Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/213

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it was time to draw the swords; nay, when it was found expedient, the lines which had already been in the front, might repeat this change, since the stores of pila were surely not confined to the two, which each soldier took with him into battle.

The same change must have taken place in fighting with the sword, which, when the same tactic was adopted on both sides, was anything but a confused mêlée; on the contrary, it was a series of single combats." He adds, that a military man of experience had been consulted by him on the subject, and had given it as his opinion, "that the change of the lines as described above was by no means impracticable; but in the absence of the deafening noise of gunpowder, it cannot have had even any difficulty with well-trained troops."

The third division of the legion was six hundred strong, and acted as a reserve. It was always composed of veteran soldiers, who were called the Triarii. Their arms were the same as those of the Principes and Hastati ; except that each Triarian carried a spear instead of javelins. The rest of the legion consisted of light-armed troops, who acted as skirmishers. The cavalry of each legion was at this period about three hundred strong. The Italian allies, who were attached to the legion, seem to have been similarly armed