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Testudo
(462 words)

[German version]

The term testudo ('tortoise') was used by the Roman military in two senses; it described on the one hand various tactical formations in battle, and on the other hand various engines deployed in besieging cities. In the first case it consisted of soldiers, who, standing in a line, held their rectangular shields side to side without gaps in front of themselves, in such a way as to confront the enemy with a wall, as it were,  of wood and iron (Liv. 32,17,13). When the soldiers formed up into several ranks, those behind held their shi…

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Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon), “Testudo”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 17 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1205330>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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