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Beamptes van die Romeinse leër

Beamptes van die Romeinse leër

Met die verskyning van die legioenêr kon die Romeinse leër 'n uitgestrekte ryk onderhou wat die Middellandse See totaal omhels het. Alhoewel die sukses van die weermag op die rug van die voetsoldate en kavallerie rus, was daar ander op die veld en in die kamp wat hulle in staat gestel het om te seëvier. Behalwe die beroemde hoofman oor honderd wat aan die voorkant van sy groep gestaan ​​het en sy legioene in die stryd gelei het, was daar 'n bevelhiërargie van militêre tribunes, 'n kamp prefek en 'n legaat. Langs die hoofman oor honderd in die stryd was die beginsels: optio, signifier, aquilifer en tesserarius. Daar was ander, sommige met gespesialiseerde vaardighede, wat noodsaaklik was, maar in die kamp gebly het. Dit was die immuuns en begunstigdes: arbeiders, administrateurs, landmeters, argitekte, ingenieurs en bestelhouers. Die legioenen kon nie 'n ryk verower en onderhou het sonder hierdie bekwame ondersteuning nie; saam het hulle die Romeinse leër meer as agt eeue lank 'n gevreesde teëstander gemaak.

'N Professionele weermag van Evermore

Oorspronklik het die Romeinse leër bestaan ​​uit 'n burgerlike burgermag wat gewerf is uit die besittings wat slegs gedurende die oorlog gedien het. Daar was 'n direkte verband tussen burgerskap, eiendom en die weermag. Tydens die konsulskap van Gaius Marius (ongeveer 157-86 v.C.) het die milisie homself herontdek en 'n professionele leër geword. Die onderskeid tussen ouderdom en ervaring wat voorheen bestaan ​​het, is afgeskaf. Konstante oorlog het die weermag ernstig uitgeput. In die besef dat daar 'n behoefte bestaan, sien Marius 'n onontginde hulpbron en verander die vereistes vir werwing by die werwing van die armer en ongeskikte burgers van Rome. 'N Soldaat hoef nie meer sy toerusting te verskaf nie. Die regering voorsien alle noodsaaklikhede: wapens, wapens en selfs klere. Met hierdie veranderinge het diens in die weermag uiters gewild geword onder die armes. Dit het kos, klere, mediese sorg en 'n veilige loon verskaf. Die hergebore legioene het beter opgelei, beter gedissiplineerd en dus buigbaarder en doeltreffender geword.

Opleiding in die Romeinse leër is onder toesig van 'n gespesialiseerde offisier, gewoonlik die optio.

Veranderinge sou gedurende die keiserlike tydperk voortduur. Voor die tyd van keiser Augustus (27 BCE - 14 CE) was die Romeinse leër voortdurend op optog. Namate die grense van die ryk oor Europa en die Midde -Ooste uitgebrei het, het permanente vestings begin verskyn om die grens te stabiliseer. Augustus verminder die aantal legioene van 60 tot 28. Die meeste hiervan was in die ontsteld provinsies en langs die grense. Uiteindelik het Rome 'n staande leër van 150 000 legioenen en 180 000 hulpinfanterie en kavallerie gehad. Alhoewel die aantal legioene verminder is, was daar steeds 'n behoefte aan getroue legioene; die lang eksamen- en opleidingsproses het egter nie verander nie. Eerstens moes alle rekrute hul regstatus laat kontroleer om te keer dat slawe by die weermag aansluit. Behalwe sy wettige status, is die individu se ouderdom, fiksheid, opvoeding en vorige beroep in ag geneem. As daar tydens hierdie proeftydperk aan alle standaarde voldoen is, sal die werf die volgende stap binnegaan en syne ontvang teken: 'n stuk metaal om die nek gedra met persoonlike inligting oor die soldaat - soortgelyk aan die huidige "hondetikette" van die weermag van vandag. By sy aankoms in sy toegewese kamp sou hy streng opleiding ondergaan voordat hy amptelik 'n legioenêr word.

Die Centurion

Opleiding is onder toesig van 'n gespesialiseerde beampte, gewoonlik die optio. Opleiding het oefeninge in die nabye orde, skyngevegte en een-tot-een-gevegte ingesluit. Wapenopleiding is bewerkstellig deur die gebruik van rietskilders en hout swaarde. Een van die eerste dinge wat die toekomstige legioenêr vinnig geleer het, was dat dissipline streng was. 'N Legioenêr moes bevele gehoorsaam sonder om te aarsel, en indien nie, moes hy die hoofman oor honderd of centurio antwoord. Afgesien van sy ander pligte, was die hoofman oor honderd verantwoordelik vir dissipline, wat die vitis of wingerdstok. Hiermee kan hy selfs 'n geringe oortreding 'n legioene verslaan. Vermoedelik het streng opleiding, gehoorsaamheid en harde dissipline vir 'n intimiderende soldaat gesorg.

Julius Caesar beskou die hoofman oor honderd as die ruggraat van die weermag, maar die pad om 'n hoofman oor honderd te word, kom uit baie verskillende rigtings. Normaalweg het 'n hoofman oor honderd deur die geledere gestyg. Sommige was voormalige lede van die keiserlike Praetorian Guard, terwyl ander lede van die ruiterklas was en opdragte van die keiser ontvang het. In die geveg kon die hoofman oor honderd herken word aan sy silwer wapenrusting, metaalgom en sy dwars -helm. Anders as die legioenêrs onder sy bevel, het hy ook sy swaard gedra (gladius) aan die linkerkant en dolk (pugio) aan die regterkant. In gevegsvorming het hy links van die eerste rang gestaan. In die kampbarakke het hy sy eie spesiale kwartiere gehad met 'n aparte latrine.

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Die amptelike hiërargie van 'n legioen berus op drie individue: die legate, tribune en kamp prefek.

Om 'n hoofman oor honderd te word, moes 'n individu eerstens, en die belangrikste, geletterd wees, sodat hy bevele kon verstaan ​​(altyd in Latyn gegee) en dit aan die legioene oorgedra het. Alhoewel hy 'n middelgeplaasde beampte was, het hy dikwels ander posisies met groot verantwoordelikheid gekry. Hy kan gebruik word as 'n opleidingsbeampte of as losstaande diens, en dien as administrateur in een van die provinsies. Dikwels sou hy in sy loopbaan van 46 jaar in soveel as 12 verskillende legioene diens doen. Alhoewel dit deur meer as een keiser ontken is, kan hy sy inkomste aanvul deur 'n geringe fooi te hef vir die toestaan ​​van 'n legioenêr in die rustige wintermaande. Na sy aftrede, behalwe dat hy sy aftreegeld ontvang het, kan 'n hoofman oor honderd 'n lektor word vir 'n Romeinse landdros of die bevelvoerder van die Praetorian Guard.

Met die hulp van die prinsipale beveel die hoofman oor honderd 'n eeu van 80 man - ses eeue was gelyk aan 'n groep van 480 man. Elke eeu is verdeel in tien groepe van agt mans wat bekend staan ​​as 'n contubernium. Hierdie agt legioenen het 'n hegte band ontwikkel en het 'n kaserne in die kamp gedeel. Hulle sou saam baklei, saam eet en in sommige gevalle saam sterf. Daar was altesaam 59 hoofmanne in 'n legioen wat uit tien groepe bestaan. Met die uitsondering van die eerste groep wat dubbeld die aantal legioenen en vyf hoofmanne gehad het, het die oorblywende nege kohorte 54 senture of ses per groep. Elkeen van hierdie ses hoofmanne het 'n spesifieke titel gehad: in dalende volgorde was dit die pilus prior, princeps prior, hastatus prior, pilus posterior, princeps posterior en hastatus posterior.

Die hoofmanne in die eerste groep was die belangrikste in die hele legioen, gesamentlik bekend as die eerste orde of manne van die eerste rang. Dit is gelei deur die hoogste en mees senior hoofman oor honderd van die hele legioen: die primus pilus of die eerste spies. Hy het gereeld 'n kamp prefek geword. Tradisioneel moes hy minstens 50 jaar oud wees en gewoonlik slegs 'n termyn van een jaar dien. Behalwe dat hy kamp prefek word, kan hy tot die ruitersklas verhef word of 'n provinsiale goewerneur word. Onder hom in die eerste groep was die oorblywende vier hoofmanne: in dalende volgorde was dit die princeps prior, princeps posterior, hastatus prior en hastatus posterior. Die terme princeps en hastatus is titels wat herinner aan die ou manipulasies.

