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Title: The Auxilia of the Roman Imperial Army
Author: Cheesman, George Leonard
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  The original spelling, accentuation, hyphenation and punctuation
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(By kind permission of the authorities of the Stadtmuseum, Mainz.)














The following essay is an attempt to deal with an interesting branch
of Roman military history which has not previously been made the
subject of an independent treatise. In a study of this kind, which
relies largely upon epigraphical evidence to which additions are
constantly being made, it is equally necessary that the scattered
material available should at intervals be collected and utilized, and
that the unfortunate collector should realize that his conclusions
will inevitably be revised in the future in the light of fresh
evidence. I hope, accordingly, that I have made some use of all
sources of information available without acquiring or expressing
excessive confidence in the finality of my deductions. Students of
the military system of the Roman Empire may complain that a certain
number of complicated questions are too summarily disposed of in the
following pages, but if discussion of the evidence in detail has been
occasionally omitted with the idea of keeping the size of this book
within reasonable limits, I hope that I have been careful to indicate
where uncertainty lies.

I have in many places been glad to acknowledge my indebtedness to my
predecessors in this field of study, who in one branch of the subject
or another have removed so many difficulties from my path. To two
scholars, however, my debt is too extensive and general to have
received adequate recognition in the footnotes. Mommsen’s article, ‘Die
Conscriptionsordnung der römischen Kaiserzeit,’ was written thirty
years ago; I have, I hope, been diligent in collecting the evidence
which has since accumulated, but I have found little to induce me to
leave the path indicated by the founder of the scientific study of the
Roman Empire. I owe much to Professor A. von Domaszewski’s ingenious
and comprehensive work, _Die Rangordnung des römischen Heeres_, and
feel my obligation to its learning and suggestiveness none the less
that I have sometimes been compelled to differ from the conclusions
stated in it. I am also deeply indebted to Professor Haverfield for
constant encouragement and much valuable criticism, and can only wish
that this essay were a more adequate testimony to the value of his
influence upon the study of Roman history at Oxford. I desire also
to express my gratitude to my colleague, Mr. N. Whatley, of Hertford
College, for reading this essay in manuscript, and making many valuable







    OF THE AUXILIARY REGIMENTS                       21


      WAR AND FRONTIER DEFENCE                      102

    SECTION IV. ARMS AND ARMOUR                     124



  APPENDIX I                                        145

  APPENDIX II                                       170

  INDEX                                             191


  (by kind permission of the authorities of the
    Stadtmuseum, Mainz)                   _Frontispiece_


The _Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_ is referred to simply by the
numbers of the volumes without any prefix.

The military diplomata (D) are referred to by the revised numbering
given in the supplement to the third volume of the _Corpus_.

_Eph. Ep._ = _Ephemeris Epigraphica._

_A. E._ = _L’année épigraphique_, edited by MM. Cagnat and Besnier.

_I. G. R. R._ = _Inscriptiones Graecae ad res Romanas pertinentes_,
edited by Cagnat.

_B. J. B._ = _Bonner Jahrbücher_, the periodical of the _Verein von
Altertumsfreunden im Rheinlande_.

_W. D. Z._ = _Westdeutsche Zeitschrift._

_B. G. U._ = _Ägyptische Urkunden aus den königlichen Museen zu Berlin._

Mommsen _Conscriptionsordnung_ = Mommsen, _Die Conscriptionsordnung
der römischen Kaiserzeit_, published in volume vi of the _Gesammelte

von Dom. _Rangordnung_ = A. von Domaszewski, _Die Rangordnung des
römischen Heeres_, Bonn, 1907.

von Dom. _Sold_ = A. von Domaszewski, _Der Truppensold der Kaiserzeit_,
in volume x of the _Neue Heidelberger Jahrbücher_.

_J. R. S._ = _The Journal of Roman Studies._



An essay on the Roman auxilia might seem merely to be one of the many
monographs in which students of the military system of the Roman Empire
are patiently arranging material for some future scholar to utilize
in a more comprehensive work. But while much space must necessarily
be devoted to details of military organization, the subject opens up
social and political questions of wider range. The extent to which
a ruling race can safely use the military resources of its subjects
and the effect on both parties of such a relation, the advantages and
dangers of a defensive or an aggressive frontier policy, these are
questions of universal historical interest, on which even an essay of so
limited a scope as this must necessarily touch in passing.

As a preliminary consideration it must be realized that the use of
troops drawn from the subject races was not an invention of the
imperial government, but goes back to the most flourishing days of
the Republic. The heavy-armed yet mobile infantry which formed the
greater part of the burgess militia of the _cives Romani_ and the
_socii_ constituted an arm which won for Rome the hegemony of Italy,
and triumphed alike over the numbers and courage of Ligurian and Gaul
or the disciplined professional armies of Carthage and the Hellenistic
monarchies. In other branches of the service, however, the republican
armies were less superior. Their cavalry, drawn, as was usual in the
citizen armies of the ancient world, from the wealthier classes, was
not sufficiently numerous and proved no match for its opponents in the
Second Punic War. The light troops came off even worse when engaged
either with mountain tribes fighting on their own ground or with the
skilled archers and slingers of Carthage or Macedon. So early was this
recognized that, in describing an offer made by Hiero of Syracuse to
furnish a thousand archers and slingers in 217 B.C., Livy is able to
make the Syracusans justify the suggestion to Roman pride by asserting
that it was already customary for the Republic to use _externi_ in this
capacity.[1] To make up their notorious deficiency in this respect the
Government could have recourse to three sources of supply. They could,
as in this case, accept or demand contingents from allies outside the
Italian military league, such as Hiero, Masinissa, or the Aetolians;
they could make forced levies among subject tribes, such as the
Ligurians, Gauls, or Spaniards; or, finally, they could imitate their
opponents and raise mercenaries, although they might save their pride
by including such contingents as ‘allies’. In fact all these sources
were freely drawn on during the first half of the second century B.C.,
and all troops of this kind were known as _auxilia_, to distinguish
them from the _socii_ of the old organization. This at any rate seems
to be the distinction recognized by the grammarians, and it agrees
generally with the terminology employed by Livy, who may be supposed
in such a matter to be following his sources.[2] A good example both
of republican methods and of the phraseology employed may be found
in Livy’s elaborate description of the measures taken to make up the
army required for the Macedonian campaign of 171 B.C.: ‘P. Licinio
consuli ad exercitum civilem socialemque petenti addita auxilia Ligurum
duo milia, Cretenses sagittarii—incertus numerus, quantum rogati
auxilia Cretenses misissent, Numidae item equites elephantique.’[3] Of
the troops grouped here under the heading of _auxilia_ the Numidians
represent a contingent sent by an independent ally, Masinissa, the
Ligurians were probably obtained by a forced levy, while the Cretans,
nominally allies, may fairly be described as mercenaries. That their
services were hardly disinterested is shown by the fact that in the
following year the Senate found it necessary to issue a sharp warning
to the Cretan states against their habit of supplying contingents to
both sides.[4] The fact that the Roman star was now definitely in the
ascendant probably reconciled the Cretans to this interference with
their national customs, for from this date onward Cretan regiments
regularly form a part of the republican armies; it will be remembered
that the Senate made use of a body of Cretan archers against the
followers of Caius Gracchus, and a similar corps is found serving under
Caesar in his second Gallic campaign.[5]

The course of the second century saw the auxilia still more firmly
established as an essential part of the republican military system.
Before its close the Roman and Italian cavalry had entirely
disappeared; the changes in the condition of military service, in
particular the tedious and unprofitable Spanish campaigns, made
the members of the upper classes, among whom the cavalry had been
recruited, increasingly reluctant to take their places in the ranks as
private soldiers. After the reforms of Marius the legion had no cavalry
attached to it, and if the Italian contingents still existed they must
likewise have disappeared when, in consequence of the extension of the
franchise in 90 and 89 B.C., the former _socii_ were all enrolled in
the legions. From this moment the Roman generals depended for their
cavalry upon the auxilia alone.[6] In the case of the light-armed
troops the same process took place, although here military rather
than political reasons probably predominated. The last recorded use
of the _velites_, the old national light infantry, is during the war
against Iugurtha, and they were probably abolished by Marius.[7] There
is certainly no instance of any but auxiliaries being employed as
light troops during the following century. From these considerations
it necessarily follows that when, during the last fifty years of the
Republic, a standing army came into existence, a number of auxiliary
regiments formed part of it. When Caesar mentions that he had Cretan
archers, Balearic slingers, and Numidian cavalry under his command so
early as the beginning of his second campaign, we can hardly doubt that
these regiments had formed part of the regular troops which he found in
the province.[8]

Thus before the end of the Republic we have the chief feature of the
military system of the Empire, the division of the army into the
legions of _cives Romani_ and the auxiliary light troops and cavalry
supplied by the unenfranchised provincials, already in existence. Even
the practice of conferring the _civitas_ upon troops of this class as a
reward for military service was resorted to by the Republic, although
probably only under exceptional conditions. We possess a document
recording a grant of this nature to some Spanish auxiliaries, members
of a _turma Salluitana_ which had distinguished itself at the siege of
Asculum in 89 B.C.[9]

There is no evidence, however, that this branch of the service escaped
the effects of the inefficiency in administration which characterized
the last generation of the republican régime. Certainly too few
regiments of this class were kept on a permanent footing, and a
general of the period either had to take the field with far too small
a proportion of cavalry and light infantry, or make up the deficiency
by hasty levies called out in the districts nearest to the scene of
operations. Caesar, for example, started the campaign of 58 B.C. with
a totally insufficient number of regular auxiliaries, and during the
following years was forced to make up his deficiency in cavalry by
demanding contingents, which were often of more than doubtful fidelity,
from the Gallic tribes which successively submitted to his arms. To
supplement these he also raised a corps of German mercenaries and
largely increased it later after the defection of the majority of the
Gallic contingents to Vercingetorix.[10]

The civil wars saw a large increase in the numbers of the auxilia.
Caesar set the example by leading off thousands of his Gallic cavalry,
with the object, doubtless, of using them as hostages for their
compatriots’ fidelity as well as of increasing his army. Pompeius
followed suit and endeavoured to make up for the loss of the Italian
recruiting ground by enrolling auxilia from the Eastern provinces
in large numbers. The Gallic cavalry proved a great success; in the
campaign of Thapsus they showed marked superiority to the African light
horse, previously accounted supreme in cavalry warfare,[11] and the
death of Caesar found them still serving in large numbers in every part
of the Empire. At least those who are found, together with Lusitanians
and Spaniards, in the army of Brutus and Cassius during the Philippi
campaign must have been stationed either in Macedonia or the East
before hostilities began.[12]

We can thus see that when the battle of Actium in 31 B.C. placed the
forces of the Roman world in the hands of Augustus, the main lines
on which the military system of the Empire was based were already
clearly marked, and his great work of reorganization, while importing
everywhere order and principle into existing practice, involved no
breach with the military traditions of the past. To say this is in no
sense to minimize his achievement. It must be remembered that while
individual generals, such as Lucullus, Pompeius, or Caesar, had brought
their armies to a high pitch of efficiency, the general military
administration of the late republic had been chaotic in the extreme.
Here, as elsewhere, the real issues were resolutely evaded, and in case
of need a crisis had to be met by hasty and inefficient improvisation.
Although a standing army had existed in practice for fifty years it
was never accepted in principle, and no attempt was made to assess the
military requirements of the state and see that an efficient force of
the proper strength was maintained. With similar lack of foresight
the Senate refused to admit the principle of granting a donative on
discharge, while repeatedly granting it under pressure, thus weakening
the control of the central government over troops in the field and
increasing the chances of a military _pronunciamento_. In consequence,
the wars of this period almost invariably begin with disasters in the
field, owing to the inadequacy of the standing army both in numbers
and efficiency,[13] and end with a political crisis of greater or
less magnitude over the donative grievance, which naturally gave an
ambitious general an opportunity of using the support of his troops to
further his own ends. The work of Augustus in bringing order out of
this chaos, providing forces adequate to the needs of the state, and
re-establishing over them the control of the central government, is not
the least of his administrative triumphs.

As a preliminary he accepted, as was perhaps inevitable, the principle
of a standing army of professional soldiers. This step has of late been
severely criticized, especially by admirers of the Continental system,
but it is difficult to see how short-service levies could have proved
adequate to the defence of frontiers which were, for all practical
purposes, more distant from Rome than Peshawur is from Aldershot. The
other alternative, to entrust the provincials with the defence of
their own borders, was not in harmony with his general policy, nor, it
may be said, was the time ripe for such a step. The words which the
third-century historian and administrator, Dio Cassius, puts into the
mouth of Maecenas in dealing with this question were written doubtless
with reference to the conditions of his own time, but they may
certainly be applied to the earlier period, and in essence they still
hold good to-day.

‘You will be wise to maintain a permanent force (στρατιώτας ἀθανάτους)
raised from the citizens, the subjects, and the allies distributed
throughout all the provinces in larger or smaller bodies, as necessity
requires. These troops must always remain in arms and be drilled
constantly; at the most suitable points they must prepare themselves
winter quarters, and they must serve for a fixed period calculated to
allow them a little freedom after their discharge before old age comes
on. For we can no longer rely upon forces called out for the occasion,
owing to the distance which separates us from the borders of our Empire
and the enemies which we have upon every side. If we allow all our
subjects who are of military age to possess arms and undergo a military
training, there will be a continual series of riots and civil wars,
while if, on the other hand, we check all military activity on their
part, we shall run the risk of finding nothing but raw and untrained
troops when we need a contingent for our assistance.’[14]

The solution which Augustus found for this problem was then to revise
the military system so that, while using as much as possible of the
available material, he did not disturb the political conditions on
which the equilibrium of the State depended. For it was no part
of his intention materially to alter the structure of the Empire
as an aggregate of states possessed of greater or less powers of
self-government, held together by their subordination to Rome and
withheld by their position from any independent external policy.
Whatever possibilities he may have contemplated for the future he made
himself few attempts to further the process of unification either by
reducing the inhabitants of the privileged states to a lower grade
or by the more generous policy of making wide extensions of the
franchise and creating by this means a new imperial citizenship. This
difference of status among the inhabitants of the Empire was naturally
reflected in the military system. The _cives Romani_—that is to say,
the inhabitants of Italy and of the few enfranchised communities among
the provinces—furnished the new Household Troops, and the greater
part, at any rate, of the recruits for the legions, and paid for their
superior position as the ruling race by contributing much more heavily
in proportion to their numbers than any other class in the population.
The nominally independent monarchs of the client kingdoms were allowed
and encouraged to maintain armies, often of considerable size, under
their own control, and frequently led in person the contingents which
they were called upon to bring to the aid of the regular troops when
hostilities were taking place near their borders. These contingents
were often numerous and capable of rendering valuable service. Thus
Rhoemetalces of Thrace assisted in the suppression of the dangerous
Pannonian revolt of 6-9, and Ptolemaeus of Mauretania was publicly
honoured for his loyal co-operation against the African rebel
Tacfarinas.[15] Along the eastern frontier, kingdoms of this type, the
wreckage of the old Hellenistic system, were more numerous and played
a more important part. Thus Antiochus III of Commagene, Agrippa II,
Sohaemus of Emesa, and Malchus of Damascus contributed 15,000 men to
the army which Vespasian led into Palestine in the spring of 67.[16]
Even the more autonomous city states seem to have retained a militia
which was occasionally made use of. So late as the reign of Hadrian,
in the army which Arrian led against the Alani, we find a contingent
from the ‘free’ city of Trapezus, which is reckoned among the σύμμαχοι
as opposed to the regular imperial troops.[17] A similar freedom from
the direct control of Roman officers was permitted to the chiefs of
some of the border tribes, who were allowed to lead their own clansmen
to battle. To this type of militia belong the _tumultuariae catervae
Germanorum cis Rhenum colentium_, including the Batavians under their
_dux_ Chariovalda, who serve in the campaigns of Germanicus,[18] and
the levies of the Dalmatian clans who started the rebellion of 6.[19]

Last come the permanently embodied regiments raised from the subject
communities, the auxilia properly so called, who form the subject
of this treatise. Here, probably more than in any other department
of the military system of the Empire, we can trace the results of
Augustus’s own activity. Regiments of this kind had, as we have seen,
existed under the Republic, but they had probably been few in number
and the incidence of the levy had been uneven and capricious. Under
Augustus not only was the number of regiments largely increased—we
hear of no less than fourteen alae and seventy cohorts taking part in
the Pannonian War of 6-9[20]—but the inscriptions show us that, with
the exception of Greece, always the spoiled child of Roman sentiment,
every quarter of the Empire contributed its quota. Details respecting
the incidence of this levy on different provinces, and the methods
of organization and recruiting, will be found in later sections. It
will be sufficient to say here that while the subject communities
had probably more reason than any other class to complain of the
military demands of the state, the burden was at least more equitably
distributed than under the Republic and the total contribution
required, in most cases at any rate, not excessive. It is natural to
suppose that the fixing of the quota supplied by each community was
connected with the drawing up of the census, which placed the taxation
of the Empire for the first time on an organized basis, and it seems
probable that more evidence might show a reciprocal variation between
the two forms of contribution required. We know, for instance, that
the Batavians were altogether excused from the payment of tribute on
account of the size and value of their contingent, and this case was
probably not exceptional.[21]

In all this it is easy to see how much Augustus owes to the
institutions of the Republic, and when we come to consider details his
debt becomes even more apparent. A standing army consisting of legions
of _cives Romani_ and smaller units of _peregrini_, supported in the
field by contingents from allied and nominally independent states, was
already in existence. His task was merely to introduce such changes as
might obviate the mistakes and failures of the past, and to establish
principles which should make for permanence and stability. For in
accepting the principle of maintaining a standing army Augustus could
not have been blind to the political dangers which this institution
brought with it. He endeavoured to meet them by fixing the conditions
of service, in particular the sum which a soldier might claim at his
discharge, and by establishing a special treasury from which those
claims might be satisfied, thus accustoming the troops to look to the
central government, not to their generals, for rewards due to them.
Moreover, in this department of the state even Augustus allowed no
respect for constitutional forms to veil or weaken his authority.
When in 69 the legions on the Upper Rhine tore down the _imagines_ of
Galba and swore allegiance to the _oblitterata iam nomina senatus
populique Romani_ it was a manifest sign that after a century of peace
a new period of anarchy had begun.[22]

Since this military system, with its division of the troops into
categories differing from each other in status and prestige, reflected
the general conditions prevalent in the Empire, so it was inevitable
that a change in these conditions should have its effect also upon the
army. How far the political developments of the first century were
foreseen or intended by Augustus it is perhaps impossible to say;
it is certain, at any rate, that his system was capable of adapting
itself to them. One of these developments was a steady increase in the
power of the central government and a disappearance of all forms of
local autonomy which involved a division of authority. By the reign of
Vespasian almost all the great client kingdoms had been more or less
peaceably absorbed into the ordinary provincial system. Cappadocia
was annexed in 17, Mauretania in 39, Thrace in 46, Pontus in 63, and
Commagene in 73. The troops which these kingdoms had maintained were
naturally taken into the Roman service, transformed into auxiliary
regiments, and lost the privilege which attached to their former
condition of serving only in local campaigns. One instance of such a
transference, in the case of a regiment which had been in the service
of the kings of Pontus, is mentioned in Tacitus,[23] and we also meet
with Hemeseni on the Danube,[24] Commageni in Africa and Noricum,[25]
and the successors of one of Herod’s old Samaritan regiments in
Mauretania.[26] The resentment with which the new conditions of
service were sometimes received is an instructive comment on the wisdom
of Augustus’s policy in not enforcing their universal applicability
at an earlier date. The Thracians, for example, rose in open revolt
when they were first summoned to supply a contingent for service at
a distance from their own borders.[27] Somewhat similar was the fate
of the border militia on the Rhine and Danube. On the latter frontier
the revolt of 6-9 showed at an early date the dangers of the system.
After its suppression the clan chiefs seem, in many cases at any rate,
to have been deposed and replaced by Roman officials,[28] regiments
of Pannonians and Dalmatians were raised and transferred to other
provinces, and a garrison was imported from outside to control the
country.[29] On the Rhine the process was a more gradual one. The
Batavi, for example, whom we have noticed serving in the campaigns
of Germanicus as a clan levy under their _dux_ Chariovalda, seem to
have been organized in regular auxiliary regiments by the middle
of the first century,[30] although they still retained, in common
with many other corps of Rhenish auxilia, their clan chiefs as their
_praefecti_.[31] In the year 69 we also find the Helvetii still
responsible for maintaining the garrison of a fort within their
borders, and a militia existing in Raetia capable of supplementing
the garrison of regular auxilia.[32] Some even of the Gallic states,
which were more distant from the frontier, sent contingents to support
Vitellius, which were not, however, regarded as a very sensible
addition to his forces.[33]

Probably these last vestiges of independent organization and control
were swept away at the time of the reorganization of the Rhine army in
70, after the rebellion of Civilis. From this date onward there are at
any rate few traces here or elsewhere of any use of irregulars of this
type by the military authorities. This militia, which might have proved
invaluable in the days to come as a national reserve, fell a victim,
together with the local autonomy on which it was based, to the growing
tendency towards centralization which marks the first and second
centuries. The supersession of local officials by the agents of a
centralized bureaucracy in the civil administration coincides with the
complete transference of the burden of the defence of the state to the
shoulders of a professional army. It is the purpose of the following
chapters to discuss one part of this army, the auxilia, to trace its
organization and the part which it played in frontier defence, and to
illustrate from this study the lines on which the military system of
the Empire developed and the causes of its failure.


[1] Livy, xxii. 37 ‘Milite atque equite scire nisi Romano Latinique
nominis non uti populum Romanum: levium armorum auxilia etiam externa
vidisse in castris Romanis’. Cf. Polybius, iii. 75.

[2] Cf. Varro, _De Lat. ling._ v. 90 ‘auxilium appellatum ab auctu,
quum accesserant ei qui adiumento essent alienigenae’. Festus, _Epit._
17 ‘auxiliares dicuntur in bello socii Romanorum exterarum nationum’.

[3] Livy, xlii. 35.

[4] Livy, xliii. 7.

[5] Plutarch, _Vit. C. Gracchi_ 16; Caesar, _Bell. Gall._ ii. 7.

[6] The famous occasion when Caesar, distrusting his auxiliaries,
mounted some of the tenth legion, proves conclusively that he had then
no citizen cavalry in his army. Caesar, _Bell. Gall._ i. 42.

[7] Sallust, _Bell. Iug._ 46.

[8] Caesar, _Bell. Gall._ ii. 7.

[9] See Dr. T. Ashby’s article in the _Classical Review_ for August
1909, and _A. E._ 1911, n. 126, for a further fragment of the text.

[10] Cf. Caesar, _Bell. Gall._ vii. 13 ‘Germanos equites circiter CCCC
summittit, quos ab initio habere secum instituerat’, and c. 65 of the
same book.

[11] _Auct. de bell. Afr._ 6 ‘Accidit res incredibilis, ut equites
minus xxx Galli Maurorum equitum duo milia loco pellerent’.

[12] Appian, _Bell. Civ._ iv. 88.

[13] The First Mithridatic War is a very good example.

[14] Dio Cassius, lii. 27.

[15] Velleius, ii. 112; Tac. _Ann._ iv. 24.

[16] Josephus, _Bell. Iud._ iii. 4. 2.

[17] Arrian, _Ect._ 7.

[18] Tac. _Ann._ i. 56; ii. 11.

[19] Dio Cassius, lv. 29.

[20] Velleius, ii. 113.

[21] Tac. _Hist._ iv. 12, _Germ._ 29.

[22] Tac. _Hist._ i. 55.

[23] Tac. _Hist._ iii. 47 ‘Caesa ibi (at Trapezus) cohors, regium
auxilium olim; mox donati civitate Romana signa armaque in nostrum
modum, desidiam licentiamque Graecorum retinebant’.

[24] D. lviii (138-46).

[25] viii. 18042 (Hadrian’s speech) and D. civ (106) for Noricum.

[26] viii. 9358, 9359, 21039.

[27] Tac. _Ann._ iv. 46 ‘Causa motus super hominum ingenium, quod pati
dilectus et validissimum quemque militiae nostrae dare aspernabantur,
ne regibus quidem parere nisi ex libidine soliti, aut si mitterent
auxilia, suos ductores praeficere nec nisi adversum accolas

[28] The _praefecti civitatium_, usually ex-centurions, who are
mentioned on many inscriptions. Cf. v. 1838, ix. 2564.

[29] The question how far this practice was maintained will be found
discussed in a later section.

[30] They undoubtedly furnished the _octo auxiliarium cohortibus_ sent
to Britain by Nero in 61. Cf. Tac. _Ann._ xiv. 38, and _Hist._ iv. 12.

[31] Tac. _Hist._ iv. 12 ‘cohortibus quas vetere instituto nobilissimi
popularium regebant’.

[32] For the Helvetii see Tac. _Hist._ i. 67 ‘castelli quod olim
Helvetii suis militibus ac stipendiis tuebantur’. The Raetian militia
are mentioned in the following chapter: ‘Raeticae alae cohortesque et
ipsorum Raetorum iuventus, sueta armis et more militiae exercita.’ It
is quite clear that there were in the province (_a_) regular auxiliary
regiments; (_b_) a native militia. I do not understand Professor Reid’s
statement (_The Municipalities of the Roman Empire_, p. 203) that ‘the
troops maintained there were not Roman legions with regular auxiliaries
but contingents of allied forces’.

[33] Tac. _Hist._ ii. 69 ‘reddita civitatibus Gallorum auxilia, ingens
numerus et prima statim defectione inter inania belli adsumptus’.




From the death of Augustus to the period when the frontier defences
first began to collapse under the strain of the barbarian invasions,
more than two centuries later, the imperial army presents a picture of
military conservatism unrivalled in history. Not only does the original
distinction between the legions of _cives Romani_ and the auxilia of
_peregrini_ remain throughout the basis of its organization, but even
individual corps show a marvellous power of vitality. Dio Cassius,
writing at the beginning of the third century, notes that, of the
twenty-five legions in existence in 14, eighteen still survived in his
own day, and epigraphical evidence shows that scores even of the more
easily destructible auxiliary regiments could claim as long a record.
In appearance, indeed, the only considerable change introduced into
the organization of the auxilia during this period was the addition of
the _numeri_ in the second century to the _alae_ and _cohortes_ which
had previously been the only units employed. It is true, of course,
that this conservatism was in some respects rather superficial, and
that, while administrative forms and nomenclature remained unaltered,
in more essential matters the army had been deeply affected by the
tendencies of the age. It is still, however, possible, while paying due
attention to these changes, to treat the two centuries which follow
the death of Augustus as a single period in the history of the auxilia;
it is only amid the confusion caused by the barbarian invasions of the
third century and the subsequent attempts at reorganization that we
definitely lose sight of our old landmarks.

Leaving out of account for the moment the _numeri_, which, as late
creations with a special significance, are reserved for future
discussion, let us commence with the _alae_ and _cohortes_, which
remained throughout this period the units of auxiliary cavalry and
infantry respectively.

Both these terms, although their history is widely different, originate
in the military terminology of the Republic. The term _cohors_ had been
originally applied to the infantry contingents of the Italian _socii_,
which were not united in legions after the model of the levies of
_cives Romani_, and it was naturally retained after the disappearance
of the _socii_ to describe the similar tactical units of provincial

The term _ala_ originated as a metaphorical description of the two
divisions into which the contingents of _socii_ were formed, which
were stationed in the normal republican order of battle on either
flank of the legions. After the disappearance of the _socii_ the term
was applied in a more restricted sense to the two flanking divisions
in which the average Roman general massed all his available cavalry.
This use of the word continued down to the last days of the Republic.
When, for instance, the author of the _De bello Africo_ writes, ‘Caesar
_alteram_ alam mittit qui satagentibus celeriter occurreret,’[34]
or Cicero says of his son in the _De Officiis_, ‘Quo tamen in bello
cum te Pompeius _alteri_ alae praefecisset, magnam laudem et a summo
viro, et ab exercitu consequebare equitando, iaculando …’[35]
the word is clearly being used in this sense, and does not refer to
a regiment of any fixed size. In fact the cavalry of the _socii_
never seem to have been organized in larger units than _turmae_, and
the auxiliary levies naturally adopted the same formation. It has
already been noticed that some of the Spanish auxiliaries who served
in the Social War are officially described as belonging to a _turma
Salluitana_. Occasional phrases in Livy, such as the statement that
the Aetolian cavalry contingent, in the campaign of 171 B.C., was
_alae unius instar_, do not seem to prove anything more than that the
historian used the technical terms of his own age to make his narrative
clearer.[36] This usage, however, shows that Livy was familiar with
the restricted meaning of the word—that is to say, the ala must have
been a recognized institution in the reign of Augustus, and we may add
that Velleius states that fourteen alae were employed in the Pannonian
campaigns of 6-9 in which he himself had served.

It is improbable, however, that the ala was a creation of Augustus,
although he may have determined its exact size and organization. In
Caesar’s account of his Gallic campaigns we find frequent mention
of contingents of tribal cavalry serving as independent units under
officers bearing the title of _praefecti equitum_,[37] and these units
must have been much larger than _turmae_. The organization of these
regiments, originally of a purely temporary kind, must have been placed
on a more permanent basis when many of them were taken out of their own
country to serve in the Civil Wars, and it would have been natural that
a new term should be used to describe them.[38]

Evidence in support of this conjecture, which is, as we have seen,
lacking in the writings of Caesar and his continuators, has been
sought for elsewhere. The majority of Caesar’s _praefecti equitum_
seem to have been tribal chiefs; one may cite, for example, the Aeduan
Dumnorix,[39] the heroic veteran Vertiscus,[40] and the two treacherous
Allobroges, Roucillus and Egus, the sons of Adbucillus.[41] On the
other hand, when we meet with an ala Scaevae on an early inscription,
it is difficult to avoid agreeing with Mommsen that it was called
after Caesar’s well-known officer of that name.[42] Many other cavalry
regiments, which are shown by epigraphical evidence to have existed
at an early date and to have been Gallic in composition, bear titles
similarly formed from personal names.[43] It is suggested that
these corps, or at any rate the majority of them, represent tribal
contingents embodied by Caesar at the time of the Civil Wars under the
title of _alae_ and placed under his veteran officers. Thus during
this period the use of the term _ala_ in the restricted sense would
be already known, although only the older and wider use appears in
literature. How slowly the new expression won favour is shown by the
fact that during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius the officers
commanding these regiments were usually described on inscriptions
simply as _praefectus equitum_, and it was not until after this that
the title _praefectus alae_ came to be generally adopted.[44]

Curiously enough, we find very few cohorts with titles which suggest a
similar history.[45] Probably in this case Augustus’s reorganization
was more thorough and the existing regiments had not, like some of
Caesar’s corps of Gallic cavalry, a record of individual achievement
which might exempt them from its scope.

_Size of regiments._ In discussing the size of the auxiliary regiments
we have two questions to settle, the numbers of the establishment and
the actual strength at which the regiments were maintained. As regards
the first question, the evidence of Hyginus[46] and the inscriptions
shows us that both _alae_ and _cohortes_ were known as _miliariae_ or
_quingenariae_—that is to say, they contained, roughly speaking, 500
or 1,000 men each. The smaller unit seems to have been preferred in the
first century, while the larger predominates among the corps raised
by Trajan and his successors. The exact theoretical size, both of
the regiments themselves and of the centuries and _turmae_ into which
they were divided, is more difficult to determine. Hyginus states that
an _ala quingenaria_ was divided into sixteen _turmae_, and an _ala
miliaria_ into twenty-four.[47] He does not state the number of men
in a _turma_ in either case, and it seems impossible to arrive at any
certainty on the basis of figures found elsewhere in his treatise.
Turning to epigraphical evidence we find an inscription from Coptos
which describes the composition of a _vexillatio_ drawn from three alae
and seven cohorts, as: ‘_Alarum III: dec(uriones) V, dupl(icarius)
I, sesquiplic(arii) IIII, equites CCCCXXIIII. Cohortium VII:
centuriones X, eq(uites) LXI, mil(ites) DCCLXXXIIX_’.[48] Von
Domaszewski suggests that the cavalry in this detachment are to be
divided into ten _turmae_ of 42 men, each commanded by a _decurio_, a
_duplicarius_, or a _sesquiplicarius_, and that this figure represents
the theoretical strength of the _turma_ in an _ala miliaria_.[49] In an
_ala quingenaria_, on the other hand, the _turma_ probably contained
only 30 men.

This seems to be as near certainty as we are likely to arrive in the
present state of our evidence, unless indeed we take literally a
statement of Arrian that an _ala_ contained 512 men, a total which
would presumably give 32 men to the _turma_.[50] Arrian is, of course,
the best authority on the imperial army whom we possess, but the
remark in question is a parenthesis inserted into an account of the
ideal establishment of a Hellenistic army, and he may have meant no
more than that the unit under discussion corresponded roughly with a
Roman _ala quingenaria_. More satisfactory and conclusive evidence will
perhaps be found when the barracks of an ala in a frontier fort have
been accurately planned.[51]

The size of the auxiliary cohorts is a matter of even greater
difficulty. Hyginus states, and there seems no reason to doubt his
statement, that a _cohors miliaria_ was divided into ten centuries, a
_cohors quingenaria_ into six.[52] Archaeological evidence supports
this statement and suggests further that the centuries were in each
case of the same size, since the centurial barracks in the fort at
Housesteads, in Northumberland, which was occupied by a _cohors
miliaria_, offer almost precisely the same accommodation as those
in the Scottish fort at Newstead, which are clearly designed to
accommodate two _cohortes quingenariae_. The question to be decided is
whether these centuries contained 80 or 100 men each. In either case,
one of the titles must be a misnomer, since six centuries of 100 would
make a _cohors quingenaria_ consist of 600 men, while ten centuries
of 80 would only give 800 men for a _cohors miliaria_. On the whole,
although Hyginus suggests the higher figure, the lower is probably to
be preferred. Certainly the Coptos inscription cited above, which is
probably the most valuable evidence which we possess, clearly indicates
centuries of 80. The most important evidence on the other side is that
of Josephus, who describes some cohorts which belonged to the Syrian
army in 67 A.D. as containing ἀνὰ χιλίους πεζούς.[53] His succeeding
statement, however, that other cohorts, by which _cohortes equitatae
quingenariae_ are apparently meant, contained 600 infantry and 120
cavalry, suggests that he may be basing his reckoning simply on the
number of centuries. Few would defend his calculation in the second
instance, and he may be equally wrong in the first. On the whole,
therefore, it seems safer to assume establishments of 480 and 800 men
for _cohortes quingenariae_ and _miliariae_ respectively, although it
remains, of course, possible that the size of the cohorts was altered
between the Jewish war of 66-70 and the period of the erection of those
frontier forts upon which we have been relying for our evidence.

The last question to be settled in this connexion is that of the
_cohortes equitatae_, in which a proportion of the men were mounted,
which form a peculiar and interesting feature of the imperial army.
Corps in which infantry and cavalry fought together had of course
always been common,[54] but the idea was probably revived by the Romans
from observing the practice of the German tribes, from whom Julius
obtained a contingent accustomed to fight in this manner.[55] It is
certainly significant that one of the earliest of these regiments
known to us from inscriptions is a _cohors Ubiorum_.[56] There is,
however, no later evidence for the employment of these tactics, and the
continued use of _cohortes equitatae_ is due rather to the necessity
of having detachments of mounted men at as many frontier stations as
possible. The _equites cohortales_ should be reckoned rather as mounted
infantry than cavalry, since we learn from a fragment of Hadrian’s
address to the army in Africa that they were worse mounted than the
_equites alares_, and less skilled in cavalry manœuvres.[57] As
regards the strength of these regiments and the proportion of mounted
to unmounted men, Hyginus states that the _cohors miliaria equitata_
contained 760 infantry and 240 cavalry, while the _cohors quingenaria_
contained six centuries, and in other respects, ‘_in dimidio eandem
rationem continet_’—that is to say, it apparently had 380 infantry and
120 cavalry.[58] The figures for the mounted men are probably correct,
and, since we learn from an inscription that there were four decurions
to a _cohors quingenaria_, we may presume that the _turmae_ were 30
strong.[59] This agrees very well with the Egyptian vexillation cited
above, which included 61 _equites cohortales_—that is to say, 2
_turmae_. On the other hand, there is considerable reason for supposing
that the figures for the infantry are schematic and incorrect. It is
sufficient here to remark that centuries of 76 could not be divided
into _contubernia_ of either 8 or 10, and that the 380 men of Hyginus’s
_cohors quingenaria_ could not even be divided evenly among six
centuries. The question cannot be settled with certainty until forts
occupied by regiments of this class have been planned, but it seems
probable that while the number of the centuries remained unaltered the
complement of each was reduced from 80 to 60, or possibly to 64, if
it was thought desirable to retain the division into _contubernia_ of

Having endeavoured to determine the theoretical establishment of the
auxiliary regiments, it remains to discover how far this corresponded
to the actual strength at which they were maintained, and here our
evidence is scanty, and likely to remain so. Fortunately, the discovery
in Egypt of some of the official papers of the Cohors I Augusta
Praetoria Lusitanorum has thrown some light on the question. On January
1, 156, this regiment had on its books 6 centurions, 3 decurions, 114
mounted infantry, 19 camel-riders (_dromedarii_), and 363 infantry,
making, with the _praefectus_, a total of 506 men. Between January
and May, 18 recruits were enrolled, 15 infantry, an _eques_, a
_dromedarius_, and a decurion.[61] These figures agree fairly well
with the arrangement suggested above, although the _dromedarii_ are an
additional complication, and the regiment appears even to have exceeded
its ‘paper-strength’. This, however, may be easily accounted for if we
imagine that a number of men had served their term and were about to be
discharged. Unfortunately, this document remains isolated, and further
evidence is not likely to be forthcoming.

_Conditions of service._ Questions concerning the method of enlistment
for the auxiliary regiments are reserved, on account of their connexion
with the broader issues raised by the whole recruiting system, for
discussion in a later section. For the present it will be sufficient
to discuss the conditions of service in this branch of the army, as
they are laid down in the so-called _diplomata militaria_.[62] These
documents, of which we possess some 70 or 80 examples dealing with the
auxilia, are small bronze tablets, issued originally to individual
soldiers, recording the privileges granted to them either after their
discharge or after they had completed a term of 25 years. The reason
for this variation seems to be that while the _praemia militiae_
were always conferred after the regulation number of years had been
served, it was often the practice to retain the men with the colours
for some years longer before finally discharging them. This practice,
which we hear of in the early empire as a standing grievance of the
legionaries,[63] seems to have prevailed also among the auxilia during
the first century.[64] After 107, however, we have no instances of the
_praemia_ unpreceded by discharge, a change which is probably due to
the perfection of organization, and can be traced also in the legions.

Previous to the reign of Antoninus Pius, the privileges granted to
the recipient of a diploma include citizenship for himself, the full
legalization of any matrimonial union into which he has entered or
shall enter in the future (_conubium_), and civic rights for his wife,
children, and descendants. If he already possessed a family, the
names of his wife and children follow his own on the diploma, and the
frequency of this occurrence shows the extent to which the military
authorities permitted the soldiers to form family ties while on active
service.[65] The significance of this fact and its effect on the
character of the army will be discussed in a later section.

