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The superior officers of the Roman legions, six in number, two of whom always held the command for two months on alternate days. They were appointed before the levy took place, as they themselves had to be in office at that time. Originally they were nominated by the consuls; afterwards partly by them and partly by the people, inasmuch as the people elected twenty-four out of the number of candidates in the comitia tributa for the four legions which were levied regularly every year, while the consuls retained the appointment for the remaining legions. They were not as a rule taken from veteran centurions, but for the greater part from young men of senatorial or equestrian rank, who had served their first campaign in the train or on the staff of a general, and then began their political career with this office. As a mark of distinction, all of them wore the gold ring of the equestrian order. They also wore a narrow or broad purple stripe on their toga, according as they were of equestrian or senatorial rank respectively. In the time of the Empire, they always led the legion on the march and in battle. They did not, however, as under the Republic, rank immediately below the commanders-in-chief, but under the legatus legionis, the commander of the legion and its auxiliary troops.
LEGION 100.00%
In the time of Romulus the united armed forces of Rome went by this name. The legion consisted of 300 knights (celeres) under the command of a tribunus celerum, appointed by the king, and 3,000 foot soldiers, under the command of three tribuni militum. Each of the three ancient tribes provided a third of this force and one tribune. With the increase of the military forces of Rome the name of legio was given to each of the sub-divisions equivalent in numbers to the original army. The military system of king Servius Tullius made the infantry the most important part of the military forces, instead of the cavalry as heretofore. The five classes included in the census (q.v.) were obliged to serve in the army at their own expense; those who were not comprised in these classes, viz. the proletarii, were freed from service, and, when they were enlisted, received their equipment from the State. The iuniores, those who were from 17 to 46 years old, were appointed for field service, and the seniores, those from 47 to 60, for the defence of the city. The first and second lines of the legion, drawn up in unbroken order like the Greek phalanx, consisted of citizens of the first class, equipped with helmet, cuirass, round shield (clipeus), and greaves, all of bronze. The third and fourth lines were from the second class, and had no cuirass, but had the helmet and greaves and large oblong shields (scutum). The fifth and sixth were armed similarly, but without greaves, and were drawn from the third class. The fourth class was armed with the scutum as its only weapon of defence, but, like the others, provided with spear (hasta) and sword. It either filled the seventh and eighth lines, or, with the fifth class, formed the rorarii, who opened the battle with slings and other light missiles. An impontant alteration, ascribed to Camillus (about B.C. 390), was the abolition of the phalanx and introduction of the manipular formation, which prevailed till the time of Marius (end of the 2nd century B.C.). In the flourishing days of the Republic, the normal strength of a legion, which could be increased in time of need, consisted of 300 knights (equites), and 4,200 foot soldiers (pedites). In respect to the weapons used, the latter were divided into four kinds, according to their length of service and familiarity with warfare. (1) 1,200 hastati, all in early manhood; (2) 1,200 principes, in the full vigour of life; (3) 600 triarii, who were proved veterans; and (4) 1,200 velites, who were lightly armed, and were drawn from the lowest classes of the census. The three first classes had a bronze helmet (cassis) with a lofty plume of feathers, a scutum, a leathern cuirass (lorica, q.v. ), greaves and a sword (gladius), which, after the second Punic War was of the Spanish kind, being short, strong, and two-edged, fitted for thrusting rather than cutting, and worn on the right side. There was also a spear, which in the two first divisions was a pilum (q.v.), and among the triarii a lance [Polyb. vi 23). The velites were armed with a leather helmet (galea), a light shield (parma), and a sword and several light javelins. The 3,000 heavily armed men were divided into 30 manipuli, numbering 120 men each among the hastati and principes, and 60 each among the triarii, and were again subdivided into two bodies called centuriae, and led by centurions (q.v.). Of the 1,200 velites, 20 were allotted to each century, and they formed the final complement of each maniple. On the field of battle the maniples were drawn up in open order, separated laterally from one another by intervals corresponding to the breadth of each maniple in front. The arrangement of the maniples would thus resemble that of the black squares on a chessboard. They fell into three divisions; the hastati in the front rank, with the principes behind them, and the triarii in the rear. If the first division, the hastati, were compelled to give way, then the second division, the principes, advanced through the intervals t by the maniples of the first division; if the principes in their turn had to retreat, then the third division, the triarii, who had been previously kneeling, protected