The Roman Empire was the largest empire in terms of population and land occupied and still to this day. Such success hasn’t been repeated by any other empire or government despite numerous attempts. The Roman Empire can give the credit of their success to efficient administration and above all, to the Roman Legion. The legions were the core military of the Romans and usually consisted of nearly 5000 men in one legion.
According to the sources of that period, it is believed that legions were hardcore fighters that were instrumental in the growth of the Roman Empire. Legions were responsible for fighting the wars, suppressing the revolts and keeping the borders safe. They were the first-ever organized military unit that used different tactics, units, and weapons in that era.
In the early days of the Republic of Rome, legions were active for 5 years and after that, they moved back to their families. As time progressed and the republic of Rome became an empire, the legions became the regular standing army of the state although their numbers were greatly reduced. By the end of the Roman Empire, no more than a thousand men used to be present in a single legion.
How Did The Roman Legion Train?
According to the widely believed fact, to become a Roman Legion, one had to be a pure Roman ancestor. The legions were warriors and nothing else mattered to them. They started training in hand to hand combat and sword fighting at a young age of 13-16 years. They used wooden shields and swords in beginning and transitioned to the real swords and shield them as they perfected the skill. These wooden shields and swords were usually a lot heavier than what they would use on the battlefield. This was because it helped them to develop the stamina to fight for long hours with heavy equipment and when the real wars occurred, it would be easy for them to last long.
They were fed less than their requirements so that they could get used to such situations during the war. Every morning, they would use their wooden equipment to practice their fighting skills and then practice 1 on 1 combat as well.
On the other hand, they were also given basic education. Each legion was taught about various strategies, formations and methods used in wars.
The main reason for the success of the legions was the effective line of command. The head of the Roman Legions was called the Legionary Legate. Under him were Centurions, who controlled 100 men under them. The centurions appointed a deputy centurion under their command to communicate orders properly.
Importance Of Roman Legion For The Empire
People often commend the success of the Roman political system and administration and openly credit it for the success of the Empire. However, one of the biggest and the most important factors for the development and success of the empire were the legions. Roman Legions fought thousands of battles all around the borders and were victorious.
They helped the Romans to conquer the Islamic occupations in Egypt. the legions also helped them win over the Greek empire and above all ensured that civil peace is obtained. In other words, the legions fought the wars to maintain the peace that the Roman administration always promised.