It's also interesting to note that after Gaius Marius standardized the equipment of the Legions, it led to the development of an extremely effective tactic. Here's how it worked: each Roman soldier would hold his shield with his left arm, protecting him from the enemy directly in front. The Roman soldier wouldn't be focused on the enemy in front, however, but on the enemy directly ahead on the right, who'd be attacking the Roman's colleague. When the enemy soldier would raise his sword in preparation for striking a blow, the Legionary (who was ahead of the enemy soldier and slightly to the enemy soldier's right) would thrust his sword into the undefended enemy's right rib cage, thus inflicting a mortal blow. Each Legionary knew the man next to him would be doing the same thing, thus all were both protected and empowered by this simple but highly effective tactic. The enemy, meanwhile, were felled by blows that came not from the man they were attacking but unexpectedly from another Legionary entirely.

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