Roman Legion 9. Legio VI Victrix VideoThe Roman Legion
Many legionaries became devotees in the cult of the minor goddess Disciplina , whose virtues of frugality, severity and loyalty were central to their code of conduct and way of life.
Montesquieu wrote that "the main reason for the Romans becoming masters of the world was that, having fought successively against all peoples, they always gave up their own practices as soon as they found better ones.
Examples of ideas that were copied and adapted include weapons like the gladius Iberians and warship design cf.
Carthaginians' quinquereme , as well as military units, such as heavy mounted cavalry and mounted archers Parthians and Numidians.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Roman legion disambiguation. See also: List of Roman legions. Ancient heavy infantry unit of 1, to 5, men.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Structural history. Army Unit types and ranks Decorations and punishments Legions.
Auxilia Generals. Fleets Admirals. Campaign history. Wars and battles. Technological history. Military engineering Castra Siege engines. Triumphal arches Roads.
Political history. Strategy and tactics. Infantry tactics. Frontiers and fortifications. Main article: Structural history of the Roman military.
Main articles: Roman army , Military history of ancient Rome , and Structural history of the Roman military. Main article: Early Roman army.
Main article: Roman army of the mid-Republic. Main article: Roman army of the late Republic. Main article: Imperial Roman army. Main article: Late Roman army.
Main article: Roman military decorations and punishments. Play media. Ancient Rome portal War portal.
Archaeology and Science. Complete Roman Army. Studies in the Auxilia of the Roman Army. Frontiers of the Roman empire.
See table in article "Auxiliaries Roman military " for compilation of this data. New York, Routledge, pp. The Late Roman Army. Septimius Severus: The African Emperor.
Another complication is the likelihood of a double-sized first cohort beginning during the Principate. In addition to the legionaries, there were also auxiliaries who were mainly non-citizens, and a navy.
The term legion also denotes the military system by which imperial Rome conquered and ruled the ancient world. The expanding early Roman Republic found the Greek phalanx formation too unwieldy for fragmented fighting in the hills and valleys of central Italy.
Accordingly, the Romans evolved a new tactical system based on small and supple infantry units called maniples. Each maniple numbered men in 12 files and 10 ranks.
Maniples drew up for battle in three lines, each line made up of 10 maniples and the whole arranged in a checkerboard pattern. Conversely, the second line could merge with the first to form a solid front 10 ranks deep and m 1, feet wide.
In the third line, 10 maniples of light infantry were supplemented by smaller units of reserves. The three lines were 75 m feet apart, and from front to rear one maniple of each line formed a cohort of men; this was the Roman equivalent of a battalion.
Ten cohorts made up the heavy-infantry strength of a legion, but 20 cohorts were usually combined with a small cavalry force and other supporting units into a little self-supporting army of about 10, men.
From then on, historians state that the legion was under the command of either Lepidus or Marc Antony, both being members of the Second Triumvirate.
The legion went on to stay in Egypt for more than a century and a half and became so adapted to Egyptian culture that many Cyrenaica legionaries started to worship the Egyptian god Ammon.
Many of the conservative Roman republicans had fled to Greece. The Legio IV got its first taste of action in the battles of Dyrrhachium and Pharsalus when Caesar scored a decisive victory over Pompey.
The legion then settled in the province of Macedonia whereupon it became known as the Macedonica Legion. Soon, Caesar enlisted the Macedonica Legion to fight in his campaign against the Parthians.
But right around this time, he was brutally murdered and plans for the Parthian invasion were called off.
Mark Antony seized the opportunity to tap in the Macedonica force and actively involved it in his campaigns in eastern Italy.
It has been documented that the Roman commander was particularly impressed by the bravery and heroics of Legio IX in the battle against the Nervians.
When Caesar fell, the legion was again levied into the Roman military by his heir Octavian. Commander Octavian immediately tasked it with annexing the city of Sicily which was then under the control of his arch enemy Sextus Pompeius.
The Legio Hispana Triumphalis, along with other legions enlisted in the campaign by Octavian, soon brought the whole of Sicily under Roman rule.
Once Sicily was annexed, Octavian declared himself the emperor and became Augustus. He also sent the Ninth Legion to maintain control of the Balkans.
It was around 43 AD when the legion was brought back into action in the Roman invasion of Britain. Historians state that the legion suffered a massive defeat at the Battle of Camulodunum during the infamous rebellion of Boudica.
A huge number of legionaries was killed and whatever force remained was then used to reinforce the Germania provinces. Spearmen would deploy themselves in tightly packed rows to form a shield wall with their spears pointing forwards.
There were now three lines of soldiers when in battle formation. Roman soldiers had to purchase their own equipment. Each of these three lines was subdivided into maniples, each consisting of two centuries of 60 men commanded by the senior of the two centurions.
Centuries were normally 60 soldiers each at this time in the hastati and principes no longer men. The mid Republican legion had a nominal strength of about men.
Later on the legions were made up of 80 strong centuries. Each century had its standard and was made up of ten units of eight soldiers who shared a tent, millstone, a mule and cooking pot depending on duration of tour.
Throughout Rome's Late Republic, the legions played an important political role. By the 1st century BC the threat of the legions under a demagogue was recognized.
Roman Governors were not allowed to leave their provinces with their legions.