In the early Roman Kingdom "legion" may have meant the entire Roman army but sources on this period are few and unreliable. The subsequent organization of legions varied greatly over time but legions were typically composed of around five thousand soldiers. During much of the republican era, a legion was divided into three lines of ten maniples. In the late republic and much of the imperial period (from about 100 BC), a legion was divided into ten cohorts, each of six (or five) centuries. Legions also included a small ala, or cavalry, unit. By the third century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, and there were more of them. In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions (limitanei) may have become even smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx.
For most of the Roman Imperial period, the legions formed the Roman army's elite heavy infantry, recruited exclusively from Roman citizens, while the remainder of the army consisted of auxiliaries, who provided additional infantry and the vast majority of the Roman army's cavalry. (Provincials who aspired to citizenship gained it when honourably discharged from the auxiliaries.) The Roman army, for most of the Imperial period, consisted mostly of auxiliaries rather than legions.
Many of the legions founded before 40 BC were still active until at least the fifth century, notably Legio V Macedonica, which was founded by Augustus in 43 BC and was in Egypt in the seventh century during the Islamic conquest of Egypt.
Because legions were not permanent units until the Marian reforms (c. 107 BC), and were instead created, used, and disbanded again, several hundred legions were named and numbered throughout Roman history. To date, about 50 have been identified. The republican legions were composed of levied men that paid for their own equipment and thus the structure of the Roman army at this time reflected the society, and at any time there would be four consular legions (with command divided between the two ruling consuls) and in time of war extra legions could be levied. Toward the end of the 2nd century BC, Rome started to experience manpower shortages brought about by property and financial qualifications to join the army. This prompted consul Gaius Marius to remove property qualifications and decree that all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for service in the Roman army with equipment and rewards for fulfilling years of service provided by the state. The Roman army became a volunteer, professional and standing army which extended service beyond Roman citizens but also to non-citizens that could sign on as auxillia (auxiliaries) and were rewarded Roman citizenship upon completion of service and all the rights and privileges that entailed. In the time of Augustus, there were nearly 50 upon his succession but this was reduced to about 25–35 permanent standing legions and this remained the figure for most of the empire's history.
The legion evolved from 3,000 men in the Roman Republic to over 5,200 men in the Roman Empire, consisting of centuries as the basic units. Until the middle of the first century, ten cohorts (about 500 men) made up a Roman legion. This was later changed to nine cohorts of standard size (with six centuries at 80 men each) with the first cohort being of double strength (five double-strength centuries with 160 men each). By the fourth century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, and there were more of them. This had come about as the large formation legion and auxiliary unit, 10,000 men, was broken down into smaller units - originally temporary detachments - to cover more territory. In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions (limitanei) may have become even smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the Republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx.
A legion consisted of several cohorts of heavy infantry known as legionaries. It was almost always accompanied by one or more attached units of auxiliaries, who were not Roman citizens and provided cavalry, ranged troops, and skirmishers to complement the legion's heavy infantry. The recruitment of non-citizens was rare but appears to have occurred in times of great need; for example, Caesar appears to have recruited the Legio V Alaudae mostly from non-citizen Gauls.
A Legion also contained a contubernium which consisted of 8 legionaries. These legionaries were accompanied by 2 slaves. The legionaries would select a man amongst their ranks to become a Decanus (leader of ten men). This was more of an election than a decision by one person.
The size of a typical legion varied throughout the history of ancient Rome, with complements of 4,200 legionaries and 300 equites (drawn from the wealthier classes – in early Rome all troops provided their own equipment) in the republican period of Rome (the infantry were split into 10 cohorts each of four maniples of 120 legionaries), to 5,200 men plus 120 auxiliaries in the imperial period (split into 10 cohorts, nine of 480 men each, plus the first cohort holding 800 men).
In the period before the raising of the legio and the early years of the Roman Kingdom and the Republic, forces are described as being organized into centuries of roughly one hundred men. These centuries were grouped together as required and answered to the leader who had hired or raised them. Such independent organization persisted until the 2nd century BC amongst light infantry and cavalry, but was discarded completely in later periods with the supporting role taken instead by allied troops. The roles of century leader (later formalized as a centurion), second in command and standard bearer are referenced in this early period.
Rome's early period is undocumented and shrouded in myths, but those myths tell that during the rule of Servius Tullius, the census (from Latin: censeō – accounting of the people) was introduced. With this all Roman able-bodied, property-owning male citizens were divided into five classes for military service based on their wealth and then organized into centuries as sub-units of the greater Roman army or legio (multitude). Joining the army was both a duty and a distinguishing mark of Roman citizenship; during the entire pre-Marian period the wealthiest land owners performed the most years of military service. These individuals would have had the most to lose should the state have fallen.
