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CESAR'S ARMY:

A STUDY OF THE

MILITARY ART OF THE ROMANS

THE LAST

IN

DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC.

U05
^

BY

^^3

HARRY PRATT JUDSON.

GINN AND COMPANY


BOSTON

ATLANTA

NEW YORK

DALLAS

CHICAGO
LONDON
COLUMBUS
SAN FRANCISCO

eOSTON COLLEGE LIBRARY


CHESTNUT win MAQC

cOt

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1888,

by

HARRY PRATT JUDSON,


in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at WashingtoUc
521.3

GINN AND COMPANY PROPRIETORS BOSTON U.S.A.

PREFACE.

This

little

book

is

an attempt

to reconstruct Caesar's

as to give a clear idea of its composition

hoped that students of


science alike

may

Caesar's writings

are military history.

said

It is

and students of military

of Caesar are the story of his wars.

amount of
to

Rome.

Still,

they imply throughout a

knowledge that

military

The modern

have.

They

true that they were intended largely

It is

for civilian readers at

were supposed

and evolutions.

so

find interest in such a study.

The Commentaries

certain

Army

all

Roman

citizens

student can hardly be

read understandingly, unless the text conveys to his

to

mind the same


reader to

whom

we should

idea that

Caesar addressed

at least seek to gain

which the

art with

conveyed to the intelligent

it

Roman

it.

Hence

it

seems

Roman

clear that

those notions of the military

reader was familiar, and in the light

of which Caesar described his campaigns.

Many

of these facts are entirely lost.

reach at best only approximately.


times on meagre data,

may

Our

Many

others

we can

inferences, based some-

often be erroneous.

And

yet

is it

not better to have even such an inadequate idea than no idea


at all?
It is

needless to say that in these pages the work of

scholars has been laid heavily under contribution.

modern

Especially

the exhaustive and ingenious treatise of Riistow has been followed

many

particulars.

It

has been the aim of the author to reach

the truth, and to present

it

as clearly as he could, giving credit

IV

PREFACE.

where the investigations of others have been of


hesitating to set forth

different

use,

and never

conclusions where the circum-

stances seem to warrant.

War

is

barbarism.

But the story of

The

which war has not existed.


the development of the

each age

And no

is

history of war

human mind.

study of the achievements of

The

is

the history of

military science of

the

method

man

can be complete unless

of the hostile coUision of nations.

history of military science

only some fragments exist.


at

has no epoch in

almost the exact reflex of the civilization of that age.

we understand

The

man

is

yet to be written.

This work

is

intended as an

grouping and illustrating some such fragments.

The University of Minnesota,


Minneapolis, February, 1888.

Thus

far,

ess2iy

CONTENTS.
I.

PAGE

THE ORGANIZATION
I.

2.

3.

4.
5.

6.
7.

8.

The
The
The
The
The
The
The
The

Infantry of the Legion


Standards
Music
Baggage Train
Auxiliary Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Staff and Staff Troops

2
13
15

...........
.

16
18

19

20
26

II.

THE LEGIONARY
/I.

2.

30

Enlistment
Clothing

30

'

32

4-

Armor
Arms

5.

Baggage

33
36

6.

Work

36

7-

Pay

37

Discipline

38

3.

--8.

^2

III.

TACTICS OF
*

A.

1.

2.

B.

THE LEGION

Order of Battle
The Cohort
The Legion

Order of March
1.

2.

The Cohort
The Legion

.*....

40
41

41

43
46

47
49

CONTENTS.

VI

IV.

TACTICS OF

PAGE

THE CAVALRY

53

V.

ARMY

TACTICS OF THE
.> A. The Battle

55

1.

Offensive

2.

Defensive

3.

Manner of Attack

64
67
68
70

The Camp
I. The Summer Camp
1.

2.

The
The

5.

6.

Camp
The Winter Camp

The

D.
V

72
73

73

76
78

Arrangement of the Cohorts


Arrangement of Cavalry
Time needed for Fortifying

7.

71

72

The Ground Plan


The Elevation
1. The Ditch
2. The Wall
3. The Interior
4.

II.

71
.

Fortification

(3)

70

Site

(a)

55

59
62

Crossing Streams

4.

C.

57

^ B. The March
1. The Advance
2. The Retreat
3. The Flank March
.

55

...

81

82

...

Duties

82

84
86

Siege

87

I.

Blockade

2.

Assault

89

3.

Regular Siege

90

87

(a) Construction of the Agger


*

(Jf)

93
96

Siege Apparatus

VI.

THE

SHIPS

AND SEA-FIGHTS

.....

....

102

VU

CONTENTS.
VII.

THE ENEMY

>

...

PAGE

104

B.

Defence of Fortified Towns


The Gallic Array and Arms

106

C.

The British Chariots

108

A.

MAPS AND PLANS ILLUSTRATING THE GALLIC WAR


INDEX TO LATIN MILITARY TERMS

104

109
125

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Caesar

Frontispiece

Fig.

I.

Aquila

"

2.

Signum

13

"

3.

Vexillum

13

13

"

4.

Aquilifer

14

"

5.

15

"

6.

"

7.

Buccina
Tuba
Cornu

"

8.

Infantry soldiers

18

9.

Cavalryman

19

''

^*

10.

Cataptdta

"

II.

Ballista

"

12.

Scorpio

15
15

21
o

24

,egionary
Fig. 13.

30

Scutum

"

14.

"

15.

Pilum

"

16.

Pilu77i

22

33

Gladius

33

34
,

34
42

"

17.

Maniple

"

18.

Cohort in Line of Battle

41

"

19.

Legion in Triple Line

44

"

20.

Cohort in Column of Maniples

"

21.

Cohort in Column of Centuries

41

"

22.

Cohort in Column of Centuries

41

"

23.

"

24.

Legion marching in Lines


Legion marching by Wings

44
44

"

25.

Legion marching

"

26.

Bridge over the Rhine

"

27.

The Summer Camp

"

28.

Wall and Ditch


Fossa Punica

29.

Square

in

..........

41

<p

69
72

74

... .... ....

..

75

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

X
PAGE

Fig. 30.

"

Fossa directis lateribus


Fortifying the

31.

7^

Camp

^t^

"

32.

Oppiignatio

88

"

^jT).

Horizontal Section of Agger

90

"

34.

Vertical Section of Agger

"

35.

General View of Siege Operations

94

"

36.

97

"

37.

Musculus
Musculus

"

1%.

Vinea

"

39.

Pluteus

"

40,

Pluteus

"

41.

Pluteus

"

42.

Caesar's Circumvallation at Alesia

and Hostile Wall

43.

Liliuni

44.

Section of Galley

"

45.

Horizontal Section of Gallic Wall

"

46.

Vertical Section of Gallic Wall

"

47.

The

Fortifications

on the Rhone

11. Battle

III. Battle

"

IV. Battle on the Aisne

"

"
"

"
"
"
"

'

99
100

loi

........
.

112
1

lie
^.

......

Campaign against the Veneti

116
117

118
119

X. March of Labienus against Lutetia


Defeat of Vercingetorix

120

XII. Siege of Alesia


XIII. Campaign against the Bellovaci

....,,..

"

XIV. Siege of Uxellodunum


Campaign Maps

Gaul in the time of

13

114

IX. Siege of Gergovia

I.

lo?

with Helvetians

VIII. Siege of Avaricum

10^

with Ariovistus

V. Battle on the Sambre

XL

io>

....^.....iir

VI. Siege of Aduatuca


VII.

99

105

British Attack with Chariots

"

"

.92

"

"

98

"

I.

97
98

"

Plan

<,,..

Csesar.

II. Campaign of B.C. 58.


III. Campaign of B.C. 57.
IV. Campaigns of B.C. 55 and 54.
V. Britain in Campaigns of B.C. 55 and
VI. Campaign of B.C. 52.

54.

121

122
123

124

ABBREVIATIONS.

C.

=
=
=
=

Dio.

G.
Gen.
Gro.

=
=
=

A.
App.
B. G.

Caesar de Bella Africano>


Appian.

Caesar de Bella Gallico.


Caesar de Bella Civili.
Dion Cassius.
Goler, Caesars Gallischer Krieg, Tubingen, 1880.

Albericus Gentilis,

De Armis

Roraanis.

Grotefend, Zur Romischen Legions geschichte.

= Caesar de Bella Hispanico.


= Jal, La Flotte de C^sar.
Jung = Jung, Leben und Sitten der Romer in der Kaiserzeit.
K. = Krohl, De Legionibus Reipublicae Romanae.
Lange = Lange, Mutationum Historia.
L. = Lindenschmidt, Die Alterthiimer unser heidnischer Vorzeit.
M. = Marquardt-Mommsen, Handbuch der Rom. Alterthiimer, Bd. 5, 1884N. = Nissen, Das Templum.
N. = Histoire de Jules Cesar, par Napoldon III.
Notes = Notes to Allen and Greenough's New Caesar.
P. = Polybius.
Plut. Cses. = Plutarch's Caesar.
Plut. Pomp. = Plutarch's Pompey.
R. = Riistow, Heerwesen und Kriegfiihrung Casars.
R. K. = Riistow and Kochly, Geschichte des Griechischen Kriegwesens.
Ro. = Robertson, History of Charles V.
Sch. A. = Schambach, Die Artillerie bei Casar.
Sch. R. = Schambach, Die Reiterei bei Casar.
Schef. = Scheffer, De Militia Navali Veterum, 1654.
Suet. = Suetonius.
T. G. = Tacitus, De Germania.
U. = Upton's United States Army Infantry Tactics, 1883.
V. = Vegetius.
H.

Jal

CESAR'S ARMY.
o><oc

THE ORGANIZATION.

I.

1.

THE INFANTRY OF THE LEGION.

The

I.

legionary

chief strength of the

infantry.-^''

in field operations

The

operations,

infantry furnished

and was comparatively weak


but very

by the

to our artillery)
in the

little

allies

service

-k

number.

The heavy

field.

Roman

model, were rather

used to make a show of force than for

in

were used in

{auxilia), though generally

organized and trained after the

the

cavalry was merely auxiliary to this

The engines (corresponding


siege

Roman army was

much

important
E.G.

..1

The European

armies of the middle ages were composed almost

wholly of cavalry; the individual horseman being encased in heavy

armor and equipped with sword, spear and battle-axe.


armies the infantry is again the main arm of the service.

Roman
powerful

legions, however, our infantry

is

greatly

The

legion {legio)

Csesar

times a varying

had under

Unlike the

Roman infantry
his command at

effective

was the
different

number of legions.

A tactical unit may be defined as a body of troops under a single


command, by a combination of several of which a higher unit is formed.
Thus in the army of the United States, the tactical unit of the army Uis

the corps ; each corps should contain three divisions

three brigades;

tt

strengthened by a

No army of mere cavalry can be very


and temporary operations.

tactical unit of the

p. go, 81.

In modern

field artillery.

unless in partial

2.

Ill, 25

battle.

each division,

each brigade, four regiments (or battalions);

each

365,
55it7i8, 748.

CiESARS ARMY.

2
regiment, ten companies.

The company

the lowest unit of organiza^

is

tion in the United States army.

The
of our

organization of European armies

own

is

in the

main

similar to that

country; the main difference being in the size and sub-

division of the regiment.

Each

tactical unit

has a commanding

from the commander of the next higher

company

who

officer,

receives orders

Thus, the captain of a

unit.

reports for orders to the colonel of his regiment;

to his brigade

commanding

commander

officer regulates the

mand by a combination

The Roman

Each

formation and movements of his com-

of the proximate units of which

his orders being given to the

3.

the colonel,

(usually a brigadier-general), etc., etc.

commanders of those

it is

composed;

units.

by numbers,

legions were designated

probably given according to priority in formation.

The

corps of a modern army are distinguished in like manner.


had under

Caesar

numbered

I,

III,

his

command

in Gaul, at different times, the legions

VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV,

he came to Geneva, in the spring of the year 58 B.C., he


found only one legion stationed in the farther province. This was the

BG

B.G.

1,

40

^Qi^ (Legio X), afterwards so distinguished for fidelity and courage.

As soon

as the Helvetians set out through the territory of the Sequani,

Caesar hastened to Hither Gaul, enrolled two

XV.

When

7^

new

legions

(XI and

XII),* and called from their winter quarters the three (VII, VIII, and

IX)

that

were stationed in that province.

It

was these

six legions,

together with auxiliaries (both horse and foot), that composed the army

with which the Helvetians were conquered and Ariovistus was driven
across the Rhine.

In the campaigns of the years 57, 56 and 55 Caesar had eight legions;
E.G.

II,

E.G. V,
G. 169.

i\

the six used in the previous year, 58, and two of

new

levies (Legioneis

XIII and XIV).


243.

In the year 54, probably in the spring, C^sar enlisted a new legion
The 14th was divided. Five of its ten cohorts were scattered,

(XV).

* We learn the numbers from B. G.

II, 23.

XI and XII

are the highest

of those numbers, and hence doubtless belonged to the two

new

legions.

In the after narrative Caesar in no case mentions a legion with a number


higher than XII without having previously referred to a legion or legions

So we have little difficulty in tracing the numbers of his


The numbers are specifically given by Hirtius in his commentary

newly raised.
legions.

(commonly

called Bk. VIII).

THE ORGANIZATION.
the

men

Thus

being used to

had

Caesar

fill

up the depleted ranks of the other legions.


and a half legions under arms. Of
of Legion XV and five cohorts of Legion

in that year eight

these, fifteen cohorts (all

XI.V) were destroyed with Sabinus.

At the opening of the campaign of 53 B.C., Pompey loaned Caesar E.G.


One new one was raised, which received the ^^' ^>
same number (XIV) as the one Caesar had divided, and of which five ^tg^'
cohorts were lost with Sabinus.
These ten legions were used in the

two legions (I and III).

'i'^"-

operations of the year 52.

In the commentary written by Hirtius Pansa (de Bello Gallico, Bk.

although, n, 24, 54.


unfortunately, with considerable confusion where the Mss. agree,
and ^-G. VIII,
^
2, 24, 54.
with
variation
moreover
considerable
in the Mss.
If we should follow
^ p y^^y
the text of Pansa, we should find the 12th legion in three different places 2, 24.

VIII) the legions are repeatedly mentioned by number;


.

at the

where

same time

then, too, he mentions a 6th legion, which

else find in Caesar's army.

trace the different legions

enough

we

no- B.G.VIII,

However, by using some care we can g.

from place

to place pretty accurately.

that in his last

XV that had

place of that Legio

For a careful study of the history of


tation of J. G. Krohl,

4.

The

De

been destroyed with Sabinus

in

officers in

command

consul, or, frequently,

of a legion were originally

at

Rome,

The

had become obsolete

their efficiency.

partly

in

can readily be seen that

The
During

two months.

duty day by day.


peculiar

Roman

of the consuls.

by the

Caesar's time, so e.g.

six

from

this

this

political

did not add

assigned to each legion were

divided into three pairs, and each pair took the


for

These

old requirement of mili-

that the tribunes were mostly selected mainly

to

B.C.

by the proconsul himself; but always

from the knights or nobles.

It

373, 374.

Caesar's legions, see the dissc-

were appointed partly by the Comitia

considerations.

^'^' ^j^'
^P"
3S4 3^3' 3^9;

Legionibus Reipublicae Romanae.

the military tribunes {tribuni milituni), six in number.

tary experience

54

pp. 333,

It is 334. 336, 338,

campaign in Gaul, Caesar had eleven legions,


although Pansa makes no mention of the levy of the additional legion.
Very possibly it was numbered XV, as Gciler conjectures, to take the
clear

command

period the two alternated on

This custom seems an odd survival of the

jealousy of a single

command,

4.

as in the case

Their duties were, a general superintendence

of the legion, the nomination and assignment to duty of the

i,

39

'

Cesar's army.

4
centurions,
B.G. Ill, f.

and

They were

to preside at courts-martial.

often detached to obtain supplies, such tribunes being very

probably from the four not on duty with the legion.


B.G.

1,

formed the natural channel

41.

for petitions or other

They
communi-

cation from the soldiers to the general.


They were also
summoned to councils of war by the commander of the
army. The tribunes, like the staff of a modern infantry

B.G. IV,

regiment, were mounted.

This constant change in

command and

variety of duties,

together with the merely political source from which most

made them hardly reliable to lead


and Caesar accordingly soon devised a
Without displacing the tribunes, he stationed

of the tribunes came,


soldiers in battle,
B.G.
T

C2

better plan.
'

II 20
'

V,

ji'

254,

472, also

a legatus ( 30) with each legion

ag a witness for the general of the

merely

in the first place

way

in

which each

officer

notes, p. 64;

M. V.

and

457.

soldier

commander

performed

his

duty, afterwards as

actual

This important reform

of the legion in battle.

of Caesar remained under the empire

the

the legate so assigned

being distinguished as legatus legionis ( 29).


R,

12.

Rustow considers the duties of the tribunes to have been mainly adand judicial; i.e., as having to do with an oversight of the
rations and equipments of the troops, and vi^ith the cognizance of
military oifences. This is true as far as it goes. Still, we meet repeated

ministrative

v'

^2-

VII

'

47, 52, 62.

instances in which the tribunes undoubtedly

B.G. VI,

battle.

39.

Their

command

commanded

of detachments composed of one or

The many duties of the


officers in a modern army.

horts, is not infrequent.

among

number of

(whether of brigade, regiment, or company) sees

in

actual

more

co-

tribunes are divided

The quartermaster
to arms,

equipments,

and clothing. The commissary provides food.


Courts-martial are
Thus
the whole adminof
details
from
the
various
officers.
composed
istration of the army is systematized and made more effective.

5.

The normal

or

full

strength of a legion in Caesar's

time we have no adequate means of learning.


regretted, as a
to

knowledge of the

comprehend the Roman

fact in question

tactics.

This

is

to be

would help us

However, the

effective

THE ORGANIZATION.
Strength in the field

From

racy.

we can

number of

falls

considerably below the

effectives

number on

that even the

number on

the rolls

that

always

field

and

again,

the rolls rarely approximates very

any organization as prescribed

And we may be

tactics.

modern armies we know

ready for duty in the

closely to the full strength of

by the

estimate with tolerable accu-

the experience of

the

very sure that in like manner

the effective strength of any legion must have varied constantly with the exigencies of the

campaign

always, how-

ever, or nearly always, being less than that of a full legion


just recruited.

In his account of the battle of Pharsalia, Caesar speaks

some of his legions had suflegions had an average strength of c.

especially of the great depletion

In that battle his

fered.

2750 men.

Those of Pompey averaged a

little

iii, 88,

over 4000.

Riistow estimates the average effective force of the legions

r.

p. 3.

g.

p. 213.

throughout Caesar's campaigns at from 3000 to 3600 men.

Goler puts the normal strength at about 4800, besides 300


antesignani ( 36).

These estimates cannot be

far

from the

truth.

Caesar in one place speaks of a detachment of two legions of infantry b.g. V, 49


and a few cavalry as hardly 7000 strong. That would make about 3500
to the legion.

In the return from Britain in

below the main

From

port,

and the

two transports came to land b.q. yv

debarked and marched overland.

36

37-

Assuming the two transwould average 150 men to


Csesar had 80 transports and an unknown number of ^-G-

these two ships 300 soldiers landed.

ports to have been of about the

a ship.
galleys.

Now
He lost

were transports,
to

B.C. 55,

soldiers

same

size, that

12 vessels in the storm.

as they lay at anchor,

It

seems likely that those 12

'

IV,

^^

and hence would be more exposed

the storm than the galleys, which were hauled up on the beach.

Then

at

that rate the

Allowing for

68 transports remaining carried 10,200 men. g q^ notes.


and servants, the two legions must have P* 'SS-

staff officers

averaged somewhat

less

than 5000 men.

At the outbreak of

the civil

war, Caesar had with him at Aii minium only the XIII Legion (C.

But Plutarch

(^Cces.

32) says that Csesar had at that time 5000

I,

7).

men.

CiESAR S ARMY.

6
So we may

fairly

assume that that number was in round numbers tht

strength of a lesion

i6, 4, 6.

The

6.

Gellius,

when

its

ranks were

full.

legion was divided into ten cohorts {cohortes)

each cohort into three maniples {nianipuli)


into

each maniple

two centuries {centuriae, ordines).

The

tactical unit of the legion

was the cohort; of the

cohort, the maniple.


C. I, 64;
111,91.

The

half of the maniple Caesar usually calls oi^do.

occurs only twice in

the Commentaries; and

each case whether reference

We

all.

is

made

than the above.

sometimes

It

often

rank among
it

is

The term centuria

at least doubtful in

to the divisions of the

should notice that the word ordo

relation of

it

is

means a rank,

maniple

or line, of soldiers;

officers, as p7'i?noriim

refers to the officers themselves;

at

also used in other senses

often a

ordimini centurioties

and frequently

it

denotes*

a mere position in the array.

The maniple,
to

as the tactical unit of the cohort, consisted

day of the same men, so

maniple was formed,

far as these

were present.

from day

Each time

the

was divided, presumably according to the heigh>.


These were the ordines. Thus
will be seen that these did not necessarily consist from day to day of
the same men; as, of course, if any should be absent,. the division would
not be made at the same point in the line on successive days. The ordo
corresponded exactly to the platoon of an American company. Th>.
maniple corresponded to our company.
it

of the soldiers, into two equal parts.

i*"

With Goler's estimate of 4800 men to the legion,


men and each maniple, 1 60
men.
Rlistow's computations are based on an average
strength in the field of 3600 in the legion.
That would
give 360 to the cohort, and 120 to the maniple.
7.

each cohort would contain 480

Each maniple was under

8.

the

command

of two cen-

turions (^cefituriones) , one (the senior in rank) in charge of

the

first

ordo

the other (the junior), in charge of the second

Each centurion probably had a subcenturion

Varro;

ordo.

Festus

to assist him.

PauiusDiac. ceuturiou.

{optio)

The optio was chosen from the ranks by


The centurion, like the line officers of

the

our

THE ORGANIZATION.
was on

infantry,

As a badge of

foot.

his office,

he carried a

short staff {viHs), or baton; this was in token of his

power

of inflicting punishment.

9.

Of the

rion of the

pilus posterior.
ceps prior,

six centurions in

first

a cohort, the senior centu- m. v,

maniple was called pilus prior ; the junior,

The

368-374"

senior of the second maniple was prin-

and the junior

^2i^

princeps posterior.

The

senior

of the third maniple was hastatus prior, and the junior, hastatus posterior.

Thus the terms piius, princeps, hastatus referred to the first, second,
and third maniple respectively. This is plainly a survival of the old
organization, in which the soldiers of the first line were called /z'/awe
(^pili),

those of the stcoud. principes, and those of the third hastati (or

Such

triarii').

m
it

new

the

we

>he

was

find in the three maniples

titles

We

entirely lost as applied to the soldiers,

The only

traces of

whose union formed a cohort, and

in

of the centurions of those maniples.

readily learn the ordo the centurion

prior for the

by

distinction

organization of the legion by cohorts.

first dind.

commanded by

the epithet

poste^-ior for the second.

The cohort to which a centurion belonged was indicated


e.g., the lowest centurion in a
its number in the legion
;

legion was decii7ius hastatus posterior; tertius hastatus prior

would

refer to the centurion in

command

the third maniple of the third cohort


turion of the whole legion was

of the

first

ordo of

and the senior cen-

primus pilus

prior, or simply

p7'imipilus.

