The Romans - The Roman Army
The Romans managed to conquer so many countries because they had such a good army. The Emperor used the army to protect Rome and to control the people it had conquered. Some soldiers were away from their families for long periods of time
When a soldier had served in the army for 25 years he could become a citizen of Rome.
Organisation of the Army
The army was organised in a very simple way:
5000 Legionaries (Roman Citizens who were in the army) would form a Legion.
The Legion would be split into centuries (80 men) controlled by a Centurion.
The centuries would then be divided into smaller groups with different jobs to perform.
A Roman Soldier
Roman soldiers had to be tough.
They were expected to march up to 20 miles per day in line, wearing all their armour and carrying their food and tents.
Roman soldiers were trained to fight well and to defend themselves. If the enemy shot arrows at them they would use their shields to surround their bodies and protect themselves this was know as 'the turtle'.
They fought with short swords, daggers for stabbing and a long spear for throwing. They also carried a shield for protection as well as wearing armour.
The Neo-Assyrian Empire used earthen ramps, siege towers and battering rams in sieges; the Greeks and Alexander the Great created destructive new engines known as artillery to further their sieges, and the Romans used every technique to perfection. That is to say, the Romans were not inventors, but they were superb engineers and disciplined, tough soldiers who fought against great odds and won, repeatedly.... Read More
Demetrius I, King of Macedon, invented many siege engines including battering rams and siege towers. For the Siege of Rhodes, he created the Helepolis, the Taker of Cities, a huge armored siege tower containing many heavy catapults.
The island city of Rhodes maintained its neutrality among the warring nations of the time, although it remained friendly to Ptolemy I of Egypt, the enemy of Demetrius of... Read More
In the first part of this series, we noted the siege equipment of the Assyrians consisted of complex battering rams, earthen ramps and a dedicated corps of engineers and sappers. Alexander the Great and the Greeks would take the next steps in the evolution of siege warfare. The Greeks had invented the catapult circa 399 B.C. Alexander innovated by fastening catapults and ballistas on the decks of ships to breach... Read More
While sieges had taken place earlier than the Neo-Assyrian Empire, such as that between Egyptian Pharoah Thutmose III and Canaanite rebels led by Kadesh at the Megiddo fortress in the 15th century B.C., the Assyrians perfected the art of siege warfare during the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 911 to 609 B.C.
Through war and conquest, Assyria became the most powerful empire the world had yet seen. After the... Read More
For one thousand years, chariots rolled through the Middle East, terrifying armies, destroying infantry lines and changing the face of war. Sumerians used heavy battlewagons with solid wheels drawn by wild asses around 2600 B.C. Until the innovation of spoked wheels, the weight of the battlewagons hindered their utility in war. The domestication of the horse inspired further chariot innovation as horses... Read More