Alexander the Great vs Roman Centurion

October 24, 2010

FINISHED! The HTML on the First Page is unintentional, just ignore it.

<strong>Today we have a battle of the brains. Alexander the Great, a legendary tactical mastermind who fought with his troops in battle. Versus a Roman Centurion. A man who leads a war machine in and out of battle. Only one question remains.</strong></p>
<p><strong>This is my first Ancient Matchup.</strong> Some may find it hard to compare these two. Others would find it completely easy. Alexander the Great had such a varied army, as he was the ruler. However, the Centurion's Legion was time-proven to be effective warriors, conquering room for one of the largest Empires to date. While Greece was much smaller compared to Mighty Rome, Alexander the Great was a complete tactical genius. Greece faced many glorious Empires, where as Rome, for the most part, faced fierce barbarians.</p>
<p><strong>Initial Edge:</strong> My initial edge can go to neither side. At first glance, a small group of Alexander's men versus a Roman Centurion's small group is hard to judge. They are both accredited for amazing feats of military might.</p>
<p>On to the Weapon, Tactics, and defense comparisons.</p>
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Short Range

Alexander the Great brings the Kopis, a forward-curved blade normally used for cutting meat, sacrificing animals, or just plain slaughter of rival armies. While it wasn't the most preferred blade for the Greek armies (Hoplites preferred the Xiphos), it was effective, and proven to be used by Greeks regardless. It is three feet long.

The Romans bring the Gladius. Gladius is a Latin word for sword. Early ancient Roman swords were similar to those used by the Greeks. From the 3rd century BC, the Romans adopted swords similar to those used by the Celtiberians and others during the early part of the conquest of Hispania. It is only about 31 inches.

Edge: The Edge goes to Alexander the Great, the longer Kopis is obviously superior to the Gladius, that being said, paired with the Centurion's shield, the Gladius is a deadly needle.

Medium Range

Alexander the Great's primary spear was the Xyston, a very long, brutal weapon designed for a long reach, and a deep stab. It is about 11-13 feet long, making it a hard-to-use infantry weapon, and a superior Cavalry weapon. While it isn't impossible to use the weapon on foot, it is still difficult.

The Roman Centurion had a spear, that could also be thrown. The Pilum. They generally carried multiple Pilums, and they could be used for counter-infantry or Cavalry, while it doesn't have an incredible range.

Edge: The Edge goes to the Roman side for the Pilum. Sure, the Xyston was longer and superior against Cavalry, but the Pilum was tough, and could be used to counter two types of troop.

Long Range

Alexander the Great's side brings the Greek Bow, and early type of bow with a long enough effective range. The Toxotai that weilded them were generally pretty well trained in the use of the weapon. Their bows were short.

The Romans had another long range throwing weapon, that generally travelled further than the Pilum. The War Dart! The tip was either Copper or Iron, and very long. This is one of thoes weapons that was generally hard to see until it came really close. It has an effective range of 30m.

Edge: The Edge can go to neither side, in my mind. While Alexander has the ranged advantage, a bow takes longer to fire, and the arrows are easier to see than a tiny dart, Arrows can do more damage, but Darts are just unexpected.

I will skip Special Weapons...


Alexander the Great's body armor was not too impressive, because the Macedonian Army believed that the Helmet and Shield were the primary forms of defense. They were not defenseless in the body, however. Their shield was a smaller version of a Hoplon, a thin sheet of bronze over a unique wood stack. The Helmet was a knock-off of the Phrygian Cap Like Greeks of that time, their armor was Bronze.

The Roman Centurions used Chainmail with an Iron helmet. Aside from the Chainmail, the leaders themselves had a lot of medals which could be proved as a distraction as it jingles about. The Roman Helmets were iron and thick, showing their face as Macedonian helmets did. Their shield was also a large, rectangular monster that was hard to get  by, especially in a group.

Edge: The Defensive Edge goes to the Roman Centurion. The Iron is superior to the Bronze, obviously. However, the chainmail does not do well against Alexander's Xyston.


Alexander the Great was famous for his tactical mind, the placement of his men precise and perfect. He would spend hours in his tent making up his mind on everything before battle began. If he were the offensive power, he would use uncertainty, to confuse his enemy and make them wonder, and then hit them when they were most unprepared. This made Alexander the Great an impressive leader in combat.

