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of the camp; the Decumun gate, which was on the opposite side to the Prætorian, and derived its name from its width, or capacity of allowing ten men to march through it abreast;* and the two Principal gates, which were situated one on each side of the oblong encampment, and were not of equal importance with the Decuman, but probably derived their name from their situation at the extremities of the principal street of the camp.
The camp, thus formed in outline, and entered by four convevient gates, was internally arranged with great judgment and care. The accounts handed down by Polybius, and other contemporary historians, have been discussed, with some difference of view, but with equal zeal and industry, by General Roy and by Mr. King.f From the digested statements of these writers, compared with each other, and elucidated by appeals to their authorities, may be presented, with a confident probability of accuracy, the following particulars.
When the outlines were complete, the standard, or eagle, was raised on the spot chosen by the General as the site of his tent; which was usually placed ou the highest ground, for the purpose of convenient inspection and cominand. The staff of the standard was the ruling point of admeasurement; and around it was marked off a square piece of ground, assigned for the occupation of the consul, or general, and styled the Prætorium, from the Latin custom of bestowing the title of Prætor on general officers. According to General Roy, each side of this square space was two hundred feet, or one hundred feet from the centre; but Mr. King contends, and with considerable force of argument, that the
* Soch appears to be the fact, in the opinion of the majority of writers. General Roy (Military Antiquities, p. 50.) supposes, on the contrary, that the Decuman Gate acquired its name from the circumstance of the offenders being led through it for punishment, when any particular corps, or number of soldiers, was decimated, or punished in the instance of every tenth man, in consequence of misbehaviour in the field, or other disorderly conduct.
† Military Antiquities of the Romans in Britain; and Munimenta Antiqua, Vol. JI.
Prætorium was, in fact, four hundred feet square. The Prætorium contained the consul's tent, with a neighbouring Sacellum, and Augurale;* and a parade, or court, for the assembling of the officers. In forming it, particular care was taken that the four sides should be parallel to the front, rear, and two flanks of the camp.
A line was then drawn before the Prætorium, and parallel to it, at the distance of ksty feet, running entirely across the camp. Within this boundary, to the right and left of the Prætorium, were placed the tents of the twelve tribunes, six on each side; the space between their tents being occupied by their horses and attendants. Beyond the tribunes, and equally divided on each side, were placed the tents of the twelve præfects of the allies. The tents of all these officers were so pitched, as to have the main body of the legions in their front. · Beyond this line, or, rather, beyond the fronts of the above tents, at the distance of one hundred feet, was drawn another line, to the whole breadth of the camp; and the interval between both, formed the chief street of the camp (called Principiu, or Principalis) having the principal gates at its two extremities. This street was levelled with great care; and here the whole army was mastered previous to a march.
Leading in a straight direction, from the central point of the front of the Prætorium through the body of the camp, wis constructed another street, fifty feet in width. On the sides of this street were placed the Roman cavalry; those of the first, or eldest, legion being on the right, and those of the second, or
* It is curious to observe that, in numerous instances, a Christian church is found to have been erected on, or near, that part of the site of Roman camps formerly occupied by the Prætorium, and probably engrossing more particularly the portion once appropriated to Pagan rites of worship. The tiist Cathedral of St. Paul's in London, “ was built nearly on the spot where ilust have been the Roman Prætorian camp; and this has continued to be the situation of all the three succeeding Metropolitan fabrics, to the present rime." Parentalia, p. 271.
youngest, on the left. Each troop occupied a space one hundred feet in breadth, and extending one hundred feet along the street; and every maniple of foot (that part of the army being encamped directly behind the cavalry) was, likewise, allowed one hundred feet in length for its accommodation, reckoning by the line of the principal street.
At the distance of five hundred feet (the space occupied by five troops, or maniples) from the Principia, ran, parallel with that great thoroughfare, a street fifty feet in width, which stretched across the whole encampment, and was called Quintana. Beyond this intersecting way, were placed the other five troops and maniples; and their last line formed the extremity of the camp.
