The legionaries were citizen- soldiers: farmers and craftsmen who enlisted for specific campaigns. There was little centralized training, and everyone brought his own equipment. Early on the Roman citizens were sorted into classes, according to their wealth.
How well trained were the Roman soldiers?
How well trained were Roman soldiers? A Roman soldier was a well-trained fighting machine. He could march 20 miles a day, wearing all his armour and equipment. He could swim or cross rivers in boats, build bridges and smash his way into forts.
Did the triarii use spears?
Nor was it a case of “old Romans clinging to tradition” since the triarii kept their spears in generation after generation, and these same men would in their youth have used the javelin and short sword just like the other soldiers in the legion. (Indeed, they did still carry swords in addition to their spears.)
How did the Romans beat the Greek phalanx?
At the Battle of Cynocephalae in 197 BCE, the Romans defeated the Greek phalanx easily because the Greeks had failed to guard the flanks of their phalanx and, further, the Greek commanders could not turn the mass of men who comprised the phalanxes quickly enough to counter the strategies of the Roman army and, after …
Did triarii fight in a phalanx?
During the Camillan era, they fought in a shallow phalanx formation, supported by light troops. In most battles triarii were not used because the lighter troops usually defeated the enemy before the triarii were committed to the battle.
How physically fit were Roman soldiers?
In order to be considered fit enough to be a legionnaire (the name given to a Roman soldier), one had to be able to march 20 miles in 5 hours with the full armour and kit weighing 45lbs. And then do a fast 18-mile march, and at the end build a marching camp.
How big was the average Roman soldier?
Imperial regulations, though not entirely unambiguous, suggest that the minimum height for new recruits was five Roman feet, seven inches (165 cm., 5’5″) … for the army as a whole a reasonable estimate of a soldier’s average height is around 170 cm (5’7″).
How many Velites are in a legion?
An early Roman legion contained approximately 1000 velites. Velites were disbanded after the Marian reforms.
What did Roman soldiers get when they retire?
The legionary’s last five years of service were on lighter duties. Once retired, a Roman legionary received a parcel of land or its equivalent in money and often became a prominent member of society.
Did Romans use polearms?
Up until the rise of the Roman Republic, the Greek phalanx was considered the dominant form of military tactics. Evolution had simply favoured longer and longer spears: by the time of Alexander, phalanxes often carried polearms that rivalled a pike in length.
Were Roman gladiators muscular?
They were endurance-builders, not body-builders. As a result, they were quite muscular, but they also had a good chunk of fat too. The reason they had this extra fat was because it could protect a little better. Romans knew that being overweight was unhealthy.
Why were ancient Romans so short?
There is a widespread belief that Roman legionaries were short and compensated for their poor physical conditions, e.g. in clashes with Gauls or Germans, with great discipline, organization and equipment.
Who was the tallest Roman Emperor?
In AD 235 the army and the Senate proclaimed him Emperor of Rome. Ancient Roman writers claimed that Maximinus Thrax stood over 8 feet tall. His sandals were said to be twice the size of regular army issue.
Why did Roman standard bearers wear animal skins?
Particularly rich Romans appreciated luxurious and beautiful furs. The emperor Honorius issued a decree in 397 AD that forbad his court to wear fur – probably to ensure its high trading value. The standard-bearers in the Roman army were characterized by wearing animal skins on their head.
What made the Roman army so good?
The training that soldiers had to do was very tough and thorough and included marching 20 miles a day wearing full armour. This meant that the Roman armies were very fit and organised. Training included marching in formation and learning specific tactics and manoeuvres for battle.
Did the Roman army have archers?
Regular auxiliary units of foot and horse archers appeared in the Roman army during the early empire. During the Principate roughly two thirds of all archers were on foot and one third were horse archers.
How far could Roman archers shoot?
Distance was always a limiting factor. At its longest range, a Roman composite bow could reach 165-230m, depending upon the quality of the bow and the archer. The range at which they were most effective as a weapon was 50-150m.
How did Romans beat horse archers?
An invading force of seven legions of Roman heavy infantry under Marcus Licinius Crassus was lured into the desert and decisively defeated by a mixed cavalry army of heavy cataphracts and light horse archers led by the Parthian general Surena.
Why didnt the Romans use crossbows?
The Romans did make use of crossbows, they were simply not as widespread as they were in other time periods of history. They likely did not see a need for them, both on a technological and psychological level.
Did Romans have stirrups?
Roman cavalry did not have a stirrup. The device was introduced to Europe by invading tribes, though it is not known which in particular, after the collapse of the western Roman Empire.
Which is more powerful crossbow or longbow?
At point blank range, the crossbow almost certainly had greater penetrating power than a long bow. By the 15th century, and possibly earlier, it is safe to say that heavy crossbows (such as a windlass spanned crossbow) were more powerful than longbows. The common crossbow probably wasn’t much more powerful though.
Did Vikings have crossbows?
There is no archeological evidence that suggests the Vikings used crossbows, either for hunting or in combat. Crossbows were invented sometime in the late Viking age, but it’s unlikely they made their way into Viking hands.
What was the draw weight of a Viking bow?
The estimated draw weight of one 10th century bow is 90lbs (40kgf), and the effective range of this weapon was about 200m (650ft).
Did the Danes use longbows?
Remnants of bows dating as far back as the Stone Age have been found in Denmark, and bows made in the classic longbow shape and proportions, made of elm, have been found in Denmark and dated to the Bronze Age. One such longbow, found on the Danish island of Sjealand, has been dated to approximately 2800 BC.
Did Saxons crossbow?
Crossbows, a relatively new kind of weapon in 1066, shot much more slowly than ordinary bows, but their ‘bolts’ could penetrate right through shields. Only one Anglo-Saxon archer is shown in the Tapestry, symbolising that Harold’s army included very few bowmen.
Why did Danes break their swords?
One, they bent the swords as a way to retire the weapon and / or to deter grave robbers from taking them. Two, enemies of a deceased viking would bend his sword to render it useless in the afterlife.
Do Saxons still exist?
While the continental Saxons are no longer a distinctive ethnic group or country, their name lives on in the names of several regions and states of Germany, including Lower Saxony (which includes central parts of the original Saxon homeland known as Old Saxony), Saxony in Upper Saxony, as well as Saxony-Anhalt (which …
How much did a Saxon sword weigh?
Whereas a single-handed sword on average weighed 2–4 lbs., even the large two-handed “swords of war” of the fourteenth to the sixteenth century rarely weighed in excess of 10 lbs.
Can swords cut armor?
The edges can still be used against more lightly-armored opponents: no matter how effective a sword is against forms of armor such as brigandine and mail, no sword, no matter how sharp, can cut directly through plate armor.
How did Vikings sharpen their swords?
Men must have routinely sharpened their weapons with a whetstone. The whetstone shown to the right was found in a Viking-age context. The wear patterns indicate it was primarily used for sharpening a long-bladed weapon (such as a sword) rather than shorter weapons or agricultural tools.
How long was the average claymore?
On average, the claymore had a forty-two inch blade and thirteen inch grip, making the total length of the weapon fifty-five inches. Due to its mass, the claymore weighed over five pounds; to carry the abnormally large blade, Scottish clansmen would often use a shoulder sheath to carry their claymores on their backs.
Did Greatswords exist?
They were known for being totally fearless, and were paid double. Greatswords also had a major power advantage over a one-handed sword. Aside from using it with two hands as opposed to one hand, it was also much larger, sometimes up to six feet (nearly two meters).