Essay On Legions Of Death During The Iron Age Essay

2453 WordsOct 8, 201610 Pages
Legions of Death During the Iron age, war was no foreign concept to the civilizations of the Mediterranean world, however no civilization was as familiar with war as the Romans. The success and brutality of Rome’s manipulus has inspired many historians to write on the topic. Some historians, however, disagree on the use of Rome’s military might. William V. Harris and Kurt A. Raaflaub both leaned toward the position that Rome used their military for personal gain, however Harris believes there was a more bloodthirsty aspect in addition to the civil and economic boon. Craige Champion and Arthur Eckstein on the other hand, defend the position that Rome’s military might was no greater or more vicious than other comparative polities of the era, and that it was mainly used for personal defense or peacekeeping. Of these four authors, Harris makes the most succinct points, cleanly explaining why the Roman desire for a strong military went beyond that of their neighbors, with evidence of a feedback loop between military service and civil advancement. Comparatively, Champion and Eckstein attempt to draw ties between Rome and her neighbors, muddying the waters to downplay Rome’s savagery without actually addressing Rome’s frequent bloodthirst. In the first chapter of his book War and Imperialism in Republican Rome (1979), Harris assess the attitudes of the Roman populace and the aristocratic body towards warfare during the middle republic. In Harris’ opinion “...it is more

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