Roman Weapons

The Romans were very known and very strong when they went to battle.

They had a powerful army and an even stronger empire.  The Roman army was considered one of the strongest armies of the world.

Roman Army

The Roman army was very well trained, and they were organized.

They trained hard, and they had all of the weapons and armor that they needed.  Since the Romans had such a vast empire, they were able to build good roads that made traveling easy.

Having good roads made it easier for the Roman soldiers to go and fight when they needed to.

Roman Soldiers

The Roman Soldiers were very well trained.  They would begin to fight when they were young, and they would fight for 20 years of their life.

After their 20 years were up, the Roman soldier would be given a massive piece of land or a lot of money.

Since the soldiers were in the army for 20 years, this meant that they had a lot of time to train and to get strong.  These soldiers were considered to be very experienced and even considered royalty sometimes.

Roman Army

The Roman army had different legions, and the legions were made up of soldiers.  There were more than 5,000 soldiers in the legions.

Some of the soldiers were citizens, but there were also Roman slaves that were called auxiliaries.

These people would join the army and agree to fight for 25 years, and then at the end of the 25 years, they would be allowed to become Roman citizens.


The Legions were led by people called the Legate, and these were usually people in the government.  Some of the Legate were Senators while some were Governors.

There were ten groups of soldiers in each Legion, and these were called cohorts.


The Cohorts or ten groups of soldiers were divided into more groups, which had 80 men.  These groups were called centuries.  The leaders of the centuries were called centurions.

Roman Armor

The Roman soldiers knew that they could not fight their best if they did not have good armor, so the government made sure that this was strong.

The armor of the Roman soldiers was made of iron, and it had different strips on it that made the armor stronger but also allowed it to fit and to be flexible.

The soldiers also had helmets that were made of iron and were used to make sure that the soldiers’ necks and heads were protected in battle.  The front was open so that the soldiers could see when they were fighting.

Even though the armor was strong and powerful, it was also cumbersome, and so the soldier had to be very strong in order to wear all of the armor they were given.  On top of the armor, many of the Roman soldiers would carry a long shield for extra protection.

Roman Weapons

There were many different weapons that the Roman soldiers used.  One of the items was the dagger, which was also called the pugio.

The sword of the gladius was very powerful.  The Roman soldiers also carried a spear, or a javelin called a hasta, and many of them were archers and carried bows and arrows.

One exciting thing about the helmets was that the centurions would wear a large crest that would help the soldiers to see them better when they were actually on the battlefield.


When the Roman soldiers would train, they would hit each other with weapons but the weapons were made of wood.

These wooden swords would be used by the soldiers to fight and to practice how they would use their real weapons.

Facts About Ancient Roman Weapons:

  • The Roman soldier armor weighed at least 90 pounds.
  • The Roman soldiers were oftentimes forced to walk more than twenty miles in one day.
  • There were over 30 legions at one time, which meant more than 150,000 soldiers.
  • If the auxiliary soldiers were counted, it was believed that the Roman soldiers would have been more than a million soldiers at one time.
  • The general, Gaius Marius, is given credit for making the Roman army as powerful as it was.
  • One weapon that the Roman army had was a catapult. These catapults could throw huge rocks at walls and knock down the walls so they could enter the city.
  • Ballista’s or large crossroads were used, and they would light them on fire and launch them into cities.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was important about Roman weapons?  The Roman weapons were powerful, and some of them were so big that more than one soldier would have to carry them.
  2. What is the pugio? The pugio was a dagger that the soldiers would carry on their left side.
  3. Besides armor, what other heavy thing did the Roman soldiers sometimes carry? Sometimes, the Roman soldiers would carry a very heavy shield.
  4. What were the parts of the Roman army called that was made up of different sections? The Roman army was made up of Legions.
  5. What were some other Roman weapons that were used in battle? Some of the Roman weapons that were used in battle were the javelin, the catapult, and bows and arrows.