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The Romans

by Mandy Barrow

 Celts Romans Saxons Vikings Normans Tudors Victorians WW ll 500 BC AD 43 450 793 1066 1485 1837 1939

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The Roman Army (Legion) continued ...

Contubernium (8 men) > Centuria (80 men) > Cohort (480 men) > Legio (5,000 men)

Legio (Legion) - (10 Cohorts = 5,000 men)

Until the middle of the first century, 10 cohorts (about 5,000 men) made up a Roman Legion. This was later changed to nine cohorts of standard size (with 6 centuries at 80 men each) and one cohort, the first cohort, of double strength (5 double-strength centuries with 160 men each).

Each legion had 59 centurions, one to command each centuria of the 10 cohorts.

The commanding officer of a Roman legion was called a legate, or Legatus Legionis.

Contubernium (8 men) > Centuria (80 men) > Cohort (480 men) > Legio (5,000 men)

 The Cavalry Each Legion also had a 120 man Alae (cavalry unit) called the Eques Legionis permanently attached to it possibly to be used as scouts and messengers.

Contubernium (8 men) > Centuria (80 men) > Cohort (480 men) > Legio (5,000 men)

So how many men in a Roman legion?

The Roman legion was divided into 10 cohorts:

The First Cohort had more soldiers than the other cohorts. The first cohort was made up of 800 men (5 centuries with 160 men each). The other 9 Cohorts had a total of 4,320 soldiers (6 centuries of 80 men each).

 Cohort 1 Cohort 2 Cohort 3 Cohort 4 Cohort 5 Cohort 6 Cohort 7 Cohort 8 Cohort 9 Cohort 10 800 men 480 men 480 men 480 men 480 men 480 men 480 men 480 men 480 men 480 men Cavarly 120

A grand total of 5,240 men not including all the officers.

 Interesting Fact During the first three centuries of the empire the army contained between 25 and 34 legions. Can you work out how many soldiers there were?

Standards (signa)

Each century, cohort and legion had its own standard (flags and symbols on a long pole).
Find out more here

 Roman Soldiers Roman Army Roman Officers Equipment Soldier's weapon Armour Artillery Standard Bearers Formations Roman Auxiliary Army Training Roman Shields

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