Roman roads were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, were built from about 300 BC through the expansion and consolidation of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. They provided efficient means for the overland movement of armies and civilians, the inland carriage of official communications and trade goods. Roman roads were of several kinds, ranging from small local roads to broad, long-distance highways built to connect cities, major towns and military bases; these major roads were stone-paved and metaled, cambered for drainage, were flanked by footpaths and drainage ditches. They were laid along surveyed courses, some were cut through hills, or conducted over rivers and ravines on bridgework. Sections could be supported over marshy ground on piled foundations. At the peak of Rome's development, no fewer than 29 great military highways radiated from the capital, the late Empire's 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 great roads; the whole comprised more than 400,000 kilometres of roads, of which over 80,500 kilometres were stone-paved.
In Gaul alone, no less than 21,000 kilometres of roadways are said to have been improved, in Britain at least 4,000 kilometres. The courses of many Roman roads survived for millennia. Livy mentions some of the most familiar roads near Rome, the milestones on them, at times long before the first paved road—the Appian Way. Unless these allusions are just simple anachronisms, the roads referred to were at the time little more than levelled earthen tracks. Thus, the Via Gabina is mentioned in about 500 BC. In the Itinerary of Antoninus, the description of the road system, after the death of Julius Caesar and during the tenure of Augustus, is as follows: "With the exception of some outlying portions, such as Britain north of the Wall and certain provinces east of the Euphrates, the whole Empire was penetrated by these itinera. There is hardly a district to which we might expect a Roman official to be sent, on service either civil or military, where we do not find roads, they reach the Wall in Britain.
A road map of the empire reveals that it was laced with a dense network of prepared viae. Beyond its borders there were no paved roads. There were, for instance, some pre-Roman ancient trackways in Britain, such as the Ridgeway and the Icknield Way. For specific roads, see Roman road locations below; the Laws of the Twelve Tables, dated to about 450 BC, required that any public road be 8 Roman feet wide where straight and twice that width where curved. These were the minimum widths for a via. Actual practices varied from this standard; the Tables command Romans to build public roads and give wayfarers the right to pass over private land where the road is in disrepair. Building roads that would not need frequent repair therefore became an ideological objective, as well as building them as straight as possible in order to build the narrowest roads possible, thus save on material. Roman law defined the right to use a road as liability; the ius eundi established a claim to use an footpath, across private land.
A via combined both types of servitutes, provided it was of the proper width, determined by an arbiter. The default width was the latitudo legitima of 8 feet. Roman law and tradition forbade the use of vehicles except in certain cases. Married women and government officials on business could ride; the Lex Iulia Municipalis restricted commercial carts to night-time access in the city within the walls and within a mile outside the walls. Roman roads varied from simple corduroy roads to paved roads using deep roadbeds of tamped rubble as an underlying layer to ensure that they kept dry, as the water would flow out from between the stones and fragments of rubble, instead of becoming mud in clay soils. According to Ulpian, there were three types of roads: Viae publicae, praetoriae or militares Viae privatae, glareae or agrariae Viae vicinales The first type of road included public high or main roads and maintained at the public expense, with their soil vested in the state; such roads led either to a town, or to a public river, or to another public road.
Siculus Flaccus, who lived under Trajan, calls them viae publicae regalesque, describes their characteristics as follows: They are placed under curatores, repaired by redemptores at the public expense. These roads bear the names of their constructors. Roman roads were named after the censor who had ordered their reconstruction; the same person served afterwards as c
The Marcomannic Wars were a series of wars lasting over a dozen years from about 166 until 180 AD. These wars pitted the Roman Empire against, the Germanic Marcomanni and Quadi and the Sarmatian Iazyges; the struggle against the Germans and Sarmatians occupied the major part of the reign of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, it was during his campaigns against them that he started writing his philosophical work Meditations, whose book 1 bears the note "Among the Quadi at the Granua". During the years succeeding the rule of Antoninus Pius, the Roman Empire began to be attacked on all sides. A war with Parthia lasted from 161 to 166 and, although it ended its unforeseen consequences for the Empire were great; the returning troops brought with them a plague, which would kill an estimated 5 million people weakening the Empire. At the same time, in Central Europe, the first movements of the Great Migrations were occurring, as the Goths began moving south-east from their ancestral lands at the mouth of River Vistula, putting pressure on the Germanic tribes from the north and east.
