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2 How was the roman army organised


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2 How was the roman army organised

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2 How was the roman army organised

  1. 1. Organising the Roman army The Roman army was HUGE, even during peace time. The army would be even bigger in times of war. An army this size needed to be organised. TASK Read the following explanation and fill in the gaps as you go along. 8 legionaries together made up a Contubernium. These 8 men would serve together for their whole 25 years (unless they were killed). They shared a tent, trained together and lived together. 10 Contubernia (note the spelling of the plural!) made up a Century, commanded by a Centurion. There were 80 soldiers in a century The Centurion was in charge of training and discipline. He carried a vine stick which he would use to punish soldiers who were not marching fast enough. He also had powers to discipline soldiers who committed serious offences. “An officer takes a baton and simply touches the man with it. This is a sign to all the other soldiers that they must stone or beat him to death.” Polybius, 2nd century BC, describing what happened to a soldier guilty of a serious offence. A Roman Centurion – he wore a different helmet to the legionary 6 Centuries made up a Cohort, run by a Young Senator. There were 480 soldiers in a Cohort
  2. 2. 10 Cohorts made up a Legion. A Legate was in a charge of a Legion. The legate had six military tribunes (tribuni militares) to help him, who carried out administrative duties. Young, upper-class Roman men used this position as a stepping-stone to a political career, so the tribunes often did not have much military experience or ability. There were 4800 soldiers in a legion A legion had also a lot of doctors, trumpeters, bakers, executioners, veterinary surgeons, novelist, writers, carpenters and blacksmiths. The legion could provide for itself like this. Altogether a legion counts about 5500 to 6000 men. A legion also had about 60 catapultae en ballistae (weapons). However, the First Cohort in every Legion was made up of double centuries. There were 160 men in the First Cohort The Centurion of the First Century in the First Cohort was a very important man. He had to be the son of a Senator or another important Roman Citizen. He was called a Primipilus (number one javelin). Every century, cohort and legion had a standard bearer, who carried the flag of the century, cohort or legion into battle. The standard-bearer wore animal skin over his helmet to make him stand out. There were about 30 Legions in the whole of the Roman Army. There were approximately 180000 soldiers in the Roman army A Roman Standard-Bearer
  3. 3. 8 x = 1 10 x = 1 6 x = 1 10 x = 1 30 x = THE WHOLE ARMY!