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Early Roman Military
The First Punic War
264-241 BC
Hamilcar Barca VS.
Gaius Dullius and
Gaius Catulus
First appearance of
the corvus in naval
Key to Roman
naval success
Photo courtesy of
The Second Punic War
219- 201 BC
Hannibal Barca VS.
Publius Scipio
The Romans lost
battles at Trebia,
Lake Trasimine, and
Finally achieved
victory at Zama
under Scipio
Photo Courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
The Third Punic War
149- 146 BC
Photo Courtesy
Haasdrubal Boetharch VS. Scipio the Younger
Cato the Elder roused Rome to destroy Carthage
After a 2 year siege, the Romans destroyed Carthage and sold the
survivors into slavery
The Roman Military After Marius- 107 BC
The Roman military was broken
down into units, much like modern
• Legions
• Cohorts
• Centuries
Each level was run by a
commanding officer
• A Legatus legionis commanded a
Legion of roughly 5,400 men
• Equivalent to a modern
General, and served as a
regional Governor
Photo courtesy of
Similar to the current structure of the
American military, the Roman legions
were broken down into smaller units,
and some officers served as both
military and civilian leaders similar to
our state Governors.
• The military relied on heavy infantry,
but was supported by archers,
cavalry, chariots and light auxiliary
The versatility and
excellent training of the
Roman military created
one of the most effective
fighting forces in history,
and was crucial to the
expansion of the
Republic and the Empire.
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photos courtesy of
Why it matters
• The strict discipline and versatile structure of
the Roman Legion allowed the Romans to
create the largest continuous Empire the
world had ever seen
• This led to a booming market economy with
international trade possible on a scale
comparable to modern markets