As a result, Germanic tribes and other nomadic peoples launched raids south and west across Rome's northern border into Gaul and across the Danube. Beginning in 162 and continuing until 165, an invasion of Chatti and Chauci in the provinces of Raetia and Germania Superior was repulsed. In late 166 or early 167, a force of 6,000 Langobardi and Lacringi invaded Pannonia; this invasion was defeated by local forces with relative ease, but they marked the beginning of what was to come. In their aftermath, the military governor of Pannonia, Marcus Iallius Bassus, initiated negotiations with 11 tribes. In these negotiations, the Marcomannic king Ballomar, a Roman client, acted as a mediator. In the event, a truce was agreed upon and the tribes withdrew from Roman territory, but no permanent agreement was reached. In the same year and the Sarmatian Iazyges invaded Dacia, succeeded in killing its governor, Calpurnius Proculus. To counter them, Legio V Macedonica, a veteran of the Parthian campaign, was moved from Moesia Inferior to Dacia Superior, closer to the enemy.
During that time, as plague was ravaging the empire, Marcus Aurelius was unable to do more, the punitive expedition he was planning to lead in person was postponed until 168. In the spring of that year, Marcus Aurelius, together with Lucius Verus, set forth from Rome, established their headquarters at Aquileia; the two emperors supervised a reorganization of the defences of Italy and the Illyricum, raised two new legions, Legio II Italica and Legio III Italica, crossed the Alps into Pannonia. The Marcomanni and the Victuali had crossed the Danube into the province, but, at least according to the Historia Augusta, the approach of the imperial army to Carnuntum was sufficient to persuade them to withdraw and offer assurances of good conduct; the two emperors returned to Aquileia for the winter, but on the way, in January 169, Lucius Verus died. Marcus returned to Rome to oversee his co-emperor's funeral. In the autumn of 169, Marcus set out from Rome, together with his son-in-law Claudius Pompeianus, who would become his closest aide during the war.
The Romans had gathered their forces and intended to subdue the independent tribes, who lived between the Danube and the Roman province of Dacia. The Iazyges killed Claudius Fronto, Roman governor of Lower Moesia. However, while the Roman army was entangled in this campaign, making little headway, several tribes used the opportunity to cross the frontier and raid Roman territory. To the east, the Costoboci crossed the Danube, ravaged Thrace and descended into the Balkans, reaching Eleusis, near Athens, where they destroyed the temple of the Eleusinian Mysteries; the most important and dangerous invasion, was that of the Marcomanni in the west. Their leader, had formed a coalition of Germanic tribes, they crossed the Danube and won a decisive victory over a force of 20,000 Roman soldiers near Carnuntum, in what is sometimes known the Battle of Carnuntum. Ballomar led the larger part of his host southwards towards Italy, while the remainder ravaged Noricum; the Marcomanni razed besieged Aquileia.
This was the first time that hostile forces had entered Italy since 101 BC, when Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri. The army of praetorian prefect Titus Furius Victorinus tried to relieve the city, but was defeated and its general slain. There is no consensus amongst scholars as to the year that the great Gemanic invasion towards Aquileia took place. Several authors, like Marcus Aurelius' biographer Frank McLynn, accepting the date of defeat near Carnuntum as 170, place the great Germanic invasion itself three years earlier, they maintain it happened in 167 because by the year 170 the Germans would have been checked by the Praetentura Italiae et Alpium—the fortifications which were erected in 168–169 to block a breakthrough of the Alps to Northern Italy – whereas all sources confirm it to be a military walkover. A further argument is that the panic which gripped Rome in 167–168 would make no sense if the Germanic tribes were still on the opposite side of the Danube. No source mentions the emperor being near the front when the disaster occurred, whereas
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul. While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late; the wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic. Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought to boost Caesar's political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north.
Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which remains the most important historical source regarding the conflict; as a result of the financial burdens of his consulship in 59 BC, Caesar incurred significant debt. However, through his membership in the First Triumvirate—the political alliance which comprised Marcus Licinius Crassus, Pompey, himself— Caesar had secured the proconsulship of two provinces, Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum; when the Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Metellus Celer, died unexpectedly, this province was awarded to Caesar. Caesar's governorships were extended to a new idea at the time. Caesar had four veteran legions under his direct command: Legio VII, Legio VIII, Legio IX Hispana, Legio X; as he had been Governor of Hispania Ulterior in 61 BC and had campaigned with them against the Lusitanians, Caesar knew most of these legions. Caesar had the legal authority to levy additional legions and auxiliary units as he saw fit.
His ambition was to conquer and plunder some territories to get himself out of debt, it is possible that Gaul was not his initial target. It is more that he was planning a campaign against the Kingdom of Dacia, located in the Balkans; the countries of Gaul were wealthy. Most had contact with Roman merchants and some those that were governed by republics such as the Aedui and Helvetii, had enjoyed stable political alliances with Rome in the past; the Romans feared the Gallic tribes. Only fifty years before, in 109 BC, Italy had been invaded from the north and saved only after several bloody and costly battles by Gaius Marius. Around 62 BC, when a Roman client state, the Arverni, conspired with the Sequani and the Suebi nations east of the Rhine to attack the Aedui, a strong Roman ally, Rome turned a blind eye; the Sequani and Arverni sought Ariovistus’ aid and defeated the Aedui in 63 BC at the Battle of Magetobriga. The Sequani rewarded Ariovistus with land following his victory. Ariovistus settled the land with 120,000 of his people.
When 24,000 Harudes joined his cause, Ariovistus demanded that the Sequani give him more land to accommodate the Harudes people. This demand concerned Rome because if the Sequani conceded, Ariovistus would be in a position to take all of the Sequani land and attack the rest of Gaul, they did not appear to be concerned about a conflict between non-client and allied states. By the end of the campaign, the non-client Suebi under the leadership of the belligerent Ariovistus, stood triumphant over both the Aedui and their co-conspirators. Fearing another mass migration akin to the devastating Cimbrian War, now keenly invested in the defense of Gaul, was irrevocably drawn into war; the Helvetii was a confederation of about five related Gallic tribes that lived on the Swiss plateau, hemmed in by the mountains as well as the Rhine and Rhone rivers. They began to come under increased pressure from German tribes to the east. By 58 BC, the Helvetii were well on their way in the planning and provisioning for a mass migration under the leadership of Orgetorix.
Caesar mentions as an additional reason their not being able to in turn raid for plunder themselves due to their location. They planned to travel across Gaul to the west coast, a route that would have taken them through lands of the Aedui, a Roman ally, the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul; the Helvetii sent emissaries to neighboring tribes to negotiate peaceful transit. Orgetorix made an alliance with the Sequani chieftain Casticus and arranged the marriage of his daughter to an Aedui chieftain, Dumnorix; the three secretly planned to become kings of their respective tribes, masters of the whole of Gaul. Orgetorix's personal ambitions were discovered and he was to be put on trial, with the penalty being death by fire if convicted. Orgetorix escaped with the help of his many debtors. However, the death of Orgetorix was "not without suspicion that he had decided upon death for himself", as Caesar puts it. Caesar dated their departure to the 28 March, mentions that they burned all their towns and villages so as to discourage thoughts among undecided client tribes and enemies of occupying their vacated realm..
