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COHORS 100.00%
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.
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.
LEGION 44.93%
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.
Type: Standard
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