Roman legions drill; any info? - Page 2




 
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January 4th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
Rome ; some ancient military manuals in Latin refer to some sort of close drill.

This may be what Frederick the Great was thinking when he introduced marching in step to Europe in the 18th century.

Before that there apparently was only the natural tendency of groups of walkers to fall into step in an informal way.

Can anyone throw any light on this subject; did the Romans march to sinister, dexter - sinister, dexter or to songs?

I understand that there is no clear evidence that they marched in step at all.

I would recommend a book called...
The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare.
By Philip Sabin, Hans van Wees, Michael Whitby
Published by Cambridge University Press, 2007
ISBN 0521782732, 9780521782739

It is an interesting read and will answer some of your questions.
January 5th, 2009  
Del Boy
 
Thank you MontyB.
January 5th, 2009  
ObjSRgtLw
 
 
Even the Germanic did drill before battle.
As for the romans they had to drill very hard to preserve their strength fighting in formation, as very good re-enacted in the series Rome (1st episode) the romans had a tight formation with every soldier holding the man in front. When first line got tired they used a shield bash on command to get some space- in this moment the second man would pull the first behind himself so that he now was first row. There was enough space in between though so that the soldiers who just faught could move to the rear. Always a fresh line in front and due to the big shields and the stabbing from below and from the sides (not from above because second man was protecting this area with his shield) there was no way to break this formation easily.
The Germanics used the V that is commonly used by cavalry, though i doubt they could use it effectively because it needs a lot of training and germanic ppl had not many standing soldiers and no standing army, they only drilled after they had gathered for war- in any case there are no germanic sources left except archeological findings and what other nations saw and described...

Sorry for babbling- it's just such an interesting topic- i just had some seminars on the topic at the university for my studies focus on Ancient History.
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January 6th, 2009  
ObjSRgtLw
 
 
This video from the season Rome comes very close to the latest historical research- at least compared to other videos... (violent content!)
As you see at the end it is very hard to stay in formation- only fresh reserve units could establish a new line of formation... in this episode there are some more good scenes, as i mentioned before episode 1 also shows roman formation fighting in a smaller frame.
Legion vs. Legion
July 16th, 2009  
StewartH
 

Topic: ROMANS USE OF SWORDS


Papasha40 said that the Romans only used their swords when they lost their spears. I am very interested to learn the source of this information, if Papasha or anyone else could oblige with a historical reference. Thank you.
November 23rd, 2009  
Riddell10
 
Depending on the reforms, the consul/ commander. The marius mules drilled alot because they were a standing army, and in times of peace or inactive its important to stay in shape, and be capable of combat readiness.
The early republic relied on a militia levy, and in some cases had little less then a month drill together, and then went to the battle field ( 2nd punic war Italy for example) Some generals in the time period did drill alot though, Scipio Africanus for example.
November 23rd, 2009  
Yin717
 
 
I'm going to have say they must of drilled. You would never get such a well trained and organised army without drilling! Is there any evidence of drilling after the Roman period? You could look to see if drilling happened before and then after. You never know, you may discover drilling happening after the Roman period and this may suggest that the Roman's did it!
November 23rd, 2009  
rattler
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I would recommend a book called...
The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare.
By Philip Sabin, Hans van Wees, Michael Whitby
Published by Cambridge University Press, 2007
ISBN 0521782732, 9780521782739

It is an interesting read and will answer some of your questions.


Good one, read it, a bit dry but well worthwhile!

At WaT I am currently having a discussion on about when "planned" warfare starts and most ppl seem to think at those ages ppl just ran into each other swaying away with their swords, but there were sincere tacticians and strategists behind what we today read as mass slaughters, and very distinctive takes on "combined arms" takes not different from today (with different weapons systems, of cause).

Rattler
November 24th, 2009  
Riddell10
 
Also try "in the name of Rome", it offers a look inside how consuls had the freedom to run there army in what ever fashion they wanted, including how hard depending on the general they were drilled, and how much experience they had. In the early republic the only thing they kept common and traditional was how they actually fought the battle, not how they trained. But in the early empire and late republic thats a different story and the book gives a good look at all those time periods
December 13th, 2009  
Gary of CA
 
We know that the Lacaedaemonians/Spartiates/Spartans kept step with the help of a flute player and they preceded the Romans. That miserable (from a historical perspective) flick, 300, showed one of those flute players in the scene where the royal bodyguard was accompanying Leonidas to the rendezvous point with the Athenians.
 


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