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Roman Military Strategy and Tactics

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1 Roman Military Strategy and Tactics
“War can only end in eventual victory”

2 Terms Scutum- large rectangular shield carried by Roman legionnaires
Hastati- younger soldier, early form of the legionnaire Velites- light infantry, missile thrower Triarii- 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) Scutum- large rectangular shield carried by Roman legionnaires Legionnaire- a member of an army (legion), usually used to describe the standard heavy infantry of the Imperial Roman Army Pilum- heavy spear, could be thrown as a javelin with an effective range of 20 meters Contubernium- squad of eight men Maniple- subdivision of a legion consisting of either 60 or 120 men. Cohort- division of legion made up of 480 men Century- division of cohort consisting of 80 men (originally 100)

3 Rome Under the Etruscan Kings
Prior to the republic the Roman Army resembled a Macedonian phalanx. Cavalry used defensively Equipment and rank based on wealth

4 It has come to the triarii!
Rome Adapts… Completely 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!

5 REALLY Adapts New Helmets! New Shields!

6 Rome Still Missing Something…
Up until the Second Punic War Rome had no generals that stood out from the crowd… Until…

7 The Shield and Sword of Rome
Quintus Fabius Maximus (Cunctator) Marcus Claudius Marcellus

8 More Importantly Though…
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus

9 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 self-sufficient, distrusted allies Destroyed other Carthaginian forces before engaging Hannibal Took advantage of outdated enemy tactics

10 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

11 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

12 In Order to Gauge the Enemy’s Strength…
Skirmishing Formation

13 Uh oh… Light Cavalry Repel Cavalry

14 Standard Formations

15 Ace in the Hole The Wedge (Pig’s Head)

16 If Things Take A Turn for the Worse…
The Orb

17 Standards of a Legion and a Maniple
The Roman Standards Standards of a Legion and a Maniple Aquilifer

18 To reach the gates… The Tortoise

19 Sieges

20 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

21 Roman Ingenuity Siege Tower Battle of Pydna

22 Naval Warfare Quinquereme Trireme

23 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…

24 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.

25 An Empire Split, An Army Reformed
Diocletian splits the empire, reforms defense plan Comitatenses, limitanei Theodosius and Constantine further reform army… Magister Peditum, Magister Equitum

26 Roman Tactics Used Today

27 “My mother bore a general, not a warrior”

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