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Kataphraktoi

(353 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] (κατάφρακτοι; katáphraktoi). The term kataphraktoi refers to the armoured cavalry, which was first encountered by the Romans in 190 BC, in the war against Antiochus III (Liv. 37,40,5). At Carrhae, the army of Crassus was defeated, in 53 BC, by the Parthian cavalry whose men and horses were armoured (Plut. Crassus 24f.). From AD 69 on, the Romans were confronted with the armoured cavalry of the Sarmatians on the lower Danube (Tac. Hist. 1,79). In the Roman army, the first unit of armoured cavalrymen was probably deployed by Hadrian ( ala I Gallorum et Pannoniorum catafr…

Manipulus

(242 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] The manipulus (maniple) was a tactical unit of the Roman legion introduced in the 4th cent. BC (Liv. 8,8,3: et quod antea phalanges similes Macedonicis, hoc postea manipulatim structa acies coepit esse). It enabled troops to be more flexibly deployed for battle than with the phalanx. Soldiers armed with the pilum (throwing spear) were given more room. The legion was deployed for battle in three ranks ( hastati, principes, triarii ), each of the first two ranks comprising ten manipuli, each of 120 men, while the rank of the triarii comprised ten manipuli, each of 60 men. …

Riparienses milites

(195 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] RM are first mentioned (in the form ripenses) in a decision of Constantine I in AD 325 (Cod. Theod. 7,20,4), where they are distinguished from the comitatenses , the field army. Ripenses ranked just below the comitatenses, but above the soldiers of the alae and cohorts, who made up the auxiliary troops (Auxilia). They obtained exemption from the poll tax for themselves and their wives after twenty-four years…

Auxilia

(519 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] During the last two centuries of the Republic, Rome forcibly recruited or enlisted as mercenaries members of non-Italian peoples with particular military skills e.g. Cretan archers, slingers from the Balearics and horsemen from Numidia, Spain or Gaul. After the Battle of Actium, many of these units remained in the service of Rome either voluntarily or as bound by contract, whilst others went on to serve under their own military leaders in their native country or in its vicinity. A…

Comitatenses

(471 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] The comitatenses were the units that constituted the mobile army of the late Roman Empire. Their name derives from the comitatus, the administrative machine that served the princeps and accompanied him on his travels. The comitatenses were not tied to any specific territorium, and could be joined to territorial troops permanently stationed in specific provinces ( limitanei or ripenses). It is probable that  Diocletianus…

Centurio

(374 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] With the exception of the senators and the equites, the centurio was the most important officer in the Roman army. In the 1st cent. BC, a cohort (  cohors ) contained six centuriones, each commanding a   centuria of 80 men, an…

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 emp…

Mutiny

(1,285 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
( seditio militum). [German version] I. Military Service and Discipline The discipline of the Roman army impressed even non-Roman authors such as Polybius and Flavius Iosephus [4]. They praised the superiority of Roman soldiers, which was achieved by focused training, so that they ‘ruled almost the entire world because of their physical strength and courage ’ (Ios. BI 2,580). However, in the early Republic, the army consisted of a levy of citizens who had a certain amount of wealth. Therefore, it was diff…

Numerus

(234 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] In the Roman army, generally, a number of soldiers or specifically, a military unit; as the word lacked a precise definition, it could be used of either the auxilia or of the legions (Tac. Agr. 18,2; CIL III 12257: cohors Lusitanorum). Units lacking their own name were those referred to as numeri, e.g. the equites singulares Augusti (ILS 2182-2184; 2129) or the exploratores (ILS 2631; 2632; 9186; 9187). The same applied to units which had been recruited at the frontiers of the Empire: these numeri were often named after thei…

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

Extraordinarii

(237 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] The extraordinarii were soldiers from allied Italian cities, serving in the army of early Rome as elite units of infantry and cavalry. Twelve prefects appointed by the consuls selected the best soldiers from the contingents of the alliance ─ around a third of the cavalry and a fifth of the infantry ─ in order to make up the

Iuniores

(218 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] Under the centuriation system, which the historiographical tradition ascribed to king Servius Tullius, the Roman people were divided into classes according to the wealth of individual citizens. It was simultaneously used for political and military purposes. Each class consisted of two groups of citizens: the iuniores (men of 17-46 years), who had to perform military service and fight where and whenever it was demanded of them, whereas it was the duty of the seniores (men of 46-60 years) to defend the town itself against attacks (Pol. 6,19,2; Liv. 1,43,1f.: seniores ad…