The

must have com- m. v,


manded the maniple. Each cohort was under the command 37i-72
10.

of

its

senior centurion of a maniple

pilus prior ; and the primipilus, at least in time of

battle, practically directed the legion.

Such an arrangement would hardly be feasible in a modern army.


solidity and uniformity o^ the Roman array made it possible

Only the

for them.

8
R. p.

II.

Caesar's army.

;.

The

and duties of a centurion corresponded


very nearly with those of non-commissioned officers in a
modern army. They were chosen from the ranks, as are our
ii

position

and

sergeants

corporals,

and were very

However,

the grade of tribune.

rarely

promoted

their responsibihties

to

(not

some respects ( lo) like those of our


The centurions were usually nominated by the tribunes. They received their appointment,
however, from the commanding general.
were

their rank)

commissioned

12.

not

The

in

officers.

rank of the ceLturions in a cohort

relative

difficult to learn,

and there

is little

rank throughout the legion, however,

it

was as

The order

of their

doubt that

explained in the sections just preceding.

is

or, in

other words,

the rank of the centurions of any one cohort relatively to

those of any other,

no

clear

and

is

quite a different matter.

We

have

on the subject, and the


formed are based on isolated references, and

positive information

various theories

on inferences from the general spirit of the Roman organizaand from the probable course that human nature, as we
know it, would take under conditions like those in which the
tion

Romans were.
The main facts
the following

The

B.G.

with which any theory must accord, are

centurions were plainly divided into classes accord-

I, 41^

ing to rank.
class
C. Ill S3,

is

constant reference to those of the

{primorum ordinuin). Caesar

centurion

who

eighth class
lus, senior
2.

There

in

We may

one place speaks of a

was promoted from the

for especial gallantry

{^ab octavis ordinibits) to

the position oi priiJiipi-

cohort (9).
infer from this last reference

centurion of the

first

ordinibus) that there were at least eight classes.


there
3.

sex

may have been more.


From an expression of

primorum

first

{ab octavis

Of

Tacitus (Hist. HI, 22

ordimi7n centuriones)

we

course

occisi

infer that at that

THE ORGANIZATION.

time there were at least six centurions of the

As

first class.

the time to which he refers was that of the emperor Galba,

not

much more

likely that

4.

than a century after Juhus Caesar, it seems


no material change had been made meanwhile.

passage in Vegetius (II, 21) gives us some idea of

the order of promotion.

Nam

We

quote

quemdam per diversas scholas milites


pronioventur, ita ut ex prima cohorte ad gradum quetnpiam
promotus vadat ad decimam cohortem ; et rui'sus ab ea, crescentibus stipendiis, cum majore gradu per alias reatrrit ad
quasi in orbejn

primam.
5.

The

centurions of the

first

class

{pri7?tomm ordinum)

held so high rank that they were regularly invited to the


council of war, in

company with

e.g. v, 282
^^'

^*'*

the tribuni militum and

legati.

On

these and a few minor facts, ingenious military antiquarians have

The most promi-

constructed very elaborate and very diverse theories.

nent of these theories, with a few considerations both for and against
them, are as follows

RUstow conjectures that the centurions of each cohort form one r


There would then be ten classes in the legion, with six in each
class.
The regular order of promotion would be, through all the six
class.

grades of the tenth cohort, then from the sixth through to the
place in the ninth

had been passed


centuriones

cohort;

and

in

like

to that of primipilus.

primorum ordinum were

manner

until every

According

those of the

first

grade

to this view, the

first

cohort, six in

number.
It will

be seen that

this

The

scheme accords with 2 and 3 above.

passage in Vegetius (4 above), RUstow gives this interpretation As


vacancies occurred in the ranks of any cohort, they were filled by de:

tailing
fall to

men from

Thus recruits would always


and the first would contain the very flower of
Hence, under ordinary circumstances, when it became
the next lower cohort.

the tenth cohort,

the legion.

necessary to appoint a centurion, selection would be


privates of the

first

would be assigned
hort {decimus).

cohort (presumably from

its first

made from

the

maniple), and he

as a centurion (Jiastatus posterior) of the tenth co-

Then he would

pass successively through the grades

of that cohort, then through the grades of the ninth, and so on, until he

_ g_ji

CiESAR

lO
became
service
G. pp.
322-28.

centurion of the

first

first

ARMY,
Thus the

cohort.

circle {orbeni)

ox

would be complete.*
In the first place, to the 60 cenhe adds 60 subcenturions {pptiones), making a
The subcenturions he calls simply centurions, just as in

Goler devises a different scheme.


turions of the legion
total

of 120.

our army a lieutenant-colonel


a brigadier-general

is

commonly

called merely " colonel," or

usually addressed as " general."

is

Then he makes

12 classes of rank, each class comprising 10 centuriones

The

each cohort.

first

class {centuriones prii?iorum

i.e.,

one from

ordinuni) would

commanders of the
would be the \o pili posteriores ; and so

include the \o pili prior es, or, in other words, the

10 cohorts. The second class


on through the 6 classes of real

The seventh

tati posteriores.

centurions, the sixth being the 10 has-

he considers to have been the 10

class

subcenturions of the pili prior es ; and in like o der to the twelfth

class;,

the 10 subcenturions of the hastati posteriores.


It will at

points, 3

When

once appear that

and

4, above.

this

theory also accords with the essential

this way
was promoted, he became subcenturion to the

Goler would explain Vegetius in

a private soldier

As he

decimus hastatus posterior.

rose in rank, he passed from cohort

to cohort, but always as subcenturion to the hastatus posterior, until

reached that position in the

would lead him from the

first

he

His next step in promotion

cohort.

and he would

twelfth to the eleventh class,

return to the tenth cohort as subcenturion of the deci?nus hastattis prior.

Thus again and again he would complete the

circle

{orbefu'),

going

through the cohorts 6 times in the 6 classes of subcenturions, and 6


times in the 6 classes of centurions, until at last he would reach the rank

oi primipilus.

Here

RUstow argues

his

promotion usually ended.

that the cohorts, as well as the centurions,

fully distinguished in

rank; that

it is

custom of beginning the battle with

well

less

known

were care-

that the earlier

Roman

experienced troops, and reserv-

ing the veterans for an emergency, had by the time of Caesar been quite
reversed; so that the

first

line of the legion

must have included the choice

soldiers;

(the

and hence

first

four cohorts)

that the centurions

would in all probability have been graded in like manner.


Marquardt objects to the scheme of RUstow, that thereby promotion
would make the commander of a cohort merely a subordinate in the
next higher cohort, an arrangement quite impossible to the military

mind.

Moreover, as Goler says, the most experienced and skilled

*This

is

offi-

an amplification of the interpretation of Vegetius by Riistow;

but merely carries out the suggestions of the

latter.

THE ORGANIZATION.
cers

and

II

would be grouped in the first cohort, and the least experienced


would be gathered in the tenth
an arrangement obviously

skilled

unpractical.

Rustow remarks, however, and the remark is not without weight,


was not, after all, a very great difference between the different

that there

nor again a very wide dissame regard between the centurions and the privates.
The Roman organization was marked by a peculiar solidarity, very
much unlike our own and while, of course, the officers had great
cohorts of a legion in point of soldiefship;

tinction in the

influence on the fortunes of the battle, yet that influence must have B.G.

been very considerably

less

But the strongest point


is

the fact that the

way

arranged

Ariovistus,

zvith the

immediate relations with

the

legions

the cohorts

all

all

the soldiers.

would be

It

men

first.

of each cohort to go

Certainly
to their

it

would seem more natu-

own commander.

Passages

and others. The scheme of Marquardt, it may


same as Goler's, without the subcenturions. This
would make but six classes, and cannot be reconciled with point 2
(II,

89), Frontinus,
is

the

above.

The

principal objection to the system proposed by Goler

that subcenturions

seem not

to

One

If

we take away

these,

we

Marquardt, and meet the same

striking difference

is

the fact

have been in the grades of promotion,

but were more probably chosen from the ranks, each by his
turion ( 8).
classes of

own

cen-

are at once reduced to the six


difficulty.

between the

Roman

organization

modern armies is in the matter of the number


of officers.
The Romans had far fewer than we. In neither
cohort nor maniple do we find any trace of officers corresponding to the commissioned officers in one of our compaThe
nies, or even to our relatively numerous corporals.
centurions seemed to have all the functions that we should
and

imagine the troops of the other nine cohorts coming for such

of similar import are quoted by Marquardt from Livy, Hyginus, Tacitus

be noted,

-p p,

panic-stricken

and centurions of the first class to make their


This would imply that the primi ordines, like the

a service to the officers of the


ral for the

had been

that

were immediately accessible by

difficult to

Goler

tribunes

apologies to Caesar.
tribunes,

as that of

are sometimes mentioned in such a

Thus, after the council of war that preceded the opera-

against

tions

some such plan

in favor of

primi ordines

as to imply that they held

in the legion.

II, 202

than in a modern army.

that of

P' 37i

CiESAR

12
assign to sergeants.

ARMY.

They must,

besides that, have exer-

cised at least a portion of the duties of general supervision

and command that belong

Each

our infantry.

prio7'

and lieutenants of
centurion must have had some
to a captain

and each pilus


maniple, must have had

such general authority over his maniple


prior, besides the direction of his

some charge of the cohort. For the command of the legion,


we have seen, the Roman methods provided.
The objection of Marquardt to Rustow's scheme of rank
apphes with equal force both to Marquardt's ov,ai plan and to
According to the scheme of
Goler's, as well as to Rustow's.
either of the two former, a centurion who had commanded
maniples, e.g., primus hastatus prior, on promotion would
become second in command of a maniple, e.g., decimus prinas

ceps posterior.

modern

This would be quite as

military ideas as to

little

according to

promote the commander of a

cohort to a subordinate place in another cohort.

make
make

the two theories

the

first

named

quite consistent,

Then

to

we should

three classes contain the priores, in the order

and hastati ; and the second three classes


should comprise the posteriores, in the same order.
This, however, would provide for but six classes, and we
see that there must have been not less than eight (2, above).
If we adopt the view of Goler, and add six classes of suboi pili, principes,

centurions to the six of centurions,


to a strong

we

at

once run counter

probability that subcenturions

(^optiones)

were

not in the regular line of promotion, but were chosen each

by
Livy;

FeTusPauius

his

fact

own

centurion.

At

least, this

seems to have been the

both before and after the time of Caesar; and hence

^^^^ likely was not different at that time.

each of the ingenious theories thus


perhaps be, " not proven."

far

fair

verdict on

propounded would

THE ORGANIZATION.
2.

13.

Each

13

THE STANDARDS.

legion had as

standard an eagle {aquila,

its

on a wooden

Fig. i), usually of bronze or silver,

was entrusted
cohort,

first

and usually

to

its

centurion

{primipilus)

Hence

this officer

was sometimes

called aquilifer; though the

carry

the

same

men he

term was applied to the


to

64.

to the care of the

senior

selected

cm,

This

staff.

standard

(Fig. 4)-

Each
ard of

The

cohort, also,

own

its

1.

25

called

was called

and
in like manner the cohort was denoted by signum. The signum
was usually an animal
a sheep, for instance
on a staff.
Of course it would differ for different cohorts, so that the men
in the confusion of battle might know their proper place.
aqi/ila,

and

light

troops ( 17, 18)

car-

cavalry

ii,

Sometimes the legion

for brevity

The

b.g.

{signum, Fig. 2).

bearer of this was

signifer.

Fig.

had a stand-

h.

30.

h.

18.

b.g.iv,26i

g^

ried a vexillum (Fig. 3).

This was a

little

banner,

white or red, attached to

a short horizontal piece

wood

of

or metal

mounting the
Fig.

3.

There

sur-

staff.

was

another

Fig. 3.

banner called vexillum, the standard of the general.

was white, with an inscription in red


of the general, his army, etc.
eral's tent in the

march or

battle.

It

letters giving the

This

name

was placed near the gen-

camp, and when displayed was the sign

for

b.g.

ii, 20I

c. iii, 89.

dIo Cassiua
^'^*

'^-

C^SAR

14

Fig. 4.

ARMY,

A.quilifer

In the period when the maniple was the


G. pp.

each maniple had

its

sigmim.

tactical unit of the legion,

Goler thinks

this to

have been the case

239-40.

even in Csesar's army.

E.G.

with the Nervii would lead to a different conclusion.

M.

II, 252

p. 439.

But a consideration of the account of the

that of the fourth cohort all the centurions

bearer had been slain and the standard

lost.

had

battle

Caesar relates

fallen, the

standard

This certainly seems to

imply that the cohort had only one standard and one standard-bearer.
E.G. VI,

Again, in speaking of the

flight of the servants

on one occasion when

40^, also

a foraging party was suddenly attacked, Caesar says se in signa

notes, p. 163.

losque coniciunt.

We

interpret, the servants

manipu-

threw themselves among

THE ORGANIZATION.
and

the cohorts

That

maniples.

is,

IS

they rushed for safety into the

intervals

between the cohorts (in signa), and also even into the smaller

intervals

between the maniples (in ??ianipulos)

Here signa seems

to

refer to the cohorts.

THE MUSIC.

3.

The musical

14.

instruments used in the

Roman army

were the bugle {buccina, Fig. 5), the trumpet {tuba^ Fig. 6),
the cavalry trumpet {lituus, Fig. 7), and the horn (cornu).
This

last

was made of the horn of a

The

with a silver mouthpiece.

buffalo,

and provided

others were probably of

brass.

Fig.

Fig. 5.

6/

Fig.

Caesar mentions as musicians only buccinatores


cines.

The former seem

to have

7.

and

tubi- B.G. II,2oi

used the cornu as well as

the buccina.

The Romans knew very

command amid

tactics, that, to carry a


or.

down a long

brazen horn are

human

voice.

evolutions

trumpet,

well a fact familiar to

line of

modem

the tumult of battle

march, the penetrating notes of a

much more effective


And accordingly the

than the sound of the


signals for the various

of march and battle were given by horn and

first

by the horn,

taken up by the trumpets.


the divisions of the day

at

command

of the general, then

The bugle seems


reveille,

to have

noon, and

sounded

night-fall.

VII, 47'.
C. II, 35-

CiESAR's ARMY.

We

know

more trumpets than horns.


Quite hkely each maniple had its trumpeter, and each cohort
buccinator,

its

THE BAGGAGE TRAIN.

4.

15-

8i.

E.G. V,

i2.

there were

that

-y^g^g

The heavy baggage

carried

of the legion {impedimenta)

by pack-animals {Jumenta, jumenta sarcinaria)

Wagons

either horses or mules.

or carts, while occasionally

used by the army, were generally found only with the sutlers
A. 75.

{77iercatores)

who

followed the legions.

The

personal bag-

gage {sarcinae) was carried by the soldiers ( 45-48).


R.pp. 16-19.

16.

Riistow has

made

elaborate calculations of the quan-

of baggage a legion must have had.

tity

estimates in the main,

We

making such adaptations

warranted by deviation from his figures for the

follow his

may be

as
size

of the

legion.

We may
The

first

These
feet

Hy.

I.

reckon the load of one pack-animal

a tent.

200

lbs.

thing would be the tents {tentoria, tabernacula).

by Hyginus were on a square base, 10

as described

on a

at

Ten men could

a wedge roof.

side, with

Hyginus estimates 8 men

in a tent.

use such

Yet he allows

one to every 10 men, as one-fifth of each contubernium

and hence of the 10


only 8 would ever occupy it at

should always be on guard


belonging to any one tent,
the

same time.

It

seems

duty

safe to consider that the contuber-

nium, a group of soldiers messing together in a


in

number

tent,

was 10

Then, each centurion had

also in Caesar's army.

So a maniple would need 14 tents for the centuand a strength of 120 men. Allowing two for the servants, the entire number would be 16.
That would make
48 for a cohort, and 480 for a legion. To this number
must be added those needed by the six tribunes and their

one

tent.

rions

servants, or perhaps

subcenturions, perhaps

more.

If tents are allowed also for

we should

estimate 60 or 30 more,

THE ORGANIZATION.

Ij

according as two subcenturions or one should be allowed to

one

tent.

The

tents

were of leather {pelks)

The weight

of one,

including two upright poles, one ridge-pole, and a supply

of pegs, must have been at least 40

could carry
that

such

five

we should

tents.

It

horse, then,

likely,

however,

estimate one pack-animal to each tent

one to each centurion and one


this

One

lbs.

seems more

way would be

to

e.g. hi,
'f^'-

i.e.,

each contubernium.

In

carried provisions for a week, with hand-

mills ( 47), blankets,, etc.

For pitching camp there must have been needed a full


tools, etc.
As these were for general use,

supply of stakes,

they could not have been divided

the pack-animals

may add one animal tq each cohort


Thus the cohorts would have at least 49

So we

of the cohorts.
for this service.

To each

beasts.

among

beast should be allowed one servant icald), b.g.


VI,

who could attend


the march would
under

each, a

still

officers had, besides at least

greater

far astray if

and

we

five servants.

we consider

two riding-horses

number of pack-animals.

We

shall

not

Thus

the

number of

the pack-horses or

the normal strength of one of Caesar's

4800 men, the maniple would have had 160.


men over the estimate above would have
required four tents and other appurtenances, and four packanimals to carry them. That would add 120 animals and
the same number of servants to the baggage train, giving a
total of 640 beasts of burden.
However, even if this is the
nearly correct number for a normal legion, we must remember that a legion very rarely had its normal force.
Riistow's
This excess of 40

estimate of 520 animals cannot be far out of the


train of

train of a legion reaches at least 520.

legions to have

baggage

e.g. vii,

assign to each tribune three pack-animals

mules in the baggage


If

and on

lead the animal conveying the baggage

his charge.

The higher
be

to a centurion or conticbernium,

11,242;

363.

one of Caesar's legions in the

way

field.

as the

g. p. 213.

CiESAR

i8

The

auxiliaries {auxiliares)

ject or allied states

Of

treaty.

Among

ARMY.

THE AUXILIARY INFANTRY.

5.

17.

were raised from sub-

by enlistment, by conscription, and by

course in no case were they

Roman

citizens.

the auxiliaries obtained by voluntary enlistment

were the light-armed troops

{milifes levis

armaturae, Fig. 8),

Fig. 8.
a. Siinger,

b.

Light-armed

soldier.

d. Legionary ready for battle.

c.
e.

Legionary on the march.


Light-armed soldier.

used for skirmishing or rapid movements

for

which the heavily

loaded legionaries were hardly adapted ( 46).

Then

there

were the slingers {funditores, Fig. 8), casters of stones and


leaden balls, those from the Balearic Islands being especially
B.G.
loi.

II, 7I

skilful

and the archers

{sagif/arii), often

from Crete or

Numidia.

Of

the organization of the auxiliaries conscripted or sup-

plied by the
that

it

allies, little is

known

long service the

Roman

We may

definitely.

would depend much upon the nation

infer

but in case of

general doubtless gave

some

atten

THE ORGANIZATION,
tion to their improvement.

used to
with

make a show of

fear,

They were

I9
for the

most part

strength, thus impressing the

enemy

or to aid in constructing fortifications, or similar e.g.

1, 51

much dependence on them for


As they were usually posted on the wings of

Caesar never placed

work.

actual battle.

the army, they v/ere often called alarii.

The light-armed

auxiliaries (Fig. 8)

wore a short

or jacket, of leather, without the corselet

jerkin,

and they carried

a light, round shield [parma) instead of the heavy scutum.

The

had neither corselet, helmet, nor shield, as


their bow and quiver would prevent their carrying them.
Their arms were protected by very thick sleeves.
archers

6.

THE CAVALRY.
Roman army a body of
Roman citizens, was attached

Originally in the

18.

about 300 strong, of

cavalry,-

to

each

Fig. 9.

This custom had been discontinued by Csesar's

legion.

time, although afterwards

it

was revived under the empire.

Csesar's cavalry consisted entirely of auxiliary troops, raised

manner and from the same sources as the


infantry
and these were massed in a single body.
in like

the Gallic war the cavalry attached to the

auxiliary

During

Roman army

E.G.
y,

I,

13;

CiESAR

20

ARMY.

When

the legions were

in winter quarters, the cavalry contingents

were scattered to

averaged about 4000 in number.


E.G. V, 463; i^qIjVII, 13I; v,
262;' VII,
this
'

55**

There were, however, a few

homes.

arm of

the

the standards.
(Fig. 9-)

The

service

who remained

They were

men

enlisted

under

constantly

and Spaniards.

Gauls, Germans,

organization of the auxiliary cavalry contingents was

manner of their nation ; modified more or less,


Contingents of from 200 to
doubtless, by Roman customs.
^QQ j^gj^ were commanded by praefecti equitum. A larger
body was always under a Roman commander.
after the

B.G. IV,
E.G.

1, 525.

Of
the

course the enlisted cavalry was organized entirely in

Roman way. A

tactical unit

was the

ala, or regiment,

300
400 strong, commanded by 2^ praefectus equitum. The ala
was divided into turmae, squadrons, of perhaps ^iZ "^^"^ each,
The turma was
including
the commander, the decurio.
to

B.'a vij's*.
A. 29.
G. p. 229.

'

divided into three decuriae of

7.

19.

sar's

For

men

1 1

each.

THE ARTILLERY.

battles in the

open

field the

Romans

day seldom used anything corresponding

artillery.

In defending and attacking

ever, engines of various kinds


R. pp. 16-19. missiles,

of Cae-

modern

to

fortified places,

were employed

and, in case of attacking, for battering

how-

for hurling

down

walls.

As such engines could not easily be improvised, and must


always be at hand in a campaign involving siege operations,
it seems quite likely that a siege train would usually be carThat would involve a body of men
ried with the army.
who should see to its transportation and who should understand setting it up, using, and repairing it.
Possibly a detachment of the/^<^r/ (36) was entrusted with
20.

Of

the exact construction of the

this

Roman

of this period we have no precise accounts.

We

work.
artillery

can only

THE ORGANIZATION.
infer

what

it

21

was from the names applied, from

from what we

linovv of

Greek

military engines

its

use,

and

and of those

in general use at a later time.

21.

The

tormenfum.

weapon Caesar almost universally calls


This word (from torquere, to twist) plainly

missile

refers to the source of

22.

and

power,

viz.,

the elasticity of torsion,

There seems no reasonable doubt that the Greek


artillery of the same age had about the same

Roman

construction

M.

si8.

and, further, that there had been no material

change in that construction at Caesar's time for some two or


M.
more centuries. Then we shall be quite near the truth if
we examine the Greek artillery of a somewhat earlier day

523.

than Caesar's.

Fig. 10.

23.

The heavy

missile

Catapult.

weapons were of two kinds:

those for hurling their missile in a direction horizontal, or

r.k. pp.378
^^^^*

nearly so, and those that threw a heavy mass at a considerable angle.

The former shot large arrows, and were called


The latter kind usually cast heavy

catapults {catapultae).
stones, but

were sometimes provided with blocks of wood.

They were

called ballistae.

CiESAR S ARMY.

22
24.

Catapult and ballista alike had three essential parts

the standard, a track for the missile, and the arrangement


that provided motive force.

The standard

(/,

Figs. 10, 11)

so that the machine might rest

unshaken by

The

was made strong and heavy,


firmly on the ground and be

use.

track for the missile {ab, Figs.

10, 11)

framework
a slide

in

(ycd)

was a stout
which fitted

which slipped

smoothly up or down the


track.

