After the front rank had thrown their spears, they ran on the enemy with their short swords, falling back, eventually, for the next rank to make a fresh onslaught. The men in the third rank were armed with foot pikes.
gods received victims and incense and were expected to give their help in return. Set forms of worship were prescribed, and any flaw meant that the rite had to be started all over again. This was typical of the national insistence on the letter of the law. The god would get out of the bargain, if he found his worshipper making a mistake. The Roman citizen was a peasant farmer. He loved to tell stories of how his heroes were called from the plough to battle, and returned to the plough as soon as the enemy had been beaten. The long wars, however, could not be carried on with occasional levies of untrained peasants, and early in the fourth century the institution of soldiers' pay enabled a trained army to develop. Rome beat her enemies by superiority in the art of war. Military discipline gave her soldiers that " two o'clock in the morning courage " which no other nation of antiquity ever possessed. The phalanx, the body of spearmen who won by weight of numbers, was borrowed from Greece, but made more: flexible by the arranging of the legions-the army divisions- in such a way that the front division was spaced out more» and left room for the second division to come forward without crowding the line.