Components of a Roman Military Camp

Summary: Learn the different parts of a Roman Military Camp! (castra)

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Transcript: Hello and welcome to this video on the Roman military camps known in Latin as castra.  They were built after the end of a long day's march, were rectangular in shape and had four gates known as porta. They were usually connected by streets but they didn't have to be. A ditch surrounded the entire camp. This was known as a fossa in order to provide protection for the resting soldiers. They used the dirt from this ditch to construct a mound of sorts known as the agger. They supplemented this with wooden poles to create a wall which they then called the vellum. Now let's say you wanted to enter the camp - on official business of course - you would need a military password known as a tessera. The soldier would ask you what is the tessera and you would need to answer him in order to gain access for entry into the camp. The main and grandest tent here in the middle was known was known as the praetorium and it housed the general of the whole facility of the whole army indeed. A regular soldier would sleep in one of these smaller tents known as a tabernacula. Each of these tents was made out of leather and held ten soldiers. The camp of course needed to have guards in every one of these watchtowers so some of the soldiers would be required to go on vigiliae which were watches. There were four throughout the night. First the prima was from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The second was the secundus and it lasted from 9 p.m. to 12 midnight or 12 a.m. The third was from then midnight to 3:00 a.m. and the fourth was from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Those were known as the tertia and quartae respectively.

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