Join Roman Army? - Page 2

April 1st, 2006  

Topic: The Roman Army

During the republic and the principate the roman army was different from any other army at the time. During battle it was divided into 4 lines: the Velites, the Hastati, the Principes and the Triarii. The Velites were the first line and they were the poorest soldiers armed with only javelins and almost no armor. They were used as skirmishers until the enemy advanced. They then retreated behind roman lines and the Hastati advanced. The Hastati were the young and eager men who fought first. If they were pushed back they retreated and came back with the Principes. This worked becouse most of rome's enemies relied on keeping the front lines fighting until they either won or retreated. The Hastati could retreat, catch their breath and their morale would rise since they were coming back with their friends. The Principes were the men in their prime, who have fought some battles and had some experience. If the enemy was strong and the Principes/Hasati could not rout them, the triarii would enter battle. The Triarii were the elite veterans and a popular roman phrase "things have come to the triarii" meant something bad was happening.
Right before the empire a guy named gaius marius made radical reforms to the army where the lines were combined and you no longer paid for the weapons and armor. Now a legionary cohort could preform the testudo formation.Another roman tactics was to soften the enemy up by throwing javelins when they were in front of the enemy. Sometimes these javelins would go through the enemy's shield. If not they would stick in the shield, making it useless. Archers and some of the cavalry were non-roman auxiliaries. As for the navy, the romans preferred boarding to ramming.
February 20th, 2007  
All I have to say is that the Romans kicked ass!
February 21st, 2007  
More important in the timeline, when did the names Guido and Guiseppe come in?