October 7, 2010
IN THE MELEE; OR, ADVICE TO YOUNG LAWYERS WORKING IN LARGE LAW FIRMS
Matyszak, Philip, Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual (London: Thames & Hudson, 2009) ("Inevitably over time, the line gets a bit more ragged, but as a trained legionary, it's your job to keep an eye on the men to your left and right. Don't drop back so far you can't cover them--especially the man on your left who might need you to guard his unshielded side--and don't get so carried away with bloodlust that you advance beyond their protection. And remember that when fighting almost shoulder-to-shoulder with your comrades wild sword swings are hazardous to everyone around, not just the enemy. While in formation, keep it simple, keep it stabby. Only if you somehow end up surrounded by the enemy can you start slashing out in all directions like a berserker." "And whatever you do, keep a tight grip on your sword and shield. Not only can losing either lead to fatal embarrassment during the melee, but also to awkward questions from the centurion afterwards. No one wants the suspicion of having deliberately dropped his kit so as to get out of the battleline. So shaming can this be that there are recorded cases of people who having lost a shield or sword, persuaded their friends to help them plunge back into the enemy ranks and retrieve the missing items." Id. at CLXXIV/174-LXXV/175.).