For my final project I wanted to demonstrate the weapon styles of the Roman Legionary. I figured that we hadn’t gotten to really destroy anything in class, so I better take advantage of this to get in a little bit of fun. The research was unsurprisingly difficult, many of the books would only mention things in short passages, but not with a lot of detail to really get a solid feeling for how the Romans truly attacked.
I watched a lot of youtube videos in order to see what re-enactment groups would do, even though that was less fruitful than I had hoped, but it gave me a start.
I was able to easily find information about the Roman Legionaries formations, the tortoise, and the spear formations were the most readily available and were also simple enough to describe in class with only one of me (Keppie). The entire Roman fighting system was designed around using the shield and sword as a unit, combined with your fellow soldiers. Once I started putting things together I realized how powerful this army would be against other ancient forces.
For the weapon strikes I simply had to copy what I had seen, however I did pull information from the class also, especially in regards to the piercing style of striking. Using the shield as a level the Gladius was lethal in close combat. While it was wielded with one-hand, the shield gave the ability to maintain on target and strike harder at your foes. Because it was a short sword it was not meant for slashing as much as piercing because the internal organs are better protected from slashes than from piercing, and if you want to drop your opponent, you take those out (Milner).
The other strike that I found was to go after the knees by quickly lifting the shield up at an angle to your opponent and then a quick, stab at the knee in order to cripple your opponent and then easily finish them off.
I had a lot of fun with this project and I hope it came across in class. I do not have any of the pictures from the demonstration at this time to include on the blog, but I do believe everyone was there still.
Veni Vidi Vici!!!!
Bishop, M.C. Roman Military Equipment: from the Punic Wars to the fall of Rome. Oxbow: Oxford, 2006. Print.
Bosworth, A.B. Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Web.
Keppie, Lawrence. The Making of the Roman Army: From republic ot empire. Lawrence: University of Oklahoma press, 1984. Print.
Milner, N.P. Vegetius: Epitome of Military Science. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1993. Print.