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Roman Roamin

Roman Roamin > Soldiers and siege engines in pre-Republican times

Soldiers and siege engines in pre-Republican times

Superbus dismissing the Roman Legion is my own device, to explain how the citizens could possibly have been disarmed, as described by Livy. Since every man was responsible for his own armament, and almost every man had drilled on the Field of Mars at some time in his life, if not actually enlisted in the legion, I could not imagine how the citizens could be disarmed and still have the Legion exist as a fighting force. I therefore dissolved the Legion for a period of ten years, then resurrected it to meet the needs of history: manibles made up of one century of Romans and one century of Latins, and the conquest of Latin cities such as Gabii and Ardea.

Siege engines were not generally known in the period described in this novel. The first siege tower was used by Carthage against Syracuse. The Etruscans might have used a battering ram under a covered "turtle" roof. Catapults hurling stones, and a type of crossbow called an oxybeles firing bolts, were first seen around 400 BCE. With the invention of the torsion spring power, the ballista supplanted the oxybele, and the onager supplanted the catapult. When the Roman Legion attacked the city of Ardea, they had no choice but to starve them out of their walls.

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