The

missile

was

placed in a groove on the

upper side of the

By

slide.

a system of levers the

track of the catapult could

be aimed

to

direct

the

missile at a greater or less

By a

vertical angle.
lar

simi-

arrangement a varia-

tion in the horizontal

aim

could be made.
Fig. 11.

The apparatus

JBallista.

for pro-

viding force consisted in


the

first

place of a framework of three compartments, formed

by two horizontal bars or

sets of bars {k, i)

and four up-

Through the middle compartment extended the


The other two compartments were
fitted alike.
A block {h, g) bored with a vertical hole was
placed over a similar hole in the upper part (/) of the framerights.

missile

track {cd^.

work.

Strands

the

holes

in

of hair were passed from below, through

the

frame and

block, over

an

iron cross-

and back down through the holes again. The other


end of these strands was passed in like manner around a
corresponding cross-pin on the under side of the framework.
pin,

The

strands

were then stretched to their utmost tension

THE ORGANIZATION,

23

(the cross-pins meanwhile being twisted in opposite direc-

and the blocks on upper and under side screwed

tions)

fast.

There was thus formed a strongly twisted rope or cluster of

ropes.

rigid

bar of

wood

or metal was then inserted

through each cluster.

These bars rested

two outer uprights.

The

in

beds cut in the

inner end of each bar rested

against the front of the corresponding inner upright.

The

outer ends of the bars were then connected to each other

by a strong cord (a bowstring)


It will at once be seen that when the bowstring is drawn
back, the bars are drawn from the beds
and that when the
bowstring is let go, the torsion of the ropes at once throws
the bars violently back against the beds again, thus tautening
the bowstring and propelling the missile along the track.
In using the tormentum the slide was pushed forward
until its hinder end was at the bowstring.
This was then
slipped under a trigger-like arrangement near the end of the
slide, where it was held fast.
Through a ring in the rear of
the slide was tied a rope, which then passed around a windlass.
By means of this windlass the slide was drawn back,
;

pulling the bowstring with

it.

The

missile

was then

laid in

the groove of the slide, and, the trigger being raised, the

bowstring was released, and drove the missile towards

its

destination.

The weight

25.

according to

At
est.

least

Of

size, at

two

men

of a heavy catapult has been estimated, r.k.

from 84 lbs. to 600 lbs.


would be required to manage the small-

pp. 38s

^^'^^*

course each increase in the size of the weapon

would demand more men.

From

a statement of Philo, we can estimate the cost of a

rather small catapult of his day, allowing for change in the

purchasing power of money, at about ^200.

The

distance to which a missile could be cast was not

more than 1200

ft.

Phiio, p. 62.

Caesar's army.

24
A.

31.

a.

The

scorpio (Fig. 12) was a small catapult capable of

being managed by one man.

It

work, on which was fastened a

bow

by a windlass, and shot


of some 300 to 400 ft.

its

The weight of

of

arrow (18

Fig. 13.

26.

consisted of a firm framesteel.

in.

This was bent

long) to a distance

Scorpio.

the ballista was considerably greater

At

than that of the catapult.

least

men would be

six

required to manage the smallest.

The

cost of course would

depend on

throwing a weight of 10 minse (9

lbs.)

size.

ballista

perhaps cost ^1600

in Philo's time.

The range

of the ballista was about the same as that of

the catapult.

The weight

27 .

of the ancient attillery was considerably

greater in proportion than that of

throwing a
ballista
lbs.

bomb

of 120-130

lbs.

modern

five

times as

much

itself

of catapult and ballista

modern

lbs.

weighed about 200

account for the fact that

Romans made much

than do modern armies.

transport than a

lbs.

mortar

as the mortar.

This circumstance would of


the Greeks and

weighs about 40

which threw a stone of 135

i.e.,

times.

Then,

less use

too, the

of field artillery

clumsy construction

made them much more


field battery.

difficult to

THE ORGANIZATION.
Another objection to

tified

The main

use of

town or camp.

employment in the
make them ready.

their

the long time required to

28.

2^

was to defend a

artillery, then,

In almost every

field

fortified

was

for- Sch.

Greeks or Romans, they were kept in considerable numbers

and when needed

The

such towns.

what we might

for siege operations

walls of a

5.

town of the
;

were obtained from

camp were

often defended

call light artillery, catapults

by

of small caliber

e.g.

ii, 8.

and scorpions.
In attacking fortifications the ballista was used to break

down

the battlements, the catapult

to

sweep the wall of

defenders and thus protect the column of assault or the

workmen busied with

the agger or the battering-rams.

Ships of war were

often provided with

artillery,

some- B.G.lll.u

These were used, not merely against


a hostile fleet, but often against an enemy on the land.
There seems no doubt that artillery was conveyed with
Riistow's statement to the conCaesar's army in the field.
Quite likely a certain amount
trary is certamly erroneous.
was assigned to each legion though of this we have no certain evidence. Whenever the army took a position of defence,
times placed on towers.

^."

'^.'

a. 31,77:

r.

p. 26.

^^-

'^^^i'

the artillery, posted behind the legionaries, played a promi-

The

nent part.*

walls of the

camp were

T?

often lined withyjj"

IT

8*

'g^

catapultae and ballistae.


In the time of Vegetius (probably at the close of the fourth century c.

51, 56.

was provided with 55 carroballistae and 10 onagri.


The carroballista was a small catapult, and the onager a light ballista.

A.D.) each legion

The onager (wild


fleeing

from

its

ass)

was so called from the story that that animal

enemies cast stones against them with

In the Austrian army, to-day, 112 pieces of

army corps of about 50,000 men.


same ratio.

took

From

hind heels.

attached to an

Other nations employ about the

same passage (B. G. VIII, 14) we must


from the camp and used it in the field.

this

artillery

artillery are

its

in

infer that Caesar

"

26

Caesar's army.

THE STAFF AND STAFF TROOPS.

8.

The
commanding
29.

general
general,

sistants, the guards,

staff

the

army consisted of the

of an

the

legates,

and the engineers {fabri)

30. The legates {legati) were men


who were assigned to the proconsul

numbers by the

senate.

lieutenants of the

quaestors* the

as-

of senatorial rank,
greater

in

or less

In military service they were the

commanding

general,

and were by him


more
their powers were

often placed at the head of detachments of one or

But

legions, with varying powers.

derived from the general.

ment
B.G.

M.

1, 52.

p. 457-

all

made

Caesar

a great improve-

by placing a legate regularly in command of each legion. Such legate was afterwards known,
under the empire, as legatus kgionis, by way of distinction
from a legate with greater powers.

in organization

The

31.

quaestor, assigned

finances of a province, also

the army.

by

lot to

superintend the

had charge of the supplies

In the execution of

this

of

duty he saw to the food,

and shelter of the troops.


he must have had under him a numerous

pay, clothing, arms, equipments,

To do

all this,

body of men. He filled the place both of adjutant-general


and of quartermaster-general in a modern army.
32.

There always followed the general a number of

young men
torii),

as his attendants

{contubernales, comites prae-

who were volunteers, and who aimed


They composed the nobler part

of war.

to learn the art

of the

cohors

praetoria, or attendants of the general.

Many
tive

of them could be used as aids in the administra-

department of the army, or on the

field

of battle.

When

they were very numerous, they were formed into detachments, or sometimes joined the body-guard, and could thus
directly take part in battle.

THE ORGANIZATION.

33.

The

2/

inferior part of the cohors praetoria

was com-

posed of apparitores, Uctors, scribes, and servants.


were also included the speculate res, or

The

speculatores were

men

There

spies.

selected for obtaining news M-

p- 547-

and carrying despatches. They preceded a marching column,


and also accompanied the flanks, at a considerable distance,
There
so that no surprise or ambuscade might be met.
were usually ten to each legion.
general had an indefinite

34.

By

the body-guard

legions, especially

Tenth by

number

Caesar, but

of

first

German

place,

the

commanding

at his disposal.

we must understand, not choice

honored by the commander, as was the


troops which

near relation to the general.


in the

Of course

constantly stood in a

In Caesar's army these were,

e.g. vii,

mercenary troops, possibly small bodies

cavalry,

which he used

as

a personal escort;

and, in the second place, the evocati.

35.

The

evocati \\QYQ those

term of service and

still

who had completed

remained with the army

their

or even

c. iii, 91.

having returned to their homes, had resumed their place in


the ranks at the solicitation of their old coTnmander.

men, centurions and

privates,

must have been of

Such

priceless

who aimed at sovereignty, as did Caesar.


They must have exerted much more influence on the mass
of the army than could higher officers.
They were on the
same plane in every way as the common men, and so would
more easily lead them to their own way of thinking.
The evocati in Caesar's army were formed into a regular
organization, divided into centuries.
They enjoyed special
value to a general

privileges.

Although footmen, they had not only pack-

them on the
march. They could thus also be employed by the general
as orderlies, to carry commands, or as scouts.
In battle the
animals, but riding-horses as well, and used

evocati were

formed near the general,

65.

for the protection of

SObK.r. t^^LLEGE
uaRAPy

CESAR'S ARMY.

28

In their ratiks were those of the voluntarii who

his person.

were not otherwise employed, and who could have no better


school in which to learn the art of war.

These veterans,

composing the flower of the whole army, were ready


give examples of courage to

The

36.

engineers

to

all.

whose head was the

{fabri), at

praefectus fabricm, or chief of engineers, must have belonged


to the

They were employed

staff.

constructing winter

We

weapons.

quarters,

after

victory was gained, the pila

II.

and very

likely in

must notice that the main

the pilum, was useless

G. V,

building

in

field,

and no great

them

effective again.

skill

it

bridges,

repairing

Roman weapon,

was hurled ; but when the

could be collected from the

or apparatus was needed to

make

must be noted that fabri were often called from the


Very likely men expert for the duty
immediately at hand were thus detailed, and, when the
It

ranks of the legions.

duty was completed, returned to their places in the ranks.


Sch. 9.

Schambach
from the

managed by details
main in modern armies

thinks that the artillery was

was done

infantry, as

in the

so late even as the middle of the eighteenth century.


that case

it

clear that the

is

men

In

detailed must have been

of sufficient intelligence and mechanical

skill

not merely to

use the tormenta, but also to see to their repair.

37.

There

antesignani.

is

some doubt

as to the composition of the

Goler thinks that the term applies merely to

the four cohorts that formed the


It

is

Riistow's

separate from the

opinion that
cohorts.

first line.

they were

Each maniple

detachment

possibly

had

one contubernium, or ten men, of antesignani, chosen for


their experience

move

and

efficiency.

When needed

they could

out from their cohorts in front of the legion, and act

as light troops, or skirmishers.

They would be more

valu-

THE ORGANIZATION.
able

and steady

29

such service than the

the

and
march

they were always without heavy baggage {expediti).

This

for

auxiliaries,

could form a valuable support for cavalry.

service
alterns

furnished
;

abundant

advantages

for

On

training

sub-

and Caesar himself regarded the body as a school

for centurions.

c.

i, 57.

THE LEGIONARY.

II.

The main

38.

strength of a

Of

legionary infantry.

most
alry

these, naturally, then,

satisfactory accounts.

and

About the

1.

In the

earlier

compulsory levy of

None

ble age.

all

but

Roman

was

in the

we have

the

auxiliary troops, cav-

we have already spoken


we must now speak more in

infantry,

the legionary,

39.

Roman army

( 17, 18).

Of

detail.

ENLISTMENT.
days of the republic the army was a
the able-bodied male citizens of suita-

Roman

citizens

must

were admitted to the

At the close of the


campaign the troops were disbanded, and returned to their
homes and their usual avocations. Thus the army was a
legion.

body of

All

citizens

serve.

citizen soldiers, or militia.

But with the great increase

in the

number of

especially after the social war, only a part were

citizens,

needed

for

same time a plenty were found


who were willing to enter the service, led by hope of gain
and glory. So the armies became less and less a Jevy of
citizen soldiery, and more and more a body of mercenary
military duty

volunteers.

and

From

at the

this fact certain results speedily

appeared.

As the Roman army grew to be a disciplined organization of


and
professional soldiers, it became all the more effective
;

men were

the more readily attached to their chosen


Meanwhile the peaceful citizens who remained at
home, to a great degree lost that military spirit and knowlthe

leader.

edge which had always before characterized the

Thus the way


coming of a military despotism.

people.

was paved rapidly

and

Roman

surely for the

The Ziegionary.
Note. The /// and braccae belong

To

face page 30,

to the

time of the empire.

.1

THE LEGIONARY.
40.

The

3I

of barbarians in the legions of

enlistment

was altogether exceptional.

We

do read
of one legion, the Alauda, which was wholly composed of
barbarians.
Yet it is undoubtedly substantially true that
Caesar's legionaries were enrolled from Roman citizens, and
Caesar, however,

spoke the Latin tongue.

41.

The second

was that of age.

Rome

This we know in the early centuries of

was from 17

limits in the

condition of enlistment in the legions

to 46.

In

all

probability these were the

In the army of the United

time of Caesar.

age of the recruit must be

States, in the time of war, the

between i8 and 45.


42.

In the third place, those only would be enlisted

who had sound bodily

and were of suitable size.


What the limit of height was in the Roman army we do not
know. In our infantry no one is received whose height is
less than 5 ft. 4 in., or more than 5 ft. 10 in.
From the fact
health,

that the legionary fought with

sword and spear, instead of

modern wars, we may infer


that he must have been more muscular and agile than is now
necessary ; but we cannot infer that he was of unusual size.
On the contrary, there is little doubt that the soldiers who
with the breech-loading

conquered the world


sized.

The

rifle

of

for Caesar

historians always

were as a rule rather under-

emphasized the bigness of the

Germans; and Caesar expressly mentions the small stature


of his troops. The Romans had learned the lesson of civilization, that victories in war are gained, not by huge bones and
big bodies, but by the trained skill of scientific organization
and tactics. Any one of the German giants might perhaps
have been more than a match for any individual of his puny
Italian enemies
but the barbarian mob of Ariovistus was
shattered when hurled against the spears of the legions.
;

t.g.
jj

i, 4.

q/^^'

CiESAR'S ARMY.

32

CLOTHING.

2.

All the soldiers of the legion were clothed, armed,

43.

and equipped alike (Legionary

worn a

skin was
this

sleeveless woollen

Next the
{tunica).
Over

Fig. 8)

shirt

was a leathern coat strengthened by bands of metal

and back and over the shoulders

across the breast

The

and

p. 30,

(Joricd)

troops in Trajan's column are represented with tight-

fitting

trowsers

seems

likely,

among

the

{braccae)

extending below the knee.

It

however, that these did not come into use

Romans

until after Caesar's time.

Strips of cloth

were quite probably worn wound around the thighs {feminalid) and around the shins {crm-alia). The feet were protected by sandals {calcei), or by strong
those worn at the present

weather, the

shoes not unlike

Then,

time.

person was covered by the

Of

{saguin), a sort of woollen blanket.

in

cold or wet

military

cloak

course this was

laid aside in battle.

3.

44.

and

The

ARMOR.

defensive armor consisted of helmet, greaves,

shield.

The helmet

of the legionary (The Legionary, p. 30)


was either of iron {cassis) , or of leather or cork strengthened
a.

with brass {galea)

That of the

officer

was distinguished by

a plume of red or black feathers (crista)


b.

The greaves

{ocreae) were of bronze.

to protect the leg

sometimes by
ally

c.

straps,

sometimes by

their

but one was worn, on the right

advanced

The

They were used

below the knee, and were held in place

own stiffness.

leg, as this

Usu-

was the one

in the fight.

shield

{scutum, Fig. 13) was of wood, covered

with leather or with iron plates.

In the centre was a boss

THE LEGIONARY.

33

{umbo) which was merely a knob designed


bind all together. The shield was about
Often it was
4 ft. long and 2 ft. wide.
,

to strengthen

and

curved so as partially to encircle the body.


On the outside was painted the badge of
the cohort

a wreath or a winged thunderOn

bolt, for instance.

name

the inside was the

of the soldier, with the

the cohort and

number of

century, or maniple

per-

haps also the number of the legion.

For

protection from dust, rain, and the like,

during the march the shield was kept in a

Fig. 13.

leathern case.

ARMS.
The offensive weapons were
The sword {gladius Hispanicus,

45.

the sword and spear.

a.

had a blade
inches wide.
It was

about

ft.

long,

and

several

Fig. 14)

two-edged and pointed, being thus adapted either

The

for cutting or thrusting.


its

customary use.

inflicted with this

What

latter,

fearful

however, was

wounds could be

weapon we may

see from Liiy,

30. 34It

hung seldom from a body

a shoulder belt {palteus)

belt, generally

from

This passed over the

Thus the sword was on the right


side, this being more convenient, since the shield
Fig. 14. was carried in the left hand.
As the higher offishields,
they
wore
no
their
cers had
swords on the left side,
and a dagger {pugio) at the right.
left

shoulder.

The spear {pilum,


weapon of the legionary.
b.

it

as

it

was

he mentions

Fig.

We

15)

have no exact account of

From the way in which


however, we may infer that it did not

in the time of Caesar.


its

use,

was the characteristic

C^SAR S ARMY.

34

materially differ from the pilum of days not very remote

from

and

his,

which we

of

some

can form

tolerably

definite idea.

The pilum of the time of Polybius had usually a


wooden shaft, 4.} ft. long and 2} in, thick. On

P. VI, 23.

square

one side was a groove extending half the length


This

of the shaft, to receive the iron.

4I

ft.

One

long.

half,

latter

square in shape, was

was

also

fitted into

the groove, and held in place by two iron nails.

other half, of pyramidal form, projected from the

The
wood

and was sharpened at the end. At the base of the


shaft there was undoubtedly an iron shoe, so that in
camp or bivouac the pilum might be thrust into the

The

ground.

have been

weapon appears

length of the etire

then to have been 6|

than

less

this (Fig. 15)

to

and the weight can hardly

ft.,

11

pounds.

Riistow considers

have been essentially the pilum of

Caesar.

The

researches

of Dr. Lindenschmidt leave

little

doubt as to the pilum used during the empire (Fig 16).

The

iron

was longer than the

with a distinct

shaft,

The

head, which produced the effect of barbs.

entire

weapon was probably somewhat lighter than that


It was much like a modern harpoon.
Polybius.

the heavy javelin, the

Polybius says that, besides

soldier carried also another lighter one.

no mention of a second
stances of

its

piluui,

first,

as

it

the

makes

the circum-

It

Riistow,

seems quite as

was

likely

spear (designed, of course, to be used

could be cast to a greater distance) was discarded,

one was somewhat reduced in weight, so as to

the heavy
increase

light

Caesar
all

This, says

probably the heavy one.

when

and

use lead us to think that his legionary

Fig. 15. undoubtedly had but one.

that

of

its

range.

This reduction

could

great, however, as materially to impair

not have been so

its efficiency.

Fig. 16.

In the time of Marius, the upper of the two nails which held
the iron in place was of wood.

be apt to break, and the

I, 25.

tion of the

the missile struck, this pin would

of the shaft would cause the iron

making it useless to the enemy.


wooden pin, but he often speaks of

to bend, thus

B.G.

When

momentum

Caesar

makes no men-

the bending of the iron-

THE LEGIONARY.
*Ve can hardly infer, as does

the contrary, so

vances of the sagacious Marius were retained,


elapspd from his

wooden pin was not


many other contriand so few years had

Riistow, that the

On

used in the pila of Caesar.

35

day when the Gallic wars began, that

seems

it

altogether probable that the ///; of Caesar was quite the same as that

At any

of Marius.

had

rate,

Caesar contrived, or even authorized, any

material change in this most important weapon,


that a writer so scrupulous as
his full

meed

he

we can

hardly doubt

conqueror of Gaul

in assigning to the

of praise would have been very careful to narrate this

instance also of his hero's ingenuity.

The bending
slender and
the end.

Now

it was comparatively
was hardened only at
the piluju of Marius by

of the iron clearly implies that

So we may conclude that

soft.

this

the breaking of the

it

bending, accomplished in

wooden

pin,

would have resulted

in that described

by Lindenschmidt, from the extreme slenderness of the iron as compared with the shaft; and
sible

this slenderness

by the head, which was of

affected itself

The

would have been made posand hardness not to be

sufficient size

by the impact.

point of bending in the piluin of Marius was undoubtedly in

the part of the iron which lay in the

wood;

that of the

\7i.i&c

pilum was

as undoubtedly above the shaft.

The

history of the piliim, as

certainly

we

shows a slow evolution.

get glimpses of

In the light of

probable that in the time of Marius and Caesar


position between the heavy

it

it

from time
this fact,

to time,
it

seems

held an intermediate

and somewhat clumsy spear described by

The

Polybius and the more elegant javelin of the later empire.

shaft

was probably round. The iron was in all likelihood fitted in a groove,
and not in a socket. Where it entered the wood, the head of the shaft
The iron was slender, easily bent, hence
was probably protected.
hardened only at the end and provided with a head. The weight need
not have been more than two or three pounds less than that estimated
by Riistow.

Lindenschmidt objects

to

this

great for comfort in carrying,


first

objection

musket.

found

is trivial,

And

little

distance of

and

was too
The
about the weight of the modern

estimate (ii lbs.) that


for hurling to

that being just

the trained muscles of the

difficulty in

many

feet.

Roman

it

any distance.

veteran could have

hurling an eleven-pound spear with force to a

36

Cesar's army.

BAGGAGE.

5.

Besides his arms and armor, the legionary was ac-

46.

customed

to carry various entrenching tools,

spades, axes, and baskets

such as saws,

articles for obtaining

ing food, as sickles, cords, and cooking vessels

and cook-

spare cloth-

ing and material for repairing any of the clothes or equip-

ments.
R.

p. 14.

42^

about

^YiQ ration of food for one day weighed probably

i^

own

carry his

amounting

and

to

carried.

flour,

On

lbs.

short

provisions.

28

are

lbs.,

The

expeditions,

the

soldier

must

As many as 17 days' rations,


known to have been provided

ration was usually in the form of coarse

or of unground grain which the soldier must crush for

himself.
48.

According as the food was

for a longer or shorter

time, the weight carried, exclusive of

have reached 30 to 45

arms or armor, must

lbs.

For the convenient carriage of all this baggage,


Marius contrived what were known by his name as " Mar 49.

mules"

ius's

Mariani).

{inuli

bundles {sarcinae)

The baggage was packed

and these fastened

to the

a pole {/urea), which was forked at the top.

in

upper end of

On

the legionary carried this pole on his shoulder.

the

march

When

temporary halt was made without laying aside the baggage,


the lower end of the furca was placed on the ground, and
the soldier could lean

on

6.

50.

The

When

it

to rest.

(Fig. 8.)

WORK.

legionary was not allowed to rust from idle-

march was done, he must lay aside


baggage and arms, and do his part in fortifying the camp.

ness.

the day's

THE LEGIONARY.
Some were

some

the tents,

When

some

to erect

prepare food for the various

messes.

detailed to the trench


to

37

and

wall,

a long time was spent in camp, even then each hour

There were the regular tours of


work of keeping the camp clean,
and of making ready the meals, and regular drills, including
gymnastic exercises, which kept each muscle at its best.
brought

allotted task.

its

guard duty, the ordinary

7.

Caesar

51.

fixed

the

PAY.
pay of

denarii a year (about ^45 .00)

his

legionaries

day laborer

that time earned three-fourths of a denarius a

in

day

at

225 m.

