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Bucellarii

(172 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] In late antiquity, bucellarii described groups of barbarian soldiers in the service of respected warriors, who from time to time deployed them in the interest of Rome. Eventually, the term bucellarii developed a particular meaning: an armed retinue, who served large landowners as bodyguards, a practice which -- despite being banned by Leo -- was frequently encountered. Bucellarii could also be found around high-ranking officials, mostly officers; they swore an oath of allegiance to both their lord and the emperor, which seems to indicat…

Exploratores

(303 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] Exploratores were the scouts of the Roman army. They reconnoitred the movements and deployments of the enemy as well as the terrain and positions of camps. In the early years of the Principate, soldiers selected from the   auxilia were commandeered from their units for a certain length of time to act as scouts. In the Dacian War (AD 105-106), Ti. Claudius Maximus, then serving in an ala, was selected by Trajan himself as a scout and brought the princeps the head of King Decebalus. In the mid 2nd cent. there is evidence of small reconnaissance units called explorationes. They w…

Aerarium militare

(577 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] Since the Roman senate in the Republican Period was unwilling to support the soldiers after they left the army with provisions of land or money ( praemia), certain commanders took care of it on their own account. This contributed to the development of armies that owed personal allegiance to an individual leader and helped to undermine political stability, beginning with the dictatorship of Cornelius [I 90] Sulla. When the younger Augustus (C. Octavius) established himself against his adversaries in the civ…

Praetorians

(876 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] ( cohortes praetoriae). In the Roman Republic, the cohors praetoria was a small military unit which guarded the praetorium and acted as an escort for the commander. According to Festus (Fest. 223M.), Cornelius [I 71] Scipio Africanus was the first to have selected 'the bravest' for his protection. Freed from other duties, they also drew higher pay. In the late Republic, powerful commanders had strong bodyguards; thus in 44 BC, M. Antonius [I 9] assembled a bodyguard of 6,000 from his veterans. In 27 BC, Augustus [1] created a standing corps of praetorians who…

Singulares

(73 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] were Roman soldiers specially selected to serve as aides or orderlies to high-ranking officers (P. Oxy. 7.1022; CIL III 7334). Singulares are found serving in the officia of the praefectus praetorio , the tribunes of the praetorian and urban cohorts, senatorial military tribunes, and the cavalry prefects. The singularis of the praetorian prefect ranked below the tesserarius and belonged to the principales . Equites singulares Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
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