The_Roman_Army_In_The_Early_Republic

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					Title:
The Roman Army In The Early Republic

Word Count:
466

Summary:
Since the Early Roman Republic, the army was becoming a major part of the
lives of the people. Wars and battles were fought just about every year,
and it was common to have rituals to signify the beginning and end of the
campaigns for the year. During the time of the republic, the army was
solely a citizen army, and all citizens were liable for service (provided
they were financially able to own some land) within the considered
military age of seventeen to forty-six. Every ye...


Keywords:
roman army, roman society, roman legions, early republic of rome


Article Body:
Since the Early Roman Republic, the army was becoming a major part of the
lives of the people. Wars and battles were fought just about every year,
and it was common to have rituals to signify the beginning and end of the
campaigns for the year. During the time of the republic, the army was
solely a citizen army, and all citizens were liable for service (provided
they were financially able to own some land) within the considered
military age of seventeen to forty-six. Every year a selection process
took place called dilectus. All men of military age were required to
visit the capitol of Rome for possible recruitment. Citizens with
property valued at over 400 Denarii—a silver coin which was the principle
form of payment in the Roman times—were liable for service. When enrolled
in military service, the men were required to serve a maximum of sixteen
years, but often were only expected to serve six years with a callable
period for the remaining ten years. Some went into service only one year
at a time, and then would attend the selection process every year until
their six years were up. It was not uncommon that all youths who were
eligible for military service served in a campaign for a few years during
their lives.

The army also gave the chance to give glory and honor to the family name,
though there was more pressure on the rich and elite property class to do
this. This also is another important factor that affected the lives of
the Roman citizens. Serving in the army and becoming a veteran or hero
was one of the biggest honors a Roman could have. If a certain officer
gained enough power and influence through the army, he was also respected
and often times had place of leadership and power in the senate.
Therefore, the army directly was related to the balance of power within
the political realm of the empire.

In the late 3rd century B.C., the army of the Roman Republic was just
emerging as a formidable power, as they now controlled the Italian
Peninsula south of the Po River. The army was now rapidly becoming an
offensive war machine. What made the army during this period so
effective? The biggest contributor was the important trait of being able
to adapt and improve. After fighting with the Greeks and other societies
that used the famous phalanx as their main tactical formation, the Romans
adapted a more flexible and looser fighting method, which had a distinct
tactical advantage over the phalanx. Also, the struggle with Hannibal
showed that brilliant generals with inferior numbers could crush an enemy
of superior numbers with less able generals. Rome realized that they
needed to superior leadership to be an effective fighting force.

				
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posted:4/25/2010
language:English
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