The Primus pilus or Primipilus was the senior centurion of a Roman legion. The literal translation of "primus pilus" is "first spear." According to the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the word "pilus" when used in this sense would relate to the Latin word "pilum," or "spear" in English. In the late Roman republic, the cohort became the basic tactical unit of the legions; the cohort was composed of five to eight centuries, each led by a centurion assisted by an optio, a soldier who could read and write. The senior centurion of the legion and commander of the first cohort was called the primus pilus, a career soldier and advisor to the legate. While every normal cohort was composed of five to eight centuries, the one, led by the primus pilus had about ten centuries, or 800 men, it had a number of other staff, such as cooks, etc.. In modern infantry ranks, primus pilus would be considered a Lt. Colonel in relation to battalion-size units, though there is no direct corresponding equivalent. Only eight officers in a officered legion outranked the primus pilus: The legate, commanding the legion.
Frumentarii were officials of the Roman Empire collectors of wheat, who acted as the secret service of the Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. There are two main sources of information about the frumentarii, inscriptions on gravestones and anecdotes where the actions of individual frumentarii are mentioned by historians. From what is known of the Frumentarii, they always worked in uniform; the Empire was based on patronage, not on ideology. From inscriptions. Attachment to individual legions suggests that their main function was, as the name suggests, to service those legions with supplies. Frumentarii appear to have spent a lot of time travelling and had a base in Rome at the Castra Peregrina. Frumentarii were proud of their status if they put the rank on their gravestones. There are a number of inscriptions honouring the genie of the Castra Peregrina, this suggests that the frumentarii had high moral and social status, it had been long-standing policy of the Roman legions and armies of occupation to utilize informers and spies, but never in an organized fashion.
This was true in the city of Rome, rife with whispers and endless conspiracies. There are two inscriptions of "frumentario canaliculario" found at Arles and Córdoba which suggest that some frumentarii had special knowledge of inland navigation. For all armies, the most important unit of military intelligence was an enemy's geographical location; this included mapped land and communication routes, enemy legion sizes and strategic objectives such as granaries or farms. The Antonine Itinerary might be the product of the frumentarii. Titus used special messengers and assassins of the Praetorian Guard to carry out executions and liquidations. By the 2nd century, the need for an empire-wide intelligence service was clear, but an emperor could not create a new bureau with the express purpose of spying on the citizens of Rome's far-flung domains. A suitable compromise was found by Hadrian, he turned to the frumentarii. The frumentarius was the collector of wheat in a province, a position that brought the official into contact with enough locals and natives to acquire considerable intelligence about any given territory.
Hadrian put them to use as his spies, thus had a ready-made service and a large body to act as a courier system. The following story has been used as evidence of the role of the frumentarii: vigilance was not confined to his own household but extended to those of his friends, by means of his private agents he pried into all their secrets, so skilfully that they were never aware that the Emperor was acquainted with their private lives until he revealed it himself. In this connection, the insertion of an incident will not be unwelcome, showing that he found out much about his friends; the wife of a certain man wrote to her husband, complaining that he was so preoccupied by pleasures and baths that he would not return home to her, Hadrian found this out through his private agents. And so, when the husband asked for a furlough, Hadrian reproached him with his fondness for his baths and his pleasures. Whereupon the man exclaimed: "What, did my wife write you just what she wrote to me?". Keppie, The Making of the Roman Army from Republic to Empire and Noble Books, New York, 1994, ISBN 1-56619-359-1
The imaginifer was one of the signiferi in a legion in the times of the Roman Empire, who carried the imago—the image—of the emperor. The imaginifer was added to the ranks of the legions when the Imperial Cult was first established during the reign of Augustus; the image was a three-dimensional portrait made from beaten metal. It was carried only in the leading cohort. Aquilifer Signifer Vexillarius Draconarius
Gallienus known as Gallien, was Roman Emperor with his father Valerian from 22 October 253 to spring 260 and alone from spring 260 to September 268. He ruled during the Crisis of the Third Century. While he won a number of military victories, he was unable to prevent the secession of important provinces, his 15-year reign was the longest since the 19-year rule of Caracalla. Born into a wealthy and traditional senatorial family, Gallienus was the son of Valerian and Mariniana. Valerian became Emperor on 22 October 253 and had the Roman senate elevate Gallienus to the ranks of Caesar and Augustus. Valerian divided the empire between him and his son, with Valerian ruling the east and his son the west. Gallienus defeated the usurper Ingenuus in 258 and destroyed an Alemanni army at Mediolanum in 259; the defeat and capture of Valerian at Edessa in 260 by the Sasanian Empire threw the Roman Empire into the chaos of civil war. Control of the whole empire passed to Gallienus, he defeated the eastern usurpers Macrianus Major Mussius Aemilianus in 261–262 but failed to stop the formation of the breakaway Gallic Empire under general Postumus.
