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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This article is part of the series on:
Military of ancient Rome (portal)
753 BC – AD 476
Structural history
Roman army (unit types and ranks, legions, auxiliaries, generals)
Roman navy (fleets, admirals)
Campaign history
Lists of wars and battles
Decorations and punishments
Technological history
Military engineering (castra, siege engines, arches, roads)
Personal equipment
Political history
Strategy and tactics
Infantry tactics
Frontiers and fortifications (limes, Hadrian's Wall)

History

The branches of the Roman military at the highest level were the Roman army and the Roman navy. Within these branches the actual structure was subject to substantial change throughout its history.
From sticks and stones to ballistae and quinquiremes.
From subjects of the state to subjects of the general.

Rome's military was always tightly keyed to its political system. In the Roman kingdom the social standing of a person impacted both his political and military roles. The political system was from an early date based upon competition within the ruling elite. Senators in the Republic competed fiercely for public office, the most coveted of which was the post of Consul. Two were elected each year to head the government of the state, and would be assigned a consular army and an area in which to campaign. From Gaius Marius and Sulla onwards, control of the army began to be tied in to the political ambitions of individuals, leading to the political triumvirate of the first century BC and its military resolution. The late Republic and Empire were increasingly plagued by usurpations led and or supported by military conspiracies, leading to the crisis of the third century in the late empire and eventual collapse.

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