The Roman Army

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The Roman Army Throughout history, no other era was more significant than that of the Roman Empire. The power and influence of the Roman government and it=s rule over the world was accomplished by the Roman Army. The Roman army was the ultimate weapon of war because of the well trained men, their effective weapons and their brilliant battle tactics. The first requirement for a successful army is to have brave and well trained men. Recruits were taught to march and performed parade drill twice a day. They were taught how to build a camp, swim and ride. A Roman was half a soldier from the start, and he could endure discipline which soon produced the other half (Adcock 5). Weapons training concentrated on sword and javelin. For sword training, recruits used a wooden sword and wicker shield, both twice the normal weight. More advanced training consisted of fighting in full armor, battle tactics and mach battles with the points of the swords and javelins covered to avoid serious injury. To a soldier, war was not romantic nor an intellectual adventure: It was a job of work to which he brought a steady, stubborn, adaptable schooled application (Adcock 6). A grouping of men called Legions were the main force in the Roman Empire. In the Republican times the legions were given a serial number (I, II, III, etc.) each year they were recruited. The smallest unit in the legion was the century, made up of one hundred men. Legionaries used javelins to begin the battle at long range and disrupt enemy battle lines before charging forward to engage the enemy at close range with swords and shields. The normal strength of a Legion was four thousand infantry and two hundred calvary, which could be expanded to five thousand in an em... ... middle of paper ... ... J.P.V.D. Roman Women: Their History And Habits. New York: The John Day Company, 1963. Caesar, Julius. The Battle For Gaul. Trans. Anne & Peter Wiseman. Boston: Davis R. Godine, Publishing Inc., 1980. Coggins, Jack. The Fighting Man: An Illustrated History Of The World=s Great Fighting Forces Through The Ages. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966. Heichelheim, Fritz, Cedric A. Yeo, and Allen M. Ward. A History Of The Roman People. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1984. Keegan, John and Richard Holmes. Soldiers: A History Of Men In Battle. New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1986. Rich, John and Graham Shipley. War and Society In The Roman World. London: Routledge, 1993. Stevens, Phillip H. Artillery Through The Ages. New York: Frankin Watts, Inc., 1965. The Romans. Webster, Graham. The Roman Imperial Army. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969.
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