Go to Content The Armies of the Roman Republic In order to discover what made the Roman army so successful during times of war, we must first understand the types of men that made up the Roman army. If we acquire a better understanding of the different units and soldiers that the Romans used on the battlefield, we can then paint a clearer picture of the organization and tactics of the Roman army and how those carried them to victory over their many foes.
Here, firearms, spears and bows are shown co-existing side by side. Large parts of the African continent lack the advantages other continents have in facilitating the spread of ideas, materials and technology.
Europe's East-West axis, for example, facilitated the spread of animals like horsesand important food crops like wheat. Over time, it also benefited from a number innovations originating elsewhere, such as gunpowderprinting and the compass.
Ability to leverage resources like the mass requisitioning or availability of grain supplies for example, were critical for the deployment of large armies over an extended period. As historian John Thornton notes, the environment determined the type of military deployed by African states.
The tsetse fly disease belt- which decimates horses, people and load-bearing animals, Lack of navigable rivers and good natural harbors - hindering timely movement of technology, men and material, and Poor soils that cannot produce grains such as wheat or rice in significant quantities—the staples of the mass armies of Europe and Asia.
All of these factors impact huge swathes of Africa, with corresponding effects on indigenous military systems and the numbers available for battle.
Even if there had not been a technological gap between African and European armies, or a pressing need for European troops elsewhere, it would rarely have been necessary to send large armies to Africa. The "savage hordes" of popular lore seldom materialized on African battlefields.
Because of its 'exceptionally hostile environment, its ancient rocks, poor soils, fickle rainfall, abundant insects, and unique prevalence of disease', Africa remained 'an under populated continent until the late twentieth century'.
Few African states in the late nineteenth century were capable of fielding armies even remotely as large as those routinely assembled for war in Europeand the same conditions that kept African populations small also militated against deployment of large European armies in Africa.
As one British military historian has put it, there were 'no agricultural revolutions here [in Africa] to allow large-scale requisitioning".
Military innovation and change in Africa also reflects the internal dynamism of the continent's peoples, political organization and culture. Like other regions of the world, this pattern sometimes proceeded in both revolutionary and incremental fashion.
The empires of Egypt and Carthage however, illustrate the growth of indigenous military systems on the continent. Both peoples drew massive amounts of fighting men and resources from African soil, and their leaders and populations were born on that soil. They also show the effects of innovation and transformation in the antiquarian era, including the process of copying and borrowing between cultures.
The fighting forces of Egypt and Nubia[ edit ] Powerful fortifications like this one were built to guard against invasion and rebellion in Nubia, and control the area's rich resources, particularly gold.
Some walls measured 24 feet thick, and were garrisoned by both Nubians and Egyptians over the span of history. Ancient Egyptian warfare shows a progression from the simple to the more complex as Egypt's culture and material civilization developed.
Indigenous developments were at times supplemented by important innovations from outside sources. These strands of growth were further refined internally into what was to become a formidable war-machine. In the Old Kingdomweapons ranged from simple bows and arrows with stone and copper arrowheadsto spearsdaggers and copper axes for close-in fighting.
Tacticsin terms of maneuvering large bodies of men appear fairly basic. As in other parts of Africa, archers generally opened the battle, followed by masses of infantry in a general hand-to hand engagement. During the Middle Kingdom military sophistication and strength continued to expand.
Deep ditches surrounded some of these fortifications, with walls up to 24 feet thick, creating strong bases against rebellion or invasion. Recruiting quotas were assigned on a regional basis and designated scribes drafted soldiers as needed for the armies of the state.
Striking forces were still primarily infantry-based, and tactics did not change drastically from previous eras.
A key role in the strengthening of Egyptian forces was played by infantrymen from Nubia, both as spearmen and archers. Parts of Nubia were renowned for such fighting men, and indeed a part of the Nubian territory was called Ta-Seti or Land of the Bow by the Egyptians.
The Egyptians and Nubians were ethnically the closest in the region, frequently exchanging people, genesresources and culture over several centuries, and occasionally engaging one another in military conflict.The Roman army, famed for its discipline, organistion, and innovation in both weapons and tactics, allowed Rome to build and defend a huge empire which for centuries would dominate the Mediterranean world and beyond..
Overview. The Roman army, arguably one of the longest surviving and most effective fighting forces in military history, has a rather obscure beginning. Introduction: A Brief Survey of Roman History Roman tradition held that their city was founded by Romulus in вс.
At first a monarchy, the kings were expelled and a Republic created near the end of the 6th century BC. Insight to Roman Structure This top rating was chosen for the book's clear projection of the Roman Army's make up, evolution through political changes and how they adapted to these changes for an powerful empire until it's end.4/5.
Roman military personal equipment was produced in large model. Once a weapon was adopted, it became standard. The standard weapons varied somewhat during Rome's long history, but the equipment and its use were never individual.
The first line, of hastati, and the second, of principes, were composed of such arms. Behind them were . Organization of Legion The early Roman Manipular Legion, used from the fourth century B.C.
until the Marian Reforms of B.C., was the largest and most basic unit of the army’s composition. The Roman Army consisted of four Legions, each with the strength of roughly infantrymen.
The Later Roman Army - An overview The army of the later Empire has had a bad press, being widely regarded as a motley collection of half trained, poorly equipped, incompetent peasant farmers associated with increasing numbers of Germanic barbarians whose very presence diluted and degraded the once proud Roman military machine.