Rome
;

at

or, in

year of 300 working days, just as much as a legionary.


Thus the soldier was better off than the laborer by merely

one thing

to wit, his shelter.

For food and equipments, so far as they were provided


As prostate, a deduction from his pay was made.

by the
vision,

each
or a

litres,

may be

man was

little less

allowed per month four measures (8.67


than a peck) of wheat.

The measure

estimated to be worth at the highest three-fourths of

Thus the amount deducted for food cannot have


exceeded 36 denarii per year. However, in the provinces,

a denarius.

the food,
price

if

not given outright, was reckoned at a very low

and the same must have been

equipments.

true of clothing

and

Moreover, the soldier in active service always

expected an increase to his income from booty, and from


the

gifts

of his general.

52.

We

have no certain account of the relation borne Dr

by the pay of the soldier to that of the officer. But we read,


on occasion of a present to the troops, that the centurion
received twice as

much

Piut- Cses,
55.

as the private, the tribune

cavalry prefect, four times as much.

we know

^^'^^^
g^^^^^"

On

and the

another occasion,

that the centurion received ten times as

much

as

g.

8, 4.

Cesar's army.

38

The former seems Ukely

the private.

ordinary relation of the pay

have been the

to

we must remem-

especially as

ber that the centurion stood in rank and duties about mid-

way between a sergeant and the captain of a company in a


modern army. In the army of the United States, the private
of infantry is paid ^13.00 a month; the sergeant $17.00;
and a captain receives ^1800 a year. All are provided with
A day laborer in most of our
food, clothing, and shelter.
about
a
day; about the rate of the
cities can earn
$1.50
private in the army, considering that the laborer has to pro-

vide for himself.

DISCIPLINE.

8.

During the

53.

old

had
T.ange, pp.
26 seqq.

Roman

to resort to all

The

order.

wars, the stern discipline of the

civil

armies became

much

manner of means

transition

and commanders

relaxed,

to hold their armies in

from a citizen soldiery to a mercenary


"^

army, on the other hand, paved the

more unrelenting than ever.


But the best means of maintaining order

On

in constant employment.

cation of the

camp

left

camp was

to

for a discipline

then, as now, lay

the march, the daily

the soldier

On

anything but his duty.


usual, the

way

fortifi-

time to think of

little

occasion of a longer pause than

be further

fortified

and arranged,

and guard duty must be performed constantly. The Roman


method of war made the personal activity of the man an
indispensable condition of success.
A. 71.

72-

tice in the use

quite

fill

Hence

of weapons was necessary

constant prac-

and

this

would

out the time.

and courage were rewarded no more by


mere crowns of leaves, but by more substantial gifts in good
coin.
So we see that the Roman general was not confined
for his discipline to mere brutality.
Then,

too, zeal

When

generals endeavored to attach their soldiers to their

persons, they had to allow

them

far

more

license than

mere

THE LEGIONARY.
discipline

would warrant.

39

Violence to the conquered, mis-

use of power towards them, robbery and plunder, were at

times allowed.

What

the

Romans regarded

as purely mili-

tary crimes, such as mutiny, desertion, cowardice, abuse of


authority in the army, were punished severely

not infre-

quently the penalty was death.

c. in, 74.

In a modern army, comparatively

trivial offences,

such as

drunkenness, for instance, are often punished by detention


in the guard-house,

as cleaning the

and sentence

camp, or the

must have been used

Suet. Caes.
^/' ^^A. 4D 54'

to

some disagreeable

like.

labor,

Expedients hke

in ancient armies as well.

this

TACTICS OF THE LEGION.

III.

The

body of troops consists of their


arrangement for battle and their movements in the fight,
their order of march, their disposition in camp, and all evo54.

tactics of a

order of battle
formations are

The

from one of these forms to another.

lutions in passing

chiefly important, because all the other

is

made

with reference to this

and

to under-

stand the order of battle of any organized body of soldiers,

we must

first

of

study the arrangement of the tactical unit

all

of that body.

MILITARY TERMS.
55*

W^

must explain a few military terms

a body, of a

number of which a

posed, and which, in relation to that larger body,


vided.

The

common

use.

English.

I.

A tactical unit is

in

tactical unit of the legion

is

larger

body

is

com-

thought of as undi-

was the cohort

of the cohort,

the maniple, etc.

body of troops

in line

is

when

the greatest extent of the

body

is

which they are facing (Fig. 18); in


column, when the greatest extent of the body is in the direction in
at right angles to the direction in

which they are facing (Fig. 21).


Troops are said to deploy when they pass from column
retaining the same facijig.

column.

If they simply halt

battle, as in

Figure 18.

Alig7iment

soldier

is
is

and

face to the

left,

is

to

line,

marching

in

they are in line of

This they have done without deploying.

making a
said

In FigUire 20, the cohort

line of troops straight.

to face

when, standing

still,

he merely turns on

his heel (to the right, or left, or entirely about).

Fascines are bundles of brush bound together.

used for

filling

a ditch.

They

are

often

TACTICS OF THE LEGION.


Fig. 33.
Cohort

Fig. 31

Aciem

JV

iV

^
^
^^

Latin.

2.

( 76).

Cohort (74).

41

insiruere, to form line of battle.

Aciein dirigere, to align the front.


Cohortes disponere, to deploy the cohorts.

JV.

Consistere, to halt.

,^-'i

Legiones explicare, to deploy the legions.


ft-

to

,/x

Torquere agiyien ad dextram {sinistravi),


change the direction of the march (right or

left).

il

ORDER OF BATTLE.

A.

I.

The

56.

The Cohort.
tactical unit of the legion

of

was

Csesar

the cohort {^ 6).

The men
one
Fig. 18.

Fig. 30. Cohort

Cohort (62).

of any

cohort

as

( 73).

a rule remained
together,

and

all

movements of the

legion were

made by

cohorts.

We may
I20

estimate the front of a cohort in line of battle at

ft.

57* Ii^ all estimates of extent of the legion in battle, march, or


camp, we follow RUstow's figures, which are based on the average field
strength of the legion, 3600 men, not on

In relating a

were drawn up across the top of a


advancing.

its

nominal, or

full,

He

ridge, along

which the enemy were

then says that this ridge was just wide enough for

three cohorts in order of battle (Jres instructae cohortes, C.

ridge

is

across.

readily recognized to-day,

The circumstances

that the cohorts

and measures

just

I,

The

about 360 feet

were drawn up without any intervals between them;

get the estimate of 120

The

45).

of the fight were such as to leave no doubt

so that this measure gives us the actual front of the cohorts.

side, or

strength.

fight at Ilerda, in Spain, Caesar states that his troops

ft.

for the front of

Thus we

one cohort.

three maniples of a cohort might have been arrayed side

one behind the other.

ment, and Goler to the

latter.

by

Rustovv holds to the former arrange-

The reasoning

of

Rustow (R.

p.

36

42

CiESAR

ARMY.

seqq.) seems conclusive, in the light of our present knowledge

have adopted the arrangement of the maniples side by

and w*
In that

side.

case the two platoons {centuriae^ ordines) of each maniple doubtless

stood one behind the other.

Assuming the three maniples


side by side, this would allow 40 ft.
58.

been arrayed

to have

as the front of each

Allowing 4

maniple.

ft.

for the in-

EaBBHEHEiBaaa^

terval

HEBEBHHHBHaB

which mtervais the centurions were


pfobably pkced, and a correspond-

between each two maniples,

EiEiEiEHEiEiaEieiBH

Ing dlstancc of 4

0E,B0in0000BBB^

j.-Qj^

^^ ^j^g

J.-

E100EB0000000

formed the

EHEEEiBEiHBEEEi

would be

BBi3B0aE0eB!EiEi
Fig. 17.

j^^

Qf ^^g maniple which

right of the Kne, there

Icft

7)^

^^-^^^^

59*

In military language,

The

side, is called a

interval of four feet

The

for the centurions.

files

^^

in each

As each
j^^^^ ^

^^_

(Fig. 17).

a number of men
number of men in a

z.Jile is

in a single,

single iine^

placed one behind another.

placed side by

front

ft.

^^^^^ ^^^^.^^

of space, the maniple would consist of 12

line,

for the centu-

ft.

maulplc for the privates.

Maniple.

in

rank.

between the maniples w^ould be none too mucL

officer

would naturally need more room than

a private, as his attention must not only be given to the enemy, but also
to his
first

own

troops

down

the line to his

left.

So

it

seems

likely that the

centurion was at the right of the front rank of the

{or do),

first

platoon

and the second centurion at the right of the front rank of the

Thus the

second platoon.

latter officer

could keep to their duty the

men behind

the fighting line, and could see that vacancies ahead should

be promptly

filled.

60.

The

distance from breast to breast, in the

file,

was

Thus the file was 10 men deep


{i.e., there were 10 ranks), and the maniple would form a
square of 40 ft. on a side.
probably at least 4

ft.

In the United States army, the breadth of a


his depth at 12 in.;

and there

is

man

is

taken at 22

in.,

a distance between ranks, in column

TACTICS OF THE LEGION.


gf march, of 32

in.

from back

to breast, or of

44

In hne of battle, the distance from, back to breast


to breast

in. {^Upton''s

34

We

61.

U.S.

Army

from heel

in.
is

22

Infantry Tactics,

have assumed that each

of the maniple occupied 3

43

man

in.,

to heel.

from breast

65, 209).

in the front

rank

This would be sufficient

ft.

space to march without being crowded, and to throw the


pilum.

It

would not give room, however,

The men

purpose.
\o left;

and

in

ft.

the

for that

each rank were numbered, from right

command

at the

number stepped

odd

man needed

Vegetius says that each

sword.

for using

i^^Laxaie manipulos'"^ each

forward,

gaining the

thus

desired

^pace.

By our

62.

estimate, a cohort in

hne of

battle

would

by 40 ft. deep (Fig. 18).


Die maniple would contain 120 men, and the cohort 360,
120

^orm a rectangle,

ft.

front

'ixclusive of officers.

2.

two

The order

63.

When

of battle

arrayed for the

first

may be

offensive or defensive.

purpose, the legion formed either

lines {acies duplex), or three lines {acies triplex).

In the acies duplex there were

64.

When

line.*

ft.).

of the second

I,

prima), and 3 in each of the others


acies).
Between the cohorts in the

were intervals equal to about the front of the

cohort (120

* C.

cohorts in each

first {^acies

{secunda and tertia


line

the legion was in 3 lines (Fig. 19), 4 cohorts were

placed in the

first

The Legion.

83.

Behind these

line.

The

intervals stood the cohorts

third line was

Caesaris triplex {acies fuif)

still

further in the

sed primam aciem quaternae

cohortes tenebant, has subsidiariae ternae et rursus aliae totldem suae cujusque
legionis subsequebantur ; sagitfarii funditoresque tnedia continebantur acie,

<quitatus latera cingebat.

e.g.

11, 25,

CiESAR

44

ARMY.

and was used as a reserve for the support of the other


two.
The most experienced and rehable soldiers of the
legion were in the four cohorts of the front line.
rear,

Fig. 34.

D5'

Both Roman and Gaul depended


on the shock of

greatly for success in battle

the

first

Hence

charge.

men

best

in

Romans

the

This

front.

put their

arrangement

is

probably to be attributed to Marius.

t-

duplex and triplex quite different from this.


According to his view, a triple hne of battle

Goler has an elaborate theory of the acies G.

contained

three

divisions

right

wing

{cornu dextrum), a centre {acies media), and


a

left

^^ ^^
^ ^ ^&

thus

centre of a triple

was always termed tnedia

line

double line

media'),

{acies

The

having two divisions.

10 ^

wing {cornu sinistru?n).

merely had no centre

acies to dis-

ic

IC

^^

*"
Fig. 19.*

Fig. 33.

Fig. 19. Legion in triple line of battle.


Fig. 23. Legion marching in lines ( 82 a).

marching by wings

Fig. 24. Legion

tinguish
acies.

it

from the middle

Each

This theory

is

line of the cohorts of a legion,

had a legatus

division

( 82 b).

in

secunda

command.

hardly borne out by the

facts.

One who

reads E.G.

49 with care M'ill see that it would be very difficult to reconcile


Goler's view with Cresar's account.
Further, in A. 13 we have a simplex
I,

acies with both right


Ill,

and

left

wings

specifically

mentioned; and in E.G.

24 a double line {duplex acies) has a centre {media

these considerations

wing,

left

it

acies).

From

seems plain enough that Caesar used the terms right

wing, and centre quite as they are used of a modern army;

* These diagrams of battle and march are after Riistow.

p.

^^5"

TACTICS OF THE LEGION.

45

applying them in an indefinite way to those parts of a line of battle, but


not necessarily implying distinct divisions under separate commanders.

66.

The

between

distance

Hnes was

the

equal to the front of a cohort (120

ft.).

probably

Thus the

entire

depth of the legion in this order of battle was about 600

The

front

legion,

960

67.

would extend 840

or, if

supported by another

including the interval between the legions.

ft.,

For defensive

of two ways

ft.,

ft.

in

battle the legion

one

was arranged in one

{ades simplex), or in a

line

circle

{orbis)

The former was most commonly used to defend


Here a second line was
walls of the camp ( 153).
68.

the

unnecessary

and

also considerable

depth was needless.

ranks (the depth of a single ordo) would do

according to the width of the

each

by

side,

man
we

on the rampart, and the

Allowing 6

rest in reserve at its foot.

for

wall,

in the front rank,

Five

one or two,

ft.

(instead of 3

ft.)

and arraying the ordines side

see that a single cohort would cover

the wall, or a legion

4800

ft.,

480 ft. of
allowing no intervals between

the cohorts.

also

69.

This arrangement in one

used in the open

field to

line

without intervals was A.

meet an attempt

at outflank-

ing by superior numbers, and also to resist incursions of cavalry or light infantry through the intervals.

In

this

case,

however, the cohorts would have their normal front and


depth, merely

closing

legion a front of 1200


70.

The

the

on

and thus giving the

ft.

circle {orbis)

in case of attack

intervals

was designed

for use in the field

all sides.

As the circumstances for which this arrangement was


intended must have been essentially the same then as now,
we may conclude that a cohort would form in a solid square,
a smaller division in a solid circle, and a detachment of sev-

13.

Cesar's army.

4^

cohorts in a hollow square.

eral

been made

This latter might have

circular, to resist attack at the angles.

could form the square by placing the

legion

second, and third

first,

cohorts in front, the eighth, ninth, and tenth in the rear, the

and the fourth and seventh on


There would then be a front of 360 ft. and a
the left.
flank of 320. The inner hollow space would be 280 ft. long
and 240 ft. broad, thus making 67,200 sq. ft. This would
contain more than 1000 pack-animals.
fifth

cm, 89.

and

sixth in the right,

71'

Under some circumstances we read

Some

cohorts were taken from the rear line {tertia

and placed in line on the right (or


angles with the main line of battle.
acies)

left) flank at right

THE ORDER OF MARCH.

B.

The order of march is developed from


So we must begin with the cohort.

72.

The

line of

march {agmen) of the cohort was one

column of maniples and column of centimes.

73.

The

column

formed from order of

by

(Fig.

side.

of
battle

maniples

was

{jnanipulatim^

by merely facing

to the right

Thus the maniples, it will be seen, were in


20), and the centuries in each maniple were

(or left).

umn

the battle array,

The Cohort.

I.

of two,

quad-

This was designed to meet a flank

ruple line of battle.


attack.

also of a

If the cohort

was faced

col-

side

to the right, the order

was

As the depth of the cohort in line


of course the column of maniples was

pilani, principes, hastati.

of battle was 40

40

ft.

wide.

ft.,

But

this

was a loose order.

Allowing 3

ft.

to

each man, the column could easily have been made only

TACTICS OF THE LEGION.

47

30 ft. wide. And again, this wide column could have been
reduced to half the width by the right (or left) century

moving

straight on,

and the other

Instead

falling in its rear.

of 12 ranks of 10 men, there would be 24 ranks of

men.

This would make really a column of centuries by the flank.

The column

74.

of centuries proper {centuriatim, ordi-

natim) was formed from the order of battle merely by having the maniple on the right (or

left)

wing of the cohort

march straight forward, and the others successively follow.


Thus the centuries would be arranged in column (Fig. 21)
and the order would be pilani, prificipes, hastati, or the re;

according as the right or

verse,

left

wing moved

The width of the column would be the same


a maniple,

umn
then,

i.e.,

40

When

75.

ft.,

including the centurion on the flank.

a cohort marched directly forward, the colIn this order,

hkely that Caesar marched across the Rhine.

it is

first.

as the front of

of centuries would naturally be adopted.

we know
seem at

off

that he

made

all likely

his bridge

40

that this distance

ft.

wide.

It

But

does not

was that between the

As the water varied in


depth, it could hardly be measured exactly, and different
sets of piles quite likely had different distances on the river

piles at

the bottom of the river.

On

bottom.

the top, however, an exact distance could have

been measured, and must have been preserved.


Daesar's bridge

is

Thus

in

another support of our estimate of the front

of the maniple.

76.

If the

march was on a

regular road or street less

than 40 feet wide, the breadth of the column could easily be


reduced from 40 ft. to 20 ft. The right (or left) half of

each century would move straight on, and the other half

would

fall

in the rear (Fig.

consist of 10 ranks of 6

men

each.

men

22).

Thus the century would

each, instead of 5 ranks of 12

CiESAR's ARMY.

48

On

77.

to breast.

the march,

we should

Then a cohort

following length

estimate 4

men would

of 360

In column of centuries 120

ft.

from breast

reach to the

ft.

In column of centuries, with double number of ranks,

240

ft.

In column of maniples, 144 ft.


In column of maniples, with double number of ranks,

288

ft.

The

78.

line

of battle

{acies)

was formed from the

column of march {agmen) as follows


from column of
maniples by the commands halt front
(facing to the left,
if the original march was to the right
to the right, if the
original march was to the left)
from column of centuries,
the leading maniple would halt, and the others successively
march alongside, aligning themselves on the right or left, as
:

the case might be.

We may

79.

assume that the usual formation of the

column of centuries was with the

right in front,

i.e.,

in the

But we must observe that

order pilani, principes, hastati.

column requires a deploying to the left.


Should the enemy be near, this would expose to them the
to

form

line

from

this

unshielded right side {latus apertunt).


ture that, for instance, in a sally

against a near enemy, the cohort

and deploy towards the

in front

2.

80.

marched
tum)

The
in

The

legion, or a

quadrafum).

may

conjec-

from the gate of a camp

would march with the

left

right.

Legion.

still

greater

number of

cohorts,

column {agmen pilain square {agmen


instructa)

one of three orders,

in order of battle {acie

So we

in

TACTICS OF THE LEGION,

When

8i.

the legion

the

in column, the cohorts

is

according to their number.

49

march

If the

is

from the

march
right,

cohort has the lead, then follows the second, and

first

march

If the

so on.

from the

is

left,

the tenth cohort leads,

Each cohort

followed by the ninth, etc.

is

in

column of

centuries.

Between each two cohorts there must have been a small


Then the
Suppose this to have been 20 ft.
the cohorts marching in column of
length of the legion
would have been 1400 ft.
centuries of the usual width
distance.

When

the cohorts doubled their

of the legion was 2600

For the

we

train of a legion,

room

easily find

had 65 ranks.

number of

ranks, the length

ft.

estimate 520 pack-animals

In a road 40

normal strength.

as the

can

Then

abreast.

wide, 8 animals

ft.

the train would have

Allowing each rank 10

depth, the train

ft.

would extend 650 ft. When the road is only 20 ft. wide,
the pack-animals would march 4 abreast, and would extend
1300

ft.

Then a

legion

with

82.

The march

baggage

its

would extend 2050 or 3900

column of march

in

ft.

in order of battle

is

of two kinds,

by

lines and by wings.

If

a.

columns
In the

first

column are cohorts

the legion

left,

b,

there are as

Thus

many

in Cae-

is

-4 in the second, cohorts


cohorts 8-10.
Each cohort marches
i

So by simply facing to the right or

again in order of battle.

legion that marches to the front

three columns (Fig. 24).


the right wing,

of the centre,
the

lines,

there would usually be three columns (Fig. 23).

and in the third,


column of maniples.

5-7

by

as there are lines in the formation.

army

sar's

in

the legion marches

left, 4, 3,

and

i, 5,

2, 6,
7,

and

and

10.

In the

8.

9.

first

by wings forms

are the cohorts

of

In the second are the cohorts


In the third are the cohorts of

The columns must be

as far apart

CiESAR S ARMY.

so

between

as the distance

Each cohort

of battle.

The march

83.

when

their leading cohorts


is

column of

in

in square

One

formed.

was employed for


which the orbis was

(Fig. 25)

a similar purpose for

umns

in line

centuries.

division of troops, in col-

Then

of centuries, leads.

follows

the baggage train, and then a second divis-

ion of

On

troops

either

in

column of

wing marches a body

centuries.

column

in

Thus by a simple facing of


the wings to the right and left, and deploying of the van and rear, the square is
ready to meet the enemy.
of maniples.

i^egion in Square,

To compare the Roman


84. These are conservative estimates.
army with one of modern days, we quote a very comprehensive calculation from the New York Evening Post.
It must be remembered that
an American brigade of four regiments corresponded very nearly with

Roman

the

"A

legion.

company

of infantry

moving

in

column of

fours, the usual

march-

ing formation, takes up about 33 yards of depth. A regiment of ten


companies will require 330 yards, a company of cavalry about 100
yards,

and a

battalion of four companies about

battery of field artillery in

column of

sections,

From

the usual baggage, requires about 225 yards.


calculate the length of a

450 yards, A six-gun


and accompanied with
these figures

An

column moving on a single road.

we

infantry

brigade of four regiments will take up, exclusive of baggage, 1350


yards.

The baggage, including ammunition, will


Each wagon with
to each regiment.

mule wagons

require nine sixits

20 yards depth, and for the entire brigade the depth

Add

team requires
will

be over

1350 yards, and we have nearly 2100 yards,


If we allow but
or a mile and a quarter for the depth of the column.

700 yards.

this to

three regiments to the brigade,

we can reduce

For the baggage belonging


allow a depth of 200 yards.

yards.

"

Now, coming

foregoing

we

total

to

a division of infantry,

by the number of brigades

take up an army corps,

and

cavalry, extra

we have

the depth to about 1,600

to different

to

baggage and supply

headquarters

we have but

to multiply the

in the division.

make
trains.

we must

But when

calculations for artillery

Suppose we take as a

TACTICS OF THE LEGION.


maximum

figure

an army corps composed

51

told of 42,000

all

men.

It

has four divisions of infantry, eight to twelve batteries, and at least four

Were

regiments of cavalry.
with

all

it

able to

march

close up,

including reserve supplies,

trains,

its

But

the least calculation, about eighteen miles.

column of
as

it is

this

it

on a single road,

would stretch
it

is

out, at

impossible for a

length to keep from stretching, or " lengthening out,"

technically termed,

and so the best authorities make an allow-

ance of 25 per cent, which, added to the 18 miles, makes 22^ miles, or
a distance which would take a mounted messenger moving from the

head of the column

no obstruction,

to the rear, if

at least three

he made good speed and met with

hours to make, or moving from the rear to

the head, nearly half a day.

