Early one morning in August, of the year 216 BC, on the Plains of Cannae in southern Italy, a Roman army of 86,000 faced 50,000 of Hannibal's best. Ten hours later 52,000 Romans were dead on the battlefield and an additional 8000 had been killed in the surrounding fields and forests. The point is, more Romans died in that ten hour battle than America lost in ten years of combat during the Viet Nam War . There were no assault rifles on the Plains of Cannae that morning, nor were there any grenades, rocket launchers, machine guns or artillery. They just made due with swords and spears and arrows.............lots and lots of arrows.
What a mess
Ancient history is filled with conflicts where mega thousands were killed...if the end object was to win and still have an army left I always wondered why some brillient commander didn't just arm 95% of his troops with bows & arrows, each shooter equipped with at least a couple hundred arrows... The other 5%
armed with throat cutting razors. !
A couple hours of falling steel rain would have significantly broken an enemy, even a shot in the foot would reduce the ability to hold up a shield and then
some other rain drop would do more damage.
All I can figure is:
A...Life was so cheap Commanders just relied on volume & brute force
B...The common front line soldier must have enjoyed arena style gore and looked forward to the "adventure" of besting his fellow man right up close.