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ROMAN MILITARY STANDARDS
Transcript of ROMAN MILITARY STANDARDS
Military standards were a recognized signal and a meeting point within the battle field. They were held in awe and were a symbol of Roman honor and represented Rome itself. Losing ones standard was considered a disgrace.
This was a cloth flag draped from a horizontal crossbar. The bearer of the Vexillum was known as the Vexillarius (bearer in infantry and cavalry). When soldiers became seperated from a legion the rest of the unit would march under this flag. The word velum in latin means sail which confirms historical evidence from coins and sculptures that vexilla were literally "little sails".
The Aquila was one of the most significant standards being an eagle as it symbolized the supreme associating with the god Jupiter. It was the standard of the legion and was made of silver or bronze, mounted on a pole carried by a Aquilifer.
The manus, literally meaning hand, was a hand situated on top of the standard with wreaths and decorations attached to the staff. It had significance possibly being a military salute, divine protection or the oath or loyalty taken by the soldiers. It was used for the first Century of a two-century maniple formation mainly during the Republic
This standard linked the legion with the emperor personally. The Imago represented the emperor that created the legion and was carried by an Imaginifer. It was carried on a staff at the head of a legion.
The Draco was made of pieces of dyed material sewed together. It was primarily used to determine the wind direction for a horse archer. I had a head formed from metal in the front with loose cloth on the end.
The different clothing and armor of a soldier was vital to able to perform their best in battle. The type of clothing would change depending on the type of weather they were in and also the era and provinces where the troops where fighting. The uniforms were standard, so all soldiers would look the same.
The tunic was a basic military undergarment that was used in showing the rank of the wearer. It was made of long cloth usually cotton, linen or wool. The colors would differ depending if they were in battle (red) or around camp (white).
The sagum was a cloak made out of wool wore by soldiers and officers that was fastened at the shoulders, allowing it to be open in the front. It was died red and signified going to war.
These sandals were worn by all members of the military and were very strong in material, withstanding miles of marching. The open design allowed for air to pass through and prevention of foot conditions.
This was protective armor that covered all of the clothing used by the soldiers, officers, and emperor. It was made up of metal shoulder, arm and leg guards. The lorica hamata and lorica squamanta were the most common type of armor.
These were decorative leather strips hanging from the shoulders to below the waist. They were worn by legionaries and served as decoration noise makers, as they served little protection. Soldiers would also sew tokens to signify the battles they have been in.
Military's tactics can be found from accounts of battle. The normal arangement was the infantry to be in the center and the cavalry on the wings. The horseman were always secondary force with the infantry doing most of the fighting. In line, each man should be 3 ft apart and the distance of ranks at 6 ft.
Roman Army Tactics
The turtle was a defense mechanism where the soldiers would hold shields above and in front, creating a shell where missiles could not get through. If someone in the front gets hurt, a soldier from behind would take their place.
This was an attack tactic where a small group of legionaries would make a triangle with a tip in the front. This would enable them to force themselves onto the enemy, restrict the enemies position, and make one on one fighting hard
This is an defense strategy where the soldiers would form a circle with their shields. Even if the army had gotten seperated it would still be effective as it didn't require too many people. Although, it would have required a high level of training and discipline.
This defense formation was when a line of shields was formed with spears sticking out to form a wall. The horse carrying the enemy would not be able to get past this barrier, especially if not trained well. If the horse came to a halt, the infantry would use the spears to drive it away.