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Encyclopedia > Castra

This article is part of the series on: Image File history File links Rmn-military-header. ...


Military of ancient Rome (Portal)
800 BC–AD 476 The Military of ancient Rome (known to the Romans as the militia) relates to the combined military forces of Ancient Rome from the founding of the city of Rome to the end of the Western Roman Empire. ...

Structural history
Roman army (unit types and ranks,
legions, auxiliaries, generals)
Roman navy (fleets, admirals)
Campaign history
Lists of Wars and Battles
Decorations and Punishments
Technological history
Military engineering (castra,
siege engines, arches, roads)
Personal equipment
Political history
Strategy and tactics
Infantry tactics
Frontiers and fortifications (Limes,
Hadrian's Wall)
Basic ideal plan of a Roman castrum. (1)Principia (2)Via Praetoria (3)Via Principalis (4)Porta Principalis Dextra (5)Porta Praetoria (main gate) (6)Porta Principalis Sinistra (7)Porta Decumana (back gate)

The Latin word castra,[1] with its singular castrum, was used by the ancient Romans to mean any building or plot of land reserved to or constructed for use as a military defensive position. As the word appears in both Oscan and Umbrian (dialects of Italic) as well as in Latin[citation needed], it probably descended from Indo-European to Italic. The branches of the Roman military at the highest level were the Roman army and the Roman navy. ... The Roman army is the set of land-based military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and later Roman Empire as part of the Roman military. ... This is a list of both unit types and ranks of the Roman army from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Roman Empire. ... This is a list of Roman legions, including key facts about each legion. ... Auxiliaries (from Latin: auxilia = supports) formed the non-citizen section of the Roman army of the late Republican and Imperial periods, alongside the citizen legions. ... // Manius Acilius Glabrio -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 191 BC) -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 91) -- Titus Aebutius Helva -- Aegidius -- Lucius Aemilius Barbula -- Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir) -- Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus -- Marcus Aemilius Scaurus (praetor 56 BC) -- Flavius Aëtius -- Lucius Afranius (consul) -- Sextus Calpurnius Agricola -- Gnaeus Julius Agricola -- Flavius Antoninus -- Marcus... Roman trireme, a warship, 31 BC. Note the bank of oars (two on the hidden side), the square-rigged sails, the steering oars, the tower on deck, the ram at the prow, the ballistae and the Greek fire. ... Roman trireme, a warship, 31 BC. Note the bank of oars (two on the hidden side), the square-rigged sails, the steering oars, the tower on deck, the ram at the prow, the ballistae and the Greek fire. ... The history of ancient Rome - originally a city-state of Italy, and later an empire covering much of Eurasia and North Africa from the ninth century BC to the fifth century AD - was often closely entwined with its military history. ... The following is a List of Roman wars fought by the ancient Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, organized by date. ... The following is a List of Roman battles (fought by the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire), organized by date. ... As with most other military forces the Roman military adopted a carrot and stick approach to military, with an extensive list of decorations for military gallantry and likewise a range of punishments for the punishment of military transgressions. ... The technology history of the Roman military covers the development of and application of technologies for use in the armies and navies of Rome from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. ... Roman military engineering is that Roman engineering carried out by the Roman Army - almost exclusively by the Roman legions for the furthering of military objectives. ... Roman siege engines were, for the most part, adapted from Hellenistic siege technology. ... List of ancient Roman triumphal arches (By modern country) // France Orange Reims: Porte de Mars Saint Rémy de Provence: Roman site of Glanum Saintes: Arch of Germanicus Greece Arch of Galerius, Thessaloniki Hadrians Arch, Athens Italy It has been suggested that List of Roman arches in Rome be... For the one-off TV Drama, see Roman Road (TV Drama) A Roman road in Pompeii. ... Roman military personal equipment was produced in large numbers to established patterns and used in an established way. ... Root directory at Military history of ancient Rome Romes military was always tightly keyed to its political system. ... The strategy of the Roman Military encompasses its grand strategy (the arrangements made by the state to implement its political goals through a selection of military goals, a process of diplomacy backed by threat of military action, and a dedication to the military of part of its production and resources... robert galusha is mad ass fucking hot Root directory at Strategy of the Roman military Roman infantry tactics refers to the theoretical and historical deployment, formation and maneuvers of the Roman infantry from the start of the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. ... Map of all the territories once occupied by the Roman Empire, along with locations of limes Roman military borders and fortifications were part of a grand strategy of territorial defense in the Roman Empire. ... The limes Germanicus, 2nd century. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Image File history File links Castra1. ... Image File history File links Castra1. ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Oscan, the language of the Osci, is in the Sabellic branch of the Italic language family, which is a branch of Indo-European and includes Umbrian, Latin and Faliscan. ... Umbrian, an Indo-European language of the Italic family, is a dead language formerly spoken in Umbria, Italy. ... Look up Italic, italic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages. ... Look up Italic, italic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

