Before the British came along and changed the very nature of colonial conquest, the Roman Empire was the largest and most historically significant imperial power the world had ever seen. At its height, it held sway over 20% of the world’s population and covered three continents, enriching Rome to an almost unparalleled degree.
Yet holding all that territory demanded a disciplined and resolute fighting force, a professional army before the concept was fully-integrated into military thinking. So what was the nature of the hallowed Roman Legions? And how were they built?
Below is a brief who, what, and why, of the Roman legionaries that changed the world: