Roman Army

Essay by ravi8031Middle School, 6th gradeA+, December 2004

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From early times right down to the 3rd century A.D, the Roman army was based on its legions. A legion varied in strength from 4,000 to 6,000 men, and was divided into ten associates. Its leader called himself legatus. His staff officers were called tribuni. Senior non-commissioned officers were called centurions, who varied greatly in rank. The soldiers of the legion were picked, they were all Roman citizens and received a higher pay than the auxillary troops, {that is, foreigners who serve with the Roman army}.

A legion contained heavily armored infantry (foot soldiers). The Roman infantry became a feared force, well disciplined and well trained. Their weapons were two pila's {spear type weapon} or javelins each and a short thrusting gladius or sword. Cavalry was supplied by the auxilaries (second line troops) and was organized mainly in units 500 strong.

When it was on campaigns the army was accompanied by a number of specialists.

One was the camp commandant, who was responsible for the organization of the camp. The Romans were very careful about their camps, no Roman army rested for a single night without digging a trenches and fortifying its camp. Each soldier took his share in making the camp. Another specialist was the quaestor, whose duty was to look after all the money matters. Then there were the engineers and all kinds of craftsmen and artisans. They were responsible for siege operations and for the rather primitive Roman" artillery", which consisted of big catapults and complicated machines. These were mainly used for hurling big rocks and stones at the walls of a defense structure. The engineers also had to build the moveable towers that were used in sieges, the Roman soldiers went up inside these towers so that they could see over the walls of a fortified...