The Story of the Barritus
The story of the Barritus comes from the 4th century AD. Unlike the early Greeks who marched to the cadence of music, it was the Roman custom to march in silence. Before the battle, the Romans would unleash a roar in unison, striking fear into the hearts of their enemy. This war cry was called the Barritus.
We don’t know how it sounded, but Tacitus tells us it began as a “harsh, intermittent roar.” By holding their shields to their mouth, the reverberating sound would swell into a deafening crescendo, like waves smashing into the rocky shore.
The adoption of the barritus was the result of a bottom-up changes from within the ranks that spread throughout the army. That spirit is desperately needed today as we face our own perilous times.
In the span of one generation, words like active shooter, lone wolf terrorists, and vehicular attacks have become common terms. Oftentimes, when violence strikes, the damage is done before the police can arrive.
The answer has to come from us. We cannot outsource our security to others. You are the first responder. Security-minded individuals must be trained and integrated into the security apparatus if we are to counter these emerging threats as free people.
Together you, me – we are the Barritus.