Roman military rank equivalents



Rank Description Equivalent
Miles classicus A soldier in the Roman navy’s marine cor … Marine
Miles gregarius Literally, a “common soldier” of the leg … Private
Signifer Standard-bearer for legion cohort and ma … Corporal
Aquilifer Eagle-bearer of the legion. Most prestig … Corporal

Aug 12 2022

Rank Description Equivalent
Navarchus Commander of a warship in the Roman navy. Captain (naval)
Praefectus Commander of an auxiliary cohort or wing. Colonel
Tribunus laticlavius Tribune of the broad stripe, second-in-command of a legion. Colonel

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What were the various ranks in the Roman army?

What were the various ranks in the Roman army? The following are some of the lower ranks of the ancient roman military: Optio -there was one optio for each centurion and these people were appointed by the centurions themselves. Tesserarius -there was one tesserarius or guard commander for each century and were second to optios and were paid …

What are the ranks in the Roman army?

List of Roman army unit types

  • 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 ).

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What is the ranking system of the Roman army?

The following are some of the lower ranks of the ancient roman military:

  • Optio -there was one optio for each centurion and these people were appointed by the centurions themselves.
  • Tesserarius -there was one tesserarius or guard commander for each century and were second to optios and were paid lesser than them as well.
  • Decurio- the cavalry unit’s head
  • Decanus – commander or head of contubernium.

What was the Roman military rank structure?

What was the Roman military rank structure? In the ancient times, the roman military consisted of 5000 soldiers and divided into different ranks and departments, thus creating a hierarchical structure. The hierarchy consisted of certain officers working on higher ranks and these had the maximum responsibility and skills. As the pyramid tapered …


What were the ranks of the Roman army?

Roman Military RanksLegatus Legionis. The overall Legionary commander. … Tribunus Laticlavius. Named for the broad striped toga worn by men of senatorial rank. … Praefectus Castrorum. The camp Prefect. … Tribuni Angusticlavii. … Primus Pilus. … Centurions. … Pilus Prior. … Principales.More items…

What rank would a centurion be today?

There were 60 centurions in every legion of the Roman army, and there was a strict hierarchy of seniority among them. It went from the most junior to the most senior centurion who was called primus pilus whose literal meaning is the first spear. The equivalent of the centurions in the modern US army will be sergeants.

Is a tribune higher than a centurion?

A military tribune (Latin tribunus militum, “tribune of the soldiers”) was an officer of the Roman army who ranked below the legate and above the centurion. Young men of Equestrian rank often served as military tribune as a stepping stone to the Senate.

How was rank in the Roman army originally determined?

Ranking within the legion was based on length of service, with the senior Centurion commanding the first century of the first cohort; he was called the primus pilus (First Spear), and reported directly to the superior officers (legates and tribuni).

What was the most elite Roman legion?

Legio X EquestrisTenth Legion EquestrisActive61 BC to after 31 BCCountryRoman RepublicTypeRoman legion (Marian)RoleInfantry assault (some cavalry support)8 more rows

What does SPQR stand for?

Senate and People of RomeIn the time of the Roman Republic the Standards were imprinted with the letters SPQR which was an abbreviation for Senatus Populusque Romanus (Senate and People of Rome).

What is smaller than a legion?

After the reforms of Gaius Marius, the organisation of the legions became standardised as follows: Contubernium – The smallest organized unit of soldiers in the Roman Army.

What was a Roman captain called?

centurion, the principal professional officer in the armies of ancient Rome and its empire. The centurion was the commander of a centuria, which was the smallest unit of a Roman legion.

Who was Rome’s best general?

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was perhaps the greatest of Rome’s generals. He was a man who never lost a battle, and who defeated the most dangerous enemy Rome had ever faced.

How many years did a Roman soldier have to serve?

Legionaries signed up for at least 25 years’ service. But if they survived their time, they were rewarded with a gift of land they could farm. Old soldiers often retired together in military towns, called ‘colonia’.

How big was the average Roman soldier?