Types of castra

The best known type of castra is the camp, a military town designed to house and protect the soldiers and their equipment and supplies when they were not fighting or marching. Regulations required a major unit in the field to retire to a properly constructed camp every day. "...as soon as they have marched into an enemy's land, they do not begin to fight till they have walled their camp about; nor is the fence they raise rashly made, or uneven; nor do they all abide ill it, nor do those that are in it take their places at random; but if it happens that the ground is uneven, it is first leveled: their camp is also four-square by measure, and carpenters are ready, in great numbers, with their tools, to erect their buildings for them." [2] To this end a marching column ported the equipment needed to build and stock the camp in a baggage train of wagons and on the backs of the soldiers. A military camp or bivouac is a minor, semi-permanent facility for the lodging of an army. ...

Reconstructed barracks of a Castra Hiberna, or "winter camp". Each doorway provides entry to a large room, the sleeping quarters of one contubernium, or "squad" of about 10 men.

Camps were the responsibility of engineering units to which specialists of many types belonged, officered by architecti, "chief engineers", who requisitioned manual labor from the soldiers at large as required. They could throw up a camp under enemy attack in as little as a few hours. Judging from the names, they probably used a repertory of camp plans, selecting the one appropriate to the length of time a legion would spend in it: tertia castra, quarta castra, etc., "a camp of three days", "four days", etc. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 585 KB) The reconstructed barrack-block at Arbeia Roman Fort, in South Shields, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in North East England. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 585 KB) The reconstructed barrack-block at Arbeia Roman Fort, in South Shields, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in North East England. ...


More permanent camps were castra stativa, "standing camps." The least permanent of these were castra aestiva or aestivalia, "summer camps", in which the soldiers were housed sub pellibus or sub tentoriis, "under tents". Summer was the campaign season. For the winter the soldiers retired to castra hiberna containing barracks of more solid materials, with well-built barracks, public buildings and stone walls.


The camp allowed the Romans to keep a rested and supplied army in the field. Neither Celtic nor the Germanic armies had this capability: they found it necessary to disperse after only a few days; meanwhile, their open camps invited attack when they were least prepared.

Ruins of the Porta Praetoria, or "Headquarters Gate", from a Castra Stativa, a more permanent base.
Castra at Massada. Note the classical "playing-card" layout.

Image File history File links Limes02. ... Image File history File links Limes02. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2049x1301, 318 KB) en:: Description: Massada, Israel, Roman Fort Author: Matthias Kabel, Foto taken himself, upload to German wikipedia 28. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2049x1301, 318 KB) en:: Description: Massada, Israel, Roman Fort Author: Matthias Kabel, Foto taken himself, upload to German wikipedia 28. ... This article is about the Judean fortress. ...

Etymology

The American Heritage Dictionary, following Julius Pokorny, lists *kes-, "cut", as the root. One castrum was a reservation of land "cut off" for military use. It could be an entire base, such as castrum Moguntiacum, or it could be a single fortified building. From the latter use came the English word castle (castellum, a diminutive of castrum). The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) is a dictionary of American English published by Boston publisher Houghton-Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969. ... Julius Pokorny (1887–1970) was born in Prague and studied at Vienna university. ...


Castra in the plural refers to a collection of structures. Considering that the earliest structures were tents, which were cut out of hide or cloth, one castrum may well be a tent, with the plural meaning tents. All but the most permanent bases housed the men in barracks of tents placed in quadrangles and separated by numbered streets. From the plural come English place-name suffices such as -caster and -chester; e.g., Winchester, Lancaster. Military tents U.S. Army tent with constructed wooden entrance, climate control unit and sandbags for protection. ...


Plan of the base

Gateway of a Castra Stativa. Note the battlements, the Roman arch, the turres.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 572 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Castra Arbeia Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 572 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Castra Arbeia Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to...

