The Roman legions won their formidable reputation not only thanks to organization and discipline, excellent training and courage of the soldiers, but also excellent weapons and armour. Each warrior was clad in iron and bronze from head to toe, so that the order of the legions, according to Vegetius, resembled an iron wall approaching the enemy. […]
Retiring military personnel received substantial material rewards and certain changes in their civil status. These privileges were quite enough to take a worthy place in society. As a result, the Roman veterans who settled throughout the empire became a kind of cement that held the huge state together.
The centurion was the commander of a centuria, which was the smallest unit of a Roman legion. A legion was nominally composed of 6,000 soldiers, and each legion was divided up into 10 cohorts, with each cohort containing 6 centuria.
Auxiliary soldiers were organised in infantry units, cohorts (singular cohors, plural cohortes, abbreviated to coh) and cavalry units, alae (singular ala). Infantry units could also sometimes include a cavalry element (cohors equitata), sometimes described as ‘part-mounted’ regiments. There were two sizes of both cohors and ala, quingenary (quingenaria) and milliary (milliaria), the former with a nominal strength of 500 men, the latter with a nominal strength of 1,000 men, although in practice these figures are different.
The Roman fortification, whether it was a temporary overnight camp in enemy territory, an auxiliary outpost fort set to guard a strategic location, or a large fortress to garrison the might of the Roman legions, was almost invariably built to the same basic formula.
The Romans used 10 regional fleets to cover different geographic areas. There was a Classis Alexandrina in Egypt and a Classis Germanica in Germany, while the Classis Britannica was the British equivalent. It was created from the 900 ships built for the Claudian invasion in the year 43 AD and staffed by about 7,000 personnel. 6
The following table contains the names, grid references, dimensions and enclosed areas of every known Roman legionary or vexillation fortress in Britain. A separate description of each fortress is available by clicking on its name. Location of Fortress N.G.Ref. Dimensions Area Type Dynevor Park, Llandeilo, Dyfed SN621224 c.720 x 590 ft (c.220 x 180 m) […]
The Development of the Roman Empire The first seven-and-a-half centuries of Roman history was a period of almost continual warfare and expansion during which Rome’s armies conquered and occupied the entire Mediterranean world. Following the sack of Rome by the Gaul Brennus in 387 B.C., all of Italy was annexed in the three Samnite Wars of […]
The Plautian frontier of south-east England, delineated by the Roman road running from the Legionary Fortress and Civitas Capital at Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter, Devon) to the Legionary Fortress and Roman Colony at Colonia Domitiana Lindensium (Lincoln, Lincolnshire).
Roman Legions in Britain were composed of legionaries who were required to be Roman citizens. Roman citizenship expanded during this time, particularly in areas outside of Italy. The number of citizens grew in the first half of the century, from around 4 to 6 million out of a total empire population of 50 million. This pool of citizens was used as the recruitment source for legionaries. In times of high demand, some individuals were granted citizenship so they could join the legions, while others could be punished for joining without proper citizenship.
A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z A Actuarius – Senior clerk’s deputy Assisted the cornicularius with his duties in the tabularium, and was himself assisted perhaps by several librarii. Aedes – Dwelling place of a God The main chapel, in which legionary insignia, among others, was stored, located in the central part of principia, surrounding […]