The Roman Army reached its peak during the imperial period. It provided Rome with the power to extend its borders to include much of Europe and the Middle East. But as Rome started to increase its territory it made it difficult for the army to defend it. As other empires started to grow and invaded Rome Number of times the Roman army crumbled and eventually fell. At the beginning of Roman history the Roman military was made up of number of divisions, they equipped themselves with armor they made for the number of wars they were in.
The Roman military was made up of untrained citizens who got together to defend their homes. As time passed the military became powerful. One of the military units and consisted of many divisions was a legion, which had 6, 000 soldiers. A legate or a representative commanded it and his staff consisted of 6 highly trained motivated soldiers.
A legion was made up of 10 cohorts, each cohort had 6 centuries. One century consisted of 80-100 men and was lead by a centurion, who was a professional soldier. Auxiliary forces were also part of a legion, they were divided into cohorts of 500 to 1, 000. Auxiliary forces were mainly used to keep peace in areas of areas that broke out in rage to over throw the emperor of Rome. Another force, called the Praetorian Guard, was charged with the protection of the emperor, this Guard consisted of 9 or 12 cohorts. A tribune commanded each cohort and the entire guard was commanded by two perfects which were the best leaders and soldiers that the Roman military had to offer and they were the best equipped.
Soldiers on the field marched up to 24 miles in a day. They would build camps and each on was created and design the same so that soldiers could easily find there way in the dark, no matter where they were. When the soldiers weren, t fighting, they would do civic work like repair buildings and roads, each soldier was obligated to remain in the army for 20 years. The last division it had was their navy which consisted of 2, 000 sailors and guards. This navy came in use during the Punic wars. The average soldier wore a helmet made of copper of iron that protected his cheeks, neck and head.
They wore mail-constructed rings sewn to a leather cuirass. Every soldier was required to wear a linen or wool tunic that stopped short of the soldier, s knees. Soldier, s boots were made of leather and would last on average about 6 months. Legionaries carried shields that were made of two piles of wood and were sealed together by copper or iron along the edge. Weapons carried by a foot soldier included a dagger, javelin and sword, all foot soldiers and cavalry carried the same type thin bladed sword, the javelin, was used for short range attacks. When it came down to battling some soldiers were left with no armor to protect themselves.
The praetorian guards got the best armor there was.