At some point, possibly in the beginning of the Roman Republic after the kings were overthrown, the legio was subdivided into two separate legions, each one ascribed to one of the two consuls. In the first years of the Republic, when warfare was mostly concentrated on raiding, it is uncertain if the full manpower of the legions was summoned at any one time. In 494 BC, when three foreign threats emerged, the dictator Manius Valerius Maximus raised ten legions which Livy says was a greater number than had been raised previously at any one time.
Also, some warfare was still conducted by Roman forces outside the legionary structure, the most famous example being the campaign in 479 BC by the clan army of gens Fabia against the Etruscan city of Veii (in which the clan was annihilated). Legions became more formally organized in the 4th century BC, as Roman warfare evolved to more frequent and planned operations, and the consular army was raised to two legions each.
In the Republic, legions had an ephemeral existence. Except for Legio I to IV, which were the consular armies (two per consul), other units were levied by campaign. Rome's Italian allies were required to provide approximately ten cohorts (auxilia were not organized into legions) to support each Roman Legion.
In the middle of the Republic, legions were composed of the following units:
Each of these three lines was subdivided into (usually 10) chief tactical units called maniples. A maniple consisted of two centuries and was commanded by the senior of the two centurions. At this time, each century of hastati and principes consisted of 60 men; a century of triarii was 30 men. These 3,000 men (twenty maniples of 120 men, and ten maniples of 60 men), together with about 1,200 velites and 300 cavalry gave the mid Republican ("manipular") legion a nominal strength of about 4,500 men.
The Marian reforms (of Gaius Marius) enlarged the centuries to 80 men, and grouped them into six-century "cohorts" (rather than two-century maniples). Each century had its own standard and was made up of ten units (contubernia) of eight men who shared a tent, a millstone, a mule and cooking pot.
Following the reforms of the general Marius in the 2nd century BC, the legions took on the second, narrower meaning that is familiar in the popular imagination as close-order citizen heavy infantry.
At the end of the 2nd century BC, Gaius Marius reformed the previously ephemeral legions as a professional force drawing from the poorest classes, enabling Rome to field larger armies and providing employment for jobless citizens of the city of Rome. However, this put the loyalty of the soldiers in the hands of their general rather than the State of Rome itself. This development ultimately enabled Julius Caesar to cross the Rubicon with an army loyal to him personally and effectively end the Republic.
The legions of the late Republic and early Empire are often called Marian legions. Following the Battle of Vercellae in 101 BC, Marius granted all Italian soldiers Roman citizenship. He justified this action to the Senate by saying that in the din of battle he could not distinguish Roman from ally. This effectively eliminated the notion of allied legions; henceforth all Italian legions would be regarded as Roman legions, and full Roman citizenship was open to all the regions of Italy. At the same time, the three different types of heavy infantry were replaced by a single, standard type based on the Principes: armed with two heavy javelins called pila (singular pilum), the short sword called gladius, chain mail (lorica hamata), helmet and rectangular shield (scutum).
The role of allied legions would eventually be taken up by contingents of allied auxiliary troops, called Auxilia. Auxilia contained specialist units, engineers and pioneers, artillerymen and craftsmen, service and support personnel and irregular units made up of non-citizens, mercenaries and local militia. These were usually formed into complete units such as light cavalry, light infantry or velites, and labourers. There was also a reconnaissance squad of 10 or more light mounted infantry called speculatores who could also serve as messengers or even as an early form of military intelligence service.
As part of the Marian reforms, the legions' internal organization was standardized. Each legion was divided into cohorts. Prior to this, cohorts had been temporary administrative units or tactical task forces of several maniples, even more transitory than the legions themselves. Now the cohorts were ten permanent units, composed of 6 centuries and in the case of the first cohort 5 double strength centuries each led by a centurion assisted by an optio. The cohorts came to form the basic tactical unit of the legions. Ranking within the legion was based on length of service, with the senior Centurion commanding the first century of the first cohort; he was called the primus pilus (First Spear), and reported directly to the superior officers (legates and tribuni). All career soldiers could be promoted to the higher ranks in recognition of exceptional acts of bravery or valour. A newly promoted junior Centurion would be assigned to the sixth century of the tenth cohort and slowly progressed through the ranks from there.
Every legion had a large baggage train, which included 640 mules (1 mule for every 8 legionaries) just for the soldiers' equipment. To keep these baggage trains from becoming too large and slow, Marius had each infantryman carry as much of his own equipment as he could, including his own armour, weapons and 15 days' rations, for about 25–30 kg (50–60 pounds) of load total. To make this easier, he issued each legionary a cross stick to carry their loads on their shoulders. The soldiers were nicknamed Marius' Mules because of the amount of gear they had to carry themselves. This arrangement allowed for the possibility for the supply train to become temporarily detached from the main body of the legion, thus greatly increasing the army's speed when needed.