Caesar was across the Alps in Italy. With only a single legion in Transalpine Gaul, the endangered province, he hurried to Geneva and ordered a levy of several auxiliary units and the destruction of the Rhone bridge. Th
Battle of Munda
The Battle of Munda, in southern Hispania Ulterior, was the final battle of Caesar's civil war against the leaders of the Optimates. With the military victory at Munda, the deaths of Titus Labienus and Gnaeus Pompeius, Caesar was politically able to return in triumph to Rome, govern as the elected Roman dictator. Subsequently, the assassination of Julius Caesar began the Republican decline that led to the Roman Empire, initiated with the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus; the republicans had been led by Pompey, until the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC and Pompey's death soon afterwards. However, in April 46 BC, Caesar's forces destroyed the Pompeian army at the Battle of Thapsus. After this, military opposition to Caesar was confined to Hispania. During the Spring of 46 BC, two legions in Hispania Ulterior formed by former Pompeian veterans enrolled in Caesar's army, had declared themselves for Gnaeus Pompeius and driven out Caesar's proconsul. Soon they were joined by the remnants of the Pompeian army.
These forces were commanded by the brothers Gnaeus Pompeius and Sextus and by the talented general Titus Labienus, one of the most trusted of Caesar's generals during the Gallic Wars. Using the resources of the province they were able to raise an army of three legions; these were the two original veteran legions, one additional legion recruited from Roman citizens and local inhabitants in Hispania. They took control of all Hispania Ulterior, including the important Roman colonies of Italica and Corduba. Caesar's generals Quintus Fabius Maximus and Quintus Pedius did not risk a battle and remained encamped at Obulco, about 35 miles east of Corduba, requesting help from Caesar. Thus, Caesar was forced to move from Rome to Hispania to deal with the Pompeius brothers, he brought two trusted veteran legions and some newer legions, but in the main was forced to rely on the recruits present in Hispania. Caesar covered the 1,500 miles from Rome to Obulco in less than one month, arriving in early December.
Caesar had called for his great-nephew Octavian to join him, but due to his health Octavian was only able to reach him after the conclusion of the campaign. Capitalizing on his surprise arrival Caesar was able to relieve the stronghold of Ulipia but was unable to take Corduba, defended by Sextus Pompeius. Under Labienus’ advice, Gnaeus Pompeius decided to avoid an open battle, Caesar was forced to wage a winter campaign, while procuring food and shelter for his army. After a short siege, Caesar took the fortified city of Ategua. Another skirmish near Soricaria on March 7 went in Caesar's favor; the two armies met in the plains of Munda in southern Spain. The Pompeian army was situated on a gentle hill, less than one mile from the walls of Munda, in a defensible position. Caesar led a total of eight legions, with 8,000 horsemen, while Pompeius commanded thirteen legions, 6,000 light-infantrymen and about 6,000 horsemen. Many of the Republican soldiers had surrendered to Caesar in previous campaigns and had deserted his army to rejoin Pompeius: they would fight with desperation, fearing that they would not be pardoned a second time.
After an unsuccessful ploy designed to lure the Pompeians down the hill, Caesar ordered a frontal attack. The fighting lasted for 8 hours without a clear advantage for either side, causing the generals to leave their commanding positions and join the ranks; as Caesar himself said he had fought many times for victory, but at Munda he had to fight for his life. Caesar took command of his right wing, where his favorite Legio X Equestris was involved in heavy fighting. With Caesar's inspiration the tenth legion began to push back Pompeius' forces. Aware of the danger, Gnaeus Pompeius removed a legion from his own right wing to reinforce the threatened left wing. However, as soon as the Pompeian right wing was thus weakened, Caesar's cavalry launched a decisive attack which turned the course of the battle. King Bogud of Mauretania and his cavalry, Caesar's allies, attacked the rear of the Pompeian camp. Titus Labienus, commander of the Pompeian cavalry, saw this manoeuvre and moved some troops to intercept them.
