roman military strategy and tactics

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Roman Military Strategy and Tactics

War can only end in eventual victory


HastatiHastati- younger soldier, early form of the legionnaire VelitesVelites- light infantry, missile thrower TriariiTriarii- Veteran soldier, wealthier and more heavily armed Ferentarii- young, poor soldier Trireme- a ship with rectangular or triangular sails wide enough for three rowers at each oar, often equipped with a ram and siege weapons Quinquereme- similar to a trireme, but five rowers could be stationed at each oar, making the ship much larger Phalanx- rectangular military formation consisting almost entirely of heavily armored spearmen (though after Alexander the amount of armor became less important in labeling a division a phalanx)

ScutumScutum- large rectangular shield carried by Roman legionnaires LegionnaireLegionnaire- a member of an army (legion), usually used to describe the standard heavy infantry of the Imperial Roman Army PilumPilum- heavy spear, could be thrown as a javelin with an effective range of 20 meters ContuberniumContubernium- squad of eight men ManipleManiple- subdivision of a legion consisting of either 60 or 120 men. CohortCohort- division of legion made up of 480 men CenturyCentury- division of cohort consisting of 80 men (originally 100)

Rome Under the Etruscan KingsPrior to the republic the Roman Army resembled a Macedonian phalanx.

Cavalry used defensively

Equipment and rank based on wealth

Rome AdaptsCompletely reorganizes army.

Tactics during battle still not seen as important part of warfare.

Cavalry still not seen as an offensive unit and will not be for a while.

It has come to the triarii!

REALLY AdaptsNew Helmets! New Shields!

Rome Still Missing SomethingUp until the Second Punic War Rome had no generals that stood out from the crowd


The Shield and Sword of Rome

Quintus Fabius Maximus (Cunctator)

Marcus Claudius Marcellus

More Importantly Though

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus

Major Reformations Under Scipio

Tactics during battle Effective use of religion in battle Could attack better than Marcellus, and defend better than Fabius Changed basics of Roman formation Unknowingly set precedent by popularizing gladius

Knew that numbers meant nothing without tactics Made Roman Army selfselfsufficient, distrusted allies Destroyed other Carthaginian forces before engaging Hannibal Took advantage of outdated enemy tactics

The Classic Roman Legion

Came into being largely due to reforms of Caius Marius Any citizen could be a soldier now, so long as he was fit and willing to fight Soldiers prepared for any situation Pensions!

Marius Mules

Way the Classic Legion Operated

With many wars under its belt the Roman Empire held dominance on the battlefield Rome had tactics that only it had the resources to pull off

In Order to Gauge the Enemy s Strength

Skirmishing Formation

Uh oh

Light Cavalry

Repel Cavalry

Standard Formations

Ace in the Hole

The Wedge (Pig s Head)

If Things Take A Turn for the Worse

The Orb

The Roman Standards

Standards of a Legion and a Maniple


To reach the gates

The Tortoise


The Siege of New Carthage

Scipio once again takes advantage of tactics of the time Mirage created by Romans crossing the lagoon Combined with naval attack

Roman Ingenuity

Siege Tower Battle of Pydna

Naval Warfare



Slow Development of Naval Tactics

Wars with Carthage gave Romans a reason to develop a navy. Objectives: Ram or Board Marcus Vispanius Agrippa showed Antony the importance of tactics at Actium

How Could Rome Lose?

Even an army of 400,000 could not keep these borders safe forever. Remember cavalry? The last competent general was Belsarius under Justinain.

An Empire Split, An Army Reformed

Diocletian splits the empire, reforms defense plan Comitatenses, Comitatenses, limitanei Theodosius and Constantine further reform army Magister Peditum, Magister Equitum

Roman Tactics Used Today

My mother bore a general, not a warrior


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