Fourfold Division of the Legionaries
The roll having been completed in this manner, the
tribunes belonging to the several legions muster their men;
and selecting one of the whole body that they think most
suitable for the purpose, they cause him to take an oath that
he will obey his officers and do their orders to the best of his
ability. And all the others come up and take the oath
separately, merely affirming that they will do the same as the
At the same time the Consuls send orders to the magistrates
of the allied cities in Italy
, from which they determine that
allied troops are to serve: declaring the number required, and
the day and place at which the men selected must appear.
The cities then enrol their troops with much the same
ceremonies as to selection and administration of the oath, and
appoint a commander and a paymaster.1
The Military Tribunes at Rome
, after the administering
Fourfold division of the Legionaries.
of the oath to their men, and giving out the
day and place at which they are to appear
without arms, for the present dismiss them.
When they arrive on the appointed day, they first select the
youngest and poorest to form the Velites,
the next to them
while those who are in the prime of life they
select as Principes,
and the oldest of all as Triarii.
the Roman army these divisions, distinct not only as to their
ages and nomenclature, but also as to the manner in which
they are armed, exist in each legion. The division is made in such
proportions that the senior men, called Triarii,
six hundred, the Principes
twelve hundred, the Hastati
hundred, and that all the rest as the youngest should be
reckoned among the Velites.
And if the whole number of the
legion is more than four thousand, they vary the numbers of
these divisions proportionally, except those of the Triarii,
which is always the same.