Roman Military Advancements
By Taylor Dieffenbach

Rome, February 15 - Our brave Roman soldiers have always had the luxury of quality arms when marching into battle. Whether they are wielding bows, double-edged swords or iron headed spears, soldiers also carry a small dagger as a sidearm. These daggers and swords are similar to those that brought down the great Caesar, and eventually one of his killers, Cassius. Upon his death, Cassius stated, “Caesar, thou art revenged / Even with the sword that killed thee.” (Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 50 – 51).
For safety, soldiers also use helmets, shields, and wear armor. While the enemy is still burdened with heavy and cumbersome armor, advancements have been made for the Roman military. The recent development of lightweight torso protection offers our soldiers yet another edge in battle, the ability to move more quickly. The use of thin, segmented plates also provides superior flexibility without surrendering protection of vital organs. This is something that Caesar could have used. Although chain mail is also flexible, it is very heavy and involves intense production labor, unlike the new armor that is now readily available.
    Also in use by the military is the highway system. The long straight roads allow armies to move about with ease. In the midst of battle, Messala found such roads useful when he was ordered, “Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give thee bills / Unto the legions on the other side.” (Act 5, Scene 2, Lines 1 – 2) Without well-crafted roads in prime condition, traveling for anybody would be a hassle, not to mention an entire army.
    As well as the use of roads, clever signals are used widely by the military. Lighting torches is an effective way to pass messages. Clitus noticed a signal and said, “Statilius showed the torchlight…” (Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Act 5, Scene 5, Line 2).
The Roman Military has the finest technology to work with, and that could be the difference between life and death in the heat of battle.

For additional information on Roman Technology, see: