By Nic Fields
With the dying of Nero through his personal shaky hand, the ill-sorted, ill-starred Iulio-Claudian dynasty got here to an ignominious finish, and Rome used to be up for the taking. This was once nine June, advert sixty eight. the next yr, generally called the 'Year of the 4 Emperors', used to be most likely considered one of Rome's worst. Nero's demise threw up a severe query for the Empire. How may a brand new guy occupy the vacant throne in Rome and determine a brand new dynasty? this example had by no means arisen prior to, on the grounds that in all earlier successions the recent emperor had a few relation to his predecessor, however the psychotic and paranoid Nero had performed away with any eligible kinfolk. and the way may perhaps a brand new emperor safe his felony place and authority almost about the Senate and to the military, in addition to to those that had a vested curiosity within the method, the Praetorian defend? the end result was once that formidable and unscrupulous generals of the empire fell right into a bloody strength fight to choose who had the best to put on the imperial purple. Tacitus, in his acid method, feedback that 'one of the secrets and techniques of ruling were printed: an emperor can be created outdoors Rome'. This used to be simply because imperial authority was once eventually according to regulate of the army. hence, to keep energy a participant within the video game of thrones needed to achieve an unshakable keep an eye on over the legions, that have been dotted alongside the fringes of the empire. after all, this in flip intended that the warriors themselves may possibly impose their very own selection. certainly, it became out that whether an emperor received popularity in Rome, this counted for not anything within the face of competition from the armies out within the frontier provinces. It was once to take a tumultuous yr of civil warfare and the loss of life of 3 imperial applicants sooner than a fourth candidate may pop out on most sensible, stay there, and identify for himself a brand new dynasty. Nic Fields narrates the twists and turns and the army occasions of this brief yet bloody interval of Roman historical past.
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Extra resources for AD69: Emperors, Armies and Anarchy
None the less, that same month, the Army of the Orient, 35,000 strong, sailed from Toulon and other ports. The British knew of its departure, but were uncertain of its destination. Evading the British fleet, and seizing Malta from the Knights of St John on its 5° EGYPT, THE SECOND COALITION AND THE GRANDE ARMEE way, the expedition arrived off Alexandria on 1 Jul~ After taking the city Napoleon moved on Cairo: 15,000 men marched across the desert, another 10,000 were shipped upriver by barge. On 17 July the reunited army brushed aside a Mameluke force at Shubra Khit and on 21 July encountered the main host - 6,000 mounted Mamelukes and 54,000 local levies - at the battle of the Pyramids, some 3 kilometres north-west of Cairo.
Meanwhile, Bonaparte's return as an acclaimed conquering hero frightened the weak Directoire. Refusing command of an army to invade England early in 1798, he proposed instead seizing Egypt as a base from which to attack Britain's trade and possessions in India. The moment seemed opportune. After Spain had allied herself with France, the British fleet had withdrawn from the Mediterranean in December 1796, while in Egypt the Mamelukes, a warrior caste, had replaced Turkish rule. If the expedition could be represented as a move to restore the position of the Ottoman court at Constantinople - the sublime Porte - then the sultan might assent On his way to Egypt, Bonaparte occupied Malta, controlled since 1530 by the Knights of St John, without much trouble.
To find honour, glory and riches'. He opened his offensive on 10 April. The Austro-Piedmontese forces were deployed to block the several exits from the parallel valleys leading north and prevented by the mountain ridges from reinforcing their isolated detachments. This, Bonaparte recognized, presented an D rava 3000 2000 -0 \ 1500 1000 5000 200 100 Adriatic Sea N Rimini t French advance Austrian advance -r -~- SOkm I i 50 miles o o Austrian retreat French positions I 39 THE NAPOLEONIC WARS ideal situation for 'having larger forces at the point of attack', and in twelve days of almost continuous action, 10-22 April, striking always with superior numbers, he severed the Piedmontese from the Austrians.
AD69: Emperors, Armies and Anarchy by Nic Fields