by their shields, allowed the hastati and principes to fall back into the intervals separating the maniples of the triarii, and themselves closing their ranks pressed forward to meet the enemy. The 300 knights of the legion were divided into 10 turmae of 30 men each, and were equipped with a bronze cuirass, leathern greaves, helmet, shield, a long sword for attacking, and a long lance provided at both ends with an iron point. Each turma was under three decurions and three underofficers (optiones). The legion as a whole was under the command of six tribuni militum (q.v.) The consular army consisted of two legions. Four legions were regularly levied in each year; in other words, 16,800 foot soldiers and 1,200 cavalry. This levy of citizens was further swelled by the Italian allies (socii), a body of 20,000 foot soldiers and 3,600 cavalry, thus adding to each of the two consular armies 10,000 foot soldiers and 1,800 cavalry. The former were in twenty cohorts (see COHORS), each consisting of 420 men. Ten of these cohorts fought on the right wing, and ten on the left wing of the legions. Besides these, four cohorts of 400 men each were formed into a picked body. The cavalry were in six squadrons (See ALA, 1) of 300 men each. Four of these belonged to the main army, and two to the picked body. In wars beyond the limits of Italy there were also auxiliary forces (auxilia), consisting either of soldiers raised in the country where the war was being carried on, or of light-armed troops furnished by allied kings and nations. Besides the ordinary component parts of the legion there was also the bodyguard of the commander-in-chief, the cohors proetoria. (See COHORS.) In the course of the 1st century B.C. the organization of the legion was essentially altered. In the first place, in the time of Marius, the census ceased to be the basis of the levy, and all the citizens collectively were placed on the same footing in respect to their military service and the uniform which they wore. All the soldiers of the legion alike received the heavy equipment and the pilum, while the light-armed velites were done away with. After the right of citizenship had been conferred on the Italian allies, these no longer formed a separate part of the legions, but were incorporated with them. Thus the Roman army now consisted only of heavy-armed legions and of light-armed auxiliary troops. The latter were partly raised in the provinces and divide into cohorts, and partly enlisted as slingers and archers. The cavalry of the legions ceased to exist. Like the light-armed soldiers, the whole of the cavalry consisted of auxiliary troops, who were partly enlisted and partly levied from the provinces, while some were supplied according to agreement by allied nations and princes. A further important novelty introduced by Marius was the use of the cohort-formation, instead of the maniple-formation, which broke up the front too much. The legion was now divided into ten cohorts, in each of which there were three maniples of hastati, principes, and triarii, designations which now only concern the relative rank of the six centurions of the cohort. The customary battle array was in three divisions, the first being formed of four cohorts, and the second and third of three each. Again, while in earlier times the obligation of service extended at the most in the infantry to twenty campaigns and in the cavalry to ten, from the days of Marius the soldier remained uninterruptedly for twenty years with the army; an earlier dismissal being only exceptional. For this reason the well-to-do classes sought to withdraw themselves from the general military service, and it thus came to pass that the legions were for the greater part manned by means of conscriptions from the lowest strata of the burgher population of Italy, in which the service was regarded simply as a means of livelihood. Thus from the original army of citizens there was gradually developed a standing army of mercenaries. Under the Empire we find what is really a standing army, bound to the emperor by oath (see SACRAMENTUM); apart from the legions this army consisted of the auxilia (q.v.), the guards stationed in Rome and the neighbourhood (see PRAeTORIANI), and the city-cohorts (see COHORS), the artillery and the corps of workmen (see FABRI), the marines (see CLASSIARII), and the municipal and provincial militia. The legions are now once more provided with a corps of cavalry 120 strong, and are designated not only by numbers, but also by distinctive names. Together with the auxiliary troops they form the garrison of the imperatorial provinces under the command of the imperatorial legati legionum (see LEGATI), whose place was taken in the middle of the 3rd century by the praefecti legionum (see PRAeFECTI.). The strength of the legion now amounted to 5-6,000 men, raised partly by a regular levy, partly by drawing recruits from the Roman citizens of all the provinces beyond the bounds of Italy. As under the Republic, it was divided into 10 cohorts of 6 centuries each; the first cohort was, however, twice the strength of the remainder. It was not until the second half of the 3rd century A.D. that a now division of the 10 cohorts into 55 centuries came into use, with 10 centuries in the first cohort, and 5 in each of the rest. At the death of Augustus, the number of the legions was 25; it was then increased to 30, and this number was maintained until the end of the 2nd century, when three new legions were added by Septimius Severus. From the beginning