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The Senone-Boii War (Vae victis!)

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The Senone-Boii War
Part of Vae victis!
Senone-BoiiWar

A famous, but inaccurate, depiction of Boii soldiers
Date 22nd July 324 BC to 14th, September 322
Location Northern Italy, mostly along the Adriatic coast
Result Victory for the Senone
  • The Boii are defeated and subjugated, to eventually be assimilated into Senone culture
  • Northern Italy is secured as Senone land, leading to the eventual formation of the Senone Republic
Belligerents
Senone The Boii, as well as auxiliary Insubres and Vocontii
Commanders and leaders
Vacrata and other Senone Chiefs Various Boii leaders
Strength
11,000 14,000
Casualties and losses
~3000 ~5000

The Senone-Boii war was a conflict in the 4th century that devastated both sides, but ended with the Boii subjugated by the Senone. This war allowed the Senone to take control of northern Italy, and over the next century, cement their hold of the region. It also led to the eventual folding of Boii culture into Senone culture, resulting in Boii culture being next to nonexistent into the modern world, with the plausible exception of modern day Bohemia.

Background

After the Etruscan Invasion of Umbria The Boii felt threatened by the powerful alliance that had formed between the Etruscans and the tribal Senone. At first, many leaders of the Boii were strongly against the idea of war with the Senone, and thus the idea died soon after its conception. However, the Etruscan victory in the Fifty Years War and the strengthening of Etrusca convinced many it might be an good idea. Coupled with the rising tensions between the two tribes, and the occasional Senone raid, the Boii leaders finally agreed to go to war and gathered an army of 14,000 men.

Fighting

The arrival of 14,000 enemies troops caught the Senone completely by surprise, and the tribe was quickly forced south, putting up only minimal resistance. Worried about a potential attack from many fronts at once, the Boii slowed down, and rallied for a coastal advance. Taking advantage of this disruption in the Boii advanced, a Senone chief named Vacrata gathered approximately 4000 troops, and began to raid the Boii Army, trying to disrupt their advances as much as possible. Meanwhile, other Senone chiefs gathered their own forces, though at a much slower pace. Finally, after three weeks of fighting, the Boii managed to force Vacrata and his forces back with both sides taking the opportunity to rally and prepare for the coming battles.

With the Boii finally maneuvered into their coastal positions, the Senone were desperate to defend themselves. With Vacrata's troops, plus another 4000, they formed a line stretching inland from the Adriatic coast, curving northward as it went in. The idea was to force the Boii into a narrow pocket thus compensating the Senone for their superior numbers and moving the battle to an even playing field. The Boii did not realize the trap, and almost half their army had fallen into the Senone killing zone before they realized their mistake. With the back half of their army in a disorganized retreat the Boii were only able to fight coherently within the Senone pocket, and where quickly forced backward. For the rest of the summer, the Senone stood strong against the Boii assault, eventually bringing it to a halt.

With both sides in relatively stable positions for the winter, the opposing armies began to look to swell their ranks. The Boii sent back several hundred soldiers to gather troops from villages and various settlements, but were largely unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Vacrta sent an Envoy to the Etruscans, to ask for the Etruscans to assist them by sending troops. After much debate, the Etruscans agreed to help, sending 3000 troops to help the Senones fight. This added 3000 troops to the Senone added, and when combined with the 1000 Senones to replace casualties, put the Senone army at 11,000 troops. The Boii on the other hand only managed to recruit 1000 more troops, putting them back at 14,000.

With both sides' forces built up, they resumed combat and within several weeks the Senone were able to gain the initiative. With only a slightly smaller force, the Senones moved inland and attacked from the west, forcing the Boii toward the Sea. with Senones to the West and South, and open water to the East, the Boii were forced to retreat on a narrow path northward, taking heavy casualties. As their army finally moved out of its cornering, the Boii formed a defensive wall, challenging the Senone to a straight-on attack. after months of fighting, the Senones finally broke through, and moved deep into Boii territory. Although light fighting persisted throughout the winter and the summer, by September, the Boii surrendered to the Senone, thus ending the war.

Aftermath

After the Boii surrendered, both sides sent a delegation to Rome to decide on the terms. After much debate, it was finally decided that the Senone would have full access to Boii lands, and the Boii would have to pay taxes and provide soldiers for the Senone. While this was unpopular at first, the Boii were essentially forced to agree to the terms. With the Boii under their belt, the Senone were able to expand across Northern Italy, solidifying their control over the region. The war would also led to the eventual formation of the Senone Republic, a nation that would be very influential in the future.

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