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battle of Magnesia


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The decisive battle of the war between Rome and the Seleucid Antiochus III was fought near Magnesia by Mt. Sipylus in Lydia, in 189 bc. The nominal Roman commander was Cornelius Scipio Asiagenes, consul 190 (see also cornelius scipio africanus, publius). After the scythe‐chariots on Antiochus' left had been dispersed by archers and slingers, Rome's ally, Eumenes II of Pergamum, led a massed cavalry charge which routed Antiochus' mailed cavalry, also on his left, and drove them into their centre. Meanwhile Antiochus had driven back the Roman left with his Iranian cavalry, but carried the pursuit too far. His phalanx, drawn up with gaps to accommodate his elephants, resisted stubbornly until the elephants began to get out of hand, and Eumenes fell on its flank, whereupon it was annihilated.

Subjects: Classical Studies — Military History.


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