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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
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The Roman Army (Legion)


The Roman army was made up of groups of soldiers called legions. There were over 5,000 soldiers in a legion. Each legion had its own number, name, badge and fortress. There were about 30 legions around the Roman Empire, three of which were based in Britain at Caerleon, Chester and York.

Tombstones at Chester indicate that some men joined the legions young; two men had been only fourteen when they had joined up.

A legion had commanders, officers and ordinary soldiers. There were also doctors, engineers and other workers

The different sections of a Legion

The Roman army was divided into legions of about 5,000 men.

Contubernium: consisted of 8 men.

Centuria: (century) was made up of 10 contubernium with a total of 80 men commanded by a centurion.

Cohorts: (cohort) included 6 centurie, a total of 480 men.

Legio: (Legion) consisted of 10 cohorts, about 5,000 men.

Eques Legionis: Each legio had a cavarly unit of 120 attached to them.

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

RomanContubernium (section) - 8 men

The smallest unit of the Roman legion was the contubernium (tent group) of eight men. They marched, fought, worked and camped together.

ight men
The 'section' (eight men) - the basic unit of the legion

In barracks, these eight men shared two rooms. On a march they shared a leather tent and a mule to carry it.

a leather tent
A leather tent for a Contubernium

On a march the Romans lived in tents

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


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