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 Soldier

 Roman soldiers marching

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 Army Turtle

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’.

 Roman army fight

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.