Roman Camps Designed for Facility and Familiarity
It is because the first object of the Romans in the
matter of encampment is facility, that they seem to me to
differ diametrically from Greek military men in this respect.
Greeks, in choosing a place for a camp, think primarily of
security from the natural strength of the position: first, because
they are averse from the toil of digging a foss, and, secondly,
because they think that no artificial defences are comparable
to those afforded by the nature of the ground. Accordingly,
they not only have to vary the whole configuration of the camp
to suit the nature of the ground, but to change the arrangement of details in all kinds of irregular ways; so that neither
soldier nor company has a fixed place in it. The Romans, on
the other hand, prefer to undergo the fatigue of digging, and
of the other labours of circumvallation, for the sake of the
facility in arrangement, and to secure a plan of encampment
which shall be one and the same and familiar to all.
Such are the most important facts in regard to the legions
and the method of encamping them. . . .