Header image

Primary Homework Help
The Romans

by Mandy Barrow
WW ll
Roamn Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
500 BC
AD 43
This site uses cookies. See our Cookie Policy for information

The Roman Army (Legion) continued ...


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

RomanLegio (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).

cohort cohort
cohort cohort
cohort cohort

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)

Eques Legionis


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)

RomanSo 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



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
back to the top
email© Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the author Mandy Barrow.

©Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

Follow me on Twitter @mbarrow

Woodlands Junior School, Hunt Road Tonbridge Kent TN10 4BB UK