|Form: military tribunes.
|The superior officers of the Roman legions, six in number, two of whom always held the command for two months on alternate days. They were appointed before the levy took place, as they themselves had to be in office at that time. Originally they were nominated by the consuls; afterwards partly by them and partly by the people, inasmuch as the people elected twenty-four out of the number of candidates in the comitia tributa for the four legions which were levied regularly every year, while the consuls retained the appointment for the remaining legions. They were not as a rule taken from veteran centurions, but for the greater part from young men of senatorial or equestrian rank, who had served their first campaign in the train or on the staff of a general, and then began their political career with this office. As a mark of distinction, all of them wore the gold ring of the equestrian order. They also wore a narrow or broad purple stripe on their toga, according as they were of equestrian or senatorial rank respectively. In the time of the Empire, they always led the legion on the march and in battle. They did not, however, as under the Republic, rank immediately below the commanders-in-chief, but under the legatus legionis, the commander of the legion and its auxiliary troops.