Castra Praetoria

Castra Praetoria were the ancient barracks (castra) of the Praetorian Guard of Imperial Rome.

Plan Rome- Castra Praetoria
The Castra Praetoria and ancient Rome
Porta Preatoriana
Remains of the Praetorian Gate

History

According to the Roman historian Tacitus, the barracks were built in 23 AD by Lucius Aelius Sejanus, the praetorian prefect serving under the emperor Tiberius, in an effort to consolidate the several divisions of the guards.[1]

The barracks were erected just outside the city of Rome and surrounded by solid masonry walls, measuring a total of 440 by 380 metres (1,440 ft × 1,250 ft). Three of the four sides of the walls were later incorporated in the Aurelian Walls, and parts of them are clearly visible today.

The adjacent city district Castro Pretorio is named after the barracks.

The Castra Praetoria was the site of the murder of the Emperor Elagabalus, and his mother Julia Soaemias by the Praetorian Guard in 222 AD.

The Castra Praetoria was destroyed by Constantine I, who also disbanded the Praetorian Guard upon his conquest of Italy while Maxentius ruled as the Western Roman Emperor in Italy.

[2] Their last stand was at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, and after Constantine's victory he officially disbanded the Praetorian guard, sending them out to different corners of the empire.

References

  1. ^ Tacitus. Annals. 4.1-2.
  2. ^ Bunson, Matthew (1994). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 342. ISBN 0-8160-3182-7.

External links

Coordinates: 41°54′21″N 12°30′22″E / 41.9059°N 12.5060°E

14 regions of Augustan Rome

In 7 BC, Augustus divided the city of Rome into 14 administrative regions (Latin regiones, sing. regio). These replaced the four regiones or "quarters" traditionally attributed to Servius Tullius, sixth King of Rome. They were further divided into official neighborhoods (vici).Originally designated by number, the regions acquired nicknames from major landmarks or topographical features within them.

3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines

3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, abbreviated as (3/3), is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps, based out of Kāne'ohe, Hawai'i. Known as either "Trinity" or "America's Battalion", the unit falls under the command of the 3rd Marine Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division. The unit consists of approximately 1124 U.S. Marines and United States Navy sailors.

Augustus

Augustus (Latin: Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, controlling Imperial Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.

Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia. His maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC.

After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State"). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire.

Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, and completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75, probably from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius.

Aurelian Walls

The Aurelian Walls (Italian: Mura aureliane) are a line of city walls built between 271 AD and 275 AD in Rome, Italy, during the reign of the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus. They superseded the earlier Servian Wall built during the 4th century BC.

The walls enclosed all the seven hills of Rome plus the Campus Martius and, on the left bank of the Tiber, the Trastevere district. The river banks within the city limits appear to have been left unfortified, although they were fortified along the Campus Martius. The size of the entire enclosed area is 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres).

Castra Peregrina

The Castra Peregrina ("camp of the strangers") was a castrum (a military barracks) in Rome situated on the Caelian Hill. It was occupied by various military units during the later part of the Roman Empire.

Castro Pretorio

Castro Pretorio is the XVIII rione of Rome. Located within Municipio I, its logo is the golden banner of the Praetorian Guard on a red background. The rione takes its name by the ruins of the Castrum Praetorium, the barracks of the Praetorian Guard, included in the Aurelian Walls.

Castro Pretorio (Rome Metro)

Castro Pretorio is a station on Line B of the Rome Metro. It was opened on 8 December 1990 and is located on Viale Castro Pretorio, at its junction with Via San Martino della Battaglia, in the Castro Pretorio rione. Its exit overlooks the Castra Praetoria (the camp of the Praetorian Guard), now the site of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale.

Imperial Roman army

The Imperial Roman army are the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the Roman Empire from about 30 BC to 476 AD. This period is sometimes split into the Principate (30 BC – 284 AD) and Dominate (285–476) periods.

Under Augustus (ruled 30 BC – 14 AD), the army consisted of legions, eventually auxilia and also numeri.

Legions were formations numbering about 5,000 heavy infantry recruited from the ranks of Roman citizens only, transformed from earlier mixed conscript and volunteer soldiers serving an average of 10 years, to all-volunteer units of long-term professionals serving a standard 25-year term. (Conscription was only decreed in emergencies.)