of the 4th century it gradually rose to about 175, each of them, however, mustering a considerably smaller contingent. Incourse, of time, and especially after the 2nd century, owing to the conflicts with the barbarians, the legion was drawn up more and more after the manner of the Greek phalanx, without intervals in its line and with a division of troops in its rear. In its equipment there was an important alteration beginning with the second half of the 3rd century, when ad the soldiers of the legion carried long swords (Spathae), and the first five cohorts two pila, one larger and another smaller, while the last five had lanceae, or javelins serving as missiles, and fitted with a leather loop to help in hurling them with precision. The military music of the Romans was provided by tubicines (see TUBA.), cornicines (See CORNICEN), bucinatores (see BUCINA), and liticines (see LITUUS, 2). On standards or ensigns, see SIGNUM and VEXILLUM. On levy, oath of allegiance, pay, and discharge from service, see DILECTUS, SACRAMENTUM, STIPENDIUM, and MISSIO. The accompanying cut (from the Column of Trajan) represents the soldiers of a legion on the march, carrying their helmets close to the right shoulder, and their kit at the top of a pole resting on the left.
VELITES 90.51%
The name given in the old Roman legion to the 1,200 citizens of the lowest class in the census, who were distributed among the sixty centuries; they differed from the other soldiers in having lighter armour. (See LEGION.) When Marius introduced a uniform type of armour throughout all the ranks, this distinction disappeared.
A subdivision of the Roman legion (q.v.), which had thirty of them (three in each of the ten cohorts). The manipulus consisted of two centuries.
Roman veterans who, at the end of their period of service, retired from the legion, but were kept together under a standard (vexillum) up to the time of their final dismissal. They formed, by the side of the legion, a select corps like the evocati of earlier times. They were exempt from ordinary service, and only bound to take part in actual fighting. [They may be briefly described as the oldest class of veterani, and the last to be summoned to take the field.]
The levying of soldiers for military service among the Romans. In the republican age all the citizens who were liable to service assembled in the Capitol on the day previously notified by the Consuls in their edictum, or proclamation. The twenty-four tribuni militum were first divided among the four legions to be levied. Then one of the tribes was chosen by lot, and the presence of the citizens ascertained by calling the names according to the lists of the several tribes. The calling was always opened with names of good omen (see OMEN). If a man did not appear, he would be punished according to circumstances, by a fine, confiscation of property, corporal punishment, even by being sold into slavery. Four men of equal age and bodily capacity were ordered to come forward, and distributed among the four legions, then another four, and so on, that each legion got men of equal quality. As the proceeding was the same with the other tribes, each legion had a quarter of the levy for each tribe. No one man was excused (vacatio) from service unless he was over 46 years of age, or bad served the number of campaigns prescribed by law, twenty in the infantry, ten in the cavalry, or held a city office or priesthood, or had a temporary or perpetual dispensation granted on account of special business of state. In ancient times the levy of the cavalry followed that of the infantry, in later times it preceded it. On the oath taken after the levy see SACRAMENTUM. About the year 100 B.C. Marius procured the admission of the capite censi, or classes without property, to military service (see PROLETARII). After this the legions were chiefly made up out of this class by enlistment; and though the liability to common military service still existed for all citizens, the wealthy citizens strove to relieve themselves of it, the more so, as after Marius the time of service was extended from twenty campaigns to twenty years. In 89 B.C. the Roman citizenship was extended to all the inhabitants of Italy, and all, therefore, became liable to service. The levies were in consequence not held exclusively in Rome, but in all Italy, by conquisitores. These functionaries, though they continued to use the official lists of qualified persons, assumed more and more the character of recruiting officers. They were ready to grant the vacatio, or exemption, for money or favour, and anxious to get hold of volunteers by holding out promises. The legal liability to military service continued to exist in imperial times, but after the time of Augustus it was only enforced in regard to the garrison at Rome, and on occasions of special necessity. The army had become a standing one, and even outside of Italy, except when a special levy of now legions was made, the vacancies caused by the departure of the soldiers who had served their time were filled up by volunteers. The levy was carried out by imperial commissioners (dilectatores), whose business it was to test the qualifications of the recruits. These were, Roman citizenship-for only citizens were allowed to serve, whether in the legions, or in the guard and other garrison cohorts of Rome (Cohortes Urbanae)-physical capacity, and a certain height, the average of which was 5 feet 10 inches under the empire. For the republican age we have no information on this point.
