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THE ROMAN ARMY Army consisted of professional, long-term soldiers who were paid relatively good salaries Under Augustus, the had to be Roman citizens but.

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Presentation on theme: "THE ROMAN ARMY Army consisted of professional, long-term soldiers who were paid relatively good salaries Under Augustus, the had to be Roman citizens but."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE ROMAN ARMY Army consisted of professional, long-term soldiers who were paid relatively good salaries Under Augustus, the had to be Roman citizens but later non-citizens were allowed to enlist And receive citizenship after 20 years of service Given choice at retirement of either 12,000 sesterces cash bonus or its equivalent in land

2 LOYALTY  Army loyal to emperor in normal times But no emperor ever took this loyalty for granted But no emperor ever took this loyalty for granted All generals and many lesser officers appointed by and responsible to the emperorAll generals and many lesser officers appointed by and responsible to the emperor Commanders continually shifted from place to placeCommanders continually shifted from place to place Governors were prohibited from raising their own armies and discouraged from contacting each otherGovernors were prohibited from raising their own armies and discouraged from contacting each other Not allowed to pay troops or reward bonuses Not allowed to pay troops or reward bonuses

3 SPIRITUAL CONNECTION  All soldiers were spiritually bound to the emperor Swore oath of allegiance vowing “to perform with enthusiasm whatever the emperor commands, never to desert, and not to shrink from death on behalf of the Roman state”  Not easy to incite soldiers to rebel Average rank-and-file soldier was fairly trustworthy (during first 200 years of empire)

4 CONDITIONS  Conditions of service were pretty tolerable Soldiers paid fairly well Soldiers paid fairly well Dangers faced were not particularly great Dangers faced were not particularly great Commanders were expected to win through caution rather than by boldnessCommanders were expected to win through caution rather than by boldness There were occasional disasters There were occasional disasters Such as total destruction of 3 legions commanded by General Varus by Germans during reign of AugustusSuch as total destruction of 3 legions commanded by General Varus by Germans during reign of Augustus But this was rareBut this was rare

5 ACTIVITIES  Most soldiers spent their long service in peacetime activities Going on marches and training exercises Building and maintaining roads, forts, walls, aqueducts, bridges Acting as police force in territories where they were stationed This job could get burdensome

6 POLICE PROBLEMS  Bandits and brigands were a problem As were pirates on the Mediterranean Sea and major rivers As were pirates on the Mediterranean Sea and major rivers  Runaway slaves were another big problem Special brigades created just to catch them Special brigades created just to catch them  Rebellions also sometimes occurred Usually broke out within first 20 years after a new territory had been conquered Usually broke out within first 20 years after a new territory had been conquered Most rebellious people in the empire were the Jews Most rebellious people in the empire were the Jews Masada Revolt (66-75 AD)Masada Revolt (66-75 AD) Even worse revolt ( AD)Even worse revolt ( AD)

7 THE PRICE OF REBELLION  Open challenge to imperial system was simply not allowed If troops were called in to quell a revolt or riot, they could leave a town or city in a shambles Destroyed Cremona, Lyon, and Byzantium after soldiers put down minor revolts

8 THE FRONTIER  Emperors generally content to keep what they held Some exceptions Claudius’ conquest of Britain and Trajan’s conquest of Dacia But they basically still realized that to conquer more territory would have been a losing population in terms of money and manpower


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