Four years suffered Rome feral antics ruler Caligula. But there are limits. And on the 24th January 41 BC. e. Force fighter Praetorian Guard led by the commander of the palace guards stormed the palace and killed the fierce ruler. Mutilated bodies of Caligula and his household were strewn on the bloodstained stairs and searched the palace conspirators, not realizing that they still do now. But here fighter named McGrath saw that stick out from under the curtain someone's feet. McGrath pulled back the curtain and pulled the light trembling with fear man. Fighter here vyznat Claudius, Caligula's uncle. Claudius, reputed klutz and fell before grata on his knees and began to beg for mercy. But he was not going to kill him. On the contrary, saluted as emperor Claudius, McGrath called comrades. They put half-dead from fright Claudius on a stretcher and dragged it into your own camp. Outdoor mass litsezrev Claudia surrounded by armed men who killed his uncle regretted safe despot, believing that his being dragged to death. And in vain sorry — the soldiers decided to declare the king Claudius.
This event was a turning point in the history of Rome, if earlier policy perceptible role was played only the highest officers, then from that point and ordinary Praetorians took decide the fate of the empire. And it soon turned into real Praetorians "laborers Caesars."
Elite military machine
Who are the Praetorians? At first, it's personal bodyguard units Roman generals. "Praetorium" in Latin — in the tent camp commander, hence the name, "praetorian cohort." 1st praetorian cohorts were formed from friends and generals. Here were many noble young men who wanted a military career: after all, in the battles they fought shoulder to shoulder against those they were intended to protect, and hence, the captain could not see them, and to promote the service. To enroll in the Praetorians, the candidate had to possess good health, good behavior and different place from a good family. If you wish to enter into the Guards someone "from outside", he had to submit a recommendation from a principled person. In this case, the inhabitants of Rome itself in the Praetorians did not take, they were considered very "pampered", but originating from the rest of Italy, who became famous in the fighting, was completely real chance to get a Praetorian Guard. Graduate of the officers was equipped with the senatorial and equestrian estates, in other words from the generous people of origin.
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. "McGrath proclaims the emperor Claudius"
We had a huge amount Praetorian benefits before by ordinary legionnaires 16-year lifespan instead of 20-year-old, inflated salaries and severance pay, the right to carry out civil service odezhku. These arms were the same as in Legionnaires but still the best properties. Each praetorian had armor, reinforced with copper plates, or leather armor with steel buckles, shiny helmet with pyshnovatym Sultan and round shield, "scutum" rich coinage. Gold coinage was also decorated with a helmet, breastplate, Shoulder and wrist. Even on the edge of a blade was engraved.
For all these privileges guards had to be calculated exhausting training. But as a result of their daily activities out resistant and L professionally trained fighters. The Praetorians had two "pilum" — spears with flexible pins behind the tip, which were bent on target. Spear stuck in a board, prevented the enemy, stuck in the body — killed. Throwing a javelin, Praetorians continued to fight on the blades. In general, during the height of the Empire (1-2 cc.) It was perfectly working machine, the core of the army of Rome, the best armies of antiquity.
And the guards and the police
The main function of the praetorian guard was listed Caesars. In '23 our era, at the time governor of Tiberius, to the praetorian camp was built a fortress in Rome. But this does not mean that the Praetorians constantly wipe them with the court. No, they are intensely involved in civilian as well as in external wars. Guardsmen perfectly proved in the course of the Jewish War (66 -71 years.), Under Emperor Trajan Praetorians brought a great contribution to the Roman victory over the Dacians — tribes living on the territory of modern Romania, in 169-180 years. they comped Marcus Aurelius in his campaigns against the Germans. Valor Guard honored at military monuments of Old Rome: on the famous "Column of Trajan" and "Column of Marcus Aurelius."
But in the history of the Praetorians includes not only for its martial victories. From the very beginning 5 guard I did the same to the police function. The tasks included the praetorian political investigation and arrest criminals municipalities, their content in the bullpen before the trial, which was in the Praetorian camp, and even execution. All this led to the fact that the Praetorians have come to feel almost the owners of the Empire. And over time they turned into a haughty, capricious and selling caste.
Members of military combat game reproduce the construction of the praetorian "Turtle". As such, the warriors Electrical safety protection from arrows and the front and top.
Eminent "Trajan's Column"
"Nest riot and debauchery"
Since the time of the ruler Tiberius final struggle for power in almost all depended on the support of the Guard. Specifically praetorian officers overthrew Caligula, before they put him on the throne. When Claudius died, one of the pretenders to the throne, Nero, first went to pretorians and promised them lavish gifts if they perform in support of it. Praetorians agreed, and Nero became king. When Nero killed, came to power Galba, who stated that the soldier should be dialed, and not to take. Obviously, these words are not liked pretorians greedy — they killed Galba and Otho built on the throne by promising them credit for.
I must say that although praetorian building on the theoretical level, had
to feed the absolute loyalty to Caesar, Caesars themselves have no special illusions on this score in the dedication guards are not particularly believe. So, back in August as bodyguards used the Germans differed truly steel loyalty. Not subordinate to the Roman officers, hiking and equestrian units Germans existed in subsequent kings, but to oust the praetorian they could not.
In these days of countless tourists in Rome show "clowns" praetorian guard, they talk about their weapons and combat techniques. Inglorious end Guard — also a subject of the narrative.
To return to the army loyalty and discipline succeeded in "gold" for the Roman times, during the period of the Antonine dynasty (96-192 years).. But when the latter came to the throne of Antonine — debauchee Dresser, Praetorians remember the old days and destroyed dissolute ruler. And the new Caesar Pertinax not attracted to them. He tried to curb the praetorian, forbidding them to rob people. Guardsmen killed Pertinax and shut in his own camp. And then began an incredible — from the walls of the camp Praetorians heralded that will build on the throne of the highest bidder. This "auction" won some Didy Julian — he suggested Guardsmen 6250 pence, and was-still king. But the treasury was empty, and the Praetorians were left with nothing.
Bridle presumptuous "bodyguards generals" tried-leader of the legions of Septimius his men kicked out of the Praetorian Guard of Rome and destroyed their fortress. This expulsion is very relaxed Praetorian Guard, but still have a good hundred years Praetorians intensively involved in all of the Troubles, in time which bubbles inflated and blown here every kind of "soldier emperors." In the end, Constantine stately in 312 completely abolished the Praetorian Guard — is, in his words, "a permanent nest riot and debauchery." That's no glory ended its existence the most powerful military unit Antiquity, in fact, who knew no defeats on the battlefield!