At the beginning of the reign of Antoninus Pius, a change takes place
in that part of the formula which concerns the grant of citizenship.
In place of the words _ipsis liberis posterisque eorum civitatem dedit
et conubium cum uxoribus_, &c., we read in all the later examples,
_civitatem Romanam, qui eorum non haberent, dedit et conubium cum
uxoribus_, &c.[66] The first inference to be drawn from this alteration
is that there now existed a numerous group of auxiliary soldiers who
possessed the _civitas_ before their discharge, and we are probably
justified in the further inference that many actually possessed it when
they were enrolled. It has been noted, for example, that on a document
dating from the reign of Trajan, six recruits accepted for the Cohors
III Ituraeorum all have the _tria nomina_.[67] In this change, then,
we have a clear instance of the extent to which the franchise was now
diffused throughout the Empire.

The omission of the phrase _liberis posterisque eorum_, on the other
hand, suggests the opposite tendency. It cannot, of course, mean that
children born after their father’s discharge would not be _cives_, for
their status would be secured by the grant of _conubium_, but it seems
clear that those born before it no longer acquired the citizenship
with him. This is supported not only by the absence of all mention
of children on the later diplomata,[68] but by the phraseology of an
Egyptian document dealing with an ἐπίκρισις of the year 148 which
distinguishes two classes of veterans, ~ἔνειοι~ μὲν ἐπιτυχόντες σὺν
τέκνοις καὶ ἐγγόνοις, ~ἕτεροι~ μόνοι τῆς Ῥωμαίων ποτειτείας (_sic_)
καὶ ἐπιγαμίας πρὸς γυναῖκας ἃς τότε εἶχον, ὅτε τούτοις ἡ πολιτεία
ἐδόθη,[69] &c. Clearly we have here a translation of both types of
formula, and the translator gave to the second the same meaning as
that suggested above. Clearly, too, the change was considered an
important one since the veterans discharged before and after it are
thus divided into two groups. In view of the prevailing policy of the
imperial government with respect to the extension of the _civitas_ this
step has a curiously retrograde appearance, and it is difficult to see
the motives which suggested it. Possibly it was merely desired to get
rid of an anomalous situation by which the auxiliaries had previously
occupied a more privileged position than the Household Troops.[70] In
any case, even after this restriction, there can be little doubt that
the grant of the _civitas_ with the improvement in civil status which
it brought to the recipient, and the increased possibilities which it
offered to his children, must have done much to popularize the service.
We have seen that the idea of such a reward did not originate with the
Empire, but it was probably not until the reorganization of the army
by Augustus that it was regularly conferred and the years of service
required to earn it definitely fixed.[71]

We do not know whether at the time of their discharge the auxiliaries
also received, like the legionaries, a grant of money or land in lieu
of a pension. It seems certain that their status excluded them from
a share in the _donativa_, which the emperors distributed among
the troops at their accession, and on other special occasions, and
that they could only receive the _dona militaria_ after a special
preliminary grant of the civitas.[72] That such grants were made, even
to whole regiments at a time, is shown by the number of cohorts which
commemorate the receipt of this honour by employing the title _civium

On the still more important matter of the ordinary pay of the auxiliary
regiments an almost equal uncertainty prevails. Our only two pieces of
evidence on the subject, a passage in Tacitus and a phrase in Hadrian’s
address to the garrison of Africa,[73] tell us nothing more than that
the _equites cohortales_ were paid on a higher scale than the infantry,
but received in their turn less than the _equites alares_, a preference
in favour of the mounted men, which is not so great as appears at first
sight, since it is clear that they were responsible for the upkeep
of their own horses. The chief defect of these passages is that they
do not mention the amount of the pay in any of the three cases. Our
only basis for calculation is the fact that a legionary considered it
promotion to be made _duplicarius alae_; hence the pay of an ordinary
cavalryman must have been more than half that of a legionary. On _a
priori_ considerations it can hardly have been less, if, as Hadrian’s
speech suggests, he paid for his own arms and mount, and if he also,
like the legionaries, had the cost of his rations deducted from his
pay. On the whole, however, it seems best to defer speculation until
further evidence is forthcoming.[74]

_Internal organization._ As is only natural in the case of a
professional army with so long a term of service, the internal
organization of the auxiliary regiments reveals a far more complicated
system of grades and promotions than anything which the ancient world
had yet known. The epigraphical evidence is abundant, and the efforts
of modern scholars, particularly von Domaszewski in his monumental
treatise, _Die Rangordnung des römischen Heeres_, have done much to
make the main lines of the system clear. Difficulties in detail still
remain, but we may hope for their ultimate solution.

The commanding officer of an _ala quingenaria_ or _miliaria_, or of
a _cohors quingenaria_ bore the title of _praefectus_. _Cohortes
miliariae_ and the _cohortes civium Romanorum_, which occupied
an exceptional position,[75] were commanded by _tribuni_. Early
inscriptions also mention a _subpraefectus alae_ and a _subpraefectus
cohortis_, but these posts seem later to have been abandoned.[76] In
later times in case of the absence of the _praefectus_, his place seems
to have been filled by an officer placed temporarily in charge with the
title of _praepositus_ or _curator_. Questions concerning the order of
precedence among the _praefecti_ and _tribuni_, and their place in the
military hierarchy generally, are so closely connected with the method
of selection and appointment of these officers at different periods,
that they are best left for future discussion.[77] It is only important
here to note that they usually entered the service with this rank, and
that it is very rare to find the regular commander either of an ala or
cohort drawn from among the lower officers.

The remaining ‘commissioned officers’, as we should call them, are
represented by the troop and company commanders, the decurions who
commanded the _turmae_ of the ala, and the centurions and decurions
of the cohorts. The senior officer in each class was styled _decurio
princeps_ or _centurio princeps_,[78] but apart from this we cannot
trace any regular order of precedence with fixed titles such as is
found among the legionary centurions. As regards the respective
position of infantry and cavalry officers, the _decurio alae_ ranked
highest. This is shown clearly, as von Domaszewski has pointed out, by
the frequent employment of this officer as _praepositus cohortis_.[79]
On the other hand, among the officers of the cohorts the centurions
ranked above the decurions who commanded the mounted men, where such
existed. In one inscription, which seems to have included all the
officers of a _cohors equitata_, the centurions come first on the list,
and in the Coptos inscription, so often cited, the officers of the 61
_equites cohortales_ are not mentioned at all.[80] The difference in
rank cannot, however, have been very great since all these officers
could be promoted to the post of legionary centurion without any
intervening step, although this distinction seems to have been
conferred most freely upon the decurions of the alae. In these cases it
was of course necessary for the auxiliary officer to have acquired the
_civitas_ either by serving his full time or by a special grant before
his promotion.

Throughout the period these posts seem usually to have been filled by
promotion from the lower ranks, although we also find instances of
legionaries being given commissioned rank in the auxiliary regiments,
and it is officers of this class who seem most frequently to have
secured further promotion to the legionary centurionate.[81] Von
Domaszewski wishes to consider that these transfers were especially
characteristic of the early days of the imperial army, and that a
deliberate attempt was then made to provide every auxiliary regiment
with a staff of ex-legionaries. With this suggestion, however, it is
difficult to agree; not only is the epigraphical evidence insufficient
to prove such a wholesale use of imported officers, but the cases known
to us are by no means confined to the first fifty years of the Empire.
Further, as will be shown later, the arrangement does not harmonize
with the general character of the early _auxilia_.

The holders of subordinate posts, who ranked below the centurion or
decurion, may be divided, following the arrangement adopted by von
Domaszewski, into two groups.[82] The members of the first group
practically correspond to our non-commissioned officers, and are able
to command small detachments or to take the place, if necessary, of
the company officers. These alone, and the holders of certain higher
administrative posts, to which the _taktische Chargen_ gave access,[83]
have a legitimate claim to the title of _principales_. The members of
the second group did not, strictly speaking, rank above the privates,
but they were granted freedom from certain routine duties in return
for special services which they discharged, and were distinguished in
consequence by the title of _immunes_.

It is of course often difficult to ascertain whether a particular post
falls into the higher or lower group, and this is especially the case
with the standard-bearers, who occupy a position of peculiar importance
in the military system. In the ala each troop had its own flag
carried by the _signifer turmae_, but there seems also to have been a
regimental standard, the bearer of which was known as the _vexillarius
alae_.[84] A few inscriptions also mention an _imaginifer_, but it
is not clear whether this officer always or at all periods found a
place on the staff.[85] In a cohort, on the other hand, each century
seems to have had its _signifer_, and each turma of mounted men its
_vexillarius_, but it does not appear that there was a regimental
standard, any more than there existed at this date a standard for
each cohort of a legion. This at least is implied by Tacitus in his
description of the entry of the Vitellian army into Rome, when he
mentions the _alarum signa_ by the side of the _legionum aquilae_,
but says nothing of the ensigns of the cohorts.[86] We must suppose,
then, that the _imaginifer cohortis_, who is mentioned on inscriptions,
was not regarded as the regimental standard-bearer any more than the
_imaginifer legionis_.[87]

In consequence of this difference in organization the company and troop
standard-bearers of the cohorts rank among the _principales_, while in
the alae only the regimental standard-bearer is included in the higher
group, and the _signiferi turmae_ sink to the position of _immunes_.

Returning, then, to the ala we may place at the head of the
_principales_ the _vexillarius_, and next to him the _imaginifer_,
when this officer existed. Other members of this class were the
non-commissioned officers of every turma, the _duplicarius_ and
_sesquiplicarius_,[88] who derived their titles from the fact that
they were paid twice and one and a half times the private’s pay
respectively, an institution found in the Hellenistic military
system from which it was probably borrowed.[89] Lastly we should
perhaps add the _optio_, who commanded the escort of the _praefectus_

To the lower group, the _immunes_, belong the _signifer_,
_custos armorum_, and _curator_ attached to every turma,[91] the
_cornicularius_,[92] _actarius_,[93] _strator_,[94] _stator_,[95]
_librarius_,[96] and _beneficiarius_,[97] who form the clerical
and administrative staff of the _praefectus_, and his escort, the
_singulares_.[98] In determining the position of the holders of these
posts among the _immunes_ we are supported by the analogy of the
Equites Singulares Imperatoris, a corps modelled upon and to a certain
extent recruited from the auxiliary cavalry. The list of a _turma_ of
this regiment contained on a Roman inscription gives the following

nomina turmae

  Iul(ius) Mascel(lus) dec(urio)
  Nonius Severus dup(licarius)
  Iul(ius) Victorinus sesq(uiplicarius)
  Aur(elius) Mucatral
  Aur(elius) Lucius
  Ael(ius) Crescens sig(nifer)
  Aur(elius) Victor arm(orum custos)
  Aur(elius) Atero cur(ator)
  Ael(ius) Victor bf (beneficiarius)
  Cl(audius) Victorinus lib(rarius)
  Iul(ius) Vindex bf (beneficiarius)
  17 names of equites follow.

The fact that two privates occupy the fourth and fifth places shows
clearly that the holders of all the posts mentioned lower in the list
belong to the _immunes_. Had it not been for this piece of evidence we
might have been tempted to place the _signifer turmae_ in the higher
category. The analogy of the Equites Singulares also suggests that
we may include the _bucinator_ and _tubicen_ among the _immunes_ of
the ala,[100] and we have also to add the _medicus_, whose somewhat
exceptional position is discussed later.[101]

A distinction between the _principales_ and _immunes_ of the cohorts
may be based partly upon the principles already adopted for the ala,
partly upon the analogy of the legion, the organization of which was
clearly followed in several respects. On these grounds we may class as
_principales_ the _imaginifer cohortis_, the _signifer_, _optio_, and
_tesserarius_ of each century, and the _optio_ and _vexillarius_ of
each turma in the _cohortes equitatae_. The case of the _optio_, who
commanded, if necessary, in the place of the centurion or decurion,
may be taken for granted. It may also be noted that both _optio_ and
_vexillarius_ could be promoted to the position of decurion without any
intervening step.[102] The _tesserarius_, whose main duty consisted
in receiving from the centurion the orders and password for the day
and transmitting them to the men, is found in charge of a detachment
on special duty,[103] as is also the _imaginifer cohortis_.[104] The
_signifer_,[105] lastly, can hardly have had a position inferior to
that of the _vexillarius_ or _tesserarius_, and would indeed rank
higher than the latter if the analogy of the legions holds good. As
regards the _immunes_, the officer commanding a cohort possessed a
smaller administrative staff than the _praefectus alae_, including
only the _cornicularius_,[106] _actarius_,[107] _librarius_,[108]
and _beneficiarius_.[109] The musicians possibly include the
_cornicen_[110] as well as the _tubicen_[111] and the _bucinator_[112],
and the post of _mensor_ seems to be confined to the cohorts.[113] At
least no inscription has yet mentioned one among the _immunes_ of the

Finally, as regards the position of the _medici_, who were attached
to the cohorts as well as to the alae, a few special remarks seem
necessary. On a British inscription one of these army doctors is
described as _medicus ordinarius_[114], which would naturally mean
that he served in the ranks, and a passage in the _Digest_ confirms
this by ranking the _medici_ among the _immunes_.[115] On the other
hand, M. Ulpius Sporus, who is described in an inscription erected by
his freedmen at Ferentinum in Etruria as _medicus alae Indianae et
tertiae Astorum_ (sic)[116], seems to be on rather a higher level,
as also M. Rubrius Zosimus of Ostia, who was doctor to the Cohors IV
Aquitanorum in Germania Superior in the second century.[117] Both
these men are apparently Greeks, and can hardly have reached their
regiments by the ordinary recruiting channels.[118] It has been noticed
also that the _medici_ appear to have a special position in some
inscriptions of the Praetorian cohorts.[119] Probably, then, one may
infer two classes of _medici_, the common soldier who possessed some
elementary qualifications (first aid and blood-letting) and was given
the position of an _immunis_, and the fully-trained professional doctor
who was attached to a regiment but held no actual military rank. It
was probably to distinguish himself from the latter class that the
_medicus_ of the Tungrian cohort added the word _ordinarius_ to his

As regards the rate and method of promotion, and the order of
precedence of the various posts within the two groups of _principales_
and _immunes_, we know practically nothing. There is nothing to show
that it was customary to hold several posts in a regular order,[120]
or to become an _immunis_ before entering the _principales_. It was
doubtless usual for a man not to receive commissioned rank without
first holding some subordinate post, but we do not know that any such
preliminary qualification was essential.[121] Owing to the length of
service promotion was probably not rapid, but on the other hand the
number of posts available was very large. In an _ala quingenaria_,
for example, there were 16 decurions, 34 _principales_, and probably
over 100 _immunes_.[122] Thus every soldier must have felt confident
of obtaining sooner or later a position of greater ease and profit,
and this, together with the fact that the ladder of promotion led to
commissioned rank, and even to the coveted legionary centurionate, must
have increased the attractions of the profession.

_Titles of the regiments._ The titles of the auxiliary regiments were
as various in form as those of the legions, and it is unnecessary to
give a complete list of them. The alae which bear a title derived from
a personal name, presumably that of their original commander, have been
mentioned already. The majority of them were probably raised during
Caesar’s Gallic campaigns or the Civil Wars, and there are few to which
a later date can be assigned with any certainty.[123] The few cohorts
known to have borne such titles are more difficult to explain, but
have perhaps a similar origin.[124] Regiments raised under the Empire,
on the other hand, were usually called by the name of the tribe or
district from which they were raised, and distinguished by a number
from other corps of the same origin.[125] In course of time these
ethnical titles were in many cases supplemented by others, some of
which were granted as marks of distinction and rewards for meritorious
service, while others were purely descriptive. Examples of the former
class are the title _civium Romanorum_, which indicates that on some
occasion all the members of a corps received the franchise before their
discharge,[126] and honorary epithets, such as _pia_, _fidelis_, or
_fida_.[127] The title _Augusta_ seems also to have been granted at
all periods _honoris causa_, although some of the regiments bearing
it may date back to the beginning of the Empire.[128] Titles derived
from the names of later emperors, on the other hand, while they were
doubtless granted occasionally as marks of distinction, seem often
to indicate nothing more than the reign during which a regiment was
raised. Finally, from the time of Severus Antoninus onwards, every
regiment employs a secondary title, derived from the name of the
reigning emperor. A remarkable series of dedicatory inscriptions of the
Cohors I Aelia Dacorum, which was stationed during the third century
at Birdoswald (Amboglanna), on the British frontier, shows us this
regiment successively assuming the titles _Antoniniana_, _Gordiana_,
_Postumiana,_ and _Tetriciana_.[129]

Purely descriptive titles might be derived either from the size
of the regiment (_miliaria_, _quingenaria_), its composition
(_equitata_, _gemina_),[130] its weapons (_scutata_, _contariorum_,
_sagittariorum_), or the name of the province in which it was or had
been stationed (_Syriaca_, _Moesiaca_). A frequent motive for the
assumption and accumulation of such secondary descriptive titles seems
to have been the desire of a regiment to distinguish itself from
another unit bearing the same number and ethnical title, and stationed
in the same province. This was probably the origin of the title
_veterana_ or _veteranorum_, which was borne by five alae and five
cohorts,[131] although its interpretation is much disputed. According
to von Domaszewski, these regiments were so called because they were
originally formed of discharged veterans recalled to active service
in time of war.[132] Cichorius suggests that a regiment assumed this
name when another corps bearing the same number and ethnical title,
but of more recent origin, was stationed in the same province.[133]
This certainly furnishes the best explanation in the case of the
Cohors III Thracum c. R., and the Cohors III Thracum veteranorum,
which appear together in the Raetian diplomata for 107 and 166.[134]
On von Domaszewski’s theory it is difficult to see why a regiment of
recalled veterans should bear the number III, and his explanation that
‘the numbers borne by these corps are connected with the numbering
of the auxilia in the province to which they were attached after
their formation from _missicii_’ does not make matters much clearer.
Cichorius’s suggestion would also account satisfactorily for the Cohors
I Aquitanorum and the Cohors I Aquitanorum veterana, which appear
together in Germania Superior in 74,[135] and the Cohors I Claudia
Sugambrorum and the Cohors I Sugambrorum veterana which were stationed
together in Moesia Inferior.[136] The latter would be identical with
the regiment mentioned by Tacitus as forming part of the garrison
of the province in the reign of Tiberius.[137] In other cases where
similar duplication cannot be proved it must be remembered that our
evidence is very imperfect, and that a regiment after assuming this
title may have continued to use it when the reason for doing so had

These descriptive and honorary epithets, although sometimes borne
alone,[138] were usually employed to supplement the original ethnical
title, with the result that after a hundred years of meritorious
service the ‘full style’ of a second-century regiment might be almost
as long and imposing as that of the emperors whom it served. As an
example, one may cite the Cohors I Breucorum quingenaria Valeria
Victrix bis torquata ob virtutem appellata equitata, which formed part
of the garrison of Raetia.[139]

_Relation of the auxilia to the legions._ It is perhaps relevant to
discuss here a point affecting the auxilia as a whole, namely, their
relation to the legions in the general scheme of military organization.
It is generally supposed that in those frontier armies which included
both classes of troops, a group of auxiliary regiments was definitely
attached to each legion, and such phrases as ‘a legion with its
attendant auxiliaries’ are common in writers on the military system
of the Roman Empire. Evidence as to the exact nature and even the
existence of such a connexion is, however, somewhat difficult to find.
Tacitus does, it is true, refer to the eight Batavian cohorts, who
play such an important part in the events of 69, as _auxilia quartae
decimae legionis_, but no other passage can be quoted in the same
sense, and the connexion in this case was obviously neither close
nor durable.[140] In the comparatively detailed account of the first
campaign of Bedriacum, which rests at any rate upon a good military
source, there is no suggestion that the auxilia marched or manœuvred in
separate groups, each connected with a particular legion. Certainly in
the normal order of battle throughout the first century the available
auxilia were all massed together either as a first line, or in two
flanking divisions to the right and left of the legionaries, and the
auxilia of the army which crossed the Rhine in 73 were not divided
among the legionary _legati_, but had a commander of their own.[141]

Supporters of the legionary connexion also refer to the two diplomata
issued in the same year and on the same day (August 14, 99) to two
different groups of auxiliary regiments stationed in Moesia Inferior,
and suggest that this curious arrangement can best be explained on
the supposition that each diploma refers only to the auxilia of one
legion.[142] A similar explanation suggests itself for the fact that
only one regiment is common to the two British diplomata of 103 and
105.[143] It seems impossible, however, to interpret all the diplomata
in this manner. The British diploma of 124, for example, which was
issued to men from six alae and twenty-one cohorts, can hardly be
supposed to contain the auxilia of only one of the three legions then
stationed in the province.[144] In Pannonia Superior also so many
regiments are common to the five complete second-century diplomata
which we possess that we must, on this theory, refer them all to the
auxilia of one and the same legion.[145] How, then, do we account for
the fact that the inscriptions of the province hardly mention any
regiments but those contained in these diplomata? In other words,
why should all our evidence refer to the auxilia of one legion, and
those attached to the other two, then stationed in the province, have
entirely disappeared?

A stronger argument is perhaps to be found in inscriptions which
contain the phrase _legio … et auxilia eius_.[146] It could be
wished that these texts were more numerous and more precise, but they
support the supposition that some connexion existed between each legion
and a definite group of auxiliary regiments better than any evidence
previously adduced. The connexion, however, must have been very slight
and easily broken. Dr. Hardy has pointed out that although three out
of the four legions stationed in Germania Superior in 70 left the
province for good during the following thirty-five years, there is
abundant evidence that nothing like the same proportion of the auxilia
stationed in the province accompanied them.[147] It is also clear that,
in the second century at any rate, the number of auxilia attached to
any legion was not fixed in accordance with any general principle, but
depended upon the exigencies of the local situation on each frontier. A
reference to the list of provincial garrisons contained in the appendix
will show that whereas there are not likely to have been more than
three thousand auxilia apiece to each of the three legions of Pannonia
Superior, there were probably thirty thousand to be divided among the
three legions of Britain, while in Dacia there was only one legion with
something approaching twenty-five thousand auxilia. Still, with these
reservations, it seems possible enough that the auxilia were always
considered as in some sense dependent on the legions, and that where
several legions were stationed in the same province, an arrangement was
made dividing the auxilia into a corresponding number of groups, each
of which was for certain purposes attached to a particular legion.[148]

_Total number of the auxilia._ This section should naturally conclude
with some statement of the total number of auxilia in the imperial
service. Unfortunately, no clear and direct evidence can be obtained
on this point either from literary or epigraphical sources. Tacitus,
in his survey of the military resources of the Empire in the reign of
Tiberius, after enumerating the legions in detail, contents himself
with a vague sentence suggesting that the auxiliaries were as numerous
as the legionaries and Household Troops.[149] This phrase is perhaps
accurate enough for the period to which he is referring, but it is
obviously not meant to be precise, and must certainly not be taken
to express any principle habitually followed in the composition of
the imperial army. If we endeavour to check the statement from other
sources we have the remark of Velleius that in 6, at the time of the
great Pannonian revolt, the ten legions concentrated under Tiberius’s
command were accompanied by 70 cohorts and 14 alae.[150] If we allow
for a few regiments being _miliariae_, this would represent a little
over 50,000 men, a number about equivalent to that of the legionaries.
If we may assume a similar ratio in other provinces, the total for
the auxilia at this period would amount to 150,000 men.[151] It must
be remembered, however, that at this date and throughout the whole
pre-Flavian period the government relied upon the troops of the client
kingdoms and levies of border militia to supplement the imperial
troops. With the gradual elimination of these secondary forces,
which has already been described, the number of regular units was
proportionately increased. More than twenty regiments were raised in
the old kingdom of Thrace after its annexation in 46, and five alae
and nineteen cohorts are found in 69 garrisoning the two provinces
which had been formed from the kingdom of Mauretania.[152] We need not,
then, be surprised if the figures supplied by Tacitus and Josephus show
that so early as 69 the number of the auxiliaries considerably exceeds
the figure suggested for the end of the reign of Augustus. According
to Josephus, Vespasian entered Judaea in 67 with at least 20,000
auxiliaries, which probably represents two-thirds of the total number
available in the Eastern provinces.[153] In the Danubian provinces in
69 there were, according to Tacitus, sixteen alae.[154] On the basis of
the information given in the diplomata, we can safely reckon that there
would be at least three cohorts to every ala, and that one regiment in
four would be _miliaria_. Some 40,000 auxiliaries, therefore, must have
been stationed in the Danubian provinces at this period. In the same
year Vitellius entered Rome with twelve alae and thirty-four cohorts,
that is to say some 30,000 men, which represented probably two-thirds
of the auxilia in the Rhine armies and Raetia.[155] The garrison of the
two Mauretanias, to which allusion has already been made, would amount
to about 15,000 men. We thus arrive at the following totals for the
auxilia at this period:

  The Eastern provinces       30,000 men
  The Danubian provinces      40,000  „
  Germany and Raetia          45,000  „
  The two Mauretanias         15,000  „
                             130,000  „

To this at least another 50,000 men must be added for the auxilia of
Britain, Spain, Africa, Noricum, and the small garrisons of the inland
provinces, making a grand total of 180,000 men. The next forty years
saw the figure mount even higher. The remaining client kingdoms in the
East, which were still strong enough to furnish 15,000 men for the
Jewish war in 67, were annexed, and the appearance of several new units
with the titles _Flavia_ or _Ulpia_ shows that more than this number of
regular auxilia was raised in their place.[156] Even Hadrian seems to
have made a few additions to the list, since his foreign policy, though
essentially pacific, was based upon a system of frontier defence to
which the auxilia were more than ever essential.[157] In Appendix I,
where the evidence as to the strength and distribution of the auxilia
in the second century is discussed in detail, it is suggested that by
the middle of the second century the force may have amounted to some
220,000 men, and that even this figure was probably exceeded sixty
years later.


[34] _De Bell. Afr._ 78.

[35] Cicero, _De Off._ ii. 13. 45.

[36] In a note to the French translation of Mommsen and Marquardt
(xi. 105) von Domaszewski declares decidedly against the possibility
that the _equites sociorum_ were organized in _alae_. Writing in
Pauly-Wissowa (s.v. _Auxilia_), he seems to consider that the auxiliary
cavalry had adopted the formation before the close of the Republic,
although the passages to which he refers, those from Cicero and the
author of the _Bell. Afr._ which are given above, seem at least to be
susceptible of a different interpretation.

[37] For _praefecti equitum_ cf. Caesar, _Bell. Gall._ iii. 26; iv. 11.
They are not to be thought of as merely commanding _turmae_, since we
have a decurion mentioned in _Bell. Gall._ i. 23.

[38] This organization cannot have taken place earlier since it is
obvious from Caesar’s narrative that during the Gallic campaigns no
attempt was made to reduce the tribal contingents to units of a fixed

[39] Caesar, _Bell. Gall._ i. 18.

[40] [Caesar,] _Bell. Gall._ viii. 12. He is described as _principe
civitatis, praefecto equitum_.

[41] Caesar, _Bell. Civ._ iii. 59.

[42] See _Eph. Ep._ v. 142, n. 1. The _ala_ is only known from x. 6011.

[43] The alae Flaviana, Petriana, Proculeiana, Tauriana, and Sebosiana
all bear ‘Gallorum’ as a secondary title, and the alae Agrippiana,
Longiniana, Picentiana, Pomponiana, and Rusonis seem to have been
recruited in Gaul in the first century. The Gallic origin of the ala
Atectorigiana is even more obvious. The ala Gallorum Indiana may
possibly have a later origin, cf. Tac. _Ann._ iii. 42. The theory given
above as to the origin of these regiments is unhesitatingly affirmed
by von Domaszewski (_Rangordnung_, pp. 122, 123), but a little more
evidence would certainly be advantageous.

[44] Cf. v. 3366, x. 6309.

[45] See below, p. 46.

[46] Von Domaszewski, in his edition, puts the treatise _De munitione
castrorum_ into the reign of Trajan. It is difficult to regard
the evidence as decisive, but there can be little doubt that the
information contained in the work is in any case applicable to the
period under discussion.

[47] Hyginus, 16. An Egyptian inscription, iii. 6581, also gives
sixteen as the number of decurions in an ala.

[48] iii. 6627.

[49] Von Dom. _Rangordnung_, p. 35, and also p. 52 of the same writer’s
commentary on Hyginus.

[50] Arrian, _Tactica_, 18 αἱ δὲ δύο ταραντιναρχίαι ἱππαρχία, δώδεκα
καὶ πεντακοσίων ἱππέων, ἥντινα Ῥωμαῖοι ἴλην καλοῦσιν. It is perhaps
worth noting that Vegetius (ii. 14) gives 32 as the strength of a
_turma_ of his _equites legionis_.

[51] The question will probably be found to turn on the strength of the
_contubernium_. 30 and 42 suggest _contubernia_ of 6. A small _turma_
of 32 would suggest _contubernia_ of 8 or 4 and a large _turma_ of 40.

[52] Hyginus, 28 ‘Cohors peditata miliaria habet centurias X … item
peditata quingenaria habet centurias VI, reliqua ut supra’. This refers
to the description of the _cohortes equitatae_ in the preceding section
in which it is stated that ‘Cohors equitata quingenaria habet centurias
VI, reliqua pro parte dimidia’.

[53] Josephus, Bell. _Iud._ iii. 67 τῶν δὲ σπειρῶν αἱ δέκα μὲν εἶχον
ἀνὰ χιλίους πεζούς, αἱ δὲ λοιπαὶ τρισκαίδεκα ἀν’ ἑξακοσίους μὲν πεζούς,
ἱππεῖς δ’ ἑκατὸν εἴκοσι. Nissen, who accepts the authenticity of these
figures, assumes that both types of cohort mentioned had 120 cavalry
attached to them, but it seems impossible to get this meaning from
the Greek. See his article on the history of Novaesium in _B. J. B._
cxi-cxii. 41.

[54] Thuc. v. 57.

[55] Caesar, _Bell. Gall._ vii. 65 ‘trans Rhenum in Germaniam mittit
ad eas civitates quas superioribus annis pacaverat equitesque ab
his arcessit et levis armaturae pedites, qui inter eos proeliari

[56] x. 4862: ‘… praef(ecto) cohort(is) Ubiorum peditum et equitum …’
The inscription dates from the end of the reign of Augustus.

[57] viii. 2532, 18042: ‘Eq(uites) coh(ortis) Commagenorum. Difficile
est cohortales equites etiam per se placere, difficilius post alarem
exercitationem non displicere: alia spatia campi, alius iaculantium
numerus … equorum forma, armorum cultus pro stipendi modo.’

[58] Hyginus, 25-7.

[59] iii. 6760 with Mommsen’s note. Cf. also the roll of the Cohors I
Lusitanorum cited below.

[60] Hyginus, 1, gives this as the size of a legionary _contubernium_,
and the ‘four quaternions’ of Acts xii. 4 suggest that the same system
prevailed among the troops of the client kingdom of Palestine.

[61] For text and discussion see Mommsen in _Eph. Ep._ vii. 456-67.
He considers that the papyrus supports 60 as the normal strength of a
century in these _cohortes equitatae_.

[62] The name is incorrect but convenient. Excluding D. xc, which is of
an exceptional character, the diplomata cover the period from the reign
of Nero (D. ci is the earliest, being apparently issued before 60) to
178 (D. lxxvi).

[63] Tac. _Ann._ i. 17.

[64] For example, the _praemia_ are granted to soldiers who are not yet
discharged in diplomata for 60 (ii), 74 (xi), 83 (xv), 84 (xvi), and 86
(xix). The latest example is dated in 105 (xxxiv).

[65] e.g. a diploma for 114 (xxxix) mentions a wife, two sons, and a
daughter, another for 134 (xlviii) four sons and two daughters.

[66] The first to give the new wording for the auxiliaries is a British
diploma of 146 (lvii), and it is universal after this date.

[67] _Oxyrhynchus Papyri_, vii. 1022. Given with commentary by Wilcken
and Mitteis in _Papyruskunde_, no. 453. Cf. also iii. 14632. The two
recruits described on the roll of the Cohors I Lusitanorum as _accepti
ex legione II Traiana_ may have been transferred as a punishment,
the _militiae mutatio_ prescribed in the _Digest_, xlix. 16, as the
appropriate penalty for various military offences.

[68] The last diploma to mention children is dated 138 (cviii).

[69] Wilcken and Mitteis, _Papyruskunde_, no. 459. I have assumed
the correctness of Wilcken’s restorations of the text, which is very
corrupt in places.

[70] The phraseology of the diplomata issued to the Praetorians ‘ut
etiam si peregrini iuris feminas matrimonio suo iunxerint, proinde
liberos tollant ac si ex duobus civibus Romanis natos’—D. xii
(76)—shows that in their case children born before their father’s
discharge had always suffered under the disabilities created for the
auxiliaries in the second century. The position of the legionaries is
still uncertain.

[71] Such regulations would be covered by the general statement of
Suetonius, _Vit. Aug._ 49 ‘Quidquid autem ubique militum esset, ad
certam stipendiorum praemiorumque formulam adstrinxit, definitis pro
gradu cuiusque et temporibus militiae et commodis missionum’. The
number of the diplomata seems to tell decisively against the suggestion
that they were only issued to troops who had distinguished themselves
by exceptional conduct in the field.

[72] Von Dom. _Sold_, p. 226; id. _Rangordnung_, p. 68.

[73] Tac. _Hist._ iv. 19. The Batavian cohorts demand ‘duplex
stipendium, augeri equitum numerum’. Cf. viii. 18042, where the
emperor gives as a reason for the superiority of the cavalry over the
mounted infantry of the cohorts, ‘equorum forma, armorum cultus pro
stipendi modo.’ I do not see how von Domaszewski concludes from the
first passage that the pay of the infantry was one-third that of the
legionaries, i.e. 75 _denarii_ a year. _Sold_, p. 225.

[74] I am assuming that the _duplicarius_ really did receive twice the
pay of the private, as his name implies, which is probable since he
maintained two horses (Hyginus, 16). For the promotion of legionaries
to this post cf. viii. 2354 cited below.

[75] See below, pp. 65-7.

[76] xii. 2231 ‘[D] Decmanio Capro sub praef(ecto) equit(um) alae
Agrippian(ae)’; v. _Suppl._ 185 ‘Ti. Iulio C. f., Fab(ia) Viatori
subpraef(ecto) cohortis III Lusitanorum …’. The origin of this
post may be due to Augustus’s practice of giving auxiliary regiments
two _praefecti_, although this measure was primarily designed in the
interest of officers of senatorial rank. Cf. Suet. _Vit. Aug._ 38
‘binos plerumque laticlavios praeposuit singulis alis’. Von Domaszewski
prefers to connect it with the early system of brigading several
auxiliary regiments together under one commander; _Rangordnung_, p. 119.

[77] See below, pp. 90-101.

[78] At any rate among the cohorts. _A. E._ 1892. 137 ‘C. Cassio
Pal(atina) Blaesiano dec(urioni) coh(ortis) Ligurum principi equitum’.
_I. G. R. R._ ii. 894 κεντυρίων ὁ καὶ πρίνκιψ σπείρας θρακῶν. There is
no certain inscription of a _decurio princeps alae_.

[79] Cf. viii. 10949, 21560; von Dom. _Rangordnung_, p. 63. For the
following section I am deeply indebted to his discussion of the
officers of the _auxilia_ on pp. 53-61 of this work.

[80] iii. 6627, 6760.

[81] iii. 11213 ‘T. Calidius P. (filius) Cam(ilia) Sever(us) eq(ues),
item optio, decur(io) coh(ortis) I Alpin(orum), item (centurio)
leg(ionis) XV Apoll(inaris) annor(um) LVIII stip(endiorum) XXXIIII …’
is a good example of a man who rose from the ranks to the legionary

viii. 2354 ‘… mil(itis) leg(ionis) III Aug(ustae), duplic(arii) alae
Pann(oniorum), dec(urionis) al(ae) eiusdem, (centurionis) leg(ionis)
III Aug(ustae)’ gives the career of a promoted legionary. D. xv, xxxii,
xxxiv, xc, were granted to centurions and decurions, who must therefore
have been of the same status as the men if they had not actually risen
from the ranks.

[82] For the line of demarcation between _principales_ and _immunes_
see von Dom. _Rangordnung_, pp. 1-4. It must be admitted that, although
this distinction existed, it is not always recognizable on inscriptions.

[83] These do not concern us here since their rank depended upon that
of the officer to which they were attached, and the commander of an
auxiliary regiment did not stand sufficiently high for his clerks and
orderlies to be ranked among the _principales_.

[84] I accept, although with some hesitation, the view of Lehner in
_B. J. B._ cxvii against that of von Dom. _Rangordnung_, p. 55. It is
accepted also by Max Mayer, _Vexillum und vexillarius_, Strassburg,
1910. For instances of the title _vexillarius alae_ cf. iii. 4834,
11081. The standard of the Ala Longiniana, discussed by Lehner, was
a _vexillum_ bearing as its device a Celtic religious emblem, the
three-horned bull. The _signum_ of a _turma_ of the Ala Petriana shown
on a sepulchral monument was a radiated head in a medallion. See _J. R.
S._ ii (1912), Fig. 8. Another _signum_ on a Mainz tombstone shows four
ivy leaves hanging from a cross-bar. Cf. _B. J. B._ cxiv-cxv, Pl. I, n.

[85] _A. E._ 1906. 119.

[86] Tac. _Hist._ ii. 89 ‘Quattuor legionum aquilae per frontem
totidemque circa e legionibus aliis vexilla, mox duodecim alarum signa
et post peditum ordines eques; dein quattuor et triginta cohortes, ut
nomina gentium aut species armorum forent, discretae’.

[87] On one of the inscriptions which mentions this officer, iii. 3256,
he is ranked among the mounted men of a _cohors equitata_.

[88] For the position of these officers cf. viii. 21567.

[89] Arrian, _Anab._ vii. 23.

[90] iii. 11911.

[91] viii. 2094 ‘… C. Iulius Dexter vet(eranus), mil(itavit) in ala
eq(ues), cur(ator) turmae, armor(um) custos, signifer tur(mae) …’.

[92] iii. 7651.

[93] iii. 3392.

[94] _I. G. R. R._ iii. 1094.

[95] iii. 4369.

[96] iii. 13441.

[97] iii. 11811. There were of course several of these, and also of the
preceding officers.

[98] iii. 12356.

[99] vi. 225. vi. 2408 also shows seven _equites_ preceding the
_signifer turmae_.

[100] vi. 3179, 32797. Both appear also among the _equites cohortales_,
iii. 3352, 10589.

[101] xi. 3007.

[102] iii. 11213, 8762.

[103] ii. 2553; cf. _A. E._ 1910. 4. A detachment of the Cohors I
Celtiberorum in Lusitania is under the charge of a centurion of the
Cohors I Gallica, a _beneficiarius_ of the procurator, an _imaginifer_
of Legio VII Gemina, and a _tesserarius_ of the Cohors I Celtiberorum.

[104] xiii. 7705.

[105] iii. 10315.

[106] iii. 10316.

[107] vii. 458.

[108] iii. 12602.

[109] iii. 1808. We should perhaps add to this group the _capsarius_,
_A. E._ 1906. 110.

[110] xiii. 6572.

[111] iii. 10589.

[112] iii. 8522. In xiii. 6503 the musicians are described collectively
as _aeneatores_.

[113] xiii. 6538.

[114] vii. 690. He served in the Cohors I Tungrorum.

