RR-11R Late Republican Legionnaire with Red Shield
The Roman army of the late Republic refers to the armed forces deployed by the late Roman Republic, from the beginning of the first century B.C. until the establishment of the Imperial Roman army by Augustus in 30 B.C.
Shaped by major social, political, and economic change, the late Republic saw the transition from the Roman army of the mid-Republic, which was a temporary levy based solely on the conscription of Roman citizens, to the Imperial Roman army of the Principate, which was a standing, professional army based on the recruitment of volunteers.
The Scutum was a type of shield used among Italic peoples in antiquity, and then by the army of ancient Rome starting about the fourth century BC. The Romans adopted it when they switched from the military formation of the hoplite phalanx of the Greeks to the formation with maniples. In the former, the soldiers carried a round shield, which the Romans called clipeus. In the latter, they used the scutum, which was a larger shield. Originally it was an oblong and convex shield. By the first century BC it had developed into the rectangular, semi-cylindrical shield that is popularly associated with the scutum in modern times. This was not the only shield the Romans used; Roman shields were of varying types depending on the role of the soldier who carried it. Oval, circular and rectangular shields were used throughout Roman history.