The Roman Legion at War

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

An evening pause: Following up Friday’s evening pause, here is a nicely done short explanation of the infantry tactics of the Roman military, using accurate footage from various Hollywood movies. There were reasons why the Romans conquered the world and held it for so long, and these tactics were basic to that success.

Hat tip Rocco.



  • pzatchok

    Their tactics were great. A huge step above everyone else.

    Their roads to aid in the rapid movement of those solders.
    Their economy and workers specialization.
    Standard common coinage made the economy easier to be accounted for and thus managed.

    They taught the world how to effectively govern a huge nation.

  • Noah Peal

    They were also an advanced engineering society. If Rome had not fallen, mankind might have landed on the moon a hundred years earlier.

  • Unemerged

    Most of all, Pax Romana. The doctrine to NOT indoctrinate the colonies into democracy or whatever temporarily fashionable ideology. US foreign policy since the end of the cold war has failed so humiliatingly miserably because it has had the impossible purpose to cultivate the savages.

    When the arabs started war against UK, France and Italy, and lost the war, the victorious powers were wise enough to turn them into occupied zones which each appointed governor. Over the century the governors were replaced by western controlled dictators. Now they have been overthrown and the US-hating islamist have won the war and are much stronger than ever before. Defeated demoralized US troops flee in chaotic panic and leave behind them all their weapons to the hands of their victorious and superior islamic enemy.

    The Romans would never have done anything like that. They would instead have fought the war against the military of the enemy, not trying to change the minds of the civilians. The romans invaded a country in order to profit from taxing it. The US does the opposite. The “conquered” profit from US taxpayers.

  • pzatchok

    But Unemerged, you don’t understand. We are not building an empire we are building friends.

    If we had done it the Roman way we would have occupied any and all territories we fought on and demanded a tax.
    We would have kept taxing them until either they turned against us again or we totally crushed them. It was easy for Rome to totally crush someone since technology was limited and they were so much more advanced than everyone else. All they did in most areas was push a road through and declare the area was now part of the empire.
    Just like with the fall of the British empire, America would have had the very same problems occupying territories. The locals would have eventually rebelled and kicked us out unless we got real nasty about it.

    The militant Islam doesn’t like America because we are not Islam. It is that simple. If we were Islamic we would be a loved nation. It has nothing to do with our companies being over there sucking oil out of the ground. Without those companies they would all still be living in tents and watching 50% of their children die of disease. Instead they get to live in modern cities and watch their children grow up. Those who have changed with the times have little trouble with the western world. It is the ones who want to go back to the middle ages and being ignorant who have problems with the western world.

    Noah Peal

    I don’t think Rome falling had anything to do with our supposedly slow technological advancement.
    In fact look at how long Rome lasted and what technological advancements they made in those hundreds of years. Almost nothing in the grand scheme of things.
    But since then what has been done in the same amount of time.
    Romes infrastructure helped create and expand the Catholic Church. Romes fall created the vacuum that helped create Islam.
    The governmental infrastructure of Rome led to the rise of all the kingdoms and nations of Europe when the Roman Empire fell.

    Knowledge was never lost. Rome just didn’t make as many technological advancements as it needed to to keep such a vast empire under control.
    Rome had the knowledge of iron for a thousand years. And the knowledge of steam power for just as long. But never in all that time made one working steam engine.

  • Wodun

    “Defeated demoralized US troops flee in chaotic panic and leave behind them all their weapons to the hands of their victorious and superior islamic enemy.”

    You are dreaming if you think the US military has been defeated, demoralized, and is fleeing in chaotic panic. The US has not been defeated militarily but rather politically and not by ISIS, AQ, or or Islamic militants but by Americans and even this is a meager defeat because it can be reversed at any time and the only thing America has lost is prestige, which was already in short supply in a world jealous of our accomplishments but too cowardly to emulate our society and embrace the ideals that allow us to thrive.

    Also, we have made little to no effort to change the culture of the countries we fight in. The only failure there, is the failure of not trying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *