Sunday, November 4

We Were There with Caesar's Legions

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Julius Caesar raided Britain twice - in 55 and 54 BC - during the Gallic Wars, so we can guess that this book occurs during one of these years. The invasions led to the creation of a Roman government in eastern England, and also brought roads and other 'new' inventions to the area.

The Roman legion had a reputation for being fierce and invincible. They were well-organized and could quickly take over a region. Most soldiers were from the plebian class, and officers had to be able to afford their own horses, as they were not supplied by the government. 

Each man served for a minimum of twenty-five years before retirement. Upon completion of service, he was granted land and a small pension. (This served Rome well, as the landowners were almost all trained military men who could protect the towns.)

Legions were composed of approximately 5,000 infantry, recruited from the ranks of Roman citizens. Most soldiers were volunteers, but during emergencies, they used the draft to obtain more men.

Upon joining the ranks, a man was issued his uniform of rectangular shield, short sword, dagger, chain mail jacket, lorica segmentata, belt, helmet, kilt, shirt, and sandals. The sandals were specially-designed to make loud noises and create sparks on rocky ground, helping to intimidate the enemy.

Each legion had its own name, number, and special banner. Within each legion, the centuries (groups of 100 men) also had special banners. It was similar to the way that Boy Scouts are set up - with each troop being divided into patrols.

As legions moved around, they built camps, towers, and roads -- leading to the saying "All roads lead to Rome." Many of the earliest architectural finds uncovered through Europe can be traced back to these legions.

Ancient Rome Unit :
Vocabulary : (define)
  • republic
  • vexilla 
  • aqueduct
  • senate
  • patricians
  • plebeians
  • dictator
  • consuls 
  • magistrate
  • brigades
  • auxiliary
  • legion
People & Places : (identify)
  • Julius Caesar
  • Gallic Wars
  • Kent
  • Mandubracius
  • Cassivellaunus
  • Trinovantes
  • Gaul
  • Suessiones
  • Belgae
Caesar & His Legions unit :

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  1. they were very influential weren't they?

    1. I guess it depends on the part of the world you live in, but for the western world for sure!