The Pompeian army misinterpreted the situation. Under heavy pressure on both the left and right wings, they thought Labienus was retreating; the Pompeian legions fled in disorder. Although some were able to find refuge within the walls of Munda, many more were killed in the rout. At the end of the battle there were about 30,000 Pompeians dead on the field. All thirteen standards of the Pompeian legions were captured, a sign of complete disbandment. Titus Labienus died on the field and was granted a burial by Caesar, while Gnaeus and Sextus Pompeius managed to escape from the battlefield. Caesar left his legate Quintus Fabius Maximus to besiege Munda and moved to pacify the provin
Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. It encompassed much of the Mediterranean coast of modern Spain along with the central plateau. Southern Spain, the region now called Andalusia, was the province of Hispania Baetica. On the Atlantic west lay the province of Lusitania coincident with modern-day Portugal; the Phoenicians and Carthaginians colonised the Mediterranean coast in the 8th to 6th centuries BC. The Greeks also established colonies along the coast; the Romans arrived in the 2nd century BC. The Imperial Roman province called Tarraconensis supplanted Hispania Citerior, ruled by a consul in the late Republic by Augustus's reorganization of 27 BC, its capital was at Tarraco. The Cantabrian Wars brought all of Iberia within the Tarraconensis. Astures and Cantabri, on the northern coast of Iberia were the last people to be pacified. Tarraconensis was an Imperial province and separate from the two other Iberian provinces — Lusitania and the Senatorial province Baetica, corresponding to the southern part of Spain, or Andalusia.
Servius Sulpicius Galba, who served as Emperor in 68–69, governed the province since 61. Pliny the Elder served as procurator in Tarraconensis. Under Diocletian, in 293, Hispania Tarraconensis was divided in three smaller provinces: Gallaecia and Tarraconensis; the Imperial province of Hispania Tarraconensis lasted until the invasions of the 5th century, beginning in 409, when Suebi and Alans crossed the Pyrenees, ended with the establishment of a Visigothic kingdom. The invasion resulted in widespread exploitation of metals gold and silver; the alluvial gold mines at Las Medulas show that Roman engineers worked the deposits on a large scale using several aqueducts up to 30 miles long to tap water in the surrounding mountains. By running fast water streams on the soft rocks, they were able to extract large quantities of gold by hydraulic mining methods; when the gold had been exhausted, they followed the auriferous seams underground by tunnels using fire-setting to break up the much harder gold-bearing rocks.
Pliny the Elder gives a good account of the methods used in Hispania based on his own observations. The most popular deity in Hispania was Isis, followed by the great mother; the Carthaginian-Phoenician deities Melqart and Tanit-Caelestis were popular. The Roman pantheon absorbed native deities through identification. Ba‘al Hammon was the chief god at Carthage and was important in Hispania; the Egyptian gods Bes and Osiris had a following as well. Exports from Tarraconensis included timber, gold, tin, pottery, marble and olive oil. Castrum Album Las Medulas Pliny the Elder Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula World of the Imperium Romanum: Hispania Detailed Map of Pre-Roman Peoples in Iberia Historical Outline of the Roman conquest of Hispania and the Province of Tarraconensis Spanish site dedicated to Roman technology aqueducts and mines Bagnall, R. J. Drinkwater, A. Esmonde-Cleary, W. Harris, R. Knapp, S. Mitchell, S. Parker, C. Wells, J. Wilkes, R. Talbert, M. E. Downs, M. Joann McDaniel, B. Z. Lund, T. Elliott, S. Gillies.
"Places: 991326". Pleiades. Retrieved March 8, 2012. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list
Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. It was founded by the young Gaius Octavius in 41/40 BC to fight during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic. X Fretensis is recorded to have existed at least until the 410s. X Fretensis symbols were the bull — the holy animal of the goddess Venus — a ship, the god Neptune, a boar; the symbol of Taurus may mean that it was organized between 20 April and 20 May. Octavian known as Augustus, levied a legion and gave it the number ten, as a reference to Julius Caesar's famous Tenth Legion. In 36 BC, the Tenth Legion fought under Octavian against Sextus Pompey in the Battle of Naulochus, where it earned its cognomen Fretensis; the name refers to the fact. In 31 BC, it fought in the Battle of Actium against Mark Antony. Although Actium was a battle at sea, the legion was able to board enemy ships, hooked close by means of an iron grapnel known as the Corvus, its key participation in this battle is the reason that the legion used a trireme as one of its symbols.