Greek, see WARFARE. Roman, see LEGION. For the game of "soldiers" (ludus latrunculorum), see GAMES.
ARMY 68.80%
LEGATI 60.42%
Persons appointed, as above, by the senate, to accompany the generals and the governors of provinces. Three or more could be appointed, according to the necessity of the case. They were of senatorial rank, and were bound to carry out the commands of their superior officer, who was responsible for them. In his absence they took his place as legati pro praetore. Under the Empire this title was also given to those who assisted in the duties of jurisdiction and government in the senatorial provinces. On the other hand, the legati Augusti pro proetore were nominated by the emperor himself, without any specified limit of time, to act as governors over imperial provinces in which there was an army. They were divided into consular and praetorian legati, according as the authority delegated to them extended over several legions or only one. Besides these there were legati legionum, appointed according to the number of the legions. They were men of senatorial rank, and had the command of the several legions, and of the auxiliary troops belonging to them.
SOCLI 51.93%
Among the Romans, the socii, as distinguished in constitutional law from Roman subjects, were the allies who, while their independence was recognized, stood in a more or less dependent relation to the Roman State. Under the Republic; up to the time when the right of citizenship was conferred on all the free inhabitants of Italy (89 B.C), the Latins, and the Italian communities on the same footing with them, enjoyed a privileged position amongst the other allies. In the military organization of the Roman Republic the contingents which they furnished were called socii, in contradistinction to the legions and the non-Italian auxiliaries. (See AUXILLA, and cp. LEGION.) Socii navales are the crews, furnished by the allied towns, of the ships of war.
[A Latin word properly meaning old soldiers.] During the later Republican period and under the Empire the term was applied to those who at the end of their time of service retired from the legion. They were kept with the army under the standard, under which they were taken to the military colonies appointed for them, and again served there for an indefinite period. (Cp.VEXILLARII.)
RORARII 46.61%
The name given in the old Roman legion to the citizens of the lowest property-class, who were armed only with a dart and a sling. These had to open the fighting in the capacity of skirmishers, and, when the close combat began, to withdraw behind the line. In later times their place was taken by the velites (q.v.).
SIGNUM 45.62%
The Roman name for a military standard, usually consisting of a badge (insigne) on a staff, carried by legions, maniples, and cohorts, as distinct from the vexillum (q.v.). The latter was a square flag fastened on a cross-bar (see fig. 2, a), carried by the cavalry and allied infantry detachments. In the time of the manipular arrangement (see LEGION), each maniple had its peculiar insigne, the eagle (the sign of the first manipulus), the wolf, the Minotaur, the horse, or the boar. After MArius had made the eagle (q.v.) the standard representing the signum of the whole legion, the forms of other animals were no longer employed. Instead of them the maniples bad a spear with an outstretched hand upon the point (fig.2,c,d,h,i). Afterwards the signa were also furnished with a vexillum (fig. 2, b) and with various ornaments on the pole, in particular round plates, often with representations of gods, emperors, and generals (e, f, g). The cohorts, probably as early as the time of Caesar, had particular signa; after Trajan. they borrowed from the Parthians the draco. This was the image of a large dragon fixed upon a lance, with gaping jaws of silver, and with the rest of its body formed of coloured silk. When the wind blew down the open jaws, the body was inflated. [Vegetius, De Re Militari ii 13; Ammianus Marcellinus, xvi 10 § 7. This last is to be seen on monuments among the standards of foreign nations (k, m), who also had a standard resembling a mediaeval banner (l).] On the march and in an attack with close columns, the signa were carried in the first line; in a pitched battle, behind the front rank.
