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Laeti, the plural form of laetus, was a term used in the late Roman empire to denote communities of barbari ("barbarians", literally "babblers" - of outlandish tongues - i. Commonwealth English! -->The military of ancient Rome relates to the combined military forces of Ancient Rome from the founding of the city The structural history of the Roman military describes the major chronological transformations in the organization and constitution of Ancient Rome 's armed forces, The Roman army was a set of military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and later Roman Empire as part of the Roman military This is a list of both unit types and ranks of the Roman army from the Roman Republic to the fall of This is a list of Roman legions, including key facts about each legion primarily focusing on Principate (early Empire 30BC - 284AD legions for which there exists Auxiliaries (from Latin: auxilia = "supports" formed the standing non-citizen corps of the Roman army of the Principate (30 BC&ndash284 AD A Manius Acilius Glabrio -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 191 BC -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 91 -- Titus The Roman Navy ( Latin: Classis, lit "fleet" comprised the naval forces of the Roman state The Roman Navy ( Latin: Classis, lit "fleet" comprised the naval forces of the Roman state From its origin as a city-state in Italy in 9th century BC the rise as an empire covering much of Eurasia and North The following is a List of Roman wars fought by the ancient Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, organized by date The following is a list of Roman Battles fought by the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire, and sometimes the Byzantine Empire As with most other military forces the Roman military adopted a "carrot and stick" approach to military with an extensive list of decorations for military gallantry The technology history of the Roman military covers the development of and application of technologies for use in the armies and navies of Rome from the Roman Republic to the fall The military engineering of Ancient Rome 's armed forces was of a scale and frequency far beyond that of any of its contemporaries The Latin word castra, with its singular castrum, was used by the ancient Romans to mean buildings or plots of land reserved to or constructed for use as a military Roman Siege engines were for the most part adapted from Hellenistic Siege Technology. List of ancient Roman Triumphal arches (By modern country France Carpentras Triumphal Arch The Roman Roads were essential for the growth of the Roman Empire, by enabling the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate news Roman military personal equipment was produced in large numbers to established patterns and used in an established way Rome's military was always tightly keyed to its political system The strategy of the Roman Military encompasses its Grand strategy (the arrangements made by the state to implement its political goals through a selection of military goals Roman infantry tactics refers to the theoretical and historical deployment formation and maneuvers of the Roman infantry from the start of the Roman Republic to the fall Roman military borders and fortifications were part of a Grand strategy of territorial defense in the Roman Empire. A limes (or the Limes Romanus) was a Border defense or delimiting system of Ancient Rome. Hadrian's Wall ( Latin: perhaps Vallum Aelium, "the Aelian wall" is a stone and turf Fortification built by the Roman The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial "Barbarian" is a pejorative term for an uncivilized person either in a general reference to a member of a nation or Ethnos perceived e. foreigners, people from outside the Empire) permitted to, and granted land to, settle on imperial territory on condition that they provide recruits for the Roman military.  The term laetus is of uncertain origin, but most likely derives from a Germanic word meaning "serf" or "half-free colonist". The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family.  Other authorities suggest the term was of Latin, Celtic or even Iranian origin. 
Laeti were groups of migrants drawn from the tribes that lived beyond the Empire's borders. These had been in constant contact and intermittent warfare with the Empire since its northern borders were stabilized in the reign of Augustus in the early 1st century. Augustus ( Latin: IMPERATOR·CAESAR·DIVI·FILIVS·AVGVSTVS September 23 63 BC – August 19 AD 14) born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was The 1st century was the Century that lasted from 1 to 100 according the Julian calendar. In the West, these tribes were primarily Germans, living beyond the Rhine, or Sarmatians, Iranic mounted nomads from the Eurasian steppe, who had occupied the Hungarian Plain facing the Roman province of Pannonia (W. The Germanic peoples are a historical group of Indo-European -speaking peoples originating in Northern Europe and identified by their use of the Germanic The Rhine (Rhein Rijn Rhin Reno Rain Rhenus is one of the longest and most important Rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 mi with an average discharge The Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae ( Old Iranian Sarumatah 'archer' Σαρμάτες The Iranian people are a collection of Ethnic groups defined along linguistic lines as speaking Iranian languages. In physical Geography, a steppe ( German, from степь - "a flat and arid land" степ - /stɛp/ тал - tal дала - /dɑlɑ/ pronounced The Great Hungarian Plain (also known as Great Alföld, Alföld, or Pannonian Plain) is a plain occupying the southern and eastern part of Hungary Pannonia is an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, Hungary) across the Danube. The Danube (In Donau from earlier Danuvius, Celtic *dānu, meaning "to flow run" Slovak and Polish Dunaj There is no mention in the sources of laeti in the Eastern section of the Empire. 