A typical legion of this period had 5,120 legionaries as well as a large number of camp followers, servants and slaves. Legions could contain as many as 11,000 fighting men when including the auxiliaries. During the Later Roman Empire, the legion was reduced in size to 1,000 to allow for easier provisioning and to expand the regions under surveillance. Numbers would also vary depending on casualties suffered during a campaign; Julius Caesar's legions during his campaign in Gaul often only had around 3,500 men.
Tactics were not very different from the past, but their effectiveness was largely improved because of the professional training of the soldiers.
After the Marian reforms and throughout the history of Rome's Late Republic, the legions played an important political role. By the 1st century BC, the threat of the legions under a demagogue was recognized. Governors were not allowed to leave their provinces with their legions. When Julius Caesar broke this rule, leaving his province of Gaul and crossing the Rubicon into Italy, he precipitated a constitutional crisis. This crisis and the civil wars which followed brought an end to the Republic and led to the foundation of the Empire under Augustus in 27 BC.
Generals, during the recent Republican civil wars, had formed their own legions and numbered them as they wished. During this time, there was a high incidence of Gemina (twin) legions, where two legions were consolidated into a single organization (and was later made official and put under a legatus and six duces). At the end of the civil war against Mark Antony, Augustus was left with around fifty legions, with several double counts (multiple Legio Xs for instance). For political and economic reasons, Augustus reduced the number of legions to 28 (which diminished to 25 after the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, in which 3 legions were completely destroyed by the Germanics).
Beside streamlining the army, Augustus also regulated the soldiers' pay. At the same time, he greatly increased the number of auxiliaries to the point where they were equal in number to the legionaries. He also created the Praetorian Guard along with a permanent navy where served the liberti, or freed slaves. The legions also became permanent at this time, and not recruited for particular campaigns. They were also allocated to static bases with permanent castra legionaria (legionary fortresses).
Augustus' military policies proved sound and cost effective, and were generally followed by his successors. These emperors would carefully add new legions, as circumstances required or permitted, until the strength of the standing army stood at around 30 legions (hence the wry remark of the philosopher Favorinus that It is ill arguing with the master of 30 legions). With each legion having 5,120 legionaries usually supported by an equal number of auxiliary troops (according to Tacitus), the total force available to a legion commander during the Pax Romana probably ranged from 11,000 downwards, with the more prestigious legions and those stationed on hostile borders or in restive provinces tending to have more auxiliaries. By the time of the emperor Severus, 293-211, the auxiliaries may have composed 55 to 60% of the army, 250,000 of 447,000. Some legions may have even been reinforced at times with units making the associated force near 15,000–16,000 or about the size of a modern division.
Throughout the imperial era, the legions played an important political role. Their actions could secure the empire for a usurper or take it away. For example, the defeat of Vitellius in the Year of the Four Emperors was decided when the Danubian legions chose to support Vespasian.
In the empire, the legion was standardized, with symbols and an individual history where men were proud to serve. The legion was commanded by a legatus or legate. Aged around thirty, he would usually be a senator on a three-year appointment. Immediately subordinate to the legate would be six elected military tribunes – five would be staff officers and the remaining one would be a noble heading for the Senate (originally this tribune commanded the legion). There would also be a group of officers for the medical staff, the engineers, record-keepers, the praefectus castrorum (commander of the camp) and other specialists such as priests and musicians.
In the Later Roman Empire, the number of legions was increased and the Roman Army expanded. There is no evidence to suggest that legions changed in form before the Tetrarchy, although there is evidence that they were smaller than the paper strengths usually quoted. The final form of the legion originated with the elite legiones palatinae created by Diocletian and the Tetrarchs. These were infantry units of around 1,000 men rather than the 5,000, including cavalry, of the old Legions. The earliest legiones palatinae were the Lanciarii, Joviani, Herculiani and Divitenses.
The 4th century saw a very large number of new, small legions created, a process which began under Constantine II. In addition to the elite palatini, other legions called comitatenses and pseudocomitatenses, along with the auxilia palatina, provided the infantry of late Roman armies. The Notitia Dignitatum lists 25 legiones palatinae, 70 legiones comitatenses, 47 legiones pseudocomitatenses and 111 auxilia palatina in the field armies, and a further 47 legiones in the frontier armies. Legion names such as Honoriani and Gratianenses found in the Notitia suggest that the process of creating new legions continued through the 4th century rather than being a single event. The names also suggest that many new legions were formed from vexillationes or from old legions. In addition, there were 24 vexillationes palatini, 73 vexillationes comitatenses; 305 other units in the Eastern limitanei and 181 in the Western limitanei.
