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  • Rome, The Roman Army
    of three manipuli literally handfulls which were in their turn subdivided in two centuriae or hundreds These centuriae were composed of a number of contubernia or tentparties Although the name centuria would seem to indicate a unit of a hundred soldiers this unit could comprise anything from 30 to over 200 individuals The usual establishment strength however is thought to have been 80 men From the second half of the first century AD in at least some of the legions the first cohort was reorganised in five double strength centuriae while the remainder continued to be organised in the old manner In addition to the regular organisation of cohortes manipuli and centuriae of the legionary heavy infantry there were other subunits for the equites legionis the legionary cavalry and the antesignani or lancearii the elite legionary light infantry The exact details of their organisation are as yet not very clear For a variety of duties provisional units known as vexillationes or numeri were formed The strength and organisation of these provisional units varied greatly and was only in part based on the more regular subdivisions of the legion The officers Command of the legion was usually given to a legatus legionis picked by the emperor from the senatorial class who generally had some previous military experience through service as a tribunus In Egypt and from the the start of the third century also in other provinces the command was not entrusted to a senatorial legatus but to a praefectus legionis an acting commander drawn from the equestrian order The legionary commander was assisted by six military tribunes With the exception of the units stationed in Egypt one of these tribuni was usually a young senator at the start of his public career Known as a tribunus laticlavius from the broad purple stripes on his tunic this senior tribune was second in command His collegues from the equestrian order were known as tribuni angusticlavii and generally had done earlier service as a commander of an auxiliary infantry unit A former senior centurion usually performed the duties of praefectus castrorum camp commandant and was the third in the chain of command The most important officers in the legions were the centuriones These men were partly directly recruited from the Roman knights or the city councilmembers but the greater part of the centurions had previously served as soldiers and NCO s in the legions or the praetorian cohorts Depending on the organisation of the legion either sixty or fifty nine centuriones ordinarii commanded the centuriae while a varying number of centuriones supernumerarii were employed for special duties These officers were known by titles derived from the place of their units in the old battle order The hastatus prior princeps prior and pilus prior were the higher ranking officers commanding the manipuli The hastatus posterior princeps posterior and pilus posterior acted as their deputies The cohorts were under the command of the pilus prior Distinguished from their fellow officers were the primi ordines the

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/roman_army.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Rome, The Samnite Wars
    addition to Rome s strength and manpower The absorption of Campania provoked the Latins to take up arms against Rome to maintain their independence Since the Gallic sack of Rome in 390 BC the city had become increasingly dominant within the Latin League In 381 BC Tusculum was absorbed by being given Roman citizenship In 358 BC Rome created two more rustic tribes from territory captured along the Volscian coast The Latin War 340 338 BC was quickly decided in Rome s favour Virtually all of Latium was given Roman citizenship and became Roman territory but the towns retained their local governments The large states of Praeneste and Tibur maintained nominal independence by becoming Rome s military allies Thus the Latin League was abolished but the legal rights that the Latins had enjoyed among themselves were retained by Rome as a legal status the Latin right ius Latii and used for centuries as an intermediate step between non Roman status and full Roman citizenship Rome was now the master of central Italy and spent the next decade organizing and pushing forward its frontier through conquest and colonization The Romans soon confronted the Samnites of the middle Liris modern Liri River valley sparking the Second or Great Samnite War 326 304 BC During the first half of the war Rome suffered serious defeats but the second half saw Rome s recovery reorganization and ultimate victory In 321 BC a Roman army was trapped in a narrow canyon near the Caudine Forks and compelled to surrender and Rome was forced to sign a five year treaty Later Roman historians however tried to deny this humiliation by inventing stories of Rome s rejection of the peace and its revenge upon the Samnites In 315 BC after the resumption of hostilities Rome suffered a

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/samnite_wars.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Rome, Spartacus
    leader of the historic insurrection of Roman slaves known as the Third Servile War or Gladiators War he defeated two Roman armies and his forces overran southern Italy In 72BC he defeated three more Roman armies and reached Cisalpine Gaul where he planned to disperse his followers to their homes They decided to remain in Italy for the sake of plunder and Spartacus marched south again In 71BC the Roman commander Marcus Licinius Crassus forced Spartacus and his followers into the narrow peninsula of Rhegium now Reggio di Calabria from which however they escaped through the Roman lines Crassus then pursued Spartacus to Lucania where the rebel army was destroyed and Spartacus was killed in battle Upon his death the insurrection came to an end and the captured rebels were crucified A few who escaped to the north were killed by Pompey the Great who was returning from Spain A Thracian by birth Spartacus served in the Roman Army perhaps deserted led bandit raids and was caught and sold as a slave With about 70 fellow gladiators he escaped a gladiatorial training school at Capua in 73 and took refuge on Mount Vesuvius where other runaway slaves joined the band After defeating two Roman forces in succession the rebels overran most of southern Italy Ultimately their numbers grew to at least 90 000 Spartacus defeated the two consuls for the year 72 and fought his way northward toward the Alps hoping to be able to disperse his soldiers to their homelands once they were outside Italy When his men refused to leave Italy he returned to Lucania and sought to cross his forces over to Sicily but was thwarted by the new Roman commander sent against him Marcus Licinius Crassus Hemmed in by Crassus eight legions Spartacus army divided the

