Roman Army Facts

The Roman Army was incredibly well-organised, well-trained and highly disciplined.

Only men were allowed to be Roman soldiers and they had to be Roman citizens and at least twenty years old.

Click the link to find out some more information about Roman soldiers.

How was the Roman Army structured and organised?

The Roman Army was divided up into about 30 legions. Each legion was made up of between 4000 to 6000 soldiers. The soldiers were known as legionaries. Each legion was made up of 10 cohorts. A normal cohort contained 480 soldiers. These soldiers were divided into six groups of 80, and these were called centuries and were led by a centurion. Within each century, the men were further divided into groups of 8 called a contubernium. These 8 men would share a tent when the legion camped.

The first cohort in every legion was larger than the other cohorts. It was made up of five double centuries.

The Roman soldier who had command of the whole legion was known as a legate.

Each legion also had a group of 120 horsemen attached to it. They were used as scouts and to send messages.

This video gives a really good picture of how the a Roman legion was organised and how it would look on the battlefied from the perspective of an opposing army.


What were Roman auxiliaries?

Although the legionaries made up the bulk of the Roman Army, they were not the only troops used by the Romans. Non-Roman citizens could also fight for Rome as a Roman auxiliary. Auxiliaries were paid only a fraction of the wages givenb to the legionaries and they did not have use of the best armour and weapons. They were used to defend the frontiers of the Roman Empire and they were sent to the front line in battles where the fighting was most fierce.

Roman Army
Roman Legionaries (Credit)

Discover more facts about the Romans by following this link to our Roman resources page.

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