Aureolus, another usurper, proclaimed himself emperor in Mediolanum in 268 but was defeated outside the city by Gallienus and besieged inside. While the siege was ongoing, Gallienus was stabbed to death by the officer Cecropius as part of a conspiracy; the exact birth date of Gallienus is unknown. The 6th-century Greek chronicler John Malalas and the Epitome de Caesaribus report that he was about 50 years old at the time of his death, meaning he was born around 218, he was the son of emperor Valerian and Mariniana, who may have been of senatorial rank the daughter of Egnatius Victor Marinianus, his brother was Valerianus Minor. Inscriptions on coins connect him with Falerii in Etruria. Gallienus married Cornelia Salonina about ten years before his accession to the throne, she was the mother of three princes: Valerian II, who died in 258. When Valerian was proclaimed Emperor on 22 October 253, he asked the Senate to ratify the elevation of Gallienus to Caesar and Augustus, he was designated Consul Ordinarius for 254.
As Marcus Aurelius and his adopted brother Lucius Verus had done a century earlier and his father divided the Empire. Valerian left for the East to stem the Persian threat, Gallienus remained in Italy to repel the Germanic tribes on the Rhine and Danube. Division of the empire had become necessary due to its sheer size and the numerous threats it faced, it facilitated negotiations with enemies who demanded to communicate directly with the emperor. Gallienus spent most of his time in the provinces of the Rhine area, though he certainly visited the Danube area and Illyricum in the years from 253 to 258. According to Eutropius and Aurelius Victor, he was energetic and successful in preventing invaders from attacking the German provinces and Gaul, despite the weakness caused by Valerian's march on Italy against Aemilianus in 253. According to numismatic evidence, he seems to have won many victories there, a victory in Roman Dacia might be dated to that period; the hostile Latin tradition attributes success to him at this time.
In 255 or 257, Gallienus was made Consul again, suggesting that he visited Rome on those occasions, although no record survives. During his Danube sojourn, he proclaimed his elder son Valerian II Caesar and thus official heir to himself and Valerian I. Sometime between 258 and 260, while Valerian was distracted with the ongoing invasion of Shapur I in the East, Gallienus was preoccupied with his problems in the West, governor of at least one of the Pannonian provinces, took advantage and declared himself emperor. Valerian II had died on the Danube, most in 258. Ingenuus may have been responsible for that calamity. Alternatively, the defeat and capture of Valerian at the battle of Edessa may have been the trigger for the subsequent revolts of Ingenuus and Postumus. In any case, Gallienus reacted with great speed, he left his son Saloninus as Caesar at Cologne, under the supervision of Albanus and the military leadership of Postumus. He hastily crossed the Balkans, taking with him the new cavalry corps under the command of Aureolus and defeated Ingenuus at Mursa or Sirmium.
The victory must be attributed to the cavalry and its brilliant commander. Ingenuus was killed by his own guards or committed suicide by drowning himself after the fall of his capital, Sirmium. A major invasion by the Alemanni and other Germanic tribes occurred between 258 and 260 due to the vacuum left by the withdrawal of troops supporting Gallienus in the campaign against Ingenuus. Franks broke through the lower Rhine, invading Gaul, some reaching as far as southern Spain, sacking Tarraco; the Alemanni invaded through Agri Decumates followed by the Juthungi. After devastating Germania Superior and Raetia (parts
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine the Great. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire. In Greek sources, the term is translated either as stratelates; the title of magister militum was created in the 4th century, when Emperor Constantine the Great deprived the praetorian prefects of their military functions. Two posts were created, one as head of the foot troops, as the magister peditum, one for the more prestigious horse troops, the magister equitum; the latter title had existed since Republican times, as the second-in-command to a Roman dictator. Under Constantine's successors, the title was established at a territorial level: magistri peditum and magistri equitum were appointed for every praetorian prefecture, and, in addition, for Thrace and, Africa. On occasion, the offices would be combined under a single person styled magister equitum et peditum or magister utriusque militiae.
