All you want to know about the Roman army | Classics
You many need the glossary of Latin terms for this page. Also consider looking at the rank structure of the Roman army. 1. The Roman Army The army of the empire – the principate. The power of the Roman emperors rested on their control of massive armed forces, paid for out of the emperor's privy purse and bound to him by an oath of personal allegiance. The vast majority of soldiers were stationed in so-called imperial provinces, commanded by direct appointees of the emperor. The Roman imperial army was thus in effect very much a private army. The imperial army was a standing professional army. It contained both conscripts and volunteers serving a minimum term of sixteen years, though most had to serve for 25 years or more before they were up for retirement. To preserve the loyalty of the soldiers on which their position of power rested, the emperors looked well after their interests. Pay was regular and comparatively generous and on occasion supplemented by donativa, special bonuses