Imperial regulations, though not entirely unambiguous, suggest that the minimum height for new recruits was five Roman feet, seven inches (165 cm., 5’5″) … for the army as a whole a reasonable estimate of a soldier’s average height is around 170 cm (5’7″).

How much did a Roman soldier get paid?

Soldiers’ pay was made in three instalments of 75 denarii in January, May and September. Domitian changed the intervals to three monthly and thus increased pay to 300 denarii. Under Severus he raised pay once more to an estimated 450 denarii.

How many soldiers was a centurion in charge of?

80 soldiersThe man who was in charge of a century of infantry soldiers (80 soldiers) was called a centurion. The man who was in charge of a turma of cavalry soldiers (30 soldiers) was called a decurion. The centurion or decurion was usually a soldier who had worked his way up the ranks.

Who was the greatest centurion?

Lucius Siccius DentatusFamous Centurions One famous centurion was the legendary Lucius Siccius Dentatus, known as the ‘Roman Achilles’, who, in the 5th century BCE, participated in a staggering 120 battles and at least eight single combat duels.

How did you become a centurion?

The qualities necessary to be a centurion Centurions had to be literate (to be able to read written orders), have connections (letters of recommendation), be at least 30 years of age, and have already served a few years in the military. They also have had to be able to boost their soldiers’ morale.

Does centurion mean 100?

The definition of a centurion is a leader of 60 to 100 soldiers in the ancient Roman army. The leader of 80 soldiers in the Roman army in 100 BC is an example of a centurion.

What does “commander” mean in the Roman Navy?

Commander of a squadron or a fleet in the Roman navy. Frequently a former or serving general, occasionally a freedman with no military experience. Legate of the legion. Legion commander.

What is the highest official in Rome?

A consul was the highest official in Rome after the emperor. The two consuls for the year shared the presidency of the Senate and gave their names to the year. Former consuls, proconsuls, could receive the most senior provincial governorships, commanding all military forces in their province.

How many grades are there in the Legion?

maniple, and cohort. Sixty to a legion (including six primi ordines). Eleven grades, including primi ordinesand primus pilus. Seniority usually determined by length of service.

What is the equivalent of Miles Classicus?

Equivalent. Miles classicus. A soldier in the Roman navy’s marine corps. Marine. Miles gregarius. Literally, a “common soldier” of the legion. Private. Signifer. Standard-bearer for legion cohort and maniple.

What powers did the Emperor give to the consular generals?

Occasionally, emperors endowed generals of consular rank with special powers usually reserved for the emperor alone, on a temporary basis, for particular military operations. These powers made the generals involved senior to all other generals and officials in their sphere of operations, no matter what their seniority otherwise, and allowed them to lead troops across provincial boundaries. We would equate this special rank with a modern-day field marshal or five-star general. Agrippa, Tiberius, and Drusus would have been granted these powers by Augustus, Germanicus was under Augustus and then under Tiberius, Corbulo and Vespasian were under Nero, and Mucianus and Titus were under Vespasian.

What is the rank of a prefect of the Guard?

While, nominally, Prefects of the Guard held the rank of colonel, some rose through the ranks and were former centurions, while others were ex-generals, and on several occasions they commanded field armies. Colonel. Praefectus classis Legatus legionis. Commander of a squadron or a fleet in the Roman navy.

What is the second rank in the Roman military?

Legates or Lieutenants are the second rank holders in the roman military hierarchy who are responsible for commanding legions. The commandants at this position are in charge of a host of tasks. Then in the roman military hierarchy are the Quaestors who are responsible for taking care of the military supplies and chest.

What is the first rank in the Roman army?

The first rank in the roman military hierarchy is acquired by Commanders or Generals who are also known as Imperators or Dux. This term refers to the senior most army men in the roman military hierarchy. Imperator is the special title given to specific commanders after a victorious battle had been hailed by their troops.

What is the name of the professional who stands below the centurions in the Roman military hierarchy?

