The Roman legion was the armed wing of the Roman Republic and later Roman Empire.It was the basic unit of the Roman army, and was created by the first King of Rome: Romulus, in 750 BC about, as the reference point was the Greek phalanx, at first, consisted of 3,000 infantry and 300 cavalry of age between 17 and 47 years, but could enlist only those who could pay for the armor, because the soldier was a profession, very profitable: the Roman army was the largest organization of killers in history, in other words ...
Today, we see how fought on the battlefield to the Roman Legion, in a very simple and clear video, one of the best found on the web:
Special duty posts:
|Roman legionary uniform|
Signifer: Each century had a signifer (thus, there were 59 in a legion) and within each cohort the 1st century's signifer would be the senior. He was standard-bearer for the centurial signum, a spear shaft decorated with medallions and topped with an open hand to signify loyalty, which was a rallying point for the soldiers. In addition to carrying the signum, the signifer also assumed responsibility for the financial administration of the unit and functioned as the legionaries' banker. He was paid twice the basic wage.
Cornicen (Horn blower): Worked hand in hand with the signifer drawing the attention of the men to the centurial signum and issuing the audible commands of the officers. He was paid twice the basic wage.
Imaginifer: A special position from the time of Augustus onwards. Carried the standard bearing the image of the Emperor as a constant reminder of the troops' loyalty to him. He was paid twice the basic wage.
Immunes: Immunes were legionary soldiers who possessed specialized skills, qualifying them for better pay and excusing them from labour and guard work. Engineers, artillerymen, musicians, drill and weapons instructors, carpenters, hunters, medical staff and military police were all immune soldiers. These men were still fully trained legionaries however and were called upon to serve in the battle lines when needed.
Evocati: Veterans of the Roman army who had the right to retire, but had chosen to stay on after their tenure was finished. During this period they received double pay and were excluded from regular duties such as manual labour.
Duplicarius: A special pay grade that could also be awarded regardless of rank, received double the basic pay.
Roman soldiers were fighting men, first and foremost. Constant and rigorous training kept them at peak conditions, and ready for action at any time.
In the mid-Republic each Roman legion had an equivalent complement of allied infantry equipped and modeled after the legion and a three times larger complement of cavalry.
The army of the Late Republic and Early to Mid-Empire consisted of legionaries and auxiliaries.
The auxiliaries were named so after the earlier allied complement, but with structure and equipment differing from the legionaries.
They were non-Roman citizens, recruited mostly from the Roman provinces with less pay than the legionaries, but at the end of their service they would be granted Roman citizenship.
In the Late Roman army the distinction was between comitatenses, reserve troops and limitanei, border troops.
The 9 factors of roman legion success:
|Roman Empire on Hollywood|
- Roman organization was more flexible than those of many opponents. Over time, the legions effectively handled challenges ranging from cavalry, to guerrillas, to siege warfare.
- Roman discipline, organization and systematization sustained combat effectiveness over a longer period. These elements appear throughout the legion in training, logistics, field fortification etc.
- The Romans were more persistent and more willing to absorb and replace losses over time than their opponents. Wars with Carthage, the Parthians and most notably, the campaigns against Pyrrhus of Epirus, illustrate this.
- Roman leadership was mixed, but over time it was often effective in securing Roman military success.
- The influence of Roman military and civic culture, as embodied particularly in the heavy infantry legion, gave the Roman military consistent motivation and cohesion.
- Strict, and more importantly, uniform discipline made commanding, maintaining, and replacing Roman legionaries a much more consistent exercise.
- Roman military equipment, particularly armour, was thicker and far more ubiquitous, especially in the late Republican / Early Imperial era, than that of most of their opponents. Soldiers equipped with shields, helmets and highly effective body armor had a major advantage over warriors protected, in many cases, with nothing other than their shields, particularly in a prolonged engagement.
- Roman engineering skills were second to none in ancient Europe, and their
Roman war machines: ballista
- Roman military training focused on the more effective thrusting of the sword rather than the slash, resulting in higher lethality in combat, and the military system of the Romans enabled them to have far higher kill rates than their foes.