Die beginsels

Langs die hoofman oor honderd in die kamp en op die slagveld was 'n aantal legioene wat hoër geplaas was, bekend as die skoolhoofde. Hierdie legioene het dikwels een en 'n half keer tot twee keer normale loon ontvang. Twee van die prinsipale het as adjunkpersoneel gedien, waarvan een die cornicularius was, terwyl die ander die optio was. Afgesien van sy verantwoordelikhede as opleidingsbeampte, was dit die optio se plig om saam met sy kantoorpersoneel, die haastig, aan die uiterste regterkant aan die agterkant van die eeu om orde te behou en verlatenhede te voorkom. As die hoofman oor honderd afwesig was, sou die optio sy plek inneem, en as daar 'n vakature vir 'n nuwe hoofman oorhoof was, word die optio bevorder om dit te vul. As iemand egter 'n ander pad kies, kan hy 'n tesserarius word. Hy was toe verantwoordelik vir die verkryging van die wagwoorde (op 'n wasbord of tessera geskryf), om dit veilig te hou en aan die wagte te stuur. In die geveg het hy in die agterkant van die eeu links gestaan.

Aangesien elke legioen sy eie standaard het, was daar posisies van groot eer verbonde aan die verskillende vlae en baniere. Onder hulle was die vexillarius of draer van die kavalleriestandaard (die vexillum), die betekenaar of draer van die infanteriestandaard (signum), die beeldhouer of draer van die keiser se beeld, en, die belangrikste, die akwifer, draer van die goue arendstandaard (aquilia). Met hierdie mans was die antesignani, voetsoldate wat voor die standaard was, en die postsignani wat daarna gekom het. Een unieke standaard wat gereeld in parades gebruik word, was die signum draconis of draco gedra deur die draconarius. Dit was 'n koperkop van 'n brons wat aan 'n veelkleurige buis van geverfde lap vasgemaak was, wat soos 'n windsokkie sou huil en huil as die ruiters vinnig beweeg. Dit word algemeen gebruik deur alle Romeinse gemonteerde eenhede.

Die behoefte aan individue om die hoofman oor honderd op en van die slagveld te help, bied geleenthede as 'n mens die noodsaaklike motivering, opvoeding en vaardighede het. U kan kies om by die artillerie aan te sluit, 'n ballistaris te word en die belegmasjiene te bestuur. 'N Ander posisie, ondergeskik aan die hoofman oor honderd, was die afvaardiging, 'n junior offisier wat gereeld aan die stuur van 'n hulp -eenheid was. Die kampe en vestings het ook 'n deel gehad van noodsaaklike personeel wat dikwels van veldtake vrygestel was. Daar was die begunstigdes, dikwels veterane wat as ordonnante en klerke (libarius) gedien het. Diegene met gespesialiseerde vaardighede - ingenieurs, skrynwerkers, instrukteurs en mediese personeel - is immuun genoem en het ekstra betaling vir hul werk ontvang. 'N Kamp of vesting het ook dokters, argitekte, predikante en veeartse nodig gehad. Daar was selfs trompetspelers en plunderaars wat as seinaars in die geveg gedien het: die tubicines, cornicines en buccinators. 'N Werklik ambisieuse legioene kan egter daarna streef om 'n hoofman oor honderd te word, al neem dit 12 tot 15 jaar of meer. Gelukkig het die huweliksverbod wel betrekking op hoofmanne en ander senior amptenare.

Die Legate

Die amptelike hiërargie van 'n legioen berus op drie individue. Eerstens was die legate (legatus legionus) gevolg deur die breë gestreepte tribune (tribunus laticlavius), en laastens die kampprefek (praefectus castrorum). Die legaat is deur die keiser aangestel en was nie 'n professionele soldaat nie. Hy was gewoonlik in die vroeë dertigerjare en lid van die senatoriese orde, afkomstig van die sosiale en politieke elite van Rome. Die legaat was die legioenkommandant en gedurende die vroeë keiserlike tydperk het hy slegs twee jaar in die pos gedien; dit sou later tot vier uitgebrei word. In die kamp weerspieël sy woning, die praetorium, sy status as 'n Romeinse senator met 'n tuin, bedkwartiere en verblyf vir sy gesin. Op die slagveld dra hy 'n ryk, versierde helm, lyfwapen, 'n skarlakenrooi mantel of paludamentum en 'n skarlakenrooi band of cincticulus. Soos ander keiserlike senior offisiere, was hy geregtig op fasces en lektore: in sy geval vyf fasces en vyf lektore. Toe hy afwesig was van die vesting, val sy pligte op die kamp prefek.

Die Tribune

Die oorblywende twee senior offisiere in die legioen was die breë gestreepte tribune en kamp prefek. Die breedstreepige tribune of die tribunus laticlavius ​​was tweede in die hiërargie en op pad na die Senaat. Dit is belangrik om nie die militêre tribune met die tribune van die plebs te verwar nie. Elke keiserlike legioen het ses tribunes gehad, maar slegs een het 'n breë pers streep op sy toga en tuniek, terwyl die ander vyf of augusticlavii 'n dun pers streep gedra het. 'N Jong Romeinse lid van die ruiterklas het die posisie van tribune dikwels as 'n loopbaan in die loopbaan beskou, maar dit was 'n onderneming wat tot nege jaar sou neem. Alhoewel dit nie altyd 'n waarborg was nie, is hierdie senatoriese strewe dikwels slegs deur 'n breë streep bereik nadat hy drie tot ses jaar by die legioen gedien het. Die dun gestreepte tribune het geen gesag- of bevelmagte gehad nie en was beperk tot personeellede, wat in krygs- en waghoofpligte sit. Om 'n breë streep te word, moes die individu dien as die prefek of bevelvoerder van 'n hulpinfanterie en 'n hulpkavallerie. In die geveg en as kommandant van 'n eenheid, kon die breë gestreepte tribune herken word aan sy ryk versierde helm, gevormde pantser en wit mantel, met sy swaard op sy linkerheup. Ook hy sou 'n huis of domus hê wat sy elite Romeinse status weerspieël; hy het egter geen fasette of lektore ontvang nie.

Die kamp prefek

Na die tribune was die derde in bevel die kamp prefek of praefectus castrorum. Hy sou as 'n voormalige primus pilus dien as bevelvoerder van 'n legioenafdeling en, in die afwesigheid van die legaat, kwartiermeester in beheer van 'n kamp se infrastruktuur: die bou daarvan, die kaserne, kampgeriewe, die instandhouding van wapens, mediese sorg, etes, water verskaffing, en die vervaardiging en berging van konstruksiemateriaal. Die posisie is in die 4de eeu nC afgeskaf.

Die Romeinse legioen en die legioene het legendes geword wat deur die eeue deur leërs gekopieer is. Die legioenêr is herhaaldelik geprys vir sy dapperheid en uithouvermoë in die geveg. Die hoofman oor honderd leier op en van die veld, staan ​​langs hom in die geveg. Terwyl hierdie manne gevier en nageboots is, was daar 'n magdom individue in die kamp en langs die legioene in die geveg wat ietwat vergete is, maar wat nog steeds noodsaaklik was vir die sukses van die Romeinse weermag. Dit was die immuuns, die begunstigde en die beginsels. Al hierdie mans het die Romeine gehelp om 'n ryk te verower wat die Middellandse See omhels.


Strukturele geskiedenis van die Romeinse weermag

Die strukturele geskiedenis van die Romeinse weermag handel oor die groot veranderings in die organisasie en konstitusie van die antieke Rome se gewapende magte, "die mees effektiewe en langlewende militêre instelling wat die geskiedenis ken." [1] Sedert sy ontstaan ​​omstreeks 800 v.C. tot die finale ontbinding in 476 nC met die afsterwe van die Wes -Romeinse Ryk, het die militêre organisasie van Rome aansienlike strukturele verandering ondergaan. Op die hoogste struktuur is die magte verdeel in die Romeinse leër en die Romeinse vloot, alhoewel hierdie twee takke minder onderskei was as in baie moderne nasionale weermagte. Binne die hoogste vlakke van beide weermag en vloot het strukturele veranderinge plaasgevind as gevolg van positiewe militêre hervorming en organiese strukturele evolusie. Hierdie veranderinge kan in vier verskillende fases verdeel word.

Fase I Die leër is afgelei van verpligte jaarlikse militêre diens wat op die burgerskap gehef word, as deel van hul plig teenoor die staat. Gedurende hierdie tydperk sou die Romeinse leër seisoenale veldtogte voer teen grootliks plaaslike teëstanders. Fase II Namate die omvang van die gebiede wat onder Romeinse beheer val, uitgebrei word en die omvang van die magte toeneem, word die soldaat geleidelik professionele persone. Gevolglik het militêre diens op die laer (nie-salarisse) vlakke geleidelik langer geword. Romeinse militêre eenhede van die tydperk was grotendeels homogeen en hoogs gereguleer. Die weermag het bestaan ​​uit eenhede burgerinfanterie wat as legioene bekend staan ​​(Latyn: legioene) sowel as nie-legionêre geallieerde troepe, bekend as hulp. Laasgenoemde word meestal versoek om ligte infanterie-, logistieke of kavallerieondersteuning te bied. Fase III Op die hoogtepunt van die Romeinse Ryk was die magte opdrag om die grense van die uitgestrekte provinsies wat onder Romeinse beheer gebring is, te beman en te beveilig. Ernstige strategiese bedreigings was minder algemeen in hierdie tydperk en die klem is geplaas op die behoud van gewenste gebied. Die weermag het veranderings ondergaan in reaksie op hierdie nuwe behoeftes en meer afhanklik geraak van vaste garnisoene as van optogkampe en deurlopende veldoperasies. Fase IV Terwyl Rome begin sukkel het om beheer oor sy uitgestrekte gebiede te behou, was die militêre diens steeds salarisse en professionele persone vir die gewone troepe van Rome. Die neiging om geallieerde of huursoldate te gebruik, is egter so uitgebrei dat hierdie troepe 'n aansienlike deel van die gewapende magte verteenwoordig. Terselfdertyd verdwyn die eenvormigheid van die struktuur wat in die vroeëre weermag van Rome gevind is. Die soldaat van die era wissel van liggewapende boogskutters tot swaar infanterie, in regimente van verskillende grootte en kwaliteit. Dit het gepaard gegaan met 'n neiging in die laat ryk van 'n toenemende oorheersing van kavallerie eerder as infanterietroepe, sowel as 'n vereiste vir meer mobiele operasies. In hierdie tydperk was daar meer fokus (op alle grense, maar in die ooste) op kleiner eenhede onafhanklike troepe, wat minder betrokke was by veldslae en meer in lae-intensiteit, guerilla-aksies.


Die Romeinse leër: taktiek, organisasie en bevelstruktuur

Kunstenaar Jason Juta / Kopiereg: Karwansary Publishers

Geplaas deur: Dattatreya Mandal, 19 Desember 2019

Die geskiedenis getuig van die triomf van die antieke Romeinse leër, soos blyk uit die Romeinse ryk in sy apikale omvang - wat 'n groot deel van die bekende wêreld, wat wissel van Spanje tot Sirië (en Irak), en van die Noord -Afrikaanse kus, heers. en Egipte na die grootste deel van Brittanje. Dit is genoeg om te sê dat hierdie ou weermag bekend was vir sy blote dissipline, ongelooflike organisatoriese diepte en die vermoë om aan te pas. Sommige van hierdie eienskappe is gedemonstreer deur middel van logistiek tydens die Tweede Puniese Oorlog, waar die Romeine uiteindelik as oorwinnaars uit die stryd getree het, ten spyte van (moontlik) 'n tiende tot twintigste van hul manlike bevolking in 'n enkele geveg (by Cannae). En die aanvulling van hul onwrikbare vermoë om terug te keer uit rampspoedige situasies, was die evolusie van die Romeinse weermag deur die eeue. Vir hierdie doel is 'n oorvloed Romeinse militêre ontwikkelings eintlik deur hul vyande 'aangewakker', en daarom kan baie van die suksesse van die antieke Romeinse militêre stelsel toegeskryf word aan hul inherente vermoë om eenvoudig 'te reageer'.

Evolusie van taktiek van die Romeinse leër -

Hierdie fassinerende grafiese video wat deur YouTuber Historia Civilis gemaak is, toon gepas die 'reaksionêre' evolusie van die Romeinse gevegstaktiek. En hoewel die inhoud 'n simplistiese (alhoewel handige) oorsig vertoon, kan ons die kernidee agter die Romeinse militêre stelsel kry en hoe sy aanpasbaarheid dit onderskei van sommige van die ander militêre van die antieke wêreld.

Die vroeg -Romeinse heffing -

Vroeë Romeinse soldate, ongeveer 7de eeu vC. Illustrasie deur Richard Hook.

Alhoewel die video nie regtig die omvang van die Romeine tydens hul eerste dae dek nie, strek die argeologiese bewyse van die vroegste Romeinse weermagreëls tot in die 9de eeu vC, meestal van die krygersgrafte op die Capitolien -heuwel. Wat die literêre bewyse betref, noem hulle hoe die vroegste Romeinse leërs uit die drie 'stamme' van Rome gewerf is. Dit behoort nie 'n groot skok te wees nie (vir diegene wat gewoond is om te lees oor die 'beskaafde' natuur van Rome), aangesien die nedersetting van Rome self begin het as 'n agterwater wat bewoon is deur beesruisers wat kampeer en rudimentêre wonings tussen die heuwels en die moeraslande.

Wat die evolusionêre deel betref, is die oorgang van die Romeinse leër van 'stam' -krygers na burgermilisie deels bereik as gevolg van die Romeinse samelewing en sy intrinsieke verteenwoordiging (met stemreg) in die Romeinse vergadering. Vir die doel was die vroeë Romeine byna geheel en al afhanklik van hul burgermilisie vir die beskerming en verlenging van die groeiende faksie se grense. Hierdie militante is bloot as heffing of legio - wat op sy beurt plek maak vir die term 'legioen'. In wese was die sogenaamde legioene van vroeë Rome 'arm' voorgangers van die uniform toegeruste en gedissiplineerde soldate van die daaropvolgende eeue (wat ons later bespreek het).

Die Romeinse falanks -

Romeinse hopliet (regs) veg teen die Etruskiese krygers. Bron: WeaponsandWarfare

Die video begin met die eerste soliede vorming van die Romeinse leër (toe Rome nog 'n stadstaat was). En nogal verbasend, die Romeinse militêre stelsel van hierdie tyd is geïnspireer deur sy meer gevorderde buurman (en vyand)-die Etruske. Trouens, die massavorming van hopliete wat met hul skild en spies veg-bekend as 'n falanks, is reeds teen 675 vC deur die Grieke aangeneem en het teen die begin van die 7de eeu vC die Etruskers in Italië bereik. Die Romeine is op hul beurt beïnvloed deur hul Etruskiese vyande, en kon daarin slaag om baie van die rigiede Grieks-geïnspireerde formasies saam met wapens in real-time gevegscenario's op te stel.

Baie ou skrywers pas by hierdie Romeinse weermag se gebruik van 'buitelandse' taktiek. Byvoorbeeld, Diodorus Siculus (In sy Die Geskiedenisbiblioteek) noem hoe die Romeine hul ligte reghoekige skilde laat vaar het en die swaarder bronsskild van die Etruske onderskryf het. Hierdie militêre replikasie het op sy beurt die Romeine in staat gestel om oor die Etruske te seëvier. Anon (in sy Ineditum Vaticanum) ondersteun ook hierdie siening deur te sê hoe die Etruskers 'n voorsmakie van hul eie medisyne gekry het toe die Romeinse leër dieselfde styf hoplietformasies omhels het om sy vyande teë te werk.

Volgens die historiese tradisie is die aanvaarding van die hopliet -taktiek aangevuur deur die deurlopende militêre hervormings wat die voorlaaste Romeinse heerser Servius Tullius onderneem het, wat waarskynlik in die 6de eeu vC regeer het. Hy het 'n afwyking gemaak van die 'stam' -instellings van curia en gentes, en in plaas daarvan die weermag verdeel op grond van die besit van die individuele soldaat van die eiendom. In hierdie opsig is die Romeinse leër en sy weerspieëlende vredestydse samelewing in klasse geskei (classis).

Volgens Livy was daar ses sulke klasse - almal gebaseer op hul besit van rykdom (wat gedefinieer is deur esels of klein kopermuntstukke). Die eerste drie klasse het geveg as die tradisionele hopliete, gewapen met spiese en skilde - hoewel die bewapening afgeneem het op grond van hul ekonomiese status. Die vierde klas was slegs gewapen met spiese en spies, terwyl die vyfde klas skaars met slingers gewapen was. Uiteindelik was die ses (en armste) klas heeltemal vrygestel van diensplig. Hierdie stelsel sinspeel weer op hoe die vroeë Romeinse leër op werklik nasionalistiese waardes gevorm is. Eenvoudig gestel, hierdie mans het hul huise verlaat en oorlog toe gegaan om hul eie land en rykdom te beskerm (of te vergroot), in teenstelling met net 'n militêre 'loopbaan'.

