All Roads Lead to Rome


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The Romans conquered half the known world and they did it by setting up a fortified camp every night. The next morning if they were leaving they would tear the camp down denying their enemies any chance to utilize the fortifications. It was ingenious, it was designed to house a whole legion. It provided a safe place for the troops to bed down at night and a strong defensive position if they needed to retreat from battle.
If it was determined that they were going to remain in a spot for a while, possibly waiting for reinforcements, performing maneuvers before battle, or besieging an enemy city they would continue to fortify the camp soon bringing it into the status of a fort. Walls, towers, ditch, and gates providing strong defensive barrier to the barbarians moving to attack them.
So what was the Roman Marching Camp? When it was first erected it was a ditch approximately 1.8 meters wide and meter deep. The removed earth from the ditch was pushed towards the interior of the camp to build up a rampart. At the top of this rampart a palisade was built. The wood for the palisade was either built from nearby trees or maybe even from stakes, called sudis, carried by the the Roman soldiers.