Essay on The Roman Soldier: Primed for Battle

1233 Words5 Pages
To climb the social ladder a person must be, in one way or another, more powerful than whom they are passing in life. As this is true for an individual, it is also true for an assemblage of individuals. Whether it is a village, city, or country, to survive you must be stronger than your challengers to defeat them. On the largest scale you would need an army to accomplish this feat. For centuries the Roman Empire was the most powerful civilization in the world and this was due to the invincibility of its military forces and prowess of its soldiers. From the earliest days of Rome, its army played a large role in the forming of the city-state. When not in battle the core of the Roman army, known as legionaries, would be used in the…show more content…
Without the soldiers having these skills, Rome would be pervious to an attack. They needed to be ready for battle at all times. The weapons of the Roman soldier were of the utmost importance to his survival and the defense of Rome. For this reason they were always state-of-the-art for the era. While numerous weapons were available for use, the actual ones that he carried depended on his rank and the time period in which he served. In the early stages the weapons were based on those of the Greeks and Etruscan soldiers, but were eventually made to resemble the weapons of the Celtic nations. Obviously, the most significant weapon a soldier carried was his sword. There were two types of swords used by the Roman warriors, a gladius and a Spanish sword. The gladius was a short sword, usually twenty-four inches in length, and was used in close combat. This was the sword carried by most foot soldiers. The Spanish sword was slightly longer and had a double-sided blade. This sword was carried mainly by horse soldiers. These two weapons caused the majority of the damage inflicted by the Roman soldiers. Other weapons the soldiers carried were crossbows, bows and arrows, spears, and daggers. Although the sword was the soldier’s primary weapon, his other weapons were of equal value to his security. Crossbows were used for long distance battling while daggers were for the more personal, close fighting. Spears on
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