EBK Activity Sheets


The Roman Army in Britain
Soldiers from All Over

Roman Auxiliary Soldier -  Nash Ford Publishing

  • Many Roman soldiers were 'auxiliaries'. This name means 'helpers'.
  • They were not regular Roman soldiers. They came from non-Roman tribes and wore very different uniforms.
  • They were formed into special cohorts (infantry units) or alae (cavalry units). Many of them were stationed at the forts on Hadrian's Wall.
  • Each cohort was from a different part of the Empire and had a special ability like:
    • skilled horse-riding
    • archery
    • rock slinging
    • spear throwing
    • some other special way of fighting
  • Each man served for 25 years, but auxiliaries were not given any land when they retired.
  • From the 3rd century, there were also irregular units of mercenaries, hired from the local Britons. They were called numeri.
  • When the Roman army left Britain in the late 4th & early 5th centuries, the auxiliaries went too. The Roman way of life then fell apart.


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