Sources and origins

Even from the most ancient times Roman camps were constructed according to a certain ideal pattern, formally described in two main sources, the De Metatione Castrorum or De Munitionibus Castrorum by either Hyginus Gromaticus or Pseudo-Hyginus and the works of Polybius. Vegetius has a small section on entrenched camps as well. The terminology varies some but the basic plan is the same. To readers of the Rig Veda the pattern is strikingly familiar, as it is essentially the same as the Aryans invading early Pakistan (then India) used to lay out a village. That is not to say non-Indo-European peoples did not use it either. The hypothesis of an Etruscan origin is a viable alternative. Wikisource has original 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica text related to: Hyginus (gromaticus) Hyginus Gromaticus, (surname from gruma, a surveyor’s measuring-rod), Latin writer on land-surveying, flourished in the reign of Trajan (A.D. 98—117). ... Pseudo-Hyginus is the unkown author of the De munitionibus castrorum (About the fortifications of (military )camps). ... Polybius (c. ... Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) was a celebrated military writer of the 4th century. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... This article is about the term Aryan. For Arian, a follower of the ancient Christian sect, See Arianism. ... Languages in Iron Age Italy, 6th century BC Etruscan was a language spoken and written in the ancient region of Etruria (current Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of what are now Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna (where the Etruscans were displaced by Gauls), in Italy. ...


Layout

Camp Arges, Dacia (reconstruction), showing a good stone vallum, a porta and a turris.
Reconstruction of a specula or vigilarium (Germanic burgus), "watchtower", a type of castrum. An ancient watchtower would have been surrounded by wall and ditch.

The ideal enforced a linear plan for every single fort. The plan was a square for camps to contain one legion or less, or a rectangle for two legions, each legion being placed back-to-back with headquarters next to each other. Laying it out was a geometric exercise conducted by officers called metatores, or gromatici, who used graduated measuring rods called decempedae ("10-footers") or gromae (Roman equivalent of a transit, but without the lenses, which they did not have), respectively. The layout process was a well-defined algorithm conducted by experienced men. It started in the centre at the planned site of the headquarters tent. Streets and architectural features were marked with coloured pennants or rods. Image File history File links Roman_Camp_Arges_reconstruction. ... Image File history File links Roman_Camp_Arges_reconstruction. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2304x3456, 1669 KB) Roman Watchtower near Fortress Vechten, Utrecht, the Netherlands. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2304x3456, 1669 KB) Roman Watchtower near Fortress Vechten, Utrecht, the Netherlands. ...

Site map of Potaissa at Turda in Romania. The major features of the layout have been identified and are shown on the map.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2592x1944, 1278 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Castra Legio V Macedonica Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2592x1944, 1278 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Castra Legio V Macedonica Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner... Turda (Hungarian: Torda, German: Thorenburg) (population: 55,770) is a city and Municipality in Cluj County, Romania, situated on the ArieÅŸ river. ...

Wall and ditch

The base (munimentum, "fortification") was placed entirely within the vallum ("wall"), which could be constructed under the protection of the legion in battle formation if necessary. The vallum was quadrangular aligned on the cardinal points of the compass. The construction crews dug a trench (fossa), throwing the excavated material inward, to be formed into the rampart (agger). On top of this a palisade of stakes (sudes or valli) was erected. The soldiers had to carry these stakes on the march. Over the course of time, the palisade might be replaced by a fine brick or stone wall, and the ditch serve also as a moat. A legion-sized camp always placed towers at intervals along the wall with positions between for the division artillery. A vallum was a type of palisade, used as part of the Roman defensive fortification system. ... Sudes used as a simple picket fence. ...


Interval

Around the inside periphery of the vallum was a clear space, the intervallum, which served to catch enemy missiles, as an access route to the vallum and as a storage space for cattle (capita) and booty (praeda). Legionaries were quartered in a peripheral zone inside the intervallum, which they could rapidly cross to take up position on the vallum. Inside of the legionary quarters was a peripheral road, the Via Sagularis, probably "service road", as the sagum, a kind of cloak, was the garment of slaves.


Streets, gates and central plaza

Every camp included "main street", which ran unimpeded through the camp in a north-south direction and was very wide. The names of streets in many cities formerly occupied by the Romans suggest that the street was called cardo or Cardus Maximus. This name applies more to cities than it does to ancient camps.[3] In Roman city planning, a cardo or cardus was a north-south-oriented street in ancient Roman cities, military camps, and colonia The main street of the city was most often the cardo and was sometimes called the cardus maximus. ...


Typically "main street" was the via principalis. The central portion was used as a parade ground and headquarters area. The "headquarters" building was called the praetorium because it housed the praetor or base commander ("first officer"), and his staff. In the camp of a full legion he held the rank of consul or proconsul but officers of lesser ranks might command. The Praetorium (also called Pilates House) is the place in what is now the Antonia Fortress where Jesus of Nazareth was brought to trial before Pontius Pilate. ... // Definition According to Cicero, Praetor was a title which designated the consuls as the leaders of the armies of the state. ... Consul (abbrev. ... For the Miocene ape, see Proconsul (genus) Under the Roman Empire a proconsul was a promagistrate filling the office of a consul. ...


