empire very powerful and rich over North Africa...
Who... is... DEADLIEST?
- 1 Combatants
- 2 Weapons
- 2.1 Short Range - Crocea Mors
- 2.2 Medium Range - Hasta/Pilum
- 2.3 Long Range - Arcus Composite Bow
- 2.4 Special - Plumbata
- 2.5 Armour - Lorica Squamata, Scutum, Coolus and Montefortino
- 2.6 Short Range - Khopesh
- 2.7 Medium Range - Javelin/Spear
- 2.8 Long Range - Hyksos Composite Bow
- 2.9 Special - Flanged Mace
- 2.10 Armour - Leather Shield, War Helmet, Scale Armour
- 3 Personal Edges
- 4 Battle
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed a political alliance that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative elite within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar's conquest of Gaul, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.
These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to lay down his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused, and marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion to march into the city itself. Civil war resulted, from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of Rome.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity". But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.
Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources. Caesar is deemed to be one of the greatest military commanders of history. (From Wikipedia)
Ramesses II was the third Egyptian pharaoh (reigned 1279 BC – 1213 BC) of the Nineteenth dynasty. He led several military expeditions into the Levant, re-asserting Egyptian control over Canaan. He also led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein.
At age fourteen, Ramesses was appointed Prince Regent by his father Seti I. He is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC for 66 years and 2 months, according to both Manetho and Egypt's contemporary historical records. The early part of his reign was focused on building cities, temples and monuments. He established the city of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta as his new capital and main base for his campaigns in Syria. This city was built on the remains of the city of Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos when they took over, and was the location of the main Temple of Set. He is also known as Ozymandias in the Greek sources from a transliteration into Greek of a part of Ramesses's throne name, Usermaatre Setepenre, "Ra's mighty truth, chosen of Ra".
Early in his life, Ramesses II embarked on numerous campaigns to return previously held territories back from Nubian and Hittite hands and to secure Egypt's borders. He was also responsible for suppressing some Nubian revolts and carrying out a campaign in Libya. Although the famous Battle of Kadesh often dominates the scholarly view of Ramesses II's military prowess and power, he nevertheless enjoyed more than a few outright victories over the enemies of Egypt. During Ramesses II's reign, the Egyptian army is estimated to have totaled about 100,000 men; a formidable force that he used to strengthen Egyptian influence.
By the time of his death, aged about 90 years, Ramesses had made Egypt rich from all the supplies and riches he had collected from other empires. He had outlived many of his wives and children and left great memorials all over Egypt, especially to his beloved first queen Nefertari. Since then, is successors and later Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor." and some later Pharaohs took Ramesses as their regnal name but none of them could ever match the greatness of the original. (From Wikipedia)
Julius and his army of legionaries and sagittari come forth with...
Short Range - Crocea Mors
Crocea Mors, "Yellow Death," is the sword of Julius Caesar, first invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Not much is known about the sword's dimensions or material but it is said in Monmouth's Historia to inflict incurable and inevitably fatal wounds. Caesar looses it in the first battle with the British when it becomes lodged in the shield of the British prince Nennius. In Geoffrey's account, it is emblematic of the problems the Romans have with the British.
Medium Range - Hasta/Pilum
A hasta was about six and one-half feet (2 m) in length, with a shaft generally made from ash, while the head was of iron. As opposed to the pilum, verutum or lancea, the hasta was not thrown, but used for thrusting.
Since Ramesses will have both a thrusting and throwing spear, I am going to give Casear here the throwing spear too - the pilum.
The pilum was a javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times. It was generally about two metres long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 mm in diameter and 60 cm long with pyramidal head. The shank was joined to the wooded shaft by either a socket or a flat tang. For the purposes of this battle, the legionaries will hold the hasta while Caesar will use a few pilums.
Long Range - Arcus Composite Bow
The arcus was basically a composite bow made of horn, wood, and sinew held together with hide glue; they also contained reinforcing laths. The arrow (sagitta) was created with a wooden shaft and iron head.
