The Roman army took bits and pieces from other cultures. By doing this they revolutionized warfare by putting together other cultures of warfare with their own. The Roman army made a shield that went around the body to protect it. In addition, it was used to knock over enemy soldiers. They carried javelins and also used a short sword called a gladius that they used to stab the enemy. While training they used heaver weapons than the ones they used in real battles so they could get stronger. The Romans borrowed some of their military strategy from Alexander the Great's army. One strategy was called the Hammer and the Anvil. It involved trapping the enemy between two columns of soldiers, one of which blocked the enemy while the other column attacked. The Roman army gave its soldiers ranks and promotions.
The modern military is based to a certain extent on the Roman military. Today's soldiers also have weapons--not javelins and swords but rifles like the M16. In the modern army, the body armor is not made out of bronze or chain mail; it is made out of Kevlar. Modern armies have to continually train, just as the Roman army did, although the training focuses on target-shooting practice and other contemporary skills. The modern army has ranks and promotions just as the Romans did.
The Roman Empire - Ancient Superpower - Full Documentary
This is a National Geographic documentary about the Roman Empire.