A re-enactor, portraying a legionary at the end of the 3rd century Map of Roman legions by AD.
A re-enactor, portraying a legionary at the end of the 3rd century Map of Roman legions by AD. There is no evidence to suggest that legions changed in form before the Tetrarchyalthough there is evidence that they were smaller than the paper strengths usually quoted.
The final form of the legion originated with the elite legiones palatinae created by Diocletian and the Tetrarchs. These were infantry units of around 1, men rather than the 5, including cavalry, of the old Legions. The earliest legiones palatinae were the Lanciarii, Joviani, Herculiani and Divitenses.
In addition to the elite palatiniother legions called comitatenses and pseudocomitatensesalong with the auxilia palatinaprovided the infantry of late Roman armies.
The Notitia Dignitatum lists 25 legiones palatinae, 70 legiones comitatenses, 47 legiones pseudocomitatenses and auxilia palatina in the field armies, and a further 47 legiones in the frontier armies. The names also suggest that many new legions were formed from vexillationes or from old legions.
In addition, there were 24 vexillationes palatini, 73 vexillationes comitatenses; other units in the Eastern limitanei and in the Western limitanei. In addition to attacking cities and fortifications, these would be used to help defend Roman forts and fortified camps castra as well.
They would even be employed on occasion, especially in the later Empire, as field artillery during battles or in support of river crossings. Despite a number of reforms, the Legion system survived the fall of the Western Roman Empireand was continued in the Eastern Roman Empire until around 7th century, when reforms begun by Emperor Heraclius to counter the increasing need for soldiers around the Empire resulted in the Theme system.
Legionary ranks[ edit ] Aside from the rank and file legionary who received the base wage of 10 asses a day or denarii a yearthe following list describes the system of officers which developed within the legions from the Marian reforms BC until the military reforms of Diocletian c.
Senior officers[ edit ] Legatus Augusti pro praetoreImperial Legate: The commander of two or more legions.
The Imperial Legate also served as the governor of the province in which the legions he commanded were stationed. Of Senatorial rankthe Imperial Legate was appointed by the Emperor and usually held command for 3 or 4 years. In the present time, an Imperial Legate would be called a General.
Legatus legionisLegion Legate: The overall legion commander. The post was usually filled by a senatorappointed by the emperor, who held command for 3 or 4 years, although he could serve for a much longer period.
In a Roman province with only one legion, the legatus was also the provincial governor. Tribunus laticlaviusBroad Band Tribune: Named for the broad striped tunic worn by men of senatorial rank, this tribune was appointed by the emperor or the Senate. Though generally young, he was more experienced than the tribuni angusticlavii, he served as second in command of the legion, behind the legate.A Roman legion (from Latin legio "military levy, conscription", from legere "to choose") was a large unit of the Roman army.
In the early Roman Kingdom the "legion" may have meant the entire Roman army but sources on this period are few and unreliable.
A Roman legion (from Latin legio "military levy, conscription", from legere "to choose") was a large unit of the Roman army.
Other Roman Weapons The above weapons are the main weapons of the Roman heavy infantry man, however, the Romans employed a number of other weapons as well.
For example the pugio was a dagger used as a sidearm by the roman legionnaires. It featured a .
Report RSS Roman Iron - The Equipment and Weapons of the Legions The Roman Legions managed to conquer most of the known Western world, allowing the emperor (or imperator) to control one quarter of the people on the planet at the time. Most of the equipment mentioned was used by the typical legionnaire in the Roman army.
The Roman Army: An Overview In the early years of the Roman Republic, the army was a volunteer, citizen army. Roman Legionary Weapons and Equipment Basic Legionary Gear On the march the Legionary could carry between three and fourteen day's worth of rations, a saw, a wicker basket, a piece of rope or leather, a shovel, a waterskin, a sickle and a pickaxe.