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posed of men in the full vigour of life, divided in like manner into fifteen maniples, all heavily armed (scutati omnes\ and distinguished by the splendour of their equipments (insignibus maxime armis). The two lines of the Hastati and. Principes taken together amounted to thirty maniples and formed the Ante-pilani. The third line, the Triarii, composed of tried veterans (veteranum militem spectatae virtutis), was also in fifteen divisions, but each of these was

Triarii proper

Rorarii .



triple, containing 3 manipuli, 180 privates, 6 cen­turions, and 3 vexillarii. In these triple manipuli the veterans or triarii proper formed the front ranks ; immediately behind them stood the Rorarii, inferior in age and prowess (minus roboris aetate factisque)) while the Accensi or supernumeraries, less trustworthy than either (minimae fiduciae manum\ were posted in the extreme rear. The battle array may be thus represented.

15 Manipuli of Hastati.

15 Manipuli of Principes.

15 triple

Manipuli of


The fight was commenced by the Rorarii^ so called because the light missiles which they sprinkled among the foe were like the drops which are the forerunners of the thunder shower (Festus s. v. Rorarios milites\ who, running forward be­tween the ranks of the antepilani, acted as tirail­leurs ; when they were driven in they returned to their station behind the triarii, and the battle began in earnest by the onset of the hastati; if they were unable to make any impression they re­tired between the ranks of the principes, who now advanced and bore the brunt of the combat, sup­ported by the hastati, who had rallied in their rear. If the principes also failed to make an impression, they retired through the openings between the maniples of the triarii, who up to this time had been crouched on the ground (hence called sztb-sidiarii\ but now arose to make the last effort (whence the phrase rem ad triarios redisse). No longer retaining the open order of the two first lines, they closed up their ranks so as to present an unbroken line of heavy- armed veterans in front, while the rorarii and accensi, pressing up from be­hind, gave weight and consistency to the mass, — an arrangement bearing evidence to a lingering pre­dilection for the principle of the phalanx, and ex­hibiting, just as we might expect at that period, the Roman tactics in their transition state. It must be observed that the words ordo, manipulus, veocillum^ although generally kept distinct, are throughout the chapter used as synonymous ; and in like manner, Polybius, when describing the maniple, remarks (vi. 20), Kal rb ^ pepos e'/ca-(TTov €Kd\s<rav Kal rd'yp.a Kal ffireipav Kal ffti^aiav. Livy concludes by saying, that four legions were commonly levied, each consisting of 5000 infantry and 300 horse. We must suppose that he speaks in round numbers in so far as the infantry are con­cerned, for according to their own calculations the numbers will stand thus: —

Hastati . . . 15 x GO = 900 Principes . . 15 x 60 = 900 Triarii, &c. . . 15 x 3 x 60 =. 2700 Centuriones . . . . =150 Vexillarii . . . . =75


In deference to a great name, we ought not to omit mentioning that Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome, vol. iii. p. 97), while he admits that the text of Livy is sound and consistent with itself, argues, we venture to think, somewhat unreasonably, that he did not understand his excellent materials, and although clear at first, became eventually completely bewildered and wrote nonsense.

Tfdrd Period. Polybius. — Polybius describes minutely the method pursued in raising the four legions, which under ordinary circumstances were levied yearly, two being assigned to each consul. It must be observed that a regular consular army (Justus consularis exercitus) no longer consisted of Roman legions only, but as Italy became gradually subjugated, the various states under the dominion of Rome were bound to furnish a contingent, and the number of allies (sociz) usually exceeded that of citizens. They were, however, kept perfectly distinct, both in the camp and in the battle field.

1. After the election of consuls was concluded, the first step was to choose the twenty-four chief officers of the legions, named tribuni militum, and by the Greek writers xi\tdpxoi. Of these, four­teen were selected from persons who had served five campaigns of one year (annua stipendia, eVrav-<rtovs (TTpareias) and were termed juniores (oi vs&-repoi r&v xi7uap%coj/), the remaining ten (seniores, Trpecrgurepoi), from those who had served for ten campaigns. The manner of their election will be explained below, when we treat more particularly of the legionary officers. (Polyb. vi. 19.)

2. All Roman citizens whose fortune was not rated under 4000 asses were eligible for military service from the age of manhood up to their forty-sixth year, and could be required to serve for twenty years if in the infantry, and for ten years, if in the cavalry. Those whose fortune was below the above sum were reserved for naval service, except in any case of great necessity, when they also might be called upon to serve for the regular period in the infantry.

The consuls having made proclamation of a day upon which all Roman citizens eligible for service must assemble in the Capitol, and these being in attendance at the time appointed in the presence of the consuls, the tribunes were divided into four

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