On one side of the praetorium was the quaestorium, the building of the supply officer, or quaestor ("seeker"). On the other side was the forum, a small duplicate of an urban forum, where public business could be conducted. Along the Via Principalis were the homes or tents of the several tribunes in front of the barracks of the units they commanded. Quaestores were elected officials of the Roman Republic who supervised the treasury and financial affairs of the state, its armies and its officers. ... The Forum of Jerash, in Jordan. ... The Roman office of tribune of the people (tribunus plebis) was established in 494 BC, about 15 years after the foundation of the Roman Republic in 509. ...


The Via Principalis went through the vallum in the Porta Principalis Dextra ("right principle gate") and Porta Principalis Sinistra ("left, etc."), which were gates fortified with turres ("towers"). Which was on the north and which on the south depends on whether the praetorium faced east or west, which remains unknown.


The central region of the Via Principalis with the buildings for the command staff was called the Principia (plural of principium). It was actually a square, as across this at right angles to the Via Principalis was the Via Praetoria, so called because the praetorium interrupted it. The Via Principalis and the Via Praetoria offered another division of the camp into four quarters.


Across the central plaza (principia) to the east or west was the main gate, the Porta Praetoria. Marching through it and down "headquarters street" a unit ended up in formation in front of the headquarters. The standards of the legion were located on display there, very much like the flag of modern camps.


On the other side of the praetorium the Via Praetoria continued to the wall, where it went through the Porta Decumana. In theory this was the back gate. Supplies were supposed to come in through it and so it was also called, descriptively, the Porta Quaestoria. The term Decumena, "of the 10th", came from the arranging of manipuli or turmae from the first to the 10th, such that the 10th was near the intervallum on that side. The Via Praetoria on that side might take the name Via Decumena or the entire Via Praetoria be replaced with Decumanus Maximus.[4] Palmyra in Syria In Roman city planning, a Decumanus Maximus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, military camp, or colonia. ...


Canteen

In peaceful times the camp set up a marketplace with the natives in the area. They were allowed into the camp as far as the units numbered 5 (half-way to the praetorium). There another street crossed the camp at right angles to the Via Praetoria, called the Via Quintana, "5th street". If the camp needed more gates, one or two of the Porta Quintana were built, presumably named dextra and sinistra. If the gates were not built, the Porta Decumana also became the Porta Quintana. At "5th street" a public market was allowed. The English word canteen comes from Quintana.


Major buildings

Not much remains of these horreae at Arbeia, probably the floors of bins between aisles.

The Via Quintana and the Via Principalis divided the camp into three districts: the Latera Praetorii, the Praetentura and the Retentura. In the latera ("sides") were the Arae (sacrificial altars), the Auguratorium (for auspices), the Tribunal, where courts martial and arbitrations were conducted (it had a raised platform), the guardhouse, the quarters of various kinds of staff and the storehouses for grain (horreae) or meat (carnarea). Sometimes the horreae were located near the barracks and the meat was stored on the hoof. Analysis of sewage from latrines indicates the legionary diet was mainly grain. Also located in the Latera was the Armamentarium, a long shed containing any heavy weapons and artillery not on the wall. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 614 KB) The grannaries at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 614 KB) The grannaries at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. ... The Augur was a priest or official in ancient Rome. ... An auspice (Latin: auspicium[1]) is a type of omen. ...

Roman artillery piece (Onager)

The Praetentura ("stretching to the front") contained the Scamnum Legatorum, the quarters of officers who were below general but higher than company commanders (Legati).[5] Near the Principia were the Valetudinarium (hospital), Veterinarium (for horses), Fabrica ("workshop", metals and wood), and further to the front the quarters of special forces. These included Classici ("marines", as most European camps were on rivers and contained a river naval command), Equites ("cavalry"), Exploratores ("scouts"), and Vexillarii (carriers of vexillae, the official pennants of the legion and its units). Troops who did not fit elsewhere also were there. Image File history File links Roman_Onager. ... Image File history File links Roman_Onager. ... Sketch of an Onager, from Antique technology by Diels. ... Roman trireme, a warship, 31 BC. Note the bank of oars (two on the hidden side), the square-rigged sails, the steering oars, the tower on deck, the ram at the prow, the ballistae and the Greek fire. ... The introduction of this article does not provide enough context for readers unfamiliar with the subject. ...


