Author: Mike

Closed to Open Order

Roman Army Playbook Closed to Open Order   Scientific name:  Open Order Colloquial names:  Closed to Open Order, Flare, Accordion Scientific description: Description: A formation that allows additional space between files and ranks. This formation was necessary for Roman legionaries to use their gladii hispanienses. Open order was approximately 182cm according to Taylor’s interpretation of Polybius’s somewhat problematic description (Polybius Ίστορίαι 18.30.5-6; Taylor “Visual Evidence for Roman Infantry Tactics” 106). Indeed, the inability to deploy in open order could impede tactical effectiveness and sometimes contribute to defeat (Caesar Bellvm Gallicvm 2.25.1; Polybius Ίστορίαι 3.116.10-11). In some situations Roman infantry employed an extra-open order to permit cavalry to pass. Advantages: 1) permitted fresh troops to pass through; 2) permitted Roman legionaries to effectively use gladii hispanienses and pila; 3) helped to negotiate difficult terrain. Disadvantage(s): 1) on level terrain, open order formations lacked the force of shock attacks by closer order formations, namely the Hellenistic phalanx. Commentary: At Rusellae 302 BC, Tifernum 297 BC, and Aquilonia 293 BC, the Roman infantry deployed in extra-open order to permit cavalry to pass. At Cannae 216 BC, the Romans were able to contest the outcome until the line contracted (Polybius Ίστορίαι 3.116.10-11). At the Sabis 57 BC, the ambush by the Belgae significantly compressed the Romans. Caesar describes the soldiers as being a hindrance to themselves, which must refer to the crowding effect...

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Causes of the First Jewish Revolt

Author: Justin James Written for Dr. Strong’s course REL 571: Archaeology and the New Testament, May 4, 2009, Missouri State University Abstract:  Causes of the First Jewish Revolt-This paper looks at the causes and background of the first major Jewish revolt against Rome. This war had a huge disparity in resources and manpower. It is worth looking at why it happened, especially since Judea is the best documented Roman province. I argue that three main causes that interacted over time: 1) sectarian tension between Jews and Gentiles, 2) Jewish desire for political independence, and 3) dire economic conditions in...

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