Die Romeinse Manipel -

Maar die grootste sterkte van die Romeinse leër was nog altyd die aanpasbaarheid en die vermoë om te ontwikkel. Soos ons vroeër genoem het, hoe die vroeë Romeine uit hul koninkryke die hopliet -taktiek van hul vyande aangeneem en op hul beurt verslaan het. Teen die tyd van die Eerste Samnietoorlog (in ongeveer 343 v.C.) het dit egter gelyk asof die Romeinse leër nuwe formasies wat buigbaarder van aard was, onderskryf het. Hierdie verandering in die gevegsgeoriënteerde strategie was waarskynlik in reaksie op die geharde Samnitiese leërs-en as gevolg hiervan het die menigte formasies ontstaan ​​(in plaas van die vroeër rigiede falanks).

Die einste term manipulus beteken ''n handjievol', en sy vroeë standaard bevat dus 'n paal met 'n handjie vol hooi rondom. Volgens die meeste literêre bewysstukke is die Romeinse leër nou in drie afsonderlike gevegslyne verdeel, met die eerste lyn uit die jong haastig in tien manipulasies (elk van 120 man), die tweede reël wat bestaan ​​uit die geharde beginsels in tien manipulasies en die derde en laaste reël bestaande uit die veteraan triarii in tien manipulasies - wat waarskynlik as swaar hopliete geveg het (maar hul manipulasies het slegs 60 man gehad). Boonop is hierdie strydlyne moontlik ook deur die ligwapens gekeur veliete, wat meestal tot die armer klas van Romeinse burgerlikes behoort het.

Dit is genoeg om te sê dat 'n manipel 'n baie meer buigsame vorm was as die 'vaste', maar soms (af en toe) onhandige falanks. Belangriker nog, hierdie formasies, gesamentlik die triplex acies, maak voorsiening vir 'n slagveldstelsel met reserwes vir beter taktiese voordeel. Byvoorbeeld, wanneer die voorkant haastig was tydens die hitte van die geveg van sy krag gedreineer, kon hy terugval op die reserwe van die elite triarii. Die goed gepantserde veterane is daarna op 'n sikliese wyse ontplooi-wat 'n nuwe groep troepe tot gevolg gehad het wat die uitgeputte (en gewoonlik minder georganiseerde) vyand teëgekom het. Hierdie eenvoudige, maar effektiewe taktiek het die uitkoms van baie kleiner gevegte in die 4de eeu v.C. verander - soos voorgestel deur die video hierbo (gerekonstrueer deur Invictus, in die Rome 2 -spelmotor).

Die Romeinse kohort -

Illustrasie deur Peter Dennis. Krediet: Warlord Games Ltd.

Aangesien die Romeinse koninkryk vinnig uitgebrei het, veral tydens en na die einde van die Tweede Puniese Oorlog, het die Romeine groter leërs van die meer georganiseerde militêre magte van die hedendaagse tyd teëgekom. Teen die 2de eeu vC was die manipulasies eenvoudig nie 'groot' genoeg om op groot skaal in gevegte ontplooi te word nie. Dus, as reaksionêre maatstaf, het die Romeine (geleidelik) wegbeweeg van 'n pseudoklas-gebaseerde stelsel om 'n gesamentlike oplossing vir hul leërs in te stel. Die gevolg was die kohort - 'n buigsame groep van ongeveer 480 mans wat op 'n soortgelyke manier gewapen en gepantser was. Tien sulke groepe het 'n legioen gemaak, en die latere Romeinse soldate staan ​​dus bloot as die legioene bekend, in teenstelling met individualistiese kategorisering soos haastig en triarii.

Vir alle doeleindes was die Romeinse legioenêr 'n professionele soldaat uit die antieke tyd-gewerf (en soms dienspligtig) uit verskillende dele van die Romeinse Republiek (en later Ryk). En wat pas by 'n professionele soldaat, moes die groen rekrute wat suksesvol as legioene aangewys is, deur 'n streng opleidingstydperk van 4 maande gaan. Tydens hierdie oefenomgewing het elke soldaat die onbenydenswaardige taak gekry om binne vyf uur met gereelde treë 29 km (18 myl) te marsjeer, en dan 35 km (21,7 myl) in vyf uur met vinniger stappe - terwyl u altyd 'n rugsak dra wat weeg 45 pond (20,5 kg).

Hierdie gewig is doelbewus toegewys vir die verhoging van die uithouvermoë van 'n legioen en word sodoende bygevoeg tot die totale gewig van die panoply wat die soldate in hul volle rat dra (die gewig van die lorica segmentata wapenrusting alleen sou meer as 20 pond gewees het). Soos verwag, is die 'slowpokes' erg geslaan deur hoofmanne en beamptes met hul personeel. Interessant genoeg word baie van die soortgelyke 'regimes' bewaar deur ons moderne militêre kultuur - met elite -magte van sommige lande wat deur sulke streng bootkamp -metodes opgelei is.

Die organisasie van die Romeinse leër -

Die antieke Romeinse leër was bekend vir sy blote dissipline en ongelooflike organisatoriese diepte. Met betrekking tot laasgenoemde 'kwaliteit', demonstreer 'n geanimeerde kort video van Blair Harrower treffend hoe die Romeine hul leër tot in die laaste besonderhede georganiseer het ten opsigte van troepetipes, ooreenstemmende offisiere en hul formasies, wat verwys na 'n indrukwekkende taktiese omvang wat is deur baie min ou leërs aangepas. Nou moet op gelet word dat die animasie die omvang van post-Mariaanse hervormings toon-'n militêre stelsel-opknapping wat eers na 107 vC plaasgevind het (wat dus ooreenstem met die laat Romeinse Republiek en die daaropvolgende Romeinse Ryk).

Lengte van diens -

Terwyl die video 'n paar vaste, onwrikbare getalle gee oor Romeinse legioenen, was die situasies waarvoor die Romeinse leër te kampe gehad het, meer chaoties. Gedurende die laaste deel van die 1ste eeu vC volg Augustus die riglyne van die voorafgaande eeue en amptelik die dienstyd van 'n legioenêr tot 16 jaar (in 13 vC). Maar daar moet op gelet word dat selfs na 16 jaar diens, hy na verwagting by die vexillum veteranorum of eenheid vir veterane vir nog vier jaar.

Teen 6 nC is die aanvanklike dienstyd egter tot 20 jaar verhoog, en dit is aangevul deur die praemia militare (of ontslagbonus), 'n enkelbedrag wat verhoog is tot 12 000 sesterces (of 3 000 denarii). En teen die middel van die 1ste eeu nC is die diens verder uitgebrei tot 25 jaar. Buiten die tydsduur van die amptelike diens, is die protokolle selde gevolg in tye wat deur oorloë gekenmerk is. Dit het daartoe gelei dat die legioene ver buite hul diensperiodes behoue ​​gebly het, terwyl sommige mans meer as drie tot vier dekades lank onder hul legioene geveg het. Dit is genoeg om te sê dat sulke chaotiese maatreëls gereeld muiterye tot gevolg gehad het.

Wat betaal betref, behalwe die enkelbedrag van praemia militare, 'n basiese legioenêr is 900 sterre per jaar betaal (in drie paaiemente betaal). Hierdie betaalskaal het ten minste tot 80 nC dieselfde gebly, ondanks vermoedelike inflasie. Die salaris verskil egter vir die verskillende eenhede in 'n legioen, met onderoffisiere en spesialiste wat een en 'n half of twee keer die basiese salaris betaal is. Boonop was hierdie betaalsyfer slegs 'n nominale waarde waaruit verskillende aftrekkings gemaak is in ooreenstemming met die goedere (soos voedsel, toerusting, klere en selfs grafgeld) wat die legioene verbruik. Tog was daar gevalle waar die legioenêr minder betaal is as wat hy verdien het, en soms is die 'bedrieglike' maatreëls begin deur die soldate waardelose stukke grond te gee in plaas van die praemia militare.