The part of the Retentura ("stretching to the rear") closest to the Principia contained the Quaestorium. By the late empire it had developed also into a safekeep for plunder and a prison for hostages and high-ranking enemy captives. Near the Quaestorium were the quarters of the headquarters guard (Statores), who amounted to two centuries (companies). If the Imperator was present they served as his bodyguard. Centuria (Latin plural Centuriae) is a Latin substantive rooting in centum a hundred, denoting units consisting of (originally, approximatively) a 100 men. ... The Latin word imperator was a title originally roughly equivalent to commander during the period of the Roman Republic. ...


Barracks

A sanitary channel at Potaissa. It is placed cross-slope with a slight decline and then exits down-slope.

Further from the Qaestorium were the tents of the Nationes ("natives"), who were auxiliaries of foreign troops, and the legionaries themselves in double rows of tents or barracks (Strigae). One Striga was as long as required and 60 feet wide. In it were two Hemistrigia of facing tents centered in its 30-foot strip. Arms could be stacked before the tents and baggage carts kept there as well. Space on the other side of the tent was for passage. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (972x1296, 639 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Castra Sanitation in Ancient Rome Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (972x1296, 639 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Castra Sanitation in Ancient Rome Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or...


A tent was 10 by 12 feet (two feet for the aisle), ten men per tent. Ideally a company took 10 tents, arranged in a line of 10 companies, with the 10th near the Porta Decumana. Of the 100 sq. ft. of bunk space each man received 10, or about 2 by 5 feet, which was only practical if they slept with heads to the aisle. The single tent with its men was called contubernium, also used for "squad". A squad during some periods was 8 men or fewer. The Contubernium was smallest group of soilders in the Roman Army. ...


The Centurio, or company commander, had a double-sized tent for his quarters, which served also as official company area. Other than there, the men had to find other places to be. To avoid mutiny, it became extremely important for the officers to keep them busy.


A covered portico might protect the walkway along the tents. If barracks had been constructed, one company was housed in one barracks building, with the arms at one end and the common area at the other. The company area was used for cooking and recreation, such as gaming. The army provisioned the men and had their bread (panis militaris) baked in outdoor ovens, but the men were responsible for cooking and serving themselves. They could buy meals or supplementary foods at the canteen. The officers were allowed servants.


Sanitation

For sanitary facilities, a camp had both public and private latrines. A public latrine consisted of a bank of seats situated over a channel of running water. One of the major considerations for selecting the site of a camp was the presence of running water, which the engineers diverted into the sanitary channels. Drinking water came from wells; however, the larger and more permanent bases featured the aquaductus, a structure running a stream captured from high ground (sometimes miles away) into the camp. The praetorium had its own latrine, and probably the quarters of the high-ranking officers. In or near the intervallum, where they could easily be accessed, were the latrines of the soldiers. A public bathhouse for the soldiers, also containing a latrine, was located near or on the Via Principalis. Pont du Gard, France, a Roman aqueduct built circa 19 BC. It is one of Frances top tourist attractions and a World Heritage Site. ...


Territory

The influence of a base extended far beyond its walls. The total land required for the maintenance of a permanent base was called its territoria. In it were located all the resources of nature and the terrain required by the base: pastures, woodlots, water sources, stone quarries, mines, exercise fields and attached villages. The central castra might also support various fortified adjuncts to the main base, which were not in themselves self-sustaining (as was the base). In this category were speculae, "watchtowers", castella, "small camps", and naval bases.


All the major bases near rivers featured some sort of fortified naval installation, one side of which was formed by the river or lake. The other sides were formed by a polygonal wall and ditch constructed in the usual way, with gates and watchtowers. The main internal features were the boat sheds and the docks. When not in use, the boats were drawn up into the sheds for maintenance and protection. Since the camp was placed to best advantage on a hill or slope near the river, the naval base was usually outside its walls. The classici and the optiones of the naval installation relied on the camp for its permanent defense. Naval personnel generally enjoyed better quarters and facilities. Many were civilians working for the military.


Modifications in practice

This ideal was always modified to suit the terrain and the circumstances. Each camp discovered by archaeology has its own specific layout and architectural features, which makes sense from a military point of view.


If, for example, the camp was built on an outcrop, it followed the lines of the outcrop. The terrain for which it was best suited and for which it was probably designed in distant prehistoric times was the rolling plain. The camp was best placed on the summit and along the side of a low hill, with spring water running in rivulets through the camp (aquatio) and pastureland to provide grazing (pabulatio) for the animals. In case of attack, arrows, javelins and sling missiles could be fired down at an enemy tiring himself to come up. For defense troops could be formed in an acies, or "battle-line", outside the gates, where they could be easily resupplied and replenished, as well as being supported by archery from the palisade.


The streets, gates and buildings present depended on the requirements and resources of the camp. The gates might vary from two to six and not be centered on the sides. Not all the streets and buildings might be present.


