The Imperial Legion

The standard military unit of the Rasenna since the Republican age which they would use in various forms and shapes until the fall of the empire



The standard legion was around 5,000 men strong without including Auxilia and other allied forces and supply personnel. Particularly veteran Legions sometimes were half strength, being composed of around 3,000 men but were notorious for being able to beat a full legion of green recruits.


Carried the famous Scuta, the heavy rectangular or oval shield adopted from contact with the northern Areuls
Lamellar, scale or high-quality chainmail body armor which protected against slashing strikes
Commonly a set of bronze or iron greaves were worn to protect the shins from the enemy during combat
Officers and legionary commanders wore bright horizontal and vertical plumes on their helms which distinguished them from the common foot soldier
Sekani, frontline commanders, often wore bronze or iron wrist guards
Legionaries had famously high-quality marching boots, these were studded on the bottom giving their boots a firm grip on the ground they stepped. Each legionary was given two sets of boots, the open variety was for warm climates and allowed the foot to avoid common infections attributed to wet boots. The enclosed boot was for use in cold climates and was often worn with woolen socks keeping the feet dry and warm when on campaign.


Equipped with the famous Gladius, a thrusting short sword which forced the legionary to get close to their enemy
Two throwing javelins which were thrown at the climax of a charge, right before contact was made with the enemy. This often forced the opposing frontline to drop their shields as they became weighed down by the impacted javelin
A small dagger, called the Sica, was attached to the hip and became a part of standard military dress by this period


Pack animals were often used when supplies could not be carried only by the legionaries on the march. The use of pack animals was as limited as it could be, not only in an effort to cut down on long supply trains but also as a way to keep the soldiers in elite condition. The soldiers became known as "Red Mules" for their large packs of equipment that they carried on the march and for their common red tunics which denoted them as soldiers, worn under their armor.


On the macro level, Legionary commanders, called Legates made up a council called the Concilium militare or Military Council. This council was a minor body but as it was composed of the state's military commanders, it was enormously important in the coordination of the forces of the state in peacetime and during wartime.

Legions were commanded by a Legate, often an appointed position but considered more based on merit. By this time, the Rasenna had a history of absolute professionalism in the ranks and as such, if an upcoming noble thought they'd be appointed a legate based on their name, they were sorely mistaken. Military debacles were a stain on the state's reputation so only capable leaders were given command of entire legions.

Below the legate were where one would find notable names, the Stiratai or "Striped Ones" were the legate's subordinate commanders and were distinguished for their striped tunics and vertical plumes.

Only slightly lesser in rank below the Stiratai was the castrum prefect, the camp quartermaster in charge of fortification instruction and of drilling and training. His authority was often also in command of the legion's auxiliary and ally troops

Below the camp prefect was the Sekani Primus, the primary Sekani who was the most senior Sekani in the legion and a member of the Legate's command tent, representing the common soldier's voice in the army.

Below the primary Sekani and now outside the command tent were the various Sekani Ordines, the 10 cohort captains who led groups of 500 men.

Below the Ordinis were the officers, the standard-bearer and designated 2nd in command or Dekurio, and the 100 Tessasarius' who led night watches and organized raiding and foraging parties.

Finally, just above the standard legionary, the Sigarius, the legionary sigil bearer who carried the legion standard and was ferociously protected during battle.


Rasennan warfare revolved around strategy and logistics, crippling an enemy's ability to fight before ever contesting them in battle was always foremost in the minds of Rasennan military commanders. Disabling supply lines, harrying stragglers of a marching column, and conducting raids into enemy territory were all hallmarks of Rasennan military doctrine. During battle, legionary cohorts typically arranged themselves in a checkerboard formation with auxiliary cavalry on the flanks and archers and slingers in the rear to break up advancing infantry and cavalry.

Before battle, prayers, and commands would be given when settling into the terrain. These commands were often given by the Ordines before contact and were along the lines of "Stay with your unit, Hold shields high and calm your nerves". Some more pious soldiers would often quietly say prayers alongside their fellow soldiers, these prayers were more typical in later ages when the worship of Victus Ouea was the empire's primary religion. In the later period, mostly the time of the Dominate, the legionary prayer before battle was typically a short speech said by a cohort Sigarius prepared in advance which always ended in the words "God Save the Rasenna" a sign of the times as in this period, the Rasenna would always be on the back foot against their stronger and stronger enemies.

