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a wing in the line of battle. Till the extension of the citizenship to the Italian allies, the wings consisted of their contingents, viz. 10,000 foot and 1,800 horse to every consular army of two legions. Thus ala came to mean the allied contingent that composed a wing (see COHORT and LEGION). But it meant more especially, in contrast to the cohorts that made up the infantry of the allies, the cavalry of the contingent, viz. on an average 300 men (5 turmae, of 60 each). During the imperial period, when all the cavalry was raised in the provinces, the name of ala was given to a cavalry division of 500 or else 1,000 men, the one divided into 16, the other into 24 turmae. The alae were commanded by praefecti equitum.
Type: Standard
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