The Ancient Library

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march by a regular consular army consisting of two ' Roman legions with the full contingent of Socii. Each legion is calculated at 4200 infantry and 300 cavalry, the Socii furnished an equal number of infantry and twice as many cavalry, so that the whole force would amount tol.6}800 foot and 1800 horse.

Choice of the Ground. — Although, as stated above, the general outline, the defences, and the internal economy of a camp were altogether inde­pendent of the nature of the ground, yet great importance was attached to the choice of a fitting situation which should admit of being readily laid out in the required form, which should afford no facilities for attack or annoyance, which should be convenient for procuring wood, water, and forage, and which the army might enter and quit without danger of surprise. Skill in the selection of such a spot (capere locum castris) was ever considered as a high quality in a general, and we find it recorded among the praises of the most renowned com­manders that they were wont in person to perform this duty (e.g. Liv. ix. 17, xxxv, 14, 28 ; Tacit. Hist. ii. 5, Agric. 20 ; comp. Quintil, /. O. xii. 3. § 5). Under ordinary circumstances, however, the task was devolved upon one of th»military tribunes, and a certain number of centurions appointed from time to time for the purpose. These having gone forward in advance of the army until they reached the place near which it was intended to halt, and having taken a general survey of the ground, se­lected a spot from whence a good view of the whole proposed .area might be obtained, that spot being considerably within the limits of the contemplated enclosure.

Construction. — The spot answering these con­ditions and which we shall call A (fig. 1.) was marked by a small white flag. The next object was to ascertain in what direction water and fodder might be most easily and securely provided — this direction we indicate by the arrow in the sub­joined figure. Upon the position of A and the direction of the arrow depended the disposition of all the other parts of the work ; for these two pre­liminary points being decided, the business of mea­suring out the ground (rnetari castra) commenced, and was executed, as we learn from various sources, with graduated rods (decempedae) by persons de­nominated metatores. The different steps of the process may be most briefly and distinctly set down in the ordinary language of a geometrical construction.

Through A draw a straight line A0 A15 parallel to the direction of the arrow, a straight line B0 Bx at right angles to A0 Aj. These two straight lines A0 Aiy and B0 B19 served as the "bases by which the position of all the different divisions of the camp were determined.

Along A A0 set off AA2 = 100 feet; A2 A4 = 50 feet; A4 A5 ; A5 A6 ; A6 A7 ; A7 A8 ; A8 A9 ; A9 A10 each=100 feet; A10 Atl = 50 feet; A1X A1<2 ; A12 A13 ; A13 A14 ; A14 A15 ; A15 A16 each—100 feet; Al 6 A17 = 200 feet.

Along A a! set off A A3 ; A3 Al 8, each= 100 feet; A18 Aj 9= 167 feet; A19 A20=200 feet.

Through A2 ; A3 ; A4 ; A5 ; A, 7 ; Ax 8 ; Aj 9 ; A20 draw C0 Cj ; D^ ; E0 E1 ; F0 Fl ; G^,^ ; UgHi ; kq'kj ; L0LX straight lines parallel to B0 B15 and in like manner draw through A6; A7; . . . . A16 straight lines parallel to B0 B15 as maiked in the figure.


On B0 Bj make A B2 ; A B3 each=100 feet.

Through B<, and B3 draw straight lines parallel to A0A1 cutting CoCj in C2 and C3, and cutting D0 Dj in D2 and D3 ; in this manner a square area C2 C3 D3 D2 is determined, each side of which =200 feet.

Along A5 F0 set off A5 P = 25 feet ; P Q = 100 feet; QR=50feet; R S = 50 feet ; S T = 100 feet ; T V = 100 feet ; V W = 50 feet ; WX = 1331 feet; X Y= 200 feet; Y Z = 200 feet.

Along A5 f! set off A5 P' ; P7 Q7 ; Q' R' . . . .

Y7 Z7, equal respectively to A5 P ; P Q ; Q R ; v 7

.... X Li.

Through Z Z7 draw straight lines parallel to A0 au cutting G0 Gx in z and z', and cutting L0 Lj in 0 and O7. The square area 0 0' z7 z thus determined was the camp.

Again, through P ; Q ; R . . . . Y, and through P7 ; Q; ; R7 . . . . Y7 draw straight lines parallel to A0 A19 cutting the parallels to B0 Bj in the points marked in the figure.

Finally, on H0 Hj lay off Ax 8 H3 and Al 8 IT4 each = 25 feet, and through H3 ; H4 ; draw straight lines parallel to A0 A1? cutting K0 Kj in K3 and K4.

This construction being completed we now pro­ceed to explain the arrangement of the different parts referring to figure 2, in which the lines no longer necessary are obliterated, the spaces occu­pied by the troops or officers enclosed by dark lines, and the streets (viae) distinctly laid down. In practice the most important points were marked by white poles, some of which bore flags of various colours, so that the different battalions on reaching the ground could at once discover the place as­signed to them.

The white flag A, which served as the starting point of the whole construction, marked the position of the consul's tent, or praetorium, so called because praetor was the ancient term for any one invested with supreme command. The square area C2 D3 was left open extending, as we have seen, a hun­dred feet each way from the praetorium. That portion of the camp which lay in the direction of the arrow (jrpbs rfy e/crbs GTrttydveiav') from the line E0 El (fig. 1) was termed the front or fore­part of the camp (rov Travrbs

The number of legions being two and the num­ber of tribunes in each being six, their tents were arranged six and six at equal distances along the line E0 Ex (fig. 1) exactly opposite to and looking towards the legions to which they belonged. Hence, as will be seen from what follows, they did not extend beyond the points E3 and E4, but whether they were distributed at equal distances along the whole of the line E3 E4, or whether the space in front of the praetorium was left vacant, as in our figure, as seems most probable, may admit of doubt. The space of fifty feet included between the pa­rallels C0 g! and E0 E, (fig. 1 ), immediately be­hind the tents of the tribunes, was appropriated to their horses, beasts of burden and baggage.

The ten areas marked 1 were set apart for the cavalry of one legion, and the corresponding ten areas marked 1' for the cavalry of the other legion. These all faced towards the street P P7, and°ach area, containing a space of 10,000 square feet, was allotted to one turma or troop of 30 dragoons, v/ith their horses and baggage.

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