What were the Marian reforms

First Roman battles after the Marian reforms

First, it's an excellent question.

Marius created the reforms during his time as proconsul after Rome's fighting in the first half of the Cimbrian Wars against the Cimbri and Germanic tribes in the North Rhône. The absolute destruction in Arausio was part of the reason for the reform institution. Any battle fought before Arausio, including Arausio, is unlikely to take advantage of reforms - many sources including the Wikipedian article on the Cimbrian War,quote the Roman armed forces in strict numbers and tend to use the term "legions" and "cohorts" only gradually in the battle of Aquae Sextiae.

Because of this, I think that we will be the first to use the legions at Aquae Sextiae can derive .

Marius eliminated the system of manipulation and invented the term "cohort". Another reason I think we can say in solidarity that Aquae Sextiae was the first outing is Marius' reform that allowed non-aristocratic plebeians to join the army. This would only have happened because of the absolute deficit of Roman soldiers that would have occurred after the loss of 80,000 in Arausio.

The system eliminated many of the Republican army conventions and ensured that there was always a fully staffed and annually paid Roman army on hand. I found this to be an excellent source detailing many of the effects of the war and the changes in the army's post-triplex situation.

I hope this has helped and given a better idea of ​​the reforms and the approximate timing of the reforms to begin.


+1, I also think it was at Aquae Sextiae that Plutarch identifies as the introduction of the Marian pilum. Last link is really nice :)

D JM Morgan

Good answer, but I have a small technical detail to point out. Marius' reforms enabled a group of unexperienced plebeians known as "Capite Censi" or "Head Count" to enlist in the military. All plebeians were not aristocratic, since the aristocratic class known as the "patricians" were those who could claim to have descended from the original advisory body of the kings of Rome.