Bind verder as getalle -

Die video noem duidelik hoe a contubernium was die kleinste afdeling in 'n Romeinse leër. Buiten dissipline en opleiding, was een van die belangrikste redes vir die doeltreffendheid van 'n legioene direk verband met sy gevoel van broederskap binne 'n eeu (bestaande uit 80 mans). Dus op 'n dieper vlak, 'n eeu (senturia) is verder in tien verdeel contubernium ('n 'tentgroep', elk bestaande uit agt lede). Sulke klassifikasies het basies gelei tot 'n gedragsaspek van kameraadskap onder die tentgroep wat saam geveg, geëet en saam gerus het in hul militêre loopbane wat oor dekades strek. Hierdie identiteitsgevoel word dikwels vertaal na hoë moraal en beskermendheid van die legioene wanneer hulle op 'n werklike slagveld veg.

Interessant genoeg is die contubernium was nie net beperk tot die bindingsoefeninge nie. Die Romeinse leër het ook die tentgroep as 'n gemors 'span' uitgestoot. Van hierdie gegroepeerde soldate word verwag om hul eie maaltye te kook en saam te eet (terwyl die koskoste van hul salaris afgetrek word). Eenvoudig gestel, die afwesigheid van gemorslokale en spysenieringsdienste versterk eerder die band tussen die legioene wat van mekaar afhanklik moes wees, selfs vir rustige maaltye.

Ander gespesialiseerde eenhede -

Soos ons vroeër genoem het, is 'n legioene eers as 'n veteraan beskou nadat hy 16 jaar in die weermag gedien het. In the 1st century AD, even after such a long period of service, the soldier was not expected to ‘retire’ from his legion. Instead, the veteran was reinstated to a special unit of vexillum veteranorum for four more years of service. Typically consisting of 500 to 600 men, the Roman army unit had its own administrative branch with different officers. It was however attached to the original legion, but at times were deployed independently. The latter case is evident from their separate garrison at the town of Thala, with this particular vexillum veteranorum being derived from Legio III Augusta in 20 AD. Unsurprisingly, the veterans with their years of experience were highly successful against the onslaught of Tacfarinas and his Numidian forces.

Other than vexillum veteranorum, there were also slaves (or calones) that could be attached to a legion. Though unlike the veterans, they were governed as a part of the legion, with 120 men attached to each cohort of 480 soldiers. So basically, a single legion (generally comprising ten cohorts) could be accompanied by around 1,200 slaves and these men were trained for specific tasks. During times of emergency, they were even armed with weapons to defend their camps.

And finally, the soldiers who truly made a Roman military unit self-sufficient were the immunes, a group of highly trained specialists attached to each legion. Ranging from doctors, engineers to architects, these men were exempt from the hard labor duties of the rank-and-file soldiers, while also earning more than them.

The Command Structure of the Roman Army –

We already talked about the fascinating organization of the Roman army. However, the strength of the Roman legion was also complemented by its incredibly deep yet sufficiently straightforward command structure. In other words, the hierarchical system of command was tailored to suit both ways, with overlapping representations that mirrored the interests of the senate, the aristocracy and most importantly – the rank-and-file soldiers (legionaries). In essence, it was a collective scope of leadership that fueled the tactical maneuvers (and even strategic deployment) of a legion – and this complex ambit is presented in a comprehensible manner by Historia Civilis’ amazing short animation on the command structure of the Roman legion.

Note* – The animation showcases the scope of post-Marian reforms – a military system overhaul that only took place after 107 BC (thus corresponding to the late Roman Republic and the subsequent Roman Empire).

Die Vexillationes –

Artist: Jason Juta / Credit: Karwansary Publishers

While Roman legions fighting with their full capacity was a regular occurrence during early 2nd century AD, by the middle of the 3rd century the conflicts faced by the Roman empire (and the changing emperors) were pretty volatile from both the geographical and logistical scope. And so it was uncommon and rather impractical for the entire legion to leave its provincial base to fight a ‘distant’ war on the shifting frontiers of 3rd century AD. As a solution, the Roman military commanders sanctioned the use of vexillationes – detachments from individual legions that could be easily transferred without compromising the core strength of a legion (which was needed for fortifying and policing its ‘native’ province).

These mobile combat ‘divisions’, comprising one or two cohorts, were usually tasked with handling the smaller enemy forces while being also used for garrisoning duties along with strategic points like roads, bridges, and forts. And on rare occasions when the Romans were faced by a large number of opposing troops, many of these different vexillationes were combined to form a bigger field army.

Die Comitatus –

Comitatus from the late 3rd Century. Art by Johnny Shumate.

The later Roman empire and its volatile political scope also brought forth newer Roman units separate from the Roman legion. For example, Emperor Gallienus (who ruled alone from 260 to 268 AD) created his own mobile field army consisting of special detachments from the praetorians, Legio II Parthica, and other guard units. Hailed as the comitatus (retinue), this central reserve force functioned under the emperor’s direct command, thus hinting at the ambit of insecurities faced by the Roman rulers and elites during the ‘Crisis of the Third Century’. Interestingly enough, many of ‘extra’ gelyk stel (cavalry) that were assigned to each conventional legion, were also inducted as the elite promoti cavalry in the already opulent (and the militarily capable) scope of the comitatus.


Being a Soldier in the Roman Army

The length of a Roman soldier’s military service would on average be about six years. Military service defined men as a Roman citizen. (Image: Serhii Bobyk/Shutterstock)

As Jean-Michel Carrié has noted, it was the Romans who invented many of the features of modern military life. They include “barracks life, promotion rolls, bugle calls, the camp infirmary, the personnel office, tours of duty, morning reports, permissions and leaves, ‘the army offers you a career’ advertisements, the discharge review board, and even theatrical performances for the troops.” So, how did one become a member of the most formidable army the world had ever seen?

Dit is 'n transkripsie uit die video -reeks Die ander kant van die geskiedenis: die daaglikse lewe in die antieke wêreld. Kyk nou, Wondrium.

Conscription in the Roman Army

Imagine you are a Roman citizen in the earlier period of Roman history. If you met the minimum property qualification, that is to say you own a farm of a certain size, you’d be conscripted on an annual basis for the duration of a whole campaign—just like Greek hoplites. The word “conscript” comes from the Latin conscribo, meaning “to write your name along with lots of other names.”

As Rome expanded and its wars lengthened, a soldier stood a good chance of facing economic hardship as a result of military service, once they returned home. That’s because they would have been a peasant farmer, so when they would have returned at the end of a campaign, perhaps one that lasted several years, they would have found their farm completely ruined.

Things got worse and worse as Rome’s wars became lengthier and further afield, so in 107 B.C. a Roman general called Gaius Marius abolished the property qualification altogether and permitted those who had previously been excluded to enlist—in other words, those without any property, those who were very poor.

Now, for a moment suppose that you’re one of them. Previously soldiers had to provide their own armor. You had no money, however, so Marius provided you with armor at the state’s expense. He also provided you with pay. All this temporarily relieved a manpower crisis. The problem was that when you were discharged you were as poor as you had been when you’d enlisted. This meant that you were dependent for your retirement package, so to speak, on the general whom you’d served under.

Roman General and his Roman Soldier

In time, the Roman generals became very powerful—Pompey the Great, Cn. Pompeius Magnus, and Julius Caesar—who commanded large armies for several years. Slowly, a Roman soldier would have identified more with his general than he did with Rome itself.

Julius Caesar’s army in Gaul, for instance, served with him for eight years. Not only would the soldier have developed a deep attachment to Caesar over that length of time, but he would also have looked to Caesar to provide him with his retirement package.

Caesar fraternized with his men when they were off duty, not like his enemy Pompey, who was very standoffish. It was hardly surprising, therefore, that after serving with him for eight years, a soldier didn’t ask any questions when he crossed the little river in the north of Italy called the Rubicon and marched on Rome. So, as a result of this trend, Roman soldiers came in effect to resemble mercenaries.

Julius Caesar fraternized with his men when they were off duty. His army in Gaul served him for eight years. (Image: Jule_Berlin/Shutterstock)

Octavian’s Reforms in the Roman Army

This trend created a huge problem for the Roman state. It was a primary cause of the civil wars in the final decades of the Republic—and one that involved literally hundreds of thousands of citizens. It’s estimated that in the last two centuries of the Republic the proportion of soldiers who were conscripted into the army sometimes reached as high as 20 percent of the entire citizen body. Another way to put this is that the length of a soldier’s military service would on average be about six years. Military service, in other words, very much defined a man as a Roman citizen.

When Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus, defeated Mark Antony at Actium in 31 B.C., he pensioned off perhaps as many as half a million veterans and settled them as colonists in Italy and elsewhere. Octavian, who was very forward thinking in so many ways, understood that this was not the most efficient way to run an army or a country. So he introduced the concept of the voluntary professional soldier. He didn’t abolish conscription, but by the end of the 1 st century A.D. volunteers had become more numerous than conscripts.

The Other Facets of the Roman Army

The non-citizens were allowed to enlist in the Roman army as auxiliaries. (Image: Sammy33/Shutterstock)

Later, non-citizens were permitted to enlist as auxiliaries, including the peregrini, i.e., free subjects who were allied to Rome. Rome’s army, in other words, was what we would call today truly multicultural. As the historian Tacitus states, “It was an army of many languages and many customs, in which citizens, allies and foreigners, mingled together.”

Men of different races defended the Roman ideal, even though they weren’t Roman themselves and perhaps didn’t have much idea of what being Roman actually meant. It was a great way to integrate peoples into the empire and to give them a sense of unity.

When a Roman soldier wasn’t fighting, he and his fellow legionaries would have taken on the role of engineers, road-makers, surveyors, bridge-builders, carpenters, masons, and so on. The Roman road system, which extended the length and breadth of the Empire, was largely the creation of the legionary force, although native workers would also be conscripted. It’s been rightly said that Roman soldiers spent more time digging than they did fighting.

So, the Roman soldiers played an important role in the making of the glorious Roman Empire.

Common Questions about the Life of a Roman Soldier

Gaius Marius introduced some reforms in the Roman army . He permitted those who had previously been excluded to enlist—those without any property, those who were very poor. Marius also provided the soldiers with armor at the state’s expense.

The auxiliaries were the non-citizens in the Roman army .

Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus, introduced the concept of the voluntary professional soldier in the Roman army .


Legionary Punishments

Severe Punishments

Execution. The death penalty was a rarely used punishment for desertion, mutiny or insubordination. In cases where execution might be considered, factors such as the soldier's length of service, his rank, previous conduct, age, etc. were taken into account. Special consideration was given to young soldiers.

Decimation. An extremely rare style of the execution penalty was called decimation and would only be used in extreme cases of cowardice or mutiny. Every tenth man of a centuria, cohort or even the entire Legion, randomly chosen by a draw of lots, was killed by being clubbed or stoned to death by the other members of his unit. The effect on future performance of the legion could be overwhelmingly positive or an absolute disaster.

Disbandment. An entire legion could be disbanded without the customary land settlements and pension disbursements. This, like the other forms of extreme punishment, was rarely done, and was more likely to exist as a deterrent to any legions who may be loyal to a political opponent or group.

Byvoorbeeld, Legio I Macriana Liberatrix ("Macer's Liberators"), was formed by Lucious Clodius Macer, rebellious Governor of Africa, in 68 AD, to be used against Nero. In the midst of this year, that came to be known as the Year of the 4 Emperors, Galba was one of the men who took claim to the throne. Galba, distrusting of Macer's intentions, ordered the death of Legio I's commanding officers and the disbandment of the questionably formed legion. It was removed from service to the empire without ever seeing action.

Less Severe Punishments

Despite the strict environment of Roman military life, the less extreme punishments below were more common than any of the above, and are also more recognizable to us today. They included:

  • Monetary fine, (pecunaria multa)
  • Additional duties (munerum indictio)
  • Relegation to an inferior service or unit (militiae mutatio)
  • A reduction in rank (gradus deiectio)
  • Dishonourable discharge from service (missio ignominiosa)

Legions of Rome: The Definitive History of Every Imperial Roman Legion

By Stephen Dando-Collins

In this landmark publication, Stephen Dando-Collins does what no other author has ever attempted to do: provide a complete history of every Imperial Roman legion. Based on thirty years of meticulous research, he covers every legion of Rome in rich detail.

Featuring more than 150 maps, photographs, diagrams and battle plans, Legions of Rome is an essential read for ancient history enthusiasts, military history experts and general readers alike.


The Sex Lives of Roman Soldiers

A Roman soldier might be envisioned as one of the brave young men, standing and waiting for the onslaught of Hannibal's elephants at Cannae or Zama. A legionary might also be thought of as one of Pontius Pilate's lackeys, cheerfully setting a Crown of Thorns on Christ's head before nailing Him to the Cross. Or, he might be envisioned as one of the last defenders of the Pax Romana, crossing swords with Goths and Vandals, Huns and Franks.

But the Roman soldier was, above all, a man.

And, like most men, he felt a need for companionship of a sort best satisfied by a woman.

Service in the Roman Army was a man's job. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that a small number of women may have joined the ranks of the Late Roman Army, serving as limitani milita-soldiers, but in the glory days of Imperium, all soldiers were men.

Though a Roman soldier spent his whole career surrounded by huge masses of his fellow human beings, where romantic love was concerned his profession was likely to be a lonely one. That is because, from right around the beginning of the Christian Era, up until 193 AD, he was not allowed to marry.

It could be said that the first Roman Emperor, Augustus (r. 31 BC - AD 14) finished the drawn-out process of transforming Rome's army into a fully professional force with ranks populated by career soldiers, men who gave the prime of their lives to fighting and toiling for the Peace of the Empire.

No one knows exactly when Augustus passed his law which forbade soldiers from marrying until their mandatory 25 year's service was over. But during his reign, in September of 9 AD, three Roman legions and a collection of auxiliary units were destroyed in Germania by the Cherusci. Cassius Dio tells us that a huge number of women, a mixture of wives, girlfriends, slaves, and prostitutes, were interspersed in the ranks of the legions, and when the Germans began their attack, the legionaries went berserk in attempts to rescue their womenfolk. Though their concern for their women was definitely noble, it was bad for cohesion and did nothing to improve an already very bad situation.

It is a possibility that Augustus made his ban on marriage precisely because of the role that the presence of women in the Germanian legions had played in this great defeat. Either way, from his reign up until that of Septimius Severus, soldiers were not allowed to marry. Not that this even remotely stopped them from having female relationships.

The ideal recruit into the Roman army was about 17 or 18 in age. Most civilians in the Empire usually married between the ages of 15 and 20, so naturally all young recruits into the legions would have not have had any serious relationship commitments at home. Except for times of extreme crisis, the Romans did not usually conscript recruits, and even when they did they focused on men in their teens or early twenties. So most or all men who joined the army at a later age were willing volunteers. They may well have been enlisting because their wife had died or kicked them out - or because they had never married in the first place.

It was considered ideal for a Roman soldier to not have any romantic or sexual relationships going on in times of war - sexually frustrated soldiers were more aggressive and energetic in combat. As far as can be told, though, their celibacy was not rigidly enforced by any means, and almost all soldiers had a woman of one sort or another in their lives.

Epigraphic evidence suggests that, despite Augustus' ban, some soldiers got married, anyways, and risked consequences that presumably never came. Many, if not most soldiers had common-law wives. These women were variously free-born Roman women, slave girls, or civilians who had been taken on campaign. Soldiers made wide use of female slaves and prisoners, who were used as sexual partners and companions.

There were also official military prostitutes. Little is known about these women, except that their quality of life must have been horrific. Most were probably captives taken from conquered and depopulated provinces - a life of military prostitute may well have been the tragic fate that awaited Jewesses taken at the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, or of the thousands of Dacian ladies captured during Trajan's great Dacian Wars thirty years later. Being added to a military brothel was, much like service in the mines for male captives - effectively a death-sentence. A combination of STD's and the general filth of their surroundings must have reduced their likelihood of ever living to see freedom greatly.

When a Roman legion was on the march its womenfolk - both free and slave - presumably followed behind in the baggage train. When a legion set up camp, at least in friendly territory, all the non-combatants set up their own "camp" on the outskirts of the legionary castrum. These civilian settlements were called canabae. Women set up shops that saw to the basic needs of the soldiers, such as repairing clothing, etc. and the military prostitutes would have plyed their trade here as well.

Even though the woman in his life was usually a slave, a prostitute, or a barbarian captive that had a lot to learn about Latin and good Roman manners - many a Roman soldier did indeed fall in love, and was apparently quite loyal to said woman. Epigraphic evidence from the 2nd Century mentions a number of cases of men capturing or buying their future wives during a war before marrying them after their service was over. Some tombstones were indeed erected and inscribed by slave girls who had lived as common-law wives of the deceased, and appeared to have legitimately mourned his passing - not the least because he had been her only supporter, and the rest the Legion might not have been so good to her.