As such they were directly in command of the local mobile field army of the comitatenses, composed of cavalry, which acted as a rapid reaction force. Other magistri remained at the immediate disposal of the Emperors, were termed in praesenti. By the late 4th century, the regional commanders were termed magister militum. In the Western Roman Empire, a "commander-in-chief" evolved with the title of magister utriusque militiae; this powerful office was the power behind the throne and was held by Stilicho, Flavius Aetius and others. In the East, there were two senior generals, who were each appointed to the office of magister militum praesentalis. During the reign of Emperor Justinian I, with increasing military threats and the expansion of the Eastern Empire, three new posts were created: the magister militum per Armeniam in the Armenian and Caucasian provinces part of the jurisdiction of the magister militum per Orientem, the magister militum per Africam in the reconquered African provinces, with a subordinate magister peditum, the magister militum Spaniae.
In the course of the 6th century and external crises in the provinces necessitated the temporary union of the supreme regional civil authority with the office of the magister militum. In the establishment of the exarchates of Ravenna and Carthage in 584, this practice found its first permanent expression. Indeed, after the loss of the eastern provinces to the Muslim conquest in the 640s, the surviving field armies and their commanders formed the first themata. Supreme military commanders sometimes took this title in early medieval Italy, for example in the Papal States and in Venice, whose Doge claimed to be the successor to the Exarch of Ravenna. 383-385/8: Flavius Bauto, magister militum under Valentinian II 385/8-394: Arbogast, magister militum under Valentinian II and Eugenius 383–388: Andragathius after 383-408: Flavius Stilicho 422-?: Asterius? – 480: Ovida 411 – 421: Flavius Constantius 422 - 425: Castinus 425 - 430: Flavius Constantius Felix 431 - 432: Bonifacius 432 - 433: Sebastianus 433 – 454: Flavius Aetius 455 - 456: Avitus & Remistus 456 – 472: Ricimer 472–473: Gundobad 475: Ecdicius Avitus 475–476: Flavius Orestes 352–355: Claudius Silvanus 362–364: Flavius Iovinus, magister equitum under Julian and Jovian?
– 419: Flavius Gaudentius 425–430: Flavius Aetius 435-439: Litorius 452–458: Agrippinus 458–461: Aegidius 461/462: Agrippinus? - 472: Bilimer 441-442: Asterius 443: Flavius Merobaudes 446: Vitus?-350: Vetranio, magister peditum under Constans 361: Flavius Iovinus, magister equitum under Julian 365–375: Equitius, magister utriusquae militiae under Valentinian I 395-? Alaric I 448/9 Agintheus. 468–474: Julius Nepos 477–479: Onoulphus 479–481: Sabinianus Magnus 528: Ascum 529–530/1: Mundus 532–536: Mundus c. 538: Justin c. 544: Vitalius c. 550: John 568–569/70: Bonus 581–582: Theognis c. 347: Flavius Eusebius, magister utriusquae militiae 349–359: Ursicinus, magister equitum under Constantius 359–360: Sabinianus, magister equitum under Constantius 363–367: Lupicinus, magister equitum under Jovian and Valens 371–378: Iulius, magister equitum et Peditum under Valens 383: Flavius Richomeres, magister equitum et peditum 383–388: Ellebichus, magister equitum et peditum 392: Eutherius, magister equitum et peditum 393–396: Addaeus, magister equitum et peditum 395/400: Fravitta 433–446: Anatolius 447–451: Zeno 460s: Flavius Ardabur Aspar -469: Flavius Iordanes 469–471: Zeno 483–498: Ioannes Scytha c.
