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.

Velites – young javelin throwers

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman veles
Roman veles | Author: Sergio Viassone

Velites, Roman javelin throwers, composed of young and poor men, could not afford to buy Roman armour (lorica hamata), worn by professional legionaries. Therefore, they put on animal skins to emphasize their strength and prowess.

In addition, it was believed that Roman commanders made it easier to distinguish velites from ordinary heavy infantry in the turmoil of battle. With the Marius reform in the 2nd century BCE, the velites disappeared from the battlefield. The custom of wearing animal skins was taken over by the legion ensigns (signifer).

More about velites

  • Rodgers Nigel, Rzymska armia. Legiony, wojny, kampanie, Warszawa 2009

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: