The Roman Army Essay

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Lasting 500 years with the republic and roughly a thousand and five hundred more with the Roman empire, the Roman Army was an extremely effective fighting force. Creating new tactics, some still used to this day, the ancient Romans were able to conquer most of Europe, northern sections of Africa and parts of the Middle East. With a complex chain of command, adaptability, formations and equipment, the Roman armies were the best for their time. In the beginning of the first Roman army, the Romans followed the Greek Phalanx formation, a rectangular formation made up of heavy infantry units. In the 4th century the Romans changed the Phalanx formation and renamed it the Triplex Acies, or triple line (Ricketts, Colin). Although similar, instead of…show more content…
There are sixteen known ranks, Tirones being a new recruit and the lowest and Consul, the highest rank possible. A Munifex was the lowest rank for a legionary, or a Roman citizen in the army, and men of this rank were led by a Decanus in eight man groups called a tent party. Ten tent parties, eighty men, formed a Century, commanded by a Centurion. Six Centuries created a cohort with 480 men total (Alchin, Linda). Ten Cohorts combined with a calvary force, created a legion. A Legatus Legionis commanded the entire legion, or roughly 5,000 men, in battle and usually was a senator. A Consul was an elected military and civil leader. The chain of command the Romans created alongside their ranks shows some similarities to modern militaries. This chain of command gave clear roles to every Roman soldier and offered benefits such as wages and possible land. With this chain of command, the Romans also created standard battle commands. Instead of having different commands for every Cohort or Legion, the Roman army was able to introduce standard commands so any group of Roman soldiers could cooperate and communicate effectively in battle. Both standardized commands and a chain of command made the Roman army extremely successful against organized enemy
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