The Greek And Roman Military History Essay

The Greeks and the Romans have been two great military world powers of their times. This is chiefly due to the umbilicus and land conflict tactics that they used. The ground that both military facets of these civilizations were so successful is because of their arms, armour and tactics. They both had great generals that helped to steer their military forces to triumph over many different states. The Roman military is superior to the Grecian military because of their advantages in all facets of the military and ability to accommodate to their oppositions.

One advantage the Roman ground forces had was their different types of defence. A chief portion of their defence was the armour they wore. The first article of armour worn was the Braccae. This was a piece of tight suiting fabric that went from the waist to the center of the calf and sometimes the mortise joint. These were seen more in soldiers stationed in cold clime locations. The Roman ground forces was foremost introduced to this type of armour before their conquering of Gaul ( Holmes 584 ) . This article was really helpful to the soldiers because it kept them warm and kept their apparels skin fast. This kept them warm from their articulatio genuss down which in cold conditions could be really helpful to a cold soldier. In add-on to these advantages it besides gave extra support to their mortise joints which could assist to forestall a ego inflicted hurt during combat.

Another common type of armour is the Fasciae which interlingual rendition means patchs. Although this might look like a useless piece of armour it was really helpful to soldiers stationed in cold climes ( Holmes 584 ) . This is because it insulated their upper legs and kept them warm and out of the rough status of the conditions. It besides kept their apparels skin tight which would maintain them out of the manner during combat and maintain them from catching anything on themselves which could be the difference between life and decease. Other than being an dielectric they were besides used to forestall or back up varicose venas ( 584 ) . This helped the soldiers think of more of import things other than their itchiness and cramping legs.

A really important portion to the Roman soldier ‘s armory of armour is the armour known as Greavess. Greavess are metal home bases that protect the shin down to the mortise joint, sometimes widening up to the mid thigh. Greavess can be worn on both legs or on one leg depending on the rank of the soldier and the clip period. When the soldiers advanced they used their right legs, their left being protected by their shields therefore demoing how merely one jambeau is needed ( Holmes 584 ) . These were really of import a Roman soldiers armor set. This metal home base helped to maintain the soldier protected and gave their legs protection which could be a really vulnerable topographic point on any soldier because of the deficiency of screening to the lower half of the organic structure. This armour could be the difference between maintaining a formation in line and fring it because one adult male was cut below the waist.

Another piece of armour is the lorica otherwise known as the cuirass. This piece of armour scopes from a assortment of different things. Some different designs include a leather piece of armour covered in metal and a full metal aegis, although the full metal aegis is much more common in private soldiers. They come in a assortment of manners every bit good including graduated tables and bird plume forms. There were besides all leather theoretical accounts of this piece of armour this was chiefly developed to drive troubling missiles such as pointers, the metal versions were penetrable in the articulations and therefore the leather made an imperviable barrier for the soldiers ( Holmes 584-85 ) . This could arguably be the most of import portion of a Roman soldier ‘s armour because of its country of protection. This was a aegis that protected the soldier ‘s upper organic structure and shoulders. This means that all the vital organs that would be marks by enemy soldiers are covered. This was a light but effectual armour that provided protection from both missile onslaughts every bit good as onslaughts from a blade or other slashing or knifing arms. The armour gave protection without bring downing major jobs such as loss of endurance or mobility.

Another advantage of the Roman ground forces was their shields. The scutum is the Roman soldiers shield and has a broad assortment of utilizations. The surface of the shield measured two and a half pess in breadth and four in length. The shield was around 2 inches thick and is made of two boards of wood glued together. It was so covered in canvas and so covered in cow fell. The shield was so rimmed with Fe to maintain it lasting and able to defy chopping gestures and hurt when being set on the land. In the centre of the scutum is an Fe foreman which is at that place to debar onslaughts of all sorts including missiles. This shield gave its wielders as sense of safety because of its sheer monolithic size and scope of protection. The shield could, non merely be used a protection, but as a arm every bit good. If the soldier was disarmed he could hit his enemy with the shield which could do harm to the enemy soldier and give clip for the Roman to retrieve his arm.

This shield was the chief constituent for the tortoise formation. This is when the legionnaires lock their shields together to debar missiles. This formation was a defensive formation where the legionnaires would organize a box with their shield hence doing the soldiers imperviable to missiles like pointers and rocks. This formation was peculiarly utile for nearing conflicts while under missile fire. The manner the soldiers were in formation allowed for the missiles to be deflected off of the soldiers and allowed them to progress unworried and therefore conserve energy and work forces. This besides provided the soldiers with full organic structure protection every bit good as the ability to non worry about their oppositions until they had reached them.

