How were auxiliary units organised?

In this activity, your class can find out about the different types of auxiliary units and how the auxiliary units at Segedunum were organised. They can then try to help the Commanding Officer to find out how many soldiers are missing from within the auxiliary unit.

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There were three types of auxiliary units:

  • the ala (all cavalry)
  • the cohors equitata (mixed cavalry and infantry)
  • the cohors peditata (all infantry)

The soldiers at Segedunum

The soldiers at Segedunum

The auxiliary unit stationed at Segedunum was a cohors equitata, formed of cavalry (horsemen) and infantry (foot soldiers).

This unit had around 480 infantry soldiers and 120 cavalry soldiers.

The infantry soldiers were divided into six centuries. Each century contained approximately 80 men. 

Each century was commanded by a Centurion. 

The cavalry soldiers were divided in four turmae. Each turma had approximately 30 men. 

There were 600 soldiers altogether (480 infantry + 120 cavalry).

The overall leader of the auxiliary unit was the Praefectus, the Commanding Officer.

Off on patrol!

Off on patrol!

The clerk has written down how many soldiers are at Segedunum today.

There should be 80 infantry soldiers in each century and 30 cavalry soldiers in each cavalry turma, but some soldiers are away on patrol!

The Commanding Officer wants to know how many soldiers are missing. Can you work it out?