Auxilia were organised into regiments of about 500 strong under Augustus, a tenth the size of legions, recruited from the peregrini or non-citizen inhabitants of the empire who constituted approximately 90 percent of the Empire's population in the 1st century AD. The auxilia provided virtually all the army's cavalry, light infantry, archers and other specialists, in addition to heavy infantry equipped in a similar manner to legionaries.

Numeri were allied native (or "barbarian") units from outside the Empire who fought alongside the regular forces on a mercenary basis. These were led by their own aristocrats and equipped in traditional fashion. Numbers fluctuated according to circumstances and are largely unknown.As all-citizen formations, and symbolic protectors of the dominance of the Italian "master-nation", legions enjoyed greater social prestige than the auxilia for much of the Principate. This was reflected in better pay and benefits. In addition, legionaries were equipped with more expensive and protective armour than auxiliaries, notably the lorica segmentata, or laminated-strip armour. However, in 212, the Emperor Caracalla granted Roman citizenship to nearly all the Empire's freeborn inhabitants. At this point, the distinction between legions and auxilia became moot, the latter becoming all-citizen units also. The change was reflected in the disappearance, during the 3rd century, of legionaries' special equipment, and the progressive break-up of legions into cohort-sized units like the auxilia.

By the end of Augustus' reign, the imperial army numbered some 250,000 men, equally split between 25 legions and 250 units of auxiliaries. The numbers grew to a peak of about 450,000 by 211, in 33 legions and about 400 auxiliary units. By then, auxiliaries outnumbered legionaries substantially. From this peak, numbers probably underwent a steep decline by 270 due to plague and losses during multiple major barbarian invasions. Numbers were restored to their early 2nd-century level of c. 400,000 (but probably not to their 211 peak) under Diocletian (r. 284-305). After the Empire's borders became settled (on the Rhine-Danube line in Europe) by AD 68, virtually all military units (except the Praetorian Guard) were stationed on or near the borders, in roughly 17 of the 42 provinces of the empire in the reign of Hadrian (r. 117–138).

The military chain of command was relatively flat. In each province, the deployed legions' legati (legion commanders, who also controlled the auxiliary units attached to their legion) reported to the legatus Augusti pro praetore (provincial governor), who also headed the civil administration. The governor in turn reported directly to the Emperor in Rome. There was no general staff in Rome, but the leading praefectus praetorio (commander of the Praetorian Guard) often acted as the Emperor's de facto military chief-of-staff.

Compared to the subsistence-level peasant families from which they mostly originated, legionary rankers enjoyed considerable disposable income, enhanced by periodical cash bonuses on special occasions such as the accession of a new emperor. In addition, on completion of their term of service, they were given a generous discharge bonus equivalent to 13 years' salary. Auxiliaries were paid much less in the early 1st century, but by 100 AD, the differential had virtually disappeared. Similarly, in the earlier period, auxiliaries appear not to have received cash and discharge bonuses, but probably did so from the reign of Hadrian onwards. Junior officers (principales), the equivalent of non-commissioned officers in modern armies, could expect to earn up to twice basic pay. Legionary centurions, the equivalent of senior warrant officers, were organised in an elaborate hierarchy. Usually promoted from the ranks, they commanded the legion's tactical sub-units of centuriae (about 80 men) and cohorts (about 480 men). They were paid several multiples of basic pay. The most senior centurion, the primus pilus, was automatically elevated to equestrian rank on completion of his single-year term of office. The senior officers of the army, the legati legionis (legion commanders), tribuni militum (legion staff officers) and the praefecti (commanders of auxiliary regiments) were all of at least equestrian rank. In the 1st and early 2nd centuries, they were mainly Italian aristocrats performing the military component of their cursus honorum (conventional career-path). Later, provincial career officers became predominant. Senior officers were paid enormous salaries, multiples of at least 50 times a soldier's basic pay.