Other formations included the cuneus formation was a violative formation where the legionnaires formed a trigon and pushed heterosexual into the enemies formation, dividing the formation in two and affecting the enemy in such close one-fourth contending that their big blades became useless while the gladius was still to the full useable. This could be used to interrupt up a phalanx formation or any other formation for that affair ; by utilizing this formation the Roman soldiers could assail about any formation and Pierce into its nucleus and assail the soldiers that are in the center of the supporting formation. For illustration if plotted against a phalanx the phalanx would interrupt formation, this alone would be a serious blow to the formation its ego but with the added size and velocity of the gladius could wholly render the phalanx destroyed. The gladius could be drawn and swung legion times before the phalanx could drop their lances and pull their blades to prosecute the already active Romans.

The following formation is the opposite maneuver of the cuneus. It is called the proverb ; this formation was a counter to the cuneus and allowed the legionnaires to travel fast in crabwise waies and push where they saw a weak topographic point in a cuneus formation. This peculiarly utile formation helped to counter the cuneus without prolonging heavy casualties. By assailing weak musca volitanss in the formation they could derive entree into the formation and interruption it up giving the proverb formations soldiers an even opportunity to contend without worrying about really making the soldiers.

The following formation was used to drive horse. Cavalry has been the ruin of foot in many conflicts. The first row of legionnaires would organize a wall utilizing their shields and let their pila to lodge out of the wall organizing a line of expresswaies. This virtually eliminated the cavallies bear downing advantage and forced them to either dismount or seek to contend while stationary on their Equus caballus. While the equestrians were worrying about how to pierce the wall the 2nd row of foot would utilize their pila to kill or fend off any aggressors who came excessively close to the formation. Unless the horse was good trained they could all fall victim to the legionnaires pila. This formation helped to extinguish the desolation brought approximately by a well planned horse charge ; a well planned charge could kill and injure tonss of military personnels without the horse enduring heavy losingss. By utilizing a anti-cavalry formation the Romans eliminated one of the most effectual agencies of killing foot and allowed for the Roman soldiers to rule the battleground with merely infantry entirely.

The last formation is called the eyeball. This was a defensive formation that was in the form of a circle or eyeball. This was a last ditch attempt formation normally used as a last resort. The eyeball allows for protection from all sides because the soldiers are contending back to endorse therefore doing them able to maintain a good defence even if they have been divided by a cuneus formation for illustration. This rank requires a high combat accomplishment because if one falls the eyeball becomes smaller and hence more easy overwhelmed. The eyeball was a great formation if the soldiers became overrun and were waiting for supports. This manner the soldiers could remain together and non go overproduction or chased down by the enemy, in add-on the eyeball allowed for a hard-to-penetrate defence which allowed the Roman soldiers to wait for their supports to get.

One alone weapon the Roman ground forces modified and perfected was the pilum. This is a missile arm which means it is used from a scope. This arm was non designed by the Romans but was taken and modified by them. Hastati a type of Roman foot carried two different types of pila, usually one being larger and one dilutant. The pila did non merely differ in size but besides in the manner and form of the pointed caput of the lance. The most common design for the caput is in the form of a little pyramid although others were shaped like arrowheads. These lances were around six pess long with a two pes metal tip and a four pes wooden grip ( Southern 206-10 ) . By doing the pilum in two different sizes it allows it to be thrown at different distances and let for different utilizations. The shorter pilum can be thrown farther distances while the longer one can be thrown shorter and even be used as a lance like thrusting arm.

The tactics behind utilizing the pilum is to throw it and no affair what portion of the enemy it hits it will hold a negative consequence. This arm has a great perforating power and therefore could render an opposition ‘s shield useless. The host would foremost throw their pila and so shut in with their blades otherwise known as gladii ( Southern 211 )

The gladius was the chief arm of the Roman hosts and aides. The gladius is merely one of the many different blades used by the Romans. This swords design was taken from their runs in Spain. The design was normally in the form of an stretched out foliage or a consecutive blade with a short point. The grip of these blades were typically made of wood, bone or tusk. They besides had grooved grips to do certain the user had a good clasp on the blade. Gladii were good at cut downing and thrusting. The blade was usually worn on the right side which did non do the soldiers shields to acquire in the manner when pulling the gladius. Worn on the opposite side was the pugio. This one pes sticker was used for ornament every bit good as close combat state of affairss. These stickers were much more adorned than their larger cousin the gladius ( Southern 212-13 ) .

