10 interesting facts about conquering Roman army
Conquering Roman army was famous for its efficiency and discipline. A small country in the Apennine peninsula rule in much of the Western world, from the British Isles to the Middle East, from the Rhine to North Africa. In our review of the interesting facts about the Roman army, which may explain its successes and failures.
Seasons war and
During the early history of the Romans there was some problem in the conduct of the war - the sowing and harvesting. Rome's economy was based on agriculture and therefore, wrote Livy (History of Rome, 5.6), "if the war was not finished by the end of the summer, the soldiers had to make a break for the winter." He also mentioned that the soldiers used to spend the winter, engaged in hunting.
The riots of troops has always been a potential problem for the Roman generals, so there are many ways to prevent it. The most effective and severe of these methods was decimation (decimation by lot). In the military unit to which happened mutiny every tenth human stoned or clubbed to death. Whenever the rebels within the army planned a revolt, the prospect of the decimation caused them to think twice.
The privilege or duty?
Military service was both the duty and the privilege of Roman citizens. At first, the Roman army consisted exclusively of citizens and organized on the basis of their social status (in accordance with the weapons and uniforms that people could afford). The richest served in the cavalry, poorer people have served in the infantry, and the people who did not own any property at all excluded from the army.
After the Second Punic War (218-201 BC. E.), This set of system has changed. Rome began to take part in a long-term and global wars and needed a permanent military presence in the newly conquered territories. Thus, the property qualification was lowered. In the second century BC The property qualification was lowered even more. Then, in 107 BC. e., Gaius Marius began accepting volunteers who had no property at all, and to equip them with the expense of the government.
Whenever the Romans besieged by the city, they sent a special military unit to surround the settlement and to prevent any escape. Near the besieged city created a fortified camp (and, in the distance, which is not drifted from the boom of the walls). This military unit was to destroy the protective walls with catapults and archers shoot, leading a barrage.
The tunnels were the key sieges. The failure or success of many sieges dare to how well the Romans could make his way through the defensive wall, often by digging tunnels under the city. Although it was an effective tactic, this trick has become widely known enemies of Rome and eventually lost its element of surprise.
During the war against Mithridates of Pontus in the early first century BC. e., the Romans tried to dig a tunnel to break the defense of the city Themiscyra. Residents Themiscyra released in response to the tunnel a series of dangerous wild animals, including bears, and even bees. The oldest archaeological evidence of chemical warfare dates back to the third century AD. We are talking about the tunnels in Syria, which have been found evidence of an underground battle between the Romans and the Persians Sassanid.
The Persians besieged the Roman garrison and began digging tunnels to crack the defense. The Romans responded by also began to dig tunnels to meet in order to neutralize the attackers. Skeletons and weapons found in one of these tunnels indicate that the Roman soldiers were killed under the ground, choking in a cloud of choking gas that came from bitumen and sulfur crystals, set on fire by the Persians.
According to some ancient authors, from the helmets in the Roman army had other benefits besides their obvious protective function. Polybius ( "Stories", 6.23) noted that the decoration on the top of the helmets had a psychological impact on the enemy, because they are Roman soldiers they look intimidating, plus they added growth of the soldiers. The use of the helmet ornaments to intimidate enemies widely practiced by most cultures.
The procedure of declaring war,
In the days of the Roman Republic, only the Senate (government organization that serves the will of the Roman citizens) have the right to declare war. But Rome was expanded, and the power of his army grew, so some of the war Roman generals began to declare without Senate approval. An example of this was a war against Mithridates of Pontus, which was declared in 89 BC. e. consul Manius Aquileia, without any involvement on the part of the Senate. When Rome became an empire, the decision to declare war was only the emperor.
In Rome, was a specialized agency of the priests, known as fetialy whose sole duty it was the fulfillment of the rituals associated with the war. The final step of the ritual declaration of war was the javelin throw at the enemy's territory. By the beginning of the third century BC. e., Rome has expanded significantly, taking almost the entire peninsula, and to throw a spear at the enemy's territory was mildly inappropriate. Priests came up with an alternative. Part of the land near the temple of Bellona (goddess of war) declared not a Roman spear throwing at her.
standard short sword, which was used in the Roman army, was known as the Gladius hispaniensis ( "Spanish sword"), and it was developed in the Iberian Peninsula. Its deadly effectiveness and practicality are legendary. In the words of Livy ( "History of Rome", 31.34), when the Romans fought against Philip V during the Macedonian War (200-196 BC. E.), The Macedonians were shocked wounds from Roman swords.
The Praetorians were a specialized division of the Roman army, which acted as a "household troops" of the emperor and his personal bodyguards. During the first century BC. e. Praetorian Guard sometimes to involve the appointment of new emperors. But as time passed, their participation in public life increased and eventually Praetorians were in a position in which they have been able to appoint, remove and even kill the Roman emperors. One of the incentives for the emperor and the appointment of a new murder was a practice known as "deed of gift" - a significant award that Praetorians received from the newly appointed Emperor after the previous one was killed. As a result, a staunch defender of the Roman emperor gradually and ironically turned into a corrupt and dangerous military units that have significant control over the life of the emperor.