Special - Plumbata
Roman infantrymen (maybe legionaries) often carried half a dozen lead-weighted throwing-darts called plumbatae (from plumbum = "lead"), with an effective range of ca. 30 m, well beyond that of a javelin. The darts were carried clipped to the back of the shield.
Armour - Lorica Squamata, Scutum, Coolus and Montefortino
The lorica squamata is a type of scale armour made from small metal scales sewn to a fabric backing. The individual scales (squamae) were either iron or bronze, or even alternating metals on the same shirt. They could be tinned as well, one surviving fragment showing bronze scales that were alternately tinned and plain. The scales were wired or laced together in horizontal rows that were then laced or sewn to the backing. Note that I use this armour instead of the lorica segmentata because the aforementioned armour was used after Caesar's time.
The rectangular scutum is a rectangular, semi-cylindrical body shield carried by Roman legionaries. The Scutum is light enough to be held in one hand and its large height and width covered the entire wielder, making him very unlikely to get hit by missile fire and in hand-to-hand combat.
The coolus and montefortino helmets are two designs of military helmets worn between the 4th Century BC and 1st Century AD and are descended from Celtic helmets. Montefortino helmets are generally characterized by a conical or round shape with a raised central knob, and a protruding neck guard as well as cheek plates to protect the sides of the head. Other common features include a "rope"-type pattern around the edge, and "pinecone"-type patterning on the crest knob. The coolus on the other hand was fairly plain, except for some ridges or raised panels on the cheekpieces. It was globular or hemispherical in shape (some were spun on a lathe rather than hammered to shape) with a turned or cast soldered- or riveted-on crest knob.
Ramesses II and his Egyptian maryannu soldiers and charioteers ride into battle with...
Short Range - Khopesh
Khopesh is the Egyptian version of the Canaanite "sickle-sword". A typical khopesh is 50–60 cm (20–24 inches) in length, though smaller examples do also exist. This blade was designed for hooking an opponent's shield or disarming them. These weapons changed from bronze to iron in the late period.
Medium Range - Javelin/Spear
Not a weapon of major importance, the javelin had better penetrating powers than the arrow, because of its greater weight. During the Old and Middle Kingdom of Egypt's Dynastic period, it typically consisted of a pointed blade made of copper or flint that was attached to a long wooden shaft by a tang. However, in the New Kingdom, bronze blades became more common, attached to the shaft by means of a socket. These conventional spears were made for throwing (javelin) or thrusting (spear), but there was also a form of spear (halberd) which was fitted with an axe blade and thus used for cutting and slashing. For most of Egyptian military history, the javelin/spear was seen as an auxiliary weapon for charioteers to use should he run out of arrows. For the purposes of the battle, Ramesses will hold a few javelins and the two maryannu soldiers will hold the spears.
Long Range - Hyksos Composite Bow
The composite bow was adopted because of the inherent limitations of the simple bow. Achieving greatest possible range with a bow as small and light as possible was of utmost importance. The maximal draw length possible was the length of the archer's arm. By using a bow which was curving forwards when unstrung, one was putting it under an initial tension, to which the force exercised by the hand pulling the string was added. The draw weight was thus dramatically increased. This could not be done with a simple wooden bow. The wood had to be supported, otherwise it would break. In order to prevent this horn was added to the belly of the bow (the part of the bow facing the archer) which would be compressed during the draw and sinew to the back which could, thanks to its elasticity, withstand the tension.
Special - Flanged Mace
The mace is a wooden club with a head of some hard and heavy material fastened to it. At first stone was used but soon it was replaced by copper. Maces were extensively used in Egypt and neighbouring Canaan from the middle of the fourth millennium BCE to the middle of the third. The Egyptians tried to give the mace head a disk shaped form in order to increase their impact or even endow them with some cutting capabilities. The mace did not require a great deal of dexterity but rather great physical force.
Armour - Leather Shield, War Helmet, Scale Armour
By the time of Ramesses II, the kind of shield most infantrymen used was made of bronze. For the purposes of this battle, the shields in this battle will be a medium-sized, roughly rectangular shield made of cowhide stretched over a wooden frame. The shields was usually held by a handle or a leather strip fastened to the center of the frame. However, shields were also sometimes carried by a strap slung over the shoulder allowing the soldier to use both hands, though this reduced the shield to a passive piece of armor protecting only one side of the body.
