Many know that the Roman Empire was by far the strongest of its time, but many don't know why they were able to accomplish such feats such as conquering almost the entire western world. It is a surprise to many that their success was not due to their large army, but rather how they how they "motivated” their men. The Roman Army's success was almost entirely due to their soldier's fear of the harsh discipline implemented by the Roman Army. For example, laziness was punished by decimation of a unit, or killing every 10th soldier in the unit, falling asleep on duty was punished by making the soldier sleep outside the camp, men in Roman-conquered lands who attempted to get out of serving in the Roman Army were punished by decapitation, and running away with your unit was punishable by death by stoning. .
The fear of the Roman Army's harsh regulations prevented the Roman Army soldiers from running away during battle and encouraged soldiers to fight courageously. Soldiers who fell out of place in battle, or were found being "lazy” were executed and their units decimated (Deary, 20). This rule was important for the Roman Army as it drove fear into every soldier's heart about the consequences of being lazy and falling out of place during battle. It therefore increased productivity levels and confidence in battle. During battle, it made sure that everyone kept up with the army and was not lagging in any way. In this way it also increased confidence among soldiers, as it made it so people couldn't "fall back” and let others go forward. Also, by killing every tenth soldier (decimation) it showed the reality to all of the soldiers of how serious the crimes and punishments were, and reinforced the fear of the Roman Army, which reassured that no one else would commit the same crime. People hear about many punishments, but unless effected many do not realize the seriousness of the crime ("Crime”).