Another blade used by the Romans was the spatha. This is a blade chiefly used by horse but subsequently was used by foot every bit good. This longer blade was rounded at the terminal unlike the gladius which was pointed. The grips were made of wood, on occasion coated in metal ( Southern 212-13 ) .

There is besides the ranged facet of Roman arms the primary being bows and pointers. In add-on to bows and arrows they besides used slings to throw stones. The bows used by the Roman ground forces were composite bows which means that they were made of a legion stuffs glued together to organize a harder hitting stronger bow. The arrowheads used were made of Fe and were normally shaped in trigons and some on occasion in squares. These bows were non used by horse because they needed igniter bows that were easy to steer ( Southern 211 ) . Although the sling might look crude the Roman ground forces refined the sling to do it wing straighter, faster and hit the mark harder. The bowmans used by the Romans preformed the simple undertaking of supplying support to the foot while they were nearing the conflict, by making this they can thin the ranks of the nearing enemy military personnels and still let their foot to progress without the menace of the enemy foot assailing them with medium ranged arms such as a pilim.

The Romans besides used heavy weapon in their conflicts. There were two different types of Roman heavy weapon individual rock throwsters and dual rock throwsters. These are known by the name catapult and merely fire rocks. The catapulta fired pointers or bolts but non rocks. The modified version of this arm is called a Scorpio and fires two bolts at a clip alternatively of one like its cousin the catapulta. The catapult ‘s larger challenger is called the catapult. This arm was capable of throwing really big rocks and is ill-famed for its monolithic boot after each launch. The besieging arms used by the Romans were indistinguishable to the arms used by the Greeks ( Holmes 582 ) . These arms were peculiarly helpful for the storming of metropoliss. Without the besieging arms the walls that protected the metropoliss would non be broken and the metropolis could non be put under besieging. In add-on to puting besieging to the enemy fortresses the besieging arms could besides be used to do monolithic desolation to the other ground forcess by interrupting up formations and supplying long scope heavy support to the military personnels.

Roman soldiers had rations of nutrient merely like any other soldier did. A typical legionnaire would transport his rations for around 16 yearss. The soldiers could hold carried more nutrient but so they would go over burdened. The Romans besides learned to compact their nutrient when battalion animate beings were non available for usage ( Holmes 585 ) . This meant they could pack more nutrient in smaller infinites and salvage the infinite for more of import things like armour and arms.

The legati were officers appointed by the senate and were responsible to give advice to whoever they were assigned to ( Holmes 563 ) . The legati were Caesars lieutenants and they preformed any responsibility given to them. This meant they could command an ground forces one twenty-four hours and manus out nutrient rations the following. “ It is deserving adverting that Caesar sometimes appointed a legatus whom he specially trusted to the bid of several hosts. ” ( Holmes 564 ) this shows that these officers were merely approximately every bit versatile as Caesar wanted them to be.

The Roman ground forces did non merely consist of foot soldiers but besides of horse. There were two chief types of horse in the Roman ground forces, heavy and light horse. The heavy horses primary usage was to counter other horse tactics and to maintain the foot from being trampled and broken up by the enemies light horse and their Equus caballus bowmans. Rome ‘s light horse wore no armour or saddle, merely a rope around their cervix for their riders. The light horse carried a little unit of ammunition shield made of leather. They wielded legion short javelins and because of their velocity were known for hassling their enemies at a distance and utilizing skirmishing tactics to thin the enemy ‘s foot lines. The light horse were besides used for reconnoitering and scuppering enemy military personnels. The horse was formed into alae which were formations of three hundred or four 100 troopers ; they were attached to the hosts and supported them in their conflicts ( Holmes 579 ) .