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  • Rome, The Twelve Tables, c.450 BCE
    he choose he may give him more 2 On the third market day let them divide his body among them If they cut more or less than each one s share it shall be no crime 3 Against a foreigner the right in property shall be valid forever Table IV 1 A dreadfully deformed child shall be quickly killed 2 If a father sell his son three times the son shall be free from his father 3 As a man has provided in his will in regard to his money and the care of his property so let it be binding If he has no heir and dies intestate let the nearest agnate have the inheritance If there is no agnate let the members of his gens have the inheritance 4 If one is mad but has no guardian the power over him and his money shall belong to his agnates and the members of his gens 5 A child born after ten months since the father s death will not be admitted into a legal inheritance Table V 1 Females should remain in guardianship even when they have attained their majority Table VI 1 When one makes a bond and a conveyance of property as he has made formal declaration so let it be binding 3 A beam that is built into a house or a vineyard trellis one may not take from its place 5 Usucapio of movable things requires one year s possession for its completion but usucapio of an estate and buildings two years 6 Any woman who does not wish to be subjected in this manner to the hand of her husband should be absent three nights in succession every year and so interrupt the usucapio of each year Table VII 1 Let them keep the road in order If they have not paved it a man may drive his team where he likes 9 Should a tree on a neighbor s farm be bend crooked by the wind and lean over your farm you may take legal action for removal of that tree 10 A man might gather up fruit that was falling down onto another man s farm Table VIII 2 If one has maimed a limb and does not compromise with the injured person let there be retaliation If one has broken a bone of a freeman with his hand or with a cudgel let him pay a penalty of three hundred coins If he has broken the bone of a slave let him have one hundred and fifty coins If one is guilty of insult the penalty shall be twenty five coins 3 If one is slain while committing theft by night he is rightly slain 4 If a patron shall have devised any deceit against his client let him be accursed 5 If one shall permit himself to be summoned as a witness or has been a weigher if he does not give his testimony let him be noted as

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  • Rome, Letter Home From A Roiman Student
    with confidence and assurance fulfill your promise of being the trumpeter of my reputation For the errors of my youth have caused me so much remorse and suffering that not only does my heart shrink from what I did my very ears abhor the mention of it And for this anguish and sorrow I know and am assured that you have taken your share And I don t wonder at it for while you wished me all success for my sake you did so also for your own for I have ever meant you to be my partner in all mygood fortunes Since therefore you have suffered sorrow through me I will now take care that through me your joy shall be doubled Let me assure you that my very close attachment to Cratippus is that of a son rather than a pupil for though I enjoy his lectures I am also specially charmed with his delightful manners I spend whole days with him and often part of the night for I induce him to dine with me as often as possible This intimacy having been established he often drops in upon us unexpectedly while we are at dinner and laying aside the stiff airs of a philosopher joins in our jests with the greatest possible freedom He is such a man so delightful so distinguished that you should take pains to make his acquaintance at the earliest possible opportunity I need hardly mention Bruttius whom I never allow to leave my side He is a man of a strict and moral life as well as being the most delightful company For in him fun is not divorced from literature and the daily philosophical inquiries which we make in common I have hired a residence next door to him and as far as I can with my poor pittance I subsidize his narrow means Furthermore I have begun practicing declamation in Greek with Cassius in Latin I like having my practice with Bruttius My intimate friends and daily companions are those whom Cratippus brought with him from Mitylene good scholars of whom he has the highest opinion I also see a great deal of Epicrates the leading man at Athens and Leonides and other men of that sort So now you know how I am going on You remark in your letter on the character of Gorgias The fact is I found him very useful in my daily practice of declamation but I subordinated everything to obeying my father s injunctions for he had written ordering me to give him up at once I would not shilly shally about the business for fear my making a fuss should cause my father to harbor some suspicion Moreover it occurred to me that it would be offensive for me to express an opinion on a decision of my father s However your interest and advice are welcome and acceptable Your apology for lack of time I quite accept for I know how

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  • Rome, Ancient Rome Today In Pictures
    the vanquished and to tame the proud by war Ostia Antica Arch of Constantine Imperial Forum Imperial Forum Constantine The Great Palatine Hill Temple of Nero Ostia Antica Tomb of Augustus Roman Villa Roman Interior Temple of Augustus Ostia Temple

