The Roman Soldier: Primed for Battle Essay

The Roman Soldier: Primed for Battle Essay

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To climb the social ladder a person must be, in one way or another, more powerful than whom they are passing in life. As this is true for an individual, it is also true for an assemblage of individuals. Whether it is a village, city, or country, to survive you must be stronger than your challengers to defeat them. On the largest scale you would need an army to accomplish this feat. For centuries the Roman Empire was the most powerful civilization in the world and this was due to the invincibility of its military forces and prowess of its soldiers.
From the earliest days of Rome, its army played a large role in the forming of the city-state. When not in battle the core of the Roman army, known as legionaries, would be used in the building of certain structures within the city. These structures would include the walls that fortified the area along with roads, bridges, and aqueducts. Many soldiers became very skilled laborers and were instrumental in the building of the empire. “The Roman army”, writes Nigel Rodgers “was more than just an army; in some ways it became the heart of Rome itself” (147).
The appropriate age to be a Roman soldier ranged from seventeen to forty-six, and each recruit swore an oath for up to twenty-six years of service. Once eligible citizens became soldiers, they were arranged in groups of eighty to one hundred men. These groups were called centuries. The centuries, much like the infantry of modern-day armies, were the backbone of the military. They were a highly trained, well-disciplined fighting unit.
Training for the Roman army was brutal and was not restricted to only times of war. Regular marches in excess of twenty miles kept the soldiers fit. Their fighting skills were kept sharp by the men...


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...ient Roman ways into the life that many of us lead today. The adoption of much of the Roman system has formed many aspects of modern Western culture. Millions of people now speak languages that derived from Latin, the dialect of ancient Rome. Many building habits world-wide evolved directly from Roman architecture. The principles of justice that were followed by all Romans form the law system we observe today. The handing down of these and many other Roman traits to Western society today can be traced to the triumphs of the Roman army, and in addition, the tenaciousness of its soldiers.





Works Cited

Rodgers, Nigel, and Hazel Dodge. Roman Empire. New York: Metro, 2008. Print.
Lewis, Jon E. Rome: the Autobiography. England: Constable & Robinson/Running, 2010. Print
Goldsworthy, Adrian Keith. Roman Warfare. Ed. John Keegan. London: Cassell, 2000. Print.

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