The monolithic Roman ground forces needed a agency of transit in order to maintain their tools, heavy weapon, nutrient, and vesture with the ground forces it ‘s self. To counter this motion Logistic systems were developed and during the Punic Wars the system greatly increased. At first there was non a great demand for this system because Rome ‘s early runs were close to Rome itself. This made it unneeded for great supply lines to be built. But as Rome ‘s influence grew their runs became further and further off. Finally the ground forcess alternatively of coming place in the winter were forced to remain during the winter which meant the supply lines received great usage. When these supply lines did non stretch to the conflict grounds the Romans had other techniques of acquiring their supplies, these methods included forage, requisition and plundering for their nutrient. The nutrient and equipment was carried by both the soldiers themselves or in carts, waggons and battalion animate beings. Different troops besides received different rations. For illustration Polybius said that a Roman horse soldier would have more rations for his Equus caballus than an allied trooper ( 6.39.12-14 ) .

A outstanding Greek soldier was the hoplite ; these basic soldiers were largely trained citizens who fought in all wars that presented themselves. These soldiers wielded lances and fought in the phalanx formation. These free citizens were responsible for exerting their ain arms and armour. In most Grecian city states the citizens received small military developing the exclusions being of class the Lacedaemonian and Athenian citizens who both trained until they were at least 60. Macedonian conquerings shortly led to the forsaking of the hoplite in stead of the phalangite. These more advanced soldiers were developed by Alexander the Great and his male parent.

The armour of the hoplite was much worse than that of the Romans. The hoplites armor consisted of a bronze aegis, cracklings, and a helmet. The helmet had cheek home bases which limited the visibleness that the hoplite had along with obstructed is hearing and overall consciousness. The cracklings were made of solid bronze and were really heavy and cumbrous. Although they did protect the mortise joint to the articulatio genus of the hoplite they were had to steer in and were really hot and palling to have on. They limited the hoplites motion by adding monolithic weight to the hoplites pess. In add-on to the cracklings and helmet there is besides the aegis of the hoplite. The aegis was made wholly of bronze and covered the hoplite from the thorax to his lower venters ( Snodgrass 77 ) . The armour worn did protect the hoplite but at the same clip did more harm that good. This is because with all the armour worn the soldiers could run the hazard of overheating and desiccation themselves early in the conflict. In add-on the armour being made of wholly bronze would go a really heavy load on the soldier and cause weariness early. The sheer size on the equipment worn made the hoplites manoeuvrability really bad and caused him to be more of a bronze suit than a soldier. They could assail but one time they were tiered it would do them an easy mark for lighter armoured enemy military personnels.


The arm used by the phalangite was called a sarissa. This was a spear that ranged anyplace from 13 to around 21 pess in length. This lance was foremost introduced by Alexander the Great ‘s male parent Philip II. This lance was normally used in the Grecian Macedonian phalanx formation. The sarissa was made of wood and weighed anyplace from 12 to 15 lbs depending on the length. The lance had a short spike on the underside which was used to delve into the land to halt any bear downing enemy in its way. The blade at the terminal was leaf molded and made of Fe. The spike at the terminal was non merely for delving into the land but besides for equilibrating the lance which made it easier for soldiers to command. The spike besides served as an excess arm in the instance that the chief spike broke.

The lances weight and size prevented it from being a one handed arm and hence changed the manner of contending. The lance required two custodies to exert hence presenting a new shield to utilize. The pelta as the shield was named was a little 20 four inch shield that was suspended from the cervix to cover merely the shoulder of the soldier. The spear and manner of contending used provided a great advantage against the soldier ‘s enemies. Due to the length of the lance it could out run about any enemy and hence kept their enemies at a length. Although this arm seems to hold no defects it did hold one great disadvantage, that being one time an enemy was past the lances tip the arm became merely about useless. The arm besides required complicated preparation with the full phalanx formation and the formation must all be in unison or else the formation will non work decently. The formation would process into conflict in a loose formation and as the enemy would near the formation would fasten up and make a wall of lances that was five rows in so that even if a soldier passed the first row of expresswaies there were more to halt him. The Macedonian phalanx was impenetrable from the forepart but an onslaught from either sides or the rear could badly stultify the formation ( Sidebottom 86 ) .