Soldiers spent only a fraction of their lives on campaign. Most of their time was spent on routine military duties such as training, patrolling, and maintenance of equipment. Soldiers also played an important role outside the military sphere. They performed the function of a provincial governor's police force. As a large, disciplined and skilled force of fit men, they played a crucial role in the construction of a province's military and civil infrastructure. In addition to constructing forts and fortified defences such as Hadrian's Wall, they built roads, bridges, ports, public buildings and entire new cities (colonia), and cleared forests and drained marshes to expand a province's available arable land.

Soldiers, mostly drawn from polytheistic societies, enjoyed wide freedom of worship in the polytheistic Roman system. Only a few cults were banned by the Roman authorities, as being incompatible with the official Roman religion or being politically subversive, notably Druidism and Christianity. The later Principate saw the rise in popularity among the military of Eastern mystery cults, generally centred on one deity, and involving secret rituals divulged only to initiates. By far the most popular cult in the army was Mithraism, an apparently syncretist cult which mainly originated in Asia Minor.

Jovians and Herculians

The Jovians (Latin: Ioviani) and Herculians (Latin: Herculiani) were the senior palatine imperial guard units under the rule of Diocletian (r. 284–305). They continued in existence thereafter as senior units in the field armies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires.

Lucius Verus

Lucius Verus (; Latin: Lucius Aurelius Verus Augustus; 15 December 130 – 23 January 169 AD) was the co-emperor of Rome with his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius from 161 until his own death in 169. He was a member of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty. Verus' succession together with Marcus Aurelius marked the first time that the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors, an increasingly common occurrence in the later history of the Empire.

The eldest son of Lucius Aelius Caesar, first adopted son and heir to Hadrian, Verus was born and educated in Rome where he held several political offices prior to taking the throne. After his biological father’s death in 138, he was adopted by Antoninus Pius, who was himself adopted by Hadrian. Hadrian died later that year, and Antoninus Pius succeeded to the throne.

Antoninus Pius ruled until 161, and was succeeded by Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius. The majority of Verus’s reign was occupied by his direction of the war with Parthia which ended in Roman victory and some territorial gains. After initial involvement in the Marcomannic Wars, he fell ill and died in 169. He was deified by the Roman Senate as the Divine Verus (Divus Verus).

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius ( or ; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; 26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD ), called the Philosopher, was Roman emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled the Roman Empire with his adoptive brother Lucius Verus (who took Verus as a regnal name) until Lucius' death in 169. He was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the Five Good Emperors. He is also seen as the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Empire. His personal philosophical writings, now commonly known as Meditations, are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. They have been praised by fellow writers, philosophers, and monarchs – as well as by poets and politicians – centuries after his death.

Marcus was born into a Roman patrician family. His father was a praetor, after whose death in 124 Marcus was raised by his paternal grandfather, and his mother was a wealthy heiress. He was educated at home, as children from Roman aristocratic families often were, and later credited his maternal grandmother's step-father Lucius Catilius Severus – who helped Marcus' grandfather to raise him – for his education. His tutors included the artist Diognetus, who may have sparked his interest in philosophy, and Tuticius Proclus. Marcus was betrothed to the daughter of Lucius Aelius, his relative Emperor Hadrian's first adopted son and heir. Aelius died in 138 and Hadrian chose as his new heir Antoninus Pius, the husband of Marcus' aunt, on the condition that Antoninus adopt Marcus and the son of Aelius, Lucius Commodus. Antoninus became emperor later that year, and Marcus and Lucius became joint heirs to the throne. While imperial heir, Marcus studied Greek and Latin. His tutors included Herodes Atticus and Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He kept in close correspondence with Fronto for many years afterwards. Marcus was introduced to Stoicism by Quintus Junius Rusticus and perhaps by other philosophers such as Apollonius of Chalcedon. He was made a quaestor and the symbolic head of the Roman equites (also known as the knight class). He was appointed consul with Antoninus in 140 and 145, the year he married Antoninus' daughter Faustina the Younger, and with his adoptive brother Lucius in 161. On 7 March 161, Antoninus died and the two succeeded to the imperial throne.

