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CASTRA.

CASSIS. [galea ; rete.] CASTELLUM AQUAE. [aquaeductus.] CASTRA. It is well known that Roman armies never halted for a single night without forming a regular entrenchment, termed castra, capable of receiving within its limits the whole "body of fighting men, their beasts of burden, and the baggage. So essential was this operation con­sidered, that even when preparing for an immediate engagement, or when actually assailed by a hostile force, it was never omitted, but a portion of the soldiers were employed in constructing the neces­sary works, while the remainder were standing to their arms or resisting the enemy: and so com­pletely was it recognised as a part of the ordinary duties of each march, that pervenire ad locum ter-tiis . . . quartis ... septuagesimis castris are the established phrases for expressing the number of days occupied in passing from one point to another. Whenever circumstances rendered it expedient for a force to occupy the same ground for any length of time, then the encampment was distinguished as castra stativa. (Liv. xxvii. 12 ; Caes, E.G. viii. 15, B. C. i. 42 ; Hirt. B. Af. 51, B. Al 74.)

When the protracted and distant wars in which the republic became engaged, as its sway was gradually extended first over the whole of Italy, and subsequently over Greece, Asia, and Africa, rendered it impossible for the legions to return home in winter, they usually retired during the months when active military operations were sus­pended, into some city where they could be pro­tected from the inclemency of the season, and where the comforts of the men could be readily secured ; or they were dispersed up and down in detachments among friendly villages (in hiberna c-oncedere; exercitum in Idberna dimittere; eocer-citmn per civitates in liiberna dividere). It is true that extraordinary emergencies, such as a protracted blockade, or the necessity of maintaining a constant watch upon the movements of a neighbouring and vigorous foe, might compel a commander to keep the field for a whole year or even longer, but to order an army, except in case of necessity, to winter under canvass (jfiiemare sub pellibus; hiemem sub tentoriis escigere} was long regarded as a severe punishment, inflicted only in consequence of grievous misconduct. (Frontin. Strat* iv. 1. § 24.) As the boundaries of the empire were gradually pushed forward into wild and barbarian lands, where there were no large towns and no tribes on whose faith reliance could be placed, such arrangements became impracticable, and armies, whether of invasion or occupation, were forced to remain constantly in camps. They usually, however, occupied different ground in summer and in winter, whence arose the distinction between castra aestiva and castra hi­berna, both alike being stativa. Such posts were frequently, if situated advantageously, garrisoned permanently ; and the peaceful natives who sought to enrich themselves by trading with their con­querors, settled for security in the immediate.vi­cinity. (Caes. B. G. vi. 37.) Thus in the distant provinces, these forts formed a, centre round which a numerous population gradually clustered ; and many important towns, still existing in our own country, indicate their origin by the termination cJtester.

But whether a camp was temporary or perma­nent, whether tenanted in summer or in winter, the main features of the work were always the

CASTRA.

same for the same epoch. In hiberna, huts of turf or stone would be substituted for the open tents of the aestiva (hence aedificare 7iiberna\ and in stativa held for long periods the defences would present a more substantial and finished aspect, but the general outline and disposition of the parts were invariable : a camp was laid down, arranged and fortified according to a fixed and well-known plan, modified only by the numbers for whom it was required to provide accommodation, but alto­gether independent of the nature of the ground or of the fancy of the general, so that each battalion, each company, and each individual, had a place assigned to which they could at once repair without order, question, delay, or confusion.

At what period the practice of throwing up elaborate field-works for the protection of an army engaged in active service was first commenced by the Romans, it is impossible to determine ; but we may safely conclude that, like all other parts of' their military tactics, it was matured by a slow and gradual process. Livy and Dionysius, indeed, would lead us to suppose that regular camps existed from the most remote epoch to which their annals extend ; but the language of these historians is in general so loose upon all matters of antiquarian re­search, and they are so much in the habit of trans­ferring to the earliest ages the usages of their own contemporaries, that no safe inference regarding points of this nature can be drawn from their words. Frontinus, on the other hand, declares that the idea of a fortified enclosure, calculated to contain a whole army, was first suggested to the Romans by the camp of Pyrrhus, which they captured near Beneventum ; but the statements of this author have never been deemed to possess much weight, and in this particular instance many considerations preclude us from admitting his testimony as credible. It is evident, however, from the facts detailed in the ^ article exercitus that a camp, such as the earliest of those of which we possess any detailed account, could not have assumed that shape until the tactics of the phalanx were superseded by the manipular divisions ; and it may be held as certain that each of the great wars in which the Common­wealth was successively engaged for more than a century—with the Samnites, with Pyrrhus, with the Cisalpine Gauls, and with the Carthaginians, must have led to a series of improvements. The system was probably brought to perfection in the cam­paigns against Hannibal, and underwent no ma­terial alteration until the organic changes in the constitution of the army, which took place not long before the downfal of the constitution, durino- the civil broils, and under the earlier emperors, rendered a corresponding change in the internal economy of the camp unavoidable. Hence, although it would be at once vain and unprofitable to attempt an in­vestigation of the various changes through which a Roman camp passed before it assumed what may be called its normal shape, it is evidently absolutely necessary for all who desire to obtain even a slio-ht knowledge of the Roman art of war, to make them­selves acquainted with this important feature in their system during the best days of the republic and the empire. And fortunately the records of antiquity enable us to supply such information with considerable minuteness. Polybius, the friend and companion of the younger Scipio, has transmitted to us a description of a Roman camp, such as he must have often seen with his own eyes, and a cer-

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