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"Marian Romans or Polybian Romans?" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian29 Aug 2020 1:47 p.m. PST

Andy Offen, writing in Slingshot 331, remarks that "…the question of whether Marian Romans were better than Polybian Romans is still to be answered."

What say you?

Come In Nighthawk29 Aug 2020 3:11 p.m. PST

Marian. Because it was the army modelled most closely on that which won most of the empire… and kept it for four hundred years…

Legionarius29 Aug 2020 6:33 p.m. PST

The Roman armies described by Polybios were ad hoc forces, citizen armies raised as the occasion demanded. Since Roman males were expected to serve, most soldiers were adequate. But Marius created a professional force of long serving veterans. He did away with archaic divisions such as the velites and triarii and made the cohort the basic maneuver unit. This was good for the Roman Army but bad for the Roman Republic. Marius, Sulla, and later Caesar and Pompey became warlords that killed the civic traditions of Rome in the altar of their personal ambition. The Roman Army became and instrument of empire. As the emperors became increasingly less capable and more degenerate, the Army became a law unto itself.

RudyNelson30 Aug 2020 2:51 p.m. PST

I prefer the horsehair on the helmet tuft rather than the vertices feathers.

JJartist31 Aug 2020 8:46 a.m. PST

I prefer Cincinnatus to Caesar.

Swampster03 Sep 2020 11:06 a.m. PST

"Marian. Because it was the army modelled most closely on that which won most of the empire… and kept it for four hundred years…"

Polybian. Because it expanded Roman control from part of Italy to virtually the entire Mediterranean.. and kept most of it for 800 years.

Swampster03 Sep 2020 11:08 a.m. PST

(Actually, I think the Marian army was better, but the achievement of the Middle Republic was astonishing).

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