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Corbulo Invades Armenia

Contributed by David Verne

Now that negotiations have broken down between Rome and Parthia, Corbulo has launched an invasion into Armenia. He starts the campaign by having Roman allies cause havoc on Armenia's northern border, while he splits his force into multiple smaller units that spread out across the country. The Romans manage to take three fortresses in a single day, and enough damage is done that the Armenian king, Tiridates, requests a meeting. Corbulo agrees, and Tiridates tells them he will show up with 1,000 men, expecting the Romans to do the same. The Romans show up with 3,000 men, expecting an ambush. Tiridates gets nervous and leaves in the middle of the night. Corbulo gathers his dispersed legions and begins to capture several cities on his way to the Armenian capital, Artaxata. Tiridates is unable to stop the Romans and is forced to flee the capital. The citizens of the capital throw the gates open for Corbulo, and he spares their lives. Needing to continue pursuing Tiridates, Corbulo is unable to hold the city and burns it to the ground to prevent its capture. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by David Verne
One of Armenia's best defenses was the mountainous terrain. The Roman supply lines were stretched over the mountains and vulnerable to attack. During Marc Antony's invasion of Parthia almost 100 years before, he used Armenia as a staging ground. When the Armenians cut Antony's supply lines, he was forced to undergo a humiliating retreat. Corbulo must have been studying his history, because when the Armenians attacked the Roman supply lines this time, they failed. The Romans had built a series of forts throughout the mountain passes and heavily guarded their baggage trains.

See Also

References

  1. Tacitus, Cornelius. The Annals. 
  2. Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press. 
  3. Duncan, Mike (August 16, 2009). Burn it to the Ground.

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