The phalanx formation was the typical Grecian conflict formation. This formation consisted of hoplite military personnels locking their shields together and the first rows of soldiers projecting their lances out over the shields. The terminal consequence of this formation was to make a wall with lances stick outing out. This formation made a frontal assault on the formation really hard to perforate. If this formation was non on level land it could go useless, hence the Greeks looked for level terrain to conflict on for the intent of maintaining the formation in working status. The phalanx had a really slow processing gait they kept this gait even when traveling into conflict. This was necessary because if they decided to run they could lose formation and that would render them useless. The quotation mark by Herodotus shows that sometimes the formation had to run. “ They were the first Greeks we know of to bear down their enemy at a tally. “ ( Herodotus 153-54 ) in this instance they were running to minimise casualties that would be incurred by the slow gait while taking fire from bowmans. Once the pes soldiers clash the work forces of the front line are relied on for their strength and endurance while the center and back ranks are pressing frontward to maintain the formation from traveling. This would do the conflict become a forcing lucifer and one time the phalanx won the lucifer they would strike and so reiterate the procedure.

There was a leader in each row of a phalanx formation every bit good as a rear leader to maintain the dorsum of the formation from forcing excessively much or excessively small. This formation relied extremely on swearing your companions and protecting them. Therefore if one adult male in the phalanx is non making his occupation than the phalanx will non work like it is meant to. Because of this the formation was organized a certain manner that made every soldier protect their neighbours. The formation would hold close friends and household grouped together to guarantee that each soldier would make their occupation to the best of his ability. This would besides forestall a individual hoplite from flying because they did non desire to hold their close friends and household see the shame of flying.

A leader in the Roman foot is the centurion, the commanding officer of a centuria. Centuries contained anyplace from 80 to one-hundred soldiers, at one-hundred soldiers the unit was considered to be at full strength. During subsequently periods this figure was changed to duplicate and half-strength therefore increasing and diminishing the size when needed. Centurions could be appointed by the senate and elected. Other than being a political competition soldiers could besides progress through the ranks to accomplish this rank. The centurions did non populate long as commanding officers being as they fought aboard the soldiers that they commanded. They did non fight and bid from the dorsum by shouting out bids they were on the forepart lines taking by illustration. This could animate the military personnels and assist them to accomplish the rank of centurion by demoing their accomplishment and conflict art.

Besides their courage on the battleground there were besides many physical grounds that a soldier was promoted of elected to the rank of centurion. The first few being their size, strength and their accomplishment with ranged arms every bit good as scrimmage. The centurion must besides be able to follow orders without inquiry and maintain his soldiers disciplined. This meat that the soldiers armour and

Battle of Alesia

Caesar V Vercingetorix

Rome V Gallic folk

Reason for conflict and Backround

Description of the conflict

Importance of the conflict

The wake and consequences of the conflict

Battle of thermopye

Alexander the Great V Darius III

Macedonian V Irani

Give background

Give grounds for the conflict

Describe the conflict

Give penetration to the wake

There are many other Grecian military units other than the hoplite. One in specific is the peltast. While the hoplite was to a great extent armored the peltast was lightly armored. The lone armour worn was some cloth apparels and a helmet. Although they were equipped with a shield it was a light wicker shield called a pelte. The peltast carried multiple javelins and on occasion a lance. These were a medium ranged missile which when combined with the tactics used helped to do the peltast a worthy opposition. They had two primary types of tactics. The first being to protect the sides and rear of a hoplite formation, the 2nd being more of a hit and run tactic. When the hoplite formation marched towards the peltast formation the peltasts would throw their javelins at the hoplites and one time the hoplites came near the peltasts would fall back and reiterate the procedure. This gave the assailing hoplite formation a good opportunity to perplex their formation and hence become really venerable to assailing military personnels.

Psiloi on the other manus have no armour at all. They are wholly ranged military personnels and can be armed with legion ranged arms. Their arms range from a bow and arrows to a sing and on some occasions a javelin. The psiloi seldom used shields and fought on the forepart lines before either enemy had clashed. They would fire their arms and hassle the enemy formations traveling towards them. Their chief intent was to thin the ranks of the enemy before the chief formations clashed. The psiloi were citizens who could non afford to purchase the armour and arms of a hoplite or peltast.

The Greeks did non utilize monolithic sums of horse but some ground forcess were equipped with little Numberss of horse. There were two types of horse, visible radiation and heavy. Light horse were typically unarmoured work forces and Equus caballuss. They carried merely javelins and were used for reconnoitering or fast skirmishing techniques. They besides did non utilize shields because they needed to be every bit fast as possible. Heavy Grecian horse fought in a closer formation and wore leather and metal armour. They were armed with a shield and javelins every bit good as a lance. They would tread non hoplites to decease because they did non necessitate to worry about the type of formations that the hoplites used.