Actium marked the end of the civil war and the rise to power of Octavian, proclaimed Augustus some years later. It uncertain. An inscription found in the valley of the Strymon river attests that a group of soldiers from the unit had built a bridge. While stationed in that province, it fought battles with the Sarmatae who attacked the province in 16 BC. Not much Legio X Fretensis went to Syria. An inscription in the temple of Bel in Palmyra dated AD 14-19, signed by the commander of the legion, was dedicated to members of the emperor's family; this has led experts to believe X Fretensis took part in Germanicus' campaign in the East, as well that the legion was stationed at Zeugma to secure the frontier with Parthia. In the year 6, Publius Sulpicius Quirinus, governor of Syria, led X Fretensis and III Gallica, VI Ferrata, XII Fulminata in suppressing the revolt that sprung out after the deposition of Herod Archelaus. Under Nero, in 58-63, X Fretensis participated in the campaigns of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo against the Parthians.
X Fretensis was centrally involved in the First Jewish-Roman War, under the supreme command of Vespasian. In 66, the X Fretensis and V Macedonica went to Alexandria for an invasion of Ethiopia planned by Nero. However, the two legions were needed in Judaea to suppress a revolt. After spending the winter in Ptolemais Ace, X Fretensis and V Macedonica relocated in the coastal city of Caesarea Maritima; this was due to the large number of legions being mobilized in Ptolemais, under Marcus Ulpius Traianus, future governor of Syria and father of the emperor Trajan. During that same winter, the Caesarea camp of Xth and Vth hosted Vespasian, forced to go to Rome the following year, where he seized power. Vespasian's son Titus finished the suppression of the revolt; when Tarichacae and Gamla were conquered, the X Fretensis moved to Scythopolis, just west of the Jordan River. In the summer of 68, X Fretensis destroyed the monastery of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are believed to have originated, its winter camp was at Jericho.
By 70, the rebellion in all of Judaea had been crushed, except for Jerusalem and a few fortresses, including Masada. In that year X Fretensis, in conjunction with V Macedonica, XII Fulminata, XV Apollinaris, began the siege of Jerusalem, stronghold of the rebellion; the Xth camped on the Mount of Olives. During the siege, Legio X gained fame in the effective use of their various war machines, it was noted that they were able to hurl stones that weighted a talent a distance of two furlongs or further. The projectiles of their ballistae caused heavy damage to the ramparts. According to Josephus, Larcius Lepidus was the commanding officer of the X Legion; the siege of Jerusalem lasted five months and the besieged population experienced all the terrible rigors of starvation. The combined assaults of the legions succeeded in taking the city, subjected to destruction. During the spring of 71, Titus set sail for Rome. A new military governor was appointed from Rome, Lucilius Bassus, whose assigned task was to undertake the "mopping-up" operations in Judaea.
He used X Fretensis to oppose the few remaining fortresses that still resisted. As part of this, X Fretensis took Herodium, crossed the Jordan to capture the fortress of Machaerus on the shore of the Dead Sea. Due to illness, Bassus did not live to complete his mission. Lucius Flavius Silva replaced him, moved against the last Jewish stronghold, Masada in the autumn of 72, he used Legio X, auxiliary troops, thousands of Jewish prisoners. After his orders for surrender were rejected, Silva established several base camps and a wall of circumvallation around the fortress; when the Romans broke through the walls of this citadel, they discovered that the Jewish defenders had chosen death with a mass suicide. After the conclusion of the Jewish revolt, Legio X was garrisoned at Jerusalem, their main camp was positioned on the Western Hill, located in the southern half of what is now the Old City, levelled of all former buildings. The camp of the Tenth was built using the surviving portions of the walls of Herod's royal palace, demolished by order of Titus.
Once the Romans rebuilt parts of the destroyed city as the pagan city of Aelia Capitolina, the camp found itself at the end of t
Campaign history of the Roman military
From its origin as a city-state on the peninsula of Italy in the 8th century BC, to its rise as an empire covering much of Southern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to its fall in the 5th century AD, the political history of Ancient Rome was entwined with its military history. The core of the campaign history of the Roman military is an aggregate of different accounts of the Roman military's land battles, from its initial defense against and subsequent conquest of the city's hilltop neighbors on the Italian peninsula, to the ultimate struggle of the Western Roman Empire for its existence against invading Huns and Germanic tribes; these accounts were written by various authors after the history of the Empire. Following the First Punic War, naval battles were less significant than land battles to the military history of Rome due to its encompassment of lands of the periphery and its unchallenged dominance of the Mediterranean Sea; the Roman army battled first against its tribal neighbours and Etruscan towns within Italy, came to dominate the Mediterranean and at its height the provinces of Britannia and Asia Minor.
