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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER VIII - Law, Religion, Military System, Economic Condition, Nationality


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Page 17

Military System-- Manipular Legion-- Entrenchment of Camp-- Cavalry-- Officers-- Military Discipline-- Training and Classes of Soldiers-- Military Value of the Manipular Legion

A complete revolution occurred during this epoch in the military system. The primitive Graeco-Italian military organization, which was probably based, like the Homeric, on the selection of the most distinguished and effective warriors--who ordinarily fought on horseback--to form a special vanguard, had in the later regal period been superseded by the -legio--the old Dorian phalanx of hoplites, probably eight file deep.(20)

20. Cf. I. VI. Organization of the Army

This phalanx thenceforth undertook the chief burden of the battle, while the cavalry were stationed on the flanks, and, mounted or dismounted according to circumstances, were chiefly employed as a reserve. From this arrangement there were developed nearly at the same time the phalanx of -sarrissae-in Macedonia and the manipular arrangement in Italy, the former formed by closing and deepening, the latter by breaking up and multiplying, the ranks, in the first instance by the division of the old -legio- of 8400 into two -legiones- of 4200 men each.

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