"Gen. McClellan,

in

one of

says: 'If I

his reports,

had marched

the entire army, 100,000 men, in one column, instead of on five different

would h^.ve stretched out 50 miles.'


was found that a Prussian army corps of
42,512 men, 90 guns, 13,800 horses, and 1300 vehicles took up on a
single road 27 miles, 18 miles occupied by the troops and 9 miles by
roads, the column, with

its trains,

In the Franco-Prussian war

it

the trains.

"If roads were

broad enough and in good condition, columns

all

could march with a far greater front, and the depth be vastly reduced.

where there is room


column of greater width than a set of fours to move and leave
sufficient space for the unimpeded progress of orderlies and staff
officers, or for vehicles which have to go in an opposite direction.
It
may be asked why the column cannot be kept closed up, why it has to
lengthen out? Sometimes a wagon breaks down. It is hauled to one
But

in this country, at least, there are feM' roads

for a

side for repairs

sumes some
again

when

and the others pass on.

time,

mayhap only

But

to haul

a few moments,

repaired to re-enter the column.

Neither

halt of everything in the rear.


steadily without a halt

and

rest

men

it

to

one side con-

and a few moments


The consequence is a

nor horses can be marched

every hour, and a halt at the head of

the column, or in resuming the march, occasions loss of time to

regiments in rear, which cannot

start at once,

all

but must do so succes-

sively.

" Again, perhaps, a bridge has to be crossed,

breaking of step,

or,

and time

perhaps, the change of formation.

stream has to be forded, or some obstacle

is

met

is

lost

in the road.

must be remembered

that, in addition to the actual distance

plished in marching,

many

He

by the

Perhaps a
It

accom-

other things are required of the soldier.

has to go on guard or picket, he

is

sent out perhaps as a flanker on

CESAR'S ARMY.

52
the march, or arriving at
over,

he

carries a

rations, averaging

able to calculate
as

much

from

all

camp he has

heavy load, his


fifty

to sixty

to collect fuel

kit,

pounds.

that he has done,

and water; more-

gun, ammunition, and day's

So that perhaps, were we

we should

find

he has expended

strength as would take the ordinary pedestrian over 25 to 30

miles of road."

TACTICS OF THE CAVALRY.

IV.
85.

that

The

small tactical unit of the

formed on the

in rank

and

file.

Roman

cavalry, or of

was the tunna, of 32 horses


This was probably arranged in 4 ranks

Allowing

of 8 horses.

Roman

plan,

ft.

room

front

to

each horse, the

turma would have a front of 40 ft., equal to that of the


maniple. Taking 10 ft. depth for each rank, the depth of
the turma would also be 40 ft., again equal to that of the
maniple. The order of march could easily be formed from
this

order of battle.
86.

turmae.

regiment {ala) of 400 horses consisted of 12

The

battle array of the cavalry

resemble that of the infantry.


several

regiment of

6 in each line

440

Of

ft.

enemy with
vals

two or three, with

lines,

turmae.

It

and the

course,

the

1 2

turmae

would very

likely

would then consist of


intervals

between

in 2 lines

the

would have
would be

front, including intervals,

should be desired to overwhelm the

if it

momentum

of the mass of horse, the inter-

would be closed up.


87

larger

If the

tactical

number of
unit

cavalry should be considerable, a

would be

desirable.

Three

tur7nae,

arrayed side by side, would amount to about 100 horses,


with a front of 120

ment

{ala^ of

88.

ft.,

equal to that of a cohort.

400 horses would contain 4 such

regi-

divisions.

In attacks in mass, doubtless columns were formed

of entire alae, perhaps 3 turmae front and 4 turmae {i.e.,


16 ranks) deep. After the success was won, the turmae in
the rear could be brought

pursue the scattered foe.

up

in the front

{turma tim) to

C^SAR

54
89.

Of

ARMY.

course the tactics of the cavalry would depend

upon

largely

their arms, as well as

upon

their

numbers.

If

provided with missiles, they would doubtless be arrayed in

turmae only, and would never form columns


90.

for attack.

Cavalry were sometimes strengthened by infantry

mingled with them.

Caesar used with

good

effect his ante-

signapi for that purpose.

march of the ala of 400 men


was probably in column of turniae. If there was room for a
column 40 ft wide, the normal order of battle would be
91.

The

usual order of

kept by each turma.

would extend

48<i

ft.

The ala, not including


The train must have been

the

train,

considera-

and would hare added at least a half to the length of


the line.
A column of 10 alae, or 4000 men, which Caesai
sometimes had, would have extended 7200 ft.

ble,

road allowed the column a breadth of only


turma would march with a front of 4 horses and
a depth of 8. The ala would .then need 960 ft., without
baggage, and with it 1440 ft. A columr^ o.^ lo -alat would

20

92.

ft.,

If the

the

require 14,400

ft.

"

V.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


THE BATTLE.

A.

The core of the Roman army was the legion.


Hence we see that in describing the battle array of the
legion, we have very nearly explained the mode of battle
93.

of the army as a whole.

Offensive.

I.

was the
{acies

normal order with the Romans

It is clear that the

94.

employed the triple line


The legions that composed the hne of
by side, each in three lines.

offensive.

t7'iplex).

battle stood side

Caesar usually

The third line was designed as a


The Roman method was to hurl
Should

enemy.
line

this

rested.

the

reserve.
line

Thus

latter

first

line against the


first

the second line in turn took up

between the

retired

intervals

Meanwhile the third

line

and

was

Should the enemy attempt a flank movement,

was deployed to the

it,

first

the two lines alternately assailed the foe, until

should break.

left

movement was attempted,


meet

the

onset not suffice, or should the

become exhausted, then

the attack, while the

reserve for the other two.

or right to

or

if

meet

auxiliaries

If

it.

were

at

in

this

no such
hand to

the third line was held in reserve until the crisis

of the battle.

Then

it

was hurled

at the

enemy

in a decisive

charge.
Often, also, the third line was busied in fortification, while e.g.
the

first

95.

and second covered the work.


In case a reserve seemed unnecessary, or a greater

extension of front was desirable, the legions .were formed in

89^

^^

i, 25,

CiESAR's ARMY.

56
C.I,

two

83.

lines {acies duplex).

On

the other hand, circumstances

might demand a double reserve, and the legions were then


^3/^4.'^'^'

fo^^

ill

line

i^acies

Xwi.'t'i

was held

the flanks.

For
third,

it

this

sometimes

The

fourth

In

service, the

last

case, the third

this

and the fourth

to support the attack,

behind the
of

quadruplex).

to

guard

fourth line was not

but was deployed on one side or the other


at right angles to the

main

line of battle.

was usually weaker than the other two.

line

Sometimes one flank of the army was

in three lines,

and

the other in four.

We

96.

must notice that the Romans placed great

dependence on
three,

And

their first charge.

this connection, that the first line

and contained the most experienced

The

97.

cavalry, in

is

it

significant, in

was the strongest of the

an offensive

cohorts.

battle,

was used

guarding against a flank movement, for taking the enemy


flank,

and

complete

for hurling

upon

the

enemy when

for
in

routed, thus to

his destruction.

For these purposes, the cavalry was commonly placed


Sometimes it was placed
^^
^^^ flanks of the legions.
'in
93.
behind the fourth line. Thus the latter could receive an
which being repulsed, the
attack of the enemy's cavalry

B.G. Ill,

CI

88, 89,

Roman
g

cavalry could issue between the intervals to attack

drawn up behind the


It was then placed behind the first cohorts, as
legions.
thus they could more easily pass through the intervals for a
turn.

in

24, 25.

Often

the

cavalry was

charge.

C.I, 83;
13, 60, 81.

A.

98.

The

light troops, archers,

and

slingers

were either

placed in the intervals of the cavalry, or thrown out in ad^

vance of the legions as skirmishers, or placed on the wings


to resist flanking
avail for

movements.

making a charge.

Of

course they were of no

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

The

99.

and

three parts, the right


truui),

Ime of

front of the

and the centre

left

on the wings
the best of

These were often

media).

legions were usually placed

on the wing which was

e.g.

i,

c'/n
a.

52;

60, 81.

to

begin the attack,

c. iii, 89;
'
'

This, again, was in accordance with the

all.

Roman custom

sinis-

for the purpose.

The most experienced

100.

was divided into

battle

wings {cornu dextrum,

{acies

placed under kgati detailed

5/

of trusting

much

to the

impetus of the

first

onset.

When

loi.

of battle was

the line

structd), the general passed

formed

{acie in- e.g. 11,20

from legion to legion, addressing

^'
"

'

each with a brief speech of encouragem.ent (cohortatio).

He

then proceeded to his

own

was

to begin the attack).

When

post (usually the wing that


the right

moment

arrived,

he ordered

his

{signum).

This signal was taken up by the trumpets of the

trumpeter to give the signal for the onset

other legions, and passed

made by
reserve

flanks,

The

enemy

in the flank.

was won, the

his

to

overcome renewed

stafl",

cavalr)'^

broken enemy to complete the rout


vanced

at every critical

was hurled on the


or infantry was ad-

resistance.

If the

Romans

were beaten, the general, with a cloud of cavalry and


troops, covered the retreat to the fortified

2.

light

camp.

Defensive.

The fundamental ideas of the Roman defensive


were, to make use of ground that would cause as much
weariness to the enemy as possible, to delay their approach.

102.

^^'

cavalry was held in

general oversaw the battle, supplied reserves, and

If victory

^'

ready to receive flank attacks, and in

was present himself, or sent one of


point.

So the attack was

the line.

the legions successively.

on the

turn to assail the

The

down

c. iii, 92'

e.g. vii,
^'^'

Cesar's army.

58

weaken them meanwhile by missiles, and then,


right moment, to assail them at their weakest point.

at

the

provided

for

to

103.

Modern armies

much

are

better

Romans. Our troops are


armed with missile weapons which are not useless as soon
as used and which are still effective for hand to hand work.
The vast improvement in the modern arms of precision is
An excellent illusdaily making this truth more emphatic.
tration of a collision between the modern power of resistance
and the ancient power of attack is afforded by the battles at
Teb and vicinity between the British troops under General
Graham and the Arabs of Osman Digma, in 1884. The
Arabs, armed with spear and shield, and inspired with franBut
tic courage, rushed in crowds upon the British squares.
defensive battle than were the

the incessant volleys of the repeating

rifles

less deluge of balls upon them, and not

lived to reach the bayonets.


line

was

for a

moment

proved a deadly foe

poured a cease-

many

of the blacks

At a few points, where the

broken, the lithe Arab with his spear

but

rifle

and revolver restored the

day.

104.

The

only missile weapons of the ancients that

had any great range, capable of being used in the field, were
bow and sling. But the Romans never had many archers
and slingers. These were of no use for hand to hand fight,
and the legions were of no use for anything else.

105.

ground.

Hence great care was exercised in the choice of


Whenever it could be done, the army was drawn

up where approach was possible only on one side ; and this


side difficult on account of a swamp, a watercourse, or some
similar natural barrier.
for

the work,

If necessary,

and time was afforded

approach was further hindered by ditches,

chevaux-de-frize, pitfalls, or something of the sort.

tactics of the army.

Manner of Attack.

3.

106.

59

The Roman

infantry sought always to gain the B.G.1,22,

advantage of a higher place {superioris

loci).

position was on the side of a gently sloping

ite

advantageous place {locus tjiiqims).


there was a plain,

hill

ft.),

then to the

g^'

If at the foot of this

46.

and the enemy were

enemy was

ever, their adversaries

out to climb

to

107.

were

then the

it,

so that

hill,

dis-

left

i.e.,

the initiative.

25

If,

at the foot of the hill or

Romans rushed

to

just

j'lj^'

how-

had

ii, 23,

'^'^\'^^\

c.i,

^'

45.

set

against them.

was considerable, say 250 pacesc.


setting out to the attack, or 120 paces to

If the distance

an enemy

'

at a greater dis- b.g.

tance than the cast of a javelin (10 to 20 paces

50

jt;^^! y'^;

vi, 46; vii,

The enemy had then a

enemy were below them.

the

Their favor-

'

i, 87.
'^'

"

an enemy evidently intending to await the onset, then the


cohorts at

first

moved forward

pace {certo gradu)

at a walk, probably at

Having reached the proper

an equal

b.g.viii,9.

distance,

they set out at a run (cursus), sword in sheath, the

first c. :ii, 92.

ranks with spears raised in the right hand ready to hurl


{puis in/eslis).

At a distance of 10

ranks hurled the spears.

to

20 paces, the

first

This volley at short range threw the

enemy into confusion, inflicting numerous fearful wounds.


The dead and wounded fell, and thus gaps appeared in the
Here and there a pilum remained sticking in
hostile array.
a shield, and thus embarrassed

its

bearer

cm, 93.
b.g.

i,

25:

'^s^A.id

or in the thick

phalanx two shields were bound together, and so two of the

enemy were rendered


their shields

Roman

useless for the fight, unless they let

go and exposed their unprotected bodies to the

weapons.

As the spears could be thrown only from a short


distance, it is clear that sometimes a rapidly advancing
the right moment would
enemy would get near too soon,
and the Romans must then drop their javehave passed,
But usually the volley of
lins and engage with the swords.
heavy spears preceded the use of the sword.

108.

b.g.

i, 52.

6o
B.G. II, 23;
VII 88* C
111/46.

'

CiESAR's ARMY.
109.

^^^y draw

As soon

as the first ranks

have hurled the spears.

'

swords and rush forward to take advantage

their

of the confusion and gaps in the enemy's hne.

numbers of the first rank spring forward


even numbers and the entire second

to gain

rank

The odd
room the
;

follow

as

support.

Along the

front of the cohort exists

The

combats.

to aid their
fall,

third, fourth,

comrades and

and meanwhile throw

and

now

fifth

a series of single

ranks press close up

to take the places of

any who

heads of the

their spears over the

combatants among the throng of the enemy behind.


remaining

five

110. The
B.G.vi,

45;

c. II, 93.

ranks of the cohort stand

fast, as

B.G.

1, 25,

guished in military parlance.


called signa inferre.

still

^j^g

Then

Advancing

Ilerda,

attack was

If the

last resort,

enemy

the onset with

swords {impetus gladiorum).

111.
49, 50.

to

followed the run {concursus),

held out, there remained the

hurled
R. pp.

a reserve.

various acts of the attack are sharply distin-

then the volley of spears {einissio piloruni)


52; VI, 8.

The

It will

be seen that each cohort,

if

the spears at once, could attack

each of these attacks consumed

112.

only two ranks

five

at least

times.

At

20 minutes.

Another advantage sought by the Romans must

We

must remember that their favorite vantageground was a hillside, down which they could rush against
Under such circumstances more than two
their enemy.
ranks could hurl the pila^ and also these weapons would fall
be noticed.

B.G.

I, 25.

with more force.

113.

soon, they

Of

likely, in the

if

the volley of spears was

harmless on the ground.

It

cast too

was often quite

confusion of battle, that such a mistake would

Moreover, the Romans were accustomed to throw


weapons while on the run themselves, and against an

be made.
the

course

fell

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


Should the

advancing enemystanding, as did


easily

be

Pompey's men

latter

6
onset

the

receive

might

at Pharsalia, the volley

c. 111,92.

ineffective.

Running

114.

But

of great value.

if this

tired,

and

run should be begun too soon,

men would

there was danger that the

of breath and

gave an impetus that was

to the attack

enemy out

reach the

also that the ranks

would be more

or less spread apart.

115.

It

was much

in favor of this onset to

down which

hillside

momentum

thus

likely to

The

was a gentle slope.

there

gained would carry the

enemy, whether they would or not.

more

be made on

become demoralized

men

Also, the

against the

enemy were

at sight of

this

mass

down from above. Moreover, the same circumstance which made the attack heavier, would make it less
effective for the enemy to make a charge to meet it.

pouring

The

116.

made by

rush was usually

a line at once

or, e.g. 1,52;

the cohort on one wing would begin, and the rest of the^'g^^'^^'

would immediately take

line

lowed the

first

up.

at the usual distance

halted as soon as the

it

first

The second
(about 200

line folft.),

Should the legions thus attack a continuous

117.

the enemy,

it is

especially'

line

of

would impinge on that line


and there was danger that the enemy

clear that they

only at certain places,

would pour

and

became engaged.

into, the intervals

on the

{Jatus apertum).

right

and attack the cohorts

side,

in flank,

unprotected by the shields

This could be met by advancing the sec-

e.g.
44*

ond
or,

line,

the

thus losing the advantage of using this as a reserve


rear

ranks of the

first

line

could be deployed to

and left into the inter^'^als. We find in fact that the


second line was generally used as a reserve, through whose

right

intervals the exhausted first

which

it

could re-form.

line

could

retire,

and behind

i,

^^' ^3'

25;

Cesar's army.

62

How

ii8.

before

long one

line

would remain

was relieved we have

it

But we may

no

easily conjecture that

it

definite

in

the fight

knowledge.

could hardly have been

more than 15 minutes in general. Then the second line


would advance to the attack, the first would assemble behind
it, re-form, rest, and be ready in turn again to take up the
fight.

Csesar usually fought in three lines rather than in

119.

We may

two.

suppose that he brought the third

line into

action only in case the blows inflicted by the other lines


successively proved insufficient to cause the

Thus the

enemy

to break.

third line was a last reserve.

We

120.

see that

we must imagine the cohorts in battle


The two lines are hurled

as in almost constant motion.

successively against the enemy, giving the latter

no

rest,

and

wearing them out by the incessant blows of the cohorts.

When

121.

the

enemy were

finally routed, the

cavalry

was hurled on the fleeing mass to complete their destruction.

Caesar never failed in this

way

foe.

Hence

Napoleon's for the same

his

victories,

like

to follow

up a beaten

reason, seldom proved indecisive.

B.

Every long distance was divided

122.

{itinera)
rale,

into day's

marches

After each two or three days of marching, as a

followed a day of rest.*

Each
E.G. VII,

THE MARCH.

day's

march

{iter)

so that " a distance of five

was from one camp

camps

"

means a

to another

five days'

march.

36.

123.

camp.

The Romans aimed

When

to fight only near their

own

they were compelled to break this rule, and

* If no such rest was taken, it was regarded as wholly exceptional


See B.G. I, 41, Sepiimo die, cum iter non intermitteret, etc.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


on the march {ex

fight

men

part of their

63

itinere), they usually

allowed only a

to engage, the rest being

employed

e.g. 111,21,
^^'

in

^g

Vegetius says that the recruits were practised to

v.

'

fortifying.
124.

march

in five

summer

gradu), 40,000 steps (of 2^


steps.

Five

hours.

Then

the usual pace

hours, at
ft.),

summer hours

and

at

i, 9.

{militari

quick step 48,000

are equal to about 6| of our

in the first case there

would be 100, and

the second case 120, steps to the minute.

in

Upton's Tactics,

the standard of the United States army, as

now

revised,

prescribes a step of 30 inches, from heel to heel, both in

common and quick time, and a cadence of 100


minute for common time and 120 steps for quick
actly the Roman standard.
125.

The

step {gradus) of 2 J-

(Roman)

feet,

steps per

time, ex-

was the

dis-

tance from heel to heel, and was one-half a pace {passus)

This

latter

was the

full

distance from the point at which the

heel leaves the ground to the point at which the same heel

next returns to the ground, and was reckoned at


It must be remembered that the
feet.
was about 0.9708 of an Enghsh foot.

126.

The Roman

day's

march

Roman

rest, it

probably

ordinarily covered about R.

hours, from sunrise (4 to 5 or 6 a.m.)

Allowing time for

(Roman)

feet

seems hardly

until

11

likely that they

p. 93.

or 12.

would

average more than 30,000 to 40,000 steps in that time.

This would be 14.6 to 19.5 English miles.


The average day's march for infantry in the United States
Rest is generally allowed at the U.
from
army
15 to 20 miles ( 84).
Taking these facts into account, we see
rate of 10 minutes an hour.
127-

is

that

we cannot

be

far out of the

way

in our estimate of the

Roman

march; especially when we consider what an amount of work had

to

be performed in fortifying the camp.

Of course forced marches were


even

all

night.

often made, continuing sometimes

750,

Caesar's army.

64

128.

We

must distinguish three forms of march,

march forward,

129.

When

the

distinguish three

to either flank.

The Advance.

I.

and

to the rear,

column

parts

is

marching forward, we must

the

of the army,

BG

E.G.

II, 19.

agmen), the main body {exercitus, omnes

B.G.

1, 15,

legion2ivi),

ty

c'l^s.l;.

and the rear-guard {agjnen

van {primiim
copiae,

novissimu7?i,

agmen
agmen

extremum).

B.G.

the

{a)

II, 19.

The van may have one of three objects.


The first is to engage the rear of the enemy

130.

so as to

delay their march, and give time for the main body to

deploy and for the commander to form his plans.

For

this

purpose a body of cavalry was sent forward, sometimes with


the addition of light infantry.
B.G.

(yF)

1, 15,

{loci

The second

object

is

to

nattcram perspicere, iter cogfioscere) , and to bring news

of the enemy.

To accomplish

this,

special detachments of

who scoured
and on both flanks.
To these

the cavalry were sent forward {exploratores)


the country far in front
A.

12.

country

reconnoitre the

detachments were often assigned trusty

staff-oflicers,

accom-

panied by spies {speculatores')


B.G.

{c)

II, 17.

The

third object

place for the camp.

was

to select

and make ready the

This duty was entrusted to a detail of

centurions from the legions, accompanied by a few men,

and usually under a tribune or some

officer of the general

staff.

At a fixed distance after the van marched the


main body, and close after it the rear-guard. This last,
during a march to the front, had only police duty to perform ; i.e., to pick up stragglers, and the like.

a.

131.

132.

The main body may march

in

one of three forms

In column, each legion accompanied by

its

baggage

TACTICS OF THE ARMY,


b.

In column,

all

We

line of battle.

will

friendly country, or

army together ;

when

there

Each

the road.

number of
legion

is

gage, which thus divides


last

e.g.

il, 17

appeared no immediate

The

legions are

column, the cohorts in column of centuries with

single or double

The

In

of march was only adopted in a

danger of an encounter with the enemy.


in single

c.

consider these in their order.

This form

^-

133-

the baggage of the

6$

ranks, according to the width of

followed immediately by

its

bag-

from the legion next following.

it

legion probably detached a few cohorts to follow

This detachment would thus form the rear

the baggage.

guard of the whole army.


order, with a breadth of

column of

five legions in this

4100
steps {gradus) in length.
A sixth legion would need 40
minutes to reach the head of this column so as to join in
battle.
Of course if the march was with double number of
ranks, so much more 'me would be taken.*
It is clear that
40

ft.,

requires 10,250

ft.,

or

if

the

enemy could

niake a vigorous attack in force on the

head of the column, they would have a good chance to


throw it into confusion and entirely prevent it from properly
deploying.

The

legions marching in this order, each followed

by

its

baggage, cannot be called ready for battle {expeditae)

134.

march

b.

When

near the enemy,

if it is

not desirable to

column is formed as in a, but


army is assembled. The greater

in order of battle, the

the baggage of the whole

part of the legions, usually three-fourths of the entire


ber,

composes the head of the column.

collected

baggage.

fourth of

all,

The remaining

Then

legions,

num-

followed the
usually

one-

brought up the rear {claiidiint agmen), as

guard for the baggage and rear-guard


* See ante, 84.

for the

army.

In this

e.g.

ii.

^^' ^^

19,

66
B.G.

II, 19;

o'-^C I 6

CiESAR's ARMY,

'

order the legions can

^^y

much more

rapidly be deployed, and

properly be called expeditae.

Although the legions can readily be brought into action,


consider them as actually ready until the indi-

we cannot

vidual soldiers have

made

their preparations.

On the

march,

the soldier had to carry his personal baggage (sarcinae).


Also, his heavy helmet was hanging at his breast, his shield

was

in a leather case, his field

and the

like, carefully

Then

E.G. I, 24;
VII, 18; A.
B^.G. II

B.G.

21.

II, 21;

badges {insignia), plumes,

protected fi-om the dust.

a legion marching expedita

if

is

attacked in the

march

{in agmine, sub sarcinis, in itinere), before

able to

meet the enemy the


^

must

legionaries

first

being

pile their

baggage {sarcinae in acervuin comportantur, sarcinae con-

f^>'untur),

draw the

shields from their coverings {tegimenta

detrahutifur), put

scutis

on

their

field

badges {insignia

accommodantur) put on helmets {galeae induuntur, galeantur), and get their weapons ready {arma expeciiuntu^r, legio
,

B.G.vii,i8.

Of course time was needed


must be won by the vanguard. An
armatur).

B.G.

II, 17;

1^66^'^A

for all this,

and time

enemy,
knowing these facts, would seek to attack the Roman army
on the march {sub sarcinis adoriri, impeditos in agmine
adoriri), and meanwhile give as httle time as possible for
making the proper preparations to resist.
135.

c.

The advance

in order of battle {acie ins true fa)

could occur only for short distances.

two occasions

When

find

for a distance of 16,000 steps, or

the immediate

ground was

We

it

made on

about three

This formation could only be employed when

hours' time.
in

enterprising

vicinity of

enemy, and when the

the

suitable.

marching

in columns, as

in

order of battle, the legions marched

has been explained under the

tactics of the

men

legion.

And when

B.G. VIII,

must

^^'

ins truefae).

be ready for immediate battle {kgiones armatae et


This alone would prevent a march to any

all

in this order

it

is

clear that the

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


{sarcinae) must

great distance, as the baggage


in

all

be

left

camp.

The Retreat.

2.

136.

The

sent out of

camp

tachment of

was usually

in

less

con-

one of two forms


;

b.

The

re-

{agmine quadrato).

For the

a.

It

is

column, with baggage massed

retreat in

treat in square

137.

enemy

retreat in presence of the

venient than an advance.


a.

6/

as

retreat

in

column, the baggage wasc.ni,

soon as possible, under escort of a de-

infantry, often of

7-;.

^''"

This body

an entire legion.

With them marched a detail of centurions and men whose business was to stake out
the new camp.
Then followed the main body, the cohorts in column of

would constitute the vanguard.

centuries.

Finally, at a suitable distance followed the rear

guard {agme7t novissimum).

was the duty of these

It

giving the

should be

army time

made

to

in force.

cavalry, with archers

last

to delay the

push on, or to deploy,

and

The

rear-guard was

When

slingers.

enemy, thus
if

the attack

composed of

necessary, they

would be supported by troops from the legions. Sometimes


the antesignani, and again legionary cohorts ready for battle
{expeditae), or even entire

main body and the

marched between

legions,

the

c, ni, 75;
'^*
'

Often the legions did

rear-guard.

duty by turns {legiones invicem

this

b.g. 1,24.

ad extremum agmen

a.

70.

evocabai)

138.

b.

The

retreat in square

{agmen quadratum') was B.G.vn,67


;
for instance, on a

chosen when surrounded by the enemy

march through a rebellious country, and also when the


enemy had numerous cavalry. A single square could be
formed from

all

the legions, with the united baggage of the

army

in the centre

itself;

with

its

or,

each legion could form a square by

baggage within.

This

last

would be the mode

68

CiESAR's ARMY.

when

the

army was

originally

marching

divided baggage, and was compelled to

on

column with
front suddenly

without time for the baggage to assemble.

all sides,

one square of

The

in

make

But

the legions seems to have been customary.

all

by the archers and slingers and by


the antesignani, remained outside the square, and skirmished around it on all sides.
cavalry, supported

3.

139.

tance,

The March to the Flank.

Flank marches were made only

and always

column of

cm, 67;

in a

E.G.

parallel columns,

1, 49.

A. 67.

140.

in order of battle.

lines, so that there

The

for a short dis-

legions

marched

would be two or three

according to the formation.

The baggage

train

would either march on the

side opposite the enemy, or between the legions, each being

own pack-animals. The latter mode might


be used when the army was divided from the enemy by
some considerable obstacle, like a river, or when the side
remote from the enemy was difficult to traverse for instance, when the army was marching in the valley of a
followed by

its

stream, so that the water was


E.G. VII,
34-36.

on the flank towards the

and woods on the other flank. In such


case as last mentioned, no guard of light troops would be
But in open
necessary between the army and the enemy.
ground such a detachment would have to be made, and
enemy,
-" and

hills

would perform the same duties as the vanguard during an


advance, and the rear-guard during a retreat.

141.

To form

line of battle

from a column of march

was a simple matter, unless the baggage was


between the legions. It was done simply by facing right or

by the
left,

P. VI, 40.

flank

as the case

142.

might be.

In every march of a large body of troops the

order of march was changed daily, and the legions daily

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

PONSA

CyiSARE IN RHENO FACTUS.

b b. trabes bipedales.
a a. tigna bina sesquipedalia.
c c. fibulae.
dd. directa materia, longuriis cralibiisque constrata.
ee. sublicae ad infeiiorem partem fliimiiiis pro ariete oblique actae.
f f. sublicae supra pontem immissae.
g. castellum ad caput pontis positum.

Fig. 36.

69

CiESAR

70

ARMY.

took turns in leading, so that each in turn might come

Crossing Streams.

4.

Rivers were crossed either by

143.

first

camp.

to the

The Romans could


no powder

or by

/^;7*^^j-.

cross deeper fords than we, as they

keep

to

/<?r<?'j-

had

Caesar preferred fords whenever

dry.

no previous preparation. Sometimes an artificial ford was made.


Often, when the current
line
of
cavalry
was
stationed
was strong, a
up stream from
practicable, as they required

B.G.vii,

56.

the point of crossing,

and another

down

line

stream, and the

The upper

infantry crossed in this shelter.

broke the force of the current, and the lower

men who were

built.

fords were not available, bridges

^These were of many kinds.

cross a

mere

ravine,

The

and consisted of long

saved any

had

to

be

simplest were to
tree trunks cov-

The most

branches and earth.

ered with

line

carried from their footing.

When

144.

line of cavalry

elaborate of

which we know was the footway 40 ft. wide with which


Caesar twice spanned the Rhine.
A river in Spain he
H.

5.

bridged by sinking baskets


for his

piers.

boats.

filled

Other streams were crossed by bridges of

bridge of any importance had to be protected by

strong fortifications at each end


to retain
B.G. IV, 17;
^'
'

it,

and,

when

it

was desired

these were held by suitable garrisons {praesidid)

Caesar's bridges

description.
ing,

with stones, as foundations

on the Rhine

(Fig.

They were masterpieces of

26)

were of

this

military engineer-

and were held securely while the army moved

into

Germany.
C.

145.

the

field,

THE CAMP.

The Romans distinguished two kinds of camp


or summer camp {castra aesfiva), made at the

close of each day's march, to be

abandoned the next morn-

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

/I

and the winter camp {^castra hiberna),


army spent the time between two campaigns.
ing

We

146.

which the

have no exact account of the camp in the

Our only complete information on

time of Caesar.
in fact,

subject,

in

is

this

of the time of the second Punic war,

given by Polybius, and in the time of Trajan, by Hyginus.

Riistow interprets by the following rule: Whatever

mon

to both

Where

may be

the authorities

the organization of the

more from

down

set

differ,

army

is

com-

Hyginus may be preferred,


in the

r.

p. 75.

once as true of Caesar.

at

as

time of Polybius differed

However, Caesar

that of Caesar than did Trajan's.

customarily used fewer auxiliaries than did Trajan.

I.

The Summer Camp.


The

I.

When

147.

possible, the

Site.

camp was

always placed on

had before it still


on the summit.
Thus the legions could pour from the gates and form against
an approaching enemy in readiness to make their favorite
the slope of a gentle

hill,

so that

a portion of the descent, and

onset

down

declivity

was

all

hill

its

its

front

rear lay

{ex loco superiore).

If at the foot of the b.g.

was some obstruction, as a stream or a morass,

the better.

At any

camp room

for the

water was

necessary.

rate, there

should be before the

accustomed order of
Therefore

the

battle.

Of

camp was

course
usually

placed on the sloping side of the valley of some stream.


the

army had

either side.

to cross a river, the

If

camp could be made on

But the conditions were usually best met by

on the hither side. Much wood, too, was needed,


and for the various uses to which it was put in
But yet the camp must not be so near a
the fortifications.
forest as to allow the enemy to collect in numbers under its
shelter, and then make a sudden onset.
placing

it

for cooking,

i, 24;

it jh^^^'^'^'

CAESAR

72
148.

evident that

is

these conditions could not

all

and often a camp must be pitched where


necessity demanded {in loco necessario).
But to place the
low
ground
on
instead
camp
of on a hill was considered
\i2i\>dxo\ys> {more barbard).
always be

B.G. VIII,

It

ARMY

fulfilled,

po>/-^

36.

'Lfei.

O^A
-eg.

\
4.^

^>^

vJ>

..<*

>,=

legatTrib.

legatTrih.

Porta Principalis
Sinistra.

2f

I'm,

principalis

Porta Principalis
Dextra.

'^^

^'^

X
^i^

a*^

Vi a- qiv intan-a-

V*

..*s

Jux.

v/mo;.

Auz.

Ana;.

^
's

X.
Porta Decumana.
Fig. 37. The Snnimer

Note.

12= First legion, second cohort,

etc.

Camp.

This camp

is

planned for

5 legions,

with cavalry and auxiliaries.

2.
R. pp. 75
seqq.

149.

T/ie Fortification. a.

The

right-angled quadrilateral was in Caesar's time

probably the only form of a


A.

80.

The Ground Plan.

Roman camp.*

The

quadrilat-

* The castra lunata mentioned at Thapsus was doubtless a series of


rectangular camps, arranged in crescent form, with intervals, connected by
wall

and

ditch.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


was

eral

the prevailing,

also

small redoubts which


castella, or little

The

castella

among

We

camps.

under

tion of towns

if

siege,

73

not the only, form of the

Romans were known

the

as

find these in the circumvalla-

connected by

lines of fortification.

very likely were quadrilaterals with side equal

They could then each be

to the front of a cohort.

easily

garrisoned and defended by one cohort.

The

corners, both of castra

as to afford

150.

more room

The

and

castella,

were rounded, so

for defence.

gates of the

camp were

usually merely open-

probably as wide as the front of a maniple (40 ft.).


They were defended by semi-circular tambours, or by a
ings,

{tilulum^

traverse

reaching to

corresponding distance.

on the inside was a corresponding traverse.


Usually the gates were not closed up.
When it was necessary to defend the camp, one or more of these might be

Very

likely

closed,

however.

In

small

redoubts

narrow opening was needed, and


a real gate.

this

(^castella),

might

easily

e.g. v, 5c

only a

have had

In lines of fortifications, openings must be

left

at intervals for sorties.

b.

151.

The Elevation.

The normal Roman

{agger, vallum^),

and before

it

fortification consists of

a wall

e.g. v,

on which the defenders place themselves;

a ditch {fossa), from which comes most of

and which keeps the enemy from


approaching and stops them at the distance of a good spear

the material for the wall,

cast (Fig. 28).


I.

152.

The Ditch.

Vegetius gives in two places the size of a ditch,

more like those found in Caesar, he


speaks of a ditch whose width at the top was 9 or 12 ft.,
and whose depth in the first case was 7 ft., and in the latter
was 9 ft., vertically downward {sub line a)
In the one which

is

v.
TTT

i, 24''

39,

74

CiESAR

ARMY.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY,

We

notice that the width

that the depth

and

is

is

each case divisible by

in

two-thirds of the width, plus

Caesar often speaks of ditches whose width

of 12, 15, and 18

3,

works

ft.,

at Alesia, of 20

fortification of a

camp,

and the depth

ft.,

follows

e.g. vil

in the q'i^'

This would seem to imply that


fixed

ratio to

gives expressly both dimensions of his

when they

ditches only

by

divisible

Further, Caesar gives always only

the other dimensions stood invariably in a

He

is

3,

i.

and only once,

for instance;

ft.

one dimension of the ditch.


the one given.*

;5

7.

are

it

For the customary

unusual.

seems

likely that the

Figure 28

is

to

ad

is

the escarpment or scarp.

5c

cd

is

the counterscarp.

gc ox fb

is

width was 9

be interpreted as

the bottom.
is

the vertical depth.

Hyginus speaks of two forms the fossa fastigata


(Fig. 28), in which both scarp and counterscarp are sloping

153.

Fig. 30.

md
tical

^Q, fossa punica (Fig. 29), with sloping scarp and ver-

counterscarp.

Caesar adds a third form (Fig. 30), with e.g.

vertical sides {directis lateridus)

i.e.,

both the scarp {latus

and the counterscarp {latus exfe?'ius') were vertical.


This ditch had of course the same width at bottom as at top.
interius)

154.

We may

infer that

the fossa fastigata was

the

usual form, merely because generally earth would be apt to

named but one dimension because the other was


and that that uniform depth was most likely 9 ft., because
more than that would render it difhcult to cast up the earth. But we must
remember that the Romans relied much on baskets for carrying earth,
rather than on the shovel alone.
* Goler thinks that he

always the same

^^'

vil,

Cesar's army.

yG

Modern engineering makes

cave in either of the others.

the slope of the scarp greater than that of the counterscarp,


the better to oppose the

fire

had

tions of the ancients

of artillery.

little

to fear

But the

fortifica-

from missiles

so

it

seems probable that scarp and counterscarp had the same


slope.

by

155.

3, it at

Remembering
once seems

be reckoned

is 2

X,

its

The

2jj;

(^2x-\-j)

divisible

width

to

and the remaining one-

the depth qc

is

equal to

ft.,

adhj

Or, representing one-third oi

ft.

and the area of the

Thus

ft.

for

vertical section

each running foot

abed

in the

length of the ditch, there would be 2.t(2jc"+i) cu.


R. p. 86.

is

area of the vertical section of such a ditch

sq.

(2Jt:-f-i)

Then

equal, be.

cb {2cb-\-\) sq.

qc=

adxi always

likely that one-third the

for af, one-third for dq,

third for qf, or

2y^cb-\-\.

that the width

ft.

of

earth for the construction of the wall.

2.

156.

which

We

T/ie

IVall.

think of a wall mainly as a breastwork, behind

soldiers are sheltered

from the

fire

of the enemy.

But it was quite different with the Romans. They had little
need for shelter from missiles. What they aimed at mainly
was a high position, inaccessible to the enemy, from which
to hurl their spears.

157.

The

of such

section

mnop

practically a rectangle,

a wall we

may

consider

(Fig. 28), of sufficient height

The width mn should be enough

to give room
moving backward and forward to
Six feet would do. The height should be
hurl the javelins.
possible,
though of course this would be limited
as great as
by the fact that the earth which formed the wall came from

and width.

for standing firmly,

the ditch.
latter

had

Of
to

and

course

for

if

towers were placed on the wall, the

be made wider.

The

usual height seems to

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

77

have been two-thirds of the upper width of the ditch.


Caesar often speaks of a ditch 15

and the

ft.,

The

158.

ft.

wide and a wall of 10

e.g. 11,5.

like.

there was no

outer slope niz could be

made

of cannons to withstand.

fire

very steep, as

But

keep the

to

earth of the wall in place, there must have been a facing of

some more tenacious

material.

For

used sods, cut in digging the ditch


This

last

was put up

this

purpose there were

also timber

;-

in bundles, in the

and brush.

form that we

call

fascines.

Vegetius says that the

159.

long,

wide,

ft.

ft.

Romans

cut

sods

i^

such sods, packed one on the other, gave a height of


ft.

to the facing for

each foot

ft.

wall.

width of the ditch gave two such sods, or

in the

a foot high of the facing.

Then from a

could be cut 6 sods to the running


facing.

the length of the wall;

in

assuming the sods to have been placed endwise to the

Every

ft.

Two

thick, for use in fortifications.

ditch 9

foot, or 3

ft.

wide

ft.

in height

With these sods one-half the height of the

of

wall

could be faced, leaving the other half to be strengthened


with sod cut elsewhere, or with fascines.

160.

The Romans were not always content with

facing of the outer slope.


wall especial height, they

wicker work, or hurdles,

161.

the inside.

Then
For

made

rs,

ttt,

it

this

they sought to give the

firmer by several lines of

parallel to the length.

mounted from
were made, kl. These

the rampart must be easily


this

were of brush, or

was clear that a

When

purpose steps

at least strengthened with brush.

So

Roman camp needed much wood and


;

it

also

that the section of the wall was greater than the section of

the ditch.

v.

iii,

&

Cesar's army.

y8

The

162.

vertical section of a wall 6

ft.

in height

and

width, well faced, and provided with steps, contains about

56

sq.

The

ft.

ditch {fossa fastigatd) ^ 9

deep, has a section of 42 sq.


itself

That gives 49

tion for the earthwork, leaving 7 sq.

6 sq.

E.G. V, 40;

When

163.

ft.

must be

wide and

only a few twigs

{lo7'ica,

left,

ft.

ft.

for

ft.

sec-

brushwork.

Of

sq.

allotted to the steps.

the wall was wide enough, on

placed a breastwork

But the earth would loosen

ft.

about one- sixth in digging.

this, at least

ft.

its

top was

loricula) of stakes (z/^///), with

which were firmly bound together.

This breastwork was either of a uniform height of 4 to 5 ft.,


so that the soldiers could easily see over it and cast their
spears, or there

ft.

between which were gaps.

164.

There were often erected on the

wooden

to point,
E.G. V. 40;
VII, 72.

ditch
at

were pinnacles {pinnae') placed on

high,

had

to

wall,

it,

or

from point

At such points both wall and


Sometimes there were two ditches

towers.

be wider.

such places.
165.

Caesar at his

camp

ditches with vertical sides, 15

ft.

deep, they would yield 385 cu.


the length of the wall.

a width of 24

On

ft.

had two
these were 11 ft.

against the Bellovaci

wide.

ft.

wall 12

If

of earth for each foot in


ft.

high could here have

including the outer slope and the steps.

such a wall could be placed towers with a square base of

16 to 20
8 to 4

ft.

ft.

on a

wide.

side, yet leaving


x\s

a passage round them of

such a tower must exert a considerable

pressure on the side of the ditch, a space of at least a foot

must have been

left

between the ditch and the foot of the

wall.
3.
166.

whose

The

The camp was

sides

were as

side towards the

Interior.

generally a square, or a rectangle

to 3 (Fig. 27).

Tht front was

the

enemy, or towards which on the following

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

79

day the march would be taken up.* The rear was of course
opposite, and the other two sides were right and left to one
facing the front.

167.

The depth

of the

camp was

Beginning at the

nearly equal parts.

praete7itura, the latera praetorii,

three divisions were

divided into three

front,

they were the

and the retentwa.

made by two broad

These

streets, parallel to

The

the front, the via principalis and the via quintana.

former ends

at

each side of the camp with a gate, the porta

principalis dextra
likely in large

quintana

168.

toria

and the porta principalis

camps there were

also.

extends a

in the rear wall,

street, the

is

the porta decumana.

this, in

tents,

the altars,

^'

This space occupies in length


ft.

all

c. iii, 82.

and the

the middle of

each side of the

In the retentura was a similar place, the quaes-

Here were the quarters of the administrative staff,


here hostages and prisoners were kept, and forage and booty
were placed. Outside of the camp, back of the porta decumana, were the booths of the sutlers {mercatores) who
torium.

followed the army.


171.

e.g. vi,

37.

In the praetentura were stationed from one-fourth

to one-fifth of the cohorts, equally divided


sides.

^^'
JJJ'

line.

170.

ii, 24;

the

the praetorium, a wide space,

the camp, but extends only 100 or 150

middle

the porta prae- e.g.

Opposite

via praetoria.

which were the headquarter

tribunal.

is

is

the porta praetoria to the via priiicipalis

middle part of the camp,


in

gates at the ends of the via e.g. hi, 19


^^^^

In the middle of the front wall

From

Very

Ji'.^^'

and opposite,

169.

sinistra.

These cohorts occupied the

between the two

tents facing the wall.

* But see Nissen, Das Templum, p. 23 seqq.

_^

8o

Caesar's army.

Also in the praetentura, along the via principalis, facing

and the middle of the camp, was the place for the tents
of the legati and tribuni militum. Again, in each half of the
praetentura, in the space enclosed by the cohorts along
the wall, by the tents of the legati and tribuni, and by the
this

encamped one-fourth of the cavalry


and one-half of the archers and slingers. Thus in the entire
praetentura were quartered one-half of the cavalry and all
the archers and slingers, ready to move from the front gate
and form the advanced guard.
via principalis, were

172.

On

each flank of the mid-camp, next the

a hne of cohorts

on each

ber in the army, or one -fifth altogether.


rium, along both

wall,

side one-tenth of the entire

Next the

prcRto-

longer sides, were placed the

its

was

numstaff,

and tribuni. Between the


cohorts that were along the wall and the staff troops, were
encamped on each side one-fourth of the cavalry, or oneexcept,

of course, the

half in the whole

legati

mid-camp.

Their front was towards the

via principalis, unless there were gates at the ends of the


via quintana.
E.G. V,

50,

5^'

In that case one-half (or one-fourth of the

whole) would front toward each

street,

and they would be

ready to rush out at either side.

In the rear part of the camp, on each side of the quaestorium and equally divided by
*

about one-half of
the wall

on the

all in

flanks

lay the rest of the cohorts,

it,

the army.

and

Their front was towards

Enclosed by these, by the

rear.

quaestorium, and by the via quintana, was the place for the
auxiliary infantry, excepting the archers

173.

and

slingers.

Entirely around the camp, within the wall, ex-

tended a broad

street.

This would at once prevent the

likelihood of hostile missiles reaching the tents,

allow

room

for

moving troops

gives the width of this as 200

to

defend the

ft.,

walls.

and Hyginus,

and would
Polybius

as 60.

The

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

^
latter

seems too small

As we know

defence.
laid

on

skill

this street

was usually

camp

in

column of

in

20

ft.

the Cohorts.

depends on the

naturally

centuries.

this

Hyginus gives the

six centuries.

The cohort encamped

175.

least

seems reasonable to conclude that

It

arrangement of a cohort of

much stress was


camp, we may conclude that

Arrangement of

order of march.

energetic

that in Caesar's time

in defending the

The order

174.

movements of an

was quite wide, probably at

4.

for all the

in a

space of 120

ft.

front

ft. depth.
This was divided on lines parallel to the
Each of these was
front into 6 portions of 120 ft. by 30 ft.
for one century.

and 180

From

the length of the front, 12

for the street dividing the cohort

That leaves 108

for the tents.

ft.

6 for the soldiers,

ft.

are to be deducted

from the adjacent one.

Each century had 8

for the centurion,

and

tents

for the servants.