As with most ancient civilizations, Rome's military served the triple purpose of securing its borders, exploiting peripheral areas through measures such as imposing tribute on conquered peoples, maintaining internal order. From the outset, Rome's military typified this pattern, the majority of Rome's campaigns were characterised by one of two types; the first is the territorial expansionist campaign begun as a counter-offensive, in which each victory brought subjugation of large areas of territory and allowed Rome to grow from a small town to a population of 55 million in the early empire when expansion was halted. The second is the civil war. Roman armies were not invincible, despite their formidable reputation and host of victories, Romans "produced their share of incompetents" who led Roman armies into catastrophic defeats, it was the fate of the greatest of Rome's enemies, such as Pyrrhus and Hannibal, to win the battle but lose the war. The history of Rome's campaigning is, if nothing else, a history of obstinate persistence overcoming appalling losses.
Knowledge of Roman history stands apart from other civilizations in the ancient world. Its chronicles and otherwise, document the city's foundation to its eventual demise. Although some histories have been lost, such as Trajan's account of the Dacian Wars, others, such as Rome's earliest histories, are at least semi-apocryphal, the extant histories of Rome's military history are extensive. Rome's earliest history, from the time of its founding as a small tribal village, to the downfall of its kings, is the least well preserved. Although the early Romans were literate to some degree, this void may be due to the lack of will to record their history at that time, or such histories as they did record were lost. Although the Roman historian Livy lists a series of seven kings of early Rome in his work Ab urbe condita, from its establishment through its earliest years, the first four kings may be apocryphal. A number of points of view have been proposed. Grant and others argue that prior to the establishment of the Etruscan kingdom of Rome under the traditional fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus, Rome would have been led by a religious leader of some sort.
Little is known of Rome's military history from this era, what history has come down to us is more of a legendary than of factual nature. Traditionally, after founding the city, fortified the Palatine Hill, shortly thereafter, Rome was "equal to any of the surrounding cities in her prowess in war"; the first of the campaigns fought by the Romans in this legendary account are the wars with various Latin cities and the Sabines. According to Livy, the Latin village of Caenina responded to the event of the abduction of the Sabine women by invading Roman territory, but were routed and their village captured; the Latins of Antemnae and those of Crustumerium were defeated next in a similar fashion. The remaining main body of the Sabines attacked Rome and captured the citadel, but were convinced to conclude a treaty with the Romans under which the Sabines became Roman citizens. There was a further war in the 8th century BC against Veii. In the 7th century BC there was a war with Alba Longa, a second war with Fidenae and Veii and a second Sabine War.
Ancus Marcius led Rome to victory against the Latins and, according to the Fasti Triumphales, over the Veientes and Sabines also. Lucius Tarquinius Priscus' first war was waged against the Latins. Tarquinius took great booty from there back to Rome. According to the Fasti Triumphales, the war occurred prior to 588 BC, his military ability was tested by an attack from the Sabines. Tarquinius doubled the numbers of equites to help the war effort, defeat the Sabines. In the peace negotiations that followed, Tarquinius received the town of Collatia and appointed his nephew, Arruns Tarquinius known as Egerius, as commander of the garrison which he stationed in that city. Tarquinius returned to Rome and celebrated a triumph for his victories that, according to the Fasti Triumphales, occurred on 13 September 585 BC. Subsequently, the Latin cities of Corniculum, old Ficulea, Crustumerium, Ameriola and Nomentum were subdued and became Roman. Early in his reign, Servius Tullius warred against Veii and the Etruscans.
He is said to have shown valour in the campaign, to have routed a great army of the enemy. The war helped him to cement his position at Rome. According to t