This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Curiosities of ancient Rome (Army)

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Roman decorations – phalerae

For the bravery shown in combat and good performance of all duties, Roman soldiers could receive the so-called a phalera (plural phalerae), a kind of medal or decoration which they then wore tied with leather straps above the chest.

Silver phalerae found near Lauersfort Castle (West Germany)

Frumentarii – secret Roman police

Frumentarii was the secret Roman police. Initially, they were collecting taxes and spreading messages throughout the Empire. They were also responsible for controlling and regulating grain deliveries to the capital. Their role, however, evolved during the reign of Hadrian (117-138 CE), who abandoned the policy of expansion and focused on internal stabilization – for this purpose frumenatrii took over the role of the secret police.

Legionnaires march through the forest

Musculus – Roman war machine

The Latin word musculus means “little mouse” as well as “muscle”. The ambiguity comes from the fact that some of the moving muscles under the skin look like little mice in motion. Interestingly, musculus was also a term for the Roman war machine.

Musculus - Roman war machine

Great defeats with Persians and Empire’s rematch in 3rd century CE

The greatest defeat in Roman history is considered to be the battle with Hannibal at Cannae in 216 BCE. There are also known hecatombs in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE and under Adrianople in 378 CE. However, a little known fact is that in the 3rd century CE, during the reign of Emperor Valerian, the Empire suffered two major defeats with the Persian state of King Shapur I. At Barbalissos and Edessa, two large Roman armies of around 60,000-70,000 were probably defeated and destroyed. people. The empire suffered the greatest humiliation in its history – the emperor became a prisoner of the Persian ruler. The Romans did not forget about the rematch – as early as 282, Emperor Carus conquered Mesopotamia with the Persian capital Ctesiphon, and only his unexpected death stopped the further march of the legions to the east.

The Persian king Shapur I using the former Emperor Valerian as a footstool when mounting his horse

Roman military diploma

A military diploma is the modern name of Roman documents confirming the release from the army and the granting of Roman citizenship to a veteran of auxiliary units by the emperor. It existed as a reward for faithful service. The diploma was drawn up by imperial officials and displayed to the public in Rome.

Roman military diploma

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: