An analysis of the weapons and equipment of the roman legion

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.

An analysis of the weapons and equipment of the roman legion

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.

Roman Legionary Weapons and Equipment

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.

Basic Legionary Gear

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. The Legion Legate also served as commander of the auxiliary units attached to the legion though they were not formally a part of the legion's command structure.

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.

Because of his age and inexperience he was not the actual second in command in battle, but if the legate died he would take command of the legion. Praefectus castrorumCamp Prefect: The Camp Prefect was third in command of the legion.

Generally he was a long serving veteran from a lower social status than the tribunii whom he outranked, and who previously had served as primus pilus and finished his 25 years with the legions.

He was used as a senior officer in charge of training a legion, though he could also command a cohort of auxiliaires. Tribuni angusticlaviiNarrow Band Tribunes: Each legion had five lower ranking tribunes, who were normally from the equestrian class and had at least some years of prior military experience.

They often served the role of administrative officers.

Roman Iron - The Equipment and Weapons of the Legions feature - 0 A.D. Empires Ascendant - Mod DB

The most senior centurion in a legion was known as the primus pilus first file or spearwho directly commanded the first century of the first cohort and commanded the whole first cohort when in battle. Within the second to tenth cohorts, the commander of each cohort's first century was known as a pilus prior and was in command of his entire cohort when in battle.The Legion's Weapons The basic arms of the legions in the mid-first century were largely the same as those used in Caesar's day.

The legionary was equipped with ranged weapons . The first Roman soldiers were similar to Greek warriors with a similar equipment. Roman legions adopted various new weapons and armor in later times and this equipment became a standard of Republican and Imperial Roman army.

The legionary's personal weapons were two javelins, a sword and a dagger.

An analysis of the weapons and equipment of the roman legion

Gladius- sword. The sword was very important. It was light and short (no more than 50 cm) so soldiers can use it for stabbing quickly. The legionary wore his sword high on the right side of his body.

The roman army and their weapons Essay – Free Papers and Essays Examples

A Roman legion (from Latin legio "military levy, conscription", from legere "to choose") was a large unit of the Roman army. 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.

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.

Roman military personal equipment - Wikipedia