According to the late Roman writer Vegetius' De Re Militari, each century had a ballista and each cohort had an onager, giving the legion a formidable siege train of 59 Ballistae and 10 Onagers, each manned by 10 libritors (artillerymen) and mounted on wagons drawn by oxen or mules. In addition to attacking cities and fortifications, these would be used to help defend Roman forts and fortified camps (castra) as well. They would even be employed on occasion, especially in the later Empire, as field artillery during battles or in support of river crossings.
Despite a number of reforms, the Legion system survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and was continued in the Eastern Roman Empire until around 7th century, when reforms begun by Emperor Heraclius to counter the increasing need for soldiers around the Empire resulted in the Theme system. Despite this, the Eastern Roman/Byzantine armies continued to be influenced by the earlier Roman legions, and were maintained with similar level of discipline, strategic prowess, and organization.
Aside from the rank and file legionary (who received the base wage of 10 assēs a day or 225 denarii a year), the following list describes the system of officers which developed within the legions from the Marian reforms (104 BC) until the military reforms of Diocletian (c. 290).
The rank of centurion was an officer grade that included many ranks, meaning centurions had very good prospects for promotion. The most senior centurion in a legion was known as the primus pilus (first file or spear), who directly commanded the first century of the first cohort and commanded the whole first cohort when in battle. Within the second to tenth cohorts, the commander of each cohort's first century was known as a pilus prior and was in command of his entire cohort when in battle. The seniority of the pilus prior centurions was followed by the five other century commanders of the first cohort, who were known as primi ordines.
The six centuries of a normal cohort, were, in order of precedence:
The centuries took their titles from the old use of the legion drawn up in three lines of battle using three classes of soldier. (Each century would then hold a cross-section of this theoretical line, although these century titles were now essentially nominal.) Each of the three lines is then sub-divided within the century into a more forward and a more rear century.
From the time of Gaius Marius onwards, legionaries received 225 denarii a year (equal to 900 Sestertii); this basic rate remained unchanged until Domitian, who increased it to 300 denarii. In spite of the steady inflation during the 2nd century, there was no further rise until the time of Septimius Severus, who increased it to 500 denarii a year. However, the soldiers did not receive all the money in cash, as the state deducted a clothing and food tax from their pay. To this wage, a legionary on active campaign would hope to add the booty of war, from the bodies of their enemies and as plunder from enemy settlements. Slaves could also be claimed from the prisoners of war and divided amongst the legion for later sale, which would bring in a sizeable supplement to their regular pay.
All legionary soldiers would also receive a praemia on the completion of their term of service (to receive this the minimum was 25 years in service): a sizeable sum of money (3,000 denarii from the time of Augustus) and/or a plot of good farmland (good land was in much demand); farmland given to veterans often helped in establishing control of the frontier regions and over rebellious provinces. Later, under Caracalla, the praemia increased to 5,000 denarii.
From 104 BC onwards, each legion used an aquila (eagle) as its standard symbol. The symbol was carried by an officer known as aquilifer, and its loss was considered to be a very serious embarrassment, and often led to the disbanding of the legion itself. Normally, this was because any legion incapable of regaining its eagle in battle was so severely mauled that it was no longer effective in combat.
In Gallic War (Bk IV, Para. 25), Julius Caesar describes an incident at the start of his first invasion of Britain in 55 BC that illustrated how fear for the safety of the eagle could drive Roman soldiers. When Caesar's troops hesitated to leave their ships for fear of the Britons, the aquilifer of the tenth legion threw himself overboard and, carrying the eagle, advanced alone against the enemy. His comrades, fearing disgrace, 'with one accord, leapt down from the ship' and were followed by troops from the other ships.
With the birth of the Roman Empire, the legions created a bond with their leader, the emperor himself. Each legion had another officer, called imaginifer, whose role was to carry a pike with the imago (image, sculpture) of the emperor as pontifex maximus.
Each legion, furthermore, had a vexillifer who carried a vexillum or signum, with the legion name and emblem depicted on it, unique to the legion. It was common for a legion to detach some sub-units from the main camp to strengthen other corps. In these cases, the detached subunits carried only the vexillum, and not the aquila, and were called, therefore, vexillationes. A miniature vexillum, mounted on a silver base, was sometimes awarded to officers as a recognition of their service upon retirement or reassignment.
Civilians could also be rewarded for their assistance to the Roman legions. In return for outstanding service, a citizen was given an arrow without a head. This was considered a great honour and would bring the recipient much prestige.
