List of Roman army unit types

This is a list of Roman army units and bureaucrats.

  • Accensus – Light infantry men in the armies of the early Roman Republic, made up of the poorest men of the army.
  • Actuarius – A military who served food.
  • Adiutor – A camp or headquarters adjutant or assistant.
  • Aeneator – Military musician such as a bugler.
  • Agrimensor – A surveyor (a type of immunes).
  • Antesignano – Supposedly a light infantry unit of legionaries who were used for protection of marching columns and to provide security to legions.
  • Aquilifer – Bearer of the legionary eagle.
  • Alaris – A cavalryman serving in an ala.
  • Architecti – An engineer or artillery constructor.
  • Armicustos – A soldier tasked with the administration and supply of weapons and equipment. A quartermaster.
  • Ballistarius – An artillery operator (a type of immunes).
  • Beneficiarius – A soldier performing an extraordinary task such as military policing or a special assignment.
  • Bucinator – A trumpeter or bugler.
  • Cacula – Servant or slave of a soldier.
  • Capsarior – A medical orderly.
  • Causarius – A soldier discharged for wounds or other medical reasons.
  • Celeres - A royal guard created by Romulus to guard the King of Rome.
  • Centurion – Officer rank, generally one per 80 soldiers, in charge of a centuria.
  • Clinicus – A medic.
  • Cornicen – A bugler.
  • Doctor – A trainer, subdivisions for everything from weapons to horn blowing.
  • Draconarius – Bearer of a cavalry standard.
  • Decurion – Leader of a troop of cavalry (14-30 men). Often confused with decanus.
  • Decanus – Leader of a contubernium (a legionary tent group of 8 men).
  • DiscensMiles in training for an immunis position.
  • Duplarius - – A soldier issued double pay, such as an Optio or a minor cavalry officer as part of a Turma
  • Dux – A general in charge of two or more legions. In the Third Century AD, an officer with a regional command transcending provincial boundaries, responsible directly to the emperor alone, usually appointed on a temporary basis in a grave emergency. In the fourth century AD, an officer in charge of a section of the frontier answering to the Magister Militum.
  • Duumviri navales – Two men elected to equip and repair the Roman navy.
  • Equites singulares Augusti – Elite cavalry unit tasked to guard the Roman Emperors. Usually commanded by a tribunus of praetorian rank.
  • Evocatus – A soldier who had served out his time and obtained his discharge (missio), but had voluntarily enlisted again at the invitation of the consul or other commander.
  • Evocatus AugustiPraetorian Guard who had served out his time and obtained his discharge (missio), but had voluntarily enlisted again.
  • Frumentarii – Officials of the Roman Empire during the 2nd and 3rd era. Often used as a Secret Service, mostly operating in uniform.
  • Hastatus – The youngest of the heavy infantry in the pre-Marian armies, who were less well-equipped than the older Principes and Triarii. These formed the first line of battle in front of the Principes.
  • Hastatus Prior – A centurion commanding a manipulus or centuria of hastati. A high-ranking officer within a manipulus or centuria.
  • Hastatus Posterior – A deputy to the hastatus prior
  • Hastiliarius – A weapons instructor.
  • Imaginifer – A standard-bearer carrying the imago – the standard which bore a likeness of the emperor, and, at later dates, his family.
  • Immunes – Soldiers who were "immune" from combat duty and fatigues through having a more specialist role within the army.
  • Katepano – A Byzantine military rank or military official.
  • Legatus legionis – A legion commander of senatorial rank; literally the "deputy" of the emperor, who was the titular commander-in-chief.
  • Legatus pro praetore – Provincial governor of senatorial rank with multiple legions under his command.
  • Legionary – The heavy infantry that was the basic military force of the ancient Roman army in the period of the late Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire.
  • Magister militum - High ranked commander in the late Roman Empire. Equivalent of a general.
  • Medicus – Physician or combat medic. Specializations included surgery (medicus vulnerarius), ophthalmology (medicus ocularius), and also veterinary (medicus veterinarius). At least some held rank equivalent to a centurion.
  • Megas douxCommander-in-chief of the Byzantine navy.
  • Miles or Miles Gregarius – The basic private level foot soldier.
  • Numerus – A unit of barbarian allies not integrated into the regular army structure. Later, a unit of border forces.
  • Optio – One per century as second-in-command to the centurion. Could also fill several other specialized roles on an ad hoc basis.
  • Pedites – The infantry of the early army of the Roman kingdom. The majority of the army in this period.
  • Peditatus – A term referring to any infantryman in the Roman Empire.