The Greek navy consisted of one chief ship the trireme. This ship was a really various ship that led to many Grecian naval triumphs. While the Greek naval forces was active it was one of the most powerful. During their epoch triremes were the best naval engineering available and could out maneuver and out run about any ship in the H2O. A typical trireme was one-hundred and 20 pess long and had around one-hundred and 70 oarsmans spread between three rows. The trireme was built for velocity and was non meant for the unfastened sea. If put on the unfastened sea the trireme would hold a great inclination to drop due to its little stature, this little stature did do the trireme excel at close combat conflicts. The triremes tactic consisted of many different factors. One tactic involved pounding the enemy boat and so get oning the ship until the trireme could be freed from the enemy ‘s hull. Once freed the enemy ship would drop and there would be no injury to the trireme. Another tactic involved circling the enemy vas and finally hitting the oars off of the ship. This caused the ship to be immobile and hence useless during the conflict. The triremes little size and velocity besides made a tactical flight a good determination during unfavourable conflicts.

The trireme was non of class the lone ship the Greeks used in their naval forces, although it was the most advanced and of import. The trireme did hold predecessors, the penteconter and the bireme. The penteconter was a ship built back when there was no differentiation between war vessels and merchandiser ships, as a consequence this ship could be used for trade, warfare and transporting military personnels. The penteconter was rowed by 50 work forces traditionally arranged in one row of 20 five on each side of the vas. A typical penteconter was described as a long ship that did non hold a full deck. The vas was between 20 eight and thirty three metres long. The bireme was a ship really similar to the trireme which is a larger more improved version of the bireme. The bireme was twenty four metres long. This is the advanced version of the penteconters but the bireme had two sets of oars on each side of the ship. The bireme was a war vessel and was non meant for merchandisers to utilize. This ship was the precursor to the trireme, and after traveling through a series of alterations the bireme became the trireme and the majority of the Greek naval forces.

The Battle of Salamis is an illustration of a conflict where the turning point in a war is decided by one naval conflict. The Battle of Salamis was fought between the Greeks and the Persian Empire. This conflict took topographic point after the historic Battle of Thermopylae on land and the Battle of Artemisium on the sea. The Greeks suffered heavy losingss in both conflicts and the Persians went on to busy both Boeotia and Attica. By this point the Greeks had prepared a defense mechanism at the Isthmus of Corinth and the Greek naval forces was placed at Salamis Island. The Grecian naval forces was immensely outmanned and outnumbered by the Iranian naval forces. The conflict result favored the Iranian naval forces and when Themistocles convinced Grecian forces to remain and contend the Persian fleet, it was a despairing effort to win a conflict every bit good as prevent the Iranian progress against the chief Grecian city states ( Herodotus 215-16 ) . Xerxes was besides going impatient of waiting to win the war and was looking for a decisive conflict to convey about the concluding push of his forces and win the war.

As a consequence Xerxes planned to pin down the Grecian naval forces in on both sides and destruct it but this program backfired and caused the loss of the conflict ( Herodotus 220-21 ) . With both entrywaies to the Straits of Salamis blocked and the Persians filing in it created the same state of affairs as the Battle of Thermopylae which worked against the Persians numerical advantage go forthing most of the combat to skill ( Herodotus 222 ) . The Iranian ships became baffled and were excessively packed to travel. As a consequence the smaller Grecian ships were still able to steer and organize a line and brought an terminal to the conflict by capturing or droping a big sum of the Iranian ships. The Grecian fleet lost merely a few ships. This disquieted Xerxes so he returned to Asia with a bulk of his forces and left Mardonius in charge of finishing the conquest of Greece ( Herodotus 225-28 ) . The following twelvemonth nevertheless the staying Iranian forces were beaten at the Battle of Plataea on land and the Battle of Mycale on the sea ( Herodotus 234-37 ) .

The Romans had a much vaster navy than that of the Greeks during their clip period. Unlike the Greeks who had merely a few different ships all with a bulk of the same uses the Romans had different ships for different state of affairss. They had no existent naval force because they had no demand for one until the First Punic War. The Romans shortly realized that naval warfare would be a major factor in the war with Carthage. After retrieving some of the Carthaginian engineering and blending it with their ain the Romans began to build triremes and quinqueremes to add to their naval forces. The quinqueremes were the majority of the Roman naval forces and were the strongest war vessel developed of its clip. When the First Punic War began the Romans had a fleet of around one hundred quinqueremes and 20 triremes. They acquired the design for the quinquereme through a shipwrecked 1 that belonged to the Carthaginians ; the Romans did modify what they had found by doing their design much heavier. The typical crew of one of these monolithic ships was around 400,000, many being rowers and Mariness. This monolithic ship had ninety oars on each side of the ship with five work forces per oar. A ground for doing the switch from triremes to quinqueremes is that the quinqueremes could go safer across the oceans than the triremes. The Romans of class had merely had this new engineering for a short sum of clip while the Carthaginians had possessed this ship design for many old ages. This gave the Carthaginians a great upper manus when engaging in naval warfare.

