Thursday 6 July 2023

Roman Tour - Meroitic Kushite

During the reign of Caesar Augustus, the conquest of Egypt gained for Rome an immense wealth and source of grain. It also had to contend with Meroitic raids on its southern frontier. In response, the Roman governor of Egypt, Publius Petronius, invaded Nubia and after a three-year long campaign a peace treaty between Augustus and Queen Amanirenas was made. Note, sourcing Gaius Petronius online, one can find a map illustrating the area of campaign in Nubia. 

From Augustus to the late 2nd century, a lucrative trade developed between the province of Egypt and Nubia and permanent garrisons were established at the First Cataract, Philae and Syene to protect the vital route. The region remained relatively quiet for the next two centuries. 

Game one.

Rome secured a gentle hill for its centre on a gentle hill and holding the rocky ground on its left were the auxilia. The Kushite horde advanced on the Roman centre ignoring the legion to its left.

The advance of the legion altered Kushite plans as troops were sent to face the threat on its left. 

The assault by the legion floundered offering the Kushite a moment to pursue its original plan and attack the Roman centre. 

The legion regained its second wind to inflict casualties among the tribesmen. The assault on the hill lacked the desired result prompting the Nubian general to call a general retreat. Rome 4 – 2.


Game two.

The Kushite battle array stretched nearly 750 paces prompting Rome to do likewise. Rome, forming two wings, positioned the legion on the right and auxilia with artillery on the left.

The Roman advanced against the enemy line confident of a second victory. 

Unfortunately, the Kushites were equally confident and proceeded to deal the legion a severe defeat. Kushites 4 – 0


The Kushites had phenomenal good fortune to score well on successive combats against the legion. The loss of the auxilia on the far right was the icing on the cake. Romani ite domum.

Early Imperial Roman

1 x General (Cv), 1 x equites (Cv), 4 x legionnaires (4Bd), 3 x auxilia infantry (4Ax), 1 x archers (4Bw or Ps), 1 x light horse (LH), 1 x artillery (Art).

Meroitic Kushite

1 x General (Cv), 1 x cavalry (Cv), 2 x Meroitic archers (3Bw), 5 x tribal spearmen (Sp), 2 x tribal swordmen (4Bd), 1 x herdsmen with bows (Ps).


Recommended Reading


Gaius Petronius

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