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…

Gaesati

(166 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[German version] According to Polybius (Pol. 2,22,1; 2,34), the G. were a Gallic tribe, living in the Alps and along the Rhône; G. went into service as mercenaries, hence their name (Pol. 2,22,1). They took part in the Gallic invasion of Italy in 225 BC, but were beaten off, and subsequently defeated in 222 BC. Gaesum is also the name of a Gallic spear (Caes. B Gall. 3,4), sometimes carried by lightly armed Roman troops (Liv. 8,8,5). In the early Principate, auxiliary troops recruited from Raetia and apparently equipped with this kind of spear were referred to as gaesati. They were stationed…

Centurio

(350 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[English version] Der c. war abgesehen von den Senatoren und den equites der wichtigste Offizier in der röm. Armee. Im 1.Jh. v.Chr. gab es in einer Cohorte ( cohors ) sechs c., die jeweils eine centuria von 80 Mann befehligten und Titel trugen, die die alte Manipelordnung widerspiegelten: pilus prior, pilus posterior, princeps prior, princeps posterior, hastatus prior, hastatus posterior. Spätestens seit der flavischen Zeit befanden sich nur fünf c. in der ersten Cohorte, die jedoch die ranghöchsten in der Legion waren ( primi ordines), wobei es vier Beförderungsschritte zur Po…

Principales

(336 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[English version] Die p. der röm. Legionen waren Soldaten, die eine bes. Dienstaufgabe erfüllten, dafür vom üblichen Lagerdienst befreit waren und den eineinhalbfachen oder doppelten Sold einfacher Soldaten erhielten (Veg. mil. 2,7); die immunes hingegen erhielten keinen erhöhten Sold. Die herausgehobene Stellung eines principalis verdeutlicht ein Brief von Iulius Appollinaris, einem röm. Soldaten in Äg.: ‘Ich danke Serapis und dem guten Glück dafür, daß ich, während alle anderen hart arbeiten und Steine hauen, nun p. bin, herumstehe und nichts tue’ (PMichigan VIII 46…

Bucellarii

(153 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[English version] In der Spätant. bezeichneten b. Gruppen barbarischer Soldaten, die angesehenen Kriegern dienten und von diesen bisweilen im Interesse Roms eingesetzt wurden. Schließlich bekam der Begriff b. eine spezielle Bedeutung: bewaffnete Gefolgsleute, die reichen Großgrundbesitzern als Leibwache dienten, eine Praxis, die trotz des Verbots durch Leo häufig anzutreffen war. Auch findet man b. in der Umgebung von hohen Beamten, zumeist Offizieren; sie schworen ihrem Herrn und dem Kaiser einen Treueid, was auf eine offizielle Billigung hinzuwe…

Equites singulares

(658 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[English version] Spätestens seit dem 2. Jh. v.Chr. hatten röm. Feldherren eine aus Reiterei und Fußtruppen bestehende Eliteeinheit, deren Angehörige unter den Kontingenten der ital. socii ausgewählt wurden, was auch für die extraordinarii zutraf. Gegen Ende der Republik wurden die Eliteeinheiten aus den auxilia rekrutiert; dabei ist unbekannt, ob diese auch einen besonderen Namen hatten. Ähnliche Einheiten scheint es auch zu Beginn des Prinzipats gegeben zu haben. Fabricius Tuscus kommandierte eine ala praetoria während des Germanienfeldzugs des Germanicus (11-14 …

Praetorium

(216 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[English version] Das p. war während der Republik das Zelt des Befehlshabers einer röm. Armee; der Begriff zeigt, daß der Praetor urspr. der röm. Oberbefehlshaber war. Wenn ein Marschlager errichtet wurde, bestimmte man zunächst den Platz für das p. (Pol. 6,27; vgl. Caes. civ. 1,76,2); es nahm die zentrale Stelle des Lagers ( castra ) ein und wurde von einem offenen Platz für den Markt und vom Zelt des Quaestors flankiert. Die via praetoria und die porta praetoria waren wahrscheinlich Straße und Tor, die dem p. benachbart waren. Das Wort p. bezeichnete auch die Beratung der Offiziere…

Evocati

(348 words)

Author(s): Campbell, J. Brian (Belfast)
[English version] Im 2. Jh. v.Chr. mußten die röm. Soldaten bis zu sechs Jahre Militärdienst leisten; anschließend hatten sie als evocati 16 Jahre lang für Einberufungen zur Verfügung zu stehen. Während der Bürgerkriege am Ende der röm. Republik versuchten einzelne Feldherren oft, erfahrene Soldaten zu überreden, zu ihren Einheiten zurückzukehren. Die so rekrutierten Truppen wurden als e. bezeichnet. Die e. besaßen einen höheren Rang als einfache Soldaten, aber einen niedrigeren als die centuriones. Entweder bildeten sie eine besondere Einheit, oder sie wurden in b…
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