Lessons from the roman army

In the days of Roman glory it has been pointed out that the Roman army wasunconquerable. They might lose a battle or even a campaign, but they refused to accept losing a war. In the face of total defeat the Roman army would not admit defeat. This "Roman persistence" was the determining factor in the greatness of the Roman empire.

In 212 BC Hannibal’s army routed the Roman army in total defeat. But, the Romans refused to surrender to Hannibal and rejectedthe peace terms. Instead, it immedidately began to raise an army ofmore men. It continued to fight Hannibal in an effort to gradually wear Hannibal’s army down. The Romans totallydefeated him at Zama in 202 BC.

After the Roman army had been destroyed by Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, Rome, rejecting defeat, simply raised another army and fought Pyrrhus again until they were victorious in 275 BC. The Roman army was successful because of the discipline, training and determination to neveradmit defeat. They kept coming back in a savage, ruthless manner of making war. The army was willing to suffer heavy losses to achieve total victory. The Roman empire was famous for "Roman persistence" and we have much to learn from that attitude.

Our jury trials are a daily or even hourly series of battles in which the tide of battle changes. If we allow our attitude to be unduly influenced by the occurrences of a day we will become discouraged and lose the winning edge we need to try the case well. We need dogged determination and persistence to win during a trial. It is our attitude that controls how we try the case. Let’s learn from the Roman army a lesson in persistence.

About Paul Luvera

Plaintiff trial lawyer for 50 years. Past President of the Inner Circle of Advocates & Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Member American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy, International Society of Barristers, member of the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame & speaker at Spence Trial College
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