By the first century, Rome had developed a flexible, professional military that embodied its cultural strengths. This military force was dedicated to achieving total victory against its foes, and it was organized, trained, and equipped to accomplish this goal. Led by the omnipresent centurions, the legions were composed of myriad elements that provided both direct combat power and a range of combat multipliers, enabling them to operate against superior numbers and enemy strongpoints. They were greatly aided by their exceptional equipment, particularly their siege engines and field artillery, which ensured no fortress was safe from Roman conquest. Dedication to training and military virtue was their greatest asset, however, for the Romans treated war as a science, and their very culture imbued their soldiers with a martial vigor that allowed them to both endure endless drill and to demonstrate the individual courage hand-to-hand combat required. To face the Roman war machine was to face a highly professional force; one that deployed in grim silence and ordered, gleaming ranks, led by competent and courageous leaders, and which possessed an impressive knowledge of tactics and engineering. It was the last sight many of Rome's enemies would see.