Why was the Army so important to the Roman Empire?
The Roman army had also other important roles. Besides the building of the military sites, they also built roads, bridges, water conduits, canals and ships. The ships were supposed to be used mainly for military uses, but also helped with the foundation of the quick economic development of the province.
The legionaries would throw it at the enemy as they ran at them. It was not for hand-to-hand fighting. The main purpose of the pilum was to disrupt the defence of the enemy. They would be too concerned worrying about avoiding the incoming weapons to focus on what the legionnaires themselves were doing.
- The Romans saw bathing as a social activity as well as a way of keeping clean. They built communal bath houses, such as can be found at Bearsden in Glasgow, where they could relax and meet up. The Romans used a tool called a strigel to scrape dirt off their skin.
- The Romans did not invent drainage, sewers, the alphabet or roads, but they did develop them. They did invent underfloor heating, concrete and the calendar that our modern calendar is based on. Concrete played an important part in Roman building, helping them construct structures like aqueducts that included arches.
- Rich Romans had food cooked at home in the kitchen by slaves. Most ate a light breakfast, and a snack at mid day - perhaps bread and cheese, or boiled eggs and salad. They ate dinner in late afternoon, with a starter, a meat course (such as hare, pig, beef, goat, chicken, fish or pigeon) followed by fruit or nuts.
The Roman Army was a powerful force due to their strong discipline and extensive organization skills. Roman troops always fought in formation, as a group, and this made them quite powerful especially against less organized enemies who frequently fought with little formation.
- Each legion had between 4,000 and 6,000 soldiers. A legion was further divided into groups of 80 men called 'centuries'. Roman soldiers usually lined up for battle in a tight formation. After a terrifying burst of arrows and artillery, the Roman soldiers marched at a slow steady pace towards the enemy.
- The Roman Army was a powerful force due to their strong discipline and extensive organization skills. Roman troops always fought in formation, as a group, and this made them quite powerful especially against less organized enemies who frequently fought with little formation.
- A Roman soldier wore armour made from strips of iron and leather (lorica segmentata in Latin). On his head was a metal helmet (galea). He carried a rectangular shield (scutum), curved so it protected his body. The shield was made of wood and leather.
The Roman Empire was created and controlled by its soldiers. At the core of the army were its legions, which were without equal in their training, discipline and fighting ability. By the time Augustus came to power, the army contained 60 legions. Each of these was divided into ten cohorts of up to 480 men.
- The victory over the Carthaginians gave the Romans all the opportunity they needed to expand their power in the Mediterranean. The more wealthy and powerful the Romans became, the more able they were to further expand their empire. The Romans were not content with conquering land near to them.
- A typical legion of this period had 5,120 legionaries as well as a large number of camp followers, servants and slaves. Legions could contain as many as 6,000 fighting men when including the auxiliaries, although much later in Roman history the number was reduced to 1,040 to allow for greater mobility.
- A Forum was the main center of a Roman city. Usually located near the physical center of a Roman town, it served as a public area in which commercial, religious, economic, political, legal, and social activities occurred. Fora were common in all Roman cities, but none were as grand as the fora of Rome itself.
Updated: 2nd October 2019