[115] _Dig._ l. 6, 7.

[116] xi. 3007. His cognomen is uncertain.

[117] xiii. 6621. One might add M. Mucius Hegetor medicus of the Cohors
XXXII Voluntariorum in Pannonia, iii. 10854.

[118] Lucian mentions a doctor of an auxiliary cohort who wrote a
history of the Parthian war of Marcus and Verus and must have been a
man of some education. Lucian, _de hist. conscrib._ 24.

[119] Von Dom. _Rangordnung_, p. 26.

[120] The record of the career of C. Iulius Dexter quoted above is
quite exceptional. Usually only one post is mentioned.

[121] iii. 11213 gives the sequence _eques-optio-decurio_, and 8762
that of _eques-vexillarius-decurio_, but such details are rare.

[122] The _principales_ would be the _vexillarius alae_, the _optio
singularium_, and a _duplicarius_ and _sesquiplicarius_ to each
_turma_. Of the _immunes_ each _turma_ has its _signifer_, _custos
armorum_, and _curator_. The total number of the _beneficiarii_,
&c., we do not know, but the inscription of the Equites Singulares
quoted above suggests an average of three to a _turma_. In a _cohors
quingenaria_ with only 6 commissioned officers and 19 _principales_
(the _imaginifer cohortis_ and the _signifer_, _optio_, and
_tesserarius_ of each century) the chances of promotion would be less.
This is another reason for the popularity of the cavalry and the desire
of cohorts to become _equitata_. Cf. Tac. _Hist._ iv. 19.

[123] The Ala Indiana may have been called after the Trevir Iulius
Indus mentioned in Tac. _Ann._ i. 42, the Ala Siliana after C. Silius
the general of Tiberius, and the Ala Pannoniorum Tampiana after Tampius
Flavianus, governor of Pannonia in 69. The last case, however, is
doubted by von Domaszewski, _Rangordnung_, p. 122, n. 6.

[124] The only cases known at present are the cohorts Lepidiana and
Apuleia civium Romanorum, and a Cohors Flaviana only known from a
_cursus honorum_.

[125] The name of the tribe was usually in the genitive plural but
might also be in the nominative singular. Thus we find the same
regiment described as Cohors I Alpinorum and Cohors I Alpina. The
question of duplicate numbering, which is connected with the system of
recruiting and distribution, is discussed in the following section.

[126] The fact that the numerous regiments bearing this title appear
in the diplomata shows that the status of their members was not
permanently raised. One regiment, the Cohors II Tungrorum, bears the
title C(ivium) L(atinorum), _Eph. Ep._ ix. 1228.

[127] Ritterling has shown that all the auxilia of Germania Inferior
received the titles _pia fidelis Domitiana_ in 89 for their loyalty at
the time of the rebellion of Saturninus; _W. D. Z._ 1893. The title
_fida_ was borne by the Cohors I Vardullorum; vii. 1043.

[128] It is borne by regiments of Dacians and Britons who cannot have
acquired it during the reign of Augustus; D. xxxix, iii. 10255.

[129] vii. 818, 819, 820 and 823.

[130] As in the case of the legions this title was probably borne by
regiments which had been formed by a combination of two previously
existing units. The two Alae Flaviae Geminae, for example, which appear
in Germania Superior at the end of the first century, would represent
the salvage of the old Rhine army which went to pieces in 69.

[131] The alae Britannica, Gaetulorum, Gallorum, Parthorum, and I
Thracum, and the Cohorts I Aquitanorum, III Brittonum, I Hispanorum, I
Sugambrorum, and III Thracum.

[132] _Rangordnung_, p. 80.

[133] In Pauly-Wissowa, _Real-Encyclopädie_, s.v. _ala_ and _cohors_.
See these articles also for some rarer titles which have not been
mentioned here.

[134] D. xxxv and lxxiii.

[135] D. xi.

[136] D. xxxi (99) and xlviii (134). For proof that two distinct
cohorts are referred to see Cichorius, s.v.

[137] Tac. _Ann._ iv. 47.

[138] In these cases an ethnical title may have been dropped, or
omitted on the only inscriptions known to us.

[139] iii. 11930, 11931 (reign of Pius), 11933 (Commodus).

[140] Tac. _Hist._ i. 59.

[141] For the position of the auxilia in the normal order of battle
see below, p. 103. For Domitius Tullus and Domitius Lucanus, who held
in turn the post of _praefectus auxiliorum omnium adversus Germanos_,
probably in 73 and 74, see Dessau, _Inscr. Lat. Sel._ 990, 991, with

[142] D. xxx and xxxi.

[143] D. xxxii and xxxiv.

[144] D. xliii.

[145] The diplomata of 133, 138, 148, 149, and 154 (D. xlvii, li,
lx, lxi, and lxv) contain, on an average, ten regiments each. Four
regiments are always present, and five more occur in four diplomata
out of the five. This makes it sufficiently clear that, on the theory
given above, the auxilia of the same legion must always be referred to,
particularly in view of the immobility of the frontier troops in the
second century (see below, pp. 114-16), which forbids the supposition
that the same regiments would appear first attached to one legion,
then, after a few years’ interval, to another.

[146] The earliest I know of is _legio III Augusta et auxilia eius_,
which dates from 158. viii. 2637. Other instances are a dedication
at Bonn by _legio I Minervia pia fidelis Severiana Alexandriana cum
auxilis_ (xiii. 8017), and a Pannonian inscription of the reign of
Gallienus which mentions _vexillationes legionum Germaniciarum et
Brittanniciarum_ (at least this seems to be intended) _cum auxilis
earum_. iii. 3228. The formula is certainly a rare one.

[147] _Studies in Roman History_, Second Series, p. 112.

[148] What exactly this amounted to is difficult to make out. It
would be natural to suppose a system of military districts within
the province. In Britain, for instance, the line between Tyne and
Solway, with the auxilia upon it, might have been divided between
Legio VI Victrix from York and Legio XX Valeria Victrix from Chester.
Unfortunately the epigraphical evidence does not support the idea that
the activity of the two legions was localized in this way. The point is
obscure and would not have been worth such a detailed discussion but
for the unwarrantable facility with which it is usually disposed of.

[149] Tac. _Ann._ iv. 5 ‘At apud idonea provinciarum sociae triremes
alaeque et auxilia cohortium, neque multo secus in iis virium: sed
persequi incertum fuit, cum ex usu temporis huc illuc mearent,
gliscerent numero et aliquando minuerentur’. The _sociae triremes_,
i.e. the Rhine fleet, &c., counterbalance the Italian fleets at Ravenna
and Misenum.

[150] Velleius, ii. 113.

[151] The number of legions existing at this date is not absolutely
certain, but it seems most probable that there were twenty-eight. Cf.
von Domaszewski in the _Römisch-germanisches Korrespondenzblatt_, 1910,
on the date of the creation of legions XXI and XXII.

[152] Tac. _Hist._ ii. 58.

[153] Josephus, _Bell. Iud._ iii. 4. 66. Twenty-three cohorts (of which
ten, an unusually high proportion, were _miliariae_) and six alae, of
unspecified size. That the auxilia had been very largely drawn on is
shown by the fact that Titus in 70, although he had a whole additional
legion and detachments from two others, had only twenty cohorts and
eight alae; Tac. _Hist._ v. i.

[154] Tac. _Hist._ iii. 2. The garrison of Noricum is probably not

[155] This is on the supposition that the auxilia would have been drawn
upon in the same proportion as the legions. Some of the regiments which
remained behind seem to have been very much weakened, others such as
the Ala Picentiana and the Ala Batavorum probably remained fairly
intact. Tac. _Hist._ ii. 89, iv. 15, 18, 62. Vitellius may have had
some of the British auxilia with him (cf. Tac. _Hist._ ii. 100, iii.
41), but these are more than counterbalanced by the eight Batavian
cohorts which had been sent back.

[156] For the provenance of these regiments, particularly the large
levies made by Trajan in the Eastern provinces, see the following

[157] On the other hand, Legio IX Hispana, destroyed in Britain at
the beginning of the reign, and XXII Deiotariana, which was probably
annihilated in Judaea either at the same date or twenty years later,
were not replaced until Marcus raised legions II and III Italica for
the defence of Noricum and Raetia.



In making a levy for the auxiliary regiments, the imperial government
was under no obligation to be at pains to legalize its position. In
an ancient state it was assumed, as a matter of course, that the
government had the power to call upon every citizen, if need arose, to
take his place in the fighting line. Even the privileged _cives Romani_
were never freed under the Empire from the legal obligation to military
service, however much they may have been spared in practice, so that
there can have been little doubt about the position of _peregrini_.
Only in the case of the _civitates foederatae_ was the government
theoretically required to limit its demands to the number of men
stipulated in the original _foedus_.

So much for the position in theory; in practice, of course it was not
to the interests of the government to raise troops without considering
the susceptibilities of its subjects, more particularly since the
inhabitants of those districts which would furnish the best soldiers
would also prove the most dangerous rebels if the demands made upon
them exceeded their endurance. One instance of the conciliatory policy
followed by the early Empire has already been noted; the exemption of
the Batavians from all burdens but military service flattered their
pride and enlisted their clan-spirit effectually on the side of the
Romans. Evidence of a similar policy is apparent in the selection of
the ethnical titles borne by the majority of the auxiliary regiments.
In spite of the obvious convenience of such a step it was unusual for
all the auxilia raised in one province to form a single series with
a uniform designation. Wherever the clan-spirit existed, the name of
the clan was accepted as the official title of the contingent which it
furnished to the imperial forces.[158] In Tarraconensis, for example,
while the more civilized part of the province was represented by the
alae and cohortes Hispanorum, several of the wild tribes of the north
and west, such as the Aravaci, Vardulli, and Vascones gave their name
to the regiments which they supplied.[159] The Gallic levies reveal a
similar policy; while the contingents of the comparatively peaceful
Lugdunensis seem to be covered by the general title of Galli, a list
of the levies of Belgica contains the name of almost every tribe in
that warlike province.[160] Indeed it is probable that during the first
years of the Empire many of these tribal contingents fought, like the
Batavians, as allies rather than as subjects of Rome, and knew little
of Roman training or discipline.

In the East the historic position of the great city-states of Syria
received similar recognition. Among the numerous regiments of archers
contributed by this province we can distinguish the contingents of
Ascalon, Tyre, Antioch, and Apamea, as well as corps from Chalcis,
Damascus, Hemesa, and Samaria, who represented the incorporated armies
of the old client states.

The incidence of the levy upon different provinces can best be judged
by a statistical table giving the number of regiments raised in each.
This is not easy to construct owing to the confusion caused by the
duplication of numbering, and the consequent danger of counting the
same corps twice over, or of reckoning two corps as one. There were,
for example, in Pannonia two cohorts, each bearing the title ‘I
Alpinorum’, which can fortunately be distinguished from one another
because they are both mentioned in the same diploma, but there are
scores of similar cases which can only be decided as yet on a balance
of probabilities. This extremely inconvenient system seems to be due
to two causes. In the first place, when new regiments were raised some
time after the original levy they seem to have begun a fresh series
instead of being included in the old ones. This process can be followed
most clearly in the case of regiments raised after 70, which were
distinguished by a title derived from the name of the reigning emperor.
Thus we have cohorts I and II Flavia Brittonum, I Ulpia Brittonum,
I Aelia Brittonum, and I Aurelia Brittonum.[161] Secondly, it seems
probable that when newly-raised regiments were drafted into different
provinces they were numbered in a different series in each province.
This suggestion is supported by the fact that where a regiment bearing
a high number is found, it generally appears that the rest of the
series was originally stationed in the same province, whereas isolated
cohorts generally have a low number. For example, the greater part of
the Gallic levies were originally stationed on the Rhine. Consequently,
we find few duplicate numbers and several series which run up to four
or even higher. The Thracian regiments, on the other hand, on account
of their special utility as archers, were distributed very widely
throughout the Empire during the first century, and of the twenty-seven
corps known to us, seventeen are numbered I or II, and are distributed
over eight provinces.

Apart from this difficulty the following list contains in any case more
regiments than ever existed at any one time. Fresh regiments must have
been raised to fill the gaps caused by such disasters as the defeat
of Varus and the rebellion of Boudicca, but in only a few cases can
we distinguish the earlier from the later levies. It is only possible
to put in a separate class those regiments which bear a title derived
from the Flavians or later emperors, and were probably raised after 70.
Still, if these limitations are borne in mind, the following table may
serve to show approximately the quota which each province contributed:

                     A. Raised before 70.     B. Raised after 70.
  _Recruiting area._   _Alae._   _Cohorts._      _Alae._   _Cohorts._
  Britain                2         10[162]         0          6
  Belgica                5         45              1         11[163]
  Lugdunensis           25[164]    24[165]         0          0
  Aquitania              0          7              0          0
  Narbonensis            2[166]     0              0          0
  Alpes[167]             1         12              0          0
  Raetia                 0         18              0          1
  Noricum                1          1              0          0
  Pannonia               5         17              3          1
  Dalmatia               0          7              0          4[168]
  Moesia                 1          3[169]         1          2[170]
  Dacia                  0          0              1          6
  Thrace                 9         20              0          2
  Macedonia              0          3[171]         0          0
  Galatia                1[172]     0              0          6[173]
  Cilicia                0          3              0          1
  Cyprus                 0          4              0          0
  Crete                  0          1              0          0
  Cyrenaica              0          4              0          0
  Syria                  3[174]    15[175]         1         12
  Palestine[176]         2         10              0          0
  Arabia                 0          0              1          6
  Egypt                  0          2              0          0
  Africa                 2          5              3          6
  Mauretania             0          0              0          3[177]
  Tarraconensis         11         49[178]         1          4
  Lusitania              0          9              0          0
  Corsica and Sardinia   0          4              0          2

The first point to notice in this list is the smallness of the
contingent from the senatorial provinces. So small is it that Mommsen
desired to see here evidence of a constitutional principle.[179] The
auxilia were ‘gewissermassen eine Hausmacht des Kaisers’ and as such
raised only in the provinces governed by his _legati_. Such instances
as were then known of regiments raised in senatorial provinces were,
he thought, susceptible of explanation. The alae Vocontiorum, for
instance, represented a _civitas foederata_ which was not, strictly
speaking, a part of the senatorial province of Narbonensis. It does
not, however, seem possible to maintain this theory. The Cohors I
Cretum[180] is a certain case of a regiment from a senatorial province,
nor can it be really doubted that contingents were also drawn from
Cyprus[181] and Cyrene.[182] Indeed, it is difficult to see what
legal or political obstacle should prevent Augustus and his successors
from utilizing the military material available in the senatorial
provinces. Even if Mommsen is right in believing that conscription,
as opposed to the enrolment of volunteers, could only take place in a
senatorial province with the authority of the Senate (and this theory
is questioned by both Gardthausen and Liebenam),[183] there is no
reason why levies should not have been made for the auxilia under these
conditions when they certainly were made for the legions.[184] In no
case did any military power remain in the hands of the Senate, since
the recruits would immediately be marched away to garrison imperial
provinces. As a matter of fact, the reason for the smallness of the
senatorial contingent seems to have been a practical one. Few auxilia
were raised from Narbonensis and Baetica, because the greater part of
the inhabitants of these provinces had received the franchise and were
consequently eligible for service in the legions. Achaia, Asia, and to
a certain extent Macedonia, were treated as being on the same footing,
partly because Greeks did actually serve in the Eastern legions, partly
because of the Philhellenic policy of the imperial government, which
would not deny to the Greek states, although they were technically
unenfranchised, the privileges enjoyed by the enfranchised urban
communities of the West. Also no doubt the Greek of the period was not
rated highly as a fighting man. On the other hand, from Cyrenaica,
Crete, Cyprus, parts of Macedonia, and Africa[185] useful troops could
be and were obtained. The way in which the system worked is shown by
the case of Noricum, which, although an imperial province, included
many enfranchised communities and contributed recruits to the Rhine
legions in the middle of the first century.[186] Its contribution of
auxilia in consequence is limited to one ala and one cohort, as against
the eighteen regiments furnished by the neighbouring province of Raetia.

In contrast to Narbonensis, it was upon the remaining three Gallic
provinces that the levy fell most heavily. From this district came more
than a quarter of the auxiliary infantry[187] in the pre-Flavian period
and nearly half the cavalry. The Gallic troopers indeed maintained for
a century the reputation which they had won under Caesar’s command,
and Strabo,[188] writing in the reign of Augustus, places them above
all other cavalry in the imperial army. Arrian,[189] too, notes their
reputation and the number of Celtic words in the cavalry drill-book,
although in his day their position had been taken by the Pannonians,
already prominent in the campaign of 69.[190] Spain sent the largest
contingent after the Gallic provinces, and also contributed a few
words to the drill-book,[191] but we hear nothing of the quality of
the Spanish troops and they soon lost their early importance. The
predominance of the auxilia of Spain and Gaul in the pre-Flavian period
is, however, a clear indication of the determination of Augustus to
base the Empire on its Western provinces. Archers alone, and these in
comparatively small numbers, were drawn from the East,[192] which was
still regarded as the home of dangerous and un-Roman ideals.

Lastly, a word must be said about a group of regiments which do not
appear in the above lists and are too numerous to be passed over.
These are the cohorts which bear the titles _voluntariorum civium
Romanorum_, _ingenuorum c. R._, _Italica c. R._, and _campestris_.[193]
Collectively these regiments constitute the _cohortes civium
Romanorum_ to the soldiers of which Augustus left by his will a
donative equal to that of the legionaries.[194] From various passages
in the literary authorities it appears that they represent the
result of two levies made by Augustus in Italy, the first during the
Pannonian rising, and the second after the defeat of Varus.[195] When
free-born citizens could not be found in sufficient numbers the levy
was extended to freedmen.[196] This is corroborated by the evidence
of the inscriptions, since the title _ingenuorum_ clearly implies the
existence of regiments whose members could not make this boast.[197]
Originally, as the provisions of the will of Augustus show, these
cohorts occupied a peculiar position, and were practically on a level
with the legionaries, in consequence of which their commanders bear
the title of _tribunus_.[198] The presence, however, of the Cohors VIII
Voluntariorum on the Dalmatian diploma of 93 shows that unenfranchised
recruits had been accepted even during the pre-Flavian period, and in
the following century only their title distinguishes these regiments
from the ordinary auxilia.

The evidence hitherto considered has mainly served to illustrate
the original distribution of the burden of military service and the
respective quotas furnished by the different provinces to the auxilia
at the time of their organization. To trace the further workings of
this system it is necessary to examine the principles on which the
auxiliary regiments were distributed among the military areas and
to trace the relations between this distribution and the method of

A casual glance at the military diplomata, which give a fair idea of
the composition of the more important provincial garrisons between
the reign of Vespasian and that of Commodus, suggests that it was the
settled policy of the imperial government to destroy the possibility
of national cohesion and local sympathies among the regiments raised
from their subjects by distributing the contingents of each recruiting
district over as wide an area as possible, and making every frontier
army corps a mosaic of different nationalities. It will be shown
later that this theory, which has been frequently adopted by modern
writers, will not stand before a closer scrutiny of the evidence as an
explanation of the state of things existing in the second century; it
can also be shown that such a principle of distribution was not the
original policy inaugurated by Augustus.

Our earliest evidence relates to the composition of the garrison of
the Danubian provinces, and the account of the great rising which
took place here in the year A.D. 6 by the contemporary observer
Velleius makes it clear that the strength of the rebels lay in the
training which many had received in the Roman army. His reference to
the military knowledge of the leaders and the discipline of the rank
and file indicates that regular auxiliary regiments, raised locally
and stationed near their homes, had mutinied in sympathy with their
fellow tribesmen.[199] Concerning the state of things on the Rhine
frontier we have more detailed information which points to the same
conclusion. The account in the _Annals_ of the campaigns of Germanicus
mentions cohorts of Raeti, Vindelici, and Gauls in addition to the
_tumultuariae catervae_ of the local militia.[200] Later in the century
we find an Ala Treverorum engaged in putting down a revolt of their own
countrymen in 21,[201] an Ala Canninefatium engaged in the disastrous
expedition of L. Apronius against the Frisii in 28,[202] and Vangiones
and Nemetes helping to repulse a raid of the Chatti in 50.[203]
Finally, when we turn to the narrative contained in the _Histories_
of the events of the disastrous year 69, we find abundant evidence
that at this date three-fourths of the Rhenish auxilia were drawn
from Gaul proper or the Teutonic tribes of Belgica. The only regiments
mentioned by Tacitus which are not of local origin are (1) Thracians,
who appear on every frontier owing to their special qualifications as
archers;[204] (2) Spaniards, who may have entered the province in 43
with Legio IV Macedonica, which was transferred from Spain to the Rhine
to replace the troops sent to Britain, and (3) Britons, who probably
began to arrive from the newly conquered areas a few years later.[205]
Epigraphical evidence adds to the list a few regiments from the
Danubian provinces and some corps of oriental archers.[206]

In other provinces the same policy can be traced, although the evidence
is less abundant. In Africa, for example, the deserter Tacfarinas seems
to have served in his own province,[207] and in Palestine we find
Samaritan regiments garrisoning Caesarea.[208] On the whole there is
sufficient evidence to show that although each of the great frontier
armies contained imported elements, in particular the ubiquitous
Thracian and oriental archers, the original policy of the imperial
government was to draw the auxilia in each case from the nearest

Both the advantages and the defects of this system are sufficiently
obvious. It saved trouble, a reason which had already commended it to
the administrators of the Republic, and it avoided the dangerous and
widespread discontent which, as the case of the Thracians shows, would
have followed any wholesale attempt to remove the newly organized
regiments to distant provinces.[209] Lastly, the men would be fighting
on ground which they knew against an enemy with whose methods of
fighting they would already be acquainted. On the other hand, there
was of course the obvious danger that in a border war which assumed
the character of a national struggle the local auxilia might desert to
their own countrymen and use the training which they had acquired in
the Roman service to increase the strength of the hostile resistance.
As a set-off to this danger the Romans reckoned with some justice
that tribal enmity was usually stronger than national feeling, and
in fact there were many tribal chiefs like Flavus, the brother of
Arminius, who were well content with the rewards and distinctions
which recompensed their fidelity.[210] Events, however, made it clear
that this confidence was misplaced. A time was to come when the border
tribes would identify themselves readily with the cause of imperial
defence, but the influences which were to bring about this result were
often slow in their operation, and the first century saw on almost
every frontier a more or less serious outbreak of national feeling,
in which the auxilia often participated. Yet even the most serious of
these revolts, that of Civilis in 69, showed how the new leaven was
working. The political conceptions of the mutineers were borrowed from
their conquerors, not from their ancestors, and in the darkest hour of
the revolt a Gallic cavalry regiment, the Ala Picentiana, was the first
to return to its fidelity.[211]

The first district in which the Augustan policy broke down was the
Danubian provinces, and a glance at the names of the regiments
stationed here in the pre-Flavian period shows that the lesson of the
great rebellion was not thrown away upon the imperial authorities.
In Pannonia a diploma of the year 60[212] shows us the following
seven cohorts, I and II Alpinorum, I Asturum et Callaecorum, I and II
Hispanorum, I Lusitanorum, and V Lucensium et Callaecorum, forming part
of the garrison of the province, and we may add the Ala Aravacorum
on the strength of an early inscription.[213] In Dalmatia early
inscriptions give the following cohorts:

I Campanorum Voluntariorum civium Romanorum. iii. 8438.

VIII Voluntariorum civium Romanorum. iii. 1742.[214]

III Alpinorum. iii. 8491, 8495, 14632.

I Lucensium. iii. 8486, 8492, 8494, 9834. All these must date before
80, when the regiment appears in Pannonia.

This list might perhaps be lengthened, but it is sufficient for our
purpose. It is clear that after the rebellion Augustus imported
into the disturbed area a number of regiments from other provinces,
particularly from Spain, where the large garrison maintained during
the earlier part of his reign could now safely be reduced. The
Pannonian and Dalmatian regiments, on the other hand, were transferred
elsewhere—several of them, as we have seen, to the Rhine, where they
served to replace the troops who shared the fate of the legions of

The same sequence of events took place on the Rhine in the years 69 and
70. The temporary success of Civilis was largely due to the wholesale
defection to his standard of the Gallic and Teutonic regiments then
stationed on the Rhine frontier. After the suppression of the rebellion
in the summer of 70 a number of these regiments were disbanded or
sent elsewhere,[216] and their place was taken by the auxilia who had
accompanied the new legions sent into the province by Vespasian. Of the
29 regiments which appear in the Rhine in the second century only 11
bear titles indicating a local origin, and some of these had probably
not belonged to the pre-Flavian garrison but had only returned to their
native country in 70 after a long stay in other provinces. It has
been noticed, for example, that of the two veterans of the Cohors I
Aquitanorum, to whom the diplomata of 82 (D. xiv) and 90 (D. xxi) were
granted, one is a Thracian, the other a Galatian; further, that one of
these diplomata was found near the site of the later town of Nicopolis
ad Istrum, where the owner had presumably settled after his discharge.
This suggests that the regiment had been stationed in Moesia and only
returned to its native province in 70 with the Moesian legion VIII

It is on these two frontiers, the Rhine and the Danube, that the
transfer of troops can most easily be traced, because of the importance
of the military events which caused it to take place. In other parts
of the Empire other tendencies were at work during the first century
which produced the same result in less noticeable fashion. One need
only mention the steady drift of troops from the Danube to the East
in the reign of Nero,[217] and from the Rhine to the Danube a little
later,[218] and it is easily intelligible that the second-century army
list shows few traces of the original policy of Augustus.

If, then, it were correct to assume that the title of an auxiliary
regiment is always a correct index of its composition, it would
certainly be justifiable to comment on the extraordinary mixture
of nationalities in the frontier garrisons of the second century.
Fortunately, however, the frequent mention of the origin of individual
soldiers on diplomata and sepulchral inscriptions[219] gives us the
means of checking this assumption and of working upon a surer basis
of fact. The following lists give the inscriptions of this type from
Pannonia arranged in two groups according to their date, the year
70 being taken as the dividing line; that is to say, the soldiers
mentioned in the first group were _enrolled_ before that date.
Some inscriptions which could not be dated with any certainty have
necessarily been omitted, also others where there was reason to believe
that the soldier mentioned was enrolled when his regiment was in a
different province.[220] To the second group, which illustrates the
recruiting system from the Flavian period onwards, a list of similar
inscriptions from Dacia has been added. In each case the title of the
regiment is followed by the nationality or place of origin of the
soldier, stated in the form given on the inscription, and by the name
of the province from which he was drawn. For reasons which will appear
later the evidence concerning the oriental regiments is omitted.


  Ala II Hispanorum          Hispanus       Spain       iii. 3271.
    et Aravacorum[221]
  Ala II Hispanorum          Sueltrius      Narbonensis iii. 3286.
    et Aravacorum[221]
  Ala Frontoniana            Andautonia     Pannonia    iii. 3679.
  Cohors II Hispanorum       Cornacas       Pannonia    D. ci
                                                         (before 60).
  Cohors II Hispanorum       Varcianus      Pannonia    D. ii (60).
  Cohors I Lusitanorum       Iasus          Pannonia    D. xvii (85).
  Cohors I Montanorum        Bessus         Thrace      D. xiii (80).
  Cohors I Montanorum        Dalmatia       Dalmatia    D. xvi (84).


_II. A. Pannonia Superior._

  Ala I Ulpia Contariorum    Helvetius      Germania    D. xlvii (133).
  Ala I Ulpia Contariorum    Bessus         Thrace      iii. 4378.
  Ala I Ulpia Contariorum    Siscia         Pannonia    iii. 13441.
  Ala I Hispanorum           Azalus         Pannonia    D. c (150).
  Ala Pannoniorum            Apulum         Dacia       iii. 4372.
  Ala I Thracum              Boius          Pannonia    vi. 3308.
  Cohors II Alpinorum        Azalus         Pannonia    D. lxv (154).
  Cohors I Britannica        Dobunnus       Britain     D. xcviii (105).
  Cohors V Lucensium         Castris        Pannonia    D. lix (138-46).
    et Callaecorum
  Cohors V Lucensium         Azalus         Pannonia    D. lxi (149).
    et Callaecorum
  Cohors I Ulpia             Azalus         Pannonia    D. lx (148).

We may add here a recently discovered inscription from Samaria:

I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) mil(ites) v[e]xil(larii) coh(ortium)
P(annoniae) sup(erioris) cives Sisc(iani) Varcian(i) et Latobici sacrum
fecerunt. _A. E._ 1909. 235. 1910. p. 6.

The vexillation had presumably taken part in suppressing one of the
Jewish rebellions in the first half of the second century.

_II. B. Pannonia Inferior._

  Ala I Thracum Veterana     Eraviscus    Pannonia      D. lxxiv (167).
  Cohors I Alpinorum         Eraviscus    Pannonia      D. lxviii
  Cohors I Thracum[224]      Andautonia   Pannonia      iii. 4316.

_II. C. Dacia._

  Ala I Gallorum et          Bessus       Thrace        D. lxvii (158).
  Ala I Hispanorum           Dacus        Dacia         vi. 3238.
  Ala I Tungrorum                         Thrace        iii. 799.
  Vexillatio equitum         Sebasto-     Pontus        D. xlvi (129).
    Illyricorum[227]           politanus
  Ala I Illyricorum          Dacus        Dacia         vi. 3234.
  Cohors I Ulpia             Britto       Britain       D. lxx
    Brittonum                                            (145-61).
  Cohors III Campestris      Scupi        Moesia        iii. 7289.
  Cohors I Vindelicorum      Caesarea     Palestine(?)  D. lxvi (157?).

The facts disclosed by these inscriptions are very significant. In the
first list, as is natural, we find traces of the troops transferred
into Pannonia from other provinces after the great rebellion. It is
more important, however, to notice that before the end of the reign
of Tiberius natives of the province were already being accepted for
service in these imported regiments.[228] In fact there is nothing here
to suggest that any attempt was made to preserve the national character
of these Spanish and Alpine corps by obtaining fresh drafts from the
districts in which they were originally raised. Those recruits who do
not come from Pannonia itself are drawn merely from the neighbouring
provinces of Dalmatia and Thrace.

But it would perhaps be misleading to infer from this evidence alone
that local recruiting was universally adopted in the first century,
although it was certainly common. It is possible that in the Flavian
period, when the memory of the rebellion of Civilis was still fresh,
some attempt was made to check a national cohesion by combining drafts
from different provinces in the same regiment. This at least is
suggested by the nationalities of twenty-one soldiers of an auxiliary
regiment which are recorded on a sepulchral inscription at Tropaeum
Traiani in Moesia Inferior.[229] This monument was erected in memory
of men killed in action during one of the Dacian campaigns either of
Domitian or Trajan, so that its evidence applies to the recruiting of
the Flavian period. Twelve of these men came from the Lower Rhine, two
from Lugdunensis, and three from Spain, while Raetia, Noricum, Britain,
and Africa supply one each.[230] In Pannonia, too, some Spanish
soldiers appear rather mysteriously in an Ala Pannoniorum on two
inscriptions which can hardly be later than the beginning of the second
century.[231] There are even traces of a similar policy having been
pursued in the recruiting for the legions during the same period. In a
list of seventy-six soldiers who were apparently enrolled in Legio III
Augusta towards the end of the first century, we find men from seven
different provinces.[232] In any case, however, no attempt seems to
have been made to preserve any connexion between an auxiliary regiment
and the tribe from which its title was derived.

When we come to the second century there is no more room for doubt;
for all cohorts and alae on the Pannonian frontier, leaving out of
account, as before, the oriental regiments, local recruiting has become
practically universal. Seventy per cent. of the recruits come from the
two Pannonian provinces, the majority from the Azali and the Eravisci,
tribes which never gave their name to an auxiliary regiment. Even
the Thracian regiments, which might have maintained their original
character without much difficulty, form no exception to the rule. In
Dacia the exceptionally large auxiliary garrison[233] could not be
supported entirely by local levies, but the deficiency was mostly made
up in the nearest available recruiting-grounds of Moesia and Thrace.

A few examples may be adduced from other provinces to show that the
methods employed on the Danube frontier were not exceptional. In
Germania Superior three soldiers of the Alae I and II Flaviae Geminae
describe themselves as Baetasius, Elvetius, and Secuanus, and the
Raetian diploma of the year 107 was granted to a Boian who had served
in the Ala I Hispanorum Auriana.[234] In Africa a soldier of the
Cohors VII Lusitanorum gives ‘castris’ as his place of origin, as do
the majority of the veterans discharged during the second century from
the African legion III Augusta.[235] Concerning the Eastern provinces
we have very little evidence, but it may be noted that of the large
number of regiments raised by Trajan in this part of the Empire the
majority remained stationed in the East throughout the following
century, and there is no reason to suppose that they were not kept up
by local levies.[236]

The recruiting of the legions during the second century seems to have
followed the same lines. The high proportion of men of Legio III
Augusta in Africa who give ‘castris’ as their birthplace has already
been noted. Similarly of 39 soldiers discharged from Legio II Traiana
at Alexandria in 194, 22 come from the ‘castra’, 8 from the Greek
towns in Egypt, and only 9 were not born in the province.[237] Of
133 soldiers discharged in the following year from Legio VII Claudia
stationed at Viminacium, 104 come from Upper or Lower Moesia, and
of the remainder all but one come from the Danubian provinces.[238]
Further evidence on the recruiting-area of the auxilia during this
period can be obtained from another source, the inscriptions of the
Equites Singulares Imperatoris. This corps, which seems to have been
raised towards the end of the first century, possibly by Domitian,[239]
formed thenceforward a part of the imperial guard, and was stationed
at Rome. It was recruited mainly from the same area as the auxiliary
alae, and a certain number of the men were selected from them.[240] On
a hundred epitaphs of members of this corps who recorded their place of
origin, the provinces are represented in the following proportions:[241]

  Britain                2
  Germania Inferior      1
  Germania Superior      2
  Belgica                1
  Raetia                10
  Noricum                9
  Pannonia              30[242]
  Dalmatia               1
  Thrace                11
  Moesia                 4[242]
  Dacia                  7
  Syria                  4
  Africa                 2
  Mauretania             3

The list shows that this _corps d’élite_ was not representative of
all the cavalry of the Empire; the proportion of orientals is far too
low. It was still upon the Western provinces that the emperors of the
second century relied, and from these, therefore, that the guard was
recruited. As regards these provinces, the composition of the Equites
Singulares reflects fairly accurately the relative importance of each
as a recruiting-ground for the auxiliary cavalry of this period, and
the change which has taken place in the military situation since the
days of Augustus is at once apparent. The Galli[243] and Hispani, who
were then the flower of the imperial cavalry, and continued to give
their names to nearly half the cavalry regiments in the service, have
entirely vanished. Speaking generally, in fact, the inland provinces
no longer contribute, and the recruiting-areas have contracted to the
purely frontier districts. The relative importance of these, too, has
altered since the beginning of the first century. The tribes on the
Lower Rhine are still well represented, but the contingent of the
German provinces is entirely surpassed by that of Pannonia. If we
assume that the honour of serving in the Guards was bestowed upon the
natives of each province in proportion to the size of the contingent
which they supplied to the cavalry of the line, this increased
importance of the Pannonians follows naturally upon the universal
adoption of local recruiting for the frontier armies; since not only
had the balance of military power now definitely shifted from the Rhine
to the Danube,[244] but local conditions required an exceptionally high
proportion of mounted men.[245]

The preceding survey of the evidence has purposely omitted that
dealing with the oriental regiments, which seemed, on account of its
exceptional character, to merit a special discussion. In Pannonia
and Dacia we find three such regiments, the Ala I Augusta Ituraeorum
and the Cohors I Hemesenorum in Pannonia Inferior, and the Cohors I
Augusta Ituraeorum, stationed in Pannonia during the first century, and
transferred to Dacia at the time of the creation of the province.[246]
Thanks to the recent work of Hungarian archaeologists, the second
of these corps, the Cohors I Hemesenorum Miliaria Equitata Civium
Romanorum Sagittariorum, to give it its full title, is perhaps better
known to us than any other auxiliary regiment.[247] Probably enrolled
in the Roman army at the beginning of the second century, at the time
of the annexation of the small client kingdom from which its name
was derived, this regiment had been transferred to Pannonia by the
beginning of the reign of Antoninus Pius, and certainly remained in the
province until 240.[248] Throughout this period it seems to have been
stationed at Intercisa, where upwards of fifty inscriptions, chiefly
sepulchral, have now been discovered, the majority of the latter
belonging, as the frequent use of the name Aurelius shows, to the end
of the second and the beginning of the third century. Of the five
soldiers whose birthplace is mentioned on their tombstones, three came
from Hemesa itself, one from Samosata, and one from Arethusa,[249] and
the owner of a diploma which dates from between 138 and 146 came from
Syria.[250] It is clear, then, that during its whole stay in Pannonia
this regiment was not recruited, like the majority of the auxilia,
from the neighbouring district, but was constantly in receipt of fresh
drafts from the province in which it was originally raised. As further
proof of the tenacity with which this connexion was maintained, we
find that at the end of the reign of Severus the soldiers dedicated
a temple to their _deus patrius_ Sol Aelagabalus.[251] An examination
of the evidence dealing with the other oriental regiments leads to
the same result. Soldiers discharged in 98 and 110 from the Cohors
I Augusta Ituraeorum and the Ala of the same name, give Cyrrhus in
Syria and Ituraea as their places of origin, and another Ituraean
is mentioned on a sepulchral inscription of the latter regiment in
Pannonia.[252] Oriental regiments, and in particular oriental archers,
appear also on other provinces[253], and although there is a lack of
dated evidence we can hardly doubt that a rule which was maintained
along the whole Danube frontier also held good elsewhere.[254]

The reason for the adoption of these exceptional methods in the
recruiting of the oriental auxilia was probably the purely military one
that good archers were born in Syria, and could not be made elsewhere,
but the consequent presence in every frontier army of an oriental
element, holding firmly to its own customs and religious beliefs, was
a fact of more than military significance. In particular it must be
remembered that the enfranchised children of these oriental auxiliaries
were qualified and readily accepted for service in the legions. In the
inscriptions of the Cohors I Hemesenorum we have abundant evidence
of this process, which gave oriental ideas an opportunity for wider

The British regiments, too, show a tendency to keep up national
recruiting, although the evidence on this point is still scanty.[256]
In this case the explanation is probably to be found in the intractable
nature of the tribes of North Britain, which made it appear undesirable
to use the contingents which they supplied near at home. Certainly
all the British regiments seem to have been sent abroad, and only one
soldier of British origin is found in the province.[257] It would
appear, in fact, that the army of Britain was maintained largely
by drafts from the Rhine area, but the evidence at present is an
insufficient basis for any general conclusions. In Dacia, too, as
was natural, the auxilia raised immediately after the conquest were
transferred elsewhere. Here, however, there does not seem to have been
the same objection to local recruiting for the troops stationed in the
province, and the practice was certainly, as has been shown, in force
during the second century.

