The superiority of the Roman Empire came as a result of a complex merge of ideas and traditions. The military force was armed to protect the political purpose of the empire, and since there was a general perception that they had a superior military, the enemies feared any encounter with them. The military officers were supposed to be subordinate to tactical priorities, marital ideas, and war-like instincts to political goals, which were essential to the strategic success of the Roman Empire. Money and manipulative diplomacy contributed to the ineffective operation of the military because it was perceived as the use of force to sufficiently rule the security workforce. The Romans learned to defeat their neighbors by tactical strength as opposed to the use of military power (Luttwak 17).
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The Roman Empire used the first systems of the republic to conquer a lot but for the interest of a few who included those living within the cities as well as those who were close to control policy. The third century was characterized by a great crisis such that security became a responsibility of society. Luttwak, 24-26, argues that the provision of security was unequally distributed because it enriched the rich and deprived the poor. The machinery of the empire was turned into a self-serving organ used by government officials. It is then that barbarian states that were initially Roman started providing a measure of security then. Eventually, the imperial security lost its support. The strength of the legions was based on the numbers there were about 6,000 men, and that included 5,280-foot soldiers, a contingent of 120 men, as well as sundry headquarters’ troops. To the upper limit, legionary troops would be about 168.000 men until A.D. Apart from the legions of heavy infantry, which were still guarded by long-serving citizenry who worked voluntarily, there were auxiliary guarded by non-citizens at that time. Light infantry cohorts, also known as cavalry units, complemented the legion forces. The colonies were used as an instrument of strategic control; therefore, Caeser settled his veterans outside as agents of Romanization. The colonies were islands of direct Roman control in the hegemonic empire (Perkins12).
The colonies breed secure observation and control bases. The citizenry was a sure ready-made militia of ex-soldiers and soldier’s sons who were well equipped to defend their home towns in the event of an attack as the imperial forces were reckoned. According to the First Punic War Britannica Encyclopedia 45, the absence of a perimeter defense failed the Roman imperial security of the empire because there were neither border defenses nor local forces to guard imperial territories against the threats of infiltration, transborder incursion, or localized attack.
The Greek phalanx was stronger at war since they deployed young military men and exposed them to specialized training, including fighting in all types of terrains. The Romans, over a long time, had a regular supply of military troops drawn from its population as well as from other regions where veterans sent by Caeser had established relationships. When the ties weakened, and the people became adamant about military recruitments because the military men were used for political gains by the royal class while the common man suffered, the supply of fresh recruits to join the military decreased (Perkins 23).
This emerged as a major setback to the Roman Empire because the rivals devised new ways of maintaining and training their military manpower to afford victories in any war. The rivals also garnered new tactics as well as a fund for importing and manufacturing weapons. The strength of the Roman Empire dwindled over time as the authorities struggled to ensure that they maintained the perception held by the enemy as well as looking for fresh regular and auxiliary troops.
First Punic War.Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online (2010): 45-76. Web.
Luttwak, E. The grand strategy of the Roman Empire from the first century A.D to the third century. John Hopkins University Press Inc, Baltimore, (1979): 13-62
Perkins, W.B. The fall of Rome: The end of civilization. Oxford University Press, New York, (2005): 6-36.