Legionary psychological warfare was a common practice, utilizing the discipline instilled in legionaries, cohorts often arranged themselves in formation as quietly as possible. This was done to show the enemy the comradery and discipline of the force opposing them as well as make the enemy feel as though the legion was some inhuman fighting force that often had a great effect on enemy morale before any contact was made with them. After contact was made, commands were often drowned out, as such all that could be done was to maintain discipline and morale. A practice to keep men on their feet and fighting was for commanders and officers to call out "Who is with us?" to which soldiers were instructed to shout that they were.


Upkeep of soldiers' training was mainly done by doing physical labor as building camp fortifications, civic construction, and long marches were all thought to be adequate physical labor to keep a soldier in good fighting shape. For more skill-intensive roles, like throwing javelins and sword thrusting, practice towards dummies and objects was done so a soldier would have a firm grasp on the capabilities of the weaponry they would be using should they see battle.


Logistical Support

Legions were designed to be self-sufficient and to rely on logistical support from the provinces they were stationed in during peacetime. Provincial legions were supplied before campaigns and carried their supplies in their packs and as little as possible on mules and other pack animals in a means to keep supply lines managable.


Auxilia troops were often accompanying allied troops not attached to the main legionary force. This included primarily allied cavalry and projectile troops in the earlier days of the legionary system when these aspects of warfare were less prominent in the Rasennan military than in later times when they became more standard. Later in the empire's history, Auxiliary troops often became more widely known as foederati troops and became more and more numerous in the legions and theme forces. Foederati commanders were typically of barbarian ancestry, from the frontiers beyond the Oltune and Rhor, and yet still were formally members of the empire via their command given from the imperial offices.


Legions were initially supported financially by the central government, said to be paid for by the emperor himself as a way of ensuring loyalty to the sovereign. Later in the timeline of the empire, provinces were arranged to support stationed legions in their lands. This brought on certain provinces being more capable of supporting legions and thus, more legions would come from certain areas in the empire. The provinces of Agrihenia, near the Oltune river, became renowned for their fighting prowess as the most vaunted legions and legionaries came from that area due to the hearty and rough nature of that corner of the empire. Later, after the vast military reforms of Emperor Roman I, the provinces were encouraged to provide their own forces of defense as they came to be known properly as themes for the first time. Themes were meant to be self-sufficient and provide internal manpower as a means to support the defense of the frontier and act as a bolster to the more professional Tagmatic troops of the imperial guard who would become known to be the forces fighting pitched battles.


Recruitment for the legions varied across the duration of the empire and throughout the imperial provinces as initially, noncitizens could win citizenship by serving in the legions for a long period of time, a trait they could pass on to their children should they survive their term of soldiering. Later in the empire's history, more and more use of allied forces was utilized, these allies were often Herodi tribals and Yarmeg nomads who would be given federate status, which was a rung lower than proper citizenship and often proved secondary as the prime motivators for these new auxiliaries was pillaging and loot which they often obtained via successful campaigning with the Rasenna.


Gradually during the Republican period, the legionary system enjoyed by the Rasennan emperors was formed. Coming from the gradual professionalization of the military during the last centuries of the Republican era, the legionary system of the empire would not maintain a uniform organization but did maintain a semblance of its structure from the days of Marian all the way to the fall of Rasca centuries later. The legion remained the fundamental unit for the empire and often a means of fast social advancement as poor men were pulled into the legions but could find themselves in prominent roles in the army down the road if they had the merit and connections to do so. Many emperors in the Empire's later years began their careers as infantry and cavalry commanders before climbing the military hierarchy and becoming legates. With the formation of Thematic armies, governors became military officials and legates now had civic duties as well as military ones. The Thema reforms vastly restructured the role of the military as it focused more on internal security and a defense in depth strategy to combat foreign incursions. New roles brought new challenges and new avenues of success and failure for the workers, soldiers, and commanders of the military. The regents Tzimikus and Cyrelius both came into power from their role as captains in the Tagma armies of the imperial retinue. Soon, titles and roles came to be the means for legitimacy to form around potential candidates for the imperial title and proved to be a breeding ground for either fervent dissent or support of imperial administrations.

Historical loyalties

Legions could be notoriously fickle, on the ascension of new emperors they often received temporary pay raises in order to ensure their approval of ascending emperors. Maintaining the loyalty of the troops abroad was often of utmost importance to emperors as legionary revolts could topple imperial regimes as fast as they began.
(Depiction of a Rasennan Sekani in action, known for their aggressive posturing)

(Legionnaires by the time of Roman I, in their typical shield wall formation)
840 B.E
1 A.E
Overall training Level
Assumed Veterancy
(Legate reviewing eastern cohort formations near Durris)


Please Login in order to comment!