_The Numeri._

It is clear, then, that in the second century the cohorts and alae of
the Augustan system, with certain definite and limited exceptions, were
recruited locally from the provinces in which they were stationed,
without any general attempt to justify the ethnical titles which they
still bore. At the same moment, however, as this principle seems
definitely established, there begin to appear on inscriptions certain
regiments of a new type which stand outside the prevailing system.
These regiments are given the name _numerus_, which does not seem to
have had any very precise meaning, and for which it is difficult to
find an English equivalent. They also bore tribal titles, a list of
which is given below, together with the names of the provinces in which
_numeri_ of each tribe occur.[258]

_Brittones._ At least ten _numeri_ in Germania Superior. The earliest
inscriptions date from the reign of Pius, and the theory is generally
accepted that these Brittones were newly conquered tribesmen from the
district lying between the two frontier walls, deported after the
campaigns of Lollius Urbicus. These _numeri_ also bear secondary titles
derived from the names of the districts in which they were stationed,
e.g. Murrenses, clearly connected with the river Murr.[259]

_Germani._ Dacia.[260]

_Palmyreni._ Africa,[261] Dacia,[262] and probably Britain.[263]

_Mauri._ Dacia (as a vexillatio from Mauretania Caesariensis).[264]
Frequently also in the two Mauretanias.

_Raeti Gaesati_ (i.e. Raetians armed with the _gaesum_, a kind of
heavy spear). Britain.[265]

_Syri._ Dacia,[266] Mauretania,[267] Moesia Inferior,[268] and possibly

The titles show that these _numeri_ are closely connected with the five
_nationes_, Cantabri, Gaesati,[270] Palmyreni, Daci, and Brittones, who
form part of the army described by Hyginus, and are distinguished from
the cohorts and alae of the regular auxilia. In fact the term _numerus_
is not invariably found on inscriptions, and for a corps which simply
described itself as ‘Syri sagittarii,’[271] _natio_ may easily have
seemed a convenient term. It is also clear from Hyginus that what
distinguished the _numeri_ from the older formations was their looser
organization and more barbarous character, and their titles show that
they were drawn from the outermost borders of the Empire, or the most
uncivilized districts within it.

Evidence about the character of these troops is scanty; being the
least civilized part of the army they were not very prone to indulge
in inscriptions. We do not even know the size of a _numerus_,
or, indeed, if these regiments had any definite size at all. The
_nationes_ of Hyginus range from 500 to 900,[272] but the low rank of
the _praepositus numeri_ below the _praefectus cohortis_,[273] and
the smallness of the accommodation arranged for these regiments in
German forts, suggest 200 to 300 as a more probable figure. Smaller
they can hardly have been, since they are divided into centuries and

As regards recruiting, the Palmyrenes, at any rate, obtained fresh
drafts, not from the province in which they were stationed, but from
their native home. The numerus Palmyrenorum, which was stationed at
El-Kantara in Africa, has left inscriptions covering the whole period
from the middle of the second to the middle of the third century, which
show clearly what pains were taken to preserve the original character
of the regiment.[275] Similar inscriptions of a numerus Palmyrenorum
in Dacia give evidence of the same principle.[276] Unfortunately, we
cannot tell whether this was the case with all the _numeri_, or whether
the Palmyreni occupied in this respect the same peculiar position as
the oriental regiments among the regular auxilia.[277]

But whatever the later practice, the original intention of the imperial
government in raising this new class of troops seems to be clear. The
local recruiting of the regular auxilia presupposes a rapid progress of
‘Romanization’ among the provincials and the disappearance of all such
national feeling as had caused the mutiny of the German and Pannonian
auxilia in the first century. From the military point of view,
however, this advance in culture, although it facilitated the raising
of recruits, was by no means an unmixed blessing. The old levies of
wild tribesmen, schooled by centuries of local warfare, who strove to
preserve in the Roman service their local reputation, had qualities
which were lacking to the regiments of civilized Latin-speaking
provincials, in which national methods of fighting[278] had been
replaced by a uniform training and clan feeling by _esprit de corps_.
It was to provide a leaven of the old spirit that the _numeri_ were
raised from the wildest of the border tribes, and not only encouraged
to fight after the manner of their fathers, but even permitted to
continue the use of their native tongues.[279]

The first experiment of this kind was made by Trajan, when he brought
over Lusius Quietus and his _Mauri gentiles_ for the Dacian war,[280]
but it was probably Hadrian who made the _numeri_ a regular part of
the military system. It is in his reign that they first appear on
inscriptions, and it is to the _numeri_ that we must refer the passage
in Arrian’s _Tactica_, in which the emperor is praised for encouraging
his troops to keep up their national methods of fighting, and even
their national war-cries.[281] The tribes to whom he refers are Κελτοί
(by which Germans are probably meant),[282] Dacians, and Raetians. For
the first and third there is epigraphical evidence, and the last two
appear also among the _nationes_ of Hyginus. It appears, then, that
Hadrian was not, as is sometimes stated, the originator of the system
of local recruiting; rather he found it already in existence, and
sought to correct its defects by utilizing again in the service of the
Empire the clan spirit of uncivilized tribes, which had often proved so
useful in the past.

_The Praefecti._

The previous discussion of the methods by which the auxilia were
recruited has dealt only with the private soldiers, and, as a natural
corollary, with such officers as were promoted from the ranks. To
the position of _praefectus_, however, the private soldier could
not normally aspire, and he attained it, if at all, only under
exceptionally favourable circumstances.[283] Normally, the commanding
officers of the auxiliary regiments were drawn from an entirely
different social stratum to the men, and although the method of their
appointment varied and the area from which they were drawn shifted
its boundaries at different periods, these changes did not follow the
same lines as those which we have been tracing in connexion with the
recruiting of the rank and file.

The auxiliary commands are familiar to all students of the Roman Empire
from inscriptions of men who went through the equestrian career,
the first stage of which was formed by the posts of _praefectus
cohortis_, _tribunus legionis_, and _praefectus alae_. It has, however,
been pointed out by von Domaszewski[284] that this system was not
established until the middle of the first century. Under Augustus
and Tiberius, not only was the relative rank of these posts still
undetermined, but they were filled in many cases not by young men
beginning the equestrian _cursus_, but by veteran centurions from the
legions, especially the _primipili_. We have noticed this system in the
army of Caesar, so that here, as elsewhere, Augustus was continuing a
republican practice. The following inscriptions,[285] which are both of
early date, give typical careers of this character.

  1. C. Pompullius C. f. Hor(atia) prim(us) pil(us), trib(unus)
  mil(itum), praef(ectus) eq(uitum).

  2. M. Vergilio M. f. Ter(etina) Gallo Lusio prim(o) pil(o)
  leg(ionis) XI, praef(ecto) coh(ortis) Ubiorum peditum et equitum,
  donato hastis puris duabus et coronis aureis ab Divo Augusto et Ti:
  Caesare Augusto, &c.

This system is heartily commended by von Domaszewski, on the ground
that the auxilia were thus commanded by more skilful officers, and
were more under Roman (i.e. Italian) control than was the case in the
second century.[286] The assertion, however, seems far too sweeping,
since by no means all the auxiliary regiments were commanded by men
of this class; there were, on the contrary, many _praefecti_ at
this period who came neither from Italy nor even the more Romanized
provinces. The _Histories_ of Tacitus show clearly that at the end of
the pre-Flavian period a number of auxiliary regiments, particularly
those drawn from the more independent border tribes, were commanded
by their own chiefs. This practice had not sprung up during the reign
of Nero, but was a natural consequence of the development of these
corps from contingents supplied by states nominally ‘in alliance’
with Rome.[287] The eight Batavian cohorts who play such an important
rôle in the rebellion of 69 were so commanded,[288] as well as an
ala of the same tribe.[289] Iulius Civilis himself was a _praefectus
cohortis_,[290] and two Treveri, Alpinius Montanus and Iulius
Classicus, commanded a cohort and ala respectively.[291] All these
officers, as their names show, had doubtless received the franchise,
but they were employed in their capacity as tribal chiefs, not as
Roman citizens, and are to be distinguished from the _praefecti_, who
were drawn at this period from the Romanized districts of Spain and
from Gallia Narbonensis. It is chiefly as commanders of cohorts that
officers of this type appear, since many of the alae dated back, as we
have seen, to the period of the civil wars, and had long lost their
original character as tribal regiments. This explains the fact that
among Italian officers of this period, the title _praefectus alae_
or _praefectus equitum_ appears far more frequently than _praefectus
cohortis_, although the cohorts were of course more numerous than the

During the first half of the first century, therefore, we have a system
which differs widely from that revealed by the equestrian _cursus
honorum_. The establishment of the equestrian monopoly of the auxiliary
commands was, in fact, only completed by a series of reforms carried
out during the period which began with the administrative activity of
Claudius, and ended with the reorganization of the army by Vespasian
after the disastrous Civil War of 69.

The first of these changes was that the _praefecti_ ceased to be drawn
as before from among the veteran centurions of the legions. Early in
the reign of Claudius the post of _praefectus alae_ disappeared from
the career of the _primipili_, who were promoted henceforward to the
tribunate of one of the cohorts of Household Troops at Rome.[292]
Centurions of lower rank were still advanced to the command of cohorts
both in this and the succeeding periods, but such cases are very
rare.[293] A trace of the old connexion between the legionary officers
and the _militia equestris_ still survives, however, in the regular use
of a centurion as _praepositus cohortis_—that is to say, as temporary
commander in case of the death or absence of a _praefectus_.[294] The
_numeri_, too, were often placed in charge of an ex-centurion bearing
this title, an arrangement which was probably called for by the
intractable character of these barbarian irregulars.[295]

The employment of tribal chiefs as _praefecti_ also became less
frequent, as the auxiliary regiments, transferred from one province to
another, and recruited from different nationalities, gradually lost
their original character. The mutinous officers of the Rhine army, who
were doubtless cashiered by Vespasian, were probably the last examples
of _praefecti_ drawn from this class.

Lastly, the respective rank of the different posts in the _militia
equestris_ was finally determined; and the order _praefectus
cohortis_—_tribunus legionis_—_praefectus alae_ is hardly ever varied
after 70, except that the tribunate of a _cohors miliaria_ sometimes
appears in the second place.[296]

The result of these changes was that henceforward the auxiliary
officers were practically all of one type, men of equestrian rank
entering upon what was now the accustomed _cursus honorum_ of their
class. That this system was not universally adopted at an earlier date
is not surprising. The equestrian _praefecti_ were young men directly
appointed by the emperor, without any previous military training;
before the auxilia could be entrusted to their charge a certain advance
in civilization and tractability had to be made by the provincials,
and the veteran centurions and tribal chiefs of the Augustan system
were more fitted to deal with the men who composed the auxiliary
levies during the first hundred years of the Empire. As it was, these
regiments contained in the second century far fewer representatives
of the governing class than the native corps in our own Indian army.
With the exception of the _praefectus_, who himself was not necessarily
an Italian, the officers—that is, the centurions and decurions—were
practically all, as we have seen, promoted from the ranks. But to the
Roman Empire, in which rulers and ruled, never separated by any deep
racial or religious gulf, were gradually made closer akin by the bond
of a common civilization, our rule in India affords in this respect no
real parallel.

The majority of these _praefecti_ were, at the beginning of this
period, of Italian origin, taken from the leading families of the
country towns, the class which formed, under the rule of the Flavian
emperors who were themselves sprung from it, the backbone of the
Roman bureaucracy. The Romanization of the Western provinces led to
an increasing proportion of men from the provincial _municipia_ being
admitted into the imperial service, but until the reign of Marcus the
Italian element still predominated. The _praefecti_ mentioned on five
diplomata from Pannonia Superior and two from Dacia dated 133, 138,
136-46, 148, 149, 157, and 145-61 were natives of Sassina, Bovianum,
Faventia, Suessa, Rome, Hispellum, and Picenum.[297]

The accession of Septimius Severus possibly accelerated the speed at
which the provincial element was increasing, but there is not, as has
been suggested by von Domaszewski, any sign of a violent and wholesale
exclusion of Italians from this branch of the service. This point may
be illustrated by the following inscriptions of Italian _praefecti_,
which can be dated after 193:

  VIII 9359. Caesarea. M. Popilius Nepos domo Roma, a _praefectus_
  of the Ala Gemina Sebastenorum in Mauretania Caesariensis. The
  inscription honours a procurator who is dated by Cagnat to 201-9.

  _A. E._ 1908. 206. Puteoli. T. Caesius Anthianus, a native of this
  town, was _praefectus_ of the Cohors II Augusta Thracum at the
  beginning of the third century.

The earliest provincial _praefecti_ came from the thoroughly Romanized
districts of Spain and Gallia Narbonensis, natives of which appear even
in the pre-Flavian period. These were followed in the course of the
second century by representatives of nearly all the Western provinces;
Africa in particular sent _praefecti_ from its many flourishing towns
to almost every frontier during the latter half of the second century,
and the accession of the African Septimius Severus at its close
possibly gave his fellow countrymen a specially favoured position in
the succeeding period.

Only in Britain and Gallia Lugdunensis do the Celtic chiefs seem to
have made no attempt to maintain in the second century the military
position held by their fathers in the first. It is hardly likely that
their absence from the lists of _praefecti_[298] is due to deliberate
exclusion on the part of the imperial government. It was more probably
a voluntary abstinence, due largely to the fact that these military
commands were now regarded merely as an introduction to the civil
service, not as a career in themselves. The Celtic nobles were not
uninfluenced by the tendencies of the age. But although they might
speak and read Latin with ease, decorate their homes with the material
products of Roman civilization, and employ Greek rhetoricians to tutor
their children, these country gentlemen living in the midst of their
estates preserved a very different outlook to that of the leading
townsmen of the municipalities of Africa or even Narbonensis. The Celt
retained his martial qualities down to the last days of the Empire in
the West, but seems to have found little that was congenial to him in
the prospect of forming part of that great administrative machine, in
the perfection of which almost every other province in the Empire took
its share.[299]

The Eastern provinces of the Empire occupy, as usual, a somewhat
exceptional position. As in the West, these provinces began to
contribute _praefecti_ in some numbers towards the end of the first
century. A certain C. Julius Demosthenes of Oinoanda went through the
‘_militia equestris_’ in the reign of Trajan, and his son, Julius
Antonius, followed in his footsteps in the succeeding generation.[300]
To a citizen of Caria, L. Aburnius of Alabanda, probably, as his name
shows, the descendant of one of the families of veterans settled
by Augustus in the south of Asia Minor,[301] the wars of Trajan
presented opportunity for a military career of considerable variety
and distinction. This officer was successively _praefectus fabrum_,
_tribunus legionis III Augustae_, _praefectus cohortis III Augustae
Thracum equitatae_, _praefectus cohortis III Thracum Syriacae
equitatae_, _praepositus_[302] _cohortis I Ulpiae Petraeorum_,
_praepositus annonae_[302] on the Euphrates during the Parthian War,
_tribunus legionis VI Ferratae_, during his tenure of which post he was
decorated by Trajan, and _praefectus alae I Ulpiae singularium_.[303]
These cases are not isolated, and it is clear that a military career
was open to the Greeks and the more or less Hellenized orientals who
constituted the equestrian class in the Eastern provinces. But while
the _praefecti_ from the Western provinces were sent indiscriminately
to every frontier, the majority of those drawn from the East seem,
during the first two centuries, to have been confined to service
with the Eastern commands. Aburnius, for example, only left the
East once for service with the Legio III Augusta in Africa, and his
son’s career seems to have been similarly localized.[304] We should
perhaps add Moesia Inferior to the list of provinces in which Eastern
_praefecti_ appear frequently during the second century, since those
mentioned on the diplomata for 134 and 138 came from Palmyra and
Side respectively.[305] But Moesia Inferior was reckoned in other
respects as coming within the Hellenic sphere of influence. These
restrictions are probably due to the low estimate which was placed
throughout the first two centuries on the military qualities of Greeks
and orientals, in spite of the value of the latter as archers.[306]
But we may also see evidence of the unbridgeable gulf which still
existed between the two halves of the Empire, and of the reluctance of
the Hellene to embark upon a career in what he considered to be the
barbarous provinces of the West. It is only with the advent of the
semi-orientalized dynasty of the Severi that _praefecti_ drawn from the
Eastern provinces appear in any numbers on the Western frontiers.

In all this the course of events is what one would naturally expect.
The spread of uniform culture throughout the Western provinces of the
Empire, the prosperity of the ubiquitous municipalities which were
its material expression, and the general extension of the franchise
which accompanied this development, involved a steady increase in the
class qualified and eager for the equestrian career. The admission
of these provincial _equites_ to the posts for which they were
qualified followed automatically without special encouragement from any
particular emperor,[307] and the diverse origins of the _praefecti_ at
the beginning of the third century are one of the best proofs that can
be adduced of the prosperity and civilization of the provinces at this
period. It is impossible to follow von Domaszewski in concluding from
the evidence that at this date the inhabitants of Italy and the more
civilized areas in the provinces were deliberately excluded from the
_militia equestris_, and that the auxiliary regiments were given into
the hands of barbarians.[308] The army was indeed beginning to suffer
from the introduction of a barbarian element, but it is not among the
officers of the auxilia that this element is most noticeable. The
following list of _praefecti_, who can be dated to the first half of
the third century, does not bear out the accusation:

vii. 344. Britain.[309] Aemilius Crispinus natus in provincia Africa de
Tusdro (dated 242).

viii. 2766. Britain. P. Furius Rusticus. Lambaesis. Severus or later.
Britannia Inferior is mentioned.

xiii. 6658. Germania Superior. Sentius Gemellus. Berytus. Date probably

xiii. 7441. Germania Superior. Flavius Antiochanus. Caesarea. Date 191
or 211.

I. G. R. R. i. 10. Raetia. T. Porcius Porcianus. Massilia. 3rd century.

iii. 1193. Dacia. C. Julius Corinthianus. Theveste. _circa_ 200.

C. I. Gr. 3497. Dacia. T. Claudius Alfenus. Asia. _circa_ 200-210.

These men cannot fairly be called barbarians. Massilia of course speaks
for itself, but in Theveste, Thysdrus, and Lambaesis Roman culture
was no new thing at the beginning of the third century. The same may
be said of Caesarea, if the capital of Mauretania be meant. Berytus,
too, was a colony famous for its Roman character, and Asia was not a
province notorious for its barbarism. The increased oriental element,
which is certainly noticeable among the auxilia of this period,
although not to the same extent as in other branches of the service, is
a more significant fact. But however undesirable one may consider the
influence of oriental religions and ideals to have been, the conflict
cannot be called one between civilization and barbarism. The real
matter at issue is the wisdom of the imperial government in utilizing
the material which the spread of culture and prosperity provided, and
substituting for the old hegemony of Italy a governing class drawn from
all parts of the Empire. It is true that this policy was a failure, and
that the Empire organized on this basis did not succeed in erecting
defences strong enough to resist the external pressure brought to
bear upon them in the third and fourth centuries. But if it was a
failure it was not necessarily a mistake.[310] It is more than doubtful
whether a narrower policy which rigidly maintained the supremacy of the
Italians and denied to the majority of the provincials all share in the
administration would have been more successful: it is certain that,
had the progress of civilization lacked the stimulus which the hope
of political power supplied, the after-effects of the Roman Empire in
Europe would have been less.


[158] The distinction was not necessarily connected with the position
of _civitas foederata_ in the technical sense. Several important
_civitates foederatae_, such as the Aedui and Remi in Gaul, did not, so
far as we know, give their name to regiments, and many of the tribes
which did were not _civitates foederatae_.

[159] In Asturia, however, the administrative conventus formed the
recruiting districts; hence the regiments of Astures, Bracaraugustani,
and Lucenses. Mommsen, _Conscriptionsordnung_, p. 47.

[160] We find regiments of Batavi, Canninefates, Cugerni, Frisii,
Lingones, Menapii, Morini, Nemetes, Nervii, Sunuci, Sugambri, Tungri,
Ubii, Usipi, and Vangiones. In the other Gallic provinces the only
tribal names which occur are the Bituriges and Aquitani from Aquitania
and the Vocontii from Narbonensis.

[161] A Cohors II Augustia Nervia Pacensis Brittonum is mentioned on a
Pannonian diploma for 114 (D. xxxix) and the name of Cohors I of the
series should probably be restored on the Dacian diploma dated 145-61
(D. lxx). This title is unintelligible; it does not seem possible to
connect it with the Emperor Nerva.

[162] For further information as to the evidence on which this table is
based see Appendix II.

[163] Including one ala and four cohorts of Batavians who replace the
regiments which mutinied under Civilis.

[164] Including all the alae with titles derived from proper names but
no racial title. Inscriptions show that they were mostly recruited in
Gaul, but some should perhaps be given to Belgica.

[165] Including all the cohorts which bear the general title Galli.

[166] The Ala Vocontiorum which appears in Britain is to be
distinguished from the regiment of the same name in Egypt.

[167] The cohorts of Alpini, Montani, and Ligures, which represent the
contingents of all the little Alpine provinces.

[168] Four _cohortes miliariae_ which appear late in the second century
and were probably raised at the time of the Marcomannian War.

[169] The regiments of Bosporani. Some of the auxilia of Moesia are
perhaps included among the regiments of Thracians.

[170] The Ala Vespasiana Dardanorum and the cohorts I and II Aurelia

[171] A cohors Macedonum E. (_A. E._ 1909. 58), and two regiments of

[172] The mysterious Ala VII Phrygum. When this regiment was only
known by one inscription (vi. 1838) the number was naturally emended.
It has, however, been confirmed by the diploma for 139 and a Greek
inscription (_A. E._ 1899. 177). The explanation is still uncertain. It
is incredible that Phrygia really contributed seven alae, six of which
have mysteriously vanished.

[173] Three cohorts of Paphlagonians and three of Galatians raised by

[174] Including two alae Parthorum.

[175] Including the three ‘cohortes sagittariorum’.

[176] Including the Ituraean regiments.

[177] There is no reason why these regiments should not have been
raised between 40 and 70, but they do not appear on inscriptions until
much later.

[178] Some of the cohorts of Hispani may of course have come from

[179] _Conscriptionsordnung_, p. 56.

[180] It appears on diplomata of 93 and 103. D. ciii and _A. E._ 1912.

[181] A cohors IV Cypria is mentioned on the Dacian diploma of 110
(xxxvii), and a cohors Cypria appears in the Crimea.

[182] We find on inscriptions Cohors I Cyrenaica, II Augusta Cyrenaica,
III Cyrenaica sagittariorum, and III Augusta Cyrenaica. (See Cichorius
in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. _cohors_). The difficulty is that _Cyrenaica_
is sometimes used as a purely descriptive title to indicate previous
residence in the province. It is thus borne by the Cohors II Hispanorum
scutata and the Cohors I Lusitanorum. Arrian, however, had Κυρηναῖοι,
both cavalry and ὁπλῖται, in the army under his command in Cappadocia
in Hadrian’s reign, so that in some cases at any rate Cyrenaica =
Cyrenaeorum, just as Gallica is sometimes used for Gallorum. A levy in
Cyrenaica is mentioned by Tacitus (_Ann._ xiv. 18), but he does not say
whether legionaries or auxiliaries were required.

[183] Gardthausen, _Augustus_, p. 631. Liebenam in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v.

[184] The crucial passage is of course Tac. _Ann._ xvi. 13 ‘eodem
anno dilectus per Galliam Narbonensem Africamque et Asiam habiti sunt
supplendis Illyrici legionibus’, which appears to come from the _acta
senatus_. But the evidence for imperial control is very strong, and
the Senate may merely have been consulted as a matter of courtesy.
Tiberius used to bring military questions before the Senate in the same
way—‘de legendo vel exauctorando milite ac legionum et auxiliorum
descriptione’, Suet. _Tib._ 30—without giving up his prerogative.

[185] Later, of course, the franchise became as widely spread in Africa
as in Spain. In the first half of the first century, however, this
was not yet the case, and the example of Tacfarinas (‘natione Numida,
in castris Romanis auxiliaria stipendia meritus’, Tac. _Ann._ ii. 52)
shows that auxilia were recruited in this province while it was still
completely under senatorial control.

[186] xiii. 6860, 6864. Dio, lxxiv. 2, brackets Italy, Spain,
Macedonia, and Noricum together, as the ‘civilized’ provinces from
which the Praetorians were recruited before the reforms of Severus.

[187] If the _cohortes voluntariorum_ be excluded from the reckoning.

[188] Strabo, p. 196 κρείττους δ’ ἱππόται ἢ πεζοί, καὶ ἔστι Ῥωμαίοις
τῆς ἱππείας ἀρίστη παρὰ τούτων.

[189] _Tactica_, 33.

[190] See the boastful words of the Gascon Antonius Primus. Tac.
_Hist._ iii. 2 ‘Duae tunc Pannonicae ac Moesicae alae perrupere hostem:
nunc sedecim alarum coniuncta signa pulsu sonituque et nube ipsa
operient ac superfundent oblitos proeliorum equites equosque’. Cf. also
Tac. _Ann._ xv. 10 ‘alaris Pannonios, robur equitatus’.

[191] Arrian, loc. cit.

[192] The list shows that the majority of the oriental regiments were
not raised until after 70.

[193] Two cohorts numbered III and VII bear this title, for which
I can find no explanation. To be distinguished from these is the
Cohors I Campanorum voluntaria (vi. 3520), which was stationed first
in Dalmatia, then in Pannonia. Apparently it really was originally a
regiment of Campanians, since a soldier gives Suessa as his birthplace
(iii. 14246¹). The statement of Cichorius that the Dalmatian Cohors
I Campanorum is identical with the Pannonian Cohors I Campestris is
misleading. On no Pannonian inscription does the title occur otherwise
than in the abbreviated form ‘Camp.’ On the other hand, the Roman
inscription cited above speaks plainly of the _coh(ortis) primae
voluntariae Campanorum in Pannonia Inferiore_.

[194] Tac. _Ann._ i. 8.

[195] Dio, lv. 31, lvi. 23; Velleius, ii. 111; Suet. _Aug._ 25. Similar
regiments may have been raised at a later date, e.g. the cohorts I and
II Italica c. R., which seem to form a fresh series and appear only
in the East. Can they represent the remainder of the 4,000 oriental
freedmen whom Tiberius enrolled to put down the brigands in Sardinia
(Tac. _Ann._ ii. 85)? If any survived, the Eastern provinces would have
been the natural place to send them to.

[196] Cf. the previous passages with Macrobius, _Sat._ i. 11, 32
‘Caesar Augustus in Germania et Illyrico cohortes libertinorum
complures legit, quas voluntarias appellavit’.

[197] There were at least thirty-two cohortes voluntariorum, among
which VI is the highest number borne by a _cohors ingenuorum_ (xiii.
8314, 8315). At about this point the supply of free-born recruits
probably gave out, since cohors VIII does not bear this designation.

[198] Seeck suggests that, as the Western legions were recruited mainly
in Italy at the beginning of the first century, these cohorts represent
the contribution of the enfranchised communities in the provinces.
_Rheinisches Museum_, xlviii. 611. This, however, is not only opposed
to the literary evidence, but inscriptions also show us soldiers of
Italian origin. Cf. iii. 9782 (Cemenelium) and _A. E._ 1909. 130

[199] The original mutineers in Dalmatia seem to have been militia
rather than regulars, cf. Dio, lv. 29 καί τινα καὶ σφεῖς δύναμιν πέμψαι
κελευσθέντες, συνῆλθόν τε ἐπὶ τούτῳ καὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν σφῶν ἀνθοῦσαν
εἶδον, but the phraseology of Velleius (ii. 110) leaves little doubt
that regular auxiliaries were also implicated.

[200] Tac. _Ann._ ii. 17.

[201] Ib. iii. 42.

[202] Ib. iv. 73.

[203] Ib. xii. 27.

[204] ‘Immissa cohorte Thraecum,’ Tac. _Hist._ i. 68.

[205] ‘Praemissis Gallorum Lusitanorumque et Britannorum cohortibus,’
Ib. i. 70. The regiments referred to are probably the Cohors III
Britannorum and the Cohorts VI and VII Lusitanorum which appear in
Raetia at a later date. Cf. D. lxxiii, _I. G. R. R._ iii. 56.

[206] Early inscriptions mention Cohorts VII and VIII Breucorum
(xiii. 7801, 8313, 8693), IV Delmatarum (Ib. 7507, 7508, 7509), I
Pannoniorum (Ib. 7510, 7511, 7582), I Ituraeorum (Ib. 7040, 7041, 7042,
7043), I Sagittariorum (Ib. 7512, 7513, 7514), and Silauciensium (Ib.
8593). The last title is unintelligible, and possibly corrupt. The
soldier mentioned is a certain Tib. Iulius Sdebdas from Tyre, so the
regiment clearly came from the East, and its title should perhaps read
Seleuciensium—i.e. from Seleucia.

[207] Tac. _Ann._ ii. 52.

[208] Josephus, _Ant._ xx, 6, 1. _Bell. Iud._ ii. 12, 5. The small
garrisons maintained in the _provinciae inermes_ seem also to have
been of local origin; cf. the _Ligurum cohors, vetus loci auxilium_
stationed in the Alpes Maritimae, Tac. _Hist._ ii. 14. See also D. xx
and xxvi for the composition of the garrison of Sardinia.

[209] Tac. _Ann._ iv. 46. See above, p. 19.

[210] ‘Flavus aucta stipendia, torquem et coronam aliaque militaria
dona memorat,’ Tac. _Ann._ ii. 9.

[211] ‘Non tulit ala Picentiana gaudium insultantis vulgi, spretisque
Sancti promissis aut minis Mogontiacum abeunt,’ Tac. _Hist._ iv. 62. I
follow the diplomata in using the form Picentiana—not Picentina, which
Tacitus preferred.

[212] D. ii.

[213] iii. 3271.

[214] This supports the statement of Macrobius, already cited, that
some of the cohorts _voluntariae_ were stationed in Illyricum.

[215] The list given above probably does not contain all the regiments
originally sent to the Rhine. A large proportion of the auxilia
stationed in Britain are of Danubian origin, and these troops are
more likely to have come from Germany, than, as has been sometimes
suggested, with Legio IX Hispana from Pannonia.

[216] It seems that all the eight Batavian cohorts which supported
Civilis were dismissed, and that the Cohorts I and II Batavorum, which
we meet on second-century inscriptions, were new creations. The Alae
Petriana and Sebosiana and two cohorts of Tungrians, which had formed
part of the Rhine army in 69, appear later in Britain. But they had
left the Rhine to take part in the civil war in Italy, and were not
guilty of complicity in the mutiny.

[217] Legio IV Scythica remained permanently in Syria; V Macedonia and
XV Apollinaris were in the East from 62 and 63 respectively to 70.
Auxiliary regiments probably accompanied these legions, and some in all
likelihood remained with the first named.

[218] It is true that although five legions (I Adiutrix, X Gemina, XI
Claudia, XIV Gemina, and XXI Rapax) were transferred from the Rhine to
the Danube between 70 and 107 the list of auxilia does not alter so
much as might be expected. Still the transference of some regiments can
be traced, e.g. the Ala Claudia Nova and the Cohors V Hispanorum were
sent to Moesia Inferior between 74 and 82 and remained there. Cf. D.
xi, xiv, and ciii.

[219] In 1884 Mommsen collected the existing evidence in _Eph. Ep._ v.
pp. 159-249, and stated his conclusions in the _Conscriptionsordnung_.
Later epigraphical discoveries, while clearing up many points of
detail, have left his main argument unaffected, and it forms the basis
of the following discussion.

[220] e.g. a certain T. Flavius Draccus of the Ala I F(lavia)
D(omitiana) Brit(annica) M(iliaria) c(ivium) R(omanorum) describes
himself as a _civis Sequanus_ (iii. 15197). Now the title D(omitiana)
shows that the inscription must have been erected between 81 and 96,
and Draccus, who had served 22 years, was enrolled, therefore, between
60 and 74. But his regiment, which formed part of the Vitellian army in
69 (Tac. _Hist._ iii. 41), must have been in Germany or Britain before
that date. Probably it was sent in 70 to Germania Inferior, won its
title, like other regiments of that province, for loyalty at the time
of the rebellion of Saturninus in 89, and was transferred to Pannonia
shortly afterwards.

[221] The regiment was in Moesia Inferior by 99 (D. xxxi) and remained
there. The Pannonian inscriptions therefore probably belong to the
pre-Flavian period, as the soldiers had served 30 and 17 years

[222] This soldier, T. Flavius Bonius, was apparently given the
franchise by one of the Flavian emperors, but might then have been
serving some time.

[223] _Allectus_ into the Equites Singulares Imperatoris. A date is
indicated by his name Ulpius Titius.

[224] The soldier bears the name Aurelius, and the style of the
monument suggests a third-century date. See below, p. 128, n. 4.

[225] _Allectus_ into the Equites Singulares at Rome.

[226] The soldier has the Thracian name of Mucapor.

[227] Probably a _corps d’élite_ formed originally for the Dacian War
and placed afterwards on a permanent footing. In the reign of Antoninus
Pius it seems to have been given the title of Ala Illyricorum.

[228] The Pannonian to whom D. ii belonged cannot have been enrolled
later than 35, and owner of D. ci was probably enrolled earlier still.

[229] iii. 14214.

[230] Unfortunately the name of the cohort to which the men belonged
has been lost. The names of some men of the Cohors II Batavorum are
preserved, but without their nationalities.

[231] iii. 2016, 4227. The regiment may of course have been sent to
Spain and have returned only after a long absence, say with Legio VII
Gemina in 69 (Tac. _Hist._ ii. 11).

[232] viii. 18084. The majority come from the Eastern provinces.

[233] There is evidence for a garrison of at least 25,000 men in the
second century, but it probably reached a higher figure. See Appendix I.

[234] xiii. 7024, 7025, 7579, D. xxxv.

[235] viii. 3101. For the recruiting of Legio III Augusta cf. Cagnat,
_L’Armée romaine d’Afrique_, 2nd edition, pp. 287-303.

[236] We find the Ala I Ulpia Dromedariorum, the Cohorts I, III, IV,
V and VI Ulpia Petraeorum, II and III Ulpia Paflagonum, I and II
Ulpia Galatarum, and I Ulpia Sagittariorum all in Cappadocia, Syria,
or Palestine in the second century, and only one of this series of
regiments, the Cohors III Ulpia Galatarum, can be traced elsewhere.

[237] iii. 6580. The non-Egyptians all come from the Eastern provinces,
except two from Africa.

[238] iii. 14507. 7 come from Dacia, 7 from Pannonia, 5 from Dalmatia,
3 from Thrace, 6 from Macedonia, and 1 from Pergamum.

[239] It is impossible to go into this question here. The soldiers
mentioned on vi. 31138, who were discharged in 118, must, if they
served their full time, have been enrolled before Trajan’s accession.
The corps seems to have replaced the old _Germani corporis custodes_,
disbanded by Galba; Suet. _Vit. Gal._ 12.

[240] In the hundred cases only five men are actually described as
_allecti_ from an ala, but the fact may not always have been mentioned
on the tombstones.

[241] I have taken the first hundred inscriptions on which nationality
is recorded, beginning with vi. 3173.

[242] The contingents of the two Pannonian and the two Moesian
provinces cannot be distinguished, because in a large number of cases
the deceased is simply described as Pannonius or Moesus.

[243] Using this term to apply only to the contingents of Lugdunensis.
The inhabitants of Belgica still appear.

[244] Between 70 and 107 the garrison of the Danubian provinces was
increased to ten legions, chiefly at the expense of the Rhine army, in
which the legions were reduced from eight to four.

[245] In 69, when Antonius Primus boasted of the superiority of the
Danubian cavalry, there were, according to Tacitus, sixteen alae in
Pannonia and Moesia (Tac. _Hist._ iii. 2). In the second century
seventeen regiments can be traced in the two Pannonias and Moesia
Inferior, while in Dacia, which covered Moesia Superior, were ten
more. These figures, moreover, are probably below the real total. See
Appendix I.

[246] It appears in a Pannonian diploma for 98 (D. xxvii) and in the
first Dacian diploma for 110 (D. xxxvii).

[247] See _Archaelogiai Ertesitö_, 1905 and following, and for the
inscriptions _A. E._ 1906 and following.

[248] D. lviii (138-46), iii. 3331.

[249] iii. 10316, 10318. _A. E._ 1906. 110. Ib. 1909. 150. Ib. 1910.

[250] D. lviii. The name of the town is missing.

[251] _A. E._ 1910. 141. Cf. 133.

[252] D. xxvii, xxxvii; iii. 4371. Another inscription (iii. 4368)
mentions a Batavian, but he is a decurion who may have been transferred
on promotion from another corps.

[253] For orientals on the Rhine, cf. xiii. 7512, 7514.

[254] Throughout the Empire the archer regiments seem to have been
exclusively Thracians or orientals, but the latter alone preserved
their national character in the second century.

[255] iii. 10315, 10316.

[256] The difficulty is to establish clear cases of men who must have
entered a regiment after its original formation. The ‘Britto’ of the
Dacian diploma for 145-61 (lxx) seems to be one.

[257] ‘Nectovelius natione Brigans’ in the Cohors II Thracum. The
inscription comes from Mumrills and probably dates, therefore, from
between 142 and 180. _Eph. Ep._ ix. 623.

[258] The _numeri_ have been discussed by Mommsen in the latter part
of the _Conscriptionsordnung_, a discussion which naturally forms the
basis of the following pages.

[259] xiii. 6526, 6542, 6592, 6622, 6629, 6642, 7749.
Elantienses—6490. Gurvedenses—7343. Murrenses—6471.
Triputienses—6502, 6511, 6514, 6517, 6518, 6599, 6606.

[260] _A. E._ 1910. 152.

[261] viii. 2486, 2505, 18007, 18008, 18026, &c.

[262] iii. 837, 907, 7999, 14216.

[263] The Palmyrene _vexillarius_, whose tombstone was found at
Corbridge in 1911, is most likely to have belonged to a _numerus_
formed from his countrymen. _Eph. Ep._ ix. 1153a.

[264] D. lxvii (158).

[265] _Eph. Ep._ ix. 1191, where all the references are collected.

[266] iii. 8032.

[267] viii. 21015, 21017.

[268] iii. 7493.

[269] If Mommsen’s interpretation of _Eph. Ep._ vii. 957 as n(umerus)
m(ilitum) S(urorum) S(agittariorum) be correct.

[270] Hyginus, 29. Accepting this emendation for the meaningless Getati
of the manuscripts.

[271] iii. 12601 a and b, 12605. The inscriptions date from the reign
of Hadrian, showing that this usage was an early one.

[272] Hyginus, 30.

[273] _Praepositus_ is more usual, and probably the original title.
Later we find the title _praefectus_, and the inclusion of this post at
the bottom of the equestrian census, below the previous three posts,
gave rise to the phrase _a quattuor militiis_. Cf. xiii. 6814 and von
Dom. _Rangordnung_, p. 131.

[274] Von Dom. _Rangordnung_, pp. 60, 61.

[275] viii. 2505, 2515. The latest inscription is a dedication to
Malagbel, the native god of Palmyra, for the safety of Gordian III.

[276] iii. 907, 14216 (Oriental names).

[277] If the Brittones were really, as has been suggested, transported
wholesale to Germany, these _numeri_ also would have preserved their
national character.

[278] These disappeared during the period, which came in the history
of almost every regiment, when it contained drafts from different

[279] This is shown by Hyginus, 43, as von Dom. has pointed out,
_Rangordnung_, p. 60.

[280] Dio, lxviii. 8 and 32.

[281] Arrian, _Tactica_, 44.

[282] The Κελτοὶ ἱππῆς, however, which are mentioned in the _Ectaxis_,
2, are probably, as Ritterling (_Wiener Studien_, xxiv. 127-40)
suggests, cavalry of the Cohors Germanorum M. E.

