Keywords: legionary, cavalry, maniple, centurion, cohort, legion, Gaius Marius, military reform


The study examines the processes of partial reform of the structure of the legion and some changes in the tactics of the Roman army, which occurred at the turn of the 2nd- 1st centuries BC. A study of a number of modern researchers on the partial reform of the legion has been synthesized. An attempt has been made to describe and summarize the changes that took place during that period, as well as innovations that are still traditionally but erroneously attributed to Gaius Marius by some researchers in the field of military history. Based on a number of sources and the latest research on this topic, it is proved that a number of changes in the structure of the Roman army did not occur due to the initiative of one person. They were introduced during the wars during the 2nd - first half 1nd BC and were dictated by the requirements of a certain time (features of combat and its specifics, ease of movement and control of troops, etc.) It is also noted that all these transformations did not happen immediately and did not materialize in the short term. This applies to the unification of armaments, and the transition to build a legion from maniple to cohort and the introduction of a number of technical innovations. This process actually lasted for two centuries from the time of the Second Punic War to the middle of the 1st BC and did not occur only during the Jughurtine and Cimbrian Wars. We also reviewed and refuted a number of erroneous statements and postulates about some components of the so-called Gaius Marius’ military reform - the introduction of a cohors, the withdrawal of the cavalry and velites from the legion, changes in the lineup and training of troops. We have argued that the process of reforming the Roman army took place gradually and was determined not only by military but also by political, social and economic factors.


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How to Cite
Oliynyk, M., & Strelbycka, S. (2022). CHANGES IN THE TACTICS AND ORGANIZATION OF THE LEGION AT THE TURN OF THE 2ND - 1ST BC. Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 4(56), 191-203. Retrieved from