How the Roman Legion Revolutionized Warfare Essay

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The Roman Empire was the greatest empire Europe had ever seen. To control such a large empire, a strong military is required. The Roman Legion was one of the most effective and advanced armies in history and fulfilled its duty to protect the Roman Empire, its citizens, and its emperors for nearly five-hundred years. It successfully conquered England, Spain, France, Greece, and much of the Middle East and Africa. They were able to accomplish this feat through modernizing old-fashioned ways of thought on warfare. Through the tactics they employed and the equipment they used, the Roman Legion was able to become one of the most powerful armies to ever walk the face of the earth. Much of the success Rome’s army saw was also due to the…show more content…
Soldiers needed to be able to march long distances, and were expected to be able to march nearly twenty miles in under five hours. Jumping and swimming were critical because legionnaires needed to be able to traverse small ditches and streams, and swim across rivers if necessary, such as when bridges were flooded over. The final part of this stage was being able to haul loads of equipment, no less than sixty pounds in addition to their own equipment, because in some situations soldiers would be needed to carry supplies. After the physical training was completed, legionnaires would be trained in the use of two main weapons. The first training was with the short legionary sword called a “gladius.” They began learning maneuvers and techniques on large wooden poles, and sparred with fellow soldiers after a certain level of achievement had been attained. Also, until they proved they were skilled enough to use a real weapon, wooden swords and shields were used during training. “Both the shields and the swords were made to standards which made them twice as heavy as the original weapons” (Military Training). It was thought that if a soldier was efficient with heavier weapons, then when the time came to use the normal version they would be more effective. After mastering swordsmanship, soldiers were introduced to the “pilum,” a spear. Once again, wooden spears at twice the weight were used for training, with the same large wooden poles as targets.
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