As each tent is 10 ft. square, the length actually covered by


tents would be 80 ft.
This leaves 28 ft. for the 7 intervals
between the tents, or 4 ft. for each interval. The 3 first
centuries of the 3 maniples had their front towards the wall,
and the 3 second their front from the wall. Thus the 2
centuries of one maniple would be stationed back to back.
The second of one maniple would face the first of the next,
divided from

ft.

by a

From

176.

century, 6

10

it

ft.

the 30

ft.

ft.

and,

ft.,

finally,

wide, parallel to the wall.

depth of the space allotted to the

must be allowed

for the tents

w^eapons

street 12

for their half of the street;

behind the
ft.

for

latter, for

the

several cohorts of a legion, according to the

placed in a

line, side

by

stacking the

pack-animals.

The

room, could be

side, or in several lines.

c. ill, 76.

82

Caesar's army.

Arrangement of

5.

camp

In

177.

would

there

Camp.

the Cavalry in

each turma a

suffice for

by 30 ft., the same as for a century of


Then one ala of cavalry would take the same
infantry.
room, and be arranged in the same way, as two cohorts of
space of 120

Of

infantry.

ft.

course in particulars the arrangement must

have been varied to adapt

to the convenience of that

it

arm

of the service.

Time needed for Fortifying

j5.

R. pp. 90,91.

the

Camp.

Let us assume the normal measure of the ditch

178.

Of course a part of the


be 9 ft. wide and 7 ft. deep.
men must be under arms. We may suppose that, under all

to

ordinary circumstances, in a body of troops of at least two


legions, the
ft.

men

of one cohort could be used for each 240

In digging a ditch of 9

of wall.

wide, in 240

ft.

ft.

more than 60 men can conveniently work. Then


in the same space allot 30 men to the wall, and 30 men to
make the fascines and gather material, and we see that an
equal number are at work on wall and ditch, and the two
go on at an equal rate. As 120 men compose the normal
strength of the maniple, and as there are three maniples, it
length not

is

clear that there could be three reliefs.

ditch-diggers would be necessary, but

with the
soldiers

for the

it

who were exempt from such work


might be

work of

in a

Then

fortifying.

179.

skilful

digger,

{imniunes, benefi-

maniple 100

details for digging the ditch, with

of the

would hardly be so
Remembering that there were always some

rest.

ciarii), there

relief

men

disposable

there could easily be three

men

who works

to spare.

only one hour and

then relieved, can easily excavate from 50 to 60 cu.

(Roman)
above

in that time.

But the

all things skilful at digging.

Roman
As the

is
ft.

legionaries were
cross- section of

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


the ditch was 4^- sq.

ft.,

rehef had a length of 4

each

relief,

man

and each of the 60 men

ft.

3 to 4 hours.

ft.

to

Then,

throw out.
if

or, at the latest, 5 p.m.,

the

in

one

would be for
men, one in each

to excavate, there

in the relief, or at least for 3

168 cu.

83

This was the work of from

camp was begun

at

noon, by

4,

the fortification would be complete.

84

Cesar's army.

Camp

7.

When

180.

the

army reacned the campwas immediately formed with front

the van of the

ing-ground selected,
towards

Duties,

it

enemy

Strong details of

to

cover

cavalry

work of

the

reconnoitred

in

fortification.

all

directions,

while the engineers set to work immediately at measuring


C. Ill,

As the legions arrived, they


and staking out the camp.
proceeded each to its allotted place, and laid aside baggage
and arms (excepting swords) in the space behind the site

13.

The

for the tents {^arnia in contubernio deposita).

C. Ill, 76.

cohorts

assigned to guard duty of course retained their arms, and

proceeded

at

once

Baggage and arms being

to their posts.

marched to the wall street, and were


there told off, some for work within the camp, some for
fortifying.
The latter work, having been already measured
{opere dijnenso), was begun at once {castra ponunfur,

laid aside, the legions

E.G.

II, 19.

E.G.

1,

muniimfii?-)

49;

^^'
'

g^j'

When

baggage train arrived, the ani-

the

The

tents

fortifications

were

mals were unloaded by the servants {calones)


as a rule

were only pitched when the

When

completed.

near

not

enemy, however, and

the

would be pitched
immediately on arrival.

especially in stormy weather, the tents


C.I, 80,

81.

{tabernaatia constitner.e, statitere)

181.

As soon

as the fortifications

were

finished,

the

few

bulk of the cavalry was withdrawn into the camp.


E.G. V,
E.G.

II, 11;

TTT

44.'*'

E.G.

V,

squadrons were

50.

left

on picket without

and these sent scouts iexploratores)


\

\f T T
'

II, 11;

J-

in

{equites in statione),
all

directions.

Any
-'

-'
.

special duty of gaining information was performed by spies

{speculatores^

49.

182.

One

cohort of each legion was usually placed

on guard at each gate {cohors in statione ad portafn).


E.G. IV, 11;
VI, 37; c.

the daytime, few sentries were posted.


(doubtless

gate,

and

In

But duriug the night

each cohort on guard lined the redan before the


its

side of the wall, thickly with sentinels.

Of

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


course in special cases the guard

was strengthened.

one cohort

sides the guards at the gates,

85

at least

Be-

was detailed

for duty in the camp, and was stationed in the praetori24,m

and quaestorium.

As soon

183.

supper was prepared and eaten.

assembled

The

in

was completed, the

as the fortification

For

this

purpose the

the praetorium, and remained

staff

until nightfall. Livy,

general during this time could conveniently promulgate ^^^^^^

orders for the night and for the next day.

army assembled

the musicians of the

to

At nightfall, also,
sound the tattoo.

The

This was the signal for setting the night watch.

Livy,

XXX

s.
^*

'

cavalry pickets were drawn into camp, except a few single

horsemen

as outlying sentries

i^speciilatoi-es)

cohorts were probably changed at the tattoo, the

going on duty now to serve 24 hours.


(vigiks) were at once posted

The

The

The guard
new guard

e.g.

ii, ir

night sentries

on the tambours

{tifula)

and

b.g. vili;
35*

from sunset to sunrise, was divided into 4


Each cohort on guard was divided
equal watches {zngiliae)

wall.

night,

accordingly into 4

one of which should be on duty

reliefs,

The

during each watch.

other

reliefs

could

rest,

of

on their arms. If the cohort contained only about


300 men, it will readily be seen that 70 men could compose
one relief. This number, for 2100 ft. of wall, would give one
course,

sentinel for each

by the trumpeters

30

ft.

The

different reliefs

were signalled

ibiiccinatores).

c. 11,35.

At daybreak the musicians sounded the reveille.


If the march was not to be resumed, the guard cohorts
drew in their night sentries and posted the less numerous

184.

sentinels for the day.


{staiiones),

noon

The

and sent out

this cavalry

cavalry pickets took their posts

their scouts {exploratores)

At

guard was relieved.

Livy,

XL,

33;V.III,a

During the night the rounds of the sentries were


probably made by the centurions of the guard. On occa

185.

S6

Cesar's army.

sion, also, the tribunes

on duty, and the general himself,

would inspect the guard.

i86.

enemy, the

threatening
E.G.
'

'

1,

49;

'*^'

enough

camp should be made

If

would

vanguard

usual

One

to cover the operation.

presence of a

in the

not

be

or two legions would

then be deployed in line of battle to keep off the enemy,

and a

third

187.

would do the work of

The army might

fortifying.

leave the

camp

either to attack

a near enemy, or in order to continue the march.


a.

In the

case, the tents

first

gage remained in
B.G.lii, 26:
JT, 8;

c.

its

place,

were

left

standing, the bag-

and a guard was

left in

charge.

This guard might consist of a detail from each legion, or of

I,

The

legions.

gi^^jj-g

latter

would be

occur when

likely to

These would

there were legions of raw recruits present.


naturally be left within the walls.
^.

camp was aban-

In case of continuing the march, the

doned.

At the

first

signal

(signum profectionis), the tents

and the

c. Ill, 85.

were struck

C.iii,37,7s.

gage were packed on the beasts {vasa conclamantur)

at the second, they

the third, the

march began.

To

rest of the bag-

from the enemy, the signal might be omitted.

deemed

a point of military honor to sound

II.
188.

at

conceal the departure

Yet

it

was

it.

The Winter Camp.

In winter quarters the

Romans

did not

billet their

them together in winter camps


When a portion of a town was needed,
{castra hibernd).
for strategical or other reasons, then the inhabitants had to
leave, as we see in the case of Galba at Octodurus.
soldiers in towns, but kept

B.G.

Ill, I.

189.

The

camp must
There must

general arrangement of the winter

have resembled that of the castra aestiva.

and streets. But doubtless


the convenience of the men was more regarded than when

have been the same

fortifications

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

In place of tents {tabet-nacula, pelles), the

in the field.

camp

winter

8^

afforded

huts which

gave better protection

wind and weather. The arms were doubtless kept


Also more
the huts, and the pack-animals in sheds.

against
in

room could be taken than


D.

igo.

holds

in the field.

THE SIEGE.

The Romans were accustomed

in three

ways,

by

to assail strong-

blockade {obsidto), by assault

R,pj
^^^^

{oppngnatio repentina), and by formal siege {oppugnatio)


1

Blockade was used against places of great strength,

especially

if

poorly provided with provisions

and

further

b.g. vii,

^9if 3^'

the location allowed a complete environment.


2.

Assault {^oppugnatio

j-epentina, Fig.

places of smaller importance, with


well supplied with food.

Of

weak

32) was

made one. 111,80

fortifications,

and

course emergencies might lead

to the same method of attack on very strong places.


3. Formal siege was resorted to against positions that
were strongly fortified and well provisioned, so that neither
of the preceding methods was of avail.
I.

b.g. vii

"

Blockade.

The blockade was accomplished by means of the


The besieged place was
circumvallation {circuinvallatio)
191.

surrounded by

fortifications.

These consisted of strong


connected by lines

redoubts {castella) at convenient places,


of wall and ditch {niunitiones , brachia)

.*

Outside of these

b.g.

vn,

c. iii, 43;
69.

camp, or camps, of the blockading army. If b.g. vii,


an attempt at relief from without was to be feared, another 41.'
line of works must be created, outside the first, and facing
lines lay the

"

outwards.

In modern warfare

circumvallation,

this latter line is called the

and the inner one the contravallation.


and applies the former

Caesar does not use the latter term,


as has

been explained.
* See Fig.

42.

'

88

CiESARS ARMY.

a
2
3
e

^V
^
<u

3
Ul

s
6

.S

"I

HI

1^
^ 2
5
^ .S
c s

"1 c

CO

-a

a s
c

OS

"

i;

c >
i2

ft

uT

<u
I

(6

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


192.

to

It is clear that the strength that

the fortifications depends

besiegers

89

and besieged.

upon the

must be given

relative strength of

If the besiegers are weak, their

works must be correspondingly stronger.


193.

The redoubts

(^praesidid)

were held by garrisons g g. vii


These in the daytime merely threw out a hne ^9; c, iii,

{castelld)

of sentries {stationes), which

they were ready to support

At night strong pickets {excubitores) occu-

immediately.

In the redoubts were always ready the

pied the works.

means of making

c. iii, 65.

smoke

by day, and fire by night


Constant watch was kept lest at any
in case of attack.
point a sortie might be made by the enemy.
signal

Assault.

2.

194.

The

principal

Breaching-huts {musciili,

scaling-ladder.

used.

used in assaults was the

article

210) were also

These were low, small houses with sloping

built of strong materials, to resist the

from the

roofs,

and

showers of missiles

These were pushed forward on rollers, and


shelter battering-rams ( 213) were brought to

wall.

under their

bear on the wall.


195.

As soon

as the ladders

were ready, the breaching-

huts ( 210), were built fascines and fagots were prepared

and hurdles were made ready for prothe archers and slingers.*
These troops were then

for filling the ditch,

tecting

pushed forward, thus protected, in order to clear the walls of


Behind the missile troops were formed the
the defenders.
legionaries, usually in several columns.

of the

enemy would be

distracted,

of attack success might follow.

was a body

and

Thus the

At the head of each column

of laborers with ladders and fascines.

as the archers

and

slingers

had cleared the

were cast into the ditch, the ladders were


* Also see

attention

at one of the points

28.

As soon

wall, the facines

set up,

and the

cm,

80.

C^SAR

go
legionaries

mounted

ARMY.

to the

If a

attack.

lodgment was

sought to spread out each way and

effected, the assailants

gain a gate, in order to open

it

time the battering-ram was at

to their

work

comrades.

Mean-

at various points, thit

no resource might be wanting.

3.

R.

p. 142

li?3o; VII,
C. II, I,

196.

mound

The

Regular

principal

{agger, Figs.

2>Z^

Siege.

work of a regular
34, 35).

24;
15-

was the

siege

This was always begun

at a distance

from the

wall,

very

nearly out of reach of missilesIt

was then gradually extended

in the direction of the point to

be attacked, and was

the

at

same time gradually increased


in height until on a level with
Fig. 33.

Horizontal Section of Agger.

the top

of the walls, or even

higher.

When

completed, the storming party

moved on

this

mound was

its

top to the

attack.

197.

The

Before Avaricum

The

mound was often considerable.


was 80 ft., and as much before Massilia.

height of the
it

length of course

missile

weapons.

It

depended oh the power of the enemy's


seems probable that those

assaulting the Gallic towns

The

least distance from the

198.

in

would not have been very long.


enemy at which the construction

could have been begun was from 400 to 500

built

ft.

The width above must have been enough

storming column, very likely of the usual formation.

for a

If

we

take this to be the front of a maniple, the least breadth

would have been 50

ft.

The

we shall see further on. A


on top might have been 60

might be quite steep, ^s


fabric 80 ft. high and 50 ft, wide
ft.

sides

wide on the ground.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


199.

To

the building of the agger,

9
must be remem-

it

bered, everything else in the siege was subordinated.

By way

of preparation for

ground must be

its

construction,

first

of

all

the

This could be
done by workmen protected by vineae ( 211), stout movable sheds. Then the workmen, both those building the agger

'

levelled for the foundation.

and those providing the material, must be guarded from the


missiles of the enemy.
The former were protected by plutei
( 214), large standing shields, which could be advanced
from time

to time.

The

workmen were protected by


drawn up
slingers

parallel

archers, slingers,

were themselves protected by

was placed usually

in

The

the hostile walls.

to

TTT

moving towers.

Also, the

and

of these, also, were

{cohortes

expeditae) ,

to

310

2.

pliitei ; the

These

ii. 30;

'^^'

C^

jj

artillery,

archers and
artillery e.g.

parallels

have had covered approaches of long lines of huts.


shelter

c. 11,

series of vineae b.g.

point of beginning the agger.

reaching to the

p.

others brought the material in cov-

These were composed of a

ered galleries.

R.k.

must

Under

ii, 30;

is^'c^n'

^^

posted bodies of legionaries

cover the

and

operations

resist e.g. vii,

Farther in the rear bivouacked strong bodies of^^'

sorties.

troops, outside the

camp, ready

to support.

e.g. vii,
24.

200.

The

strength of the various protections would of

course depend on the power of the enemy's missiles.


ally the side walls

work.

had

Before Massilia, however,

to be

201.

made

placed on the agger.

needed only
elevation.

as

it

to

all

the covering devices

of logs of considerable thickness.

Sometimes towers

was designed

Usu-

of the vineae were only of a sort of wattled

to

{turres

ambulatoriae)

c. 11, 10.

were

In such cases the top of the agger

be a smooth roadway

be enough

for the

and the height

tower to have sufficient

This probably was a quicker way of approach,

saved building a considerable part of the agger ; but

was not so convenient

for a

column of

attack.

As a

it

rule.

b.g.
^^'

ii, 30,
''^^'

92

CiESAR S ARMY.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

93

however, the tower accompanied the construction of tne


agger, at

from

its

side

approaches

While we have no detailed accounts of the mode

202.

That

we do know the following facts


^
(a)
contained much woodwork
because
^

of building the agger,


1.

enemy

as a battery to clear the

as a redoubt in the line of

Construction of the Agger.

a.

and served

and

the wall,

it

R-

agger was frequently set on

fire

by the enemy, and

(^b)

the
E.G. VII,

be-

cause Trebonius was compelled to build a stone agger, for


the reason, as he expressly states, that there was no

wood

jj'

^^'

more

this

woodwork was not merely wattled branches,

but was mainly logs {^arbores, fnateria).

That

3.

22, 24.

in the region.

That

2.

p- 147

seqq.

-,

it

was not

solid,

which would admit a


sometimes

on

set

a mine beneath

i, 15.

but had holes, larger and smaller,

draft.

fire

C. ll,

This

is

infeiTed because

it

was

G. vii,

24.

from below, the enemy having driven

it.

4. That it approached the wall gradually, and that the


workmen, meanwhile, were protected from missiles. Thus
it must have been erected one story at a time.
b.g. vii,
From these facts and necessary inferences, we may draw ^ *jj
up a scheme of construction which cannot be far from the

truth.

203.

agger,

ah

Figure 34
is

is

a vertical, longitudinal section of the

the city wall against which

entire section of the agger


is

it is

when completed

is

directed.

abcefhnda.

clear that only a portion of this, as cefhnd,

The remainder,

structed with regularity.

The
It

can be con-

abed,

is

so near

enemy that it must be filled up with a rush at the last


moment. We speak first of the part that is constructed
the

regularly.

204.

The

point of beginning must be as near the enem.y

as his missiles allow,

at

some point

in their long range.

CESAR'S ARMY.

r^'~

Fig.

General View of Siege Operations.

ABCD.

Hostile wall, j j. Testudines aggesiittae,Yi:oK.zz*'va% those levelling the


ground, h k. Agger, x x, x x' , &c. Plutei^ protecting those working on the
agger, e g- Line of ///^/, manned with archers and .;llingers. 1 1. Turres,
also manned with archers and slingers
nd provided with tormettta. r o.
Covered way of z/z",?rt;^, giving; approach to archers and slingers. I q. Covered
way of vineae approaching the point of beginning the agger,
g Position of
plntei. coverir.cf the he^inninsc of agger,
n. Covered gallery through the
o-gge^.
F-zc.
Steps and platiorms of the several stories.
n

-T;,

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.


'

First of all a line of breaching-huts

95

moved forward

is

so as

to make a safe gallery through which to convey material.


Then at a distance of perhaps 30 ft. in advance of this point
is

placed a

line

of large shields

x)

(^plutei,

at right angles to

the line of huts, and longer than the width of the agger.

These

must be strong enough

shields

and high enough

missiles

between them and the


the

workmen

set

turn the hostile

to

to protect the space of about

In

huts.

The

material with which

they work consists principally of logs 20 to 30

house fashion, in successive courses, each


the

one below

passage

is

or

form

to

12

a gallery through

and

is

gallery

left

carried the

is

When

ft.,

and serves

the

the struc-

a course of logs

This at the

placed close together across the whole.

same time covers the


second

which

earth.

ture has reached a height of about 7

{op)

is

The spaces between

material for continuing the work.


logs are filled with stones, sods,

piled, cob-

This passage when

wide.

ft.

and

course crossing

In the middle

at right angles.

10

{i?i7t)

covered

it

long,

ft.

These are

from a foot to a foot and a half thick.

ft.

space thus protected

this

about the aggei\

30

as a floor for the

story.

This completes 30
(plutet) are

ft.

of the

now pushed on 30

ft.

first

story.

farther,

The

shields

and the work con-

tinued, material being brought through the line of huts

and

through the covered gallery in the portion of the agger


In

already constructed.

like

on by successive stages of 30

205.

made
first

Meanwhile

so as to

mount

story has

oi plutei {k)

is

at

manner the work

ft.

the point of beginning steps ^are

easily to the

begun and pushed on


ginning of the second
beginning of the

first

pushed

each.

second

advanced perhaps 100


placed on

is

its flat

in like

story

roof,

ft.,

story.

When

the

a transverse row

and a second

story

is

manner as the first. The befar enough forward of the

is

to leave a sufficient space, not merely

Cesar's army.

96

but also for a platform {fg) leading to the


Meanwhile, the outer
entrance {n) of the second gallery.
for the steps,

sides are covered with green hides, as a protection against


fire.

Thus the work goes

206.

on, story

agger has reached the required height.


gallery running throughout

and steps leading

ing,

its

skelter.

When

four stories,

platform, or land-

near the enemy's

part

to that

which can only be made by pouring

wall,

is

length,

to the story above.

We come now

207.

its

by story, until the


Each story has its

in material helter

the agger has reached a height of three or

and has been brought

enemy

as near the

as

workmen, then a great

consistent with the safety of the

quantity of rubbish, wood, bundles of straw, stones, sod, and

and cast
the space between the

the hke, are brought through the various galleries

out through the openings {m), until

agger and the wall


208.

wood was

The

is

quite filled up.

great size of the agger

largely used in

its

enough

is

construction.

on the average only one-third as heavy as


therefore be gathered and transported more
if

80

of earth.
ft.

130

ft.

agger of earth, 50

high, should be 210

wide

would need

An

An

at the

ft.

wide

ft.

It

easily.

wooden agger can be much

that

wood

too,

earth.

is

the side walls of a

show

to

Then,

can

Also,

steeper than

wide on the top and

at the base,

middle point of the height.

and therefore

One

of

wood

to have

an average width of only 55 ft.


agger of earth of the above dimensions and 600

ft.

would require 6,240,000 cu. ft. of earth. The mere


excavation of this mass would take 1000 workmen at least
long,

20 days.
b.

209.

agger,

The

by which

Siege Apparatus.

principal
safe

work of a regular

approach was made

siege

was the

to the hostile wall.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

97

Subsidiary to this were various other means of protection

and

offence.

210.

on

The musculus was a

hut,

the protection of

rollers, for

of the besieged.

which could be moved

workmen from

the missiles

There were two forms.

Fig. 36.

a.

The

first

in levelling

form (Fig.

2i^^

was used by workmen engaged

the ground for the agger, or in

enemy's ditch.

It

was wedge-shaped, and

filling

up the

built of strong

Fig. 37.

timbers covered by heavy planking.

The forward end was

constructed of two triangles put together, so that missiles

would glance

off.

CiESAR

98

ARMY.

b. The second form (Fig. 37) was used by pioneers who


attempted to dig out the foundation stones of the hostile

As

wall.

it

came

strong, to resist the

so near the enemy,

it

had

to

be very

heavy stones thrown down from the bat-

Fig. 38.

Those used in the siege of Massilia were probably


long, 5 ft. high, and 4 ft. broad, built of timbers 2 ft.
Besides, the roof was covered with bricks and clay,

tlements.

cm,

10.

20

ft.

thick.

to guard against

fire,

with hides over

all,

to prevent the clay

being washed off by water.

211.

The

vineae (Fig.

'^'^')

were

huts,

open

at

each

end, designed to form a safe passage-way to the muscu/us,


or to any point where the siege work was going on.

As they

TACTICS OF THE ARMY.

99

brought so near the enemy as was the musailus,

wert- not

the vineae did not

need

be so strong.

to

By

the description

of Vegetius, the vinea was i6


long, 8

ft.

ft.

high,

and

V. IV, IS

ft.

wide, the side walls of strong

by vaulted
work, and the roof by a douposts

connected

ble thickness of planking.

It

be seen that the vinea

will

more

was

roomy than

the

Fig. 40.

being used merely

inusculiis,

Often the roof was covered with green

as a passage-way.

hides, to guard against fire

The

212.

testudo (Fig. 32, ^)

mus cuius, from

the

was a

hut,

much hke

the front of which, however, projected

the battering-ram {aries)

The ram

was suspended from the roof of the

and was worked by a number

hut,

of

men

thus protected.

213.

