Caesar's Army: A Study of the Military Art of the Romans in the Last Days of the Republic

By Harry Pratt Judson. | Go to book overview

§ 118. How long one line would remain in the fight before it was relieved we have no definite knowledge. But we may easily conjecture that it could hardly have been more than 15 minutes in general. Then the second line would advance to the attack, the first would assemble behind it, re-form, rest, and be ready in turn again to take up the fight.

§ 119. Cæsar usually fought in three lines rather than in two. We may suppose that he brought the third line into action only in case the blows inflicted by the other lines successively proved insufficient to cause the enemy to break. Thus the third line was a last reserve.

§ 120. We see that we must imagine the cohorts in battle as in almost constant motion. The two lines are hurled successively against the enemy, giving the latter no rest, and wearing them out by the incessant blows of the cohorts.

§ 121. When the enemy were finally routed, the cavalry was hurled on the fleeing mass to complete their destruction. Cæsar never failed in this way to follow up a beaten foe. Hence his victories, like Napoleon's for the same reason, seldom proved indecisive.


B.

THE MARCH.

§ 122. Every long distance was divided into day's marches (itinera). After each two or three days of marching, as a rule, followed a day of rest. *

Each day's march (iter) was from one camp to another; so that " a distance of five camps " means a five days' march.

B. G. VII, 36.

§ 123. The Romans aimed to fight only near their own camp. When they were compelled to break this rule, and

____________________
*
If no such rest was taken, it was regarded as wholly exceptional. See B. G. I, 41, Septimo die, cum iter non intermitteret, etc.

-62-

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Caesar's Army: A Study of the Military Art of the Romans in the Last Days of the Republic
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Caesar's Army - A Study of the Military Art of the Romans in the Last Days of the Republic. *
  • Preface *
  • Contents *
  • List of Illustrations *
  • Abbreviations *
  • I - The Organization. *
  • 1 - The Infantry of the Legion. *
  • 2 - The Standards. 13
  • 3 - The Music. 15
  • 4 - The Baggage Train. 16
  • 5 - The Auxiliary Infantry. 18
  • 6 - The Cavalry. 19
  • 7 - The Artillery. 20
  • 8 - The Staff and Staff Troops. 26
  • II - The Legionary. *
  • 1 - Enlistment. *
  • 2 - Clothing. 32
  • 3 - Armor. 32
  • 4 - Arms. 33
  • 5 - Baggage. 36
  • 6 - Work. 36
  • 7 - Pay. 37
  • 8 - Discipline. 38
  • III - Tactics of the Legion. *
  • Military Terms *
  • A - Order of Battle. 41
  • B - The Order of March. 46
  • IV - Tactics of the Cavalry. *
  • V - Tactics of the Army. *
  • A - The Battle. *
  • B - The March. 62
  • C - The Camp. 70
  • D - The Siege. 87
  • VI - The Ships and Sea-Fights. *
  • VII - The Enemy. *
  • Maps of the Principal Campaigns and Plans of the Most Important Battles and Sieges of the Gallic War *
  • Gallia Antiqua *
  • Map of the Campaign of B. C.58 *
  • Map of the Campaign of B. C.57 *
  • Map of the Campaigns of B. C. 55,54, & 53 *
  • Britain in the Campaigns of B. C.55 & 54 *
  • Map of the Campaign of B. C. 52 *
  • Index of Latin Military Terms *
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