[283] The nearest case I know of is xiii. 3177, where we have the order
signifer-centurio-tribunus, but this is in one of the Cohortes civium
Romanorum, which occupy an exceptional position.

[284] _Rangordnung_, pp. 112-15, 122-30.

[285] ix. 996, x. 4862.

[286] _Rangordnung_, pp. 57, 72. He also considers that at this date
the centurions and decurions of the auxiliary regiments were drawn
from the ranks of the legions, a suggestion which has already been
discussed. See above, p. 38.

[287] See pp. 16-20.

[288] Tac. _Hist._ iv. 12 ‘(Batavorum) cohortibus quas vetere instituto
nobilissimi popularium regebant’.

[289] Ib. iv. 18. Its _praefectus_ Claudius Labeo, ‘oppidano certamine
aemulus Civili,’ was clearly a Batavian.

[290] Ib. iv. 16.

[291] Ib. iii. 35; ii. 14; iv. 55. To the same class of officers
belonged ‘Chumstinctius et Avectius tribuni ex civitate Nerviorum’, who
played an important part in one of the campaigns of Drusus. Epit. Livy,

[292] v. 7003 is an example of a career of this kind which dated from
the reign of Claudius.

[293] ix. 2564; _A. E._ 1902. 41.

[294] Cf. iii. 1918 ‘I. O. M. Sulpicius Calvio c(enturio) leg(ionis) I
Min(erviae) praepositus coh(ortis) I Belgarum’.

[295] Cf. viii. 18007 ‘… M. Annius Valens leg(ionis) III
Aug(ustae) praepositus n(umeri) Palmyrenorum’; xiii. 6526 ‘… M.
Octavius Severus (centurio) leg(ionis) VIII Aug(ustae) Praeposit(us)
Brit(tonum)’. The office of _praefectus numeri_ does, however, occur;
iii. 1149. See above, p. 87.

[296] xi. 5669 ‘C. Camurio C. f. Lem(onia) Clementi … praef(ecto)
coh(ortis) VII Raet(orum) equit(atae), trib(uno) mil(itum) coh(ortis)
II Ulpiae Petraeor(um) miliar(iae) equit(atae), praef(ecto) alae
Petrianae …’.

[297] D. xlvii, li, lix, lx, lxi, lxvi, lxx.

[298] In a list of over two hundred and fifty _praefecti_ whose place
of origin is known I have not come across one from either of these
provinces. But it is of course impossible to be sure that such a list
is even as complete as the existing evidence permits.

[299] For the military qualities of the Gauls in the fourth century cf.
Ammianus Marcellinus, xv. 12, xix. 6.

[300] _A. E._ 1899. 177.

[301] Such men probably stood a better chance than the Greeks. See my
article on the Caristanii of Pisidian Antioch in _J. R. S._ iii.

[302] Possibly curator, the Greek being ἐπιμελητής.

[303] _A. E._ 1911. 161. A son, or other relative, who erected the
inscription was _praefectus cohortis II Hispanorum equitatae, C. R.,
tribunus cohortis III Ulpiae Petraeorum_.

[304] It is true that we do not know where the Cohors III Thracum
Syriaca was stationed, but the other units in the series of four
bearing this title all appear in the East. The Cohors II Hispanorum, in
which his son served, is probably that mentioned on an inscription from
Ancyra. iii. 6760.

[305] D. xlviii and cviii.

[306] Cf. Tacitus’s remarks in the _Annals_, xiii. 35, with the account
in Dio Cassius, lxxv. 11-13, of the siege of Hatra by Septimius
Severus, especially τῶν μὲν Εὐρωπαίων, τῶν δυναμένων τι κατεργάσασθαι
and the promise of one of the officers ἐάν γε αὐτῷ δώσῃ πεντακοσίους
καὶ πεντήκοντα μόνους τῶν Εὐρωπαίων στρατιωτῶν, ἄνευ τοῦ τῶν ἄλλων
κινδύνου τὴν πόλιν ἐξαιρήσειν.

[307] This point has been well made by Dessau in _Hermes_, 1910. The
evidence does, however, suggest that an unusually large proportion of
Africans obtained commands during the reign of Septimius Severus.

[308] This is put very strongly on pages 133 and 134 of the
_Rangordnung_, ‘die Italiker und die Weströmer sind von der _militia
equestris_ ausgeschlossen.’

[309] The first name is that of the province in which the praefectus
was stationed. His place of origin is placed last.

[310] Its best justification is the solidarity of the Empire in the
fourth century, which appears so markedly in the pages of Ammianus,
and exercised so powerful an influence over the minds of the barbarian



A history of the art of war under the Roman Empire has not yet been
written, for the simple reason that we do not possess an account by a
good military historian of a single campaign between that of Thapsus
(46 B.C.) and that of Argentorate (357). Josephus does indeed give a
first-hand account of the Jewish war of 66-70, and took some trouble
over military details, but his subject limited him to siege operations
and street-fighting. The most valuable section in his work is a general
sketch of the Roman army and its organization, and a description of the
arrangement of troops on the march.[311] Tacitus, on the other hand,
who is forced by his subject to describe several campaigns, and remains
in consequence our chief authority, cared nothing for the technical
side of warfare, and does nothing more than record, as a rule correctly
enough, details which he found in his sources.[312]

With strategy we need not concern ourselves, since the subject lies
beyond the scope of this essay; but tactics require more consideration
on account of the special position assigned to the auxilia in battle
formation. From the scanty information given by our authorities it
appears that in any regular engagement fought during the first two
centuries the legionary infantry were still considered to be the chief
arm and employed to deal the decisive blow.[313] They occupied the
centre of the line, and the light troops and cavalry—that is to say,
the auxilia—were expected to do little more than protect them from a
flank attack. This formation was employed at Idistaviso in 16,[314]
against Tacfarinas in 18,[315] against Tiridates in 58,[316] against
Boudicca in 61,[317] and at the second battle of Bedriacum in 69.[318]
It is also prescribed by Arrian in his ‘Order of Battle against the
Alani’.[319] The only considerable exception is the battle of Issos
in 193, in which the legions on both sides formed the first line and
were supported by the archers, who shot over their heads. Dio, however,
expressly states that this formation was adopted because these armies
were fighting in a narrow space with the sea on one side and mountains
on the other, so that there was no need to detach a force to protect
their flanks.[320]

There were, however, cases, particularly in warfare against barbarians,
where the enemy would not meet the imperial forces in the open field,
but took up a defensive position on ground where legionaries could not
be employed with success. In these circumstances the auxilia formed the
first line and began the attack, and only if they were driven back and
pursued by the enemy did the legions come into action. The battle of
Mons Graupius, in 84, was conducted on these lines,[321] and similar
tactics seem often to have been employed by Trajan in Dacia.[322] In
general, however, the auxilia play a very secondary rôle; we do not
hear either of the cavalry being used to strike the decisive blow after
the manner of Alexander,[323] or of any such combination of archers and
heavy infantry as we find in mediaeval warfare.

The subject, however, is still obscure, and it is more satisfactory
to turn to the part played by the auxilia in frontier defence,
concerning which the archaeological research of the past twenty years
has established more certain conclusions. In the frontier policy of
the first two centuries we can trace two opposing tendencies at work,
each of which is reflected in the disposition of the troops and the
duties required of them. At the death of Augustus the Empire had as
yet reached hardly any of its natural boundaries, although by means of
the system of client kingdoms and ‘protected’ tribes it was asserting
its claims and intentions in much the same fashion as the powers of
modern Europe are doing in Africa to-day. The first century therefore
witnessed on almost every frontier a period of expansion of greater
or less duration, in which the sphere of direct administration was
gradually pushed forward until some physical or political obstacle
was reached which necessitated either a halt or a forward policy on
a much larger scale. Throughout this period military operations were
always imminent; in Britain, for example, between 50 and 85, the
garrison marched out almost every spring, either for a campaign or a
military demonstration. In winter, therefore, or in times of peace, the
frontier armies were so disposed as to be able to take the offensive
at a few days’ notice. The legions often lay in pairs, while many of
the auxiliary regiments, instead of being scattered over a wide area,
as was the case later, were concentrated at a few strategic points.
The extent to which this system was adopted varied, of course, with
local conditions, and a few regiments always occupied more isolated
positions, but as a whole the auxilia of a province were far more
easily mobilized than later when each regiment had its own _castellum_.
On the Rhine frontier Haltern and Hofheim furnish examples of these
large _hiberna_, dating from the beginning and the middle of the first
century respectively,[324] and we find the same system continued for
the defence of the Taunus district annexed by Domitian.[325] There is,
indeed, here a chain of forts on the frontier, but they are of small
size, with an average area of only 1½ acres. The bulk of the auxilia
lay some way behind the frontier, in forts which held some two or three
regiments apiece.[326] In Britain we have traces of a similar system
at the same date. The ‘Agricolan’ fort at Barr Hill is a frontier
post which would require some two centuries at most for its defence,
while the early fort at Newstead, which was probably occupied from
about 80 to 100 or later, could accommodate at least 1500 men.[327]
The essentially temporary nature of such _hiberna_ is emphasized by
the character of their defences, which usually consist simply of an
earth wall or palisade, little more elaborate in construction than the
_vallum_ which an army in the field was expected to throw up round its
camp after a day’s march.

In provinces whence archaeological evidence is not forthcoming,
inscriptions indicate the same system. From Spain, for instance, we
have an early inscription referring to an officer who held command over
four cohorts,[328] and a similar brigade of three cohorts appears at
Syene in Egypt in the reign of Trajan.[329] On the Danube frontier von
Domaszewski has concluded from the epigraphical evidence that Aquincum
and Arrabona each held two alae in the first century.[330]

This period of expansion may be considered to end with Trajan’s
annexation of Dacia and his failure a few years later to execute a
similar forward move on the Eastern frontier. With the accession
of Hadrian a new policy begins, which advertised by the elaborate
character of its defensive measures that the imperial government was
firmly determined to renounce all further schemes of aggression, a
determination which was adhered to until the power of decision lay no
longer in Roman hands. The outward signs of this new spirit were the
abandonment of the old _hiberna_, and the removal of their garrisons
to stone forts of a new type, each arranged to hold no more than a
single unit, which were placed at more or less regular intervals along
the frontier instead of behind it.[331] The auxilia, that is, were
transformed from a potential field army into a frontier police.

This policy of passive defence depended, of course, for its success
upon the extent to which the frontier could be made defensible.
Fortunately by this date it lay for the greater part of its length
along positions of great natural strength. The Rhine, Danube,
and Euphrates, when guarded by a continuous line of forts and
watch-towers,[332] and patrolled by flotillas of guard-boats, formed
a serious military obstacle to a raiding force, an obstacle even more
dangerous to its retreat than its advance. The desert frontiers of
Africa and Arabia were more easily defended, since the routes by which
a hostile force could advance were limited in number and the defence
could concentrate upon them, and the same of course holds true of the
southern frontier of Egypt.

There were, however, districts where such natural obstacles did not
exist, as in the case of the trans-Rhenane territory, which was divided
between Germania Superior and Raetia, and the northern frontier of
Britain, and here Hadrian had recourse to the expedient of erecting
artificial barriers, which he hoped would serve the same purpose.[333]
In the former case the frontier was defended by a palisade and ditch,
which were later supplemented by an earth mound in the German section
and replaced by a stone wall in Raetia.[334] On the British frontier,
between the Tyne and Solway, the existing remains are those of a stone
wall, although there are also traces of a wall of turf, which may have
been an earlier work.[335] A turf wall also defended the more advanced
line between the Firths of Clyde and Forth, which was occupied between
140 and 180.[336] The southern line in Britain in its most perfect form
was guarded by a stone wall seventy-three miles long. This wall was
between six and nine feet thick, and probably stood originally about
twelve feet high. In front of it, except where the precipitous nature
of the ground rendered such an additional defence unnecessary, ran
a wide ∨-shaped ditch. At intervals of about every Roman mile stood
a stone block-house, and between every block-house two towers. The
mile-castles contained barrack accommodation for about fifty men, and
reveal abundant traces of continuous occupation.[337] The garrison of
about eleven thousand men lay in stone forts of the ‘cohort’ size, the
majority of which are actually on the line of the wall, although a few,
which probably belonged originally to an earlier system of defence,
are a short distance behind it. The average interval between the forts
is some six miles, so that it was easily possible for each regiment
to man the adjacent towers and mile-castles and retain a considerable
force at head-quarters. In addition to the troops actually stationed on
the line of the wall, there were other regiments in outpost forts to
the north and in the forts which guarded the three roads leading south
to the legionary fortresses of Chester and York. The ends of the line
were also guarded against flank attacks from the sea by forts at South
Shields and on the Cumberland coast. If, then, we include all troops
within three days’ march of the wall, the total force available for
its defence probably exceeded twenty thousand men. Taking also into
our calculations the natural strength of the position, we may safely
say that this was the strongest and best guarded of all the frontier

The trans-Rhenane frontier, which extends for over three hundred miles
from Rheinbrohl on the Rhine to Eining on the Danube, was defended by
the same methods, although in certain sections the forts were more
widely separated and the garrison was proportionately weaker. There
were also fewer troops within call immediately behind the frontier
line. Here also, between the cohort forts, stone ‘Zwischenkastelle’ and
‘Wachttürme’ furnished additional safeguards.[338]

This whole system of frontier defence has been much criticized, and
the limitations and possibilities of these artificial barriers must
be carefully determined.[339] To take the negative side first, they
could not, of course, be defended against unexpected attack, like the
walls of a town, unless the assailants were only a small raiding party
numbering some twenty or thirty men. On the other hand, in spite of
the parallel of the ‘Customs Hedge’ in India,[340] it seems unlikely
that fiscal considerations played any large part in determining the
government on their construction. They doubtless acted, when built, as
a check on smuggling, but the expense of their maintenance would have
been quite out of proportion to the value of the trade done with the
German or British tribes.

The first purpose which they served was to furnish a screen behind
which patrols could march in comparative safety, both by day and
night, and keep the whole line under constant surveillance. Thus the
passing of a hostile force could be instantly reported by messenger
or signal[341] to the nearest _castella_, whence detachments could at
once start in pursuit. Secondly, whereas the defenders nearly always
had a mounted force close at hand drawn either from the _alae_ or the
numerous _cohortes equitatae_, the raiders would probably be unmounted,
since their start would be lost if they delayed to fill up the ditch
and make a gap in the barrier large enough for their horses.[342]
This barrier, too, had to be crossed again in retreat, and presented
a very serious obstacle to a force encumbered with booty. Indeed, the
defenders might reserve the great part of their forces for this moment,
as is recommended by Byzantine military writers describing similar

This sketch of the methods of defence employed applies more
particularly to the German and Raetian frontiers. In Britain, more
particularly on the southern line, it is probable that a more serious
defence was intended. In the first place, the massive stone wall, on
which the defenders could stand, was obviously stronger than anything
on the trans-Rhenane section.[344] Secondly, we have noted that the
garrison was stronger than in Germany, and could be more easily
reinforced. Moreover, even after the final abandonment of Scotland,
forts were still held in front of the southern line. Netherby on the
Esk, and Habitancium (Risingham) and Bremenium (High Rochester) on
Dere Street, were occupied by _cohortes miliariae equitatae_ well
into the third century, and at the last two forts we find a _numerus
exploratorum_ attached to the regular auxilia.[345] These strong
outposts would have been able to check or harass the enemy’s advance
and give warning to the garrison of the wall of any impending attack.

All these suppositions, however, both as regards Germany and Britain,
are based upon the assumption that a raid would be the sole subject
of the attacking force, and that it would not be too numerous to be
dealt with by the garrisons of three or four _castella_. To a more
serious invasion the resistance offered was much less effective. The
legions, it is true, still remained in reserve, but they formed the
only concentrated force at the disposal of the defending general, for
the majority of the auxilia, scattered as they were along the entire
length of the frontier, could not be quickly concentrated, and a
provincial garrison can rarely have taken the field at anything like
its full strength. The system also created serious difficulties when
it became necessary to send troops from one province to the aid of
another. Three regiments, for example, could not easily be sent from
Germany to Pannonia, because each of them constituted an essential link
in the chain of frontier defence. It became the practice, therefore,
to form out of detachments drawn from several regiments a composite
_vexillatio_ in which efficiency must have been greatly diminished
by lack of _esprit de corps_. A cavalry _vexillatio_ of this type
commanded by a certain Lollianus, probably during the Parthian war of
Trajan, was drawn from no less than five _alae_ and fourteen _cohortes

In defence of the system it would probably have been urged that on
every frontier the hostile forces were equally dispersed and far less
easily concentrated, and that a combination of the Celtic or Teutonic
tribes would be heard of long before it was ready for action. The
existence of the league which attacked and for a time broke through
the Danube frontier in the reign of Marcus was certainly known to the
imperial government, and the local governors succeeded in delaying the
crisis until the return of the _vexillationes_ which had been sent to
the eastern frontier, with whose aid they hoped to be able to cope with
the situation.[347] Their calculations were upset by the havoc wrought
in the army by the plague which these troops brought with them. Even
so the danger was eventually surmounted, and the frontiers were on the
whole successfully maintained for nearly a century more.

But the full consequences of this system cannot be perceived without
some consideration of the changes which it brought about in the
conditions of military life and their effect upon the general morale
and condition of the troops. A very important point to notice is their
immobility. Already in the first century there was, except for the
officers, no regular system of transfers, and only an important change
in the military situation caused troops to be sent from one province
to another. In fact such changes were frequent, and considerable
transfers took place, particularly during the Flavian period and the
wars of Trajan. From the accession of Hadrian onwards, however, such
movements cease almost entirely. During the following hundred and
twenty years hardly a legion changed its position and the auxiliary
regiments remained almost equally stationary.[348] We can trace
regiments which remained literally for centuries in the same province
and for the greater part of the time were in the same _castellum_. Of
the twenty-one cohorts and alae which are mentioned by the _Notitia
Dignitatum_ as forming part of the garrison of Britain, fifteen are
shown by the evidence of diplomata to have been in the province long
before the end of the reign of Hadrian; and two more, which occur in
a diploma of 146, are probably only not mentioned earlier because
they were creations of that emperor and had consequently no veterans
ready for discharge until after his death.[349] Similarly the Cohors
V Lucensium et Callaecorum was in Pannonia at least from 60 to 198,
the Cohors I Hemesenorum from 138/46 to 240, and the Ala III Augusta
Thracum from 148 to 268/71.[350] The best instance, however, is that
of the Cohors II Ituraeorum Felix. This regiment is placed by the
_Notitia_ in Egypt, and other evidence shows it to have been in the
province in 147, 136, 98, 83, and probably 39.[351] As this section of
the _Notitia_ seems to date, at the earliest, from the beginning of the
fifth century the regiment was probably quartered in the same province
for at least three hundred and twenty years.[352]

Evidence of continued stay in one _castellum_ is naturally more
difficult to find, but the way in which the names Ulpius, Aelius,
and Aurelius follow one another on a series of inscriptions of the
Ala I Ulpia Contariorum from Arrabona in Pannonia Superior suggests
that the regiment remained there throughout the second century, and
the title Antoniniana shows that it had not moved before the reign of
Severus Antoninus.[353] At the fort of Veczel in Dacia the Cohors II
Flavia Commagenorum has left inscriptions dating from the reigns of
Hadrian, Marcus, Septimius Severus, Severus Alexander, and Philip,
which cover practically the whole period during which the province
was in existence.[354] In Britain a remarkable series of dedications
from Amboglanna (Birdoswald), which has already been referred to, shows
that the Cohors I Aelia Dacorum was stationed there from about 211 to

Had the practice of employing a secondary title derived from the name
of the reigning emperor commenced before the third century it would
probably be easy to prove stays of much longer duration. The figures
given above must certainly be taken as a minimum. A second-century
auxiliary could thus make himself at home in his quarters in the
practical certainty that, with the exception of a few temporary
absences as member of a _vexillatio_, he would spend the whole of his
twenty-five years of service patrolling the frontier on each side of
his _castellum_.

In considering the life which the frontier guards would lead under
these conditions we must remember that the character of the auxiliary
soldier in the second century had changed considerably since the force
was first organized by Augustus. In the early first century enrolment
in the Roman service had little effect on the levies of wild tribesmen
who composed the greater part of the auxilia at this period. They might
be organized in Roman fashion, but the military qualities which they
displayed and their whole manner of fighting were inherited from their
ancestors. _Promptam ad pericula nec minus cantuum et armorum tumultu
trucem_ is Tacitus’s description of a cohort of Sugambri employed in
Thrace in the reign of Tiberius, and in like fashion the German cohorts
of Caecina’s army shouted their war-songs and rattled their shields
beneath the walls of Cremona.[356] In the second century all this was
changed: the progress of Romanization had raised the majority of the
provincials, even in the frontier districts, to a level of culture
which placed them far above their ancestors of three generations
back, although they might still seem barbarous to a cultured Greek
or Italian.[357] In the conditions of the service there was nothing
to prevent the auxilia from participating in this general advance,
and the soldiers who spent the best years of their lives in these
little frontier stations gathered around them all the amenities of
provincial life which would have been found in any country town in the
neighbourhood. On the sheltered side of the fort a civil settlement,
technically known as the _canabae_, quickly sprang up, and soon
contained as many inhabitants as the fort itself, if not more. It was
here that the soldiers placed their wives and children, that retired
veterans settled near their old comrades, and traders erected their
shops. A bath-house or two and a few small shrines, particularly those
dedicated to the popular military cults of Mithras, ‘the Unconquered
Comrade,’ and Juppiter Dolichenus satisfied the highest material and
spiritual needs.[358]

At the fort of the Saalburg, where such a settlement has been
carefully explored, an area of something like seventy-five acres was
covered with buildings and gardens. Shrines dedicated to the Mater Deum
and to Silvanus and Diana have been found, as well as those of Mithras
and Juppiter Dolichenus, and two others remain as yet unidentified. On
the outskirts, here as elsewhere, lay the cemetery with its inscribed
sepulchral monuments, the chief source of our information on so many
points of military life.[359] On the British wall no _canabae_ have
been so carefully explored as those on the German limes, which is
the more to be regretted since the buildings are usually in a better
state of preservation; but it is still possible to see near the fort
at Borcovicium (Housesteads) the terraces on which a scanty crop was
raised, while the remains of buildings extend down the hill from the
fort at the top to a small Mithraeum in the valley.[360] At Cilurnum
an elaborate bath-house was erected for the use of the soldiers of the
Ala II Asturum on the banks of the Tyne, and further excavation would
doubtless show that it did not stand alone. Where excavations have not
taken place the existence of these and other buildings is testified
to by inscriptions. At a fort on the Lower Rhine we even find the
_praefectus_ repairing at his own cost the regimental clock.[361]

The married quarters mentioned above require a few words of
explanation. Numerous critics of the Roman army have assumed not only
that celibacy is a valuable military ideal, but that it was actually
attained until Severus issued his famous edict permitting soldiers
to marry while still on active service.[362] Previous to this it is
assumed that they had no relations with women but those of the least
binding description. Seeck, indeed, has carefully explained that the
‘children of the camp’ could not have been reckoned upon as a valuable
source for recruits, because the rate of mortality is notoriously
higher among illegitimate than legitimate children.[363] This theory
is sufficiently refuted by the fact that, as we have seen, nearly
fifty per cent. of the recruits for the Legio III Augusta in Africa
were giving _castris_ as their birthplace long before the reign of
Severus.[364] A recently discovered edict of Domitian has shown
further that such unions were sufficiently permanent to be officially
recognized by the government during a soldier’s period of service,
although only legalized at his discharge.[365] The effect of Severus’s
edict was merely to anticipate this act and give legal sanction to
existing and perfectly well understood social conditions. Practically
the change was probably of small importance, since it seems fairly
clear that married quarters were not allowed inside the fort walls
after this edict any more than before it, nor were married men allowed
to remain permanently outside. Cagnat has shown that the arrangement of
the internal buildings of the legionary fortress at Lambaesis, which
are proved by epigraphical evidence to have been still existing in the
third century, is entirely opposed to such a supposition, and to the
general theory, which has often been advanced, that from the time of
Severus onwards such a fortress became merely a club-house and exercise
ground for the greater part of the troops.[366] These arguments are
concerned only with the legionaries, but they are worth introducing
because the erroneous views here discussed have often been made to
apply to the army as a whole. In the case of the auxilia, indeed,
there was never any justification for their acceptance. The evidence
of the diplomata was always sufficient to show that even in the first
century the auxiliary soldiers, like the legionaries, formed family
ties during their period of service which were officially recognized
on their discharge.[367] The same picture is given by early sepulchral
inscriptions, of which the following, from the Pannonian fort of
Teutoburgium, may serve as an example:

‘Ti(berio) Cl(audio) Britti f(ilio) Valerio, dec(urioni) alae II
Aravacorum, domo Hispano, annor(um) L, stip(endiorum) XXX, et
Cl(audiae) Ianuariae coniugi eius et Cl(audiae) Hispanillae filiae
vivis ex testamento Flaccus dec(urio) frater et Hispanilla filia
heredes faciundum curaverunt.’[368]

This tendency towards matrimony was naturally intensified by the
more settled life of the second-century auxiliary. The systematic
investigation of the cemetery attached to one of these permanent
garrisons reveals as orderly a family life as could be found in
any country town of the peaceful inland provinces. The following
inscriptions, which are drawn from different parts of the Empire, are
but few among many which might be advanced to support this contention.

  xiii. 6270. From Borbetomagus in Germania Superior:
    ‘Faustinio Faustino Sennauci Florionis fil(io) mil(iti)
    coh(ortis) I F(laviae) D(amascenorum), ped(iti) sing(ulari)
    cos(consularis), Gemellinia Faustina mate(r) et Faustinia
    Potentina sor(or) her(edes) secundum volumt(atem) testamenti
    pos(uerunt). Vixit ann(is) [XX]V, decidit in flore iuvent(utis).
    Faciendum curaverunt.’

  iii. 10257. Teutoburgium in Pannonia Inferior:
    ‘M. Ulp(ius) Super dec(urio) alae Praetoriae c(ivium)
    R(omanorum), ex s(ingulari) c(onsularis), ann(orum) XXXII,
    stip(endiorum) XVI h(ic) s(itus) e(st). M. Ulp(ius) Similis
    sesq(uiplicarius) alae I c(ivium) R(omanorum) frater, et Ulpia
    Siscia soror, fratri pientissimo iuventutiq(ue) eius,’ &c.

  iii. 10609. From Pannonia Inferior: exact provenance unknown:
    ‘D(is) [M(anibus)] Ael(io) Victorino ann(orum) XXX,
    stip(endiorum) XIII, dupl(icario) al‹a›e I T(hracum)
    v(eteranorum), et Ael(io) Liciniano an(norum) XII, filis
    pient(issimis) Ael(ia) Flaviana infelic(issima) mat(er) et sibi
    v(iva) p(osuit).’

    _I. G. R. R._ i. 1350. From Talmis in Egypt:

    τὸ προσκύνημα Γαίου Ἀ[ννέ]ου ἱπέως χώρτης αʹ Θηβ(αίων) ἱππικῆς
    τύρμης Ὀππίου, καὶ Οὐαλερᾶτος ἰατροῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, καὶ Ἀρρίου
    υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, καὶ Κασσία[ς], καὶ Οὐαλ[ερί]ας, καὶ Ἐπαφρῦτος [καὶ]
    …ρᾶτος τοῦ ἵππου [αὐτοῦ].[369]

These examples alone show how far from reality are Seeck’s licentious
mercenaries and their neglected bastards. In fact the suggestion of
many critics that celibacy is a valuable military ideal, which was
attained, at any rate partially, until the relaxation of discipline by
Septimius Severus, proceeds upon false lines. In a short service army,
like those of modern European states, in which the whole time of the
men is necessarily occupied in learning their military duties, such
an ideal is practical enough. In the Roman Empire the adoption of a
professional army with a service of twenty-five years put it beyond the
power of any government to enforce such monastic conditions, and the
facts of the situation were, as we have seen, never misunderstood by
the imperial authorities.

This is, of course, far from saying that the resulting state of things
was all that could be desired. The long service system is, on this
account, open to serious objections in principle, and these objections
are intensified when we consider the lines on which this system
developed. The second-century auxiliary, encouraged by the settled
conditions of his service to form matrimonial ties, with his wife and
children comfortably settled just outside the fort walls, is perhaps
a more satisfactory spectacle from the moral than the military point
of view. Military service in the same regiment had not yet become
actually hereditary, because the enfranchised son of the auxiliary was
advanced a step in the social scale and enabled to take service in
the legions. When, however, in 212 the Constitutio Antoniniana swept
away a distinction which had long ceased to have any real basis in a
difference of race or culture, this obstacle was removed.[370] Two
sepulchral inscriptions of the Cohors I Hemesenorum, so often referred
to, illustrate this change. The first is erected to a veteran of this
cohort and to two sons and a grandson who had taken service in the
neighbouring legions I and II Adiutrix, while in the second we find the
son of a veteran from the latter legion who has taken service in the
auxiliary cohort.[371]

It has already been noticed that the system of frontier defence
organized by Hadrian made it difficult either to concentrate rapidly
the garrison of a province at one point, or to send reinforcements
from one province to another. The more settled the auxiliary regiments
became, and the more local ties they formed, the more difficult did
it become to order any dislocation of troops on a large scale.[372]
In fact when Severus Alexander granted to the frontier garrisons any
adjoining territory which had been captured from the enemy, insisting
at the same time that their heirs could only inherit it on condition
of military service, this act was the natural culmination of a long
process of development which had transformed what had once been the
finest field army in the world into a rural militia.[373] Unfortunately
just as this development was completed and the result stamped with the
seal of official approval, the emperors of the third century found
themselves faced by new military dangers of a type with which the old
system was least fitted to cope.


[311] Josephus, _Bell. Iud._ iii. 5.

[312] He was not, however, an ‘unmilitary historian’ in the sense
that, for instance, Ephoros was. Ephoros made elaborate accounts of
military operations an important feature of his work, although he was
quite lacking in military knowledge (Polybius, xii. 25); Tacitus never
pretends to concern himself with more than the moral and social aspects
of war. The same attitude may be observed both in Dio and Herodian (ii.
15, 6). This attitude was perfectly justifiable, since there existed,
as we learn from this passage in Herodian and from Lucian (_De Hist.
Conscrib._), a technical literature which would probably satisfy our
needs. That we do not possess it is the fault, not of Tacitus and Dio,
but of the Middle Ages.

[313] This was still the case at Argentorate in 357; cf. Ammianus, xvi.

[314] Tac. _Ann._ ii. 16.

[315] Tac. _Ann._ ii. 52 ‘Legio medio, leves cohortes duaeque alae in
cornibus locantur’.

[316] Tac. _Ann._ xiii. 38 ‘Socias cohortes et auxilia regum pro
cornibus, medio sextam legionem constituit’. The defensive formation
described in xiii. 40 is slightly different, since the legions in the
centre formed a square.

[317] Tac. _Ann._ xiv. 34 ‘Igitur legionarius frequens ordinibus, levis
circum armatura, conglobatus pro cornibus eques adstitit’.

[318] Tac. _Hist._ iii. 21 ‘Cohortes auxiliorum in cornibus, latera ac
terga equite circumdata’.

[319] The legionaries were to occupy the centre, the auxiliary infantry
high ground on the wings, the cavalry to wait in the rear.

[320] Dio, lxxiv. 7.

[321] Tac. _Agr._ 35 ‘Legiones pro vallo stetere, ingens victoriae
decus citra Romanum sanguinem bellandi, et auxilium, si pellerentur’.
It was not necessary for Tacitus to invent this not very creditable
excuse. The tactics are those adopted with equal success against a
Highland army by the Duke of Cumberland at the battle of Culloden in
1746. The same idea of checking the impetus of a Celtic charge by
successive obstacles has often been suggested as the reason for the
seven ditches which protect the exposed side of the fort at Whitley
Castle, and the _lilia_ at Rough Castle on the Antonine Wall.

[322] They are particularly noticeable in the battle shown on
Cichorius, _Die Traiansäule_, Pl. 45, and to judge from the column, the
auxilia did more than their usual share of fighting in this war.

[323] In spite of the boasting of Antonius Primus, the achievements of
the Pannonian cavalry in 69 were limited to a reckless advance followed
by a disorderly retreat. Cf. Tac. _Hist._ iii. 2 with iii. 16. In the
second century, however, we find heavy cavalry, _contarii_, who must
have been intended for shock tactics.

[324] For Haltern see Schuchhardt, _Führer durch die Ausgrabungen von
Haltern_. It is, however, perhaps incorrect to limit the garrison to
auxiliaries: for Hofheim cf. Ritterling, _Das frührömische Lager bei
Hofheim_, 1912. It was occupied from about 40 to 60.

[325] See Pelham, _Essays in Roman History_, p. 191.

[326] e.g. Friedberg has an area of (roughly) 10 acres, Okarben of 14,
Heddernheim of 13, and Kesselstadt of 35. A cohort of 500 infantry was
usually allowed about 5 acres.

[327] See Macdonald, _The Roman forts at Barr Hill_, pp. 11-15; Curle,
_A Roman Frontier-post_, pp. 29, 349.

[328] xi. 6344 ‘P. Cornelio P. f. Sab(atina) Cicatriculae prim(o)
pil(o) bis, praefect(o) equit(um), praef(ecto) clas(sis), praef(ecto)
cohortium quattuor civium Romanor(um) in Hispania, trib(uno) mil(itum)’.

[329] iii. 14147².

[330] _W. D. Z._ xxi. 186, where this theory of the first-century
frontier system is further developed.

[331] See Pelham, _op. cit._, p. 199. The forts on the North British
frontier range in area from 2½ to 5½ acres, the largest
(Amboglanna) being designed to hold a _cohors miliaria peditata_. The
German forts seem to have been on a rather larger scale, and ran up
to 15 acres, which is the area allowed at Aalen to an _ala miliaria_.
It is not meant, of course, that forts of this type did not exist in
the first century, but it was not until the reign of Hadrian that the
dispersion of the auxilia in separate units was adopted as a general

[332] Cf. iii. 3385 ‘(Commodus) ripam omnem burgis a solo extructis
item praesidis per loca opportuna ad clandestinos latrunculorum
transitus oppositis munivit’. This is from the Danube frontier.

[333] _Historia Augusta, Vita Hadriani_, 12 ‘In plurimis locis in
quibus barbari non fluminibus sed limitibus dividuntur, stipitibus
magnis in modum muralis saepis funditus iactis atque conexis barbaros

[334] The best recent account of this frontier in English is Pelham’s
essay, ‘The Roman Frontier in Germany,’ in the work already cited.

[335] Recent researches have, however, made it very doubtful whether a
turf wall ever preceded the stone wall along the whole line.

[336] For this wall see the admirable account by Dr. George Macdonald,
_The Roman Wall in Scotland_, Glasgow, 1911.

[337] The best description of the internal arrangements of a
mile-castle is given by Mr. F. G. Simpson, in the _Transactions of
the Cumberland and Westmoreland Archaeological Society_, vol. xi, New

[338] The German Limes-Commission has not yet published its report on
these works and the course of the frontier line in general. On the
Walldürn-Welzheim section, which was built by Pius, the towers are at
intervals of from 250 to 400 metres. Pelham, _op. cit._, p. 204.

[339] The view with which I find myself in most agreement is that of
Delbrück, _Geschichte der Kriegskunst_, ii. 155-60.

[340] See Pelham, _op. cit._, p. 201 and appendix.

[341] The torches which project from the upper stories of the
block-houses represented on the Trajan column have often been noted as
indicating some method of fire-signalling.

[342] The palisade was not, of course, a board fence which could be
torn down in a few minutes. It was made of oak-trees split in halves
and bedded in a ditch four and a half feet deep. See Pelham, _op.
cit._, p. 200. Some idea of its appearance can be gathered from the
representation at the beginning of the reliefs on the Marcus column.

[343] Oman, _Art of War in the Middle Ages_, p. 209. He quotes
Nicephorus Περὶ παραδρομῆς πολέμου.

[344] The stone wall on the Raetian frontier is of very inferior

[345] The garrisons were: at Netherby, the Cohors I Aelia Hispanorum
M. E., vii. 954, 963, 964, 965; at Bremenium, the Cohors I Fida
Vardullorum M. E. and exploratores, vii. 1030, 1043; at Habitancium,
the Cohors I Vangionum M. E., exploratores and Raeti Gaesati 1002,
1003. The latest inscription at Netherby dates from the reign of
Severus Alexander; at Bremenium, the most advanced of the Dere Street
forts, from the reign of Gordian III.

[346] iii. 600. See Appendix.

[347] Cf. _Historia Augusta, Vita Marci_, 12 ‘Dum Parthicum bellum
geritur, natum est Marcomannicum, quod diu eorum, qui aderant, arte
suspensum est’.

[348] The only changes which we know of are that Legio V Macedonica
was transferred from Moesia Inferior to Dacia in the reign of Marcus
and that Legio III Augusta was sent by Gordian III as a punishment
from Africa to the Rhine, whence, however, it returned in 253. Cagnat,
_L’Armée romaine d’Afrique_, pp. 156-61.

[349] The date of this section of the _Notitia_ is disputed, but it can
hardly be earlier than the end of the third century. The diplomata are
xxix (98), xxxii (103), xxxiv (105), xliii (124), lv (_ante_ 138), lvii

[350] Cf. D. ii and iii. 3664, D. lviii and iii. 3331, and D. lx and
iii. 11333. These regiments may of course have been temporarily absent,
but the evidence is fairly continuous in each case. The Cohors V
Lucensium et Callaecorum, for example, appears on diplomata for 60, 84,
85, 133, 138/48, 148, 149 and 154.

[351] _I. G. R. R._ i. 1348, ib. 1363, iii. 14147², D. xv, iii. 14147¹.
In the last, which dates from 39, the number of the cohort is not
given, and possibly another in the same series is meant.

[352] For the date of the Egyptian section of the _Notitia_ see my
article, _The Garrison of Egypt_, in the account of the excavations at
Karanóg by the Eckley B. Cox Junior Expedition to Nubia published by
the University Museum, Philadelphia.

[353] iii. 4379 (3 Ulpii, 2 Aelii), 4360 (Aelius), 4369, 4370
(Aurelii), 11081.

[354] iii. 1371, 1372, 1374, 1379; _A. E._ 1903. 66.

[355] vii. 818 (Severus Antoninus), 819 (Gordian III), 820 (Postumus),
823 (Tetricus). Another inscription (808) dates from the reign of

[356] Tac. _Ann._ iv. 47; id. _Hist._ ii. 22.

[357] Cf. Dio’s remarks on the impression made by the provincial
legionaries in Rome in the reign of Septimius Severus, lxxiv. 2. The
following sketch applies only to the troops on the Western frontiers,
concerning whose life we have considerable evidence. The locally raised
troops in the East started as a rule at a higher level of culture,
but possibly a similar advance was made by Trajan’s regiments of
Paphlagonians, Galatians, and Arabians, although here Hellenization,
not Romanization, was of course the goal.

[358] For the importance of Mithras in the army, cf. Cumont, _Les
Mystères de Mithra_. Toutain, _Les Cultes païens dans l’Empire romain_,
cc. ii and iv, gives a classified list of the inscriptions of Mithra
and Dolichenus.

