Wednesday, December 4, 2013

30 Stades.

This is coolbert:

From Professor Al Nofi at StrategyPage and his CIC # 251 we have a description of the Roman Legion training regimen for recruits, circa the time of Scipio Africanus.

As copied in entirety with my commentary:

"The earliest documented instance of actual organized 'basic training' dates from 210 B.C. Having received a large infusion of raw recruits following his capture of New Carthage [Cartagena] in Spain, Publius Cornelius Scipio, later known as Scipio Africanus, established an intensive training schedule for them"

• "Day 1   Running in armor for 30 stades (c. four Roman miles, roughly 3.7 English miles or 5.9 kilometers)."
• "Day 2   Fatigue duties, including care and maintenance of arms and equipment, and so forth"
• "Day 3   Combat drill and a sham battle using overweight blunted wooden swords covered with leather and blunted javelins."
• "Day 4   Rest"

"Each day, Scipio personally conducted an inspection of the troops, taking pains to insure that everyone was properly outfitted. On the fifth day, the troops began again. Each new iteration of the training cycle was more difficult than the previous. Thus, where on the very first day the troops had to run in armor for four Roman miles, but on Day 5, this was supposedly doubled to eight, roughly 7.4 miles or 11.8 kilometers, while on Day 6 they began to learn how prepare the daily legionary marching camp, and on Day 7, a sham battle was fought with heavier blunted arms."
"Scipio had the troops carry on this regime for some weeks, each cycle’s training schedule being a little more onerous than the previous one. Thus, he insured that his troops were perfectly disciplined and physically inured to the hardships of campaigning, being able to easily march at least 20 Roman miles, fight a major battle, and then build their nightly entrenched camp, all in one day."

Progressive training WITH REST! The Roman fully understanding that the body cannot gain without pain but also needs time to heal [that fourth day of rest]!


* A stades equal to one lap around a stadium as constructed for "games". And that stades roughly the same as an English furlong. [220 yards]

* This sort of training as described BASIC. Keep in mind a person of that period twice as strong pound for pound as a modern.

* Those fatigue duties including the construction of a "camp" as a daily ritual of a Roman legion on the march. That camp to consist at a minimum of a moat and stockade and inner dwellings for the men. Digging, chopping and sawing wood. Good hard physical labor to produce a superior physical specimen.

* That ability of the Romans to march, fight and then build a camp all in one day not only phenomenal but also an institutionalized aspect of their form of warfare. NO wonder the Roman prevailed for as long as they did as well as they did.


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