Although the literary sources mention laeti only from the 4th century onwards, it is possible they existed from as early as the 2nd century: the 3rd century historian Dio Cassius reports that emperor Marcus Aurelius (ruled 161-80) granted land in the border regions of Germania, Pannonia, Moesia and Dacia, and even in Italy itself, to groups of Marcomanni, Quadi and Iazyges tribespeople captured during the Marcomannic Wars (although Marcus Aurelius later expelled those settled in the peninsula after one group mutinied and briefly seized Ravenna, the base of the Adriatic fleet). As a means of recording the passage of Time, the 4th century (per the Julian calendar and Anno Domini / Common era) was that Century The 2nd century is the period from 101 to 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. The 3rd century is the period from 201 to 300 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus ( Greek:) (c 155 or 163/164 to after 229 known in English as Cassius Dio, Dio Cassius, or Dio was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (often referred to as "the wise" ( April 26, 121 – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor Germania was the Latin Exonym for Pannonia is an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, Moesia (Μοισία Moisía; Мизия Miziya; Moesia Мезија Mezija) was an ancient region and Roman province situated in the Dacia, in ancient geography was the land of the Dacians. It was named by the ancient Hellenes ( Greeks) " Getae " Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Buri, Suebi or Suevi Quadi were a smaller Germanic tribe, about which little definitive information is known The Iazyges ( Jazyges is an orthographic variant were a nomadic tribe The Marcomannic Wars (called by the Romans bellum Germanicum or expeditio Germanica) were a series of wars lasting over a dozen years from about AD 166 Ravenna is a City and Comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The classis Ravennatis ("Fleet of Ravenna " later awarded the honorifics praetoria and Pia Vindex, was the second most senior fleet  These settlers may have been the original laeti. Indeed, there is evidence that the practice of settling communities of barbari inside the Empire stretches as far back as the founder-emperor Augustus himself (ruled 42 BC - 14 AD): during his time, a number of subgroups of German tribes from the eastern bank of the Rhine were transferred, at their own request, to the Roman-controlled western bank, e. Augustus ( Latin: IMPERATOR·CAESAR·DIVI·FILIVS·AVGVSTVS September 23 63 BC – August 19 AD 14) born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was g. the Cugerni, a subgroup of the Sugambri tribe, and the Ubii. The Sicambri (var Sicambers Sicambres Sigambrer Sugumbrer or Sugambri) were a Germanic people living in what is now called the Netherlands The Ubii were a Germanic tribe first encountered dwelling on the right bank of the Rhine in the time of Julius Caesar, who formed an alliance with them  In 69, the emperor Otho is reported to have settled communities of Mauri from North Africa in the province of Hispania Baetica (modern Andalusia, Spain). For other uses see Otho (disambiguation. Marcus Salvius Otho ( April 25, 32 – April 16, 69) also called Marcus Hispania Baetica was one of three Imperial Roman provinces in Hispania, (modern Iberia)  Given the attestation of several auxiliary regiments with the names of these tribes in the 1st and 2nd centuries, it is likely that their admission to the empire was conditional on some kind of military obligations (Tacitus states that the Ubii were given the task of guarding the West bank of the Rhine) i. e. that they were laeti in all but name. 
The precise constitutions which regulated laeti settlements are obscure.  It is possible that their constitutions were standard, or alternatively that the terms varied with each individual settlement.  There is also doubt about whether the terms governing laeti were distinct from those applying to gentiles or dediticii (surrendering barbarians) or tributarii (peoples obliged to pay tribute).  It is possible that these names were used interchangeably. On the other hand, they may refer to juridically distinct types of community, with distinct sets of obligations and privileges for each type. Most likely, the terms laeti and gentiles were interchangeable, as they are listed in the same section of the Notitia, and referred to voluntary settlements.  Indeed the term laetus may derive from the Latin word laetus meaning "delighted" and may have originally been used to distinguish voluntary settlements of barbarians from dediticii, which were forced settlements of prisoners of war (which may have been on less favourable terms than laeti); and tributarii were probably not settlements within the empire at all, but tribes beyond the borders that had a client relationship with Rome.