The military discipline of the legions was quite harsh. Regulations were strictly enforced, and a broad array of punishments could be inflicted upon a legionary who broke them. Many legionaries became devotees in the cult of the minor goddess Disciplina, whose virtues of frugality, severity and loyalty were central to their code of conduct and way of life.
Montesquieu wrote that "the main reason for the Romans becoming masters of the world was that, having fought successively against all peoples, they always gave up their own practices as soon as they found better ones."
Examples of ideas that were copied and adapted include weapons like the gladius (Iberians) and warship design (cf. Carthaginians' quinquereme), as well as military units, such as heavy mounted cavalry and mounted archers (Parthians and Numidians).
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, formerly the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, is a Welsh Government sponsored body that comprises seven museums in Wales:
National Museum Cardiff
St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon
National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre near Llandysul
National Slate Museum, Llanberis
National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon
National Waterfront Museum, SwanseaIn addition to these sites, the organisation runs Oriel y Parc, a gallery of Welsh landscape art in St David's, in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. The National Collections Centre in Nantgarw is AC-NMW's storage facility.Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths
The Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths museum (Welsh: Caer a Baddonau Rhufeinig Caerllion Amgueddfa) is a historical site located in the town of Caerleon, South Wales. Near to the city of Newport, it is run by the Welsh historic environment service Cadw.Cohort
Cohort or cohortes may refer to:
Cohort (educational group), a group of students working together through the same academic curriculum
Cohort (floating point), a set of different encodings of the same numerical value
Cohort (military unit), the basic tactical unit of a Roman legion
Cohort (statistics), a group of subjects with a common defining characteristic, for example age group
Cohort (taxonomy), in biology, one of the taxonomic ranks
Cohort study, a form of longitudinal study used in medicine and social science
Cohort Studios, a video game development company
Generational cohort, an aggregation of individuals who experience the same event within the same time intervalCohort (military unit)
A cohort (from the Latin cohors, plural cohortes, see wikt:cohors for full inflection table) was a standard tactical military unit of a Roman legion, though the standard changed with time and situation, and was composed of between 360-800 soldiers. A cohort is considered to be the equivalent of a modern military battalion. The cohort replaced the maniple following the reforms attributed to Gaius Marius in 107 BC. Shortly after the military reforms of Marius, each legion formed 10 cohorts. The cohorts were named "first cohort," "second cohort" etc. The first cohort gathered the most experienced legionaries, while the legionaries in the tenth cohort were the least experienced. Until the middle of the third century AD, 10 cohorts (about 5000 men total) made up a Roman legion.Legio III Isaura
Legio III Isaura was a pseudocomitatensis Roman legion, levied no later than under Diocletian, and possibly already present under Probus. As their name suggests, III Isaura and its twin legion II Isaura were guarding the Isauria territory at the time of the Notitia Dignitatum, to defend it from the incursions of the mountain peoples. It is possible that in the beginning they were supported by I Isaura Sagittaria.Legio II Flavia Virtutis
Legio II Flavia Virtutis ("brave Flavian") was a comitatensis Roman legion, levied by Emperor Constantius II (337–361), together with I Flavia Pacis and III Flavia Salutis.
According to Ammianus Marcellinus (Res Gestae xx.7.1), in 360 II Flavia Virtutis was stationed in Bezabde with II Armeniaca and II Parthica, when the King of Persia Shapur II besieged and conquered the city, killing many of the inhabitants.
According to Notitia Dignitatum (in partibus Occidentis, vii), at the beginning of the 5th century, the comitatensis legion Secundani (very probably II Flavia Virtutis) were under the command of the comes Africae.Legio II Herculia
Legio II Herculia (devoted to Hercules) was a Roman legion, levied by Emperor Diocletian (284–305), possibly together with I Iovia, to guard the newly created province of Scythia Minor. It was stationed at Capidava. The cognomen of this legion came from Herculius, the attribute of Maximian (Diocletian's colleague) meaning "similar to Hercules".
According to Notitia Dignitatum, at the beginning of the 5th-century, II Herculia was still in its camp on the Danube.Legio I Iovia
Legio I Iovia (devoted to Jupiter) was a Roman legion, levied by Emperor Diocletian (284–305), possibly together with II Herculia, to guard the newly created province of Scythia Minor. The cognomen of this legion came from Diocletian's attribute Iovianus, "similar to Jupiter".
According to Notitia Dignitatum, at the beginning of the 5th century I Iovia was still in its camp on the Danube.Legio I Isaura Sagittaria
Legio I Isaura Sagitaria was a pseudocomitatensis Roman legion, levied no later than under Diocletian, and possibly already present under Probus. As its name suggests, its legionaries could be used also as archers, an uncommon feature for Roman legions.