AUXILIA 45.07%
This name was given in the Roman army to the foreign troops serving with the legions, and to the contingents of Italian allies. In some cases, especially that of the slingers and archers, they were raised by free recruiting, in others by a levy in the provinces; in others they were sent as contingents by kings or communities in alliance with Rome. Under the Empire the term auxilia was extended to all the corps stationed in the provinces and not included in the legions; as, for example, the divisions of veterans called vexillarii, and the cohorts called Italian, formed originally of free Italian volunteers. It was, however, employed especially of the corps levied in the provinces, which furnished the material not only of the whole cavalry of the Roman army, but of a number of infantry detachments (cohortes auxiliarioe). Of these, some were armed and trained in Roman fashion, others retained their national equipment. Consequently, a striking variety of troops might be observed in the provincial armies of Rome. (See ALA and COHORS.)
ALA 44.49%
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.
The title given by the Romans to officials of many kinds, who were all however appointed, not elected. Thus, under the Republic, praefecti iure dicundo was the name of those who were appointed by the praetor to administer justice in those Italian communities which were called praefecturae (q.v.); even later these townships retained the name for the judges elected by themselves. In the republican armies the six Roman officers appointed by the consuls to command the contingents sent by the Italian allies to the consular armies were called praefecti socium (officers in command of the allies), while their cohorts were led by native praefecti cohortium. In the times of the Empire these titles were borne by the commanders of the auxiliary cohorts, while the officers of the cavalry divisions were praefecti equitum. Military engineering was tinder the direction of a praefectus fabrum (pioneers); the several fleets of the Empire under a praefectus classis (see SHIPS). Praefectus castrorum (camp-commander) was the name, under the Empire, of the commander in the permanent camps of the legions, usually a centurion who had completed his term of service. His chief functions were, in time of peace, to superintend garrison-service (i.e. to distribute the watches and other duties); in war, the arrangement and supervision of the camp, the transportation of the baggage, and the construction of roads, bridges, and entrenchments. This title of praefectus was also given to the knight who commanded the legions stationed in Egypt; while an imperial governor called praefectus Aegypti, administered that country, which was treated as an imperial domain, and outside the general provincial administration. At a later time each legion had upon its staff of officers its own commander of the camp, styled praefectus Legiones, to whom in 3 A.D. even the command of the legion was transferred. Praefectus vigilum was the commander of the cohorts organized by Augustus to make Rome secure by night. A very high and influential office under the Empire was thatof the praefectus praetorio, the commander of the imperial guard (see PRAeTORIANI). Originally a purely military office, it acquired in process of time an ever-increasing importance. It had attached to it the control of affairs in the emperor's absence, criminal jurisdiction over Italians outside Rome, and the like. Sometimes ambitious men contrived to employ this position to obtain for themselves the real power in the State, and raised whom they pleased to the imperial throne, sometimes ascending it themselves. After the praetorians were disbanded by Constantine in 324, the four who were then praefecti praetorio were made governors of the four praefecturae into which that emperor divided his dominions. Another important office under the Empire was that of the praefectus urbi (city prefect). Such an office had existed in the time of the kings and in the early years of the Republic, to supply the place of the king or the consuls when absent. When the latter came to be represented by the praetors, it was only during the feriae Latinae (at which festival all magistrates were present) that a praefectus urbi Latinarum was appointed. Augustus revived it in its old form. On several occasions he appointed a praefectus urbi during his absence from the city. The city prefecture first became a standing office for the maintenance of public order in Rome after Tiberius. Subsequently the praefectus urbi (whose authority extended a hundred miles from Rome, and who had three city cohorts to assist him) exercised, together with the police authority enforced at an earlier period by the aediles, a correlated criminal jurisdiction, which in course of time expanded so much that the city prefecture became the highest criminal authority at Rome. After the transfer of the seat of empire to Byzantium, the praeefectus urbi united in himself the military, administrative, and judicial powers in what was once the capital, and was now formed into a separate district for purposes of administration. One of the most important offices under the Empire was that of the praefectus annonae (corn-supply, see ANNONA), whose duty it was to provide Rome with the necessary corn, and whose countless subalterns were distributed over the whole Empire. For the praefectus aerarii (State chest) see AeRARIUM.
