The Contubernium ( Latin "tent community", plural: Contubernia ) with usually eight men was the smallest organizational unit in the ancient Roman army (in the early Republic this was still the Decurie with ten men).
A contubernium not only shared a leather tent, but also a hand mill and mule with a driver and thus formed a household and combat community. The soldiers stood together in battle order and presumably formed a band of the eight-man-deep phalanx . They marched together, prepared food together and dug a section with their pila muralia when building a field fortification . In the case of misconduct by individuals, the whole group was often punished as well.
Until the reorganization of the army of the Emperor Hadrian , the Contubernium did not have a senior rank, but was headed by the senior officer. Then the contubernium was reinforced to ten men and led by a decanus . During this time, the contubernium was also called manipulus (in the course of the reorganization, the previous maniples were no longer used as organizational and tactical units). During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI. (886-912) the Contubernium numbered 16 men.
In the camps , in which, in contrast to the Marschlagers, tents were no longer pitched but fixed, sometimes multi-storey barracks were built, the term was transferred to the part of a barracks inhabited by eight soldiers. Such a team barracks consisted of ten contubernia and a centurion head building in which the commandant of the respective centurion was accommodated. The contubernium itself consisted of a bedroom, also called papilio (Latin for tent ), and an anteroom, the arma (Latin for weapons ). The papiliones could be multi-story and had hearths. The arma was primarily used to store weapons, but was also used as a horse stable for mounted units or for craft activities.
In Roman marriage law , the contubernium corresponds to today's “illegitimate cohabitation”, namely between a slave and a female slave or between a slave and a freed person . These were not recognized as legally effective marriages, which in particular had the consequence that the resulting children were not related to their father (and also not to the mother, if this was a slave). Such a connection required the consent of the slave owner, who could revoke this at any time.
Do not confuse the Contubernium in this sense with the concubinage , a "de facto relationship" between free Roman citizens who had no intention of marrying.
In the 16th century, Contubernium was also used to designate bursa and similar institutions, such as the Collegium principis of the University of Heidelberg . The Contubernium Dorpatense was a German-Baltic student union in Dorpat and Tübingen.
- Otto Fiebiger : Contubernium . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume IV, 2, Stuttgart 1901, Col. 1164 f.
- Thomas Fischer : The army of the Caesars. Archeology and history . Pustet, Regensburg 2012, ISBN 978-3791724133 . P. 261 ff.
- Raimund Friedl: The cohabitation in imperial Rome. from Augustus to Septimius Severus (= Historia . Individual writings. Issue 98). Steiner, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-515-06871-6 , especially pp. 75-83 ( Contubernium ). At the same time dissertation Tübingen 1994.
- contubernium . In: Karl Ernst Georges : Comprehensive Latin-German concise dictionary . Hannover 1913, Reprint Darmstadt 1998, Volume 1, Sp. 1642 Online .
- Anne Johnson : Roman forts of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD in Britain and in the Germanic provinces of the Roman Empire (= cultural history of the ancient world . Vol. 37). von Zabern, Mainz 1987, ISBN 3-8053-0868-X , especially p. 193ff.
- Marcus Junkelmann : The Legions of Augustus. The Roman soldier in an archaeological experiment (= cultural history of the ancient world. Vol. 33). 9th revised edition. von Zabern, Mainz 2003, ISBN 3-8053-0886-8 .
- Yann Le Bohec: Contubernium. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 3, Metzler, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-476-01473-8 , column 158.
- Alfred Richard Neumann: Contubernium. In: The Little Pauly (KlP). Volume 1, Stuttgart 1964, column 1298.
- ↑ Latin “con” = together, “taberna” = tent, booth.
- ↑ a b Thomas Fischer: The army of the Caesars. Archeology and history , Pustet, Regensburg 2012, ISBN 978-3791724133 . P. 261 ff.
- ^ Rolf Heyers: Dr. Georg Marius, called Mayer von Würzburg (1533-1606). (Dental) medical dissertation Würzburg 1957, pp. 5-7.