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Asdfg Essay

1383 words - 6 pages

When you think of the powerful Roman army, the first thing that comes to mind is legions of menacing bronze-clad soldiers in uniform ranks, but it took hundreds of years of development for Rome’s army to reach that state. From its earliest days, the Roman Empire was able to break free from Etruscan rule and create the foundation for the greatest empire the western world had ever seen due to its constantly evolving military machine (Wake). The Roman army dominated the Western world with size and strength that wouldn’t be rivaled for another thousand years, but their military roots had closely followed Greek tradition, and did not have its own identity until a Celtic invasion forced them to come up with a new strategic system (Roman Military). However, through trial and error during the years of conflict with Germanic and Mediterranean empires, the Roman military became the pinnacle of Western warfare as a result of two important factors that I will discuss: The Roman army’s ability to constantly reorganize and adapt itself, and the discipline of the soldiers who devoted their lives to that army.
Prior to the Celtic invasion in 320 B.C.E., the Roman army consisted of around 6000 soldiers that were nearly identical to the Greek Hoplites before them in the way they geared themselves, as well as in the use of the Greek phalanx formation they used in combat (Parker 12). These Roman soldiers were a headstrong people who literally believed themselves to be sons of the god of war, Mars, building a society that valued strength and honor in war above all else (Roman Military). Marching in unity at speed was seen as great importance to the Roman army, calling for marching to be the first thing a Roman soldier is trained to do (Cavazzi). A further point the Romans made in basic military training was physical exercise, training every recruit to be able to sprint, swim, and hike with heavy weights in order to build up their individual endurance (Cavazzi). Following the belief that training in situations more difficult than field combat may demand would allow the soldiers able to deal with adversity, the Roman soldiers would train with wooden weapons that were twice as heavy as their actual combat weapons (Wake). While these methods of training seem extreme, they are the reason Rome’s military was able to defeat far larger armies while they were still a small city-state by making up for it with individual skill (Roman Military).
A devastating defeat at the hands of the Celts caused the Roman republic to re-organize its armies into a system of troops based on age, experience, and wealth which foreshadowed what we, today, think of as “legions” (Dixon, Southern). This new system consisted of four basic troops: Velites, mainly poor soldiers who couldn’t afford to fully equip themselves, Hastati, the first line soldiers armed with javelins and short swords, Principes, the second line of soldiers composed of more experienced warriors who were armed...

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