503–505: Areobindus Dagalaiphus Areobindus 505–506: Pharesmanes?516-?518: Hypatius?518–529: Diogenianus 520-525/526: Hypatius 527: Libelarius 527–529: Hypatius 529–531: Belisarius 531: Mundus 532–533: Belisarius 540: Buzes 542: Belisarius 543–544: Martinus 549–551: Belisarius 555: Amantius 556: Valerianus 569: Zemarchus 572–573: Marcian 573: Theodorus 574: Eusebius 574/574-577: Justinian 577–582: Maurice 582–583: John Mystacon 584-587/588: Philippicus 588: Priscus 588–589: Philippicus 589–591: Comentiolus 591–603: Narses 603-604 Germanus 604-605 Leontius 605-610 Domentziolus Valerian Dagisthaeus Bessas 377–378: Flavius Saturninus, magister equitum under Valens 377–378: Traianus, magister peditum under Valens 378: Sebastianus, magister peditum under Valens 380–383: Flavius Saturninus, magister peditum under Theodosius I 392–393: F
The Roman army was the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of Ancient Rome, from the Roman Kingdom to the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, its medieval continuation the Eastern Roman Empire. It is thus a term that may span 2,206 years, during which the Roman armed forces underwent numerous permutations in composition, organisation and tactics, while conserving a core of lasting traditions.. The Early Roman army was the armed force of the Roman Kingdom and of the early Republic. During this period, when warfare chiefly consisted of small-scale plundering raids, it has been suggested that the army followed Etruscan or Greek models of organisation and equipment; the early Roman army was based on an annual levy. The infantry ranks were filled with the lower classes while the cavalry were left to the patricians, because the wealthier could afford horses. Moreover, the commanding authority during the regal period was the high king; until the establishment of the Republic and the office of consul, the king assumed the role of commander-in-chief.
However, from about 508 BC Rome no longer had a king. The commanding position of the army was given to the consuls, "who were charged both singly and jointly to take care to preserve the Republic from danger"; the term legion is derived from the Latin word legio. At first there were only four legions; these legions were numbered "I" to "IIII", with the fourth being written as such and not "IV". The first legion was seen as the most prestigious; the bulk of the army was made up of citizens. These citizens could not choose the legion. Any man "from ages 16–46 were selected by ballot" and assigned to a legion; until the Roman military disaster of 390 BC at the Battle of the Allia, Rome's army was organised to the Greek phalanx. This was due to Greek influence in Italy "by way of their colonies". Patricia Southern quotes ancient historians Livy and Dionysius in saying that the "phalanx consisted of 3,000 infantry and 300 cavalry"; each man had to provide his equipment in battle. Politically they shared the same ranking system in the Comitia Centuriata.
The Roman army of the mid-Republic was known as the "manipular army" or the "Polybian army" after the Greek historian Polybius, who provides the most detailed extant description of this phase. The Roman army started to have a full-time strength of 150,000 at all times and 3/4 of the rest were levied. During this period, the Romans, while maintaining the levy system, adopted the Samnite manipular organisation for their legions and bound all the other peninsular Italian states into a permanent military alliance; the latter were required to supply the same number of troops to joint forces as the Romans to serve under Roman command. Legions in this phase were always accompanied on campaign by the same number of allied alae, units of the same size as legions. After the 2nd Punic War, the Romans acquired an overseas empire, which necessitated standing forces to fight lengthy wars of conquest and to garrison the newly gained provinces, thus the army's character mutated from a temporary force based on short-term conscription to a standing army in which the conscripts were supplemented by a large number of volunteers willing to serve for much longer than the legal six-year limit.
These volunteers were from the poorest social class, who did not have plots to tend at home and were attracted by the modest military pay and the prospect of a share of war booty. The minimum property requirement for service in the legions, suspended during the 2nd Punic War, was ignored from 201 BC onward in order to recruit sufficient volunteers. Between 150-100 BC, the manipular structure was phased out, the much larger cohort became the main tactical unit. In addition, from the 2nd Punic War onward, Roman armies were always accompanied by units of non-Italian mercenaries, such as Numidian light cavalry, Cretan archers, Balearic slingers, who provided specialist functions that Roman armies had lacked; the Roman army of the late Republic marks the continued transition between the conscription-based citizen-levy of the mid-Republic and the volunteer, professional standing forces of the imperial era. The main literary sources for the army's organisation and tactics in this phase are the works of Julius Caesar, the most notable of a series of warlords who contested for power in this period.
