The Reforms Of Gaius Marius And The Aftereffects Of The Late Republic Period And Beyond Essay
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The first century BC brought about a number of important changes for the Roman army. Most notably, the reforms of Gaius Marius and the aftereffects of both the Social and Civil Wars altered the Roman army as a whole. Bringing about both continuity and change, these events would help to shape the nature, composition and character of the army of the Late Republic period and beyond. Change came in the form of reforms brought about by Marius; the changing of the conscription of soldiers into the Roman army would alter not only the formation of the army, but also its nature and character. Furthermore, the granting of full citizenship to non-Roman troops who fought for the Roman army meant a blurring of a distinct Roman identity, or what it meant to be a Roman. However, despite these aspects of change, continuity too came out of this period. The troops of the army post-Marian reforms developed strong patron-client relationships with their generals that were not unlike the concept of the paterfamilias that had existed since the beginnings of Rome. Furthermore, leadership of the army was put into the hands of a select few, as it always had been, and these men would use the army as a means to further their personal ambitions.
The largest of these changes to the Roman army were arguably the changes Gaius Marius made in the conscription of soldiers. Conscription pre-Marius took the form of the state issuing a property requirement for soldiers who wished to join the army. These men