[359] H. Jacobi, _Führer durch das Römerkastell Saalburg_, 1908, gives
a summary of the latest results.

[360] Excavations so far have been confined to the fort itself, in
which the buildings were in an exceedingly good state of preservation,
and the Mithraeum.

[361] xiii. 7800 ‘Petronius Athenodorus prae(fectus) coh(ortis) I
Fl(aviae) horologium ab horis intermissum et vetustate colabsum suis
inpendis restituit’. The date is 218.

[362] Herodian iii. 8, 5.

[363] _Rheinisches Museum_, xlviii. 616 ff.

[364] viii. 18067.

[365] _A. E._ 1910. 75.

[366] Cagnat, _L’Armée romaine d’Afrique_, pp. 380-3 and 505-7.

[367] e.g. D. iii (64), a wife, son, and daughter; D. xcviii (105), a
wife, son, and two daughters; D. xxxvii (110), three sons. See above,
p. 32.

[368] iii. 3271. The approximate date of the inscription is
sufficiently indicated by the names employed.

[369] This very comprehensive dedication comes from the shrine of
Mandoulis, the source of many military inscriptions.

[370] The possibility that cives had already been admitted into the
auxiliary regiments before this date has already been discussed. See
above, p. 33.

[371] iii. 10316 and _A. E._ 1910. 144.

[372] The campaigns between Severus and his rivals (193-7)
were fought out by vexillations; hence at the end of the war we find
all the regiments on both sides, so far as they can be traced, in their
old quarters.

[373] _Historia Augusta, Vita Alex. Sev._ 58 ‘Sola, quae de
hostibus capta sunt, limitaneis ducibus et militibus donavit, ita ut
eorum essent, si heredes eorum militarent, nec umquam ad privatos
pertinerent, dicens attentius eos militaturos, si etiam sua rura
defenderent’. The theory of the self-sufficiency of each provincial
garrison could not be more clearly expressed.



The chief sources of information are the sculptured reliefs on the
sepulchral monuments of the soldiers themselves and on the columns of
Trajan and Marcus. Excavations have also yielded specimens, very badly
damaged in most cases, of the weapons and armour in use at different
periods. The literary authorities contain little that is valuable, with
the exception of Arrian’s description of cavalry uniform and equipment
in his own day.[374]

On sepulchral monuments of cavalry soldiers dating from the first
century[375] the deceased is usually represented on horseback in
the act of spearing a fallen enemy. It may be assumed, therefore,
that the armour and weapons represented are those actually used in
warfare, in other words that these men are in ‘service uniform’.
At this period the cavalry uniform consisted of a tunic, breeches
reaching a little below the knee, both probably of leather, and
the _caligae_ or military boots. Over the tunic was worn a leather
breastplate with extra shoulder-pieces to guard against a down cut.
Metal breastplates however, although rare, are not unknown. Scale
armour is worn by a trooper of the Ala Longiniana represented on an
early Rhenish relief,[376] and also appears on two African reliefs of
early date representing equites of the Cohors VI Dalmatarum.[377] The
shield is usually an oblong with the longer sides slightly curved,
but occasionally an angle in these longer sides transforms it into an
elongated hexagon. This shield was borrowed from the Celtic or Teutonic
tribes, as is shown by its frequent appearance on the reliefs in the
hands of the fallen barbarian. To judge from these reliefs it measured
about one foot by three, and was probably of wood covered with leather.

The helmet, which was of metal, had a projection behind to cover the
neck in the manner of the English cavalry helmet of the seventeenth
century. It was also furnished with an extra band of metal or a peak in
front to protect the forehead and large cheek-pieces which clasped over
the chin. On the monument of a trooper of the Ala Noricorum,[378] a
very good example of this class, the cheek-pieces are highly ornamented
and the top of the helmet is ridged to represent hair. The crest does
not appear, probably because it was not worn on active service.[379]
It is equally absent from the battle-scenes of the Trajan column,
although the ring to which it was fastened is shown. Some fine plumes
are, however, represented on the helmet of a standard-bearer of the Ala
Petriana on a British relief, which probably dates from the end of the
first century.[380]

The long broadsword or _spatha_, the characteristic weapon of the
auxiliaries,[381] which was probably, like the shield, of Celtic
origin,[382] was worn on the right side suspended from the left
shoulder by a sword belt (_balteus_). The hilt ended in a large
knob-shaped pommel, and the sheath was often highly ornamented.

The lance with which the soldier strikes his prostrate adversary
appears to have had a shaft about six feet long and a broad head. Two
more spears often appear on these sepulchral reliefs in the hands of
an attendant in the background. These are probably the throwing spears
which were carried, according to Josephus,[383] in a quiver on the
back, and could not therefore, owing to the position of the rider,
be represented in their proper place. Concerning the horses one can
say little except that they can hardly have been so small as they are
represented. The saddle has a high pommel and cantle and is sometimes
covered with a fringed cloth, and the junctures of the harness are
ornamented with metal plates (_phalerae_). Like all ancient cavalry the
auxiliaries rode without stirrups.

From these reliefs, therefore, we can construct a fairly complete
picture of the auxiliary cavalryman of the pre-Flavian period. His
equipment as he appears on the column of Trajan is essentially the
same, except that he now wears a shirt of chain-mail over his tunic
instead of the leather breastplate, and that his shield has changed
from an oblong to a narrow oval.[384] It is hardly necessary now
to defend the accuracy of the column in matters of detail, but it
may be mentioned that there is further testimony for each of these

Chain-mail appears on the Adam Klissi reliefs and is mentioned by
Arrian,[386] and the oval shield is shown on a Rhenish relief dating
from the end of the first century.[387] The varied scenes represented
on the column enable one also to notice further points, such as the
manner in which the shield is slung at the side of the saddle when
troops are on the march,[388] and the use of the military cloak
(_sagum_) which hung down the back and could not therefore appear on
the sepulchral reliefs.[389]

In addition to this service uniform there was, as Arrian’s description
shows, a sort of parade uniform in which the mail shirts were replaced
by brightly coloured tunics, and lighter shields and spears were
carried than those used in war.[390] It was with this uniform and on
ceremonial occasions that some of the soldiers wore those curious
helmets with a mask decorating the face of which several specimens have
been found.[391] The fine scale armour which has been found at Newstead
and elsewhere probably also formed part of this parade uniform. It is,
indeed, always worn by the Praetorians on the Marcus column, but the
auxilia still appear in chain-mail as on the column of Trajan.[392]
Specially elaborate suits of this armour were, however, worn by the
regiments of catafractarii who appear in the army list in the second
century.[393] The last change which we can trace was the alteration of
the shape of the shield from oval to round, which probably took place
in the third century. An _eques_ of the Cohors I Thracum is represented
on a Danubian sepulchral monument with a shield of this form,[394] and
the contemporary reliefs on the arch of Constantine show that it was
practically universal a century later.

The equipment described above was worn by the majority of the auxiliary
cavalry, but it was by no means universal. The horse archers, if one
may judge by a soldier of the Ala I Augusta Ituraeorum represented on
a Danubian relief, carried no shield, and possibly no body armour, and
wore a leather cap in place of a helmet.[395] Arrian also mentions that
some regiments carried a specially heavy spear (κοντός), and devoted
themselves to shock tactics.[396] The _numeri_, too, did not adopt
the Roman uniform, but kept to their own dress and weapons. The Moors
of Lusius Quietus are represented on the column wearing nothing but
a short tunic; their weapons consist of a spear and a small round
buckler (_cetra_), and they ride their horses without saddle or bridle,
guiding them simply by a halter round the neck.[397] The regiments
of Sarmatae enrolled by Marcus also presumably wore their national
costume, which is perhaps represented in a fragmentary relief in the
Chester Museum.[398]

The equipment of the auxiliary infantry in the first century is more
difficult to determine. Not only did the soldiers of the cohorts erect
fewer sculptured monuments than the cavalry troopers, but on these
reliefs the deceased is not represented in the act of fighting, so
that we cannot be certain that he appears in full service uniform. One
of the best of the early monuments is the tombstone of a soldier of
Cohors IV Dalmatarum from the Rhine.[399] The deceased is dressed in
a short tunic, which is looped up at the sides so as to hang down in
front in a series of folds. The _sagum_ covers his shoulders and hangs
down his back. A long _spatha_ and a short dagger are suspended from
two waist-belts (_cingula_) at his right and left side respectively.
He has no body armour except a kind of sporran composed of strips of
metal which extends from the middle of his belt to the bottom of his
tunic. His legs are bare, and he wears no helmet. In his right hand he
holds two long spears and in his left an oblong rectangular shield,
which is not curved like the legionary _scutum_ but flat as a board.
On two other reliefs a soldier of the Cohors I Pannoniorum[400] and an
archer of the Cohors I Sagittariorum[401] are represented in a similar
costume, except that the Pannonian wears the _paenula_ instead of the
_sagum_, and that the archer carries a bow and arrows in place of the
shield and spears.

If these soldiers are fully equipped they have surprisingly little
defensive armour, but on other monuments, notably those of a private
of the Cohors II Raetorum,[402] and a standard-bearer of the Cohors V
Asturum,[403] a leather breastplate appears similar to that worn by
the cavalry at this period. On the Trajan column too, the auxiliary
infantry are furnished like the cavalry with metal helmet and
chain-mail shirt and wear the short tunic and _bracae_.[404] Professor
von Domaszewski would like to see in all this a development of the
auxiliaries from light into heavy infantry,[405] and it is true that in
his account of the German campaigns in the reign of Tiberius, Tacitus
emphasizes their character as light-armed troops.[406] But even on the
Trajan column they are still lighter armed than the legionaries, and
the evidence of the monuments is far from decisive. The tombstones
of legionaries of the same period represent them wearing a leather
breastplate, although there is no reason to suppose that the so-called
_lorica segmentata_ was not yet in use. On the whole it seems safer
to fall back on the hypothesis that on some of these monuments the
deceased is represented in a parade uniform with which, as in the case
of that described by Arrian, the breastplate was not worn. The tunic
with its elaborate folds may also form part of this costume, since
we know from the cavalry reliefs that the short leather tunics and
_bracae_ were already in use.

The Trajanic reliefs show several varieties of uniforms in addition to
the ordinary type described above. The flying column which the emperor
leads down the Danube includes men who wear, instead of the ordinary
helmet, an animal’s skin arranged over the head and shoulders in the
manner usually confined to standard-bearers, and others whose helmets
are of a curious Teutonic pattern.[407] These may belong to regular
cohorts which had been allowed to retain something of their national
costume, but a barbarian who appears in this scene and elsewhere clad
only in long loose breeches and a _sagum_, and whose chief weapon is
a knotted club, must represent a _numerus_. Others of these irregular
regiments are probably represented by the archers clad in long tunics
and pointed caps or wearing helmet and shirt of scale armour who appear
in one or two scenes.[408] They are certainly to be distinguished from
the archers of the _cohortes sagittariorum_, who appear in a uniform
which only differs from that of the ordinary auxiliary infantry in
the absence of the shield.[409] The most exceptional uniform is that
of the slingers, who are dressed simply in tunics with no armour
but a shield.[410] Cichorius[411] wishes to recognize in them men
from the Balearic Islands, but although the Baleares were employed
by the Republic we have no inscriptions of a Cohors Balearum under
the Empire. Moreover, if there existed cohorts of slingers with this
distinctive uniform we should expect to find _cohortes funditorum_
or _libritorum_ on the analogy of the _cohortes sagittariorum_. It
appears, on the contrary, from a passage in Hadrian’s speech to the
African army that slinging formed part of the general training of
all the auxilia.[412] Like the cavalry, the auxiliary infantry are
represented on the Marcus column in a uniform essentially the same as
that worn eighty years previously, and no further developments can be
traced. The most striking fact which emerges from this inquiry is the
general uniformity of the equipment of nine-tenths of the auxiliary
regiments in the second century. We learn from casual references in
Tacitus that this uniformity had always been the ideal of the Roman War
Office,[413] and from the military point of view there was doubtless
much to recommend it.

It has, however, more significance if we regard it as one phase in that
extension of a uniform material culture through at any rate the western
half of the Empire which marks the first and second centuries.


[374] Arrian, _Tactica_, 4 and 34-41.

[375] The chronology of the Rhenish reliefs has been worked out by
Weynand (_B. J. B._ 108/9), and the Danubian monuments have been
similarly treated by Hofman (_Sonderschrift des Oesterreichischen
Archäologischen Institutes in Wien_, Band v, 1905).

[376] Figured by Lehner in the first part of his illustrated catalogue
of the Bonn Museum, Plate vii, no. 3.

[377] Figured by Cagnat, _L’Armée romaine d’Afrique_, p. 238.

[378] Frontispiece.

[379] It may also be omitted on the reliefs from considerations of
space, which are also probably the cause of the frequent omission of
the helmet.

[380] _J. R. S._ ii. (1912) Fig. 8. As it was found at Hexham, and
probably comes from Corbridge, it cannot well have been erected before
about 85.

[381] See Tac. _Ann._ xii. 35 (describing an engagement with Caratacus)
‘et si auxiliaribus resisterent, gladiis ac pilis legionariorum, si huc
verterent, spathis et hastis auxiliarium sternebantur’.

[382] Professor Baldwin Brown considers it to be a development of the
iron broadsword of the La Tène period (_Arts and Crafts of our Teutonic
Forefathers_, p. 118).

[383] Josephus, _Bell. Iud._ iii. 5, 6.

[384] The best representation of cavalry is Cichorius, Pl. 28.

[385] I do not mean to imply that the details are correctly represented
in every case. The swords, for instance, are often omitted,
particularly in the earlier scenes. Doubtless several artists were
employed, and all were not equally conscientious.

[386] Arrian, _Tactica_, 4 θώρακα πεπλεγμένον, 41 θώραξι σιδηροῖς.

[387] _B. J. B._ lxxxi. 104. The soldier’s name, T. Flavius Bassus,
gives a _terminus post quem_ for the dating of the relief.

[388] Cichorius, Pl. 65 (_equites singulares_).

[389] It is sometimes replaced by the scarf (_focale_).

[390] Arrian, _op. cit._ 34.

[391] I agree with Mr. Curle that the passage in Arrian (ἴσα πάντη τοῖς
προσώποις πεποίηται τῶν ἱππέων) refers to helmets of this kind. See his
discussion of the Newstead example, _A Roman Frontier-post_, Pl. 24,
27, 29, 30.

[392] Von Domaszewski and Petersen, _Die Marcussäule_, Pl. 27, 52.

[393] An Ala Gallorum et Pannoniorum catafractata existed in the reign
of Hadrian, xi. 5632.

[394] Hofman, Fig. 46. (Cf. iii. 4316.) He assigns it to the third

[395] Hofman, Fig. 23. The deceased is represented shooting very
dexterously at a target.

[396] Arrian, _Tactica_, 4. It appears from this passage that in the
reign of Hadrian the cavalry did not carry spears of two sizes for
thrusting and throwing in the time of Josephus (see above), but one
or more of medium length suitable for both purposes. The _contarii_
were a special class of regiments; the best known of which was the Ala
contariorum miliaria stationed in Pannonia (see Appendix).

[397] Cichorius, Pl. 44, 45.

[398] Haverfield, _Catalogue of Inscribed Stones in Grosvenor Museum_,
no. 137.

[399] Lehner, Pl. v, no. 3.

[400] Lindenschmidt, _Tracht und Bewaffnung des römischen Heeres_, Pl.
vi, no. 2.

[401] Lehner, Pl. no. 2.

[402] Lehner, Pl. vi, no. 3. This monument may be slightly later in
date than the others, since the soldier carries an oval shield.

[403] Lehner, Pl. vi, no. 4.

[404] The details are brought out most clearly on Cichorius, Pl. 52.

[405] _Rangordnung_, p. 59: ‘Sie (the numeri) dienen zur Ergänzung der
zur schweren Infanterie umgeschaffenen Auxiliarcohorten.’

[406] Tac. _Ann._ i. 51 ‘leves cohortes’, ii. 52 ‘legio medio leves
cohortes duaeque alae in cornibus locantur’. Similarly iii. 39, iv. 73.

[407] Cichorius, Pl. 27. For the helmet with metal ribs see Baldwin
Brown, _Arts and Crafts_, Pl. xxx, Fig. 118. For the skins of animals
worn by German auxiliaries see Tac. _Hist._ ii. 88.

[408] Cichorius, Pl. 47, 50 and 80. They carry the Asiatic παλίντονα
τόξα and may well be Palmyreni. Cichorius decides that those who wear
scale armour are probably Iazyges, but his reasons seem insufficient.

[409] Cichorius, Pl. 19.

[410] Cichorius, Pl. 47, 50.

[411] Cichorius, ii. 311.

[412] viii. 18042 ‘Addidistis ut et lapides fundis mitteretis et
missilibus confligeretis’. This is addressed to the ‘equites cohortis
VI Commagenorum’.

[413] Cf. Tac. _Ann._ xii. 16 ‘Bosporani … nostris in armis’, with
_Hist._ iii. 47.



In the preceding pages we have traced the history of the auxilia
through the two centuries which followed the death of Augustus. At
the end of this period, as at the beginning, the distinction between
legions and auxilia still appears as one of the fundamental principles
of the military system of the Empire. But during it the growth of
certain tendencies, operative not only in the army but through the
Empire as a whole, had profoundly altered the original scheme by which
levies of uncivilized provincials, drawn from every province, were
to support the contingents of the ruling race. Before a century had
elapsed the legionaries were no longer Italians nor the auxiliaries
barbarians. As a result, among other things, of the steady extension
of civic rights, the legionaries were drawn from the provinces, and
as a peaceful civilization developed, the recruiting-area for legions
and auxilia alike gradually contracted to the frontier districts.
Finally, at the close of the period, the distinction between _civis_
and _peregrinus_ was swept away by the legislation of 212.

From the military point of view also the character of the army had
undergone a no less fundamental change. The concentrated striking
force of the days of Augustus, which was ready to plunge year after
year into the heart of Germany, had been transformed into a frontier
guard, scattered over a wide front and accustomed to act permanently
on the defensive, every unit of which was fixed immovably, generation
after generation, in the same position. This system, exposed, it is
only fair to say, to a strain far more severe than its designers had
ever contemplated, broke down completely during the course of the
third century, and although, after fifty years of anarchy, the Empire
rid itself temporarily of internal and external enemies, the military
organization was never restored on the old lines. It is our business in
this concluding section to trace the stages in this collapse, and to
suggest reasons for the change in military policy traceable in the work
of Diocletian and his successors.

It has already been noted that the frontier system adopted in the
second century had obvious defects.

It can easily be seen that if the strongly guarded frontier line were
broken through at any point the internal provinces were exposed to the
greatest danger. In themselves they possessed no means of making a
stand against an invader. Their garrisons were small, cut down in fact
to the minimum quantity required for police duty, and the provincial
militia, which we hear of during the first century, seems no longer
to have existed except in Mauretania. In fact, now that the army was
recruited almost entirely in the frontier provinces, the profession
of arms must have been more unfamiliar to the inhabitants of Western
Europe and Asia Minor than it has ever been since, and many a citizen
of the prosperous little towns of Gaul, Africa, or the Hellenized
districts of the East can never have set eyes on the imperial uniform.
The situation was clearly a dangerous one, and the lesson of the
Marcomannian War must have made it clear that this system could only
continue if the frontier troops were supported by a strong and mobile
striking force, ready to move at a moment’s notice to any threatened

In the second century the only available regiments not occupied in
frontier defence or police duty consisted of the Household Troops at
Rome, i.e. the ten Praetorian cohorts and the Equites Singulares.
The Guards were in fact employed by Domitian, Trajan, and Marcus on
the Danube frontier, but their numbers were small, their duties were
not calculated to increase their military efficiency, and they were
rightly looked down upon by the trained veterans of the frontiers.[414]
The gravity of the situation was grasped by Septimius Severus, who
took advantage of the discredit in which the Praetorians were involved
by their support of Didius Julianus to disband the old cohorts, which
had been recruited in Italy and the ‘civilized’ provinces of Noricum,
Macedonia, and Spain, and replace them by a _corps d’élite_ selected
from the legions.[415]

This force, still too small to be effective, was further strengthened
by an increase in the number of the Equites Singulares,[416] and
the addition of one of Severus’s new legions, the Secunda Parthica,
which was henceforth stationed at Alba.[417] His successors continued
the same policy: under Severus Alexander we find an officer of the
Household Troops bearing the title _praepositus equitum itemque peditum
iuniorum Maurorum_,[418] a title which implies the existence of at
least two regiments of this character, and the _Osroeni sagittarii_,
who were among this emperor’s following at the time of his murder, were
so numerous that they attempted to set up a rival to Maximin and were
temporarily disbanded.[419]

Had the construction of a field army on these lines proceeded in
time of peace, it would necessarily have involved a reorganization of
the whole system to meet the increase in expenditure. As it was, the
fifty years of civil war and barbarian invasion which followed the
accession of Maximin saw the old order irreparably ruined. The great
Illyrian emperors who saved civilization for another century, and
spent themselves in marching ceaselessly from province to province,
cutting down the hydra heads of revolt and striving to repel the
recurring assaults of Goth or Persian, could neither hope to maintain
the old frontier lines nor spare time to collect vexillations after
the second-century manner when each new danger threatened. Sweeping
together Household Troops and fragments of the broken frontier armies
and enlisting thousands of barbarian mercenaries, they strove to keep
a concentrated force at their disposal which they moved constantly
backwards and forwards across the Empire as each internal or external
crisis demanded. It was this field army which shared in the imperial
triumphs and received such rewards as the exhausted finances could
bestow. In comparison with it such units of the old frontier troops,
legions and auxilia alike, as maintained their old positions (and we
shall see that many did so) sank steadily in prestige and importance.
When finally the barbarian fury had temporarily spent its force, and
a cessation of internal warfare granted Diocletian and Constantine
breathing space in which to reorganize the civil and military
administration of the Empire, the provisional reconstruction brought
into being by these fifty years of stress and disaster was formally
recognized and incorporated in the new order. The distinction between
first and second class troops is no longer between legions and auxilia
as in the days of Augustus, but between the Palatini and Comitatenses
on the one hand, who followed in war the emperor himself and the new
heads of the military hierarchy, the _magistri peditum_ and _equitum_,
and were kept concentrated at strategic points within the Empire in
time of peace, and on the other the Limitanei or Ripenses, who formed,
under the _duces limitum_, a territorial frontier guard, membership in
which was now hereditary in law as well as practice.[420]

At this point we might legitimately take leave of our subject, for
although the names of many of the old auxiliary regiments still appear
in the fourth and fifth centuries among the Limitanei, there is nothing
in either character or status to distinguish them from such of the old
legions as had survived in a similar capacity. The title ‘auxilia’, on
the other hand, is now applied to corps of new creation and barbarian
origin which figure on the roll of the field army.

But the very fact that so many of the old corps still figure on the
army list tempts us to consider the circumstances under which they
survived and to take a brief survey of the changed conditions under
which they continued their existence. It is fortunate that for the
history of the Roman army during the fourth century we possess two
authorities of considerable merit, the historian Ammianus Marcellinus
and the _Notitia Dignitatum_. Ammianus, himself a soldier, is
practically the first historian of the Empire since Josephus to give
us a first-hand account of military operations.[421] The _Notitia
Dignitatum_ purports to give us, what we do not possess for any earlier
period, a complete list of the regiments composing the imperial army.
It is true that this list appears to be a compilation drawing from
evidence of very different dates, but there can be no doubt that it
represents for most provinces the general state of things prevailing in
the fourth century.

The most significant fact which strikes us in these authorities is the
barbaric character of both troops and officers. The majority of the
officers mentioned by Ammianus, even those of highest rank, are of
Teutonic origin, many being drawn even from the Franks, who are usually
reckoned among the more uncivilized of the Empire’s assailants. The
same picture is presented by the _Notitia_. Corps which must at any
rate have been originally raised from barbarian tribes, who normally
dwelt beyond the frontier, abound among the Palatini and Comitatenses,
and are to be found in smaller number among the Limitanei. Thus
barbarian Atecotti from Caledonia figure as _auxilia palatina_ in
the field armies of Illyricum, Italy, and Gaul;[422] cavalry drawn
from the Alani appear as a _vexillatio palatina_ in Italy,[423] and
Marcomanni as a _vexillatio comitatensis_ among the troops assigned
to the _comes Africae_.[424] Among the troops of the second class we
find in the garrison of Egypt Vandals, Iuthungi, and Quadi from the
Danube, Franks and Chamavi from the Lower Rhine, Tzanni and Abasgi from
the Caucasus,[425] and much the same elements appear in the garrison
of Phoenicia.[426] In regard to these troops it may be urged that,
since they are organized in cohorts and alae after the old model, they
seem to have been incorporated at latest towards the end of the third
century, and that such corps, since they can hardly have obtained fresh
drafts from their original recruiting-grounds, may have undergone the
same transformation as the regiments of Spaniards and Gauls which were
sent to Egypt and Syria in the first century. In the case in question
this argument may possibly hold good,[427] but in other parts of the
Empire it was no longer necessary to send recruiting agents beyond
the borders to find barbarian troops. In recording the presence of a
_praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium_ in almost every considerable town in
North Italy,[428] and of similar officers commanding German _laeti_
in all the provinces of Gaul, the _Notitia_[429] is but confirming
the abundant evidence of other authorities as to the settlement of
barbarians within the Empire during the third and fourth centuries.[430]

This wholesale use of barbarians was largely due to the hasty
constructive measures which the stress of the third-century invasions
demanded. The normal recruiting-grounds of the army were the first to
be desolated, and after a costly campaign it was easier to fill the
depleted ranks by enlisting barbarian prisoners than to raise and train
levies from the unwarlike provinces of the interior. In the same way it
seemed statesmanlike to settle other prisoners on the deserted fields,
who, secure themselves in their tenure, might aid in repelling their
successors. Thus the number of barbarian contingents was constantly
increasing, and behind the banners of Aurelian or Probus the Teutonic
war-band marched side by side with regiments which could claim a
record extending back to the reign of Augustus. The only considerable
levies made within the Empire after 250 were carried out in the
Illyrian provinces of which most of the emperors were natives, and are
represented by the fifty or sixty regiments of Dalmatian cavalry which
appear in the _Notitia_ stationed in almost every province.[431]

But side by side with the new creations, such as the Felices Honoriani
and the Comites Taifali, the names of many of the old corps still
figure on the fourth-century army list. The legions had naturally come
off best; the most determined barbarian raid seldom took a legionary
fortress, and if it did, a detachment serving with the field army would
probably survive to keep the name of the corps in existence. It is
not surprising, therefore, to find that of the thirty legions which
existed before the reign of Severus, twenty-seven still appear in the
_Notitia_.[432] From the way in which they are mentioned, however,
we can gather many evidences of the storm through which the army had
passed. Many detachments, severed from the main body on some special
service, were never able to regain it, and are found where the fortunes
of war had stranded them. Thus Legio VII Gemina not only appears in
its proper place, divided between the field army and the territorial
forces of Spain, but is also mentioned as a _Legio Comitatensis_ in
the field army of the East, and a _Legio Pseudo-comitatensis_ in
Gaul.[433] The old Dacian legion, XIII Gemina, is represented by
several detachments guarding that part of the Danube which was allotted
to the new province of Dacia Ripensis, but appears also in Egypt.[434]
Legio II Italica, which had guarded Noricum since the days of Marcus,
is included also as a _Legio Comitatensis_ in the field army of

The auxiliary regiments naturally did not fare so well. The small
detachments drafted off for service in the field army probably
soon lost their identity, and the _castella_, which contained the
regimental head-quarters, must have often been taken and destroyed.
Still, as the appendix shows, over fifty regiments survived long
enough to be included in the _Notitia_. Naturally the chances of
surviving had varied on different frontiers. The section of the
_Notitia_ which deals with the northern frontier of Britain contains
so many names of pre-Diocletianic regiments that it has sometimes
been thought to represent the earliest stratum in the whole work.
There seems, however, no reason to doubt that the original garrison,
although in attenuated numbers, succeeded in maintaining itself
until well into the fourth century. We know from archaeological
evidence that even the mile-castles were not abandoned until the
reign of Constantine.[436] An almost equally large proportion of
old regiments is present in the garrison of Cappadocia, which had
been spared the full force of the Persian attack.[437] In Egypt, too,
most of the old regiments still survive, although they are largely
outnumbered by recent formations.[438] The garrison of this important
corn-producing province, more essential than ever since the foundation
of Constantinople, had evidently been increased to guard against
renewed attacks from the Blemmyes on the Upper Nile, who had raided it
successfully in the third century. The Rhine frontier, on the other
hand, seems to have been swept of its old garrison from end to end. Two
of its legions have disappeared, and the other two, which are included
in the field army, probably only survive thanks to their names being
preserved by detachments which were absent when the fortresses were
stormed.[439] It is not until we reach Raetia and the protection of the
Upper Danube that any of the old auxiliary regiments appear. On the
Middle and Lower Danube, however, the scene of repeated invasions and
civil wars during the third century, few of the old troops survived.
The struggle was probably a long one: we know from epigraphical
evidence that several forts were still holding out towards the end
of the century, and excavation may show that many barbarian raids
retired without doing any serious damage. But the attack was constantly
renewed, and it is not surprising to find that three new cavalry
formations have replaced the Cohors Hemesenorum at Intercisa,[440]
and that detachments of Equites Dalmatae are now responsible for
practically the whole stretch of frontier between Belgrade and
Buda-Pesth.[441] Only the Cohors I Thracum C. R. and the Cohors III
Alpinorum, the latter of the old Dalmatian army, remain to remind us
of the corps which defended this frontier in the second century.[442]
On the Lower Danube, where the Goths had crossed in force, and in the
oriental provinces which had felt the heavy hand of Persian invader and
Palmyrene usurper, we are only greeted by similar survivals.[443] The
section dealing with Cyrenaica is lost, so that we know as little of
its garrison now as in the previous period. In Africa the frontier had
been reorganized in a number of small districts, each under an officer
styled _praepositus limitis_, and although we have a list of these
districts, we are not told by what troops they were guarded.[444] Only
for Tingitana are we given a slightly fuller schedule in which a few
old names appear.[445]

The isolation of these remnants of the old imperial army among the
flood of Teutonic and other barbarian immigrants shows that the new
régime inaugurated by Diocletian was foredoomed to failure. The Empire
had trusted to a professional army recruited from a comparatively small
section of its inhabitants, and when this army succumbed to the strain
of civil war and foreign invasion, and the old recruiting-grounds were
wasted, few of the provinces of the interior, which for nearly two
centuries had practically ceased to furnish soldiers, held any reserve
of military material. By admitting this and calling upon the barbarian
to occupy and defend the wasted frontier lands, the civilization of
the ancient world showed that it had lost the vitality which might
have assimilated these new elements as Gaul, Spaniard, and African
had been assimilated in the past. A succession of able rulers and the
overpowering prestige of the past kept the framework intact for a
century after Diocletian’s death. Then when the final catastrophe came,
and the Western provinces sank into the Dark Ages, a national revival
headed by the still virile races of Asia Minor saved the once despised
provinces of the East from being involved in a common ruin. It is with
Zeno the Isaurian, not with Diocletian, that the true renascence of the
Empire begins.

But the auxiliary regiments which survived into the fourth century
need not only suggest to us, by the smallness of their numbers and
their isolation among their barbarian comrades, the nearness of the
end. The reflection that many of these regiments had held the position
assigned to them and preserved a continuous military record for over
three hundred years may serve also to remind us of the greatness
of the services rendered by the army of the Empire to the cause of


[414] For the feelings of legionaries and Praetorians towards one
another cf. Tac. _Hist._ ii. 21 ‘illi ut segnem et desidem et circo ac
theatris corruptum militem, hi peregrinum et externum increpabant’.

[415] Dio, lxxiv. 2.

[416] See Liebenam, s.v. _Equites Singulares_, in Pauly-Wissowa. Cf.
Herodian iii. 13, 4.

[417] Herodian viii. 5, 8; _Hist. Aug. Vit. Caracalli_, 2; Dio, lv. 24.

[418] viii. 20996. He held this post between the command of an Urban
and that of a Praetorian Cohort.

[419] Herodian, vii. 1, 9.

[420] Codex Theodosianus vii. 22, Esp. 22. 9, issued in 380: ‘Sciantque
veterani liberos suos quos militaribus aptos muneribus insitum robur
ostendat, aut offerendos esse militiae aut obnoxios nostrae legis
laqueis iam futuros.’

[421] Ammianus served in his youth in the Protectores Domestici, was on
the staff of Ursicinus in the Persian War of Constantius, and survived,
and has given us a brilliant description of, the siege of Amida in 359.

[422] _Not. Dign. Or._ ix. 29. _Not. Dign. Occ._ vii. 24, 74, 78.

[423] _Not. Dign. Occ._ vii. 163.

[424] _Not. Dign. Occ._ vii. 183.

[425] _Not. Dign. Or._ xxviii and xxxi.

[426] _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxii.

[427] For traces of a ‘nationalist’ feeling in the Egyptian army at the
end of the fourth century see my remarks in Karanóg. (See above, p.

[428] _Not. Dign. Occ._ xiii. 46-63. There are also a few Sarmatae in

[429] _Not. Dign. Occ._ xiii. 33-42.

[430] The practice was started by Marcus, who sent 8,000 Iazyges
to different parts of the Empire (5,500 to Britain) during the
Marcomannian War. Dio, lxxi. 16.

[431] For the organization of these Dalmatian cavalry in the third
century and their subsequent importance see Ritterling in the
_Festschrift_ for O. Hirschfeld.

[432] Those missing are the British Legio XX Valeria Victrix, and I
Minervia and XXII Primigenia from the Rhine. It is possible, however,
that the ‘Primani’ who form part of the British field army (_Not. Dign.
Occ._ vii. 155) represent Legio I Minervia. A ‘primanorum legio’ also
appears at the battle of Argentorate. Ammianus, xvi. 12, 49.

[433] Cf. _Not. Dign. Occ._ vii. 132 and xlii. 26 with _Not. Dign. Or._
vii. 41 and _Not. Dign. Occ._ vii. 103.

[434] _Not. Dign. Or._ xlii. 34-8, xxviii. 15.

[435] _Not. Dign. Occ._ vii. 144, xxxiv. 37-9.

[436] For Britain see _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxviii and xl. The occupation
of the mile-castles seems to have been interrupted at the end of the
third century, probably at the time of the usurpation of Carausius, but
further excavation will be necessary to determine the exact bearing of
this evidence.

[437] For Cappadocia see _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxviii and Appendix.

[438] For Egypt see _Not. Dign. Or._ xxviii and xxxi and my discussion
of these sections in Karanóg. (See above, p. 115.)

[439] For Legg. VIII Augusta and XXX Ulpia Victrix see _Not. Dign.
Occ._ v. 153, vii. 28 and 108. It must be remembered, however, that
possibly Legio I Minervia was still in existence (see above, p. 140)
and that we have not in the _Notitia_ a complete list of the Rhine

[440] The garrison consists of a _cuneus equitum Dalmatarum_, a _cuneus
equitum Constantianorum_, and some _equites sagittarii_. _Not. Dign.
Occ._ xxxiii. 25, 26, and 38.

[441] Twelve of these regiments appear in _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxxiii
(Valeria) and eight in xxxii (Pannonia Secunda).

[442] _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxxii. 57 and 59. Probably, however, in xxxiii
the names of regiments have been omitted after the title _tribunus
cohortis_, which occurs six times at the end of the list, and some of
these might have been old formations.

[443] e.g. the Cohors II Galatarum in Palestine and the Cohors I Ulpia
Dacorum in Syria. _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxiv. 44 and xxxiii. 33.

[444] _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxv (Africa), xxx (Mauretania), and xxxi

[445] _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxvi.


During the course of this essay an attempt was made to estimate
roughly the total number of auxiliary troops in existence during
the first century, but the evidence for this period was too scanty
to permit of discussing further the size and composition of the
various provincial garrisons.[446] In the second century, however,
the evidence of ‘diplomata’ and dated inscriptions becomes relatively
copious, and it has seemed possible to draw up something like an ‘army
list’, giving the names of the regiments stationed in every province
during this period so far as they are known. Such a list cannot, of
course, make any pretensions to completeness, but it is hoped that
the main conclusions which it suggests will not be found incorrect,
and that it may be of service to future workers in the same field.
The period to which the list is intended to apply extends from the
death of Trajan, in 117, to the accession of Marcus, in 161, during
which no hostilities on a large scale took place, so that in view of
the general character of the military system we may safely assume
that few regiments were transferred from one province to another. In
drawing up the list the following principles have been observed. In
the first place, all regiments have been included which are assigned
to a particular province by a ‘diploma’ or inscription dated within
the limits of the period. Secondly, those regiments are included which
can be shown to have existed before and after the period, since they
must obviously also have been in existence during it, although their
allocation to a particular province is of course not so certain. To
this category belong those regiments which, while only mentioned in
later inscriptions or the _Notitia Dignitatum_, bear evidence in the
titles ‘Claudia’, ‘Flavia’, ‘Ulpia’, or ‘Aelia’ that they were created
at an earlier date.

These canons have not, however, been rigidly adhered to in every case.
In estimating the garrison of Mauretania Caesariensis; for example,
where evidence is particularly scanty, it seemed foolish to exclude
that afforded by the diploma of 107, the only one yet found in the
province. In this and other doubtful cases a summary of the evidence
used is appended to the name of the regiment, so that the reader
may judge of its value for himself. When the facts seem certain the
epigraphical evidence is not cited in full, although to illustrate
certain arguments used in the text a reference is given to every
‘diploma’ in which each regiment is mentioned and also to the _Notitia
Dignitatum_.[447] In calculating the strength of the various provincial
garrisons the cohorts and alae are reckoned at 500 or 1,000 men each,
the mounted infantry of a _cohors equitata_ being estimated at 25 per
cent. of the total establishment. For the _numeri_, which probably
varied in size, an average strength of 200 men has been taken.

I. BRITAIN.[448]

Diplomata xxix (98), xxxii (103), xxxiv (105), xliii (124), lv (_ante_
138), lvii (146).