Quadrangular camps in later times

Many villages in Europe originated as Roman military camps and still show traces of their original pattern (e.g. Castres in France, Barcelona in Spain). The pattern was also used by Spanish colonizers in America following strict rules by the Spanish monarchy for founding new cities in the New World. World map showing the location of Europe. ... Castres (Castras in Occitan) is a town and commune of Languedoc in south-western France. ... Location Coordinates : Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) - summer: CEST (GMT +2) General information Native name Barcelona (Catalan) Spanish name Barcelona Nickname Ciutat Comtal (Catalan) Postal code 08001–08080 Area code 34 (Spain) + 93 (Barcelona) Website http://www. ... The Spanish colonization of the Americas began with the arrival in the Western Hemisphere of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón) in 1492. ... Frontispiece of Peter Martyr dAnghieras De orbe novo (On the New World). Carte dAmérique, Guillaume Delisle, 1722. ...


Many of the towns of England still retain forms of the word castra in their names -- Lancaster, Chester and Manchester, for example. Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the  United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... A view of Lancaster showing the Lune, the Millennium Bridge and the Ashton Memorial Lancaster (2001 census population 45,952: source ONS) is a city in Lancashire, in the north-west of England, UK. It is a commercial, cultural and educational centre. ... For the larger local government district, see Chester City (district). ... Manchester (pronounced ) is a city and metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England. ...


Camp life

Activities conducted in a castra can be divided into ordinary and "the duty" or "the watch". Ordinary activity was performed during regular working hours. The duty was associated with operating the installation as a military facility. For example, all the soldiers were not required to man the walls all the time, but some soldiers were required to be on duty there without a lapse.


Duty time was divided into vigilia, the eight watches of three hours each into which the 24-hour day was divided. The Romans used signals on brass instruments to mark time. These were mainly the buccina or bucina (a relative of English bugle), the cornu and the tuba. As they did not possess valves for regulating the pitch, the range of these instruments was somewhat limited. Nevertheless the musicians (Aenatores, "brassmen") managed to define some 40 or so signals for issuing commands. The instrument used to mark the passage of a watch was the buccina, from which the trumpet derives. It was sounded by a buccinator. The Buccina (also Bucina) is a brass instrument used in the ancient Roman army. ... Cornu is a Latin word for horn. ... Roman tuba The Roman tuba is an ancient musical instrument, different from the modern tuba. ...


Ordinary life

Ordinary camp life began with a buccina call at daybreak, the first watch of the day. The soldiers arose at this time and shortly after collected in the company area for breakfast and assembly. The centurions were up before them and off to the Principia where they and the Equites were required to assemble. The regimental commanders, the Tribunes, were already converging on the Praetorium. There the general staff was busily at work planning the day. At a staff meeting the Tribunes received the password and the orders of the day. They brought those back to the Centuriones, who returned to their company areas to instruct the men, already breakfasted. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... An equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites - also known as a vir egregius, lit. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law Tribune (from the Latin: tribunus; Greek form tribounos) was a title shared by 2-3 elected magistracies and other governmental and/or (para)military offices of the Roman Republic and Empire. ...


For soldiers, the main item of the agenda was a vigorous training session lasting about a watch long. Recruits received two, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Planning and supervision of training were under a general staff officer, who might manage training at several camps. Vegetius tells us the men might take a 20-mile hike or a 4- to 5- mile jog under full pack, or swim a river. Marching drill was always in order. Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) was a celebrated military writer of the 4th century. ...


Every soldier was taught the use of every weapon and also was taught to ride. Seamanship was not excluded at bases that were also naval bases. Soldiers were generalists in the military and construction arts. They practiced archery, spear-throwing and above all swordmanship against posts (pali) fixed in the ground. Training was taken very seriously and was democratic. Ordinary soldiers would see all the officers training with them including the Praetor or the Emperor if he was in camp.


Swordmanship lessons and use of the firing range probably took place on the campus, a "field" outside the castra, from which English camp derives. Its surface could be lightly paved. Winter curtailed outdoor training. The general might in that case have sheds constructed, which served as field houses for training. There is archaeological evidence in one case of an indoors equestrian ring.


Apart from the training, each soldier had a regular job on the base, of which there were a large variety from the various kinds of clerks to the craftsmen. Soldiers changed jobs frequently. The commander's policy was to have all the soldiers skilled in all the arts and crafts so that they could be as interchangeable as possible. Even then the goal was not entirely achievable. The gap was bridged by the specialists, the optiones or "chosen men", of which there were many different kinds. For example, a skilled artisan might be chosen to superintend a workshop.

An aureus of the late republic

The supply administration was run as a business using money as the medium of exchange. The aureus was the preferred coin of the late republic and early empire; in the late empire the solidus came into use. The larger bases, such as Moguntiacum, minted their own coins. As does any business, the base quaestorium required careful record keeping, performed mainly by the optiones. A chance cache of tablets from Vindolanda in Britain gives us a glimpse of some supply transactions. They record, among other things, the purchase of consumables and raw supplies, the storage and repair of clothing and other items, and the sale of items, including foodstuffs, to achieve an income. Vindolanda traded vigorously with the surrounding natives. Image File history File links Cohen_0008. ... Image File history File links Cohen_0008. ... Aureus minted in 193 by Septimius Severus to celebrate XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix, the legion that proclamed him emperor. ... Julian solidus, ca. ... Vindolanda was a Roman auxiliary fort located at Chesterholm, just south of Hadrians Wall in northern England, near the border with Scotland, guarding the Roman road from the River Tyne, to the Solway Firth, now known as the Stanegate. ...


Another feature of the camp was the military hospital (valetudinarium, later hospitium). Augustus instituted the first permanent medical corps in the Roman army. Its physicians, the medici ordinarii, had to be qualified physicians. They were allowed medical students, practitioners and whatever orderlies they needed; i.e., the military hospitals were medical schools and places of residency as well.

For more details on on hospitals and physicians in the military, see Medical community of ancient Rome.

Officers were allowed to marry and to reside with their families on base. The army could not extend the same privileges to the men, who were not allowed to marry. They often kept common law families off base in communities nearby. The communities might be native, as the tribesmen tended to build around a permanent base for purposes of trade, but also the base sponsored villages (vici) of dependents and businessmen. Dependents were not allowed to follow an army on the march into hostile territory. Symbolic statue of Asclepius holding the Rod of Asclepius. ...


An enlistment was for about 25 years. At the end of that time the veteran was given a diploma, or certificate of honorable discharge (honesta missio). Some of these have survived engraved on stone. Typically they certify that the veteran, his wife (one per veteran) and children or his sweetheart were now Roman citizens, which is a good indication that troops, which were used chiefly on the frontier, were from peoples elsewhere on the frontier, who wished to earn Roman citizenship.


Veterans often went into business in the communities near a base. They became permanent members of the community and would stay on after the troops were withdrawn, as in the notable case of St. Patrick's family. Statue of Saint Patrick Saint Patrick (died March 17, 462, 492, or 493), is the patron saint of Ireland. ...


Duties

Conducted in parallel with the ordinary activities was "the duty", the official chores required by the camp under strict military discipline. The Praetor was ultimately responsible for them as he was for the entire camp, but he delegated the duty to a tribune chosen as officer of the day. The line Tribunes were commanders of Cohortes and were approximately the equivalent of colonels. The 6 tribunes were divided into units of two, with each unit being responsible for filling the position of officer of the day for two months. The two men of a unit decided among themselves who would take what day. They could alternate days or each take a month. One filled in for the other in case of illness. On his day, the tribune effectively commanded the camp and was even respected as such by the Praetor. Cohort may mean: Cohort (military unit), a Roman legion. ...


The equivalent concept of the duties performed in modern camps is roughly the detail. The responsibilities (curae) of the many kinds of detail were distributed to the men by all the methods considered fair and democratic: lot, rotation and negotiation. Certain kinds of cura were assigned certain classes or types of troops; for example, wall sentries were chosen only from Velites. Soldiers could be temporarily or permanently exempted: the immunes. For example, a Triarius was immunis from the curae of the Hastati.


The duty year was divided into time slices, typically one or two months, which were apportioned to units, typically maniples or centuries. They were always allowed to negotiate who took the duty and when. The most common kind of cura were the posts of the sentinels, called the excubiae by day and the vigilae at night. Wall posts were praesidia, gate posts, custodiae, advance positions before the gates, stationes. A maniple can be either: A division of a Roman legion - see maniple (military unit) A garment formerly worn by certain officials in the Roman Catholic Church - see maniple (vestment). ... A century (From the Latin cent, one hundred) is one hundred consecutive years. ...


In addition were special guards and details. One post was typically filled by four men, one sentinel and the others at ease until a situation arose or it was their turn to be sentinel. Some of the details were:

  • guarding, cleaning and maintaining the principia.
  • guarding and maintaining the quarters of each tribune.
  • tending the horses of each cavalry turma.
  • guarding the praetorium.

Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law Tribune (from the Latin: tribunus; Greek form tribounos) was a title shared by 2-3 elected magistracies and other governmental and/or (para)military offices of the Roman Republic and Empire. ...

List of castra

Due to an unbounded enthusiasm for local archaeology, the locations and layouts of Roman castra are rapidly becoming known. Both amateurs and professionals are involved in excavation and publication. Internet sites giving photographs and the texts of inscriptions are numerous.

For more details on the names of Roman castra and links to Wikipedia articles describing or mentioning geographic sites and ruins, see List of castra.

Map showing the locations of the major castra of the Roman Empire, 80. ...

See also

Military of ancient Rome Portal

Download high resolution version (1932x1288, 436 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Table of Fortification, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... This is a list of topics related to ancient Rome that aims to include aspects of both the ancient Roman Republic and Roman Empire. ... See: Structural history of the Roman military The branches of the Roman military at the highest level were the Roman army and the Roman navy. ... The Roman Legion (from Latin , from lego, legere, legi, lectus — to collect) is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio (conscription or army) to the entire Roman army and also, more narrowly (and more commonly), to the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of...

Notes

  1. ^ A nominative plural noun of neuter gender.
  2. ^ Flavius Josephus: The Jewish War. III.5-6, trans. William Whiston.
  3. ^ Cardo is the hinge line of a door and therefore is any main axis. In surveying it was the first line drawn, on which all the others depended. The via principalis would certainly be a cardo.
  4. ^ Decumana (feminine of decumanus) derives most likely from decima manus, "tenth part" or "tenfold". As tenfold, it meant "immense." As tenth part, it also meant "across", such as a cross-path or cross-boundary. In surveying it was the first line across the cardo at right angles. The connection between tenth and across remains obscure. The presence of numbered streets makes it less likely that the via decumana was "cross street" than that it was "10th street."
  5. ^ The term legatus had other meanings in other contexts, such as governor or ambassador.

References

Primary Sources

(none yet)


Secondary Sources

  • Keppie, Lawrence, The Making of the Roman Army from Republic to Empire, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 1994, ISBN 1-56619-359-1

External links

General

  • Army Picture Index, Illustrated History of the Roman Empire site
  • Castrum/Castra in Lewis&Short, online entry for castrum through Perseus
  • Castra et Urbs Romana, the Anders Bell essay, Classical Association of Canada site
  • De Munitionibus Castrorum (in Latin at The Latin Library)
  • Polybius, Histories, Book VI (in English, at LacusCurtius)
  • Ramsay's article, Castra at LacusCurtius
  • The Hyginus Camp, an analysis with plans and tables at the Gary Brueggeman site.
  • The Romans in Britain, Glossary of Military terms. Note that both Latin and Greek terms with the same meaning are included.

Forts and fortifications

  • Antonine Wall Fort at Beardsden
  • Fortress at Inchtuthill
  • Lendering's article on Haltern at livius.org
  • Roman Auxiliary Fort at Neath
  • Roman Fortress at Exeter
  • Roman Stores Depot in Herefordshire
  • The Roman Camp in Bonn
  • The Roman Military in Britain (Overview)
  • Vallum, Smith's article in LacusCurtius
  • Westerton: a Roman watchtower...

Camp life

  • Castra et Coloniae, Miranda paper on the use of veterans
  • Medicine & Surgery in Ancient Rome
  • Military Diploma of Discharge
  • The Roman Calendar and Festivals (on the divisions of the day and night)
  • Tombstone of Anicius Ingenuus (Medicus Ordinarius)
  • Vegetius on training, English and Latin
  • Vindolanda Tablets Online
  • Scheidel's article on Marriage, Families and Survival in the Roman Imperial Army in Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics.
  • GOOD FOR BUSINESS. THE ROMAN ARMY AND THE EMERGENCE OF A BUSINESS CLASS
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Castra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6220 words)
The Latin word Castra, a nominative plural noun of neuter gender, with its nominative singular, castrum, was used by the ancient Romans to mean any building or plot of land reserved to or constructed for use as a military defensive position.
More permanent camps were castra stativa, "standing camps." The least permanent of these were castra aestiva or aestivalia, "summer camps", in which the soldiers were housed sub pellibus or sub tentoriis, "under tents".
The central castra might also support various fortified adjuncts to the main base, which were not in themselves self-sustaining (as was the base).
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Castra Vetera was founded by the Roman commander Drusus, a stepson of the emperor Augustus, on the hill now known as Fürstenberg.
In the late twenties or early thirties, Castra Vetera was destroyed -probably by the Romans themselves- and rebuilt on an equalized terrain.
This was the fortress that was razed to the ground during the Batavian revolt after a siege that lasted the entire fall and winter of 69-70.
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