Roman Centurions were simply leaders of a machine of men, however, in a big or small group, the teamwork was impressive. While some more developed enemies could find their tactics predictable, the teamwork was amazing in combat, and could take down many opponents.

Edge: The Edge goes to Alexander, pre-combat, he can give himself an advantage just by being unpredictable. However, if it doesn't work, the frontal combat could very well prove difficult.

Note: Cavalry will not be considered in this battle, that would make factoring everything in a bit more difficult. Also, I will act as if neither side truly knows each other.


Alexander sat in a tent, set in Europe, a new territory for him to explore. He brought along an army of 300, however, due to some unexpected forces, was brought down to about 10, including himself. Upset, he looked down at his tactical board. He had seen the enemies that attacked him before, the barbarians, end up dying at the hands of some men in a silver, strange armor. He stepped outside, and observed the few Macedonians that stood with him.

He grabbed his Kopis from one of the guards outside, who stood with his Xyston. "My brothers." He began...

"Military action is required. Those Barbarians not only surprised us, they slayed us. I think that the men in silver armor want to kill us, too. I will not die this way." His men simply nodded at his speech, beginning to don their armor and grab their weapons. He hopped on to his horse, and started to trot off towards the last place he saw the Iron-men.

 Meanwhile, a party of ten Romans, including their Centurion, sat around a fire. They used Celtic weapons and furs  as burning material. It smelled bad, but it burned for a long time, meaning  that they could camp for a while before continuing their patrols.

The Centurion placed his left hand on the top of his shield, inspecting his Gladius for any needs of sharpening. He decided that everything was well, and stood up, with his medals dangling, and his shield being put in place.

The Centurion sheathed his Gladius, and held up a broken Kopis. "It seems that more barbarians have entered the area. I shall let the Emperor know once we are able to head back to Rome." He walked around the campfire, looking at his trusty scouting party. Indeed, they scouted inside of their own borders, with small numbers. They had killed many Celts without any casualties.

Alexander trotted, heading inside a deep valley, smoke rose from the campfire, well hidden by rocks. However, the Centurion's helmet stayed in view. Alexander pointed to one of his Toxotes.

Without even an order, the Toxote nocked an arrow and let it go, it whizzed through the air. He was glad that he was not a peltast. The arrow struck the dirt near the Centurion, instantly alerting all of the Romans. They sprung up, and went in to combat mode, forming their lines for combat. They stepped out of the rocks, in a formed Phalanx. Alexander also began to form his lines, trotting about, in a short distance from the approaching Romans.

The Toxote fired again, striking the shield of the Centurion, who simply slashed the arrow's shaft, making it a stub. He responded by taking his pilum, and throwing it while marching mercilessly, until they were about 10 meters from Alexander's army. The pilum struck the horse's head perfectly, dismounting Alexander, who now stood with his men. The Toxote managed to fire over a shield, in to a Roman's nose, ending him.

Alex 10 Cent 9

Enraged, the Centurion ordered everyone to get in line. All three of the remaining Toxotes were hopelessly firing in to the shields of the Romans, who simply kept breaking the arrows. Alexander drew his Kopis, his men stopped, in line. The two tent guardians readied their Xystons.

Eventually, the desperate Toxotes ran out of arrows, drawing their short swords. Three Romans quickly flicked their wrists, Alexander did not understand, until two of his men were stuck with the tiny darts, in their foreheads, they fell dead.

Alex 8 Cent 9

The Centurion finally ordered a charge, his men still moved as a team, in a fast march. Alexander's tent guards thrusted their Xystons, punching through two Centurion shields, they let go, and drew their (Kopises? :X). The Romans dropped their shields, and were slashed at by the Tent Guards. The Chainmail practically deflected their attack. One of the tent guards was stabbed in the neck, blood spurting out on to his brethren. He fell over, still not dead as the blade was withdrawn.

The two armies clashed, Alexander killed a Roman, and receded to the back of his lines. "Hold the charge!" He shouted.

Alex 8 Cent 8

Blades were exchanged, the Macedonians effectively parried Gladius stabs, they were able to dodge flying Pilums, Alexander's men ran them dry, or so they thought. The last Pilum the Romans possessed went flying, punching through the chest armor of a Macedonian. It didn't quite have an exit wound, but it still killed him.