According to Notitia Dignitatum, in the beginning of the 5th century the I Isaura was under the command of the Magister Militum per Orientem, but it is possible that in the beginning it was used to defend the Isauria region, together with the II and III Isaura.Legio VII Claudia
Legio septima Claudia (Claudius' Seventh Legion) was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. Its emblem, like that of all Caesar's legions, was the bull, together with the lion.The Seventh, the Sixth, the Eighth and the Ninth were all founded by Pompey in Spain in 65 BC. With the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth legions, the Seventh was among the oldest units in the imperial Roman army. They were ordered to Cisalpine Gaul around 58 BC by Julius Caesar, and marched with him throughout the entire Gallic Wars. The Roman commander mentions the Seventh in his account of the battle against the Nervians, and it seems that it was employed during the expedition through western Gaul led by Caesar's deputy Crassus. In 56, the Seventh was present during the Venetic campaign. During the crisis caused by Vercingetorix, it fought in the neighborhood of Lutetia; it must have been active at Alesia and it was certainly involved in the mopping-up operations among the Bellovaci.
Legio VII was one of the two legions used in Caesar's invasions of Britain, and played a crucial role in the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, and it existed at least until the end of the 4th century, guarding the middle Danube.
Tiberius Claudius Maximus, the Roman soldier who brought the head of Decebalus to the emperor Trajan, was serving in Legio VII Claudia. An inscription in Pompeii revealed that a certain Floronius also served in the seventh legion. The inscription says: "Floronius, privileged soldier of the 7th legion, was here. The women did not know of his presence. Only six women came to know, too few for such a stallion."Legio V Alaudae
Legio quinta alaudae ("Lark-crested Fifth Legion"), sometimes also known as Gallica, was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in 52 BC by the general Gaius Julius Caesar (dictator of Rome 49-44 BC). It was levied in Transalpine Gaul to fight the armies of Vercingetorix, and was the first Roman legion to comprise non-citizens. The legion was destroyed in AD 86 at the battle of Tapae in Domitian's Dacian War.Liqian
Liqian (simplified Chinese: 骊靬; traditional Chinese: 驪靬; pinyin: Líqián) was a county established during the Western Han dynasty and located in the south of modern Yongchang County, Jinchang, in the northwestern province of Gansu in China. The Western Han inhabitants of the county had migrated to the area from western regions. The county was renamed Liqian (力乾) during the Northern Wei dynasty and disestablished during the Sui dynasty, becoming part of Fanhe County. There is a myth that some of the modern-day residents of Zhelaizhai (now Liqian village, in Jiaojiazhuang township) are descendants of a group Roman soldiers that were never accounted for after being captured in the Battle of Carrhae. However eminent Chinese authorities, modern genetic studies, and archaeologists have debunked this conspiracy theory.List of Roman army unit types
This is a list of Roman army unit types.
Actarius – A military or camp clerk.
Adiutor – A camp or headquarters adjutant or assistant
Aeneator – Military musician such as a bugler.
Agrimensor – A surveyor (a type of immunes).
Aquilifer – Bearer of the legionary eagle.
Alaris – A cavalryman serving in an ala.
Architecti – An engineer or artillery constructor.
Armicustos – A soldier tasked with the administration and supply of weapons and equipment. A quartermaster.
Ballistarius – An artillery operator (a type of immunes).
Beneficiarius – A soldier performing an extraordinary task such as military policing or a special assignment.
Bucinator – A trumpeter or bugler.
Cacula – Servant or slave of a soldier.
Capsarior – A medical orderly.
Causarius – A soldier discharged for wounds or other medical reasons.
Centurion – Officer rank, generally one per 80 soldiers, in charge of a centuria.
Clinicus – A medic.
Cornicen – Bugler.
Doctor – A trainer, subdivisions for everything from weapons to horn blowing.
Draconarius – Bearer of a cavalry standard.
Decurion – Leader of a troop of cavalry (14-30 men). Often confused with decanus.
Decanus – Leader of a contubernium (a legionary tent group of 8 men).
Discens – Miles in training for an immunis position.
Dux – A general in charge of two or more legions. In the Third Century AD, an officer with a regional command transcending provincial boundaries, responsible directly to the emperor alone, usually appointed on a temporary basis in a grave emergency. In the fourth century AD, an officer in charge of a section of the frontier answering to the Magister Militum.
Equites singulares Augusti – Elite cavalry unit tasked to guard the Roman Emperors. Usually commanded by a tribunus of praetorian rank.
Evocatus – A soldier who had served out his time and obtained his discharge (missio), but had voluntarily enlisted again at the invitation of the consul or other commander.
