Ancient Roman military camp

Ancient Roman military camp

As the Roman Empire expanded, military camps were established on the newly conquered territories.



military camp, military fortress, Ancient Rome, antiquity, Roman, soldier, fortress, legionary, watchtower, Római Birodalom, warfare, legion, commander’s building, mercenary, armament, limes, barrack, empire, Mediterranean Sea, gate, stable, history

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  • stone wall
  • moat
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  • Roman soldiers

Commander's building




A few centuries after its foundation, Rome ruled the Mediterranean as a huge empire. Continuous expansion, of course, required a proper army and military tactics.

When a new area was invaded, temporary camps were built first for the auxiliaries. These were later replaced by permanent camps on strategically important spots. Besides being constructed on geographically protected areas, the camps were also surrounded by stone walls and ditches. Watchtowers and bastions were also built on the walls. The characteristic, rectangular Roman camps had one well-guarded entrance gate on each side.

The barracks, warehouses and stables for animals were located near the walls, while the commander’s headquarters was built on the safest spot of the camp, in the geometric centre. It was usually a two-storey building.

As the Empire was expanding, keeping the conquered territories and operating the army became more and more difficult. The army, which formerly consisted mainly of citizens, was transformed into a mercenary army. The basic unit of the army was the legion, consisting of about 6,000 soldiers. It was divided into 10 smaller and thus more mobile units. The legionaries were heavy infantry who underwent rigorous training.

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