Why Was the Roman Army so Successful?
The success of the Roman army is mainly attributed to a well-trained army as well as meticulous planning prior to each assault. The Roman army also used a highly successful attack technique that utilized a combination of long and short range attacks utilizing legionnaires wielding both a pila and gladius.
The fighting technique of the Roman army was developed through a specialized training regime. New soldiers were trained harshly and placed at the front of a battle charge. Experienced legionnaires were placed behind new recruits, serving a dual function of protecting experienced soldiers and limiting desertion.
A Roman army unit is referred to as a legion and is commanded by a legatus. A full legion unit consisted of approximately 5000 to 600 soldiers. The unit is then further divided into cohorts and centuries. A cohort is typically made up of 500 to 600 legionnaires while a century numbered between 80 to 100. The commanding office of a century is called a centurion.
The Roman army also used siege weaponry in war, including battering rams and siege towers. A siege tower allowed Roman soldiers to bypass high fort walls while battering rams were used to smash fortifications. Another siege weapon used by the Romans include catapults, called onagers, which could hurl stone boulders and iron bolts.