-What's the secret behind the "Roman Legion" strength?

-Historically, The "Roman Legion" was one of the strongest military units ever:

  • They played key roles throughout the Roman wars.

  • They were the main units in the Roman army.

  • They achieved many triumphs.

  • They were the best & the most perfect units in the entire Roman army.

-So, What's the secret behind their strength?

  • 2
    When? the Roman Empire and the Legions cover nearly a thousand years.
    – MCW
    Aug 3, 2016 at 17:24
  • 5
    The Legion in the Republic is very different from the Legion in the Empire, and the Legion in the empire is different from the Legion in the year of five emperors. There is no one secret to their strength.
    – MCW
    Aug 3, 2016 at 17:31
  • 1
    I actually am trying to help - I'm sorry that I'm communicating poorly. Imagine if I asked "What is the standard weapon for the US Army?" The answer is different in 1776 than it is in 2016. (and that's only a few hundred years). At various points the Legions were disciplined, and other points they were corrupt parasites. Sometimes they were Roman all Romans, other times they were native conscripts. I'm not trying to be a jerk by saying the question is too broad; I'm simply stating a fact.
    – MCW
    Aug 3, 2016 at 18:56
  • 1
    Editing my post... So that, It becomes in keeping with the web-site kind rules is better than putting it on hold.
    – K. M.
    Aug 3, 2016 at 18:59
  • 1
    I'm a beginner... I asked this question... Because, My informations about the "Roman Legion" is poor... By the way, I don't mind if the admins edited my post... Instead of, Putting on hold
    – K. M.
    Aug 3, 2016 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


This is a bit vague answer as I don't have any good references at hand beyond "having read books" a while back. But I will give a short answer to a wide topic.

The roman legions was well trained and had discipline, they were paid professionals with weathered veterans teaching the younger ones. Comparing that to the other general armies of the time which were often ill trained, not as well equipped and in many cases fought against their will it is not hard to imagine the outcome of battle.

Other armies were much more so individualists, where the roman legion was a unit of well composed hardened soldiers. Also remember, back then the premises of battle was different, much more chaotic and not as good "widespread" communication. If one army's front line would be breached it could cause their whole army to collapse, causing panic and turn in to a mass flight. With the strong moral in the roman legions (and the hard punishments upon failing the commander) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimation_(Roman_army)) this made the roman legions a successful army for a long time.

(another link discussing a bit of what I've said http://www.ancientmilitary.com/roman-military.htm)

  • Thank you so much for clarifying the points I didn't understand...
    – K. M.
    Aug 3, 2016 at 18:44
  • No problem, nevertheless it is by no means a full answer, and as people have pointed out in comments above there are a lot of differences between roman legions and their success through different times. However those are a few easy arguments that are quite universal for the roman legions. Aug 3, 2016 at 19:25
  • Good comment for a broad topic. Roman Legions were highly successful for centuries...although not without some spectacular defeats...for innumerable reasons. First off Rome itself was a difficult City to invade...at least initially. Second the Romans were quite amazing engineers with roads, bridges and plumbing that in some cases still are used even today. Third they were very straightforward militarily...overwhelmingly infantry with a really bad Navy and not much that impressed cavalry wise to even that Age let alone later ones. Incredibly organized, constantly at War, etc etc Aug 4, 2016 at 1:59
  • And they loved flax seeds and disliked meat, making supplies relatively easy during the Republic Aug 4, 2016 at 2:43
  • That's interesting. Is that true? Aug 5, 2016 at 6:43

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