  • Pilus Prior – Senior centurion of a cohort.
  • Pilus Posterior – Deputy to the pilus prior.
  • Praefectus Castrorum – Camp prefect, third-in-command of the legion, also responsible for maintaining the camp, equipment, and supplies. Usually a former primus pilus.
  • Praefectus Cohortis - Commander of a cohort.
  • Praefectus legionis agens vice legati – Equestrian officer given the command of a legion in the absence of a senatorial legatus. After the removal of senators from military command, the title of a legionary commander. ("...agens vice legati, dropped in later Third Century")
  • Praetorians – A special force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors.
  • Primus Ordinis – The commanding officer of each centuria in the first cohort with the exception of the first centuria of the cohort.
  • Primus Pilus (literally 'first file' ) – The centurion commanding the first cohort and the senior centurion of the entire Legion.
  • Princeps – Pre-Marian soldier, initially equipped with the Hasta spear, but later with the pilum, these men formed the second line of battle behind the Hastati in the pre-Marian armies. They were also chieftains in Briton like Dumnorix of the Regneses (he was killed by Gaius Salvius Liberalis' soldiers).
  • Princeps Prior – A centurion commanding a century of principes.
  • Princeps Posterior – A deputy to the princeps prior.
  • Principales – A group of ranks, including aquilifer, signifer, optio, and tesserarius. Similar to modern NCOs (Non-commissioned officers).
  • Protectores Augusti Nostri (a.k.a. Protectores Divini Lateris) – Honorific title for senior officers singled out for their loyalty to the Emperor and soldierly qualities. The protectores were an order of honor rather than a military unit. The order first appeared in the mid-200s AD.
  • Quaestionarius – An interrogator or torturer.
  • Retentus – A soldier kept in service after serving required term.
  • Rorarii – The final line, or reserve, in the ancient pre-Marius Roman army. These were removed even before the Marian reforms, as the Triarii provided a very sturdy anchor.
  • Sagittarii – Archers, including horse-riding auxiliary archers recruited mainly in North Africa, Balkans, and later the Eastern Empire.
  • Salararius – A soldier enjoying special service conditions or hired as a mercenary.
  • Scholae Palatinae – An elite troop of soldiers created by the Emperor Constantine the Great to provide personal protection of the Emperor and his immediate family.
  • Scorpionarius – An artilleryman operating a scorpio artillery piece.
  • Sesquiplicarii – A soldier issued one-and-a-half times pay, such as a Tesserarius or a minor cavalry officer as part of a Turma
  • Signifer – Standard bearer of the Roman Legion.
  • Simplares - A soldier paid standard pay; a regular legionaire or somebody paid the equivalent
  • Socii – Troops from allied states in the pre-Marian army before the Social War (91–88 BC)
  • Speculatores and Exploratores – The scouts and reconnaissance element of the Roman army.
  • Supernumerarii – Supernumerary soldiers who served to fill the places of those who were killed or disabled by their wounds. Also used for the cavalry contingent of a legion during the Principate, who despite being included on the cohort lists, camped separate to the infantry.
  • Strategos - General and military governor of a theme in the Byzantine Empire.
  • Stratelates – A Greek translation for the rank of magister militum that was used in the late Roman and Byzantine armies.
  • Stratopedarches – A term originally used to refer to a Roman camp prefect, it was later used for a Roman or Byzantine general or a Byzantine commander-in-chief.
  • Tablifer – A standard-bearer for the guard cavalry.
  • Tesserarius – Guard commander, one per centuria.
  • Tirones – A basic trainee.
  • Torquati - A soldier issued with a golden collar in reward for bravery or valor. Depending on circumstances, they may also be rewarded with double pay, making them Torquato Duplares [1]
  • Triarii – Spearmen of the pre-Marian armies, equipped with the Hasta, who formed the third line of battle behind the Principes.
  • Tribuni angusticlavii – Military tribune of equestrian rank, five of whom were assigned to each legion.
  • Tribunus militum - Officer in the Roman army who ranked below the legate but above the centurion.
  • Tribunus militum laticlavius – Military tribune of senatorial rank. Second in command of a legion. Appointments to this rank seem to have ceased during the sole reign of Gallienus as part of a policy of excluding senators from military commands.
  • Tubicen – A trumpeter.
  • Urbanae – A special police force of Rome, created to counterbalance the Praetorians.
  • Velites – A class of light infantry in the army of the Roman Republic.
  • Venator – A hunter (a type of immunes).
  • Vexillarius – Bearer of a vexillum (standard).

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