Roman Army

Roman Army

The Roman Army was the main reason for Rome gaining such a large empire. It was also the tool that the Romans used to control the people that they had conquered. In order to achieve this the Army had to be both very loyal and highly organised.

The army was made up of both Roman Citizens and people who had previously fought against the Romans. To make sure that the auxilia (ordinary or enslaved soldier) remained loyal the Romans did several things. Firstly they were placed with legions that were based a long way from where the soldier came from: so a Briton may be serving in Germany or France. Secondly they offered freedoms and possibly citizenship upon the completion of 25 years service. Both of these were highly valued by the auxilia and there is very little evidence of these soldiers rebelling against their Roman masters.

The army was organised in a very simple way. 800 Legionairres (Roman Citizens who were in the army) would form a Legion. This would be split into centuries (80 men) controlled by a Centurion. These units would then be divided into smaller groups with different jobs to perform on a daily basis.

There were many legions throughout the empire, with more in the outlying regions (Britain for example had 4 legions at the time of the invasion). each legion would have a General who would receive orders from Rome and make reports back to Rome. In the Provinces (countries conquered and ruled by Rome) there would also be a Governor for whom they would work.

The Roman soldier was well equipped, well trained and well looked after. They had superior methods of training and used techniques such as the tortoise to ensure that they were strong in battle.

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