LABARUM Late Empire era Standard, instituted by Constantine. His Labarum bore the likeness of the "sign" he saw in the heavens prior to the Battle of Milvian Bridge or Saxa Rubra (red stones). Consult the "Constantine" Page of the site for a further description of this battle and his Labarum.
LACERNA A cape or mantle fastened at the shoulders
LAMELLA Plate of metal used in armor
LAMENATA A more recent term now coming into use for Lorica Segmentata body armor.
LANCEA Lance / Spear
LANISTA Gladiator trainer - Fencing master - Ringleader
LARARIUM Household shrine where the "Lares" or household gods where worshipped
LATRO A bandit, a guerilla fighter
LATRUNCULUS Petty Bandit, guerilla fighter
LAXATE Relax / Stand At Ease (lit. rest)
LEGATE / LEGATUS LEGIONIS Commander of a Legio/Legion, who was normally of Senatorial Rank and was appointed by his fellow Senators. A Legatio, who was normally not a professional soldier, could also become eligible for appointment as a governor of a portion of a province, under a Consul or Praetor. The Legatio was assisted by six Tribunus in command of the six Cohorts in the Legion and who were also appointed by the Senate.
LEGIO / LEGIONIS Meaning "conscription" in latin, was the term applied to the largest roman army unit, due to these units being initially composed largely of conscripted land-owning farmers and civilians during the early "Republican" Period. Legions varied in size from 4000 to well over 5000 legionaries, depending on the number of auxiliary soldiers attached to them and the sizes of the Cohorts and Centuries of which they were composed. During the First Century AD, a Legion was generally 4800 to 5100 men. Later in the 1st Century AD, the first Cohort of the Legion was expanded from 500 to 800 men in five enlarged Century units. More details may be found at Legions of Rome.
LEGIONARIUS A legionary soldier
LIBRA The ancient Roman "Pound" weight measure, equal to 5053 grains or 327.4 grams, from which the symbol "LB" for "pound" is derived. By comparison, a modern pound is equal to 7000 grains.
LIBURNA Small warship
LICTOR - LICTORIS Attendent/s or bodyguard/s of a magistrate; one of which would carry the fasces as the symbol of the magistrates authority.
LIGO / DOLABRA An entrenching tool, pickaxe, hoe
LILIUM / LILIA Up to eight rows of covered pits with pointed sticks planted in the bottom as a "man-trap" obstacle. Generally employed between the Stimuli and the Cippi and in conjuction with Fossa in a system of perimeter defenses known as a "Garden of Caesar", as used by Julius Caesar in his seige of Alesia in 52 BC.
LIMITANEI The units of the roman army stationed in garrisons and assigned to defend the outer frontiers of the Empire, as instituted by Diocletian and Constantine in the Late Empire Period. They split the army into two forces: the "Limitanei" or troops assigned to guard the frontiers; and the "Comitatensis", as mobile fighting units able and ready to move to a trouble spot in two to three weeks.
LORICA Latin for armor, which was of three main types: "Segmentata", the classic roman plate armor - illustration. "Hamata", ring-maile armor. "Squamata", fish scale armor, having scales pointing up or down and sometimes, both ways on the same armor set. "Plumata" was another style of "scale" armor having ribbed feather like scales. Lorica was also a term for a breastwork on a rampart.
LUDUS LATRUNCULORUM A board game similar to Chess popular with army soldiers
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