Roman Army Ranks

Gladiator at the Colosseum

Roman Army Ranks

  • History, Facts and information about Roman Army Ranks
  • The army of Ancient Rome and their ranks
  • The military life of the Romans
  • Roman Army - The Legio or Legion
  • Roman Army Ranks
  • Ancient history, facts and interesting information about the Roman Army Ranks
 

Roman Army Ranks


History, Facts and Information about Roman Army Ranks

The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about Roman Army Ranks. The Roman Army was one of the greatest armies that the world has ever seen and it consisted of troops of all arms, infantry, cavalry, and, when military engines were extensively employed they were also experts in artillery.

Roman Army
Roman Legion

Roman Cohorts
Roman Siege Weapons

Roman Army Ranks - Hierarchy
The basic hierarchy of the Roman Army ranks was as follows:

  • The General / Dux / Imperator / Commander
  • The Lieutenants or Legates (legati) who frequently commanded separate legions
  • The Quaestor who was charged with the care of the military chest and the supplies
  • The Body-guards (cohors praetoria) of the senior officers
  • The military Tribunes (tribuni militum)
  • The Captains, or Centurions
  • Immunes - Soldiers with special skills
  • Standard bearers
  • Evocati - Veteran soldiers
  • Beneficiarii - the orderlies
  • Conicen - The musicians
  • Munifex - The Roman Soldiers - the lowest ranks equivalent to privates

Roman Army Ranks
The following table provides a list and definition of the Roman Army Ranks found in a legion. The number of soldiers in a legion was not absolutely fixed. The numbers of soldiers in a the legion at first contained 3000 soldiers, increasing to 4000 or 4200 infantry during the Punic Wars and eventually the numbers varied from 5000 to 6200, generally approaching to the higher limit. Amid all the variations with regard to the infantry, 300 horsemen formed the regular complement of the legion. The following table provides a list and definition of the Roman Army Ranks found in a legion: 
 

Roman Army Ranks

AdscripticiusAdscripticius - an additional soldier of the Roman Republic who served to fill the places of those who were killed or disabled
Aquilifer Aquilifer carried the legionary eagle.
ArmicustosArmicustos was a quartermaster - tasked with the administration and supply of weapons
AuxiliariesAuxiliaries (from Latin: auxilia meaning "supports") formed the standing non-citizen corps
Ballistarius Ballistarius was an artillery operator.
Beneficiarii Beneficiarii - orderlies who performed various services for the higher army officers
CataphractariiCataphractarii were heavily armed and armoured cavalrymen deployed in the 2nd Century AD
Centurion

A Centurion was an important role in the Roman Army Ranks. A centurion had 100 men in his command

Centuriones exercitatores

Centuriones exercitatores were the training officers for the cavalry

Cohortes equitatesCohortes equitates were the mixed cohorts of cavalry and infantry
Conicen (cornicines)

 

A Conicen was the horn-blower in the Roman Army ranks. There was one to every century. 

Cornicularius

Cornicularius An administrative officer within a legion

DecanusDecanus was the first rank that a legionary could be promoted to. Similar to a modern-day Sergeant
Discentes signiferorum

Discentes signiferorum A trainee standard bearer

Draconarius Draconarius was a Roman cavalry standard bearer
Duplicarius

Duplicarius was an officer of the Roman legions receiving double the basic pay.

EquitesEquites - Roman citizen horse troops drawn from the Roman equestrian class.
EvocatiEvocati were soldiers who had served their full time but had re-enlisted at the general's request - veteran volunteers
 
Extraordinarii

Extraordinarii Soldiers set aside for special backup services. This force usually contained 20% of the infantry and 33% of the cavalry

Hastiliarius Hastiliarius was a weapons instructor
 
Hastati Hastati (raw troops). The soldiers of the first line consisted of youths and were armed with the hasta, or spear
ImaginiferImaginifer: Carried the Standard bearing the three dimensional image of the Emperor
Immunes

Immunes were soldiers who had special skills and who were "immune" from combat duty and fatigues through having a more specialist role within the army

Lancearii Lancearii - Spear armed mail clad field troopers
Legate (Legatus or Legatus legionis)

Legatus or Legatus legionis A legatus (often anglicized as legate) was a general in the Roman army,

LibritorsLibritors were artillerymen who operated siege engines such as the onager
Miles or Miles GregariusMiles or Miles Gregarius - The basic private level foot soldier
MunifexMunifex The lowest rank in a legion. Equivalent to a private
OptioOptio A legion centurion's second in command
Peditatus Peditatus - a term referring to any infantryman
Pilus priorPilus prior A high ranking officer within a manipuli who also commanded the cohorts
PraetorPraetor was the commander of an army
Prefectus Prefectus A general term used for the holders of different ranks in the military
Prefectus castrorumPrefectus castrorum The third in command in a legion
Prefectus equitatiusPrefectus equitatius An officer commanding a unit of cavalry
Prefectus fabrorumPrefectus fabrorum An officer who had responsibility for the craftsmen supplying services to the military. Blacksmiths, metal workers etc
Primus PilusPrimus Pilus: Legion Commander
Principes Principes (trained troops) composed of experienced men
Quaestionarius Quaestionarius - an interrogator or torturer.
Sagittarii Sagittarii - archers, including horse-riding auxiliary archers recruited mainly in the Eastern Empire and Africa
Scorpionarius Scorpionarius was an artilleryman operating a scorpion artillery weapon
SignifierThe Signifier carried the Century's standard (signum) into battle and was also the treasurer for the Century. Senior Officer in a Century
Socii Socii - Conscripts
Triarii Triarii (veterans) Experienced soldiers were armed with the pilum, four and a half feet long, of wood, with a barbed head of iron, so that the whole length of the weapon was six feet nine inches.
Tribune (Tribunus)Tribune (Latin:Tribunus) One of six assistants to a legion commander, the Primus Pilus. Usually a young senator learning the basics for his career
Tribunus CohortisTribunus Cohortis: Commander of a Cohort military unit.
Tribunus Cohortis UrbanaeTribunus Cohortis Urbanae: Urban cohort commander.
TubicinesThe trumpeters
Velites Velites The light soldiers. Unlike the Hastaii, they did not have full armour, although they did have a helmet and a shield. They were also armed with a sword, but had a only a short javelin as opposed to a pilum.
Venator Venator - a hunter (a type of immunes)
Vexillarius The bearer of the vexillum standard

Roman Army Ranks

Roman Army Ranks
The content of this Roman Army Ranks category provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework. Refer to the Colosseum Sitemap for a comprehensive search on interesting different categories containing the history, facts and information about Ancient Rome.

Roman Army Ranks

 
Roman Army Ranks

  • History, Facts and information about Roman Army Ranks
  • The army of Ancient Rome and their ranks
  • The military life of the Romans
  • Roman Army - The Legio or Legion
  • Roman Army Ranks
  • Ancient history, facts and interesting information about the Roman Army Ranks

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