Ancient Egyptian warriors did not wear any kind of helmet but the Pharoah, when he is fighting in the battle, will. The kind he wears is the Blue Crown, a war helmet made of cloth or leather but covered with golden discs pointed upwards along the rim.
The type of body armour used by Ancient Egyptian warriors used during Ramesses' time (the 19th Dynasty) would have been leather or cloth tunics with metal scale covering. The Pharaoh, fighting on the chariot, will have worn something similar but with bronze scales and covering the whole torso. Sometimes broad leather bands covered part of the torso of charioteers but it can also be presumed that they also wore the same kind of scale armour, should they be rich enough. For the purpose of this battle, everyone on the Egyptian side will be wearing their respective armour.
Short: The Crocea Mors is a deadly weapon given the myth surrounding its killing power with its slashes. The khopesh on the other hand is also a deadly slashing sword with one advantage - it can also help the Egyptian warrior disarm an enemy. It is also made of a lighter material than the iron of the Crocea Mors and thus it is more versatile.
Medium: A thrusting spear vs a throwing spear... both are equally deadly but while the throwing spear has greater lethality and range, it is of no use if it misses its target.
Long: Both are essentially composite bows in shape and usage so it all comes down to material used - the sagitta gives the arcus a significant advantage since it is made of iron, but the Hyksos seems more versatile and perhaps capable of piercing armour
Special: While the mace is deadly when he battle gets close, the plumbata offers a bigger range for lethality and while it is made of lead, the person using them carries 12.
Just outside the city of Pi-Ramesses, Ramesses II and 5 other maryanuu soldiers (two archers and three soldiers) are riding on their chariots towards a small oasis where it is believed a small scouting party from Rome are spotted. Over at the oasis, Caesar sits on horseback scouting around the place looking for the city upon which he intends his troops to capture. 5 other legionaries are busy restocking supplies around the oasis, their weapons scattered in packs around the area, when suddenly one man spots some figures approaching them in the distance. Caesar, after correctly assuming that the approaching men are Ramesses and his soldier, orders his troops to gather their weapons and prepare for battle, while he himself readies a pilum for firing. As the chariots get closer, Ramesses has one of his men ready his Hyksos bow. As the legionaries are scrambling to get their gear, the Egyptian archer on Ramesses chariot fires off an arrow that hits a slow legionary in the stomach, although the shot doesn't prove lethal. As Caesar fires off his pilum, and misses, the archer fires again, this time killing the wounded legionary in the face as he tries to get up . Just before the archer on the other chariot can fire off one of his arrows, Caesar throws his second pilum and manages to kill the charioteer and, therefore, cause the vehicle to lose control and its occupants to be thrown off. Ramesses sees this and throws one of his javelins at Caesar but it misses him and hits (and deflects off) a legionary's scutum shield. In fact, all the legionaries have their shields and hastas at the ready - forming a defensive formation in front of Caesar. Visibly annoyed, Ramesses tries to steer the chariot around in an attempt to flank them. As the legionaries turn around to compensate for the lack of defence, the maryannu archer from the other chariot fires off another arrow, hitting a legionary in the side and, just his luck, killing him . In response, one legionary readies his arcus bow and returns fire, managing to kill the Egyptian archer before he could load another arrow . With the circle of defence getting weaker, Caesar gallops away from the oasis, hoping to distract Ramesses while his legionaries finish off the maryannu. Ramesses, unaware and thinking Caesaris retreating to tell his army to come forward, has his archer step out of the chariot and provide the two maryannu soldiers some covering fire. The archer runs off to join the two men behind the fallen chariot. Before he goes off to fight Caesar, Ramesses has his chariot draw up alongside the remaining legionaries. Without any warning, Ramesses swings his flanged mace and manages to smash a legionary's face in, but only knocks off the helmet of another one as Ramesses then retreats away. Seeing the moment, the two maryannu infantry charge in with their shields and spears. The Romans, not wanting to be outdone, charge in with their shields and hastas. The two sets of warriors clash, whilst the archer continues firing his Hyksos bow. After a