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The Roman Army In Caerleon King Arthur Parish Records Directories History Index Home


These were non-Roman citizens. They were recruited from tribes that had been conquered by Rome or were allied to Rome. They also served for 25 years. At the end of their service they gained Roman citizenship as a reward.

Roman auxiliary






The chain mail shirts of the infantry were made out of about twenty thousand links of metal. They wore a sword and a dagger - usually on two belts. They carried a flat oval shield and a spear which could be thrown and also used in hand to hand fighting.

Photo (left) copyright Roy Edwards


Roman archer









The auxiliaries included archers, recruited from Syria, Scythia (the Black Sea) and Crete. Pictured here is a Hamian archer from Syria. His bow was deadly over a range of 400 metres.

For more pictures and information about their arrows follow this link.

Roman cavalry







Cavalry were recruited from tribes which had a good tradition of horsemanship. They also had an oval shield and a spear which was often used to stab downwards. They carried short, sharp javelins in quivers attached to their saddles. Their swords were longer and narrower than the infantry swords to give a better reach.

They did not have stirrups but the saddles, which were made of wood covered with padding and leather, had four pommels one in each corner. These allowed the rider to get a good grip with his thighs. Spurs were worn on the boots.