On the right and left of the Triarii (the veteran foot, encamped behind the cavalry of their respective legions) two streets, each fifty feet broad, extended from the principia to the front of the camp, or that part most distant from the Prætorium.* On L 2
• So indistinctly known are many particulars concerning the Roman art of castrametation, that moderu writers differ in opinion as to which must be termed the front, and which the rear of the camp. In defence of the plan adopted above, General Roy (Military Antiquities, p. 47.) presents the fole lowing, among other remarks :
.“ With respect to the front of the camp, Polybius expressly says that the tents of the tribunes were pitched so as to have the prætorium behind, and all the rest of the camp, that is to say the whole body of the army, before them; on which account that side where the legions were placed, was called the front. In tracing the five direct streets, he says that they began at that space, of one hundred feet in breadth, before the tents of the tribunes (the principal street) and ended at what was called the front of the camp. In assigning the quarters for the extraordinary foot, he tells us that they were placed behind the extraordinary cavalry, fronting towards the intrenchment and rear of the camp. From all wbich, it is very plain that Polybius understood that side to be the front of the camp, where the bodies of the legions were placed, and that opposite to it, behind the prætorium, quæstorium, &c. to be the rear.” This opinion of General Roy is strongly coutroverted by Mr. King (Muni- .
the sides of these streets were placed the Principes, who were double in number to the Triarii, and had, therefore, a space allowed them, one hundred feet in breadth as well as in length.
On the right and left of the Principes, looking outwards, were stationed the Hastati, who being of the same numbers were allowed the same extent of ground. This latter division of the arıny fronted two other, and more outward, streets; each being fifty feet broad, and running to the whole length of the encampment. . On the opposite sides of the above streets, were quartered the. cavalry of the allies. These are well known to have been thrice the number of the Roman cavalry; but, as one-third part of them was stationed near the Prætorium, there remained, on each side, no more than six hundred of the allied horse, who appear to have been usually encamped in double maniples; and to each division occupied by them two hundred feet in depth was, therefore, appropriated.
Contiguous to their own cavalry, but with their front towards the vallum, or rampart, of the intrenchment, were stationed the allied foot ;* who were equal in number to the Romans; but, as
menta Antiq. Vol. II. p. 14, 15, note;) but, although he offers some ingenious comments on the mode in which the General renders Polybius, and on some instances of ancient history which he adduces in illustration of his arguwents, the reader will, probably, remain unshaken in an adherence to the former writer, if he carefully examine the authorities on which the argument must definitively rest. It is curiously observed by General Roy (p. 50, of the same section which contains the above extract) that, “ So much of the Roman method is yet retained by all nations, that, in encamping their troops, the private men are constantly placed in the front; bebind them the subal. terns; then the captains; and, in the rear of these, the field officers."
• According to General Roy, the horse and foot of the allies were encamped back to back, without any intervening street. Mr. King, on the contrary, supposes that a regular street, 50 feet in breadth, was formed between these bodies of troops on either wing. Thus, the former writer, makes In streets only to bave passed through the camp, from front to rear; while,
one fifth part of them (together with the above-named portion of the horse) was encamped near the Prætorium, they had no more than the breadth of two hundred feet allowed them in this place. And it is evident, that such a space was just equal to that allowed to the Hastati, and Priucipes, of the Roman legions. At the head of their respective troops and maniples, were placed the tents of the centurions, which tents faced the streets. .
Having thus disposed of the area to the front of the Prætorium, it remains to notice the distribution of ground on the right, left, and rear of that part of the camp.
It is plainly evinced by the description of Polybius, that immediately behind the Prætorium ran a street 100 feet broad, which proceeded entirely across the camp, and was parallel with the tents of the Tribunes. Between this street and the l'ribunes' tents, it is evident that there was a space of the same breadth with the Prætorium, ou each side; and it appears that those spaces were occupied in the following manner. On one side was formed an area, termed the Market-place by some writers; but, perhaps, with more propriety, styled the Forum by others; for we are certainly to consider this area as the place in which public business was transacted and justice administered, rather than as a mart for the disposal of edible articles. On the opposite side of the Prætorium, was a quarter assigned to the Quæstor; and near him, were the repositories of arms, clothing, and provisious.
in the opinion of the latter, the number of ways which passed in that direc. tion was seven. This difference will be perceived, on referring to the engraved plans of Polybian Roman camps, in their respective works. Except as to the exercise of speculative ingenuity, both writers depend on the testimony of Polybius, whose words on this subject have been variously translated. According to Mr. King, “the plain translation is simply--all the five ways being finished—which only implies all the five ways belonging to the legion itself ;and this even leads us to conclude that there were, also, other ways, or streets, belonging to the allied troops ;-or, at least, leaves us at liberty to do so."The reader will, perhaps, be of opinion, that the liberty of conjectural conclusion is the utmost result to which these words are subject, if strai.«d be. yond the simplicity of their actual import.