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Jos Strengholt

Development of Roman Warfare – animated

History is witness to the triumph of the ancient Roman army, as evidenced from the Roman empire in its apical scope – which held sway over a major chunk of the known world, ranging from Spain to Syria (and Iraq), and from North African coasts and Egypt to most of Britain. And while this ancient military was known for its sheer discipline and incredible organizational depth (check out this superb video), the true strength of the Romans intrinsically pertained to their ability to adapt. This ambit of adaptability was demonstrated through logistics during the Second Punic War, where the Romans ultimately emerged victorious, in spite of (possibly) losing one-tenth to one-twentieth of their male population in a single battle (at Cannae). And complementing their unflinching capacity to bounce back from disastrous situations, was the evolution of Roman battle tactics over the centuries. To that end, most of the Roman tactical developments were actually ‘instigated’ by their foes, and as such many of the successes of the ancient Roman military system can be attributed to their inherent capacity to simply ‘react’.

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