To counterbalance for their deficiency of accomplishment the Romans devised a particular device that helped to convey Rome ‘s ground forces to the sea. This device is called the Corvus and it helped the Romans to contend. It is a boarding device used for transporting mass sums of military personnels from ship to transport. The device is described by Polybius as a 1.2 metres broad span that is 10.9 metres long, incorporating railings on both sides to maintain the soldiers from falling when traversing ships. This span was worked by a block system that allowed it to be raised and lowered at any clip. On the underside of the Corvus there was a individual or line of spikes that ‘s intent was to root the enemy boat in topographic point and maintain a steadfast clasp on the vass and kept the span house while the legionnaires crossed it. Rome had no naval potency when the war against Carthage broke out. Rome had merely campaigned inside of the Italian peninsula which required less naval work so it defined Rome ‘s assets as land strength because they had no demand for naval warfare. The Corvus allowed the use of Rome ‘s soldiers to antagonize the superior naval advantage that Carthage had. Although the Corvus did hold its many advantages it did hold some jobs. A major job was that the device could non be used in unsmooth sea conditions. This meant that during or after a storm the device was useless and forced the Romans to trust on their naval accomplishments. In add-on the weight of the Corvus offset the quinquereme ‘s place in the H2O and during unsmooth Waterss could compromise the ships safety for this ground the fleets were forced to abandon their Corvus to maintain their ships afloat. By making this they could no longer utilize the Corvus in another conflict. This device became disused as the naval contact between Rome and Carthage escalated. The as the conflicts continued the Romans tactics and the accomplishment of their military personnels improved and they lost the demand for the Corvus because they could vie equally with the Carthaginians.

Besides the trireme and the quinqueremes the Romans besides used another type of ship that ship was called the liburna. The ship had a ramming portion underneath the ship unlike the ship it evolved into, that ship being really similar to a bireme. Because of the size of the liburna the ship could get the better of much larger and heavier ships due to its little size and velocity. The ship was around 30 three metres long and 5 metres broad. The ship had 18 oars on each side of the ship and two rows of rowers on each side. After the Romans took the design from the Liburnians they made alterations as they saw tantrum. Most of these alterations were to assist it suit into the Roman ‘s naval forces. The chief alterations made did impact the ships velocity but the alterations that were made helped to maintain the ship in contending status for a longer period of clip. The chief alterations were to add a better working random-access memory and more shielding from missile onslaughts. These ships were non used in monolithic fleets like the other Roman ships but were separately run. They did non hold the demand to remain linked in a formation. The liburna had many functions including exploratory survey and supporting Roman Waterss from plagiarists.

One conflict that exemplifies the Roman ‘s naval high quality is the Battle of the Aegates Islands. This conflict took topographic point during the First Punic War when Rome lacked a fleet. The conflicts before Egadi islandss were minor and for the most portion non many conflicts took topographic point. The Roman ‘s fleet had been destroyed during the Battle of Drepana every bit good as the monolithic storm that took topographic point after the conflict. The Punic forces did non take advantage of the Roman ‘s nonexistent naval forces and focused their attending on land conflicts on Sicily. By the clip that Carthage was ready to take advantage of the state of affairs Rome had built another naval forces and was ready to give naval conflicts a 2nd attempt. Their fleet consisted of two 100 quinqueremes all built by private citizens who decided to demo their trueness and wage for the ships. After larning their lesson during the Battle of Drepana and the storm that followed it the Romans improved their ship design doing them much more immune to endure. They besides abandoned the Corvus due to the fact that it added to the ships opportunity of being damaged during a storm. The naval forces besides decided to bore the crews strictly so they would hold a greater apprehension of the manoeuvres and exercisings used ; as a consequence the Roman naval forces was in its premier both in Numberss and contending ability of the military personnels. Punic forces did non allow the intelligence of their enemies new navy autumn on deaf ears one time the Carthaginians caught word of this freshly assembled Roman navy they began to build one of their ain. This fleet was about two hundred and 50 war vessels.

