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Comparison Between Ancient Egyptian and Roman Armies

Criteria Egyptian Army Roman Army
Images Egyptian Army Roman Army
History - Egypt was relatively a peaceful country in the ancient world. Its natural boundaries (the First Cataract on the Nile at Aswan, the eastern Sinai desert and the Mediterranean coast to the north) provided plenty of protection from outsiders, and Egyptians themselves were not a society of invaders or conquerors. Therefore, the country did not consider the need for a professional army, until the invasion of the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period.
- Primitive training and weaponry - relatively short campaigns south into Nubia extending the southern borders of the realm, or east and west into the desert regions.
- During the New Kingdom the army became an essential mechanism in the functioning of the state.
- The Roman army was the ultimate military machine of the ancient world
- The catalyst that spread Roman civilization throughout the known world.
Recruitment - During the Old Kingdom there was no permanent army in Egypt. Each Nome was obligated to recruit a particular amount of men, in case of Egyptian military campaign. Recruiting agents gathered able-bodied men from the cities and villages
- In the New Kingdom the Egyptians kept a core of professional soldiers managed by the Pharaoh Mercenaries became important, and by the end of the New Kingdom, mercenaries formed the majority of the army.
- By the Late Kingdom, the army became an essentially a home grown Greek mercenary unit
- It was the first paid full time professional army in the world.
- Soldiers would have to stay in the army for at least 25 years
Weaponry - During the Old Kingdom, small crudely weapons were used such as clubs, stone-headed maces, daggers and spearheads of copper.
- The chariot was introduced to Egypt by the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period
- The core of the Roman legion consisted of heavily armored infantry.
- A Roman soldier's weapons were a short sword for stabbing, and a throwing spear called a pilum
- Soldiers wore armor made from overlapping iron bands and a metal helmets
Size and structure of Army - At its' peak The Egyptian army of the New Kingdom was composed of three divisions of a total 15,000 men
- Each division numbered 4000 infantry and 1000 chariot men, organized into ten battalions of about 500 soldiers
- The size of the army in the late Roman Empire was about 150,000 men
- Each troop of about 80 legionaries was called a century. There were 59 centuries in a legion and about 30 legions in the Roman army

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Poll: What is the most important factor that led to the eclipse of the Egyptian civilization?

Answers:
58%
288 votes

23%
113 votes

8%
42 votes

9%
46 votes

Total votes:
489

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By Ayman Fadl - Copyright © 2001-2014