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Form: auxiliary troops.

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This name was given in the Roman army to the foreign troops serving with the legions, and to the contingents of Italian allies. In some cases, especially that of the slingers and archers, they were raised by free recruiting, in others by a levy in the provinces; in others they were sent as contingents by kings or communities in alliance with Rome. Under the Empire the term auxilia was extended to all the corps stationed in the provinces and not included in the legions; as, for example, the divisions of veterans called vexillarii, and the cohorts called Italian, formed originally of free Italian volunteers. It was, however, employed especially of the corps levied in the provinces, which furnished the material not only of the whole cavalry of the Roman army, but of a number of infantry detachments (cohortes auxiliarioe). Of these, some were armed and trained in Roman fashion, others retained their national equipment. Consequently, a striking variety of troops might be observed in the provincial armies of Rome. (See ALA and COHORS.)
Type: Standard
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