Roman Cataphrax Cavalry
3rd Century AD
(St. Petersburg Collection G264)
Roman Auxiliary units were usually recruited from warrior peoples residing within the frontiers of the Roman Empire. The term of enlistment was 25 years, after which the Auxilia was granted Roman citizenship. Most Roman Cavalry units were auxiliary regiments with their officers drawn from the Roman Legions. The Roman army was second to none in the skills of its heavy infantry, but Romans were not as skilled as their barbarian counterparts in horsemanship. Thus Auxilia cavalry units were successfully recruited from Gallic, Spanish, Thracian, Pannonian, and other warriors. In the revolt against Roman rule in Britain by Queen Boudicca in 60 AD, all of the above listed peoples served in the Roman Cavalry regiments, fighting for General Paulinus.