Roman Army of the Principate

The Roman Principate comprises the period of time starting in 27 BC when Octavian was designated Augustus and Princeps by the Roman Senate and ending with the death of Trajan in AD 117. This period is also commonly known as the Early Roman Empire and was signed by a relative peace all across the Roman territory

Augustus decided to transform the Army into a fully professional force solely under the command of the Emperor even if he kept many of the names and terms of the dying Republic

The legion continued to be the core of the Army but its men were enlisted for a fixed period of time instead of the length of a campaign and there was a defined reward after honorable discharge from the service usually in money or land

The auxiliary forces were reorganized and given a regular status with training and service terms similar to that of legionaries, except that most auxilia were offered Roman Citizenship as the reward for their life at the Army

Finally the number of auxiliaries began to increase until they became a part as large of the Army than that of legionaries and often of similar fighting quality

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