V Cohors Lucensium (Callaecorum)

In times of the Roman dominion over right border of Danube, the auxiliary camp of Gerulata(Bratislava-Rusovce) was home to several units of Roman military. First and oldest documented stationed troops was the unit of Fifth cohort of Lucus Augusti, Luco, of present day northern Spain.

This unit contributed to fortification of danubian border. It provided supplies of building material (bricks) to civil settlement built in the area of former celtic settlement. It took care and maintained military and civil camp in times of ceasefire between Rome and germanic tribes.

Our association focuses mostly on this exotic auxiliary unit due to the fact that it has been proven to be the first host of roman force occupying the military camp of Gerulata in present day Slovakia, that was part of limes Romanus - roman fortified border in the north. Auxiliary units are less known in the eyes of general public, apart from thoroughly better equipped Roman citizen soldiers - legionaries. This is the reason for us to focus on spreading knowledge about auxiliary by reconstructing Fifth cohort of Gerulata, that fit into second half of 1st century A.D. This is what we know about this unit :


Fifth cohort was recruited from natives of northeastern Hispania, of areas Callaeci and Lucensium. From 1st to 3rd century A.D., the unit was firmly connected with province of Pannonia Superior. In 1st century was the cohort of 480 men stationed in wood-earth camp of Gerulata (Bratislava-Rusovce). Presence of cohort was confirmed in 2012 by fragments of bricks with stamp of COH V LVC on them.

Modest findings of militaria in fragmentary research of camp, named by archeologists : camp I. suggested the presence of foot regiments in present day Rusovce. This includes at least two spear tips from municipal area and one spear tip that was part of grave from 1st - 2nd century A.D. These spear tips correspond with auxiliary armament.

Presence of auxiliary unit is further confirmed by findings of scales from scale armour (lorica squamata) found in Flavian layer of the camp. In 2nd to 3rd century the unit was stationed in camp of Crumerum (Nyergésújfalu) on the Hilltop near Danube. Its presence here is confirmed by inscription on the altar foot from year 198 A.D. and on the altar of Neptune, which year of origin is disputed among scholars.

First inscription confirms direct participation of 5th cohort during fights with barbarians on the left bank of Danube during times of emperor Septimius Severus. As the sign of valour in the fights, unit was granted title Antoniniana. Unit was briefly recalled during years 166-169 to the province of Moesia Superior. Its presence here is confirmed by findings of Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) and Guberec. Sacrificial inscription of Guberec states that cohort was directly stationed in the area. Fate of the cohort is not known from 4th century A.D. on and it probably ceased to exist due to radical changes in roman army structure.


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T. Kolník – E. Krekovič – L. Snopko – I. Geržová – V. Ferus – I. Hečková: Doba rímska. In: T. Štefanovičová: Najstaršie dejiny Bratislavy. Bratislava 1993.

Z. Visy: Der pannonische Limes in Ungarn. Budapest 1988.

E. Krekovič: Military equipment on the territory of Slovakia. In: C. van Driel-Murray: Journal of  Roman Military Equipment Studies, 1994. Oxford 1996.

Wikipedia – Auxiliaries (Roman military). [online]. Dostupné na internete: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_auxiliaries. (Prehliadané dňa 10.3. 2010).