Marcus' reign was marked by military conflict. In the East, the Roman Empire fought successfully with a revitalized Parthian Empire and the rebel Kingdom of Armenia. Marcus defeated the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians in the Marcomannic Wars. However, these and other Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. Marcus modified the silver purity of the Roman currency, the denarius. Persecution of Christians is believed to have increased during his reign. The Antonine Plague that broke out in 166 devastated the population of the Roman Empire. It caused the deaths of five million people, a quarter of those it affected. Marcus never adopted an heir unlike some of his predecessors; he and Faustina had at least thirteen children, including Lucilla – who married Lucius Verus – and Commodus – whom Marcus named as his co-ruler in 177. Marcus became the first emperor to die with a living, adult son since Titus succeeded his father Vespasian a century earlier, but Commodus is considered a disappointment as emperor and his succession has long been the subject of debate among both contemporary and modern historians. The Column and Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius still stand in Rome, where they were erected in celebration of Marcus' military victories.

Porta Nomentana

The Porta Nomentana was one of the gates in the Aurelian Walls of Rome, Italy. It is located along viale del Policlinico, around 70 m east of Porta Pia. It is now blocked and merely a boundary wall for the British Embassy.

Praetorian Guard

The Praetorian Guard (Latin: cohortes praetorianae) was an elite unit of the Imperial Roman army whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Roman emperors. During the era of the Roman Republic, the Praetorians served as a small escort force for high-ranking officials such as senators or provincial governors like procurators, and also serving as bodyguards for high ranking officers within the Roman legions. With the republic's transition into the Roman Empire, however, the first emperor, Augustus, founded the Guard as his personal security detail. Although they continued to serve in this capacity for roughly three centuries, the Guard became notable for its intrigue and interference in Roman politics, to the point of overthrowing emperors and proclaiming their successors. In 312, the Guard was disbanded by Constantine the Great.

Reign of Marcus Aurelius

The reign of Marcus Aurelius began with his accession upon the death of his adoptive father, Antoninus Pius, on 7 March 161 and ended with his own death on 17 March 180. Under Marcus Aurelius, Rome fought the Roman–Parthian War of 161–66 and the Marcomannic Wars. The so-called Antonine plague occurred during his reign. In the last years of his rule, Marcus Aurelius composed his personal writings on Stoic philosophy known as Meditations.

He first ruled jointly with his adoptive brother, Lucius Verus. They shared the throne until Verus' death in 169. Marcus Aurelius was succeeded by his son Commodus, who had been made co-emperor in 177.

Sejanus

Lucius Aelius Sejanus - alternatively spelled Seianus - (June 3, 20 BC – October 18, AD 31), commonly known as Sejanus (), was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. An equestrian by birth, Sejanus rose to power as prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, of which he was commander from AD 14 until his death in AD 31.

While the Praetorian Guard was formally established under Emperor Augustus, Sejanus introduced a number of reforms which saw the unit evolve beyond a mere bodyguard, into a powerful and influential branch of the government involved in public security, civil administration and ultimately political intercession; these changes would have a lasting impact on the course of the Principate.

During the 20s, Sejanus gradually accumulated power by consolidating his influence over Tiberius and eliminating potential political opponents, including the emperor's son Drusus Julius Caesar. When Tiberius withdrew to Capri in AD 26, Sejanus was left in control of the administration of the empire. For a time the most influential and feared citizen of Rome, Sejanus suddenly fell from power in AD 31, the year his career culminated with the consulship. Amidst suspicions of conspiracy against Tiberius, Sejanus was arrested and executed, along with his followers.

Subrius Flavus

Subrius Flavus was a tribune of the Praetorian Guard who was heavily implicated in the Pisonian conspiracy against the Emperor Nero and was executed in 65CE for his involvement.

Timeline of Italian history

This is a timeline of Italian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Italy and its predecessor states, including Ancient Rome and Prehistoric Italy. Date of the prehistoric era are approximate. To read about the back ground check these events, see History of Italy. See also the list of Prime Ministers of Italy.

Timeline of Roman history

This is a timeline of Roman history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in the Roman Kingdom and Republic and the Roman and Byzantine Empires. To read about the background of these events, see Ancient Rome and History of the Byzantine Empire.

Following tradition, this timeline marks the deposition of Romulus Augustulus and the Fall of Constantinople as the end of Rome in the west and east, respectively. See Third Rome for a discussion of claimants to the succession of Rome.

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