As a result of the Social War, all Italians were granted Roman citizenship, the old allied alae were abolished and their members integrated into the legions. Regular annual conscription remained in force and continued to provide the core of legionary recruitment, but an ever-increasing proportion of recruits were volunteers, who signed up for 16-year terms as opposed to the maximum 6 years for conscripts; the loss of ala cavalry reduced Roman/Italian cavalry by 75%, legions became dependent on allied native horse for cavalry cover. This period saw the large-scale expansion of native forces employed to complement the legions, made up of numeri recruited from tribes within Rome's overseas empire and neighbouring allied tribes. Large numbers of heavy infantry and cavalry were recruited in Spain and Thrace, archers in Thrace and Syria. However, these native units were not integrated with the legions, but retained th
A non-commissioned officer is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers hold higher ranks than NCOs, have more legal responsibilities, are paid more, have more non-military training such as a university diploma. Commissioned officers earn their commissions without having risen through the enlisted ranks; the NCO corps includes all grades of corporal and sergeant. The naval equivalent includes all grades of petty officer. There are different classes of non-commissioned officer, including junior non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers; the non-commissioned officer corps is referred to as "the backbone" of the armed services, as they are the primary and most visible leaders for most military personnel. Additionally, they are the leaders responsible for executing a military organization's mission and for training military personnel so they are prepared to execute their missions.
NCO training and education includes leadership and management as well as service-specific and combat training. Senior NCOs are considered the primary link between enlisted personnel and the commissioned officers in a military organization, their advice and guidance are important for junior officers and in many cases to officers of all senior ranks, who begin their careers in a position of authority without practical knowledge and experience. In the Australian Army, lance corporals and corporals are classified as junior NCOs, while sergeants and warrant officers are classified as senior NCOs. In the New South Wales Police Force, NCOs perform supervisory and coordination roles; the ranks of probationary constable through to leading senior constable are referred to as "constables". All NCOs within the NSW Police are given a warrant of appointment under the Commissioner's hand and seal. All officers within the Australian Defence Force Cadets are non-commissioned. ADFC officers are appointed by the Director-General of their respective branch.
In the Canadian Forces, the Queen's Regulations and Orders formally defined a non-commissioned officer as "A Canadian Forces member holding the rank of Sergeant or Corporal." In the 1990s, the term "non-commissioned member" was introduced to indicate all ranks in the Canadian Forces from recruit to chief warrant officer. By definition, with the unification of the CF into one service, the rank of sergeant included the naval rank of petty officer 2nd class, corporal includes the naval rank of leading seaman. NCOs are divided into two categories: junior non-commissioned officers, consisting of corporals/leading seamen and master corporals/master seamen. In the Royal Canadian Navy, the accepted definition of "NCO" reflects the international use of the term. Junior non-commissioned officers billet with privates and seamen. Conversely, senior non-commissioned officers billet with warrant officers; as a group, NCOs rank below warrant officers. The term "non-commissioned members" includes these ranks.
In the Finnish Defence Force, NCO's includes all ranks from corporal to sergeant major. Ranks of lance corporal and leading seaman are considered not to be NCO ranks; this ruling applies to all branches of service and to the troops of the Border Guard. In France and most former French colonies, the term sous-officier is a class of ranks between the rank-and-file and commissioned officers. Corporals belong to the rank-and-file. Sous-officiers include two subclasses: "subalternes" and "supérieurs". "Sous-officiers supérieurs" can perform various functions within a regiment or battalion, including commanding a platoon or section. In Germany and German-speaking countries like Austria, the term Unteroffizier describes a class of ranks between normal enlisted personnel and officers. In this group of ranks there are, in Germany, two other classes: Unteroffiziere mit Portepee and Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee, both containing several ranks, which in Austria would be Unteroffiziere and Höhere Unteroffiziere.
In the New Zealand Defence Force, a non-commissioned officer is defined as: " In relation to the Navy, a rating of warrant officer, chief petty officer, petty officer, or leading rank.