With the freshly assembled navy the commanding officer Gaius Lutatius Catulus decided to obstruct the two Sicilian ports of Lilbaeum and Drepana. These ports were controlled by Carthage and the aim of the encirclements was to break up all of the Carthaginians supplies and communications in and out of these seaports. For a twelvemonth the Romans blockaded the ports waiting for Carthage to direct a response. As the twelvemonth passed the Punic fleet arrived to destruct the encirclement, the Punic leader Hanno the Great called his fleet to halt near the Aegates islands to wait for the right air current and current to convey an component of surprise onto the Romans. The Romans spotted the fleet and Catulus took the encirclement to run into Hanno caput on. That forenoon Hanno set canvas, the air currents were in his favour and he was ready to get down his onslaught. The Romans had considered non sailing because of they would be sailing against the air current and would hold a terrible disadvantage. They decided to sail and lowered their masts and other equipment that could restrict their manoeuvrability in the H2O. Because the Romans had abandoned their unneeded points they had a great mobility advantage against the Carthaginians. The Punic ships had been stocked with work forces, supplies and military personnels to assist squelch this encirclement and were hence crowded and over packed. This late build naval forcess besides had undertrained crews and the ships were build really fast and hence were non of the best quality. Within a short period of clip the Roman fleet gained an upper manus in the conflict and destroyed and captured about half of the Carthaginian fleet. As the air current shifted the Carthaginian fleet began to withdraw the Romans were forced to remain where they were and non prosecute the enemy because they had abandoned their canvass and hence could non maintain up with the flying naval forces. With this triumph the Romans spurred on to siege the metropolis of Lilybaeum and erased the Punic forces from Sicily and therefore brought an terminal to the First Punic War.

Annotated Bibliography

Erdkamp, Paul. A Companion to the Roman Army. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007. Print.

Part two chiefly the conflict tactics and legionary construction every bit good as the age of oversea enlargement.

Forsythe, Gary. A Critical History of Early Roma: from Prehistory to the First Punic War. Berkeley: University of California, 2005. Print.

Hanson, Victor Davis. The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece. New York: Knopf, 1989. Print.

Section one the Greeks and modern warfare was primaryily, the parts focused on were portion four the hoplite and his phalanx, every bit good as subdivision two the ordeal of the hoplite the portion focused on is portion six the load of hoplite weaponries and armour.

Herodotus. The Histories. Trans. Walter Blanco. New York: Norton, 1992 Print.

The conflicts of Philip II of Macedon and the licking of the Grecian metropoliss every bit good as the decease of Philip II and his sequence by Alexander the Great.

Holmes, Thomas Rice Edward. Caesars Conquest of Gaul. Oxford: At the Clarendon, 1911. Print.

Section VI chiefly used for vesture and armour of Caesar ‘s foot the heavy weapon and horse every bit good as the names and places of certain Roman soldiers. In add-on the conflicts that took topographic point between Gaul and Caesar ‘s hosts.

M’Crindle, John Watson. The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, . New York: Barnes & A ; Noble, 1969. Print.

Arrian ‘s and Plutarch ‘s history of Alexander ‘s conquering of India primarly used for illustrations of tactics and to disgunish the units used.

Polybius. The Histories. Trans. W. R. Paton. Vol. II. New York: G.P. Putnam ‘s Sons, 1928. Print.

Concentrating on the 3rd book particularly the beginning which provides information about the Hannibalic War, largely the naval contact between Rome and Carthage.

Sidebottom, Harry. Ancient Warfare: a Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004. Print.

Contending provided penetration to both Roman and Greek units and the equipment used.

Snodgrass, Anthony M. , and Anthony M. Snodgrass. Weaponries and Armor of the Greeks. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999. Print.

Chapter III the usage of the hoplite was the primary information used in the book in peculiar the coming of the hoplite and the spread of hoplite armour.

Southern, Pat. The Roman Army: a Social and Institutional History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Print.

Focused on chapter six tools of war, this gave me a majority of my information for my arms used and a little sum of the tactics behind them.

“ Roman Army Tactics. ” The Roman Empire. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; . This site was used for its description of the tactics the Roman foot used during conflict

Plants Consulted

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