Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Coh. I Voluntariorum Civium Romanum Eq.

In the manpower crisis following the crisis in Dalmatia in 6AD-9AD, and Teutoberger Wald in 9AD, Augustus raised perhaps 30-40 independent cohorts that didn’t form part of the legions.  Some of these were entitled Coh. Ingenuorum Civium Romanum (free-born Roman citizens) or Coh. Italica Voluntariorum C.R.  (Italian Roman citizen volunteers).  According to Cheeseman, the former were recruited from Roman citizens, and the latter were recruited from freedmen, who were not eligible to serve in the legions.  These retained a higher status than auxiliary units, being paid a donative equivalent to that of legionaries, in Augustus’ Will.

Over time, it is thought that recruitment standards were relaxed and non-citizens were recruited (slaves or foreigners), who received citizenship after twenty five years service, as if auxiliaries.  Paradoxically auxiliary units that performed exceptionally well on campaign, were granted Roman Citizenship, which is why many have C.R. after their unit name.

I don’t believe that anything specific  is known about how C. R. troops were equipped, relative to other Roman forces.  From Instinct, I’ve chosen to give this particular unit, which was based in lower Germany,  the same red tunics I give most of my legionaries (rather than the off white most of my auxiliaries get), and a legionary shield design that LBMS conveniently makes to fit an oval shield.  I also gave them a legionary signum.

Most of the miniatures are Black Tree, except for the Centurion who is the Warlord mini that came with Hail Caesar, and two Foundry signifiers and a cornicen.  I did a little light conversion work including a couple of head swaps.  I particularly pleased with the way that the cavalry contingent came out, as all were badly painted, and some horses broken at the ankles, when I got them.  Unfortunately the photos aren't the best; they don't bring out the rich reds of the shields.  You'll have to come to Partizan to see them.

I’ve been basing a couple of regular auxiliary cohorts in parallel with these, of which more, anon.
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