Frumentarii – Officials of the Roman Empire during the 2nd and 3rd era. Often used as a Secret Service, mostly operating in uniform.
Hastatus – The youngest of the heavy infantry in the pre-Marian armies, who were less well-equipped than the older Principes and Triarii. These formed the first line of battle in front of the Principes.
Hastatus Prior – A centurion commanding a manipulus or centuria of hastati. A high-ranking officer within a manipulus or centuria.
Hastatus Posterior – A deputy to the hastatus prior
Hastiliarius – a weapons instructor.
Imaginifer – A standard-bearer carrying the imago – the standard which bore a likeness of the emperor, and, at later dates, his family.
Immunes – Soldiers who were "immune" from combat duty and fatigues through having a more specialist role within the army.
Legatus legionis – A legion commander of senatorial rank; literally the "deputy" of the emperor, who was the titular commander-in-chief.
Legatus pro praetore – Provincial governor of senatorial rank with multiple legions under his command.
Legionary – The heavy infantry that was the basic military force of the ancient Roman army in the period of the late Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.
Magister militum - High ranked commander in the late Roman Empire. Equivalent of general.
Medicus – Physician or combat medic. Specializations included surgery (medicus vulnerarius), ophthalmology (medicus ocularius), and also veterinary (medicus veterinarius). At least some held rank equivalent to a centurion.
Miles or Miles Gregarius – The basic private level foot soldier.
Numerus – A unit of barbarian allies not integrated into the regular army structure. Later, a unit of border forces.
Optio – One per century as second-in-command to the centurion. Could also fill several other specialized roles on an ad hoc basis.
Pedites – The infantry of the early army of the Roman kingdom. The majority of the army in this period.
Peditatus – A term referring to any infantryman in the Roman Empire.
Pilus Prior – Senior centurion of a cohort.
Pilus Posterior – Deputy to the pilus prior.
Praefectus Castrorum – Camp prefect, third-in-command of the legion, also responsible for maintaining the camp, equipment, and supplies. Usually a former primus pilus.
Praefectus Cohortis - Commander of a cohort.
Praefectus legionis agens vice legati – Equestrian officer given the command of a legion in the absence of a senatorial legatus. After the removal of senators from military command, the title of a legionary commander. ("...agens vice legati, dropped in later Third Century")
Praetorians – A special force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors.
Primus Ordinis – The commanding officer of each centuria in the first cohort with the exception of the first centuria of the cohort.
Primus Pilus (literally 'first file', not spear) – The centurion commanding the first cohort and the senior centurion of the entire Legion.
Princeps – Pre-Marian soldier, initially equipped with the Hasta spear, but later with the pilum, these men formed the second line of battle behind the Hastati in the pre-Marian armies. They were also chieftains in Briton like Dumnorix of the Regneses (he was killed by Gaius Salvius Liberalis' soldiers).
Princeps Prior – A centurion commanding a century of principes.
Princeps Posterior – A deputy to the princeps prior.
Principales – A group of ranks, including aquilifer, signifer, optio, and tesserarius. Similar to modern NCOs (Non-commissioned officers).
Protectores Augusti Nostri (a.k.a. Protectores Divini Lateris) – honorific title for senior officers singled out for their loyalty to the Emperor and soldierly qualities. The protectores were an order of honor rather than a military unit. The order first appeared in the mid-200s AD.
Quaestionarius – An interrogator or torturer.
Retentus – A soldier kept in service after serving required term.
Rorarii – The final line, or reserve, in the ancient pre-Marius Roman army. These were removed even before the Marian reforms, as the Triarii provided a very sturdy anchor.
Sagittarii – Archers, including horse-riding auxiliary archers recruited mainly in North Africa, Balkans, and later the Eastern Empire.
Salararius – A soldier enjoying special service conditions or hired as a mercenary.
Scholae Palatinae – An elite troop of soldiers created by the Emperor Constantine the Great to provide personal protection of the Emperor and his immediate family.
Scorpionarius – An artilleryman operating a scorpio artillery piece.
Signifer – Standard bearer of the Roman Legion.
Socii – Troops from allied states in the pre-Marian army before the Social War (91–88 BC)
Speculatores and Exploratores – The scouts and reconnaissance element of the Roman army.
Supernumerarii – Supernumerary soldiers who served to fill the places of those who were killed or disabled by their wounds.
Strategos - General and military governor of Theme in the Byzantine Empire.
Tablifer – A guard cavalry standard-bearer
Tesserarius – Guard commander, one per centuria.
Tirones – A basic trainee.
Triarii – Spearmen of the pre-Marian armies, equipped with the Hasta, who formed the third line of battle behind the Principes.
