The powerful Roman Army was probably the most dominant and most successful in all of world history. Roman soldiers were feared for good reason. They were highly disciplined, very well trained, and had seemingly endless stamina. Because of this, this powerful army became a major player in the world of politics when it came to Roman foreign affairs. After all, the Roman army assured that Rome always got the last word with its neighbors in the world. And Emperors of Rome used this leverage very well.
The Roman legions
Let’s face it, the Roman Empire was developed and maintained by the Roman soldiers. And the core of his powerful army was its legions, who had no equal in the world when it came to their discipline and their ability to fight on the battlefield.
By the time that the first Emperor Augustus came into power, there were 60 legions in the army of Rome. Each legion was made up of 10 cohorts of of up to 480 soldiers. At that time, the minimum term of service for each soldier was 20 years.
Weapons and armor
Every soldier carried a “gladius”, which was simply a short sword. And this was his primary weapon. In addition, he carried a helmet, a javelin, his armor, and a shield. These men were trained rigorously to march very long distances, to do battle in precise formations, and to be an expert killer using each of his assigned weapons.
By far the worst assignments for Roman soldiers were the edges of the Roman Empire, which were the frontiers. Life at these posts was very challenging as they constantly face local tribes who were very hostile to them, and there were never enough supplies.
When Roman soldiers retired, they were typically given a plot of farm land. And these soldiers looked very forward to this nice reward for their loyal service. Oddly enough, even though there were many hardships, several Roman soldiers actually took plots of farm land in Britain that were near Roman forts.
Enemies of Rome
There were several fierce enemies of Rome. The video below describes 9 such enemies of the Roman Empire that were quite a challenge for Roman Armies.