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Dromedarii were camel riding auxiliary forces recruited in the desert provinces of the Late Roman Empire in Syria.

They were developed to take the place of horses, where horses were not common. They were also successful against enemy horses, as horses are typically afraid of camels' scents.[1] Camels were seen as exotic and useful creatures, known for their ability to move over desert terrain. It is noted that dromedaries were used less often than camels, though the title "Dromedarii" may imply that dromedaries were used more often. However, the Romans could not distinguish between camels and dromedaries, thus using both as a means of transportation. This is very similar to the camel cavalry used often by the Ottoman Empire. It is noted that camel cavalry was more commonplace as a result of the desert terrain during the Muslim conquests.


  1. ^ "Bactrian & Dromedary Camels". Factsheets. San Diego Zoo Global Library. March 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 


  • Dixon, Karen Ramsey; Southern, Pat (1997). The Roman Cavalry: From the First to the Third Century AD. London: Routledge. 
  • Southern, Pat (2007). The Roman Army: A Social and Institutional History. Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN 9780195328783.