Tribunus laticlavius

In the Roman army of the late Republic and the Principate, the tribunus laticlavius ("broad-striped tribune") was one of the six military tribunes in a legion. Usually, they were a young man around the age of 20 that belonged to a wealthy family. Or they were friends with the legate. The position of tribunus laticlavius was the first step on the Cursus honorum.


The post was created by the Marian reforms. They were second in command to the legatus legionis,[1][2] the legion's commander, They were also above the other five tribuni angusticlavii and later the praefectus castrorum. It was common for the tribunus laticlavius to be a Roman noble younger than 25. Usually around 20.[3][4] They were commonly either part of the richest families in Rome or be a close friend to the legionary commander. It was also common for the tribune to have no previous military experience.[3] The tribunus laticlavius was part of the senatorial aristocracy and this is the reason why the tribunus laticlavius was permitted to wear a purple stripe.[5] It was common for the tribune to return to Rome and run for a political office, usually a quaestorship after two or three years as a tribune.[6]The position was the first step of the traditional cursus honorum.[3][7][8][9][10] By the middle of 250s AD, at the earliest, the post of the tribunus laticlavius had disappeared from the Roman army, following the general trend of removal of the senatorial class from military commands.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Powell, Lindsay (2013). Germanicus: The Magnificent Life and Mysterious Death of Rome's Most Popular General. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen&Sword Books. ISBN 978-147-382-692-2.
  2. ^ Breeze, David (2013). Roman Frontiers in Britain. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-147-253-871-0.
  3. ^ a b c Adkins, Lesley (1998). Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome. OUP USA.
  4. ^ Erdkamp, Paul (2007). A Companion to the Roman Army. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-2153-8.
  5. ^ Bohec, Yann Le (1994). The Roman Imperial Army. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-22295-8.
  6. ^ Birley, Eric (1988). The Roman Army. J.C. Gieben.
  7. ^ Greenley, Ben (2017). Myth and Religion. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-135-001-489-3.
  8. ^ Millet, Martin (1990). The Romanization of Britain: An Essay in Archaeological Interpretation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-052-142-864-4.
  9. ^ D'Amato, Raffaele (2009). Arms and Armor of the Imperial Roman Soldier. Pen&Sword Books: Pen & Sword Books. ISBN 978-147-381-189-8.
  10. ^ Brewer, Richard (2000). Caerleon and the Roman Army: Roman Legionary Museum: a Guide. National Museums & Galleries of Wales. ISBN 978-072-000-488-5.
  11. ^ Southern, Pat (2001). The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine. London and New York: Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 0-203-45159-7.