The

Fig. 32, ^)

battering-ram* ((7n>j-,

was a long, heavy log of

wood, the offensive end of which

was strengthened by a head of metal


(iron or bronze), sometimes in the

shape of a ram's head.


at its

Suspended

middle point from the roof of

the hut {^testudo),

it

was driven with

considerable force against the wall.

The ram has been found

quite effec-

tive in disjointing stones,

although

Fig. 41.
its

compared with that of a cannon shot.


momentum of a ram 28 in. in diameter and 180 ft.

force

is

small

* See

222, at end.

The
longj

lOO

CiESAR

ARMY.
weighing

41,112

and

lbs.

worked by 1000 men,

is

only

equal to a point-blank shot'

from a 36-pounder.
214.

The movable tower

{turris ambulatoria, Fig. 32,


c) Caesar

his

used continually in

sieges.

rollers,

was

on

rested

It

several

stories

high, of truncated pyramidal

shape,

and

constructed

The

heavy timbers.

were connected by
the

side

remote

of

stories

stairs

at

from

the

floor

was

enemy, and each

protected by a high bulwark.

There were openings through


which the archers and
ers could

send their

sling-

missiles.

The tower was constructed


out of range of the enemy,

and then advanced on


preceded

rollers,

by musculi con-

workmen who leveled


road.
The use of the

taining

the

tower was as a battery from'

which the opposing wall could


be swept, thus protecting the

workmen continuing the agger. Also when near enough,


a bridge was

let fall

upon the

wall from one of the upper


V

P(

stories,

and

thus

could rush to the

soldiers

assault.

TACTICS OF THE ARMY,

lOI

The

pluteus (Figs. 39, 40, 41) was a movable


shield, running on three wheels, one at each end and one

215.

in the middle.

It

was usually made of osier work covered

with hides.

lilxTiin..

ab

L-

cd=

t feet.
>,

^ig:. 43.

feet.

1j Ilium.

VI.
3.G. III,

216.

THE SHIPS AND SEA-FIGHTS.


This subject belongs properly to a discussion of

Roman

army, as the actual fighting on shipboard was

82-26,'28,29;

the

^,10, i^.

always done by details fi-om the legions.

A,

etc.

Lowest bank of rowers.

B
C

B,

etc.

Highest bank of rowers.

C, etc.

Intervals between ribs.

Fig. 44.*
Section of Galley with five

Banks of Oars, showing

the position oi the rowers.

The Roman

ships were propelled both by sails


and oars. For the war-ships, however, the latter were the
main reliance. The rowers (slaves) in a ship of any size sat
under the deck, on benches arranged in tiers (Fig. 44) Each

217.

From

Scheffer,

De

Militia Nnvali Veierum, Upsala, ,1654 A.D.

THE SHIPS AND SEA-FIGHTS.


rower was chained to

The working crew


manage
liefs,

the sails

and enough

The

number of

The

gal-

having usually

fighting crew, as above said, con-

legionaries.

war-ship was fitted with a beak

With

of bronze at the prow.

down and

swift,

in re-

The

at a time.*

were very long and

three tiers of oars.

218.

work the oars

slaves to

each usually working four hours

sisted of a

his period of duty.

of a war-ship comprised a few sailors to

leys {naves longae')

bench during

his

IO3

sink a hostile ship.

this it

{rostrii'ni)

was attempted

run

to

There was usually a detach-

and archers on board, and a supply of


Towers were sometimes raised on the deck, so as
artillery.
missiles
down among the enemy. This was espesend
to
cially the case when a low ship was attacking a higher one.

ment of

When
shield

slingers

two ships grappled, the legionaries boarded with

and sword.

The

galleys were

of so light

draft that they could

be

drawn up on the beach. Of course the largest ships of the


Romans would be very small to modern eyes.

219-

The

distinction

quite recent origin.

Even

between military and naval science

is

of

so late as the seventeenth century a.d. the

same men were employed on land or sea

as

might be most convenient.

That staunch old Puritan admiral, Blake, who made the arms of the

commonwealth as much feared on the sea as Cromwell did on land,


was originally an officer of cavalry,
thus being a veritable "horse

marine."
* For a vivid

modern

Wallace's Ben Hur, Bk.

description of slave

111.

life

in

an ancient

galley, see

THE ENEMY.

VII.
A.

220.

DEFENCE OF FORTIFIED TOWNS.


The

sieges that Csesar's armies

more elaborate works

Gauls, as Alesia, and the

fended haunts of Graeco- Roman


B.G.

II, 12.

c. II, 1-15.

conducted were

the walled towns

against two sorts of fortifications,

of the

that

de-

civilization, like Massilia.

The former were comparatively simple, and fell


usually without much difficulty before the resources of
Roman military science. The defences of Massilia, how

221.

had been planned by the same engineering skill that


assailed them, and the town was supplied with every appliever,

ance of resistance known to the military


.

The
B.G.vii,23.

was a grapple of

siege of that city

222.

art

of the day.

giants.

Csesar gives a clear account of the construction

of a Gallic town wall.

Fig. 45.

Logs are

laid

on the ground, two

Horizontal Section of Gallic Wall.

feet apart, their length at right angles to the direction of the

wall (Fig. 42).

The

large

end of each log

is

turned with-

These smaller ends are then


fastened together by cross-timbers some 40 feet long, and
earth is piled on them.
Between the large ends are placed
out, the

small end within.

THE ENEMY.

10$

and a rubble of small stones is poured into the


remaining space between the large stones and the earth at
great stones,

Then

the smaller ends of the logs.


is

laid in like

a second course of logs

manner, only so that each log of

course was placed over the stones

two logs of the

first

course.

the space between

filling

Thus the work

reached the desired height.

was quite

The
bound

stones protected

the timber, firmly

together as

it

was,

it

carried on
Such a wall
from fire, and
is

until the wall has

effective.

second

this

made

quite

it

secure from the battering-ram.


Perhaps
his sieges.

Caesar so seldom mentions the

ram

in detailing R.

p. 146.

Riistow says that Csesar nowhere speaks of that implement.

This statement

On

why

this is

an

is

error, as reference is

made

two places.
^

in

Hxx

^^'

VII, 23.

the walls, towers were often erected at various points.

Vertical Section of Gallic Wall.

Fig:. 46.

223.

In the siege of Massilia

we

learn the varied re-

sources of defence, only a few of which were knov^n to the


Gauls.

In the
that

first

place, the rampart

the besiegers

had

push on

to

shower of stones and darts.


fire

at

to the agger

and

'sumed.

Every

their

effort

made

all

the offensive

so

works under a

At MassiHa this
works were con-

Mines were

run, beginning

within the wall and ending in the siege works.

besieged made sudden

possession of the works and set

Through

sorties, trying to

them on

fire.

b.g. vii,

to set q

of tow soaked in pitch and kin-

dled, were hurled from the wall.

these mines the

artillery,

was made

to the various huts.

one time succeeded, and


Fire-balls,

was lined with

If the

get

ram

h'^ ^.^^^

CiESAR'S ARMY.

I06

was brought to bear on the wall, fenders were let down


from its top by ropes to protect the stonework ; and it was
sought by great hooks to catch the ra^m and draw it from

As the agger and towers increased in height,


the town wall and towers were often carried up to correspond.
If the wall was itself successfully assailed and began to crumble, another wall was rapidly constructed on the inside.
If
all these things failed, however, and at last a clear way was
made for assault, the town usually surrendered.
fastenings.

its

B.

224.

THE GALLIC ARRAY AND ARMS.


The Macedonian phalanx had

a front of about

500 men and a depth of 16. That of the Gauls and Germans was doubtless of similar form, but of varying numbers.
The men stood close together, forming a compact mass.
The shields of the front rank formed a vertical wall, and
those

of the

rest

were held overhead, lapping over one

another hke the shingles on a roof, only in the reverse order.


It will

the

be seen that the phalanx depended

momentum

of

mass.

its

for its success

on

However, only those on

its

outer edges could use their weapons, while the rest were
practically imprisoned in the crowd.

a great advantage

for,

every

battle, nearly

Here the Romans had

from their open and pliable order of

man

sooner or later was in action.

Hence, although they might be greatly inferior in number,


they could bring into use more swords and spears at a given
point than could their enemies.

At the

battle

troops in line

of the

Alma

(fought Sept. 20, 1854),

the

British

were attacked by heavy bodies of Russians in solid

squares, not unlike the

old

phalanx.

It

seemed

that

if

the huge

mass of Russians should ever reach the thin British line (only two
or three men deep), the latter would be shivered like a pipe-stem
But the impact never took place.
to use his

rifle,

Every one of the British was free

while in the square only the few

edges could do any

firing.

The

men on

the outer

result was that the squares were

THE ENEMY.
broken, their

and
p.

momentum

finally retreated.

10/

destroyed, they gradually ceased their advance

(Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea, Vol. Ill,

114 seqq.)

Such a defence

in line against

an opposing mass can only be made

Such
was the case undoubtedly with the British regiments at the Alma.
Such was the case with Caesar's legionaries. And so the open order of
battle of the Romans, bringing every soldier to bear on the enemy, w^as
possible, and was much more economical of force than the crowded
successfully by troops of considerable individual self-reliance.

phalanx of the Gauls.


this connection, that modern improvements
weapons are causing radical changes in tactics. Breechloading and repeating rifles have put an end to all solid formations in
actual battle.
In 1871, at St. Privat, the German army in 30 minutes

should be noticed, in

It

in missile

one-third of

lost

although

at

its

strength under the

fire

of the Chassepot

rifles,

distances from the French infantry ranging from half a

mile to a mile and a quarter.

In 1878 a Russian brigade attempted a

bayonet charge on a Turkish redoubt in the Skuptschina Pass.

The

redoubt was manned by infantry armed with the Arrierican Remington


rifle

and the brigade was annihilated in 15 minutes.

Since these wars,

it is

The skirmish

evident that the old tactics must be revolu-

reliance.
More and
depend on the intelligence of the individual. Of late, too,
successful experiments have been made in the use of dynamite shells.
This destroys the last possibility of mass formations.
tionized.

more

line

becomes the main

will

Thus the experience of the Romans is repeated in our own day.


Modern discoveries and inventions applied to military science demand
a more open order of battle, and tend steadily to replace the brute
force of a

mob by

scientific skill.

It is plain enough from this that Upton's Tactics is already obsolete.


Board is now sitting to devise a new system for the army of the
United States.

225.

The

Gallic sword

was very long, two-edged, and

sheathed in an iron scabbard that was suspended at the right


side

and hence was adapted rather

The

This sword had no point,

by an iron or bronze chain.

for cutting

spear had a blade at least 2

sometimes of an undulated form.


iavelins,

ft.

than thrusting.

long and 6 to 8

As

bows, and slings were used.

missile

in.

wide,

weapons, light

The helmet was of

CiESAR's ARMY.

I08

metal, adorned with the horns of animals, having a crest

representing a bird or savage beast, and surmounted by a

high and bushy plume of feathers.


at least 5

ft.

long,

and very narrow.

The shield was of plank,


The body was guarded

besides by an iron or bronze breastplate, or by a coat of

This

mail.

last

was a GaUic invention.

THE BRITISH CHARIOTS.

C.
B.G. IV,

33.

226.

In Britain, Caesar met a new kind of attack.

The

squadrons of hostile cavalry were intermingled with chariots


{essedae) , two-wheeled cars, each

drawn by two horses and

containing six soldiers {essedarii)


besides the driver {aurigd)

C\

- /")

t\

r\ r\ /'

'""y

custom was to charge

Their

fiercely,

r^fiAUij/Zr^^MUl/// r^ hoping by the rush of their horses


\
iR
\ \
^iT and the clatter of their wheels, as
'=

Ttt

j+

y r

t^

j!f

J'

r^

Fig. 47.

A A. Roman Legions.
B B B. British Cavalry.
a a a. Vast o{ essedarii.
3^3. Post of chariots.
ab, etc. Course of chariots.

the essedarii, to throw their


jnto coufusiou.
,

rctumcd

enemy

Failing this, they


.

to a position

among

the

of cavalry: and there


sQuadrons
^
the

took their post as footmen.


the chariots to the rear,

by the spears hurled by

^^Y\ as

spearmen dismounted and


Meanwhile the drivers took

and there waited.

MAPS
OF THE PRINCIPAL CAMPAIGNS
AND

PLANS
OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BATTLES AND SIEGEJ
OF THE GALLIC WAR.
ADAPTED FROM

NAPOLEON'S LIFE OF CiESARo

12

1 Kilometer

= .G2137 of a mile.
3

Scale of Miles.

Plan

I.

Fortifications on the Hhone.

E.G., Bk.

I.

Chap.

8.

The dotted h'nes indicate wall and trench; the dotted sqziares, redoubts. In the
lower corner at the right is a vertical section oi mzirus ?in6./bssa. From Geneva to Pasde-rEcluse (or Pas-d'EcIuse), 185 (English) miles by the river, is only half that distance
in a straight line

kli

Plan

Kilometer =

.62137

of a mile.

Sattle with the Helvetians. B.G., Bk. I. Chap. 24-26.


1. The new legions and auxiliaries.
3. The Helvetians' baggage, parked.
2. Caesar's camp.
4. Th^Boii and Tulingi.
The heavy lines show the first position of the two armies. The mountain to which
the Helvetians fled lies immediately west of the modern village of Las. Just south of
that village, the light dotted lines show the position of the Helvetians at their second
attack, and, facing them, the second position of the first two lines of the Romans.
The
third line has

11.

wheeled to the

right, to

meet the flank attack of the Boii and Tulingi.

112

Longitttde

East

from

Green-wich

MAP OF THE

CAMPAIGN OF
B.C. 58.

1J

JOemartJ'^

Zeltenbcrg-^

Names are in Eoman Type.


Modem Names are in Italic Type.

"-^.^^Jhl*

Latin

(AttselSte.Xeil^y-

Magetobriga? M

QAuUnJ^

Ibracte^

y^^

^-^
JEi,Vl*^

"^f^

^^^

^'^'^

v.,jP

?Mjabillonuni
^(CTiaion)
.

/ilr

^i^T"

)l
z'

ifr

^^"^

^t-^Vjr'^

!f^-4/

'^ J

J^
/

fl^/P

7^

c^^

'^'
1

^!>

P^^- v/.

J^ S(cii

1 kilometer

.62137

Scale of Miles.

First

camp

d. Caesar's larger

of Ariovistus.

Hill on which the conference

was

held.

Second camp of Ariovistus.


g.

German

e.

f.
line of battle.

13

camp.

Cesar's smaller camp.

Roman

line of battle.

of a mile.

kilometer

.62137

of a mile

3
Scale of Miles.

Plan IV.

Battle on the Aisne {Aaeona).


C. R. Castra

Romana.

B.G., Bk.

II.

Chap. 5-10.

T-

Longitudt E-ast

/rem

Grtem^'icA

1 kilometer

.62137

of a mile.

Scale of Miles.

Plan T. Battle on the Sambre


c. R.

(Sabis).

Castra Romana.

E.G., Bk.

II.

Chap. 19-27.

c. B. Castra Belgica.

115

a.

Agger.

d, etc. Redoubts,
connected by wall and
ditch, thus forming a
b,

line of contravallation.

Scale of Miles.

Plan

"VI.

Siege of A.dtiattica.

116

B.G., Bk.

II.

Chap. 29-33.

Oppidum
Venetorum.
Scale of Miles.

Plan VII.
The

Campaign against

the Veneti.

E.G., Bk. III. Chap. 7-16.

dotted line shows the course of the two fleets from the Loire and the
respectively.

III

Auray

12
'

'

'

'

'

'

15

Scale of Miles.

Plan VIII.
!

Siege of

Avaricum.

E.G., Bk. VII. Chap. 23-28.

^gger, pushed towards the town from the

2. First position of

Roman camp.

Vercingetorix.

3.

Second position of Vercingetorix.

4.

Section of the agger, according to RUstow.

118

Scale of Miles.

Plan IX.
Caesar's large
4.

camp.

Siege of Gergovia.
2.

Gallic fortifications.

The double
5.

E.G., Bk. VII. Chap. 36-53.

trench connecting the camps.

Gallic wall.

119

6.

Detached legion.

3.
7.

The

small camp.

Gallic camp.

Iib.Tir.c.59.sqi

Scale of Miles.

Plan X. March of Labienus against

120

ZiUtetia.

E.G., Bk. VII Chap. 59-62.

Plan XI.

Scale of Miles.

Defeat of Vercingetoriic on the Vingeanne.

X2I

E.G., Bk. "VII. Chap. 66-67.

Plan XII.

Siege of Alesia.

123

E.G., Bk. VII. Chap. 68-89.

Plan XIII.

Campaign against tJie Bellovaci.


C, Rom = Roman camp.
b

= Camp

of the Bellovaci.

= Roman army.
d = Army of the Bellovaci.
C

I2S

E.G., Bk. VIII. Ch. 7-16,

INDEX OF LATIN MILITARY TERMS.


Numbers

refer to Sections.

acie instructa, 80, 82, loi, 135.

auriga, 226.

aciem dirigere,

auxilia,

55.

instruere, 55.

i.

auxiliares, 17.
ballista, 23, 24, 28.

acies, 78.

acies duplex, 63, 64, 65, 95.

balteus, 45 a.

media, 65, 99.

beneficiarii, 178.

prima, 64.

braccae, 43.

quadruplex, 95.

brachia, 191.

secunda, 64.

buccina, 14.

simplex, 65, 67, 68.

buccinator, 14, 183.

tertia, 64.

calcei, 43.

triplex, 63, 64, 65, 94.

calo, 16, 180.

agger, 151, 196, 199, 201 seq.,22Z-

carroballista, 28.

agmen,

cassis,-

72, 78.

agmen extremum,

44

a.

castella, 149, 150, 191, 193.

129.

legionum, 129.

castra aestiva, 145.

novissimum, 129, 137.

hiberna, 188.

ponuntur (muniuntur), 180.

pilatum, 80, 81.

quadratum, 136, 138.

catapulta, 23, 24, 28.

ala, 18, 86, 177.

centuria, 6.

alarii, 17.

centuriatim, 74.

Alauda, 40.

centurion, 8.

antesignani, 37, 90, 137, 138.


apparitores, 33.

cippi, 41.

cervi, Fig. 41.

aquila, 13.

circumvallatio, 191,

aquilifer, 13.

claudunt agmen, 134.

arbores, 202.

cohors, 6.

aries, 212, 213.

cohors in statione ad portam, 182.

arma expediuntur, 134.


arma in contubernio deposita,

cohors praetoria, 32,


180.

cohortatus, loi.

"^Z-

INDEX.

126

impedimenta,

cohortes disponere, 55.

no.

15.

consistere, 55.

impeditos in agmine adoriri, 134,


impetus gladiorum, 1 10.

contvrbernales, 32.

in agmine, 134.

contubernium, 16, 37.

in itinere, 134.

concursus,

cornu, 14.

in loco necessario, 148.

cornu dextrum (sinistrum), 65, 99.

insignia, 134.

crista,

accommodantur, 134.

44 a.

cognoscere, 130^.

cruralia, 43.

iter

cursus, 107.

jumenta, 14.

decuria, 18.

latera praetorii, 167.


latus apertum, 79, 117.

decurio, 18.

emissio pilorum,

no.

exterius, 153.

eques, 18.

interius, 153.

equites in statione, i8l.

laxate manipulos, 61.

esseda, 226.

legatus, 4, 30, 65, 171.

essedarii, 226.

legionis, 4, 30.
legio, 2.

evocati, 34, 35.

armatur, 134.

excubitores, 193.

legiones armatae et instructae, 135.

exercitus, 129.

ex

explicare, 55.

itinera, 123.

ex loco superiore, 147.

invicem ad extremum agmen

[137, 199.

evocabat, 137.

expediti (-tae, etc.), 37> ^33 ^, ^34,

exploratores, 1^0

1>,

181, 184.

lictor, 33.

fabri, 19, 29, 36.

lilium, Fig. 42.

falx, Fig. 32.

lituus, 14.

feminalia, 43.

loci

fossa, 151.

locus iniquus, 106.

directis lateribus, 153.

naturam perspicere, 130

lorica, loricula, 43, 163.

fastigata, 153, 154, 162.

manipulatim, y^.

punica, 153.

manipulus,

6, 13, 58.

funditores, 17.

materia, 202.

furca, 49.

mercator, 15, 170.

galea,

mills levis armaturae, 17.

44 a.

galeae induuntur, 134.

more barbaro,

galeantur, 134.
gladius, 45 a.

muli Mariani, 49.


munitiones, 191.

gradu

musculus, 194, 210, 214.

certo, 107.

militari, 124.

naves longae, 217.

gradus, 125, 133.

obsidio, 190.

hastati, 9, 73, 74, 79.

ocreae,

immunes, 178.

148.

44 d.

/?

INDEX.
omnes

127

onager, 28.

scutum, 17, 44 ^.
signa inferre, 1 10.

opere dimenso, 180.

signifer, 13.

oppugnatio repentina, 19O-

signum,

copiae, 129.

13, loi.

profectionis, 187

optio, 8, 12.

3.

orbis, 67, 70.

speculator, 33, I30<5, 181, 183.

ordinatim, 74.

stationes, 184, 193.

ordo,

stimulus, Fig. 41.

6.

parma,

subcenturion,

17.

8.

sub linea, 152.

passus, 125.
pelles, 16, 189.

sarcinis, 134.

phalanx, 224.

sarcinis adoriri, 134.

superior locus, 106.

pilani, 9, 73, 74, 79.


pilis infestis, 107.

tabernacula constituere, 180.

pilum, 36, 45

tabernaculum, 16, 189.

b,

61, 112.

pilus, 9.

tegimenta scutis detrahuntur, 134.

pinnae, 163.

tentorium, 16.

pluteus, 199, 204, 205, 215.

testudo, 212, 213.

porta decumana, 167, 170.

tituluni, 150, 183.

principalis dextra, 167.

tormentum, 21, 24, 36.


torquere agmen, 55.

principalis sinistra, 167.

tribuni militum, 4, 12^, 171.

praetoria, 167, 169.

praefectus equitum, 18.

tuba, 14.

fabrum, 36.

tubicen, 14.

praesidia, 144, 193.

tunica, 43.

praetentura, 167, 171.

turma, 18, 85, 177.

praetorium, 169, 172, 182, 183.

turmatim, 88.

primipilus, 9, 12, 13.

turres ambulatoriae, 201, 214.

primum agmen,

umbo, 44^.

129.

princeps, 9, 73, 74, 79.


pugio, 45 a.

vallum, 157.

quaestor, 31.

vasa conclamantur, 189

valli, 163.

quaestorium, 170, 172, 182.

vexillum, 13.

retentura, 167, 170.

via praetoria, 169.

3.

rostrum, 218.

principalis, 167, 169,

sagittarii, 17.

quintana, 167, 172.

sagum, 43.

vigiles, 183.

sarcina, 15, 49, 134, 135.

vigiliae, 183.

conferuntur, 134.
in

acervum comportantur,

Scorpio, 25 a.

vineae, 199, 200, 211.


1

34.

vitis, 8.

voluntarii, 35.

71, 172.

t'

mi

BOSTON COLLEGE

3 9031

599^1

U35,J93

Author
Title

01772087

JnrJ.qorij

Harry Ftatt

Caesar ^5 army

UDsojvj

035
'3

93

BOSTON COLLEGE LIBRARY


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