The discharge-certificate of a British Celt who enlisted in an auxiliary cohort reveals much about the illegitimate families that Roman soldiers could form. Lucco, son of Trenus, was a young tribesman of the Dobunni who enlisted c. 85 AD around the age of 15. His unit - the Cohors I Britannicae - was transferred to Pannonia for Domitian's Dacian War shortly thereafter. Here, he took up with a local girl - Tutula the Azalian - and she bore him three children, Similis, Lucca, and Pacata. All of them were granted Roman citizenship during the reign of Trajan - and the men of the family summarily bore the praenomen and nomen Marcus Ulpius, to honor the Emperor.

Roman troops were finally officially allowed to marry in 193 AD, by order of Septimius Severus, who made a number of reforms that made the army less disciplined in subtle ways. Hereafter, increasingly more inscriptions mention wives of soldiers, and increasingly few mention mistresses and slaves. A number of the soldiers buried at Apamea, in Syria (c. 190 - 240 AD) were buried by their wives - and at least one buried his wife. The centurion Probius Sanctus buried his "incomparable and well-deserving" wife Antonia Cara in Apamea. She had died at the age of twenty-eight, perhaps a victim of plague.

A little known fact about the Roman Army is the number of times, especially in the 3rd Century, that soldiers mutinied not out of ambition or hatred of the emperor, but in an attempt to rescue or avenge their families. During Severus Alexander's Persian War (232-234 AD), a number of legionary vexillations he had taken from Germania revolted and threatened to kill him. When he asked these previously loyal soldiers why this sudden animosity, they replied that relatives had just come and told them that their wives had been carried off by a party of Germanic raiders that had crossed the Rhine, and the soldiers held Alexander responsible for calling them away during a time of tension along the Rhine frontier. This also reveals that, though they had women, soldiers were not always allowed to bring their women on campaign, if nothing else for obvious logistical reasons.

Just four years later, Emperor Maximinus Thrax was actually murdered by soldiers acting on behalf of their families. The wives, children, and slaves of the Second Parthica Legion had been stationed at the Legion's old barracks in Albanum, just north of Rome. But the Senate had revolted against Maximinus, who was now besieging Aquilea, an Italian metropolis that was supporting the rebellion. Messengers from the Senate arrived and informed his men that the Praetorians had surrounded Albanum, and upon the Senate's order they would butcher every person therein belonging to the Second Parthica Legion. Horrified, a band of Parthican centurions descended upon Maximinus and cut him to pieces. Presumably, the Senate's threats were therefore not carried out.

As the 3rd and 4th Centuries wore on, women continued to travel with the Roman Army. By the 5th Century, the Army in the West was made up largely of Germanic foederati. Many of these were - or had been - migrating bands of warriors who no choice but to bring their loved ones with them. By the time of Belisarius' re-conquest of Rome in the 6th Century, women were still attached to the Army in large numbers. Belisarius' Army, billeted across the Mother City, caused great turmoil because the soldiers demanded that their hosts feed both themselves and their families, and most common Romans could not afford such a burden.

So, in conclusion, the presence of women in the Imperial Roman Army has been largely overlooked, and is greatly understudied. But nonetheless, most or all legionaries had a woman (or perhaps several) in their lives. Undoubtedly, the victors of Idistaviso, Cremona, Mons Graupius, and Milvian Bridge marched back to camp content in the knowledge that they would soon be enjoying the attentions of an appreciative lady, be she wife, mistress, slave or whore.


The Roman Legion

Imperial Roman legionaries in tight formation, a relief from Glanum, a Roman town in what is now southern France that was inhabited from 27 BC to 260 AD

The Roman Empire was gigantic by the time of Emperor Trajan’s death in A.D. 117. From Britain to Syria, from the River Rhine to northern Africa, Roman governors ruled huge areas of the ancient world. The key to Roman military success were the Roman legions. A legion was the military organization, originally the largest permanent organization in the armies of ancient Rome. The term legion also denotes the military system by which imperial Rome conquered and ruled the ancient world. Each Roman legion had many soldiers accompanied by skilled cavalrymen. Roman soldiers were tough, loyal, dedicated, highly disciplined, and skillful fighters. With their large shields, deadly spears, lethal javelins, and vicious stabbing swords, they conquered many diverse people groups by employing conventional and innovative battle tactics during combat.

Rome’s Rise and Fall

Rome was founded in 753 B.C. before it became a republic in 509 B.C. Rome grew gradually through the centuries and eventually conquered all its Italian neighbors. While the Romans’ power and confidence enlarged, so did their ambitions to govern beyond Italy. In the third century B.C, the Romans were warring against the Carthaginians, a North African people equipped with a superior navy and a great army. After three titanic wars, the Romans finally emerged victorious over Carthage in 146 B.C. Romans brought Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, and Spain under their control before they turned eastward to conquer Greece and Asia Minor. Julius Caesar, the greatest of all Roman commanders, conquered Gaul, located in modern France, between 58 and 50 B.C. Later, Emperor Claudius annexed Britain in A.D. 43. During the subsequent decades, the Roman legions added more territories to Rome before it began to decline partly because of barbarian integration into the Roman army and the gigantic geographical size of the Roman Empire.

Rome was first a republic, ruled by officials called consuls. Eventually, after several bitter civil wars, the Roman Republic became an empire. The first emperor was Augustus (27 B.C to A.D 14). His Roman successors lasted until the fifth century A.D. when the western part of the Roman Empire fell to the barbarian invasions, while the eastern part of the Roman Empire continued for almost 1,000 years.

Roman Weapons and Armor

Roman legionnaire soldiers were equipped with many weapons. The most useful of their weapons were the short stabbing swords called the gladius. The best gladius swords were made in Spain. Although the Roman gladius was shorter than the Celtic slashing swords and other barbarian swords, this Roman sword was a pointed, dubled-edged weapon that was easy to handle for thrusting, cutting, and stabbing the enemy. The gladius was perfectly designed for close-quarter combat with enemy.

Roman soldiers used two kinds of spears. The first was a light spear with a leaf metal head, which was designed for trusting deep into the enemy. The second was pilum or javelin throwing spear, which was shorter, but much heavier. The pilum was designed to bend when it hit the enemy to prevent the enemy from throwing the weapon back.

To protect themselves, legionnaire soldiers wore metal helmets, dressed in strong body armor, and carried large shields. Helmets were made of iron, bronze, and brass. They varied in shape and size, but were primarily designed to protect the soldiers’ necks, cheeks, brows, and heads.

Body armor was worn under a soldier’s purple and scarlet colored cloak or a tunic. The armor was usually made up of chain mail or metal plates wired together and attached to leather or fabric. Roman armor covered the torso. Roman plate armor was flexible, but heavy because the armor was made of metal.

Roman shields were large, curved, and were either rectangular or oval shaped, depending on the era. Their shields were made of wood and edged with metal, with a central metal boss.

The Roman Legion

The Roman army was based around the legion, which consisted of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 men. The legions were divided into 10 cohorts of about 500 to 600 men. Each cohort was made up of a century, which equaled 100 men. The Roman centuries were led by Roman centurions, an elite class of experienced fighting officers that formed the backbone of the Roman army.

When the Romans went to battle, they placed the newer recruits in the front lines, with more experience troops place in the second and third lines behind the young recruits. Roman patterns of attack usually involved legionnaires charging up toward the enemy lines, throwing their javelins, before closing in to fight with their shields and short swords.

Roman cavalry units were employed to attack the enemy’s flanks and to pursue fleeing warriors after a defeat by the Romans. Although Roman cavalry units were a small part of the Roman legion, about 300 cavalry men per legion, it was necessary for success on the battlefield.

In 202 B.C, at the battle of Zama in northern Africa, Roman commander Publius Cornelius Scipio defeated Hannibal Barca of Carthage with cavalry. The battle hung in the balance until the Roman cavalry overcame and chased away the Carthaginian cavalry. Later, the Roman cavalry turned around and attacked Hannibal’s infantry from the rear causing the Carthaginians defeat.

The Roman Legion’s Legacy

A few historians argued that the real question is not why Rome fell but why Rome endured so long. The Roman legions made Rome the greatest military power of antiquity. It was an empire built on warfare, violence, brutality, and conquest, but its celebrated legions could not maintain its domination of the Mediterranean world forever. The Roman legions laid the foundation for building western military strategy, tactics, doctrines, and combat operations. The Roman armies exerted a tremendous influence on subsequent European generations. The Roman legions supplied the blueprint for transmitting the Greco-Roman military culture to the celebrated European powers of western civilization.