Immunes are the professionals who stand below the centurions in the roman military hierarchy. These are the soldiers who possess some special skills. These professionals are the specialists who get basic remuneration and enjoy immunity from most of the fatigue duties.

What is the next level in the Roman military hierarchy?

The next level in the roman military hierarchy is acquired by the Military Tribunes. These officers are responsible for taking care of legion along with five other officers of the similar grade. One of all these six officers takes the responsibility of managing all tasks and the rest five officers. But that depends on internal criteria of selection and has nothing to do with ranks.

Why is the Roman army so popular?

Roman army has always stayed popular due to its acts of braveries, the excellence of its soldiers and the structure in which it is arranged that is known as Roman military hierarchy. The basic roman military hierarchy followed by the roman armed forces is as follows: Roman Military Hierarchy.

What is the next rank in the army?

The next rank is the AVOCATI or Veteran Soldiers. These are the soldiers who possess special skills which are served against the nonstandard service conditions. These are also referred as one of the non-commissioned rank officer.

What is a centurion?

These are responsible for the whole supervision and care of an individual Centuria, that is, a command of 100 soldiers. These professionals are assisted by their subordinate officers refereed as Signifier, Optio and Tesserarius. These professionals are one of the high rank professionals in the army and enjoy much higher remuneration & status than the other officers placed below them.

How many corps were there in the Roman army?

At the height of its power and glory, the Roman army was divided into 3 primary corps, namely, the Roman legions, Praetorian Guard and the Roman auxiliaries. The Roman cavalry is often considered to be a separate corps, however they were integrated into the field formations of the aforementioned corps. The basic armed unit was the legion and usually consisted of 6,000 soldiers, including officers. These men were divided into cohorts, which were further divided into centuries. The cohorts and centuries were commanded by the centurions and all the senior officers in turn commanded the centurions.

What were the features of the Roman army?

Efficient field and military formations, formidable fighting skills, a domineering infantry, genius garrison, arms, and armaments engineers and keenly crafted Roman weapons, are some of the features of the Roman army. This elite force not only consisted of Roman citizens but also of mercenaries who fought for wages.

What corps were the auxiliaries?

The auxiliaries consisted of three primary corps, namely, Cohortes (infantry), Alae (cavalry) and Cohortes equitatae (cavalry and infantry). These troops also often provided support such as logistics, patrolling, continuous watch, etc. They often acted as the paramilitary forces of Rome.

What was the primary task of the Praetorian Guards?

The primary task of the Praetorian guards was to act as bodyguards but the probability that this guard engaged in commando and covert operations cannot be dismissed. The history of the guard is shrouded with controversy as the guard also had a political arm.

What was the Praetorian Guard?

The Praetorian guard was an elite force, which was under the direct command of the Emperor or the Generals.

How did the army help the Roman Empire?

The might of the army helped the Roman empire to rule a substantial part of central Europe, some part of Asia and also a part of Northern Africa, domina ting the regions till its fall. On the whole the property and success of Roman civilization was largely aided by the army’s formidable campaigns.

What was the most sophisticated armed force during its time?

The Roman army was the most sophisticated armed force during its time. It was reformed several times in the course of history, and was finally disbanded in 476 A.D., as a consequence of the fall of Rome. The following article describes in order the basic Roman army ranks. The Roman army was the most sophisticated armed force during its time.

Branch colors in the Romanian Armed Forces

The colors depend on the service branch ( armă, literally “weapon”) the bearer is a member of. They show on the shoulder slides which hold the rank insignia, on the band of combination caps, and on collar insignia.


Unlike the Romanian Police, the Gendarmerie is a military force, and uses the same ranking system as the Romanian Land Forces .

How many men were in the Roman Imperial Legion?

Organization of the Roman Imperial Legion. In the Roman army, a full strength legion was officially made up of 6,000 men, but typically all legions were organized at under strength and generally consisted of approximately 5,300 fighting men including officers. It is difficult to determine whether non-combatants like field surgeons …

How long was the Roman javelin?

