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The Roman Camp

Having made this distribution of their men and
Assembly of the legions.
given orders for their being armed, as I have described, the military tribunes dismiss them to their homes. But when the day has arrived on which they were all bound by their oath to appear at the place named by the Consuls (for each Consul generally appoints a separate place for his own legions, each having assigned to him two legions and a moiety of the allies), all whose names were placed on the roll appear without fail: no excuse being accepted in the case of those who have taken the oath, except a prohibitory omen or absolute impossibility.
The Socii.
The allies muster along with the citizens, and are distributed and managed by the officers appointed by the Consuls, who have the title of Praefecti sociis and are twelve in number. These officers select for the Consuls from the whole infantry and cavalry of the allies such as are most fitted for actual service, and these are called extraordinarii (which in Greek is ἐπίλεκτοι). The whole number of the infantry of the socii generally equals that of the legions, but the cavalry is treble that of the citizens. Of these they select a third of the cavalry, and a fifth of the infantry to serve as extraordinarii. The rest they divide into two parts, one of which is called the right, the other the left wing (alae).

These arrangements made, the military tribunes take over the citizens and allies and proceed to form a camp. Now the principle on which they construct their camps, no matter when or where, is the same; I think therefore that it will be in place here to try and make my readers understand, as far as words can do so, the Roman tactics in regard to the march (agmen), the camp (castrorum metatio), and the line of battle (acies). I cannot imagine any one so indifferent to things noble and, great, as to refuse to take some little extra trouble to understand things like these; for if he has once heard them, he will be acquainted with one of those things genuinely worth observation and knowledge.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 40.36
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CONSUL
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), EXE´RCITUS
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SOCII
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