Roman Weapons, Armor, and Warfare Tactics: A Lasting Legacy

by Daniel Jasper, 13

Around 35 B.C.E., Roman soldiers used deadly weapons and armor to attack their enemies and to protect themselves. Examining their weapons and tactics can provide an insight into warfare at the time.

Roman soldiers were well-equipped. They carried weapons made of iron and wood including iron spear heads, daggers, swords, and javelins. Furthermore, they used armor for helmets and shields to insulate themselves from weapons like swords and arrows. Early Roman soldiers made their shields into an oval shape; later, shields were formed in oblong shapes with curved sides.

One Roman warfare tactic was called “the tortoise.” This kind of siege strategy played to the Roman army's greatest strengths. When approaching the enemy, soldiers locked their shields with one another and crouched beneath them. Protected in this way, they could move more safely toward the enemy.

The weapons, armor, and warfare tactics used by the Romans have inspired artists, designers, and militaries alike. The Roman army was certainly one of the most impressive in the ancient world. They were a force to be feared.

[Source: Encyclopedia of the Ancient World]

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