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The Roman Legion 14 AD-235 AD The Roman Republic was established in 509 BC and lasted until 27 BC when the Roman Empire replaced it During the Roman Republic the Roman army was intentionally composed of landowners The Roman philosophy behind this strategic maneuver revolved around the belief that landowners would defend their property and country more conscientiously than those who had no vested interest The policy of using landowners in the army continued until Rome began to expand its borders Soldiers were deployed overseas to protect the lands that had fallen to Roman conquest as well as to invade new lands As a result of its expansionist policies Rome needed more soldiers that it could provide by using landowners Further justification for a change in policy was that Romans sent oversees were not necessarily as vigilant in regard to protecting land in their ownership since that land was far from where they were stationed This made the use of landowners no more beneficial than that of non-landowners The land owner requirement was consequently dropped in 107 BC Rome began to employ alternative strategies in staffing their great armies When Rome conquered a country they made the conquered peoples citizens of Rome and as such the people of the provinces could volunteer and serve in the army Since land ownership was no longer a prerequisite the lower classes were allowed to enter the army also and these volunteers developed into a loyal professional army The army grew in numbers until about 20 BC when it was about 300000 strong The size of the army remained at about the same numbers until the fall of the empire The Roman army was divided into elements called legions A legion consisted of from 4000 to 6000 men according to different time periods During the Roman Empire the emperor appointed a general to command each legion The general in turn was allowed six commissioned officers as aides
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