COHORS 34.83%
A division of the Roman army. In the republican age the word was specially applied to the divisions contributed by the Italian allies. Down to 89 B.C., when the Italians obtained the Roman citizenship, they were bound to supply an infantry contingent to each of the two consular armies, which consisted of two legions apiece. This contingent numbered in all 10,000 infantry, divided into: (a) 20 cohortes of 420 men each, called cohortes alares, because, in time of battle, they formed the wings (aloe) of the two combined legions; (b) four cohortes, extraordindrioe, or select cohorts of 400 men each. From about the beginning of the 1st century B.C., the Roman legion, averaging 4,000 men, was also divided into ten cohortes , each containing three manipuli or six centurioe. In the imperial times, the auxiliary troops assigned to the legions stationed in the provinces were also divided into cohorts ( cohortes auxillarioe). These cohorts contained either 500 men (=5 centurioe), or 1,000 men(= 10 centurioe). They consisted either entirely of infantry, or partly of cavalry (380 infantry + 120 cavalry, 760 infantry + 240 cavalry). For the coinmanders of these cohorts, see PRAeFECTUS. The troops stationed in Rome were also numbered according to cohortes. (1) The cohortes proetorioe, originally nine, but afterwards ten in number, which formed the imperial body-guard. Each cohort consisted of 1,000 men, including infantry and cavalry (see PRAeTORIANI ). The institution of a body-guard was due to Augustus, and was a development of the cohors proetoria, or body-guard of the republican generals. Its title shows that it was as old as the time when the consuls bore the name of proetores. This cohors proetoria was originally formed exclusively of cavalry, mainly of equestrian rank. But towards the end of the republican age, when every independent commander had his own cohors proetoria, it was made up partly of infantry, who were mainly veterans, partly of picked cavalry of the allies, and partly of Roman equites, who usually served their tirocinium, or first year, in this way. (2) Three and in later times four, cohortes urbanoe, consisting each of 1,000 men, were placed under the command of the proefectus urbi . They had separate barracks, but ranked below the body-guard, and above the legionaries. (3) Seven cohortes vigilum, of 1,000 men each, were under the command of the proefectus vigilum. These formed the night police and fire-brigade, and were distributed throughout the city, one to every two of the fourteen regiones.
HASTA 30.28%
The Roman lance. In the earlier times of the army the four first classes in the Servian constitution, and in later times, the triarii, or hindmost rank, were armed with this weapon. (See LEGION.) At length, however, the pilum was introduced for the whole infantry of the legion. (See PILUM.) To deprive a soldier of his hasta was equivalent to degrading him to the rank of the velites, who were armed with javelins. A blunt hasta with a button at the end (hasta pilra) continued to be used in later times as a military decoration. The hasta indeed was employed in many symbolical connexions. The fetialis, for instance, hurled a blood-stained hasta into the enemy's territory as a token of declaration of war, and if a general devoted his life for his army he stood on a hasta while repeating the necessary formula. The hasta was also set up as a symbol of legal ownership when the censor farmed out the taxes, when state property, booty for instance, was sold; at private auctions (hence called subhastationes), and at the sittings of the court of the centumviri, which had to decide on questions of property.
