Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This is coolbert:

Here with a new one on me.

Roman marines. Shipboard Roman naval infantry [marines]. Classiarii!

From the Imperial period forward [31 BC - AD 500], fighting infantry, stationed on Roman warships - - but not a prestigious service. Considered second-rate duty, NOT on the same level as a conventional troop in the Roman ground forces, the legions.

Persons, free peregrini, provincials not citizens of Rome, Roman subjects fighting for Rome, but not being accorded or enjoying until after completing a full length of service [twenty-six years] the full rights and privileges of an ordinary legionnaire.

"Being in the Roman "marines" (the milites classiarii) didn't convey the same prestige as being in the modern US Marine Corps does now [British Royal Marine Commando or Russian Marines for that matter either!]. The Roman marines were provincial or foreign auxiliaries that could fight on or off boat."

The normal contingent of a Roman naval vessel would include:

* "milites classiarii". The fighting men. Marines. Naval infantry.

* "nautae". "The ships' specialist crew as well as the seamen who worked the rigging and kept the ship seaworthy."

* "remiges". Rowers.

Naval battles of the ancient period consisting of ramming, grappling, boarding, and defending against same. The Roman perception of naval warfare being as an adjunct to battle on land, the navy secondary in all cases to the land forces, war at sea merely a reflection of land combat.

Those classiarii had a thankless task, and were not highly thought of either? Makes for a bad combination.


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