The Roman javelin. It was seven feet long and very light, as it was thrown before just prior to engaging the enemy in melee, to disarm as much as wound them. The top three feet were of iron with a hardened point. It is probable that more sturdy types of spear of the same name were available for defense against cavalry in formation such as the turtle.

How many men were in the Centuria?

Centuria (century): was made up of 10 contubernium with a total of 80 men commanded by a centurion. Cohorts (cohort): included 6 centuriae or a total of 480 fighting men, not including officers. In addition, the first cohort was double strength but with only 5 centuriae instead of the normal 6. Legio (legion): consisted of 10 cohorts.

How much did a Legionary carry?

It’s been estimated that a Legionary could carry anywhere from 66 lbs. (30 kgs) to over 100 lbs. (45 kgs) of gear and weapons, with Roman armor and shields being particularly heavy.

What was the Roman shield made of?

The large Roman shield, which was curved to fit the body. They were made from thin sheets of wood, glued together so that the grain of each piece was at right angles to the piece next to it. The whole was bound around the edges with wrought iron or bronze and the center was hollowed out on the inside for the handgrip and protected by metal bands. On the outside the surface was covered in leather, on which was fastened gilded or silvered decoration, probably in bronze. Each cohort had different color schemes aid recognition during a battle. The shields also carried the name of the soldier and that of his centurion. On the march, the shield was hung by a strap over the left shoulder.

What was the Roman sword used for?

A large round ball at the end helped with the balance. The primary use was for thrusting at short range.

Why were the 10 cohorts arranged in battle?

They were arranged in battle so that the strongest and weakest units would be mixed throughout the formation maximizing moral and effectiveness.


Tribunus Laticlavius

The senior officers were drawn from Rome’s senatorial class. Though the senate lost most of its political power under the empire, families of senatorial rank were still the elite. Like the nineteenth century aristocracy, they expected senior military positions to go to them. The tribunus laticlavius was the second-in-command of …

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Legatus Legionis

  • The legatus legionis commanded a legion, a force of just under 5000 men divided into ten cohorts. He was a senator, usually in his early 30s – a man who had chosen a military career.

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Legatus Augusti Proparetore

  • The highest rank an officer could reach was the legatus Augusti proparetore, the military governor of a province of the empire. The careers of most senators combined military and political duties, so they were prepared for such a role, but with so few posts only a minority reached such heights. The legatus commanded an entire province such as Syria or Britain, and led the army occupying …

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Tribunus Angusticlavii

  • In between their two praefecti positions, equestrian officers served in the legions as tribune angusticlavii. These were staff officers, and there were five of them in each legion. Though much of their work involved carrying out the orders of senatorial officers, there were also opportunities for independent command. Detachments of soldiers were often separated off from a legion into …

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Praefectus Castrorum

  • The third in command of a legion was the praefectus castrorum, the camp prefect. Unusually for such a senior position, this was usually an experienced soldier who had been in the army for most of his adult life. A former chief centurion, he dealt with much of the administration and with command tasks that required technical knowledge of how the legion worked. As a result, the leg…

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  • The lowest position an equestrian might hold was also the highest an ordinary soldier could expect to achieve – centurion. These men commanded centuries in the legions or the auxiliary – in the legions, these usually consisted of 80 men. These were the officers who commanded men on a day to day basis, both in war and in camp. Some men started their careers as centurions, ei…

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Primi Ordines

  • The most senior centurions were the primi ordines, centurions in the first cohort of a legion. Centurions might work their way up to this prestigious role through posts in other centuries.

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Pilus Prior

  • The century was the unit men most identified themselves with, but the cohort of six centuries was the basic battlefield unit of a legion. Someone must have commanded the cohort in battle, and though we don’t know for certain, it is likely that this task fell to the pilus prior, the commander of the senior century in the legion. As these different roles show, the term centurion covered a rang…

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  • The optio was a centurion’s second in command, supporting him in organising and commanding 80 men. This was one of three posts collectively known as the principales.

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