Evocati were soldiers of the Roman army with veteran status who voluntarily re-enlisted in military service after being offered such an offer from their commander. Evocati were better paid than regular legionaries and did not have to perform some of the usual duties of ordinary soldiers (such as building roads or fortifications). Singular – evocatus.
Many famous commanders based their troops on veterans who, thanks to the experience gained over the years of service, presented a clearly higher combat value than the rest of the army. In order to encourage soldiers to rejoin the army after having completed their regular service, the institution of evocati was introduced with all the associated privileges. Evocati was also sometimes referred to as “Sons of Mars”, which was related to a rather bloody rite performed when a soldier was admitted to re-serve.