Incredible CRAZIEST inventions of the Roman Army!! - INTHEPROF

9.27.2019

Incredible CRAZIEST inventions of the Roman Army!!




Incredible CRAZIEST inventions of the Roman Army!!



In its day, Rome managed to conquer half of their known world, but it wouldn't have been possible without the skills of the mighty Roman army. Throughout the centuries, the Roman army came up with various weapons that helped it gain supremacy on the battlefield, and here are the top 10 military inventions of the Roman army. Find out which of these incredible tactics are still used today! 

Number 10: Carrobalista.

 The basic ballista mechanism was most likely created by the Ancient Greeks, but surely the Romans were the ones who upgraded the system of siege engines and perfected it on the battlefield. 
First, there was the manuballista, which was often deemed one of the most advanced siege engines in the Roman military. 
But the real game-changer was the carroballista - a ballista (or a missile weapon) mounted on a cart. 
The carroballista was a forerunner of the canon, and it was very effective. 
Each Roman legion had 55 of these in their ranks. 
A carroballista was pulled by mules and required ten soldiers to operate it, and by the end of the 1st century AD, the Roman army introduced various technical innovations that enabled the manuballista to be mounted on a cart. 
As such, it had greater maneuverability and was easy to move around during battle, allowing soldiers to assume the best position possible. 
During the battle, the most important aspects are speed and efficiency, and carroballista provided both. 


Number 9: Pilum. 

The pilum is the Roman long spear, and it proved very effective in battle, helping the Roman legionaries charge. 
The brilliance of the pilum was that once thrown at the enemy, it only favored the Romans, because there was no chance that the enemy could throw it back. 
How? Well, because of its design, and the pyramid-like point, the spear was very aerodynamic. 
Because of this, the pilum had amazing penetrating power, allowing it to hit its target with extreme forcer and get stuck deep in the enemy shield, sometimes even injuring the soldier that was carrying the shield. 
Once the pilum was stuck in the enemy shield, it was practically impossible to get it out. 
Because of this fact, the enemy was simply forced to let go of the shield and continue fighting without it. 
There was also a narrow variety of the pilum, which twisted when hitting the shield - this made it useless even if it was thrown back. Nevertheless, this was highly unlikely simply because of the initial shock of losing the defenders shield, combined with the stress the advancing Roman infantry. 

Number 8: Plumbata. 

This weapon is often forgotten or overlooked, because it was used so much later in the Roman Era, from the 4th century AD onwards. Basically, it is a throwing dart, with a lead weight attached to it, and it was used by the Roman infantry. 
This weapon was first used in Ancient Greece, but the Romans made full use of it. 
The idea for the plumbata probably came from the javelin, which was a semi-long spear. 
The plumbata was supposed to be an even shorter version of the javelin, and the lead weight was there to give it extra power upon impact and improve its efficiency. 
There were legions whose soldiers carried this weapon in battle and used it to a large extent. 
These legions were later honored by the emperors Maximilian and Diocletian. 
There were five plumbatae for every infantry soldier, and the weapons proved to be of great help. 
The reason was simple... with the plumbata, every infantry soldier was effectively an archer at the same time. 
This meant that he could strike the enemy before facing them directly in open battle. 

Number 7: Testudo. 

This is one of the most important aspects of the Roman military. Testudo (Latin name for "tortoise") is a military formation that was used extensively during a battle, especially during sieges. 
The idea was simple, yet highly effective. 
The soldiers would group in a square formation, and divide into a couple of sub-groups. 
Some of them would raise their shields above their heads, and the rest would keep shields in front of them. 
This way, the soldiers of the formation would be covered by shields and protected from the enemy attacks. 
Basically, the testudo was a defensive tactic, so that the soldiers could sustain all kinds of blows from missiles and projectiles from the enemy while advancing. 
If a rock or something else was thrown on the formation, it wouldn't do any harm. 
Because of the shields, the projectile would simply roll off onto the ground, and the formation just kept making progress. 
Compared to present-day military technology, the testudo was something like an armored tank. 
Although it wasn't bulletproof, the formation was practically impenetrable from enemy weapons. 

Number 6: Onager. 

Onager was another siege weapon used extensively by the Roman military. 
However, it wasn't used the same way as the carroballista. 
The ballistae were generally used for smaller projectile missiles, such as bolts. 
Onager, however, was used for heavier projectiles when it was necessary to take down large fortifications and massive walls. 
The name "onager" can loosely be translated as "wild ass", because of the animal's ability to kick. 
When a wild donkey is in danger, it uses its rear legs to kick stones toward its pursuers. In the same manner, the onager used a torsional force to "kick" the projectile toward the enemy. 
The onager was very powerful, and it had a strong impact, because of its construction. 
Before firing, the part of the onager called the "arm" was pulled back, against twisted ropes and springs. 
Then, it was released, and the same process could be repeated in a short amount of time. 
The projectiles used for firing were rocks, but also clay balls with combustible materials inside, which would explode once the projectile hit its target. 
Onagers proved extremely valuable in battle because they often shot farther than Roman archers due to their great torsional force.

Number 5: Castrum

The castrum was the Latin name for a building or a piece of land where the military camp was set up.
In Roman times, there were different types of camps, which differed in size and purpose. 
The biggest castrum was the legionary fortress, but there were also smaller, auxiliary fortifications and marching forts, and also fortlets called castellum, which means a small camp or small tower. 
There were various types of the castra (which is the plural form), but the four main ones were: castra stativa (permanent, or stationary camp), castra aestiva (summer camp), castra hiberna (winter camp) and castra nautical (navy camp). 
The castrum proved to be of extreme importance for the Roman army because it enabled the soldiers to rest, regroup and train when there was no fighting. 
Inside the castrum, soldiers protected and their equipment was safe and out of enemy reach. Each castrum was built according to a strict plan, in a rectangular shape with streets and military buildings. 
The entire castrum was protected by towers and guarded walls. 
The castrum helped the Roman army keep its organizational structure and control the empire without compromising the welfare of the soldiers and their operational abilities. 

Number 4: Pontoon bridge

Although the Romans didn't invent the pontoon bridge, they made excellent use of it in their military campaigns. 
It was used extensively and helped the Roman army win many battles of strategic importance. 
Julius Caesar was known as a commander who loved using the pontoon bridge to shock the enemy and advance with efficiency. The pontoons bridge was used for crossing big rivers, such as the Rhine river, where it was necessary to make a 1,300-foot-long bridge across it. 
The barbaric tribes on the opposite bank didn't expect the Romans the cross the big river and catch them off guard, but that's what guaranteed the Romans their victory. 
But the construction of a pontoon bridge wasn't at all simply. Roman military engineers had to calculate the speed and strength of the river, and to order for the exact type of timber to be cut, and prevent any floating logs from upstream to jeopardize the construction process. 
The incredible efficiency of the Romans was evident in the fact that it took them less than two weeks to build a pontoon bridge. 

Number 3: Corvus

Before they managed to dominate the Mediterranean, the Romans had a fierce adversary at sea ... Carthage. Carthage was a very powerful state because it had a long-standing tradition of sea trade and oversea colonies. 
So, during the First Punic War (264 - 241 BC), Rome had to come up with a powerful battle tactic in order to defend Carthage at sea and have the upper hand in combat. 
And Roman military engineers actually came up with the naval weapon called the corvus (Latin for crow or raven). 
The corvus made history because it helped the Roman army win what is probably one of the biggest naval battles ever - the Battle of Cape Ecnomus. 
This battle is also probably the most important battle Rome fought in its early days because it changed the balance of power in the Mediterranean. 
The corvus was a long boarding bridge with a heavy spike that could be rammed into the enemy ship and cling to it. 
This locked two ships together, which enabled the Roman soldiers to get across and fight their enemies face to face. 
And since the Romans were far better in close combat than the Carthaginians, victory was assured. 
In later centuries, Rome didn't use the corvus, probably because it also destroyed their own ships. 
But in the early years, this weapon helped Rome immensely. 

Number 2: Battlefield surgery


In order to be highly successful on the battlefield, the Roman army had to take excellent care of its soldiers. 
An important part of the Roman military structure was the immunes. 
This was a special group of legionary soldiers who were specially trained to provide all kinds of services, and they were exempt from various tasks an ordinary soldier had to perform. 
Immunes included architects, engineers, but also doctors and members of the medical staff. 
Because it had doctors who were also part of the army, the Romans were able to keep the army up and running even in the midst of the biggest bloodshed. 
Roman surgeons and their staff used medical innovations, such as hemostatic tourniquets and arterial clamps, which enabled them to prevent massive blood loss and save hundreds of thousands of lives. 
Another very important aspect of Roman battlefield surgery was the application of antiseptic measures before an operation. 
All instruments were disinfected with hot water and thus made usable for the next patient in line. 
For its time, this was quite revolutionary, and it proved to be highly effective. 

Number 2: Roads and highways


At the height of its power, the Roman Empire encompassed an enormous territory, stretching from the island of Great Britain to present-day Turkey, including the whole of the Mediterranean and North Africa. 
It would have been absolutely impossible to control such vast territory without a stable network of roads and highways. 
Roads and highways were built to boost trade and commerce among various parts of the territory and enable easier travel, but that wasn't the main reason. 
Roads and highways were primarily built to speed up the movement of the military. 
If there was an uprising in on the far end of the Empire, the army could reach that point much faster via roads built of bricks, granite, and hardened lava. 
Roman engineers applied strict construction standards for every road that was built, which meant that practically the whole network of roads and highways had the same quality of the build. 
The roads were regularly maintained, and they were curved for better water drainage, which kept them dry and mud-free. 
By the year 200 AD, the Roman Empire had 50,000 miles of roads and highways, including numerous post houses, for the army to rest and replenish their supply. 
The Roman military was thus capable of crossing around 20 miles per day. 
It is estimated that there were around 30 military highways and at least 370 roads, connecting the empire and allowing the military to keep everything under control. 
Many Roman roads have survived the centuries and can be seen even to this day. 

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