Originally the Roman term for a town the inhabitants of which, called manicipes, only possessed tart of the rights of Roman citizenship, viz. the private rights of commercium and conubium, while they were excluded from the political rights, the ius suffragii and the ius honorum, the right to elect and to be elected to office. As Roman citizens, they did not serve (like the allies) in cohorts under a prefect, but in the legions under tribunes; they were, however, assigned to legions distinct from the others, since they were not inscribed on the lists of the Roman tribes, and therefore could not be levied in accordance with those lists. After the dissolution of the Latin League in B.C. 338, the allied towns were put into the position of municipia. At first there were two classes of municipia, according as they retained an independent communal constitution or not. The second class, which had no senate, magistrates, or popular assembly of its own, and was governed directly by Rome, consisted of the proefecturoe (q.v.). As the municipia gradually obtained the full rights of citizship, their nature changed; all persons were now called municipes, who did not belong to the town of Rome by birth, but were full Roman citizens, and hence belonged to a Roman tribe, were registered at Rome, could elect and be elected to office, and served in the Roman legions. The Lex Iulia of B.C. 90 made all the towns of Italy municipia with full civic rights, and every Italian country-town was now called a Roman municipium. Gradually the towns in the provinces received municipal rights, till finally Caracalla made all towns of the empire municipia. Originally one class of municipia had retained their own laws and their own constitution; this arrangement underwent a change when they were received into the Roman citizenship, inasmuch as the Roman law then became binding upon them, and a regularly organized administration on the Roman model was introduced. The citizens were divided into curice, and at their comitia curiata passed all kinds of decrees, and chose officers; most of these rights, however, passed into the hands of the local senate towards the end of the 1st century. This senate usually consisted of 100 life-members, called decuriones, and in every fifth year the vacancies were filled up from those who had held office or were qualified by their property. The highest officials were the duo viri, who were judges and presided at the assemblies of the people, especially at elections, and in the senate; the two quinquennales, chosen for a year, once in five years, and corresponding to the Roman censors; and qucestores and cediles, officials with similar duties to the Roman officials of the same name. (See MAGISTRATUS.) Besides the decuriones, whose position became hereditary at the end of the Empire, there were, under the heathen emperors, a second privileged class, known as Augustales, chosen by decree of the local senate and next to that body in rank. They made up a collegium, which was originally dedicated to the worship of the Julian family, and in later times seems to have also extended its functions to the worship of the other emperors. The decline of the municipal system, the prosperity of which had depended on the liberty and independence of the administration, set in at the end of the 2nd century after Christ, when the emperors began to transfer to the municipia the burdens of the State, and the decuriones gradually became mere imperial officials, who were more especially responsible for the collection of the tribute imposed.
The captains of the 60 centuries of the Roman legion. They carried a staff of vinewood as their badge of office. In the republican age they were appointed, on the application of the legion, by the military tribunes on the commission of the consuls. There were various degrees of rank among the centurions according as they belonged to the three divisions of the triarii, principes, and hastati, and led the first or second centuria of one of the 30 manipuli. The centurion of the first centuria of a manipulus led his manipulus himself, and as centurio prior ranked above the leader of the second centuria, or centurio posterior. The highest rank belonged to the first centurioof the first manipulus of the triarii, the primipilus or primus pilus, who was admitted to the council of war. The method of promotion was as follows: The centuriones had to work first through the 30 lower centuriae of the 30 manipuli of the hastati, principes, and triarii, and then through the 30 upper centuriae up to the primipilus. After the end of the Republic and under the Empire the legion was usually divided into 10 cohorts ranked one above the other, each cohort consisting of three manipuli or six centuriae. The division into priores and posteriores, and into triarii, principes and hastati still remained, but only for the centurions and within the cohort, which accordingly always included a prior and posterior of the three ranks in question. The method of promotion, which was perhaps not regularly fixed until the time of the standing armies of the Empire, seems to have been the old one, the centurions passing up by a lower stage through all 10 cohorts, and the higher stage always beginning in the tenth. The first centurion of each cohort probably led it, and was admitted to the council of war. The promotion usually ceased with the advancement to the rank of primipilus. If a centurion who had reached this point did not choose to retire, he was employed on special services, as commandant of a fortress for instance. Under the Empire, however, exceptional cases occurred of promotion to higher posts.
Type: Standard
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