As revenge, the man bleeding out took a wild slash, bypassing a Roman's greave and slashing his Achilles, making him drop. He chopped in to the exposed neck, dying himself a few seconds afterwords.

Alex 7 Cent 7

The Centurion looked shocked as the broken line was exploited. A Toxote entered with a Gladius he had picked up. He thrusted the small blade inside the shoulder of a Roman, the same Roman next to the Centurion. The Toxote was stabbed in the back, in a fit of rage, he slashed the neck, and stabbed the face of the Roman who had stabbed him, before crumpling on the grass and dying.

The Roman stabbed in the shoulder bled out rather fast, but he was able to expend his only War Dart, tossing it unsuccessfully.

Alex 6 Cent 5

The Centurion leader called for his men to break up the line, beginning to act as individuals in the battle. The two leaders crossed blades, the Kopis clanging against the Gladius multiple times. The Centurion pushed Alexander down with his shield, poising to strike with his blade in a neck stab. However, before he could bring it down on the young leader, his other loyal tent guard threw his weight against the Centurion.

Due to the reflexes of the Roman Military Leader, he was able to stab the face of the Greek before he was able to get pushed over. Alexander got up, and ran back a few feet, to give himself recovery room as his men clashed further.

Alex 5 Cent 5

Meanwhile, the remaining Toxotes were busy fending off Romans, they were slowly failing, their fatigue as the offensive power getting the best of him. The archers only wished that they were dying in honor, getting stabbed simotaneously. The fell over, clenching each other's wrists, dying as brothers did, together.

They looked at each other, as their eyes rolled back in to their head.

Alexander, needless to say, was enraged. He was the leader, and he was going to prove it. "I WILL KILL YOU!" He screeched, his remaining two men fought on, making cries of their own. Alexander ferociously beat down the two Romans, stabbing through their chests, and not even wiping off their blood as it spurt on to him.

His remaining two men were both infantrymen. They both carried (Kopises, again, I do not know if that is the plural.) As supplied by their leader. They had managed to kill the other two Romans, leaving the Centurion alone.

Alex 3 Cent 1

The Centurion looked shocked, but not afraid. He readied his Gladius, dropping his shield entirely. He was not generally a one on one fighter, but his experiences against criminals allowed him to. He looked down at his medals of Valor, Honor, and Leadership. He cracked his neck, and spoke to himself in Latin. "I did not get these by being a coward."

He held his Gladius, one of the Greeks charged him, and made a downward slash, clashing against the short blade. He was slightly stunned as the blade ripped in to his ribcage, and collapsed his lung. He twisted the blade, and took it out, leaving the Greek dead on the grass.

Alex 2 Cent 1

Alexander looked at his other man, and issued a charge. The two has his flanks. Alexander rushed up first, a boot planted with his chest, sending him on the ground, out of breath, the other was slashed across the face, deep enough to damage his brain, as well. The Macedonian fell, leaving it leader to leader.

Alexander stood again, and instantly crossed blades with the Roman, they both did offensive and defensive swordplay, unable to scathe each other. Alexander eventually saw a weakness...

He took his Kopis, and brought it to the Centurion's leg, tripping him. He brought the Kopis up, as the Roman scattered to get on a knee. Alexander prepared his swing. "I am the victor." He stated proudly.


Was in fact, the last sound Alexander heard. The Centurion had saved his only War Dart the entire time, it hit Alexander between the eyes, the long Iron tip going in to his brain, along with some of the wooden shaft. The Macedonian Leader fell dead.

Alex 0 Cent 1

End Game: The Centurion proved BARELY victorious. His defensive power was greater than Alexander's. While Alexander truly had a tactical edge, the Iron chainmail was hard for most of his weapons to work with. Eventually, that is what did him in.

Centurion- 517

Gladius- 133

War Dart- 307

Pilum- 77

Alexander- 483

Kopis- 349

Greek Bow- 52

Xyston- 82


Most Performing Weapon- The Kopis brutally slashed away the Roman offenders with 349 devastating kills

Least performing weapon- The Greek Bow didn't do much, only scoring 52 kills against Rome.

Thanks for reading. :)