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The Camp Market-Place

The space behind the tents of the Tribuni is thus
The space between the Principia and the agger.
used. On one side of the square of the Praetorium is the market, on the other the office of the Quaestor and the supplies which he has charge of. Then behind the last tent of the Tribuni on either side, arranged at right angles to those tents, are the quarters of the cavalry picked out of the extraordinarii, as well as of some of those who are serving as volunteers from personal friendship to the Consuls.
The Staff, or Praetoria cohors.
All these are arranged parallel to the side aggers, facing on the one side the Quaestorium, on the other the market-place. And, generally speaking, it falls to the lot of these men not only to be near the Consul in the camp, but to be wholly employed about the persons of the Consul and the Quaestor on the march and all other occasions. Back to back with these again, facing the agger, are placed the infantry who serve in the same way as these cavalry.1

Beyond these there is another empty space or road left, one hundred feet broad, parallel to the tents of the Tribuni, skirting the market-place, Praetorium, and Quaestorium, from agger to agger. On the further side of this road the rest of the equites extraordinarii are placed facing the market-place and Quaestorium: and between the quarters of these cavalry of the two legions a passage is left of fifty feet, exactly opposite and at right angles to the square of the Praetorium, leading to the rearward agger.

Back to back with the equites extraordinarii are the infantry of the same, facing the agger at the rear of the whole camp. And the space left empty on either side of these, facing the agger on each side of the camp, is given up to foreigners and such allies as chance to come to the camp.

The result of these arrangements is that the whole camp is

The space round the quarters.
a square, with streets and other constructions regularly planned like a town. Between the line of the tents and the agger there is an empty space of two hundred feet on every side of the square, which is turned to a great variety of uses. To begin with, it is exceedingly convenient for the marching in and out of the legions. For each division descends into this space by the via which passes its own quarters, and so avoids crowding and hustling each other, as they would if they were all collected on one road. Again, all cattle brought into the camp, as well as booty of all sorts taken from the enemy, are deposited in this space and securely guarded during the night-watches. But the most important use of this space is that, in night assaults, it secures the tents from the danger of being set on fire, and keeps the soldiers out of the range of the enemy's missiles; or, if a few of them do carry so far, they are spent and cannot penetrate the tents.

1 That is, who have been selected from the pedites sociorum to serve on the praetoria cohors

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.58
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), EVOCA´TI
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), QUAESTOR
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