Reproductively self-sufficient groups of laeti (i. e. including women and children) would be granted land (terrae laeticae) to settle in the empire by the imperial government. . They appear to form distinct military cantons, which probably were outside the normal provincial administration, since the settlements were under the control of a Roman praefectus laetorum (or praefectus gentilium), who would be responsible for either individual communities, e. A canton is an Administrative division of a country eg a region or state In Ancient Rome, a province (Latin provincia, pl provinciae) was the basic and until the Tetrarchy (circa g. the praefectus gentilium Sarmatarum Novariae ("prefect of the Sarmatian community at Novara", N. Novara ( Nuara in the local Novarese dialect of Western Lombard) is the capital city of the Province of Novara in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy); or all communities of a particular tribe in a particular region, e. g. the praefectus gentilium Sarmatarum Calabriae at Apuliae ("prefect of Sarmatians in Calabria and Apulia", regions in southern Italy). Calabria ( Latin: Brutium) is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of Apulia ( Italian: Puglia) is a region in southeastern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east the Ionian Sea The praefectus was clearly a military officer, as he in turn reported to the magister peditum praesentalis (commander of the imperial escort army) in Italy. Magister militum ( Latin for "Master of the Soldiers" was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of  This officer was, in the late 4th/early 5th centuries, the effective supreme commander of the Western Roman army.
In return for their privileges of admission to the empire and land grants, the laeti settlers were under an obligation to supply recruits to the Roman army, presumably in greater proportions than ordinary communities were liable to under the regular conscription of the late empire. The Roman army was a set of military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and later Roman Empire as part of the Roman military Conscription (also known as the draft, the call-up or national service) is a general term for involuntary labor demanded by some established authority The treaty granting a laeti community land might specify a once-and-for-all contribution of recruits.  Or a fixed number of recruits required each year.  Most likely, this would have been a specified proportion of all laeti males reaching military age (16 years). The proportion required is unknown, and may have varied. A possible parallel is the treaty with Rome of the Batavi tribe of Germania Inferior in the 1st century. The Batavians ( Latin Batavi) were a Germanic tribe originally part of the Chatti, reported by Tacitus to Germania Inferior was a Roman province located on the left bank of the Rhine, in today's southern and western Netherlands, parts of It has been calculated that in the Julio-Claudian era, as many as half all Batavi males reaching military age were enlisted in the Roman auxilia. The Julio-Claudian Dynasty refers to the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus (Octavian Tiberius, Caligula (Gaius Claudius, and Auxiliaries (from Latin: auxilia = "supports" formed the standing non-citizen corps of the Roman army of the Principate (30 BC&ndash284 AD 
Also like the Batavi, who were granted the privilege in return for their disproportionate contributions to the military, it is likely that laeti settlers enjoyed exemption from tributum (direct taxation on land and heads). A decree of 409 providing for the settlement of some Sciri tribespeople stipulates that they must pay taxes and be exempt from military service for 20 years. But this settlement was specifically aimed at increasing agricultural production, and the decree specifically provides that the settlers be known by the title coloni ("peasants") and no other. The decree probably implies that the requirement to pay taxes and exemption from military service were exceptional. 
There is considerable dispute about whether laeti settlements formed their own separate units or were simply part of the general pool of army recruits.  The traditional view is that the praefecti laetorum or gentilium mentioned in the Notitia each were in command of a regiment composed of the laeti ascribed to them, on the basis that they reported to the magister militum praesentalis. But Elton and Goldsworthy argue that laeti were normally drafted into existing military units, and only rarely formed their own.  The main support for this view is a decree of 400 AD in the Codex Theodosianus which authorises a magister militum praesentalis to enlist Alamanni and Sarmatian laeti, together with other groups such as the sons of veterans. The Codex Theodosianus ( Book of Theodosius) was a compilation of the laws of the Roman Empire under the Christian emperors since 312 This probably implies that laeti were seen as part of the general pool of recruits.  In this case the praefecti laetorum/gentilium would have had administrative duties only, especially ensuring the full military levy each year.
Some regiments of laeti certainly existed. The praesentales armies in both East and West contained scholae (elite cavalry units) of gentiles, most likely formed of laeti. Scholae (Σχολαί is a Latin word literally meaning "schools" (from the singular schola, school or group) that was  There is also a mention of a regular regiment called Laeti in the clash between emperors Constantius II and Julian in 361; and a regiment called Felices Laetorum in 6th century Italy. Flavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II ( 7 August, 317 - November 3, 361) was a Roman Emperor  The units ala I Sarmatarum and numerus Hnaufridi attested in 3rd century Britain may have been formed of laeti. 