  I Asturum                          98 (?), 124, 146. _Not.
                                       Dign. Occ._ xl. 35.
  II Asturum                         Several inscriptions. _Eph. Ep._
                                       ix. 1171 dates from _c._ 180.
                                       (Cf. Dio, lxxii. 8). _Not. Dign.
                                       Occ._ xl. 38.
  Augusta Gallorum                   98 (?), 124. Not. Dign.
    Petriana M. C. R.                  Occ. xl. 45.
  Augusta Gallorum                   98 (?), _ante_ 138, 146.
  II Gallorum Sebosiana              103, inscription of the third
                                       century (vii. 287).
  Picentiana                         124.
  I Qu//ru (? Cugernorum)            124.
  Sabiniana                          vii. 571. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xl. 37.[449]
  Tungrorum                          98, 105, 145-80 (vii. 1090).[450]
  Hispanorum Vettonum C. R.          103, 197 (vii. 273).
  Augusta Vocontiorum                145-80 (vii. 1080).[451]


  I Aquitanorum                      124, 158 (_Eph. Ep._ ix. 1108).
  I Asturum                          260 (viii. 9047).[452]
  II Asturum                         105 (?), 124. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xl. 42.[453]
  I Baetasiorum C. R.                103, 124. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xxviii. 18.
  I Batavorum                        124. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xl. 39.
  III Bracaraugustanorum             103, 124, 146. _Eph. Ep._
                                       ix. 1277.
  IV Breucorum                       vii. 458, 1231. _Eph. Ep._ vii.
                                       1127. The only one of these
                                       which can be dated belongs to
                                       the third century, but the
                                       cohort doubtless formed part of
                                       the early series, which can be
                                       traced in several provinces.
  I Celtiberorum                     105, 146.
  I Aelia Classica                   146. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xl. 51.
  I Ulpia Traiana Cugernorum C. R.   103, 124.
  I Aelia Dacorum M.                 146. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xl. 44.
  I Dalmatarum                       124.
  II Dalmatarum                      105 (?). _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xl. 43.
  II Dongonum                        124.
  I Frisiavonum                      105, 124. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xl.
  II Gallorum E.                     146.
  IV Gallorum E.                     146. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xl. 41.
  V Gallorum                         145-80 (vii. 1083). 222 (_Eph.
                                       Ep._ ix. 1140).
  I Nervana Germanorum M. E.         Second-century inscriptions
                                       (vii. 1063, 1066).[455]
  I Hamiorum S.                      124, 136-8 (vii. 748).
  I Aelia Hispanorum M. E.           222 (vii. 965).
  I Hispanorum E.                    98, 103, 105, 124, 146. _Not.
                                       Dign. Occ._ xl. 49.
  I Lingonum E.                      105, c. 142 (vii. 1041).
  II Lingonum E.                     98, 124. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xl. 48.
  IV Lingonum E.                     103, 146. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xl. 33.
  I Menapiorum                       124.
  I Morinorum                        103. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xl. 52.
  II Nerviorum                       98, 124, 146.
  III Nerviorum C. R.                124. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xl. 53.
  VI Nerviorum C. R.                 124, 146. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xl. 56.
  II Pannoniorum                     105 (?). Still existing in the
                                       reign of Hadrian (ix. 1619).
  III Pannoniorum                    _ante_ 138.[456]
  I Sunucorum                        124.
  I Thracum                          117-38 (vii. 275),[457] 193-7
                                       (vii. 273).
  II Thracum E.                      103, 145-80 (vii. 1091). _Not.
                                       Dign. Occ._ xl. 50.
  I Tungrorum M.                     103, 124. _Not. Dign._ xl. 40.
  II Tungrorum M. E. C. L.[458]      158. _Eph. Ep._ ix. 1230.
  I Vangionum M. E.                  103, 124.
  I Fida Vardullorum M. E. C. R.     98, 105, 124, 146.

  6,000 cavalry, 2,125 mounted infantry, 20,875 infantry.
  Total 29,000.

Legions in the province: II Augusta, VI Victrix, XX Valeria Victrix.


Diploma 78. _I Bericht über die Fortschritte der römisch-germanischen
Forschung_, p. 99.


  Afrorum                            78. One inscription, which is
                                       apparently second century
                                      (xiii. 8806).[459]
  Noricorum                          78, 138-61 (xiii. 8517).
  Sulpicia                           78, 187 (xiii. 8185).


  I Flavia E.                        205 (xiii. 7797), 250 (xiii. 7786).
  II Hispanorum P. F. E.             158 (xiii. 7796).
  VI Ingenuorum C. R.                xiii. 8315. Still existing in
                                       third century. _A. E._
                                       1911. 107.
  XV Voluntariorum C. R.             Early third-century inscriptions
                                      (xiii. 8824, 8826).[460]

1,500 cavalry, 250 mounted infantry, 1,750 infantry. Total 3,500.

Legions in the province: I Minervia, XXX Ulpia Victrix.


Diplomata xi (74), xiv (82), xxi (90), xl (116), l (134).


  I Flavia Gemina                    74, 82, 90, 116.
  Indiana Gallorum                   134.
  Scubulorum                         74, 82, 90, 116.


  I Aquitanorum Veterana E.          74, 82, 90, 116, 134.
  I Aquitanorum Biturigum            74, 90, 116 (?), 134.
  III Aquitanorum E. C. R.           74, 82, 90, 134.
  IV Aquitanorum E. C. R.            74, 82, 90, 116, 134.
  I Asturum E.                       82, 90, 134.
  II Augusta Cyrenaica E.            74, 82, 90, 116, 134.
  I Flavia Damascenorum M. E. S.     90, 116, 134.
  III Dalmatarum                     90, 116, 134.
  V Dalmatarum                       74, 90, 116, 134.
  I Germanorum C. R.                 82, 116, 134.
  I Helvetiorum                      148 (xiii. 6472).
  I Ligurum et Hispanorum C. R.      116, 134.
  II Raetorum C. R.                  82, 90, 116, 134.
  VII Raetorum E.                    74, 82, 90, 116, 134.
  I Sequanorum et Rauracorum E.      191 (xiii. 6604).[462]
  IV Vindelicorum                    74, 90, 116 (?), 134.
  I C. R.                            116, 134.
  XXIV Voluntariorum C. R.           Inscriptions at Murrhardt on
                                       outer limes (xiii. 6530-33).
  XXX Voluntariorum C. R.            Placed in the province by a late
                                       second-century C. H.(iii. 6758).


  Brittonum Elantiensium             145-61 (xiii. 6490).
  Brittonum Triputiensium            145 (xiii. 6517).[463]

1,500 cavalry, 1,125 mounted infantry, 9,275 infantry. Total 11,900.

Legions in the province: VIII Augusta, XXII Primigenia.


Diplomata iii (64), xxxv (107), lxxix (_post_ 145), lxiv (153), cxi
(162), lxxiii (166).


  Hispanorum Auriana                 107, 166 (?), 153 (iii. 11911)
  I Flavia Singularium C. R. P. F.   107, 162 (?), 166.
  I Flavia Fidelis M. P. F.          162.
  I Flavia Gemelliana                64,[464] 166.
  II Flavia P. F. M.                 153.


  II Aquitanorum E.                  162, 166.[465]
  IX Batavorum M. E.                 166. _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxxv. 24.
  III Bracaraugustanorum             107, 166.
  V Bracaraugustanorum               107, 166.
  I Breucorum E.                     107, 166, 138-61 (iii. 11930,
  III Britannorum                    107, _post_ 145, 166.[465] _Not.
                                       Dign. Occ._ xxxv. 25.
  I Flavia Canathenorum M.           162, 166.
  IV Gallorum                        107, 166.
  I C. R. Ingenuorum[466]            First-century Raetian inscription
                                       (v. 3936). Post-Hadrianic C. H.
                                       (ix. 5362).
  VI Lusitanorum                     Placed in Raetia by a C. H. which
                                       is probably second century
                                       (_I. G. R. R._ iii. 56).
  VII Lusitanorum                    107 (?), 166.
  I Raetorum                         107, 166.[467]
  II Raetorum                        107, _post_ 145, 162,[468]
  VI Raetorum                        Cf. iii. 5202 with _Not. Dign.
                                       Occ._ xxxv. 27.
  III Thracum Veterana               107, 145, 166 (secondary title
                                        only in last).
  III Thracum C. R.                  107, 166.

3,500 cavalry, 500 mounted infantry, 8,500 infantry. Total 12,500.

No legion in the province before the end of the reign of Marcus.


Diploma civ (106).


  I Commagenorum                     106. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xxxiv. 36.[470]
  I Augusta Thracum                  140-4 (iii. 5654).


  I Asturum                          106. Several inscriptions
                                       (iii. 4839, 5330, 5539, 11508,
                                        11708; vi. 3588).
  V Breucorum                        Inscriptions in Noricum
                                       (iii. 5086, 5472). Probably
                                       second century C.H. (x. 6102).
  I Aelia Brittonum M.               238 (iii. 4812).
  I Flavia Brittonum M.              267 (cf. iii. 4811 with 11504).

1,000 cavalry, 3,000 infantry. Total 4,000.

 No legion in the province before the end of the reign of Marcus.


Diplomata for the undivided provinces, ci (_ante_ 60), ii (60), xiii
(80), xvi (84), xvii (85), xxvii (98), xcviii (105).

Diplomata for Pannonia Superior, cv (116), xlvii (133), li (138), lix
(138-48), lx (148), lxi (149), c (150), lxv (154).


  Canninefatium                      116, 133, 138, 148, 149, 154.
  I Ulpia Contariorum M. C. R.       133, 148, 154.
  I Hispanorum Aravacorum            80, 84, 85, 133, 138, 148,
                                       149, 150.
  Pannoniorum                        Several inscriptions; iii. 3252,
                                       4372 are certainly second
  I Thracum Victrix C. R.            133, 138, 148, 149, 154.
  III Augusta Thracum S.             148, 149, 150, 154.


  II Alpinorum E.                    60, 84, 133, 148, 149, 154.
  I Bosporiana                       116.
  V Lucensium et Callaecoram E.      60, 84, 85, 133, 138-48, 148,
                                       149, 154.
  I Ulpia Pannoniorum M. E.          133, 138, 148, 149, 154.
  I Aelia Sagittariorum M. E.        133 (?), 148, 149.
  I Thracum C. R. E.                 133, 138, 148, 149, 154.
                                       _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxxii. 59.
  IV Voluntariorum C. R.             148, 149.
  XVIII  Voluntariorum C. R.         138, 148, 149, 154.

3,500 cavalry, 875 mounted infantry, 4,125 infantry. Total 8,500.

Legions in the province: I Adiutrix, X Gemina, XIV Gemina Martia


Diplomata xxxix (114), lviii (138-46), c (150), lxviii (145-60), lxxiv


  Augusta C. R.                      145-60.
  Flavia Augusta Britannica          150, 145-60, 167.
    M. C. R.
  I C. R. Veterana                   80, 84, 85, 145-60.
  I Flavia Gaetulorum                114, 145-60 (?).[471]
  I Augusta Ituraeorum S.            98, 150, 167.
  I Thracum Veterana S.              150, 145-60, 167.


  I Alpinorum Peditata               80, 85, 114, 167.
  I Alpinorum E.                     80, 85, 114, 154-60.[472]
  II Asturum et Callaecorum          80, 85, 145-60, 167.
  III Batavorum M. E.                138-46, 145-60.
  VII Breucorum C. R. E.             85, 167.
  II Augusta Nervia Pacensis         114, 145-60.[473]
    Brittonum M.
  II Augusta Dacorum P. F. M. E.     iii. 10255 probably dates from
                                       the second century.
  I Hemesenorum M. E. C. R. S.       138-46.
  I Lusitanorum                      60, 80, 84, 85, 98, 114,
                                       145-60, 167.
  III Lusitanorum E.                 114, 145-60, 167.
  Maurorum M. E.                     Several inscriptions; iii. 3545
                                       probably second century.
  I Montanorum C. R.                 80, 84, 85, 98, 114, 167.
  I Noricorum E.                     80, 84, 85, 138-46 (?), 167.
  Cohors I Thracum E.                145-60.
  Cohors I Augusta Thracum E.        167.
  Cohors II Augusta Thracum E.       167.
  Cohors I Campanorum Voluntariorum  Third-century inscription
                                      (iii. 3237).

3,500 cavalry, 1,875 mounted infantry, 9,125 infantry. Total 14,500.

Legion in the province: II Adiutrix.


Diploma xxiii (93).


  III Alpinorum E.                   93. Numerous inscriptions;
                                       third-century C. H. (_A. E._
                                       1911. 107); placed by
                                       _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxxii. 53
                                       in Pannonia.
  I Belgarum E.                      Numerous inscriptions, one of
                                       173 (iii. 8484).
  VIII Voluntariorum C. R.           93, 197 (iii. 8336).

250 mounted infantry, 1,250 infantry. Total 1,500.


Diplomata, ciii (93); _A. E._ 1912. 128 (103).[474]


  Claudia Nova                       93, 103.


  I Antiochensium                    93, 103.
  I Cisipadensium                    93, 103, 235-8 (iii. 14429).
  I Cretum                           93, 103. Mentioned in a Dacian
                                       C. H. (iii. 1163).[475]
  V Gallorum                         93, 103. Second-century inscription
                                       (iii. 14216⁴).
  V Hispanorum E.                    93, 103. Inscription probably of
                                       second or early third century
                                       (viii. 4416).[476]
  IV Raetorum                        93, 103. Existing at time of
                                       Marcomannian War (viii. 17900).
  I Thracum Syriaca E.               93, 103. Several inscriptions at
                                       Timacum minus (iii. 8261, 8262,
                                       14575, 14579).

500 cavalry, 250 mounted infantry, 3,250 infantry. Total 4,000.

Legions in the province: IV Flavia, VII Claudia.


Diplomata xiv (82), xxx (99a), xxxi (99b), xxxiii (105), xxxviii
(98-114), xlviii (134), cviii (138).[477]


  Atectorigiana                      A second-century inscription
                                       places the ala in Moesia
                                       Inferior (_Notigia degli Scavi_,
                                       1889. 340). Inscription from
                                       Tomi of 222-35 (iii-6154).[478]
  Gallorum Flaviana                  99b, 105. Second-century C. H.
                                       (_Eph. Ep._ v. 994).
  II Hispanorum et Aravacorum        99b, 138.
  Augusta                            Early inscription at Arlec (iii.
                                       12347), which is still a cavalry
                                       station with the name Augusta in
                                       _Not. Dign. Or._ xiii. 7.
  I Vespasiana Dardanorum            99a, 105, 98-114, 134.


  I Bracaraugustanorum               99b, 98-114, 134.
  II Flavia Brittonum E.             99a, 230 (iii. 7473).
  II Chalcidenorum                   99a, 134.
  I Cilicum M.                       134.
  IV Gallorum                        105. _Not. Dign. Or._ xl. 46.
  II Lucensium                       105, 98-114, 199 (iii. 12337).
  I Lusitanorum Cyrenaica E.         99a, 105, 138.
  II Mattiacorum                     99b, 134, 138.

2,500 cavalry, 250 mounted infantry, 4,250 infantry. Total 7,000.

 Legions in the province: I Italica, V Macedonica, XI Claudia.

XI. DACIA.[479]

Diplomata, xxxvii (110);[480] for Dacia Inferior xlvi (129); for Dacia
Superior lxvi (157?), lxvii (158); uncertain lxx (145-61).


  I Asturum                          200 (iii. 1393). Tiles iii.
  I Batavorum M.                     158.
  Bosporanorum[481]                  iii. 1197, 1344, 7888. Tiles
  Gallorum et Bosporanorum           158.
  Gallorum et Pannoniorum            145-61.
  I Hispanorum                       129.
  I Hispanorum Campagonum            157, 158.
  II Pannoniorum                     144 (_A. E._ 1906. 112).
  Siliana C. R. torquata             iii. 845, 847, 7651.
  I Tungrorum Frontoniana            In Pannonia Inferior till 114.
                                       In Dacia probably in 145-61,[482]
                                       213 (iii. 795).
  Vexillatio equitum Illyricorum     129. (Afterwards became an ala,
                                       and is reckoned as such.)


  I Alpinorum E.                     205 (iii. 1343). Also iii. 1183,
                                       and on tiles 1633²³, 8074⁸.
  I Batavorum M.                     iii. 839, 13760.
  II Flavia Bessorum                 129.
  I Britannica M. C. R.[483]         110. iii. 7634 is not earlier than
                                       Marcus and Verus.
  I Brittonum M. E.                  In Pannonia in 85. In Dacia in 191
                                       (iii. 1193).
  I Augusta Nervia Pacensis          145-61.
    Brittonum M.[484]
  I Ulpia Brittonum M.               145-61.
  II Brittonum M. C. R. P. F.[485]   In Moesia Superior in 103.
                                       Tiles iii. 8074¹¹.
  III Brittonum[485]                 In Moesia Superior in 103.
                                       Tiles iii. 8074¹².
  III Campestris C. R.               110. Inscriptions at Drobetae, iii.
                                       14216⁸, 14216¹⁰.
  I Flavia Commagenorum              157. iii. 14216²⁶.
  II Flavia Commagenorum E.          119-38 (iii. 1371).
  III Commagenorum                   iii. 7221, 13767.
  I Gallorum Dacica                  157.
  II Gallorum Macedonica E.          110. Described as being in Dacia in
                                       ii. 3230.
  III Gallorum                       129.
  I Flavia Ulpia Hispanorum          110, 145-61.
    M. E. C. R.
  I Hispanorum Veterana              145-61. (Probably is the Cohors I
                                       Hispanorum of this diploma.)
  II Hispanorum Scutata              145-61.
    Cyrenaica E.
  IV Hispanorum E.                   158.
  I Augusta Ituraeorum S.            110, 158.
  V Lingonum                         215 (iii. 7638). But the cohort
                                       existed earlier; _A. E._
                                       1890. 151.
  II Flavia Numidarum                129.
  I Aelia Gaesatorum M.              145-61.[486]
  I Thracum S.                       157, 158.
  VI Thracum                         145-61.
  I Ubiorum                          157.
  I Vindelicorum M.                  157.


  Burgariorum et veredariorum        138 (iii. 13795).
  Pedites singulares Britannici      110, 157.
  Palmyrenorum[487]                  Some inscriptions (iii. 907,
                                       14216) are probably as early
                                       as this period.

6,000 cavalry, 1,125 mounted infantry, 18,175 infantry. Total 25,300.

Legion in the province: XIII Gemina.


A new diploma (_A. E._ 1909. 105) shows that the Cohors I Flavia
Bessorum was stationed in the province in 120. Total 500 infantry.


No diplomata: the basis of this section is Arrian’s ‘Order of battle
against the Alani’, which gives the state of the garrison at the end of
the reign of Hadrian.[488]


  II Ulpia Auriana                   Arrian, 1. Full title,
                                       iii. 6743. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 23.
  I Augusta Gemina Colonorum         Arrian, 1. Full title, viii.
                                       8934. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 21.
  II Gallorum                        Arrian, 9. Cf. _I. G. R. R._ iii.
                                       272; _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 24.
  I Ulpia Dacorum                    Arrian, 8. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 23.

  Apuleia C. R.                      Arrian, 7 and 14. _Not. Dign.
                                       Or._ xxxviii. 34.
  Bosporiana M. S.                   Arrian, 3 and 18. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 29.
  I Claudia E.                       _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxviii. 36.
  Cyrenaica S. E.                    Arrian, 1 and 14.
  I Germanorum M. E.                 Arrian, 2. Cf. _I. G. R. R._ i.
                                       623; _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 30.
  II Hispanorum E.                   Cf. iii. 6760, ix. 2649; _A. E._
                                       1911. 161.[489]
  II Italica C. R. S. M. E.          Arrian, 3, 9, and 13. Cf. xi.
  Ituraeorum E.                      Arrian, 1.
  I Lepidiana E. C. R.               In Moesia Inferior in 98-114.[491]
                                       _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxviii. 35.
  I Flavia Numidarum M. E. S.[492]   Arrian, 3 and 18. Cf. D. lxxvi
                                      (178) for Lycia-Pamphylia.
  III Ulpia Petraeorum M. E. S.      Arrian, 1. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 27.
  I Raetorum E.                      Arrian, 1.
  IV Raetorum E.                     Arrian, 1.

2,000 cavalry, 1,875 mounted infantry, 7,125 infantry. Total 11,000.

Legions in the province: XII Fulminata, XV Apollinaris.


Diploma cx (157). The cavalry vexillatio described in iii. 600 seems
to have been drawn almost entirely from regiments stationed in the
Eastern provinces.[493] This inscription, therefore, which probably
dates from the end of Trajan’s reign, may be reckoned as a diploma, and
the regiments mentioned in it placed in Syria if they cannot be traced


  II Flavia Agrippiana               iii. 600. Cf. _C. I. G._ iii.
                                       3497 for full titles.
  Augusta Syriaca                    iii. 600 (from Egypt).
  I Ulpia Dromedariorum M.           157.
  I Praetoria C. R.                  iii. 600. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxviii. 26 (in Armenia).
  III Thracum                        Cf. ii. 4251 (_praefectus alae
                                       III Thracum in Syria_) with vi.
                                       1449, which shows that the
                                       regiment was existing in the
                                       middle of the second century.
  Thracum Herculania M.              iii. 600, 157.
  I Ulpia Singularium                iii. 600, 157.


  I Ascalonitanorum S. E.            iii. 600, 157.
  I Flavia Chalcidenorum S. E.       157.
  V Chalcidenorum E.                 iii. 600.
  II Classica S.                     157.
  I Ulpia Dacorum                    157. _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxiii.
                                       33 (Syria).
  III Dacorum E.                     iii. 600.
  II Equitum[494]                    iii. 600.
  VII Gallorum                       157.
  I Lucensium E.                     iii. 600 (from Dalmatia).
  IV Lucensium E.                    iii. 600.
  II Ulpia Paflagonum E.             iii. 600, 157.
  III Ulpia Paflagonum E.            iii. 600, 157.
  I Ulpia Petraeorum M. E.[495]      iii. 600, 157.
  V Ulpia Petraeorum M. E.[495]      iii. 600, 157.
  I Ulpia Sagittariorum E.           iii. 600.
  I Claudia Sugambrorum              157.
  I Sugambrorum E.[496]              iii. 600 (from Moesia).
  II Thracum Syriaca E.              157.
  III Augusta Thracum E.             157.
  III Thracum Syriaca E.[497]        _A. E._ 1911. 161.
  IV Thracum Syriaca E.[497]         Mentioned on a C. H. of the second
                                       century (ii. 1970).
  II Ulpia E. C. R.                  iii. 600, 157.

4,500 cavalry, 2,375 mounted infantry, 9,625 infantry. Total 16,500.

Legions in the province: III Gallica, IV Scythica, XVI Flavia.


Diplomata, xix (86), cix (139).


  Gallorum et Thracum                139.
  Anton … Gallorum                   139. Probably the εἴλη
                                       Ἀντωνινιανὴ Γαλική of
                                       _B. G. U._ 614 (dated 217).
  VII Phrygum                        139.


  III Bracarum                       139.
  IV Breucorum                       139.
  I Damascenorum                     139.
  I Flavia C. R. E.                  iii. 600, 139. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxiv. 45.
  I Ulpia Galatarum                  139.
  II Ulpia Galatarum                 139. _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxiv. 44.
  V Gemina C. R.                     139.
  I Montanorum                       139.
  IV Ulpia Petraeorum[498]           139.
  VI Ulpia Petraeorum[498]           139.
  I Sebastenorum M.                  139.
  I Thracum M.                       139. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxvii. 31 (Arabia).

1,500 cavalry, 125 mounted infantry, 6,875 infantry. Total 8,500.

Legions in the province: VI Ferrata, X Fretensis.


Auxilia as yet unknown. Legio III Cyrenaica was stationed in the


Diploma xv (83).


  Apriana                            83, 170 (iii. 49). _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxviii. 32.
  II Ulpia Afrorum[499]                _Not. Dign. Or._ xxviii. 38.
  Gallorum Veterana                  199 (iii. 6581). Unlikely to be a
                                       late creation. _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxviii. 28.
  I Thracum Mauretana                154-5 (_B. G. U._ 447), 156
                                       (_Eph. Ep._ vii. p. 457).[500]
  Vocontiorum                        134 (_B. G. U._ 114).


  I Ulpia Afrorum E.                 177 (_B. G. U._ 241).
  I Apamenorum S. E.                 145 (_Brit. Mus. Pap._ 178).
                                       _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxi. 60.
  I Flavia Cilicum E.                140 (iii. 6025).
  III Cilicum                        217-18 (_A. E._ 1905. 54), but
                                       it belonged presumably to the
                                       early series.
  III Galatarum                      _Not. Dign. Or._ xxviii. 35, but
                                       belonging probably to the
                                       series raised by Trajan.
  II Hispanorum                      134 (_B. G. U._ 114).
  II Ituraeorum Felix E.             147 (_I. G. R. R._ i. 1348).
                                       _Not. Dign. Or._ xxviii. 44.
  III Ituraeorum                     103 (_Pap. Ox._ vii. 1022). A
                                       second-century C. H.
                                       (viii. 17904).
  Augusta Praetoria Lusitanorum E.   156 (_Eph. Ep._ vii. p. 456).
                                       _Not. Dign. Or._ xxxi. 58.
  I Augusta Pannoniorum              83. _Not. Dign. Or._ xxviii. 41.
  Scutata C. R.                      143 (_B. G. U._ 141). Cf. iii.
                                       12069 and _Not. Dign. Or._
                                       xxxi. 59.
  I Thebaeorum E.                    114 (_B. G. U._ 114).
  II Thracum                         167 (Wilcken, _Ostraka_, 927).


  Palmyreni Hadriani Sagittarii      216 (_I. G. R. R._ i. 1169).

2,500 cavalry, 750 mounted infantry, 5,950 infantry. Total 9,200.

Legion in the province: II Traiana Fortis.


Garrison unknown.



  Flavia                             174 (viii. 21567).
  I Augusta Pannoniorum              128. Addressed by Hadrian
                                       (_A. E._ 1900. 33).

  II Flavia Afrorum                  198 (_A. E._ 1909. 104).
  I Chalcidenorum E.                 164 (viii. 17587).
  VI Commagenorum E.                 128. Addressed by Hadrian
                                       (viii. 18042).
  I Flavia E.                        128. Addressed by Hadrian
                                       (viii. 18042).
  II Hispanorum E.                   128. Addressed by Hadrian
                                       (viii. 18042).
  II Maurorum                        208 (viii. 4323).


  Palmyrenorum                       211-17 (viii. 18007).[501]

1,000 cavalry, 500 mounted infantry, 2,700 infantry. Total 4,200.

Legion in the province: III Augusta.


Diploma xxxvi (107).


  Brittonum V.                       Second-century inscription (viii.
                                       9764). Cf. 5936.
  Miliaria                           Several inscriptions (viii. 9389,
                                       21029, 21036, 21568, 21618).
                                       Existed in second century (xii.
  I Nerviana Augusta Fidelis M.      107.
  I Augusta Parthorum                107, 201 (viii. 9827).
  Flavia Gemina Sebastenorum         234 (viii. 21039). A _praefectus_
                                       of the reign of Marcus
                                       (_Eph. Ep._ 699).
  II Augusta Thracum P. F.           107, 209-11 (viii. 9370).


  II Breucorum E.                    107, 243 (viii. 21560).
  II Brittonum                       107.
  I Corsorum C. R.                   107. Post-Hadrianic C. H.
                                       (ix. 2853).
  II Gallorum                        107.
  I Flavia Hispanorum                107, 201 (viii. 9360).
  I Flavia Musulamiorum              107.
  I Augusta Nerviana Velox           107.
  I Nurritanorum                     107. Later inscriptions (xi. 6010;
                                       viii. 4292).
  I Pannoniorum E.                   107, 201 (viii. 22602).
  II Sardorum                        208 (viii. 21721). Also
                                       first-century inscriptions.
  I Aelia Singularium                260 (viii. 9047). Cf. 20753.
  IV Sugambrorum                     107, 255 (viii. 9045).


  Gaesatorum                         150 (viii. 2728).

4,000 cavalry, 250 mounted infantry, 5,950 infantry. Total 10,200.

Third-century inscriptions also show the existence of a large force of
Moorish irregular cavalry, perhaps a sort of territorial militia. It is
impossible, however, to estimate their number, or to ascertain whether
they were already in existence in the second century. Cf. Cagnat,
_L’armée romaine d’Afrique_, pp. 261-73.



  Hamiorum                           A second-century inscription
                                       (viii. 21814 a). Cf. _A. E._
                                       1906. 119.

  I Asturum et Callaecorum M.[502]   C. H. of reign of Trajan
                                       (ii. 4211). Cf. viii. 21820;
                                       vi. 3654.
  III Asturum C. R. E.               Late second-century C. H. (xi.
                                       4371). Placed in Mauretania by
                                       a Greek inscription (Waddington,
                                       104) and _Not. Dign. Occ._ xxvi.

500 cavalry, 125 mounted infantry, 1,375 infantry. Total 2,000.



  II Flavia Hispanorum C. R.         184 (cf. _A. E._ 1910. 5;
                                       ii. 2600).
  I Lemavorum                        161-7 or later (ii. 2103).[503]


  I Celtiberorum Baetica E.          163 (ii. 2552; cf. _A. E._
                                       1910. 3).
  III Celtiberorum                   167 (_A. E._ 1910. 4).
  I Gallica E.                       _A. E._ 1910. 4. _Not. Dign.
                                       Occ._ xlii. 32.
  II Gallica                         _Not. Dign. Occ._ xlii. 28. It
                                       is stationed at ‘Cohors
  III Lucensium                      Inscriptions ii. 2584, 4132.
                                       Cf. _Not. Dign. Occ._
                                       xlii. 29.

1,000 cavalry, 250 mounted infantry, 2,250 infantry. Total 3,500.

Legion in the province: VII Gemina.

To this list we may add the following regiments, which can be shown to
have existed in the second century, although they cannot be assigned to
any particular province:


  III Asturum                        xi. 3007 (the name Ulpius occurs).
  I Flavia Gallorum Tauriana         viii. 2394, 2395 (Trajan at

  Aelia Expedita                     viii. 9358.
  II Bracarum                        vi. 1838 (Trajan).
  III Breucorum                      ix. 4753 (Trajan); x. 3847
                                       (probably middle of second
  VI Brittonum                       ii. 2424 (Trajan).
  III Augusta Cyrenaica              _Römische Mitteilungen_, iii.
                                       77 (Marcus).
  VI Gallorum                        vi. 1449. The career of the
                                       Praefectus Praetorio Macrinius
                                       Vindex, who was killed in 172.
                                       He probably commanded this
                                       cohort about 150.
  VI Hispanorum                      xi. 4376 (Trajan).
  III Lingonum E.                    xi. 5959 (Trajan or later).
  Pannoniorum et Dalmatarum          x. 5829 (Trajan).
  II Ulpia Petraeorum M. E.          xi. 5669 (Trajan or Hadrian).
  V Raetorum                         viii. 8934 (Trajan to Hadrian).

1,000 cavalry, 375 mounted infantry, 5,125 infantry. Total 6,500.

These calculations show that during the period in question the
auxiliary troops amounted to 47,500 cavalry, 15,375 mounted infantry,
and 129,925 infantry, giving a total establishment of 191,800 men. It
is probable, however, that this puts the proportion of mounted men
too low. Arrian’s _Ectaxis_ shows that nearly every cohort of the
Cappadocian garrison was _equitata_, and although the proportion of
mounted men was doubtless higher on the eastern frontier than on the
Rhine or in Britain, it is probable that if we possessed more documents
similar to the _Ectaxis_ dealing with the other garrisons we should
find a higher proportion of _cohortes equitatae_ than our present
evidence suggests. It is equally probable that the total figure arrived
at falls below the reality. For no province is it likely that the list
is complete; in some cases, such as Mauretania Tingitana and Africa,
the garrison is obviously put far below its real establishment, while
for Arabia and Cyrenaica we have no evidence at all. The deficiency is
certainly too great to be made good by the few regiments of uncertain
habitation which conclude the list. Probably we may reckon on a total
figure of about 220,000 men, of whom at least 80,000 would be mounted.
The twenty-eight legions in existence at this time, if we follow
Suetonius in assigning 5,600 men to a legion,[504] would only have a
total establishment of 156,800, so that clearly in dealing with the
army at this period we must disregard Tacitus’s statement that the
auxilia were approximately equal in number to the legionaries.

The total military establishment of the Empire at the accession
of Marcus including the Household Troops, that is to say the ten
Praetorian and six Urban[505] cohorts and the Equites Singulares, and
the complement of the fleets in the Mediterranean and the Channel and
on the Rhine, Danube, and Euphrates, must thus have amounted to some
420,000 men. This total, however, was to be still further increased
before the decline began. At the beginning of the third century when
additions had been made to the Household Troops, when the legions had
been increased to thirty-three[506] and scores of _numeri_ added to the
frontier guards, there may have been nearly half a million men serving
with the colours, a larger disciplined force than was at the disposal
of any one state before the nineteenth century, and the largest
professional army which the world has ever seen.


[446] See above, pp. 53-5.

[447] Any one desirous of further information on any particular
regiment will find a summary of the evidence, in so far as it was then
available, in Cichorius’s articles in Pauly-Wissowa., s.v. _ala_ and
_cohors_, to which I am deeply indebted.

[448] A date without an epigraphical reference refers to a ‘diploma’.
The following abbreviations have been used: E(quitata), M(iliaria),
C(ivium) R(omanorum), V(eteranorum), S(agittariorum), P(ia) F(idelis).
C. H. means that the inscription referred to gives the _cursus honorum_
of an officer.

[449] The inscription cannot be accurately dated, but the regiment was
presumably raised at an early date like others with similar titles.

[450] Inscriptions thus referred to come from the area in Scotland only
effectively occupied between these dates.

[451] The inscription comes from Newstead, which was probably also
occupied from 80 to 100, but the soldier’s name, Aelius, suggests a
later date.

[452] A C. H. mentioning a _praefectus cohortis I Astyrum provinciae
Britanniae_. The regiment is hardly likely to be a third-century

[453] The _Notitia_ mentions the first cohort, but inscriptions suggest
that it was the second which apparently garrisoned the station referred
to. The reference shows, at any rate, that one of the two survived.

[454] Epigraphical evidence suggests that the Cohors I Frixagorum of
the _Notitia_ is identical with this regiment.

[455] The inscriptions come from Birrens, which was apparently occupied
in the Antonine period. See Professor Haverfield’s note in _Ephemeris
Epigraphica_, ix. p. 613.

[456] Assuming that this is the title represented by the III P … of the

[457] The name of the cohort on this inscription is, however, only due
to an emendation of Cichorius, s.v.

[458] Presumably C(ivium) L(atinorum), a unique distinction.

[459] The name is M. Traianius.

[460] Both this and the preceding cohort belong, of course, to early

[461] Regiments which are last mentioned in the diploma of 116 are
included if they cannot be traced in another province.

[462] The regiment is hardly likely to have been raised between 167 and

[463] It can hardly be doubted, however, that several more of the
Numeri Brittonum mentioned on later inscriptions belong to the same
series. See above, p. 86.

[464] In this diploma, of course, the ala has not yet acquired the
title ‘Flavia’. The titles of the Raetian alae are somewhat puzzling,
but it seems possible to distinguish four alae Flaviae.

[465] The name of the regiment is given, but the number has been

[466] Possibly, however, this is identical with the Cohors I C. R.,
stationed in Germania Superior.

[467] The number of the regiment is given, but the name has been

[468] The name of the regiment is given, but the number has been

[469] The number of the regiment is given, but the name has been

[470] The regiment is not mentioned, but there is a cavalry station
‘Commagena’ in Pannonia Prima.

[471] Included by an emendation of Cichorius.

[472] One of these two cohorts is also mentioned on the D. for 60, 84,

[473] The ‘Cohors II Aug….’ of the diploma is either this or II
Augusta Thracum.

[474] Most of the regiments mentioned in this diploma can be traced in
other provinces during the second century, the others probably remained
in Moesia.

[475] There is some evidence for placing this cohort in Dacia.

[476] ‘Aurelio Marco dec(urioni) [coh(ortis)] V Hisp(anorum) provinciae
Moesiae sup(erioris), desiderato in acie, Aur(elio) Suruelio
dup(licario) fratri bene merenti.’ The names suggest the date.

[477] Several regiments (i.e. Cohorts I Claudia Sugambrorum, I
Chalcidenorum, IV Gallorum, VII Gallorum) appear in Syria in 157 after
appearing in the second-century Moesian diplomata. Probably they were
transferred during the Jewish rebellion at the end of Hadrian’s reign.
All are reckoned under Syria except IV Gallorum, which seems to have

[478] For an early inscription of this regiment see Mommsen in
_Hermes_, xxii. 547.

[479] Any regiment which has left several inscriptions in the province,
and does not appear to be a late formation, is included.

[480] This ‘diploma’ contains several regiments which were only
temporarily in the province.

[481] Was possibly incorporated later in the succeeding.

[482] The name is probably to be restored from ONT of the ‘diploma’.

[483] The British regiments are very confusing, but it appears possible
to distinguish the following. The titles ‘Britannica’ and ‘Brittonum’
seem to be used indifferently.

[484] Restored from the ‘Cohors I Augusta Nervia’ … of the diploma on
the analogy of the Cohors II Augusta Nervia Pacensis M. Brittonum on
the diploma of 114 for Pannonia Inferior.

[485] As these cohorts are only mentioned on tiles it is possible that
they returned to Moesia soon after the war.

[486] So Cichorius, comparing AESA∞ of the diploma with tiles from
Sebesvaralja marked CꟼGST and ⅁ƎAIHↃ (iii. 8074¹⁶, 8074²⁶.)

[487] The distribution of these and other inscriptions suggests that
there were at least two numeri in the province.

[488] In identifying the various regiments mentioned by Arrian I have
made use of the excellent article by Ritterling in _Wiener Studien_,
xxiv. Cf. also ‘Arrian as Legate of Cappadocia’ in Pelham’s _Essays on
Roman History_.

[489] The second inscription mentions a Spanish cohort in Cappadocia,
which is probably identical with the Cohors II Hispanorum E. commanded
by the _praefectus_ mentioned in the third, whose career seems to have
lain entirely in the Eastern provinces. He would have commanded it
about 120.

[490] Mentions the regiment as stationed in Syria, whither it had been
transferred before 157. Cf. D. cx.

[491] D. xxxviii.

[492] Arrian certainly mentions a Numidian cohort; it is, however,
merely a conjecture to identify it with the regiment stationed later in

[493] Of the nineteen regiments mentioned (taking ‘Augusta Syriaca’
as the title of one ala, not two), eight are mentioned on the Syrian
diploma of 157, two on the Palestine diplomata of 86 and 139, and
one on the Egyptian diploma of 83. Of the remainder two have left
inscriptions in the East, two seem to have come from the Danube, and
only four are otherwise unknown.

[494] Should probably be _equestris_, the regiment belonging to the
same series as the Cohors VI Equestris which formed part of the
garrison of Bithynia when Pliny was governor. Cf. Pliny, _Ep._ x.
106. The meaning of the title is obscure, unless _equestris_ simply =

[495] Numbers II and III in this series were certainly _miliariae_, as
probably all were.

[496] I agree with Cichorius in distinguishing the Cohors I Sugambrorum
V. E. from the Cohors I Claudia Sugambrorum. The first is probably
identical with the regiment mentioned by Tacitus as being in Moesia
in A.D. 26 (Tac. _Ann._ iv. 47), the second a later creation
distinguished as such by its secondary title.

[497] Mentioned in the _cursus honorum_ of a _praefectus_ whose service
lay almost entirely in the Eastern provinces. On this ground and
because Cohorts I and II of this series were certainly in the East the
regiment has been assigned to Syria. This second argument applies to
Cohort IV. Both regiments were in any case in existence at this period.

[498] The title Ulpia is not given in these cases but presumably
belonged to the whole series.

[499] Or is this a cohort converted into an ala with the increase of
cavalry in the fourth century? In this case it may be identical with
the Cohors II Ulpia Equitata mentioned below.

[500] Curiously enough the regiment appears in the Syrian diploma for

[501] Cagnat, however, considers that the regiment was in the province
as early as 150, relying on viii. 3917, p. 955.

[502] In the first inscription the regiment is commanded by a

[503] This inscription does not, however, prove conclusively that the
regiment was stationed in Spain.

[504] Suet. Fr. 278 (_Reiffer._) ‘Legio dicitur virorum electio fortium
vel certus militum numerus, id est V̅ DC.’