few moments of getting nowhere, one of the legionary's manages to knock down his opponent with a shield. Before the Egyptian can get back up one his feet, he sees the Roman legionary stab him in the chest . The remaining maryannu man breaks combat, unsheathes his khopesh and disarms the hasta from the legionary's hands. The legionary tries to grab his shield but the maryannu soldier slashes him on the cheek before (with a mighty thrust) jabbing the khopesh past the armour of the legionary . Meanwhile, a bit from the melee, Caesar is trying to ride away as fast as he could, when he notices the battle between his legionaries and the Egyptians. Seeing Ramesses in his chariot fast approaching, Caesar hastily readies a plumbata and throws it at the Egyptian archer. By a longshot, the lead dart kills the archer . A second dart misses the maryannu soldier and hits the shield. The remaining maryannu at this point is still fighting the two legionaries. He manages to take a few swings at them with the khopesh but ultimately doesn't get anywhere. However, in the heat and after fighting for a while, the legionaries begin to tire out but not wanting to be outdone they prepare for a final charge at the remaining maryannu, meanwhile ready with his spear and shield. When the gap closed, the maryannu has managed to thrust his spear in just a small area between the shields that stabs a legionary in the neck . The Egyptian soldier's spear however, gets stuck and the maryannu is forced to retreat to the fallen chariot to pick up his remaining spears but before he could do that, he is stabbed in the back by the lone legionary . As the maryannu's body collapses rolling towards the body of water, the lone legionary looks towards where Caesar and his horse are about to stop at and runs towards the location. Up where Caesar is, he dismounts and prepares yet another shot with the plumbata darts - he aims at the moving vehicle coming his way and throws but misses. Seeing the gap between Ramesses and him getting closed, Casear throws another dart at the wheels of the chariot, causing Ramesses and his man to fall off. Just as the pharaoh and his subordinate get up, the last soldier is hit in the chest by an arrow fired from the arcus of the legionary from before . In retaliation, Ramesses throws one of the javelins at the legionary - again it deflects off the shield. The second time Ramesses throw a javelin, he manages to the knock the helmet of the legionary before the javelin embedded itself into the centurion's lower nape, killing him . Now, it is just Casear left to face the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh, with his khopesh drawn, stares down Caesar as the latter prepares to throw another pilum. After a few seconds, Caesar throws the projectile, which Ramesses dodges. As quick as lightning, Caesar grabs and throws another pilum, this time knock Ramesses war helment off. Not wanting to lose his symbol of power, Ramesses stoops to pick up his helmet, unaware that Caesar has mounted his horse and unsheathed the Crocea Mors. As Ramesses puts the helmet back on his head, he turns at the sound of hoofs coming towards him. Ramesses raises his sword ready to strike, but Caesar strikes first and only because with enough force, Caesar managed to stab the Crocea Mors past the bronze chainmail and kill Ramesses . As his opponent collapses onto the ground, Caesar dismounts his steed and lifts the sword from out of the body. Holding it up in triumph, Caesar yells "For the Glory of the Roman Empire!".
Winner: Julius Caesar
In a landslide vote, Caesar won this battle simply because his weapons were made of a material that was superior in metallurgy (in this case iron over bronze) and that Caesar was the better general considering that he has faced chariot warriors before and won over them. If you think this battle was unfair in any way, shape or form or the warriors were poorly represented, then you can go ahead and do a rematch.
The battle will either take place outside the city of Pi-Ramesses or somewhere in Sicily. Leave a message in your votes to decide where out of those two locations. For this battle, Casear will be on horseback and will be accompanied by three legionaries and two sagittari; Ramesses will be on and commandeering a war chariot with an archer and a soldier by his side while another chariot will have the other archer and two Egyptian soldiers as well as a driver (who does not count as a 'kill'). Again I must stress that I am including chariots in this for the Egyptians since it was used a lot.
Since this battle is written up on a Thursday in my end, I will have votes come in until Tuesday the week after next and the battle will be written up then as well as the briefing for the next one (which I am pumped about, to be honest).