Much of our information on laeti is contained in the Notitia Dignitatum, a document drawn up at the turn of the 4th/5th centuries. The Notitia Dignitatum is a unique document of the Roman imperial chanceries The document is a list of official posts in the Roman Empire, both civil and military. It must be treated with caution, as many sections are missing or contain gaps, so the Notitia does not account for all posts and commands in existence at the time of compilation. Furthermore, the lists for the two halves of the Empire are separated by as much as 30 years, corresponding to ca. 395 for the Eastern section and ca. 425 for the West, and may include deployments from as early as 379. The Western Roman Empire refers to the western half of the Roman Empire, from its division by Diocletian in 285 the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Therefore not all posts mentioned were in existence at the same time, and not all posts that were in existence are shown.
The surviving Notitia only mentions laeti settlements in Italy and Gaul - and even the two lists of laeti prefects extant are incomplete. Gaul (Gallia was the Roman name for the region of Western Europe comprising present day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western But the Notitia suggests that laeti settlements may have existed in the Danubian provinces also.  Furthermore, the lists clearly contain errors. The list of praefecti laetorum in Gaul contains prefects for the Lingones, Nervii and Batavi: but these tribes had been inside the empire since its inception under Augustus. Lingones were a Celtic tribe that originally lived in Gaul in the area of the headwaters of the Seine and Marne rivers The Nervii were one of the most powerful Belgic tribes living east of the Scheldt in northern The Batavians ( Latin Batavi) were a Germanic tribe originally part of the Chatti, reported by Tacitus to Augustus ( Latin: IMPERATOR·CAESAR·DIVI·FILIVS·AVGVSTVS September 23 63 BC – August 19 AD 14) born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was By the time the Notitia was compiled, they had provided recruits for the Roman auxiliary regiments for four centuries, and had been Roman citizens for nearly 200 years. Auxiliaries (from Latin: auxilia = "supports" formed the standing non-citizen corps of the Roman army of the Principate (30 BC&ndash284 AD Citizenship in the time of Ancient Rome was a privileged status afforded to certain individuals with respect to laws property and governance They could not, therefore, have been classified as laeti. Most likely the text is corrupt. Medieval copyists of the Notitia probably confused the name of a geographical region (e. g. Nerviorum - the territory of the Nervii) with the name of a laeti people. However, it has been suggested that these names could relate to displaced persons from those areas. 
Title XLII of the Western part contains two lists of laeti prefects, one for the praefecti laetorum in Gaul, and one for the praefecti gentilium Sarmatarum (prefects of Sarmatian gentiles) in Italy and Gaul, all under the command of the magister peditum praesentalis- the commander of the imperial escort army in Italy (despite his title, which means "master of infantry", this officer commanded cavalry as well as infantry units). 
Removing the names of the "fake laeti" mentioned above, and replacing them with "unidentified tribe", the following list results:
The Notitia also mentions a tribunus gentis Marcomannorum under the command of the dux Pannoniae et Norici and a tribunus gentis per Raetias deputatae (tribune of natives in the Raetian provinces). Raetia (so always in inscriptions classical manuscripts usually use the form Rhaetia) was a province of the Roman Empire, bounded on the west by the country  These Marcomanni were probably laeti also and may be the descendants of tribespeople settled in the area in the 2nd century by Marcus Aurelius. Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Buri, Suebi or Suevi
The Notitia thus contains 34 entries concerning laeti. But some entries relate to several settlements, not just one, e. g. the Sarmatian settlements in Apulia and Calabria. Furthermore, more than two pages of entries appear to be missing. The number of settlements may thus have been in the hundreds, in the western half of the empire alone.
The Notitia lists of laeti settlements, incomplete as they are, show their considerable proliferation over the fourth century. This, together with the large numbers of military units with barbarian names, gave rise to the "barbarisation" theory of the fall of the Roman empire. This view ultimately originates from Edward Gibbon's magnum opus, the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Edward Gibbon ( April 27, 1737 January 16, 1794) was an English historian and Member of Parliament. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (known popularly as The History) was written by English Historian According to this view, a critical factor in the disintegration of the western Roman empire in the 5th century was the Romans' ever-increasing reliance on barbarian recruits to man (and lead) their armies, while they themselves became soft and averse to military service. The barbarian recruits had no fundamental loyalty to Rome and repeatedly betrayed Rome's interests. This view does not distinguish between laeti, foederati and mercenaries. Foederatus (pl foederati) is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the
According to Goldsworthy, there is no evidence that barbarian officers or men were any less reliable than their Roman counterparts.  Instead, the evidence points to the conclusion that laeti were a crucial source of first-rate recruits to late Roman army.