Talk:Battle of Naissus

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This article needs very serious overhauling[edit]

I wouldn't want to be harsh but the quality of this article is well below the Wikipedia standards. Most of the (entirely uncited) information is fictional (esp. the battle description, user:Panairjdde seems to have contributed much of the fictional material there). Amongst other problems, at least one or more secondary sources should have been mentioned. Looking at the history, one wonders how so many changes (mostly anonymous and without proper summaries) lead to such an inaccurate amount of information. I 'll try to fix these, please let's discuss here any objectionsDipa1965 (talk) 10:46, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Finally I've done it. Some help with the language is surely needed.Dipa1965 (talk) 21:42, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


(I was drawn here from the comments on this article at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Peer review/Battle of Naissus.)

  1. What is the controversy over the two differing years for this battle? I assume this is due to a lack of information to construct a firm chronology at this point, but it would be helpful if a discussion of the problem was added to this article. (Even if it consists of "John Foo believes the battle occured in AD 268, while Kenneth Bar argues for 269" -- Foo & Bar being fictitious examples.)
  2. If my memory is correct, Jordanes also discusses this campaign, although he may not mention Naissus by name. Did he (or Cassiodorus) also draw on Dexippus? -- llywrch (talk) 18:55, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Arguments Supporting "Scientific Frontiers" and "Rationalization"[edit]

"Besides, the troubles with Zenobia in the East and the breakaway Gallic Empire in the West were so urgent that the victory at Naissus could only serve as a temporary relief for the troubled Empire. In 271, after Aurelian repelled another Gothic invasion, he abandoned the province of Dacia north of Danube forever, in order to rationalize the defense of the Empire."

I would reference the author of this passage to arguments elucidated in "The Limits of Empire" by Benjamin Isaac (Clarendon Oxford Press, 1990). This work was written as a response to arguments of well planned strategy and conceptualizations of long term planning that are not attested to in available mateerials, often fielded by historians and strategists writing on the basis of "logical assumptions" rather than actual primary source documentation that directly supports their hypothesis. In short, such a statment needs balance. What is the basis for claiming that Aurelian decided to "rationalize" anything or that the purpose of the withdrawl was not for some other reason, for instance pulling all available forces out in order to build a field army for campaigning? This is frequent in Roman history and well attested. Lazarus Plus (talk) 22:35, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Isaac's view is well known but not the only one. Other historians don't underestimate the roman military strategy down to that point. And don't forget that abandoment of a province was a very hard public image hit for any emperor. Therefore it would be not easy for them to admit the abandonment, in spite of any clear strategical advantages. I'll see when I return from vacations, wrt reliable references for the specific problem. Good catch, anyway!--Dipa1965 (talk) 09:17, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Combining two battles into one?[edit]

Did anyone consider that the new view of the past, as presented in the Wikipedia article, denotes that some modern historians have decided to combine the battles into one, and would thus or should result in the elimination of the map, that shows not only two battles but the fact that they were seperated by a great deal of distance, as well as two seperate attacks, etc.! So, just what place is considered as the most obvious place for archaeologists to persue their studies? (talk) 00:23, 30 December 2010 (UTC)Ronald L. Hughes

As the author of the aforementioned map, I am oblidged to admit that the map legend should be more clear: it should mention that it complies to the 2 invasions, 2 battles theory. I am going to update it right now.--Dipa1965 (talk) 18:59, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposed expansion of article[edit]

I find present article represents a very fair attempt to draw together and make some sense of the very scrappy material we have relating to the "Gothic" and "Herulian" invasions of the Empire in the years 267-9 AD and the author(s) are to be congratulated. (As an aside, I prefer to follow the example of Prof Potter and use the term Skythai rather than "Goths" and "Heruli". All these names are highly anachronistic in the Third Century context, but Skythai does have the merit of calling the sea-born invaders from the Pontic Steppe by the name that contemporary Romans used to define them - when speaking Greek; see Dexippus.) However, to use the name of one battle, however important, to comprehend a series of related wars fought out in the Balkans, Asia Minor and the seas around Cyprus, Crete and the Antalyan coast of Turkey does not seem particularly helpful. It is even less helpful when one recalls that the Scythians began their piratical activities some twenty years before they launched their assault on Greece in 267 and that, despite the victories of Claudius, Aurelian and Tacitus, it was to be another twenty years before Galerius finally pacified the peoples concerned. (Of course, the province of Dacia was never recovered after Aurelian withdrew the Roman garrison and it was not until the era of Constantine the Great that Roman hegemony if not sovereignty was restored north of the lower reaches of the River Danube). Subject to there being no objections from the WP Community, I propose, therefore, to expand the article to take the story back to the first recorded incursions in the 240s up until the end of the Third Century, taking in the Battle of Abrittus en route. I plan to make full use of the accounts of that battle, Successianus's defense of Pityus and other WP articles, including the Crisis of the Third Century. Can anybody suggest a title? I have in mind The Scythian Invasions of the Third Century. Pjbjas Pjbjas (talk) 21:40, 28 April 2014 (UTC).

Hello Pjbjas and thanks for your kind comment. As one of the main contributors to this article, I can explain the rationale behind the current structure. I focused on the battle background (ie the one/two invasions) because the account of the battle itself, assuming it can be distinguished from the battle at Ness(t)os river, would be too small and very confusing. However, you surely have already noticed that you are not alone since there are similar concerns in the article's peer review. But don't you think that your proposed time scale is overly wide? Geuiwogbil's proposal ("The Gothic Invasions of 267–270") did make sense to me but, again, there are two issues:

  • First, as you say, "Gothic" would be inappropriate in any case. It's not only that the term is anachronistic (professor H. Wolfram would entirely disagree :) ; Among the invaders there were not just "Goths" but also Carpi, "Heruli", "Gepids" and Peucini. Theoretically, "Scythian" is much better but, although I highly appreciate D.S.Potter's scholarship and narrating style, this term is not accepted by the rest of the modern historians. At least it wasn't, a few years ago (is there any progress on that?)
  • Second, dating is controversial, therefore it should not be included in the title.

Exactly for these two reasons, I feel, since a long time ago, so stuck that I cannot suggest a satisfactory solution. It would be nice to hear more of your thoughts on the matter.--Dipa1965 (talk) 21:48, 29 April 2014 (UTC)