The Roman Army

Just the notes I typed up for my Latin background revision last year in Year 10 and then added to for my mocks... Probs missed off a couple of facts but this is mainly what you need to know. Feel free to look through-hope it helps and saves you having to look on loads of websites/lots of textbooks :/ Comment if you find it useful please :)

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Structure of a Legion
-6000 men at full strength
-Divided into 10 cohorts each made up of 480 men
-1st cohort has 800 men however
-6 centuries in each cohort, which had 80 men each, but only 5 in the first cohort, which had 160 men
-Centuries divided into 10 contubernium, groups of 8 men who shared a tent, who had to do
fatigues -cleaning, digging ditches and other manual labour around the camp
-120 cavalry as well for support
Positions in a legion
Legate-Legionary commander for 3-4 years and then could become generals of 3-4 legions
-30 years old
-Lived with family in fort
-Picked by emperor from senatorial class/nobility who had previous military experience and
would be able to control troops so as not to start a rebellion
-important role as Rome only had thirty legions
Tribunus laticlavius- serving his military apprenticeship before starting a political career in Rome
-Could later return to the army to serve as legate, before continuing his civilian
-Knowledge of the army prepared these men for any career and if they became
Governors they would know about armies and wars
-Roman noble in early twenties belonging to one of the highest families in Rome
And might be a personal friend of the emperor
Tribune-each legion had 6 who were the sons of knights/senators
-usually split into pairs and took control of commanding for 2 months each
-No definite duties so were able to learn the art of war and military administration
-Usually of a slightly lower class than the commander and would be in their 30s
-Were either young Roman nobles or older men from the Equestrian order, who had started
off as an auxiliary officer and transferred to a legion after several years' service
Praefectus Castrorum-In charge of maintenance of legionary fortress/supplies etc
-Normally promoted from primus Pilus position
-Took charge of legion when senior members away
Primus Pilus-Senior centurion who has a lot of respect
-60 years old
-Paid 20000 denarii per annum
-Allowed to retire and receives a large sum of money or can try for camp commander
-Serves for 1 year
Centurions of 1st cohort-prima ordines -paid 10,000 denarii per annum
Centurions of 2nd-10th cohorts had been in the army 30+ years and so were relied on
for their advice, given in the council of war, on how the
commander should fight his wars and battles and also
their opinion on the enemy and chances of victory
Optiones-assistant to centurions
Tesserarius (in charge of guards), signifier (standard bearer and also in charge of savings bank)
Cornice (trumpet/horn player)-trumpets used to signify emergencies/visitors and wake-up/bed
time for soldiers
Signifier carried cohort's standard whereas the aquilifier looked after the Aquila and carried it in

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Imaginifier-carries a picture of Emperor
Immunes-exempt from latrine duties etc as they came from a medical/musical background and had
served for a long time in the army or had a special job to do
Milites-normal legionary soldiers known as miles gregarious as the soldiers lived and fought close
Together like animals in a flock
Legionary Soldiers
-Elite of Roman army: Roman citizens and full time professionals who worked for 25 years
-Highly trained in infantry warfare and other fields
-Legions are mini armies as they…read more

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-Same rate of pay in war and peacetime
-Fairly well paid and often managed to save money to send home -1st C AD-225 denarii per annum
-Spent money on beer, gambling r paying a scribe to write letters for them
-Imperator Domitian improved rate to 300 denarii per annum-defying loyalty of soldiers
-Dangers of this- intimidate emperors to get more pay to become well off
-Gross pay-reductions made for equipment, food and clothing
-done so soldiers would have to learn to be responsible for…read more

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Roman Artillery
There are two types: stone throwing (ballista) and arrow shooting (catapulta)
-Single armed stone thrower (onager) originated later
-Machines resembled outside crossbows except their power was supplied by springs of
twisted sinew
-Size varied from small arrow shooters to machines able to throw 45 kilo stones
-There were ~ 60 catapults in a legion
-Dark stones were used so they blended in with the colour of the walls
-Varied size
-A development of a primitive method used to assault fortifications…read more

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Specialised soldiers who had developed particular skills e.g.…read more

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Opposite the principia
-Purpose was where the commander and his officers worked, where interviews with important
locals were made and where military law courts were held
- Large hall, very impressively built
-Layout like interior of cathedral-nave bounded by columns supporting a vaulted roof and with two
-First sight greeting anyone coming through the entrance was the sacellum (chapel) which housed the
Aquila (eagle) and was opposite the main gate
- Offices on either side of the sacellum where the clerks worked, sorting out…read more

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Names Tribal Name
A-Aulus P-Publius Ter-Teretina
C-Caecilius Q-Quintus Pap-Papiria
Cn-Gnaeus S-Spurius Pol-Pollia
G-Gaius Sex-Sextus 32 other tribes
H-Haterius T-Titus
I-Iulius Ti-Tiberius
L-Lucius V-Valerius
BEN-beneficarius F-Filius
CENTURIO-centurion Dom-dominus
EQUES-Knight/cavalry LIB-libertus
Mil-milites (soldier) PAT-patronus
OPT-=optio PAR-parentes
SIG-signifier PAT-pater
TESS-tesserarius Sacerdos Deae Sulis- the priest of the goddess Sulis of Minerva
TRIB-tribunus CONIUX PIENTISSIMA-very loyal wife
VET-veteranus LIBERTA CONIUNX-freedwoman
Birth place
Civis (Citizen of)/PAGO-(from the district of)
ARE-Arelate (France)
-XX VV (Valeria Victrix)-20th courageous and victorious legion
-VIIII HISP (Hispana)-9th Spanish legion
-XIIII…read more

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terry krigas

Very useful as a background resource in Roman History and Roman Daily Life

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