Fifteen hundred years after the fall of Rome, one key aspect of Roman history can still be experienced through the exploration of Roman battlefields. Boasting one of the most advanced armies of the ancient world, the legions of Rome were the foundation from which Roman power expanded. Indeed, in the imperial age it was the army who often held ultimate power, long after the sway of senators or the people had diminished.
Given the vital nature of warfare to the Roman world, it is no surprise that so many of the most crucial points in Roman history took place on the battlefield. From crushing defeats to epic victories, Rome’s story was often forged in the blood and chaos of battle. Today, a number of these decisive battles can still be accurately located and visited, while others can be traced to a general region. So if you’re keen to find out more about the most important battles in Roman history, then check out our Roman battlefields list below.
Alesia was the site where Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls in 52 BC.
Cannae Battlefield is the location of Hannibal’s greatest victory in 216 BC over a huge Roman army led Consuls Varro and Paullus.
Carrhae Battlefield was the setting for one of the most crushing Roman defeats, inflicted at the hands of the Parthians.
Pharsalus Battlefield was the setting for the most decisive battle of Caesar’s civil war and saw the final defeat of Pompey the Great.
Philippi Battlefield is the location of the Battle of Philippi, where Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the forces of those who had assassinated Julius Caesar.
Trasimene Battlefield is the location of major defeat of the Roman army by Hannibal during the Second Punic War.