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Caesar’s idea to improve the equipment

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman legionnaire with additional protection
Roman legionary with additional protection | Photo: Pablo Outeiral / Desperta Ferro

During the Civil War (49-45 BCE), Julius Caesar’s soldiers were regularly hailed by missiles ejected and fired by the Republican side. Caesar decided to improve the equipment of his legionaries.

During the battle of Dyrrachium, on July 10, 48 BCE, both Caesar and Pompey created kilometre-long entanglements. The army of optimates outnumbered Caesar’s army, whose soldiers were under heavy fire. After Pompey’s attack, about 30,000 arrows were found in one of the forts. In turn, the famous Caesar centurion – Marcus Cassius Scaeva – after keeping one of the forts in his shield was supposed to have 120 holes from arrows. In exchange for his heroism, Caesar granted him 200,000 sestertii and promotion.

Caesar, noticing that the opponent has a big advantage in archers and slingers, decided to increase the protection of legionaries. For this purpose, he ordered soldiers to prepare an additional protective layer for the helmet and put on special covers for tunics.

Sources
  • Gaius Julius Caesar, Civil War, 3.52

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