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How the Camp is Constructed

Their method of laying out a camp is as follows. The
Castrorum metatio.
place for the camp having been selected, the spot in it best calculated to give a view of the whole, and most convenient for issuing orders, is appropriated for the general's tent (Praetorium).

Having placed a standard on the spot on which they intend to put the Praetorium, they measure off a square round this standard; in such a way that each of its sides is a hundred feet from the standard, and the area of the square is four plethra.1 Along one side of this square—whichever aspect appears most convenient for watering and foraging—the legions are stationed as follows. I have said that there were six Tribuni in each legion, and that each Consul had two legions,—it follows that there are twelve Tribuni in a Consular army. Well, they pitch the tents of these Tribuni all in one straight line, parallel to the side of the square selected, at a distance of fifty feet from it (there is a place too selected for the horses, beasts of burden, and other baggage of the Tribuni); these tents face the outer side of the camp and away from the square described above,—a direction which will henceforth be called "the front" by me. The tents of the Tribuni stand at equal distances from each other, so that they extend along the whole breadth of the space occupied by the legions.

1 the plethrum = 10,000 square feet. The side of the square of the Praetorium, therefore, is 200 feet.

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load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CASTRA
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