[505] Four were at Rome, one at Lugudunum, and one at Carthage.

[506] Marcus added II and III Italica to garrison Raetia and Noricum;
Septimius Severus the three legiones Parthicae, of which I and III were
stationed in Mesopotamia and II at Alba in Italy.


This appendix is mainly designed to supplement the table on p. 60,
by giving a list of the auxiliary regiments grouped according to the
provinces in which they were raised. I have also added for the sake
of completeness a further section dealing with the _cohortes civium
Romanorum_, and a few regiments of which we do not know the place of
origin. The list thus contains, or is intended to contain, the names
of all the auxiliary regiments known to us, and includes far more than
existed at any one time. The greater part of this list is, of course,
merely a repetition of that drawn up by Cichorius in his articles on
_ala_ and _cohors_ contributed to Pauly-Wissowa, and in view of the
admirable summary of the evidence there given I have restricted myself
to appending to the title of each regiment the name of the province
in which it was stationed, or, when this is unknown, a reference to
a single inscription mentioning it. Only in cases where I have been
able to add to the list a regiment unknown when Cichorius wrote have I
added a note on the evidence. The whole may, in fact, be described as
a summary of Cichorius’s articles, with a supplement bringing them up
to date, and as such may, I hope, be of some value to students of this

As in the list on p. 60, regiments raised before 70 and those of later
date are divided into two groups, distinguished by the letters A and B.



  A.  I Flavia Augusta               Germania Superior—Pannonia
        Britannica M. C. R.[507]       Inferior.
      Brittonum V.                   Mauretania Caesariensis.


  A.  I Britannica M. C. R.[508]     Pannonia—Dacia.
      I Brittonum M. E.              Pannonia—Dacia.
      II Brittonum M. C. R. P. F.    Dacia.
      II Brittonum                   Mauretania Caesariensis.
      III Britannorum                Raetia.
      III Brittonum                  Dacia.
      III Brittonum V. E.            xi. 393.
      IV and V Brittonum supposed because of the existence of
      VI Brittonum                   ii. 2424.

  B.  I Flavia Brittonum             Dalmatia—Noricum.
      I Ulpia Brittonum M.           Dacia.
      I Aelia Brittonum M.           Noricum.
      I Augusta Nervia Pacensis      Dacia.
        Brittonum M.[509]
      I Aurelia Brittonum M.         Dacia.
      II Flavia Brittonum            Moesia Inferior.
      II Augusta Nervia Pacensis     Pannonia Inferior.
        Brittonum M.



  A.  Batavorum                      Germania Inferior.
      I Canninefatium C. R.          Germania Superior—Pannonia
      Treverorum                     Germania Inferior.
      Tungrorum Frontoniana          Dalmatia—Pannonia—Dacia.
      I Tungrorum                    Britain.

  B.  I Batavorum M.                 Dacia.


  A.  I Batavorum C. R.              Britain.
      I-VIII Batavorum M.            The regiments which joined the
                                       rebellion of Civilis and were
                                       presumably disbanded.
      IX Batavorum M. E.             Raetia.
      I Belgarum E.                  Dalmatia.
      I Belgica                      Germania Superior.
      Cohortes Canninefatium         Joined the rebellion of Civilis
                                       and were presumably disbanded
                                       in consequence. Cf. Tac.
                                       _Hist._ iv. 19.
      I Frisiavonum                  Britain.
      I Germanorum C. R.             Germania Superior.
      I Germanorum M. E.             Cappadocia.
      I Lingonum E.                  Britain.
      II Lingonum E.                 Britain.
      III Lingonum E.                xi. 5959.
      IV Lingonum E.                 Britain.
      V Lingonum                     Dacia.
      I Menapiorum                   Britain.
      I Morinorum                    Britain.
      Nemetum                        Germania Superior.
      I Nerviorum                    Britain.
      II Nerviorum                   Britain.
      III Nerviorum C. R.            Britain.
      IV and V Nerviorum C. R. supposed on account
        of the existence of
      VI Nerviorum C. R.             Britain.
      I Sequanorum et Rauracorum E.  Germania Superior.
      I Sugambrorum V. E.            Moesia Inferior—Syria.
      I Claudia Sugambrorum          Moesia Inferior—Syria.[510]
      II and III Sugambrorum supposed on account
        of the existence of
      IV Sugambrorum                 Mauretania Caesariensis.
      I Sunucorum                    Britain.
      I Tungrorum M.                 Germania Inferior—Britain.
      II Tungrorum M. E. C. L.       Germania Inferior—Britain.
      Cohortes Ubiorum               Germania Inferior, cf. Tac.
                                       _Hist._ iv. 28.
      I Ubiorum                      Moesia Inferior—Dacia.
      Usiporum                       Tac. _Agr._ 28.
      I Vangionum M. E.              Germania Superior—Britain.

  B.  I Batavorum M.                 Pannonia—Dacia.
      I Batavorum                    Britain.
      II Batavorum M.                Pannonia.
      III Batavorum M.               Pannonia Inferior.[511]
      I Septimia Belgarum            Germania Superior.
      I Ulpia Traiana Cugernorum     Britain.
      I Nervana Germanorum M.        Britain.
      I Mattiacorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Mattiacorum                 Moesia Inferior.
      I Treverorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Treverorum                  Germania Superior.[512]



  A.  Gallorum Flaviana              Moesia Inferior.
      Gallorum Indiana               Germania Inferior—Britain
                                       —Germania Superior.
      Augusta Gallorum Petriana M.   Germania Superior—Britain.
      Augusta Gallorum Proculeiana   Britain.
      Gallorum V.                    Egypt.
      I Flavia Gallorum              Gaul.
      I Claudia Gallorum             Moesia Inferior.
      I Gallorum et Bosporanorum     Dacia.
      I Gallorum et Pannoniorum      Moesia Inferior.
      II Gallorum Sebosiana          Germania Superior—Britain.
      II Gallorum                    Cappadocia.

The majority of the following regiments, which bear titles derived from
personal names, can be shown to have received recruits from the Gallic
provinces, where it is probable that all were originally raised.

    Agrippiana                       Germania Superior—Britain.
    II Flavia Agrippiana[514]        Syria.
    Apriana                          Egypt.
    Atectorigiana                    Moesia Inferior.
    Classiana                        Germania Inferior—Britain.
    Longiniana                       Germania Inferior.
    Patrui                           ix. 733.
    Picentiana                       Germania Superior.
    Pomponiani                       Germania Inferior.
    Rusonis                          Germania Superior.
    Sabiniana                        Britain.
    Scaevae                          x. 6011.
    Siliana C. R.                    Africa—Pannonia.
    Sulpicia                         Germania Inferior.


  A.  I Gallica C. R. E.             Tarraconensis.
      II Gallica                     Tarraconensis.
      I Gallorum                     Aquitania.
      I Gallorum Dacica              Dacia.
      II Gallorum                    Moesia Inferior.
      II Gallorum Macedonica E.      Moesia Superior—Dacia.
      II Gallorum                    Mauretania Caesariensis.
      II Gallorum E.                 Britain.
      III Gallorum                   Germania Superior—Moesia Inferior.
      III Gallorum                   Spain.
      IV Gallorum                    Moesia Inferior.
      IV Gallorum                    Raetia.
      IV Gallorum                    Britain.
      V Gallorum                     Pannonia—Moesia Superior.
      V Gallorum                     Britain.
      VI Gallorum                    vi. 1449.
      VII Gallorum                   Moesia Inferior.
      VIII, IX, and X Gallorum supposed on account of the existence of
      XI Gallorum[515]               Dalmatia.





  A.  I Aquitanorum V. E.            Germania Superior.
      I Aquitanorum                  Germania Superior—Britain.
      II Aquitanorum E.              Germania Superior—Raetia.
      III Aquitanorum E. C. R.       Germania Superior.
      IV Aquitanorum E. C. R.        Germania Superior.
      I Biturigum                    Germania Superior.
      II Biturigum                   xiii. 6812.



  A.  Augusta Vocontiorum            Germania Inferior—Britain.
      Vocontiorum                    Egypt.



ALPES. (All the little Alpine provinces.)


  A.  Vallensium.                    Germania Superior.


  A.  I Alpinorum                    Pannonia Inferior.
      I Alpinorum E.                 Pannonia Inferior.
      I Alpinorum E.                 Dacia.
      I Alpinorum                    Britain.
      II Alpinorum E.                Pannonia Superior.
      III Alpinorum E.               Dalmatia.
      I Ligurum[516]                 Alpes Maritimae—Germania
      II Gemina Ligurum et Corsorum  Sardinia.
      I Montanorum                   Noricum—Pannonia—Dacia.
      I Montanorum C. R.             Pannonia Inferior.
      I Montanorum                   Palestine.
      Trumplinorum                   v. 4910.





  A.  I Helvetiorum                  Germania Superior.
      I Raetorum                     Raetia.
      I Raetorum E.                  Cappadocia.
      II Raetorum C. R.              Germania Superior.
      II Raetorum                    Raetia.
      Two cohorts III Raetorum supposed on account of the existence of
      IV Raetorum E.                 Cappadocia.
      IV Raetorum                    Moesia Superior.
      V Raetorum                     viii. 8934.
      VI Raetorum                    Germania Superior.
      VII Raetorum E.                Germania Superior.
      VIII Raetorum C. R.            Pannonia—Dacia.
      Raetorum et Vindelicorum       Germania Superior.
      I Vindelicorum M.              Dacia.
      II and III Vindelicorum supposed on account of the existence of
      IV Vindelicorum                Germania Superior.

  B.  I Aelia Gaesatorum M.          Dacia.



  A.  Noricorum                      Germania Superior.


  A.  I Noricorum                    Pannonia Inferior.



  A.  I Pannoniorum                  Africa.
      I Pannoniorum                  Moesia Inferior.
      I Pannoniorum Tampiana         Britain.
      II Pannoniorum                 Dacia.
      Pannoniorum                    Pannonia Superior.

  B.  I Illyricorum[517]             Dacia.
      Flavia Pannoniorum[518]        Pannonia Inferior.
      Sarmatarum[519]                Britain.


  A.  I Breucorum                    Raetia.
      II Breucorum                   Mauretania Caesariensis.
      III Breucorum                  ix. 4753.
      IV Breucorum                   Britain.
      V Breucorum                    Noricum.
      VI Breucorum[520]              Moesia Superior.
      VII Breucorum                  Pannonia Inferior.
      VIII Breucorum                 xiii. 7801.
      I Pannoniorum                  Germania Superior—Britain.
      I Pannoniorum                  Mauretania Caesariensis.
      I Augusta Pannoniorum          Egypt.
      I Pannoniorum et Dalmatarum    x. 5829.
      II Pannoniorum                 Britain.
      III Pannoniorum                Britain.
      IV Pannoniorum                 iii. 12631, ix. 3924.
      I Varcianorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Varcianorum                 Germania Inferior.

  B.  I Ulpia Pannoniorum M. E.      Pannonia Superior.





  A.  I Dalmatarum                   Britain.
      II Dalmatarum                  Britain.
      III Dalmatarum                 Germania Superior.
      IV Dalmatarum                  Germania Superior.
      V Dalmatarum                   Germania Superior.
      VI Dalmatarum E.               Mauretania Caesariensis.
      VII Dalmatarum E.              Mauretania Caesariensis.

  B.  I Dalmatarum M.[521]           Dalmatia.
      II Dalmatarum M.               Dalmatia.
      III Dalmatarum M. E. C. R.     Dacia.
      IV Dalmatarum M.               iii. 1474.



  A.  Bosporanorum[522]              Syria—Dacia.

  B.  I Vespasiana Dardanorum        Moesia Inferior.


  A.  Bosporanorum M.                Cappadocia.
      I Bosporiana                   Pannonia Superior
      II Bosporanorum                x. 270.[523]

  B.  I Aurelia Dardanorum           Moesia Superior.
      II Aurelia Dardanorum          Moesia Superior.
        M. E.[524]



  B.  I Ulpia Dacorum                Cappadocia.


  B.  I Ulpia Dacorum                Syria.
      I Aelia Dacorum M.             Britain.
      II Augusta Dacorum             Pannonia.
      Dacorum                        Syria.
      I Aurelia Dacorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Aurelia Dacorum             Pannonia Superior.[525]



  A.  Thracum Herculania             Syria.
      I Augusta Thracum              Raetia.
      I Thracum                      Germania Inferior—Britain.
      I Thracum Mauretana            Egypt.
      I Thracum V. S.                Pannonia Inferior.
      I Thracum Victrix              Pannonia Superior.
      II Augusta Thracum[526]        Mauretania Caesariensis.
      III Augusta Thracum S.         Pannonia Superior.
      III Thracum                    Syria.


  A.  I Augusta Thracum E.           Pannonia Inferior.
      I Thracum Germanica C. R. E.   Germania Superior—Pannonia
      I Thracum M.                   Palestine.
      I Thracum S.                   Dacia.
      I Thracum E.                   Pannonia Inferior.
      I Thracum Syriaca              Palestine—Moesia Superior.
      I Thracum                      Germania Inferior—Britain.
      II Augusta Thracum             Pannonia Inferior.
      II Gemella Thracum             Africa.
      II Thracum Syriaca             Syria.
      II Thracum E.                  Egypt.
      II Thracum E.                  Britain.
      III Thracum V.                 Raetia.
      III Thracum C. R.              Raetia.
      III Augusta Thracum E.         Syria.
      III Thracum Syriaca[527]       Syria.
      IV Thracum Syriaca             Syria.
      IV Thracum E.                  Germania Superior.
      V Thracum supposed on account of the existence of
      VI Thracum                     Germania Superior—Britain—

  B.  I Flavia Bessorum[528]         Macedonia.
      II Flavia Bessorum             Moesia Inferior.





  A.  Macedonum E.[529]              _A. E._ 1908. 58.
      I Cyrrhesticorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Cyrrhesticorum[530]         Dalmatia.



  A.  VII Phrygum[531]               Syria.


  B.  I Ulpia Galatarum              Palestine.
      II Ulpia Galatarum             Palestine.
      III Ulpia Galatarum[532]       Egypt.
      I Ulpia Paflagonum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Ulpia Paflagonum            Syria.
      III Ulpia Paflagonum           Syria.





  A.  I Cilicum                      Moesia Inferior.
      II Cilicum supposed on account of the existence of
      III Cilicum[533]               Egypt.

  B.  I Flavia Cilicum E.            Egypt.





  A.  I, II, and III Cypria[534] supposed on account of the existence of
      IV Cypria                      Dacia.





  A.  I Cretum                       Moesia Superior.
      I Cyrenaica                    Germania Superior.
      II Augusta Cyrenaica           Germania Superior.
      III Cyrenaica S.               _A. E._ 1896. 10.
      III Augusta Cyrenaica          _Römische Mitteilungen_,
                                        iii. 77.[536]



  A.  Hamiorum[537]                  Mauretania Tingitana.
      I Augusta Parthorum            Mauretania Caesariensis.
      Parthorum V.                   xiii. 10024³⁵.

  B.  I Commagenorum                 Egypt—Noricum.


  A.  I Antiochensium                Moesia Superior.
      I Apamenorum S. E.             Egypt.
      I Chalcidenorum E.             Africa.
      II Chalcidenorum               Moesia Inferior.
      III and IV Chalcidenorum supposed on account of the existence of
      V Chalcidenorum                Syria.
      I Damascenorum                 Palestine.
      I Hamiorum                     Britain.
      II Hamiorum                    viii. 10654.
      I Hemesenorum M. S. E. C. R.   Pannonia Inferior.
      I Sagittariorum                Germania Superior—Dacia (?).
      II Sagittariorum supposed on account of the existence of
      III Sagittariorum[538]         iii. 335, xiv. 3935.
      I Tyriorum[539]                Moesia Inferior.

  B.  I Flavia Canathenorum M.       Raetia.
      I Flavia Chalcidenorum S. E.   Syria.
      I Flavia Commagenorum          Dacia.
      II Flavia Commagenorum         Dacia.
      III, IV, and V Commagenorum supposed on account of the existence
      VI Commagenorum                Africa.
      I Flavia Damascenorum M. E.    Germania Superior.
      I Ulpia Sagittariorum E.       Syria.
      I Aelia Sagittariorum M. E.    Pannonia Superior.
      I Nova Surorum M. S.           Pannonia Inferior.



  A.  I Augusta Ituraeorum           Pannonia Inferior.
      Sebastenorum                   Palestine—Mauretania Caesariensis.


  A.  I Ascalonitanorum Felix E.     Syria.
      I Augusta Ituraeorum S.        Pannonia—Dacia.
      I Ituraeorum                   Germania Superior—Dacia.
      II Ituraeorum E.               Egypt.
      III Ituraeorum                 Egypt.
      IV, V, and VI[540] Ituraeorum supposed on account of the
        existence of
      VII Ituraeorum                 Egypt.
      I Sebastenorum M.              Palestine.



  B.  I Ulpia Dromedariorum M.[541]  Syria.


  B.  I Ulpia Petraeorum M. E.[542]  Syria.
      II Ulpia Petraeorum M. E.      xi. 5669.
      III Ulpia Petraeorum M. E.     Cappadocia.
      IV Ulpia Petraeorum[543]       Palestine.
      V Ulpia Petraeorum E.          Syria.
      VI Ulpia Petraeorum[543]       Palestine.





  A.  I Thebaeorum E.                Egypt.
      II Thebaeorum                  Egypt.



  A.  Afrorum                        Germania Inferior.
      Gaetulorum V.                  Palestine.

  B.  I Ulpia Afrorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Ulpia Afrorum               Egypt.
      I Flavia Gaetulorum            Moesia Inferior.


  A.  I Afrorum C. R. E.[544]        x. 5841.
      I Cirtensium supposed on account of the existence of
      II Cirtensium                  Mauretania Caesariensis.
      I Cisipadensium                Moesia Superior.
      I Gaetulorum                   viii. 7039.

  B.  I Flavia Afrorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Flavia Afrorum[545]         Africa.
      I Ulpia Afrorum E.             Egypt.
      I Flavia Musulamiorum          Mauretania Caesariensis.
      I Flavia Numidarum             Lycia.
      II Flavia Numidarum            Dacia.





  B.  Maurorum M.                    Africa.
      Maurorum M.                    Pannonia Inferior.
      Maurorum Quingenaria           Pannonia Inferior.



  A.  I Arvacorum                    Pannonia Superior.
      II Arvacorum                   Moesia Inferior.
      I Asturum                      Britain.
      I Asturum                      Moesia Inferior.
      II Asturum                     Britain.
      III Asturum                    xi. 3007.
      I Hispanorum Campagonum        Dacia.
      I Hispanorum                   Germania Superior—Dacia.
      I Hispanorum Auriana           Noricum.
      I Lemavorum                    Tarraconensis.
      I Hispanorum Vettonum C. R.    Britain.

  B.  II Flavia Hispanorum           Spain.


  A.  I Asturum                      Germania Superior—Britain.
      I Asturum                      Noricum.
      II Asturum                     Germania Inferior—Britain.
      III Asturum                    Mauretania Tingitana.
      IV Asturum supposed on account of the existence of
      V Asturum                      Germania Inferior.
      VI Asturum                     ii. 2637.
      I Asturum et Callaecorum[548]  Mauretania Tingitana.
      II Asturum et Callaecorum      Pannonia Inferior.
      I Ausetanorum                  ii. 1181.
      I Bracaraugustanorum           Moesia Inferior.
      II Bracaraugustanorum          vi. 1838.
      III Bracaraugustanorum         Britain.
      III Bracaraugustanorum         Raetia.
      III Bracaraugustanorum[549]    Palestine.
      IV Bracaraugustanorum          Palestine.
      V Bracaraugustanorum           Raetia.
      I Cantabrorum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Cantabrorum                 Palestine.
      Carietum et Veniaesum          v. 4373.
      I Celtiberorum                 Spain.
      I Celtiberorum                 Britain.
      II Celtiberorum supposed on account of the existence of
      III Celtiberorum               Spain.
      I Hispanorum                   Dacia.
      I Hispanorum V. E.             Moesia Inferior.
      I Hispanorum E.                Britain.
      I Hispanorum E.                Egypt.
      II Hispanorum                  Germania Superior.
      II Hispanorum Scutata          Dacia.
      II Hispanorum E.               Africa.
      II Hispanorum E.               Cappadocia.
      III Hispanorum                 Germania Superior.
      IV Hispanorum                  Dacia.
      V Hispanorum                   Germania Superior—Moesia Superior.
      VI Hispanorum                  xi. 4376.
      I Lucensium E.                 Dalmatia—Syria.
      I Lucensium Hispanorum         Germania Inferior.
      II Lucensium                   Moesia Inferior.
      III Lucensium                  Spain.
      IV Lucensium                   Syria.
      V Lucensium et Callaecorum     Pannonia Superior.
      I Fida Vardullorum M. E. C. R. Britain.
      I Vasconum supposed on account of the existence of
      II Hispanorum Vasconum         Britain.
        C. R. E.

  B.  I Flavia Hispanorum            Mauretania Caesariensis.
      I Flavia Hispanorum M. E.      Moesia Superior.
      I Flavia Ulpia Hispanorum
        M. E. C. R.[550]             Dacia.
      I Aelia Hispanorum M. E.       Britain.





  A.  I Augusta Praetoria            Egypt.
        Lusitanorum E.
      I Lusitanorum                  Pannonia Inferior.
      I Lusitanorum Cyrenaica        Moesia Inferior.
      II Lusitanorum E.              Egypt.
      III Lusitanorum E.             Germania Inferior—Pannonia
      IV and V Lusitanorum supposed on account of the existence of
      VI Lusitanorum[551]            Raetia.
      VII Lusitanorum E.             Africa—Raetia.





  A.  I Corsorum C. R.               Mauretania Caesariensis.
      I Corsorum                     Sardinia.
      I Sardorum                     Sardinia.
      II Sardorum E.                 Mauretania Caesariensis.

  B.  I Gemina Sardorum et Corsorum  Sardinia.
      II Gemina Ligurum et Corsorum  Sardinia.

These last two regiments seem to have been formed by amalgamating the
cohorts I Corsorum, I Sardorum, and I Ligurum, which appear in Sardinia
in the pre-Flavian period, but not later.


The character of these regiments has already been discussed on pp.
65-7, where the origin of the greater number, at any rate, was traced
to the exceptional levies made during the Pannonian revolt of 6-9, and
after the defeat of Varus in the latter year. This levy included not
only free-born Roman citizens, _ingenui_, but also freedmen enrolled
in _cohortes voluntariorum_. The latter form a series numbered up to
thirty-two, which may have included the _cohortes ingenuorum_. The
latter may, however, have been numbered separately, and it must be
admitted that the presence of a Cohors IV Voluntariorum is rather
against the hypothesis, previously advanced, that the first six
numbers of the series were reserved for the _ingenui_. It is impossible
to argue from the fact that a _cohors voluntariorum_ and a _cohors
ingenuorum_ never appear bearing the same numbers, since the series has
many gaps, and only the following regiments can be traced:

  I Ingenuorum C. R.[552]            v. 3936.
  IV Voluntariorum C. R.             Pannonia Superior.
  VI Ingenuorum C. R.                Germania Inferior.
  VIII Voluntariorum C. R.           Dalmatia.
  XIII Voluntariorum C. R.           iii. 6321.
  XV Voluntariorum C. R.             Germania Inferior.
  XVIII Voluntariorum C. R.          Pannonia Superior.
  XIX Voluntariorum C. R.            vii. 383.
  XXIII Voluntariorum C. R.          Pannonia Superior.
  XXIV Voluntariorum C. R.           Germania Superior.
  XXVI Voluntariorum C. R.[553]      Germania Superior.
  XXX Voluntariorum C. R.            Germania Superior.
  XXXII Voluntariorum C. R.          Germania Superior.

The following regiments seem to have a similar character, although we
know nothing concerning the occasion of their creation:

  I Italica Voluntariorum C. R.      xiv. 171.
  II Italica Voluntariorum C. R. M.  Cappadocia.
  I Campanorum Voluntariorum         Dalmatia—Pannonia Inferior.
    C. R.[554]

Lastly, a series of at least seven regiments bearing the inexplicable
title of Campestris, of which only the following have left traces:

  III Campestris                     Dacia.
  VII Campestris                     Syria.

The following three regiments should perhaps be included in the same

  Ala I C. R.                        Pannonia Inferior.
  Cohors Apuleia C. R.               Cappadocia.
  Cohors I Lepidiana C. R.           Moesia Inferior.

In a final section I have grouped together regiments which bear
non-ethnical titles, and a few cases of ethnical titles which are at
present inexplicable, owing to our ignorance of the situation of the
tribes referred to. In the former case it must, however, be remembered
that many of these regiments may have had ethnical titles which are not
mentioned in the only references to them which we possess.


  Augusta                            Noricum.
  Augusta[555]                       Moesia Inferior.
  Augusta[556]                       Egypt.
  Augusta C. R.                      Pannonia Inferior.
  Augusta Germanica                  Pisidia.[557]
  Augusta Moesica                    Germania Inferior.
  Augusta Syriaca                    Syria.
  Augusta ob virtutem appellata[558] Britain.
  Claudia Nova                       Dalmatia—Germania Superior—Moesia
  I Augusta Gemina Colonorum         Cappadocia.
  Constantium[559]                   _A. E._ 1911. 107.
  I Ulpia Contariorum M. C. R.       Pannonia Superior.
  Flavia                             Africa.
  I Flavia Fidelis M.                Raetia.
  I Flavia Gemelliana                Raetia.
  I Flavia Gemina                    Germania Superior.
  I Flavia Singularium C. R.         Raetia.
  II Flavia M.                       Raetia.
  Miliaria                           Mauretania Caesariensis.
  Miliaria                           Dacia.
  I Augusta Nerviana M.              Mauretania Caesariensis.
  I Praetoria C. R.                  Syria.
  Scubulorum                         Germania Superior.
  I Ulpia Singularium                Syria.
  Tautorum Victrix                   Tarraconensis.
  II Ulpia Auriana[560]              Cappadocia.


  Aelia Expedita                     viii. 9358.
  I Augusta                          Syria.
  II Augusta supposed on account of the existence of
  III Augusta[561]                   vi. 3508.
  Baetica                            v. 5127.
  I Classica                         Germania Inferior.
  I Aelia Classica                   Britain.
  II Classica                        Syria.
  Claudia E.                         Cappadocia.
  III Coll…                          Moesia Inferior.
  I Dongonum supposed on account of the existence of
  II Dongonum                        Britain.

The Lollianus inscription (iii. 600) mentions a mysteriously named
Cohors II Equitum, which seems also to be referred to on an Italian
inscription (v. 2841) as Cohors II Equitatum. The Cohors VI Equestris
mentioned by Pliny (_Ep. ad Tra._ 106) may belong to the same series.
The best explanation of these curious titles is to suppose that they
are all varieties of _equitata_.

  I Flavia E.                        Africa.
  I Flavia E.                        Germania Inferior.
  Flaviana[562]                      _C. I. G._ 3615.
  V Gemina                           Palestine.
  I Latabiensium                     Germania Inferior.
  Maritima                           ii. 2224.
  Miliaria                           Syria.
  Naut…                              Alpes Maritimae.
  I Augusta Nerviana Velox           Mauretania Caesariensis.
  I Nurritanorum                     Mauretania Caesariensis.
  Scutata C. R.                      Egypt.
  I Aelia Singularium                Mauretania Caesariensis.
  I Ulpia supposed on account of the existence of
  II Ulpia E. C. R.                  Syria.

This last section completes our survey of the auxiliary forces of the
Empire so far as they are known to us, and it is some satisfaction to
feel that so far as the mere names of the regiments go our knowledge is
now approaching completion. The recently discovered diploma for Moesia
Superior (_A. E._ 1912. 128), which gave the names of twenty-four
regiments which were stationed in the province in 103, did not mention
one previously unknown to us, and a glance at the _Année Épigraphique_
for the past ten years will show how rarely a fresh name appears among
the numerous inscriptions dealing with the auxilia. This knowledge
does not, of course, carry us very far; while so many regiments are
merely known to us by name from one or two casual inscriptions, we can
tell neither the total number of auxilia maintained at any one time
nor the relative strength of the frontier garrisons, and a host of
minor problems are even further from solution. The very fact, however,
that new evidence is now so slow to accumulate seemed to justify the
attempt to utilize the available material and state summarily such
conclusions as are at present attainable on a subject of some interest
and importance to all students of the Roman Empire.


[507] Seems to be identical with the regiment mentioned in Tac. _Hist._
iii. 41, and was therefore in existence before the Flavian period.

[508] It does not seem possible to make any distinction, chronological
or otherwise, between the titles Britannica, Britannorum, and Brittonum.

[509] Not recognized by Cichorius, but see above, p. 158, n. 1. The
meaning of the title is obscure, but such an elaborate form is not
likely to be early.

[510] On the reason for distinguishing between these two regiments see
above, p. 162, n. 2.

[511] See above, p. 60, n. 2.

[512] Apparently a late creation, possibly raised by Severus Antoninus.
Cf. xiii. 7616, and Cichorius s.v.

[513] Was in existence before the Flavian period. Cf. Tac. _Hist._ i.

[514] Assuming, as seems most probable, that this regiment was raised,
like the others, at an early date and only acquired the title Flavia as
an honorary distinction.

[515] As four Gallic cohorts bear the number II, we may add two others
bearing the number I in addition to the two known to us, and also
another Cohors III to correspond with the third Cohors IV. The total
number of Gallic cohorts raised, including the Cohortes Gallicae, must
have been twenty-four.

[516] Seems to be identical with the Cohors Ligurum E. which appears in
Sardinia and afterwards formed part of the amalgamated Cohors I Ligurum
et Hispanorum in Germania Superior.

[517] Developed out of a _vexillatio equitum Illyricorum_. Cf. p. 157.

[518] Cichorius identifies this with the last ala Pannoniorum,
supposing the title Flavia to have been added as an honorary
distinction. But iii. 3252, which is clearly of second-century date,
mentions an ala Pannoniorum without any additional title.

[519] Developed out of a _numerus Sarmatarum_ organized from the
Sarmatae deported to Britain by Marcus. Cf. vii. 218 and 229.

[520] Not included by Cichorius, but now known from _A. E._ 1905. 162.

[521] See p. 61, n. 3.

[522] See above, p. 157, n. 3.

[523] This inscription is certainly interpolated, but Cichorius
believes in the authenticity of this title.

[524] See _A. E._ 1903. 288. Not mentioned by Cichorius.

[525] Not mentioned by Cichorius and only known from iii. 15184.

[526] Another Ala II Thracum may be assumed to have been sometime in
existence, as two regiments bear the number III.

[527] The only certain mention with full title is in _A. E._ 1911. 161.
For the ascription of this and the following cohort to the garrison of
Syria see above, p. 162, n. 3.

[528] Not included by Cichorius and only mentioned on the Macedonian
diploma for 124, _A. E._ 1909. 105.

[529] Not included by Cichorius and only known from this inscription.

[530] Not included by Cichorius and only known from one inscription,
_A. E._ 1900. 48. The Syrian Cyrrhestis might, of course, be meant, and
the soldier’s birthplace, Beroea, is equally ambiguous, but the fact
that the regiment was in Dalmatia suggests a Macedonian origin.

[531] For this regiment see above, p. 61, n. 7.

[532] Only mentioned in _Not. Dign. Or._ xxviii. 35, without the title
Ulpia, but presumably belongs to the same series as cohorts I and II.

[533] Not included by Cichorius and only known from _A. E._ 1905. 54.

[534] One of these may be the Cohors Cypria mentioned in _A. E._ 1904.
163, and on an inscription from the Crimea, Latyschew ii. 293.

[535] See above, p. 62, n. 6.

[536] One of these two regiments is probably referred to in Arrian,
_Ectaxis_, 1.

[537] Not included by Cichorius. Cf. viii. 21814 a, _A. E._ 1906. 19.

[538] Inscriptions of the first of these cohorts (xiii. 7512, 7513)
show that it was recruited in the East, as probably all were.

[539] If the emendation suggested above, on p. 69, n. 3, be correct, we
should also include a Cohors Seleuciensium.

[540] Arrian, _Ectaxis_, 18, mentions an Ituraean cohort which may be
identical with one of these.

[541] This, at least, seems the most likely province for it to have
been raised in. This regiment, not included by Cichorius, is only
mentioned in the Syrian diploma for 157.

[542] It is not mentioned as _miliaria_, but is conjectured to have
been so on the analogy of cohorts II and III.

[543] The title Ulpia is not given in these two cases, but the
regiments obviously belonged to the same series and were probably also

[544] Probably identical with the ‘Cohors Afrorum in Dacia’ mentioned
in vi. 3529.

[545] Not included by Cichorius, and only mentioned in _A. E._ 1909.
104, an inscription dating from the end of the second century.

[546] There is no reason why these regiments should not have been
raised between 40 and 70, but they do not appear on inscriptions until
much later.

[547] Some of the cohorts and alae of Hispani may, of course, have been
raised in Baetica.

[548] On some difficult points connected with this regiment see Cagnat,
_L’armée romaine d’Afrique_, p. 258 (2nd edition).

[549] From the existence of three cohorts bearing the number III, we
may assume two more with the number I, and two with the number II, of
which as yet no evidence exists.

[550] This regiment is, however, possibly identical with the preceding.

[551] Not included by Cichorius, and only mentioned on a Greek
inscription, which is probably of second-century date, _I. G. R. R._
iii. 56.

[552] Probably identical with the Cohors I C. R., which appears in
Germania Superior. The Cohors II C. R. which formed part of the
garrison of the same province according to ix. 2958 probably also
belongs to this series.

[553] xiii. 6306 may refer to Cohors XXV, but it is probable that the
final stroke is omitted, and that Cohors XXVI was meant.

[554] On this regiment see above, p. 65, n. 6.

[555] Possibly identical with the Ala Augusta Moesica.

[556] Possibly identical with the Ala Augusta Syriaca.

[557] See _J. R. S._ ii. (1912), p. 99.

[558] This regiment has no early inscriptions, and is probably
identical with one of the other British alae, possibly the Ala
Petriana, which renounced its original title in favour of this
honorific appellation.

[559] Not included by Cichorius. This regiment is probably either a
late formation, or possessed also an ethnical title omitted on this

[560] The title is probably connected in some way with that of the Ala
I Hispanorum Auriana which was stationed in Raetia.

[561] Here again, however, an ethnical title may well have been omitted.

[562] Possibly a Gallic regiment on the analogy of the Ala Gallorum


    in an ala, 41;
    in a cohort, 43.

  _Aeneatores_, 43, n. 11.

  African officers, 96.

    origin of term, 22-5;
    titles of, 24, 45;
    size of, 26;
    officers of, 40.

  Archers, 84, 103, 128.

  _Augusta_, used as title of auxiliary regiments, 47.

  Augustus, military reforms, 13 et seqq.

  Balearic slingers, 10, 131.

  Barbarization of Roman army, 99, 138.

  Barr Hill, fort at, 106.

  Batavians, 16, 19, 35, 49, 57, 72.

    in an ala, 41;
    in a cohort, 43.

  Breastplates, 124.

  Britain, frontier defences, 109, 112, 141.

  British regiments, recruiting, 85.

    in an ala, 42;
    in a cohort, 43.

  _Canabae_, 117.

  _Capsarius_, 43, n. 8.

  _Catafractarii_, 128.

    use of, 104;
    superior pay of, 35.

  Celtic officers, 96.

  Centurions, 37.

  Chain armour, 126, 130.

  Civilis, 20.

  _Civitas_, granted to auxiliaries, 31 et seqq.

  _Civitates foederatae_, 57.

  _Civium Romanorum_, used as a title of auxiliary regiments, 46.

  _Cohortes equitatae_, 28, 29.

        „     _miliariae_, 28.

        „     _quingenariae_, 28.

        „     _voluntariorum_, 65 et seqq., 187.

    size of, 27;
    officers of, 43;
    titles of, 46 et seqq.

  _Constitutio Antoniniana_, 122.

  _Contarii_, 104.

  _Cornicen_, 43.

    in an ala, 41;
    in a cohort, 43.

  Cretans, 9, 62.

  _Curator turmae_, 41.

        „    _alae_ or _cohortis_, 37.

  _Custos armorum_, 41.

  Dacia, recruiting of garrison, 77.

    in an ala, 37;
    in a cohort, 38.

  Diocletian, military reforms, 136.

  _Diplomata militaria_, 31 et seqq.

  _Dromedarii_, 30.

  _Duplicarius_, 41.

  _Equites Singulares Imperatoris_, 41 et seqq., 135;
    recruiting, 81.

  Face-masks, 127.

  Frontier defences, 107 et seqq.

  Gaesati, 86.

  Gallic regiments, importance of, 64, 81.

  _Gemina_, used as a title of auxiliary regiments, 47.

  German frontier, 108.

  Greek officers, 97.

    military reforms, 90, 107;
    speech to army in Africa, 29, 35, 132.

  Haltern, fort at, 105.

  Helmets, 125.

  Hofheim, fort at, 105.

  Housesteads, fort at, 27, 118.

    in an ala, 41;
    in a cohort, 42.

  _Immunes_, 39 et seqq.

  Isaurians, 144.

  Italian officers, 95.

  Josephus, value of, 102.

  Legionaries serving as officers in auxilia, 38.

    recruiting of, 78, 80;
    connexion of, with auxilia, 49-51.

    in an ala, 41;
    in a cohort, 43.

  Married soldiers, position of, 119.

  Mauri, 89, 128, 135.

    in an ala, 42;
    in a cohort, 43.

  _Medicus ordinarius_, 43.

  _Mensor_, 43.

  Mounted Infantry, 29.

  Newstead, fort at, 27, 106, 127.

  _Notitia Dignitatum_, 138.

  _Numeri_, 85 et seqq., 128, 131.

  Numidians, 10.

    in an ala, 41;
    in a cohort, 42.

  Oriental regiments, recruiting of, 82 et seqq.

  Osroeni, 135.

  Palmyreni, 88.

  Pannonia, recruiting of garrison, 71, 75 et seqq.

  Pay, 35.

  _Praefecti_, 91 et seqq.

  _Praefectus alae_, 36.

         „      _cohortis_, 36.

         „      _equitum_, 23, 24.

         „      _numeri_, 87.

  _Praepositus_, 37.

  Praetorians, 34, 135.

  _Principales_, 39 et seqq.

  Roman citizens serving auxilia, 33.

  Romanization, 117.

  Saalburg, fort at, 117.

  _Salluitana turma_, 11, 23.

  Scale-armour, 124, 127.

  _Sesquiplicarius_, 41.

  Shields, 125, 126, 129.

  Signalling, 111.

    in an ala, 39, 41;
    in a cohort, 42.

  _Singulares_, 41.

  Slingers, 132.

  Spears, 126, 129.

  _Stator_, 41.

  _Strator_, 41.

    in an ala, 36;
    in a cohort, 36.

  Sugambrians, 48, 116.

  Swords, 126, 129.

  Tacitus, value of, 102.

  _Tesserarius_, 42.

  _Tribunus cohortis_, 36, 94.

  _Tubicen_, 42.

  _Velites_, 10.

  _Veteranorum cohortes_, 48.

    in an ala, 10;
    in a cohort, 42.

  _Vexillationes_, 113.

Oxford: Horace Hart M.A. Printer to the University

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