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The roman legions were some of the toughest soldiers to ever live and they were partially responsible for creating one of the most powerful empires of all time. Today we’re gonna take a look at some of their advanced technology and eventually the downfall of their empire. From their siege equipment to the punishment they’d receive for not following orders, here are unbelieveable facts about the roman legions.
12. Who Were the Roman Legions
The roman legions were one of the most powerful military units of the ancient world and were equipped with state of the art equipment in order to take over the known world. A legion typically was comprised of 4800 men divided into 10 cohorts with centurions taking on the commanding roles. The roman legions were similar to the greek phalanxes in a sense utilizing strong shields, and a high degree of organization. After rome evolved into a conquering nation, many skills and tactics evolved that were never seen before in ancient times. Many enemies were surprised by how quickly they could move through their territory, lay siege and conquer. As they crushed other nations in their path, they would recruit new soldiers from far away lands
11. The Gladius
The chosen sword of the infamous roman legion, the gladius was the standard issue in sword for an army that nearly took over the world. The wounds left over by these blades were enough to strike fear in the hearts of the enemy who were accustomed to arrows or javelins. Typically designed as a thrusting weapon, it’s been shown to slash pretty well and has been proven in actual cutting tests. A well placed thrust to an unarmored enemy did the job fairly quickly or even a quick cut at the ankles to immobilise the target. It can be utilised quite efficiently with a shield and not a whole lot of training is needed. Also a one handed sword it can be transported fairly easily and since the blade is shorter, your less likely to accidentally hit a member of your zombie apocalypse team.
10. Military Training
First of all, women were not allowed to join the army back in those times, and these were fiercely trained men who were had to remain in peak physical condition at all times. Part of the Roman legion military training would include and 18 miles march carrying roughly 90 pounds of supplies including weapons, shields, food rations, a cooking pot etc! Weapons training would take place each and every morning using a gladius and shields made from wood that was much heavier than their sword that they would use in battle. The romans also understood the importance of accuracy with their swords, knowing that aiming at certain weakpoints in armor was crucial when it came to hand to hand combat. Dummy javelins were also heavier than the real ones and would be fitted with a round stone tip in order to reduce injury while training. Just like today, discipline was extremely important for recruits. Many different stances and formations would be practiced for various scenarios so they’d be ready for real life combat when the time finally came
We just mentioned how discipline was important and soldiers had to be a lot more obedient in those times or it wasn’t pretty! Even just showing the slightest bit of disobedience could have serious consequences. Many were stoned to the death by their comrades for showing any kind of cowardice during battle or for even falling asleep while standing guard. Minor offenses were typically handled by the centurions would take of the problem with a vine branch that would be used as a whip. One of Centurions named lucilius acquired a nickname that translated roughly into “bring me another” because he broke a large amount of vines while striking his own men and would ask for another one.
8. Advanced Ancient Armor
Instead of armor being designed to prevent penetration from bullets, armor in ancient times needed to protect againsts, arrows, daggers, swords, spears and javelins! So there was quite a few things they needed to be designed to do. Without kevlar back in those days, their only choice for body armor was going to be metallic! Armor would vary by rank but typically they were fitted with a breast plate, a helmet and a greave on the left leg. Chain mail shirts underneath their plate armor would protect well against arrows that could piece through the outer layer of metal