Early Roman Legions

Early Roman Legions - Early Roman Legions Roman legions in...

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Early Roman Legions: Roman legions in the 4 th century B.C. consisted of three types of soldiers. In front line of legion stood the hastati , or the spearmen. The hastati contained the young fighters and they carried body armor with a rectangular shield. This shield was called a scutum , which would remain the distinctive equipment of the legionary throughout Roman history. In the middle of the legions there was another type of warrior called the principes , who were picked men of experience and maturity. They were similarly to, but better equipped than the hastati . The principes were the best equipped men in the early Roman legions. They carried a sword and javelin in each hand. The rear of the legion consisted of triarii or rorarii . These were the heavy infantry soldiers. They resembled earlier warriors in history, such as the hoplites of the Greek. Certain men were called accensi because they were considered the least dependable fighters in the legion. These soldiers stood in the rear of the group. Weapons and Armor: Hastati , the front line, usually had breastplates, while principes wore lorica hamata , which was a stronger type of mail armor. This was commonly only worn by principes because they were the wealthiest of the soldiers and were the only ones who could afford it. Both hastati and principes were each armed with a gladius , which is a short, 60 centimeter sword and most had two pila or javelins. The triarii's primary weapon was the hasta , a 2 meter long spear. They were also armed with the gladius and had an early form of the lorica segmenta , which was a heavier type of armor than the lorica hamata .
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