Difference Between Greek and Roman Warfare

Topics: Roman Empire, Roman Republic, Ancient Rome Pages: 2 (414 words) Published: September 2, 2002
2 SEP 2002
The main difference between Greek and Roman warfare was the formations that they fought in. The Grecian armies all used the phalanx as a fighting formation while the Romans used the maniple. The phalanx was one mass formation that consisted of infantry eight deep. The maniple formation was actually a group of formations in a checkerboard pattern. Each maniple consisted of about 120 men and when employed in Italy, the Romans used thirty maniples. The maniple proved to be a better formation, because the phalanx left no room for maneuvering after engagement.

The Greeks basic soldier was a foot soldier that was trained for close combat. The basic combat soldier in Rome was a horse rider and an expert bowman. This was also due in part to the increase in technology as well. The Grecian hoplite would also carry a spear that compared to the Roman pilum as a predecessor. The pilum was much longer and could be thrown a lot further.

Another difference in warfare was the way that the different regions treated their opponents after a victory. The Greeks would enslave and control a defeated people while the Romans would not treat a defeated nation as slaves, but would "invite" them to ally and basically become part of Rome. This was the case of the Sicilians after they were defeated during the first Punic War.

The Roman Empire split into two different empires, the eastern or Byzantium and the western. The two empires mirrored each other politically, but not religiously. The Greeks never allowed themselves to split territory into two different powers, although some Greek city-states had dual kings, but never on a national level.

The political system of both Roman empires was based on virtue and the republic was founded with the Senate as the center. The magistrates were elected annually and also had control of the armies. The key to Roman superiority was the patriotism and training and drills. The...
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