The Legion

Main article: Legion Roman See also: Legionnaire In the early days there was no distinction between the army and legion, Rome had a single legion of up to three thousand foot and three hundred knights. But the wars at that time were limited skirmishes that ended with the winter, and it is doubtful that ever came to collect the entire army. Was not even a permanent body, was recruited and licensed as required. The size of the legion from about three thousand to over four thousand, and may reach the five thousand. There was also a specialization of the soldiers, but tactically there were no changes and maintained the basic structure of the hoplite phalanx. In the early Republican period the legion was organized with a more formal structure and stringent. As wars became more frequent and were no longer mere skirmishes, battles require more planning.As the campaign grew in length it became evident that the situation of a permanently militarized citizenship was not sustainable. This meant many economic problems until the end of V century BC C. and early fourth century AD, when Rome began to be large enough so that the soldiers were only a small proportion of the population. Especially important was the win against the Etruscan city of Veii (369 BC), which were annexed territory and population. At that time the state and to compensate those who suffered economic loss by having to leave work. The loyalty of the army was reinforced by the oath (sacrament) of allegiance and obedience to superiors and not desert the battle. Breaches of discipline were punished according to their severity with suspension of salary, by whipping or even with death. The punishment was to decimate entire units, ie to apply the death penalty to one in ten legionnaires.During the course of the Republican period was used to recruit up to three or four legions. However continued to have, as during the monarchy, an ephemeral existence. Only the legions became permanent I-IV. These, commanded by a consul, the couple were the consular armies. During the Second Punic War many more legions were recruited to cope with the serious threat of Hannibal. Towards the end of the Republic Gaius Marius reformed the army. Stuck. Limits were abolished by the kinds of Servius Tullius and increased the pay of the legionary, bringing the potential number of these increased significantly. The new soldiers, unemployed, without property, were unwilling to reach the end of the campaign, which also meant the end of the pay. The soldiers enlisted for sixteen years, which was extended to eight or nine. So the army was professionalized.In imperial times the army was composed of thirty legions of some five thousand three hundred men each. The legion was already a permanent body, could vary in number and composition but always existed, each with its symbols, history and individual glories. They had wide variety of specialization as soldiers, sappers, military police, medical, etc..

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