The Cohors Exploratorius is a military unit that was created for the purpose of exploring the deeper regions of the new world. When the Romans firs set food in the lands west of the Oceanus Occidentalis, it soon became clear that the rainforest would not reveal their secrets easily. Given the difficulty to traverse the region the Romans opted to create a more flexible group mainly consisting of soldiers with scouting experience.
The account below is written by explorer Galerius Novio
The fine soldiers of the Cohors Exploratorius have to go through the same amount of training as those serving in the legions. I often hear other soldiers claim that we have it easy in the the Cohors Exploratorius. Nothing can be further from the truth. Yes we do see less large battles but travelling through the Silvae Pluviae is no less dangerous.
In the early days of the cohors many were unprepared for the harsh environment. Sometimes even touching as innocent looking as a frog can be a deadly mistake. The thick vegetation makes our job even more dangerous. That is why many of the newer members originate from my home province of Germania, where the people are used to vast and dangerous forests. But our brothers from Mauretania prove just as capable. They are used to the scorching heat, a characteristic that is valuable in these parts.
by kefkejaco with midjourney
by kefkejaco with midjourney
Our main purpose is exploring the vast regions of this new world. An important task as it ensures the success of our settlements at the shores. I have explored lands from the wide river of the Naurakus, which the Punics call the Naharakab, all the way to the Sinus Australis. But I have also travelled to the lands of the Punics where they created their new capital on the island of Kubana.
It requires skill to explore these lands but I trust in the abilities of my Cohors. Even when we almost encountered death we pulled through. Most locals living in the area are peaceful but not all like our presence.
The thick forests of the region are too extreme to use regular lorica segmentata (segmented armor). It is not flexible enough for travel through the forest. In the Cohors Exploratorius we often opt for the use of corium lorica (leather armor). Although it gives less protection it also does not hinder our movement as much. But even this armor can be unbearable in the heat. We therefore only use it when we expect hostilities.
For the Cohors Exploratorius our shields are our best friends. As we do not want to carry too much weight we often prefer the use of parma or clipeus shields. As the testudo formation is often impossible when exploring the area we never use the scutum that the regular legionnaires use.
Travel in the new world is easiest with smaller weapons. In the Cohors Exploratorius we therefore use pilums to a lesser degree in comparison to the trusty gladius. Many among us have, however, taken a liking towards the Illyrian sica or the Dacian falx. Both our capable of dealing a devasting blow but can also clear thick vegetation. A handy combination if you ask me.
roman parma shield by kefkejaco with midjourney
kefkejaco with midjourney