The Army of Augustus – the ‘classic’ legion

The army as operated from the time of Augustus can generally be referred to as the ‘classic’ legion, the armed body of men which most imagine in their minds upon hearing the word ‘legion’. And it is this state of the legion which is largely recreated in illustrations or Hollywood movies.

Under Julius Caesar, the army had become a highly efficient and thoroughly professional body, brilliantly led and staffed.

To Augustus fell the difficult task of retaining much that Caesar had created, but on a permanent peace-time footing. He did so by creating a standing army, made up of 28 legions, each one consisting of roughly 6000 men.

Additional to these forces there was a similar number of auxiliary troops. Augustus also reformed the length of time a soldier served, increasing it from six to twenty years (16 years full service, 4 years on lighter duties).

The standard of a legion, the so-called aquila (eagle) was the very symbol of the unit’s honour. The aquilifer who was the man who carried the standard was in rank almost as high as a centurion. It was this elevated and honourable position which also made him the soldiers’ treasurer in charge of the pay chest.

A legion on the march relied completely on its own resources for weeks. To make camp each night every man carried tools for digging as well as two stakes for a palisade.

Apart from this and his weapons and armour, the legionary would also carry a cooking pot, some rations, clothes and any personal possessions.
Weighed down by such burdens it is little wonder that the soldiers were nicknamed ‘Marius’ Mules’.

There has over time been much debate regarding how much weight a legionary actually had to carry. Now, 30 kg (ca. 66 lbs) is generally considered the upper limit for an infantryman in modern day armies.

Calculations have been made which, including the entire equipment and the 16 day’s worth of rations, brings the weight to over 41 kg (ca. 93 lbs). And this estimate is made using the lightest possible weights for each item, it suggest the actual weight would have been even higher.

This suggests that the sixteen days rations were not carried by the legionaries. the rations referred to in the old records might well have been a sixteen days ration of hard tack (buccellatum), usually used to supplement the daily corn ration (frumentum). By using it as an iron ration, it might have sustained a soldier for about three days.

The weight of the buccellatum is estimated to have been about 3 kg, which, given that the corn rations would add more than 11 kg, means that without the corn, the soldier would have carried around 30 kg (66 lbs), pretty much the same weight as today’s soldiers.

The necessity for a legion to undertake quite specialised tasks such as bridge building or engineering siege machines, required there to be specialists among their numbers. These men were known as the immunes, ‘excused from regular duties’. Among them would be medical staff, surveyors, carpenters, veterinaries, hunters, armourers – even soothsayers and priests.

When the legion was on the march, the chief duty of the suveyors would be to go ahead of the army, perhaps with a cavalry detachment, and to seek out the best place for the night’s camp.

In the forts along the empire’s frontiers other non-combatant men could be found. For an entire bureaucracy was necessary to keep the army running. So scribes and supervisors, in charge of army pay, supplies and customs. Also there would be military police present.

As a unit, a legion was made up of ten cohorts, each of which was further divided into sex centuries of eighty men, commanded by a centurion.
The commander of the legion, the legatus, usually held his command four three or four years, usually as a preparation for a later term as provincial governor.

The legatus, also referred to as general in much of modern literature, was surrounded by a staff of six officers. These were the military tribunes, who – if deemed capable by the legatus – might indeed command an entire section of a legion in battle.

The tribunes, too, were political positions rather than purely military, the tribunus laticlavius being destined for the senate. Another man, who could be deemed part of the general’s staff, was the centurio primus pilus. This was the most senior of all the centurions, commanding the first century of the first cohort, and therefore the man of the legion when it was in the field with the vastest experience. And it was also he who oversaw the everyday running of the forces.

1 Contubernium – 8 Men.
10 Contubernia 1 Century 80 Men.
2 Centuries 1 Maniple 160 Men.
6 Centuries 1 Cohort 480 Men.
10 Cohorts + 120 Horsemen 1 Legion 5240 Men *
*1 Legion = 9 normal cohorts (9 x 480 Men) + 1 “First Cohort” of 5 centuries (but each century at the strength of a maniple, so 5 x 160 Men) + 120 Horsemen = 5240 Men.

Together with non-combatants attached to the army, a legion would count around 6000 men.

The 120 horsemen attached to each legion were used as scouts and dispatch riders. They were ranked with staff and other non-combatants and allocated to specific centuries, rather than belonging to a squadron of their own.

The senior professional soldiers in the legion was likely to be the camp prefect, praefectus castrorum. He was usually a man of some thirty years service, and was responsible for organization, training, and equipment.

Centurions, when it came to marching, had one considerable privelege over their men. Whereas the soldiers moved on foot, they rode on horseback. Another significant power they possessed was that of beating their soldiers. For this they would carry a staff, perhaps two or three foot long.

Apart from his distinctive armour, this staff was one of the means by which one could recognise a centurion. One of the remarkable features of centurions is the way in which they were posted from legion to legion and province to province. It appears they were not only highly sought after men, but the army was willing to transport them over considerable distances to reach a new assignment.

The most remarkable aspect of the centurionate though must be that they were not normally discharged but died in service. Thus, to a centurion the army was truly his life.

Each centurion had an optio, so called because originally he was nominated by the centurion. The optiones ranked with the standard bearers as principales receiving double the pay of an ordinary soldier.

The title optio ad spem ordinis was given to an optio who had been accepted for promotion to the centurionate, but who was waiting for a vacancy. Another officer in the century was the tesserarius, who was mainly responsible for small sentry pickets and fatigue parties, and so had to receive and pass on the watchward of the day. Finally there was the custos armorum who was in charge of the weapons and equipment.

Battle Order

Front Line
5th Cohort | 4th Cohort | 3rd Cohort | 2nd Cohort | 1st Cohort
Second Line
10th Cohort | 9th Cohort |8th Cohort |7th Cohort | 6th Cohort

The first cohort of any legion were its elite troops. So too the sixth cohort consisted of “the finest of the young men”, the eighth contained “selected troops”, the tenth cohort “good troops”.

The weakest cohorts were the 2nd, 4th, 7th and the 9th cohorts. It was in the 7th and 9th cohorts one would expect to find recruits in training.


The Roman Legionaries Uniform

Roman uniforms were not typically standardized. Although in general they all seemed similar, each legion bore slightly different attire depending on the province their uniform was manufactured in.

Many legions uniforms were made up of a variety of styles as long as the uniform was serviceable. Soos die legionaries had to purchase their own uniforms, many legionnaires wore uniforms handed down through the family from retired soldiers. Others soldiers bought used uniforms if they could not afford to buy the most up to date issue.

This made it possible for one attachment of legionaries to be wearing an assortment of uniforms spanning a considerable time throughout Romes history.


THE ROMAN ARMY: A BIBLIOGRAPHY

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    Alföldy, G., Die Hilfstruppen in der römischen Provinz Germania Inferior (Düsseldorf 1968).

    Absil, Michel, Les Préfets du prétoire d' Auguste a Commode: 2 av. J.-C.� ap. J.-C. (1997) [De l' archéologie à l' histoire]

    Fink, R. O., Roman Military Records on Papyrus, pp. 241-276.

    Alföldy, G., Fasti Hispanienses. Senatorische Reichsbeamte und Offiziere in den spanischen Provinzen des römischen Reiches von Augustus bis Diokletian (Wiesbaden 1969).

    Alföldy, G., "Bellum Mauricum," Chiron 15 (1985) 91-109.

, Nicholas Guy, Presence et activités militaires romaines au nord et au nord-est de la Mer Noire (1er VIe siècle de nôtre ère) (2000).

and the Parthian War ( A. D. 58-66). (texts & translations)

, Jurgen, "Caesars Partherkrieg," Historia 33 (1984) 21-59.

    Speidel, Michael P., "Exercitus Arabicus," Latomus 33 (1974) 934-939.

    Maloney, J.& B. Hobley (edd.), Roman urban defences in the West. A review of current research on urban defences of the Roman empire with special reference to the northern provinces, based on papers presented to the conference on Roman urban defences, Museum of London (London : Council for Brit. Archaeol., 1983) [Council for Brit. Argeol. Research Report, LI].

, Michael T., "The Homogenisation of Military Equipment Under the Roman Republic," Romanization [Digressus , Supplement I] (Nottingham 2003) 60-85.


Kyk die video: De Romeinse stad ontwaakt, aflevering 3 Het Romeins Kwartier 1920 1080 (November 2021).