The Roman army was one of the greatest
forces of all times. The Roman army ,at its finest point, was nearly inconquerable.
This was due to the discipline of the soldiers, the hard and effective
training of the soldiers, the speed at wich new tactics were learned, and
to theorganization of the soldiers.
From early times right down to the 3rd
century A.D, the Roman army was based on its legions. A legion varied in
strength from four-thousand to six-thousand men, and was subdivided onto
ten cohorts. Its leader used the title of legatus. His staff officers were
called tribuni. Senior non-commissioned officers were called centurions,
who varied greatly in rank. The soldiers of the legion were picked men:
They were all Roman citizens and received a higher pay than the auxillary
troops ,that is, foreigners who serve with the Roman army.
A legion consisited of heavily armoured
infantry foot soldiers. The Roman infantry became a feared force, well
disciplined and well trained. Their weapons were two javelins each and
a short thrustingsword. Cavalry was supplied by the auxilaries ,second
line troops, and was organised mainly in units of 500 men.
When it was on campaigns the army was
accompanied by a number of 7 specialists. One was the camp commandant,
who was responsible for the organisation of the camp. The Romans were very
careful about their camps. No Roman army halted for a single night without
digging a trenches and fortifying its camp. Each soldier took his share
in establishing the camp and striking the camp the next day. Another specialist
was the quaestor, whose duty was to look after all the money matter. then
there were the engineers and all kinds of craftsmen and artisans. They
were responsible for siege operations and for the rather primative Roman”artillery”, which consisted of big catapults and complicated machines
a little like crossbows. These were mainly used for hurling big rocks and
stones at the walls of a defence place. The engineers also had to build
the moveable towers that were used in sieges. The Roman soldiers went up
inside these towers so that they could see over the walls of a fortified
place and shoot their stones and arrows into it. The engineers also made
the scaling ladders that were used for getting over walls.