Tribunus Militum - Officer in the Roman army who ranked below the legate and above the centurion.
Tribuni militum angusticlavii or military tribune – Military tribune of equestrian rank, five of whom were assigned to each legion.
Tribunus militum laticlavius – Military tribune of senatorial rank. Second in command of a legion. Appointments to this rank seem to have ceased during the sole reign of Gallienus as part of a policy of excluding senators from military commands.
Tubicen – A trumpeter.
Urbanae – A special police force of Rome, created to counterbalance the Praetorians.
Velites – A class of light infantry in the army of the Roman Republic.
Venator – A hunter (a type of immunes).
Vexillarius – Bearer of a vexillum (standard).National Roman Legion Museum
The National Roman Legion Museum (Welsh: Amgueddfa Lleng Rufeinig Cymru) is a museum in Caerleon, near Newport, south-east Wales. It is one of three Roman sites in Caerleon, along with the Baths museum and the open-air ruins of the amphitheatre and barracks. It is part of the wider network of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.Principality of the Pindus
The name Principality of the Pindus (Aromanian: Printsipat di la Pind; Greek: Πριγκιπάτο της Πίνδου; Italian: Principato del Pindo) is used in literature to describe the attempt to create an autonomous canton under the protection of Italy at the end of World War I, in July and August 1917, from Vlach-speaking population of Samarina and other villages of the Pindus mountains of Northern Greece during the short period of occupation by Italy of the district of Gjirokastra and regions of Epirus. The attempt was not successful and no such principality was ever formed. A declaration was made after the arrival of Italian troops in Samarina. In the immediate withdrawal of Italians a few days later, Greek troops appeared without meeting any resistance.Since then there was no mention of any similar activity until 1941-2 when the territory of Greece were occupied by Italy, Germany and Bulgaria under the World War II. At that time, Alcibiades Diamandi, a Vlach from Samarina who also took part in the events of 1917, was active with an organization called in later literature with the name Vlach "Roman Legion" (at the time called "Legion" or "Roman Legion"). As part of the activity of the legion in the areas of mainly Thessaly (and Epirus, and West Macedonia), it was mentioned as an intention of Diamandi to create a semi-independent entity by the name "Principality of the Pindus" or "Independent State of Pindos" or "Canton". The "Legion" was never able to assert itself over the Vlachs whom it supposedly represented, nor over the local population until its de facto disbandment in 1943 due to the activity of the Greek Resistance and the Italian capitulation, leaving them without real support from the German command. In other sources, no name is assigned to the events of 1917 in Pindus.Roman Legion-Hare
Roman Legion-Hare is a Looney Tunes animated short released in 1955. The title is a play on the words Roman Legionnaire. After being ordered by Emperor Nero to find a victim to be tossed to the lions, Yosemite Sam tries to capture Bugs Bunny.Roman Legion (1941–43)
The "Roman Legion", Vlach "Roman Legion" or Vlach Legion (as it is mentioned in some cases in later bibliography) is the name used by the political and paramilitary organization active during the period 1941-1943, in Greece, in the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia, created by Alcibiades Diamandi, a Vlach from Samarina who served as an agent of Italy and Romania.Roman military personal equipment
Roman military personal equipment was produced in small numbers to established patterns, and it was used in an established manner. These standard patterns and uses were called the res militaris or disciplina. Its regular practice during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire led to military excellence and victory. The equipment gave the Romans a very distinct advantage over their barbarian enemies, especially so in the case of armour. This does not mean that every Roman soldier had better equipment than the richer men among his opponents. According to Edward Luttwak, Roman equipment was not of a better quality than that used by the majority of Rome's adversaries.Initially, they used weapons based on Greek and Etruscan models. On encountering the Celts, they based new varieties on Celtic equipment. To defeat the Carthaginians, they constructed an entire fleet de novo based on the Carthaginian model. Once a weapon was adopted, it became standard. The standard weapons varied somewhat during Rome's long history, but the equipment and its use were never individual.Vindonissa
Vindonissa (from a Gaulish toponym in *windo- "white") was a Roman legion camp at modern Windisch, Switzerland. It was probably established in 15 AD. In an expansion around 30, thermal baths were added.
The Legio XIII Gemina was stationed at Vindonissa until 44 or 45. With the arrival of the 21st legion (XXI Rapax) the camp was rebuilt with stone fortifications. After the 21st legion had looted the countryside in 69, it was replaced by the 11th legion (XI Claudia) which remained stationed until 101. After this date, Vindonissa was a civilian settlement, with a castle built in the 4th century.
The remains of the camp are listed as a heritage site of national significance. The city of Brugg hosts a small Roman museum, displaying finds from the legion camp.