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IX

[9arg] In what way and in what form the Roman army is commonly drawn up, and the names of the formations.


THERE are military terms which are applied to an army drawn up in a certain manner: “the front,” [p. 237] “reserves,” “wedge,” “ring,” “mass,” “shears,” “saw,” “wings,” “towers.” 1 These and some other terms you may find in the books of those who have written about military affairs. However, they are taken from the things themselves to which the names are strictly applied, and in drawing up an army the forms of the objects designated by each of these words is represented.

1 The globus was a detached body of troops, qui a sua acie separatus incursat. The forfex or forceps was arranged in the form of a letter V, to take in the enemy's wedge (cuneues) and attack it on both sides (Veget. iii. 19). The serra was a constant advance and retreat, corresponding to the motion of a saw (Paul. -Fest. p. 467, Linds.). The turris was probably a kind of square formation for attack.

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load focus Introduction (John C. Rolfe, 1927)
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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Harper's, Forfex
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FORFEX
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