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  • Rome, The Grandeur That Was Page Two
    wealthy and populous than Rome with a magnificent navy that controlled the western Mediterranean and with a domain that included the northern coast of Africa Sardinia Corsica western Sicily and parts of Spain Carthage seemed more than a match for Rome But Carthage was governed by a commercial aristocracy which hired mercenaries to do the fighting In the long run the lack of a loyal body of free citizens and allies such as Rome had proved to be Carthage s fatal weakness The First Punic War from punicus Latin for Phoenician broke out in 264 B C when Rome sought to oust a Carthaginian force that had occupied Messina on the northeastern tip of Sicily just across from Roman Italy According to Polybius a Hellenistic Greek historian the Romans felt it was absolutely necessary not to let Messina fall or allow the Carthaginians to secure what would be like a bridge to enable them to cross into Italy 3 Rome and its Italian allies lost 200 000 men in disastrous naval engagements before Carthage sued for peace in 241 B C Sicily Sardinia and Corsica were annexed as the first provinces of Rome s overseas empire governed and taxed in contrast to Rome s allies in Italy by Roman officials called proconsuls Footnote 3 Polybius Histories 1 10 trans Evelyn S Shuckburgh The Contest With Hannibal Thwarted by this defeat Carthage concentrated upon enlarging its empire in Spain Rome s determination to prevent this led to the greatest and most difficult war in Roman history While both powers jockeyed for position a young Carthaginian general Hannibal precipitated the Second Punic War by attacking Saguntum a Spanish town claimed by Rome as an ally Rome declared war and Hannibal seizing the initiative in 218 B C led an army of about 40 000 men 9000 cavalry troops and a detachment of African elephants across the Alps into Italy Although the crossing had cost him nearly half of his men and almost all of his elephants Hannibal defeated the Romans three times within three years Hannibal s forces never matched those of the Romans in numbers At Cannae for example where Hannibal won his greatest victory some 70 000 Romans were wiped out by barely 50 000 Carthaginians On the whole Rome s allies remained loyal a testimony to Rome s generous and statesmanlike treatment of its Italian subjects Because the Romans controlled the seas Hannibal received little aid from Carthage Thus Hannibal was unable to inflict a mortal blow against the Romans The Romans finally found a general Scipio who was Hannibal s match in military strategy and who was bold enough to invade Africa Forced to return home after fifteen years spent on Italian soil Hannibal clashed with Scipio s legions at Zama where the Carthaginians suffered a complete defeat The power of Carthage was broken forever by a harsh treaty imposed in 201 B C Carthage was forced to pay a huge indemnity disarm its forces and turn Spain

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  • Rome, The Grandeur That Was Page Two
    to the urban masses at about half the former market price Unfortunately what Gaius intended as a relief measure later became a dole whereby free food was distributed all too often for the advancement of astute politicians to the entire proletariat Another of Gaius proposals would have granted citizenship to Rome s Italian allies who were now being mistreated by Roman officials This proposal cost Gaius the support of the Roman proletariat which did not wish to share the privileges of citizenship or endanger its control of the Tribal Assembly Consequently in 121 B C Gaius failed to be reelected to a third term and the Senate again resorted to force It decreed what is today called martial law by authorizing the consuls to take any action deemed necessary to protect the state and suppress the tyrants Three thousand of Gaius followers were arrested and executed a fate Gaius avoided by committing suicide The Senate had shown that it had no intention of initiating needed domestic reforms or of allowing others to do so and the Gracchi s deaths were ominous portents of the way the Republic would decide its internal disputes In foreign affairs too the Senate soon demonstrated its incapability Rome was forced to grant citizenship to its Italian allies after the Senate s failure to deal with their grievances goaded them into revolt 90 88 B C Other blunders led to the first of the civil wars that destroyed the Republic The First Civil War Marius Vs Sulla Between 111 and 105 B C Roman armies dispatched by the Senate and commanded by senators failed to protect Roman equestrians capitalists in North Africa Nor were they able to prevent Germanic tribes from overrunning southern Gaul now a Roman province and threatening Italy itself Accusing the Senate of lethargy and incompetence in directing Rome s foreign affairs the capitalists and common people joined together to elect Gaius Marius consul in 107 B C and the Tribal Assembly commissioned him to raise an army and deal with the foreign danger Marius first pacified North Africa and then crushed the first German threat to Rome In the process he created a new style Roman army that was destined to play a major role in the turbulent history of the late Republic Unlike the old Roman army which was composed of conscripts who owned their own land and thought of themselves as loyal citizens of the Republic the new army created by Marius was recruited from landless citizens for long terms of service These professional soldiers identified their own interests with those of their commanders to whom they swore loyalty and looked to for bonuses of land or money after the Senate had irresponsibly refused their requests Thus the character of the army changed from a militia of draftees to a career service in which loyalty to the state was no longer paramount Aspiring generals were in a position to use their military power to seize the government In 88 B

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